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Greyhounds: Laughil Blake storms to Derby triumph

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Laughil Blake on the way to winning the boylesports.com Irish Greyhound Derby 2014

Laughil Blake on the way to winning the boylesports.com Irish Greyhound Derby 2014

SPORTSFILE

Laughil Blake on the way to winning the boylesports.com Irish Greyhound Derby 2014

The cheering emanating from Shelbourne Park on Saturday night told its own tale as Laughil Blake justified odds-on favouritism in the final of the Boylesports.com Irish Derby.

A massive crowd was treated to a magnificent feast of racing, the highlight of which was a fantastic double for Mary and Paul Jennings as Laughil Blake won the Derby while litter brother Laughil Bolt claimed the Ger McKenna/ Seamus Graham Memorial Plate.

Laughil Bolt was backed him into 4/5 favourite and the dog didn't let the punters down. He gave them an early fright, mind you, as he wasn't as slick as normal from the traps and it was Borneo which led in the early yards.

But then Laughil Blake turned on the turbo to hit the first line level with Borneo and just ahead of Ballymac Vic. By the bend Laughil had gone a clear length ahead and he was followed round by Ballymac with Borneo moving wide and Tyrur Sugar Ray moved into third.

Laughil continued to lead by a length until beyond halfway where he turned on the gas even further and moved two and a half lengths clear by the third corner.

He moved alarmingly wide coming off the final bend but he kept on galloping strongly and crossed the line with two lengths in hand of the gallant Tyrur Sugar Ray in 29.50 with Ballymac Vic a length third and just a head in front of his own kennelmate Vulturi.

Trainer Michael O'Donovan said yesterday: "I don't know what the owners want to do. His metacarpal injury hasn't gone away, he is a bit sore today. Obviously I would love him to race on.

"He is a great dog and is still young. You could go anywhere with him but I will leave it up to the owners - he has terrific breeding. We will see what happens."

Capping a great night for the Jennings family was the victory of the Pat Guilfoyle-trained Laughil Bolt in the earlier Plate final. He was up front throughout and held off Jackal Frampton by half a length in 29.94.

The Consolation final was won in emphatic fashion by the Rosemary Price-trained Deanridge Pennys. He was third into the back straight but shot past Homeless Boy before third bend and won easily by three and a half lengths in 29.83 from the fast-finishing Droopys Ward.

Trainer Graham Holland had a terrific four-timer, with Sidarian Blaze (29.84), Coolavanny Pandy (28.58), Sidarian Blaze (41.70) and General Wolf (29.81) obliging.

It was a very successful night and the smiles on the faces of big race sponsor John Boyle and IGB chairman Phil Meaney told their own story.

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