5,000 spectators witnessed arguably the most open BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby ever at Shelbourne Park last night, as Limerick-owned Slippy Cian and Clonbrien Hero claimed €20,000 in prize money between them.
Clonbrien Hero – owned by Kilmallock’s Kay Murphy and trained by Graham Holland – came home in 4th in a time of 29.53, three and a half lengths behind the winner, with Slippy Cian following on a head behind in 5th place.
Slippy Cian had gone off 5/2 co-favourite, with Clonbrien Hero being placed at 8/1.
Ballyanne Sim – the outsider of the field at 12/1 – took home the €140,000 prize for former Wexford hurler Eamon Cleary.
Magical Bale – trained by last year’s winning handler, Tipperary’s Pat Guilfoyle – came behind in second, taking home a €27,000 prize.
Cork-owned Clona Blaze came home in third, netting €15,000 for connections.
All other finalists – Limerick-owned Slippy Cian and Clonbrien Hero, as well as Kilkenny-trained Jaytee Taylor – bagged €10,000 for their owners.
Clare-owned Newhall Missile also provided an extra special night for co-owner Colin Barry, winning the BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby Consolation prize.
24-year-old spina bifida sufferer Colin – having spent over 150 days in University Hospital Limerick this year – had the best seat in the house, watching his beloved Missile cruise to victory by three and a half lengths at a price of 4/1.
CEO of the Irish Greyhound Board, Gerard Dollard, said:
“The race was the culmination of a thrilling six weekends of action at Shelbourne Park, with thousands of spectators enjoying high quality racing. It was one of the most successful Derby final nights in recent years, with 5,000 people coming through the turnstiles. Many of these availed of the stadium’s top class food and hospitality packages and Tote facilities.”
“The whole event was a milestone for the sport and the whole occasion and atmosphere showcased what the sport has to offer across the country. The racing all night was outstanding and the Derby itself was a Classic in every sense.
“My congratulations go to Ballyanne Sim’s owner Eamon Cleary, trainer James Robinson and all involved in their victory. I’d also like to congratulate all other participants – with a special congratulations to Colin Barry and connections of Newhall Missile – on what was a fantastic night’s racing.”
Minister of State for Food, Forestry & Horticulture, Andrew Doyle TD, was among a number of notable guests at the event.
138 Derby entries were submitted this year – an increase of almost 10\% on last year’s submissions.
The final of Irish greyhound racing’s biggest event – now in its 87th year – was broadcast live on RTE 2 and is still available to view to a worldwide audience on the RTE player.
BoyleSports, Ireland’s largest independent bookmaker, signed a three year sponsorship deal with the Irish Greyhound Board in 2017. It will deliver €1 million in prize money to greyhound owners, breeders and trainers.