Tipperary are still in fine voice after last weekend’s semi-final of the Boylesports Irish Derby with four locally trained dogs through to the finals this Saturday night coming.
Graham Holland had three dogs in the Boylesports Irish Derby semi-finals and all three qualified for next Saturday’s final.
The icing on this particular cake was that Sonic and Rural Hawaii won their heats impressively while Sidarian Pearl also qualified comfortably in third place.
The other big story is that last year’s champion Ballymac Matt finished third behind Sonic and Liam Dowling’s dog will be bidding to become only the second greyhound ever to successfully defend his title.
The line-up for the final will be completed by Gerry Melia’s Holycross Leah and Owen McKenna’s Escapism. It has all the ingredients for a very special contest on a very special occasion.
The Final will be live on RTE 2 from 8-9.30pm and you can view it online worldwide on RTÉ Player live! Doors will open at 4pm and the first race will be at the earlier time of 7.20.
Those through to the final are
Holycross Leah, owned by Mary Melia, and trained in Kildare by James Melia;
Sidarian Pearl, owned by the The-Sidarian-Syndicate c/o I. McGinnis in England and trained by Graham Holland in Tipperary;
Ballymac Matt (M), owned by Ballymac Kelly and the Lads c/o Kelly Macari in England, and trained by Liam Dowling in Kerry;
Sonic (M), owned by Marian Molony, Cork, and trained by Graham Holland;
Escapism (W), owned by Eimear Coffey, Cork, and trained by Owen McKenna in Tipperary;
Rural Hawaii (W), owned by Helen O'Dwyer, Tipperary and trained by Graham Holland.
With the six finalists for Saturday’s BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby now known, it is the Graham Holland trained Sonic that is the warm 11/8 favourite. He goes from Trap 4.
Rural Hawaii and Sidarian Pearl, also from the Holland kennel, will join Sonic in the final. They are both rated 7/2 chances. Holycross Leah who will race from Trap 1 is priced at 6/1.
Reigning champion, Ballymac Matt, bidding to become only the second dog ever to win the Derby successively, is priced at 9/1 while Escapism, who will race from Trap 5, is the 10/1 outsider.
It’s 2/1 that any of the two remaining bitches in the competition win the race while Sonic is 4/5 to be the best of Graham Holland’s three remaining dogs, with Rural Hawaii and Sidarian Pearl both priced at 11/4.
It’s a two way tie for the winning seed with both the Rails and Middle priced at 11/8, a Wide winner priced at 11/4. It’s 6/1 that a greyhound who has not won a heat will land the €125,000 first prize.
BoyleSports have a winning distance market available with Under 1 length priced at 11/8, over 2 lengths priced at 11/8 and 1-2 lengths inclusive at 9/4.