Sunday 25 February 2018

Adler's Derby tilt is stuff dreams are made of

John Linehan

For anybody involved in greyhounds, the Irish Derby is the daddy of them all. We all want to win a race at Shelbourne, then we want to win a sweepstake there, but the Derby is the dream.

I have always dreamt of having a Derby finalist and just missed out with our Oaks winner Droopys Twirl two years ago when she lost out on a final place by a length.

Now we're back in there again with Droopys Adler and it would be fantastic to last another week, to reach the final. We would have the party in advance of the final in case we'd be too disappointed afterwards!

We're delighted with the way Adler has come through. He has been an outsider all the way but hasn't been at his best this year. Adler hasn't been firing on all cylinders since he picked up a kidney infection and had to be withdrawn from the Easter Cup final, but he is just like his old self again and, while he lacks a bit of early pace for the top dogs, he is coming through very strong.

We bought the dog from the Dunphys. We liked him when we first laid eyes on him. Adler started off in an unraced stake at Shelbourne but he didn't qualify and then won a heat and final of an A3 stake.

We entered him for the National Puppy Stake and he finished second in the final behind Leamaneigh Turbo.

He was also a finalist in the Easter Cup but had to be withdrawn and also reached the final of the Champion Stakes.

He still hasn't managed to win anything, but all the lads are delighted to have got this far. He is owned by Kieran Ryan, a friend of mine who also owned Droopys Twirl, as well as two lads from Brighton, Alan Green and Ray Pearce.

Alan's dad had dogs with my father for years and he actually had an Irish Derby finalist in 1996, Sir Grand, which was trained by Matt O'Donnell.

The lads are also involved with Droopys Sydney, which was very impressive when winning his debut race in 28.45 at Curraheen last weekend. He is another lovely dog and will go for the National Puppy Stake at Shelbourne.

I have a nice staying prospect in Patsy Burke's Stainless Steel, which won by a wide margin on his second six-bend start last Saturday at Waterford.

We might aim him at the new 750 event at Shelbourne and, who knows, he might earn his place in the Night of Stars – we'll aim him at it anyway.

There are a few nice young dogs in the kennel and one of Twirl's first litter, Droopys Der, looks promising. He will be two years old in January.

So things are going quite well for us; we're winning a lot of races but not too many sweepstakes.

I have great owners and we love the Saturday nights at Shelbourne; they're special. Hopefully next Saturday will be extra special when Adler bids to reach the Derby final.

* John Linehan is a leading greyhound trainer based in Blarney.

Irish Independent

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