Laughil the favourite for Supreme Award
The nominations for the Greyhounds of the Year have been released and the various winners will be named and honoured at the Greyhound Awards Gala which will be held in conjunction with the semi-finals of the Irish Independent Irish Laurels at Curraheen Park on the night of Saturday, May 2.
There will never be universal agreement with the deliberations of selectors and obviously a couple of leading names cannot make any list which is confined to three contenders per category.
However, one suspects that all the favourites for the various awards are included in the list of 21 dogs which are in contention for the seven awards.
The eighth greyhound award will, of course, be the Supreme Tracker and this will obviously rest between the Dog of the Year and the Bitch of the Year.
The three contenders for the Dog of the Year, in alphabetical order, are Ballymac Vic, Boylesports Hero and Laughil Blake, and the latter will be fancied to get the nod for this award and also for Supreme Tracker following his stunning victories in the Boylesports.com Irish Derby and the BIF Night of Stars 550.
As an impressive winner of the Sporting Press Irish Oaks, the lightly raced Velvet All Jam looks the top contender for the Bitch Award but it will be close as the likes of Southest Suzie , which beat the boys in the Select Stakes, is expected to poll strongly.
All the award winners will be announced on the night both during and after racing and the full occasion may well be beamed live on Barking Buzz/ Inter Track.
A few award winners have been named.
The new inductees into the Hall of Fame are Robertstown trainer Jerry Melia and Noel Mullins, who has been the backbone of the western circuit for many years.
The Special Merit Award has gone to Pat O'Donovan who did Trojan work for the sport when working as a Radio Sports Producer with RTE and since then has contributed enormously as General Manager at HX and Chairman of the Millennium Club and the Night of Stars.
Dog of the Year: Ballymac Vic, Boylesports Hero, Laughil Blake;
Bitch of the Year: Leamaneigh Mags, Southest Suzie, Velvet All Jam:
Sprinter: Crokers Champ, Crown Champ, Walshes Hill;
Stayer: Razldazl Pacino, Sidarian Lisa, Woe Katie:
Brood Bitch: Blasket Music, Cabra Midget, Laughil Lass.
Stud Dog: Ace Hi Rumble, Kinloch Brae, Westmead Hawk:
Newcomer: Droopys Nidge, Farloe Blitz, Lenson Sanchez.
Special Merit: Pat O'Donovan: Greyhound Welfare: Ms Brigid Franks (RGT) & Ms Lillian Mazolla (GACI). Hall of Fame: Jerry Melia & Noel Mullins.