Friday 13 December 2019

Tyrur Sugar Ray brings curtain down on top class career

Photo: Stephen McCarthy/SPORTSFILE
Photo: Stephen McCarthy/SPORTSFILE

Michael Fortune

Tyrur Sugar Ray, one of the greatest greyhounds of modern times, has been retired. He ended his career in glorious fashion by finishing second in the Boylesports.com Irish Derby final on Saturday night.

It was an amazing achievement on the part of this great son of Top Honcho and Maireads Fantasy to reach the finals of the 2012, 2013 and 2014 Derby finals, emulating the legendary Spanish Battleship as the only dog to reach three Irish Derby deciders.

In a career stretching back to March 2012 he ran in 62 races, all top class, and only finished out of the first three on six occasions. He won 22 races and was runner-up 23 times. He has figured in virtually every major final in this country over the past three years and also just failed to qualify for the 2013 English Derby final.

His owner PJ Fahy said yesterday that "He was a phenomenal racer with massive pace and was a joy to own and train. To run in three Irish Derby finals was incredible and he brought much joy to our family. He is a credit to his breeder Joe Horan.

"He already has thrown some hugely fast pups and a decision on a stud career will be made in a few weeks. Thanks to all the good-wishers before and after last Saturday night and best wishes to a wonderful winner Laughil Blake and that other great dog Ballymac Vic".

Meanwhile, Liam Dowling hasn't entirely ruled out one further race, in the Night of Stars, for Ballymac Vic.

"He has been a great old dog," he said. "And he ran a blinder again on Saturday in the final.

"We will see how he does at stud over the coming weeks but if everything is right with the dog, you'd never know, he might bow out on the Night of Stars on November 29".

Warrior thrills

With the exception of the Cesarewitch final, the big night of the year at Mullingar is the occasion of the Shaneboy Spencer @ Stud Fair Warrior Sprint final and a very large attendance is anticipated on Saturday next.

A strict reading of the clock from the semis would suggest that Pauline Quinn's Drumsna Turbo has a bit in hand but it is not so cut and dried.

Whereas Drumsna was involved in a cleanly run heat, the other semi was a rather strange affair where the Gerry Holian trained winner Neds Opinion was badly housed in five and he made his way across to the inside early.

He eventually got his nose in front in the shadow of the post to win in 21.98.

The start is going to be vital and Drumsna Turbo, which is drawn in one, can follow up on his big run in the Bar One Irish Sprint Cup.

His main dangers can be Neds Opinion and Ballymac Matthew.

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