Dunne joins legends as Robert shows pace
It was a good weekend for Derby-winning owner Larry Dunne as his champion tracker Slippery Robert flew around Shelbourne in a trial on Saturday night and 24 hours later the Dundalk man was honoured as the 'Irish Greyhound Review' Personality of the Year.
Dunne's Slippery Robert was having his first run since his Derby final triumph on September 14 and connections could hardly have been more pleased with his 28.33 run.
Trainer Robert Gleeson, who was also present at the function, said: "That will have him just right for the Night of Stars on Saturday week. He will go for the Boylesports Night of Stars 550 and we are hoping he runs a big race."
Dunne follows in a long list of legends that have been honoured as Personality of the Year since its inception back in 1979. A leading breeder, owner, trainer and punter, Larry received his award from Minister for State Tom Hayes.
The Stud Dog of the Year award was also presented and for the third year on the trot it was Sean Dunphy from Knocktopher who collected it for his stud dog Head Bound.
It was another terrific year for the Aussie-bred Head Bound as his winning progeny included Paradise Madison (Champion Stakes winner), North Bound (Easter Cup), Ringtown Snowy (Ladbrokes 600 and Cesarewitch) and Champion Bitch Rockburst Pearl.
Minister Hayes also launched the 36th edition of the 'Irish Greyhound Review' annual which is now on sale at all leading newsagents and most tracks nationwide. Included in its pages are interviews with Dunne, Gleeson, Owen McKenna, Rachel Wheeler, Philip Peake and IGB CEO Adrian Neilan.
Apart from Slippery Robert's flying run, a number of other Night of Stars contenders were trialled and most impressive was Liam Dowling's Ballymac Vic with an 18.48 spin over the 350 yards, a time just seven spots outside the track record. Ballymac Matthew went around in 18.79 and Rockburst Pearl in 18.95.
The best over 525 yards were Melodys Diamond (28.49), Gurrane Princess (28.64) and Ballyhoe Elsa (28.56).
Liam Kennedy is still seeking entries for a number of €700 open contests to be run as the supporting card for the Kerry Agribusiness Irish St Leger final at Limerick on Saturday. Entries close at noon today for Opens over 350, 525, 575, 600 and 750 as well as Unraced 525, Bitch 525 and Veterans A1 600 (Nov '09).
The death occurred yesterday of the legendary Don Cuddy, one of the most revered names in greyhound racing. He travelled the world through his involvement with the sport and set training records in the US before retiring to his native Dublin. He will be sadly missed by his large group of friends.