Greyhound Racing: Sugar Ray looking sweet for Derby – Fahy
PROOF that sportsmanship is alive and well in greyhound racing was provided when Pat Curtin turned up at Shelbourne Park for the ETS Irish Derby finalists' lunch despite the fact that his dog Kereight King has been ruled out of Saturday's race.
Indeed, as the lunch was going ahead, the injured dog was operated on by Brian Jones, who reported back that Kereight King should be back in action in eight weeks.
Curtin announced that the dog will now be aimed at the Night of Stars in Shelbourne.
The other five finalists were represented and it was a doubly significant day for young Galway trainer Conor Fahy, who turned 25 yesterday. He has already had a Derby 1-2 with Tyrur McGuigan and Tyrur Big Mike in the early days of his career, and he reported that Tyrur Sugar Ray is in great form after Saturday's semi-finals, where he gave a magnificent performance in coming from fifth place to win the opening heat.
Shane Dowling made the long trip up from Tralee to represent his dad Liam, who was having Ballymac Vic examined. Shane reported that Vic is in fine form but his paw is in poultice. He expects the dog to be in the line-up on Saturday.
Nikki Holland and son Timmy represented Graham, who is the trainer of Cabra Buck, which was such an impressive winner of his semi. He has tumbled in the betting and could well challenge for favouritism on the night.
Fahy isn't the youngest trainer in the final as Michael Gleeson confirmed that his son Robert is a "few days younger".
Robert handles Slippery Robert for Larry Dunne and received a clean bill of health. The bookies will be taking no chances with this fella.
The other runner is the outsider Carrowgarriff, a bitch from the depths of Galway hurling country owned by three-year old Eleanor Mullins and 14-year-old Eimear Curtin.
Eimear's dad Ollie was on duty at the lunch and he was in positive mood despite the quotes of 40/1 being offered about the bitch.
When a finalist is as fast a breaker as Carrowgarriff, the connections are entitled to entertain hopes.
Derek Frehill reports that entries were "pouring in" for the Track Bookmakers Puppy Derby with more than 60 names in the book by mid-afternoon. A full entry of 66 is anticipated and the first round will be run on Friday at Harold's Cross.
Among the latest names entered are Ecclestone, Jaytee Monaco, Turning Tables, Aclamon Rossi, and Vanrooney.
Paddy Power yesterday confirmed they will be paying out on all each-way bets placed on Kereight King when they were offering six places, despite the fact that the dog will not run in the final. We await word from other firms.