Saturday 24 March 2018

Derby heroes weighing up Dundalk invite

Michael Fortune

Michael Fortune

Decisions are due today regarding the possible participation of both the Irish Derby winner Skywalker Puma and the weekend's English Derby winner Sidaz Jack in the Boylesports International, which will be staged at Dundalk on Friday week.

The respective trainers were due to consult with the dogs' owners overnight after both received invitations. However, for the first time in years, a genuinely strong British challenge is anticipated for the €20,000 event over 550 yards.

Even if Sidaz Jack does not travel, there should be a strong team coming across. David Hunt has already accepted the invitation for Sawpit Sensation to run and he is due to have a trial on Thursday. English Derby runner-up Airlie Impact was also invited, and trainer Paul Young was discussing the possibility with connections last night.

It is also possible that English Derby finalist Bittles Bar could be invited. He is owned by English-based Newry native Martin White, and the dog spent all winter with Barney Mooney up the road from Dundalk in Bessbrook.

Matt O'Donnell previously stated that Skywalker Puma would not take in the race, but he is also discussing the situation with Ray Patterson after the dog's record-breaking reappearance on Saturday.

Already confirmed for the Irish team is Paul Hennessy's SIS Live Gold Cup winner Priceless Sky. Easter Cup winner North Bound was invited but he is concentrating on the Champion Stakes. Defending champion Quail Hollow and Race of Champions winner Farloe Trent are among the possibles. Whatever, it is developing into one of the best International fields for years.


There is welcome news for northern greyhound followers with the announcement that Toals Bookmakers will take over the sponsorship of the Northern Ireland Derby at Drumbo Park. The high-profile event was supported by last year, but the local company has now moved in to take over the event.

Full details have to be finalised but the first round will be staged on September 14. It might be a good idea if that date was changed as it would mean a clash with the ETS Irish Derby final at Shelbourne.


After two impressive performances in the early rounds, Horizon Holly (9.18) can capture the DGOBA Summer A5 at Harold's Cross this evening. Thomas Lynch's charge is drawn on the right side of her main rival, Allblade, and is chosen to make every inch.

Imaal Allsorts (9.45) can get back to winning ways in the 10th race on the card. He was in the wars last time out, but looks assured of a clean passage in the red jacket and should have too much ammunition for his rivals.

Irish Independent

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