Ballymac Matt produces another faultless display

Outright favourite Ballymac Matt produced another faultless display, when posting the fastest time of the second round of the Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby on Saturday night at Shelbourne Park.

Liam Dowling’s dog looks a changed performer, now showing early pace and having his races won before halfway, rather than the power he had been displaying in previous outings.

On this occasion, he flew from the inside box, raced clear to the turn and made all to beat Ballyhooly Henry, who ran a superb race to reduce the gap to two lengths behind the 29.48 winner. The victory, plus what looks a very favourable draw in round three, has resulted in the Dowling runner being cut as low as 4-1 with many firms, though the sponsors remain clear biggest at 11-2.

Vulturi, who was a finalist last year and is a kennel companion of BallymacMatt, showed all his own sparkle when leading late to win his heat in 29.75.

Saturday’s first heat looked red-hot, and the power of Cable Bay came to the fore as he prevailed to score by a length and a half, from Tyrur Tommy, with Jaytee Jet improving on his first-round effort when finishing third.

One of the shocks of the night came in this heat, as Laughil Duke, who was well backed in the long-odds market, found trouble and failed to fire.

Trainer Kieran Lynch was on the mark when Rockybay Yank, owned by John Slyne, Minane Bridge, led out of the second bend to win heat 13 in 30.08.

Heathlawn Tiger is a youngster of real promise and led early when taking the competitive-looking 14th heat in 29.63.

Morning Music, who attracted plenty of ante-post support following a 29.44 pre-Derby trial, could never manage to get involved, and exited the competition.

In Thursday’s session, the biggest shock of the stake to date came in heat eight when 33-1 chance Samiya quickened to lead at the first turn, and ran on strongly to beat Ballydoyle Honey by five and a half lengths, in 29.51, with Rural Hawaii in third.

Francie Murray’s Fair Taxes is rapidly developing into a genuine contender for outright honours and, having won from trap one in the first round, followed up from six in heat six.He took over from Creamery Bale racing past halfway, and beat that rival by three lengths, in 29.50.

Easter Cup finalist Gaytime Hawk, owned by Deirdre O’Connell, Blarney, and trained by Graham Holland, had to ride a hefty bump at the first bend before getting up late to beat Ivy Hill Bart, by a length and a half, in 29.70, in heat four.


Best odds: 11-2 Ballymac Matt, 8 Farloe Blitz, 14 Ballydoyle Honey, Sidarian Vega, 16 Fair Taxes, 20 Cable Bay, 25 Rural Hawaii, Amazing Dude, Ballyhooly Henry, 33 Tyrur Tommy, Jaytee Jet, Paradise Maverik, Save The Don, Secreto, Farloe Rumble, 50 bar.

Draw for third round:

Heat One: 1. Ballyhooly Henry, 2. Secreto, 3. Ardrahan Zindi, 4. Vulturi 5. Jaytee Jet (w), 6. Rural Hawaii (w);

Heat Two: 1. Rockybay Yank, 2. Save The Don, 3. Triangle Jamie, 4. Cabra Miller, 5. Paradise Maverik, 6. Fair Taxes;

Heat Three: 1. Ravenswood Emily, 2. Tyrur Tommy, 3. Sidarian Vega, 4. Offshore Bound, 5. Ballydoyle Honey, 6. Faypoint Rush (m);

Heat Four: 1. Ballymac Matt, 2. Highview Apollo, 3. Boherna Pedro, 4. Hovex Prince, 5. Farloe Rumble, 6. Uncle Paul;

Heat Five: 1. Gaytime Hawk, 2. Cable Bay, 3. Calzaghe Clampet, 4. Dark Intentions, 5. Mimis Ace, 6. Farloe Blitz;

Heat Six: 1. Peregrine Falcon, 2. Whizzing Archie, 3. Jo Jo Fantasy, 4. Creamery Bale, 5. Heathlawn Tiger, 6. Ivy Hill Bart (w);

Heat Seven: 1. Lemon Miley, 2. Shutthe Backdoor, 3. Blue Cafu, 4. Go Dex Go, 5. Burgess Four, 6. Tyrur Mairead (w);

Heat Eight: 1. Priceless Lassie, 2. Fordeflag, 3. Samiya, 4. Amazing Dude, 5. Dolcino Flyer (m), 6. Ballybough Mike (w).


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