Lenson Bocko stakes big Derby claim
Only seven races remain in the BoyleSports Derby and the field is now down to the final 24 following an initial entry of over 150. It's difficult to nominate a likely winner of the €140,000 prize with any real confidence.
One greyhound that would certainly attract plenty of votes in a straw poll is Lenson Bocko. The Graham Holland-trained youngster produced a sensational display in Saturday's third round as he dominated from the start in the red-hot opening heat, posting a brilliant 29.27.
The clock was the fastest of the round, although it was the eye-popping nature of the performance that really caught the eye. Displaying awesome early speed, he resembled a Ferrari racing clear of a collection of Massey Fergusons.
If he is to win the Derby, however, he will need to be foot-perfect, with fellow third-round heat winners Magical Bale, Killmacdonagh, Slippy Cian, Mucky Brae and Grangeview Ten to contend with. Of the quintet, last year's runner-up, Magical Bale, was perhaps the most impressive.
The Pat Guilfoyle-trained star was at his professional best as he dispatched his rivals with ease. Clear from the opening yards he sent out a warning to his rivals that he will be a major player in the coming weeks.
There was one moment of real drama on Saturday as Laughil Josh turned back up the track after an early fall. Thankfully, he didn't cause any damage and his kennel companion, Grangeview Ten, raced to a trap-to-line success.
Expect more drama next weekend, although it will hopefully be of the more normal variety.