Irish Greyhound Derby final preview: This 7/2 shot looks an absolute pearler for Saturday night

The greatest show on sand! Six finalists but there can only be one Irish Derby winner once the traps fly open and it mightn't be the fav ...

They’re the best in class for 2016 but who’ll come out on top on Saturday night.


1. Holycross Leah

The Big Winner. The quiet ‘keep’ throughout the event has now emerged as player in the final…thankfully! Last week’s performance was another game show of tenacity and spectacular back-straight pace. A fast break will certainly see her move more ‘middle’ on the run-up than ‘rails’ but she could find herself in the right pitch at the right time on the first turn. Will need to take a lead around but hard to dismiss if using the draw to her advantage.

2. Sidarian Pearl

The Leading Lady. Beaten favourite in the Oaks final earlier this year and now on the ultimate retrieval mission. A qualifier last week but read little into it as the draw last week was a big negative (T5) and a berth closer to rails will certainly keep connections excited.

A bullet from boxes with pace to burn to the bend, she so often leaves rivals for dead in the early part of her races but this is a race like no other… this is the Derby final. First step towards winning the race? Clear the inside. Second step?Hold on!

Some of her previous times scream Derby winner and could be bang there with every chance. We believe.


Hare over to all the latest Derby betting at Shelbourne Park on Saturday

3. Ballymac Matt

The Reigning Champion. A privilege to witness such a high-class animal perform at the very top level for a second year in row. The 2015 Champion bids to emulate something little others have done and that is to retain his Derby crown. The task this time around though seems a challenge too far though.

A tough campaign in Scotland and England has left the Champ looking out of sorts and he certainly hasn’t sparkled like he did last year. A concern with the draw only adds to the worry and you can expect some hefty prices on offer come Saturday. Not for us though.

4. Sonic

The Fav. The Hedgehog. Unquestionably the best thing to come out of this year’s event. Consistency, fast breaker, early pace, middle pace, staying power. He just has it all and that is no understatement. Came into the event as an 80/1 poke and he’s been a sensation from start to finish. The shrewdies took the fancy prices and will be hoping their charge can go to the well one final time.

The draw looks fine but bookmakers will be holding out for a smash brake from Sidarian Pearl from Trap 2 and Rural Hawaii making the most of his draw in box six. One run too many?  We’ll clutch at those straws.

5. Escapism

The Finisher. Nothing will move faster from halfway and already we have had believers this week with punters quickly snaffling some of the bigger prices around. Pedestrian early but that’s not what counts as this lad will stalk them out the back and finish roaring to the jam stick.

A greyhound with a brain and able to course a wide path, so often steering clear of trouble. He might need to carry some luck with bumping and crowding up front but that’s all part of his price. One for the value seekers.

6. Rural Hawaii

Mr Consistent. Consistency goes a long way in Derby’s and this lad has it in spades. In the prime time of his career, this fella has been a proven top performer for years. Loves the splendid isolation of the wide outside and loves attacking a bend. Early pace is his weapon of choice and should adopt the ‘Catch me if you can’ approach.

An ultra-professional performance last week puts him in the winners bracket and clear passage around the wide outside could prove fruitful given the amount of early pacers looking for rails. Expect a performance, hope for the win.

Can hardly cheer the BOGEYS on now!

  • Win: Trap 2 Sidarian Pearl 
  • Forecast: Trap 2 Sidarian Pearl  / Trap 5 Escapism
  • Tricast:  Trap 2 Sidarian Pearl  / Trap 5 Escapism / Trap 6 Rural Hawaii


What do you think?