Greyhound racing: Holland dreaming of first Derby runner
Golden-based trainer Graham Holland goes into Saturday's semi-finals of the ETS Irish Derby with a double hand as he is represented by Cabra Buck and Hawaii Kinsale and is dreaming of having a first ever Derby finalist.
Holland got a dog through to the Derby semi-finals a few years back but hasn't made the final stage as yet. He must have decent prospects of achieving that target this time, with Cabra Buck listed as joint fourth 12/1 favourite in the betting, while Hawaii Kinsale is not without hope at 20/1.
Yesterday he described both dogs as being in perfect form.
"Cabra Buck is well drawn but will have a task getting across at the bend in that hot semi, but the puppy Hawaii Kinsale has a chance of getting a run in the first heat from the five box," he said.
It would be some achievement if Hawaii Kinsale made it to the final as he is a raw puppy, whelped in November 11 and with just nine races under his belt and never having finished out of the first three.
Holland hopes to have a big team of dogs in action on Derby final night. Both his semi-finalists will be in action in either the big one or the Consolation, while Laurels winner Knockglass Billy and Sprint Cup winner Cambushmore are also being aimed at the meeting.
And there are plenty more to back them up. Knockglass Billy, incidentally, did a flying 28.34 trial spin before racing on Saturday and he will have a race or two at Shelbourne prior to defending his Red Mills Laurels title at Curraheen Park.
Another man who still has a double interest in the Derby is Dundalk's Larry Dunne, who owns and trains Slippery Sooty and owns Slippery Robert, which is trained by Robert Gleeson.
Another dog bound for the Laurels is the Peter Cronin-trained What About Ya, which was a most impressive winner of the Texacloth Puppy Derby at Newbridge on Friday.
Owner Willie Rigney, the 'face' of Gain Feeds, was all smiles himself on Saturday after seeing his dog win the €9,000 Newbridge prize, and he reckons that the Curraheen Park circuit should be ideal for his dog. The €30,000 Laurels will start on Saturday, September 16.
A reminder that entries for the €27,500 Track Bookmakers Puppy Derby will close at Harold's Cross on Monday next and the entire first round will be run on Friday week, the traditional eve of Irish Derby final date.
The Langton House Derby at Kilkenny will start on Friday night and entries close today. There will be a winner's prize of €4,200 and it is open to A1/ A2 greyhounds, with backgraders allowed.