Monday, 29 May 2017

2017 StarSports English Greyhound Derby Rd1 Draw

2017 Greyhound Derby First Round Draw

**IRISH in Green

44 Total; G Holland 10, L Dowling 7, P Hennessy 7, P Buckley 5, B Matthews 4, F Black 4, P Cronin 4, D Fitzgerald 1, R Wheeler 1, P.J Fahy 1.

Thursday 1st June

Heat 1
Astute Missile
Ilewin Brickwall
Cappoquin Al
Carn Brae
Paradise Valdez
Murrys Act (w)

Heat 2
Droopys Awesome
Garryvoe Bobby
Trickys Delight
Savana Donie
Dorotas Tiger
Powerful Boy (w)

Heat 3
Beaming For You
Ballydoyle Time
Tiernans Gift
Piemans Bullet
Danzey Exception
Ravestock Vic (w)

Heat 4
Rubys Rascal
Razldazl Tierna
Chilli Squid
Graces Blueboy
Dunham Sleepy (w)

Heat 5
Roswell Iceman
Jims Chance
Strides Hugo
Velvet Blaze
Shaneboy Freddie
Tyrur Shay (w)

Heat 6
Burgess Sugarray
Ballymac Eliza
Whoops Jack
Clares Rocket
Slippery Louise (w)
Droopys Missouri (w)

Heat 7
Barricane Tiger
Sober Cindy
Burgess Tadhg
Droopys Buick
Giro Day (w)
Dragon Overlord (w)

Heat 8
Bockos Alfie
Beaming Jestic
Lightfoot Star
College Paradise
Empress Katie (m)
Jaytee Patriot (w)

Heat 9
Slouane Wonder
Minglers Toure
Diego Flight
Slaheny King
Kooga Klum (m)
Killeacle Wayne (w)

Heat 10
Jaytee Yankee
Droopys Essie
Liam Og
Droopys Polly
Westway O'Neill (m)
King Kid (w)

Friday 2nd June

Heat 11
Airport Jumbo
Jaytee President
Bang On Giles
Castell Henry
Bubbly Turbo (m)
Dorotas Woo Hoo (w)

Heat 12
Minnies Highway
Garryglass Teddy
Bar The Warrior
Bentekes Bocko
Maireads Spring (w)

Heat 13
Bubbly Express
Burgess Papa
Graigues Loch
Cloran Paddy
Ashbank Puma (m)
Newinn Champ (w)

Heat 14
Romeo Treaty
Lenson Rocky
Cunning Joker
Shaneboy Style
Swift Hansel (m)
Master Kelly (w)

Heat 15
Ballymac Sarahjo
Kentish Duke
Ballinakil Clare
Drive On Tipp
Black Zack (m)
Aayamzacraftyone (w)

Heat 16
Bruisers Bullet
Quavor Knight
Bubbly Bluebird
Newinn Shadow (m)
Dorotas Vic (w)

Heat 17
Jaytee Denver
Impressive Guy
Bottom Line
Sab Miller
Saleen Ash (m)
Carlos Court (w)

Heat 18
Newinn Blitz
Dorotas Wildcat
Adageo Gold
Sneezys Martin (m)
Cappoquin Jack (w)

Heat 19
Toy Soldier
Coolavanny Mason
Huarache Scotty
Kentish Fame
Garryglass Champ (m)
Fweshfromthesesh (w)

Heat 20
Droopys Acrobat
Frankies Lady
Droopys Rogue
Madabout Eoghan
Bubbly Torpedo (m)
Drumkeen Oyster (w)

Heat 21
Theres The Bell
Hiya Butt
Pacey Bambo
Stay Loose
Bramble Robson (m)
Keplar Nine (w)

Saturday 3rd June

Heat 22
Alfies Prince
Ide General Lee
Toss The Coin
Swithins Brae
Maglass Razzle (m)

Heat 23
Lets Be Ready
Ticking Clock
Tommys Approach
Makeit Rennie
The Other Reg (m)
Vancouver Shea (w)

Heat 24
Sonny Da Boy
Coconut Corker
Cable Bay
Kranky Mark (m)
King Eden (w)

Heat 25
Adrahan Zindi
High St Jesse
Droopys Wilbury
Kiss And Hug
Sonic (m)
Jaytee Jet (w)

Heat 26
Crossfield Hugo
Shaneboy Russell
Piemans Boom
Barricane Tommy
Bramble Johnted (m)
Salacres Koeman (w)

Heat 27
Teejays Apache
Kildallon Turbo
Barricane Jack
Always Thirsty
Loskeran Vardy (m)
Sallows Ford (w)

Heat 28
Clares Dream
Paradise Marco
Awe Struck
Sisters Secret
Far Bank Frank (m)
Forest Con (w)

Heat 29
Silverhill Conor
Jaytee Dutch
Yahoo Victor
Ballymac Matt
Coolykereen Jack (m)
Droopys Bonucci (w)

Heat 30
Coolavanny Pet
Burgess Beano
Droopys Live
Priceless Brandy
Longrange Spy (m)
Crossfield Giles (w)

Heat 31
Droopys Who
Azzurri Genesis
Droopys Costa
Ballymac Belle
Rising Razor (m)
Brinkleys King (w)

Heat 32
Moneypoint Brae
Street Lane
Barricane Jagger
Knockard Spring
Stand Alone (m)
Calico Ranger (w)

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

2017 Greyhound & Petworld Golden Muzzle

A prestigious feature event on our annual Open race calendar, the 2017 550 Yard Golden Muzzle will crown a new champion tonight on a wonderful night of final action made possible through the generous and continued sponsorship of the Greyhound & Petworld.

Ivy Hill Bart 2015
Won last year by Skywalker Leaf, the stake carries a winner’s prize of €4000 and has provided some thrilling fare in recent seasons with a 2015 victory for track regular Ivy Hill Bart after the redoubtable Limerick favourite Ballyana Foxtrot claimed the title in 2014. The success of The Greyhound & Pet World has benefited many across the greyhound racing spectrum as Dominic, Kathleen and their team sponsor events at various venues and across all grades. Their influence on the sport is no more evident than here at Limerick tonight and their continued support is hugely appreciated and greatly valued by the greyhound racing community both in Limerick and nationwide. 

Topping the bill on an exciting undercard will be the final of the Peter Magnone Memorial A3 525 Yard Stake where Playmistyforme, Tyrur Minister and Marcus Aurelius will vie for favouritism after what have been closely fought and thrilling early round heats. Also sponsored by the Greyhound & Petworld the event is staged in memory of Dominic’s nephew and offers an attractive €1500 for the winner.

Good News the headline act in semis

Sandra Guilfoyle with Good News
Certain to start favourite for the final of the Golden Muzzle is the Pat Guilfoyle trained Good News following his sizzling semi-final display when laying something of a Limerick ghost. Having battled through bumping to secure a qualifying third place in Round One, a first clear run in his fourth Limerick outing saw the recent Scottish Derby finalist return a sparkling twelve length victory over Cheer For Me in the competitions fastest time of 29.49!

A rails draw in Trap 1 is unlikely to hinder his chances tonight and although certain to be a very short price for victory, is an obvious selection who will prove very difficult to repel if finding an adept break to defend his rails pitch. There are always dangers however and there can be value in the market for those seeking to oppose the favourite with the obvious starting point being our sole unbeaten finalist, Dream Mover.

Robert Roberts strong runner has taken well to a track which ideally suits his racing style and he has displayed a remarkable battling quality in the heats thus far. His Round One victory in 29.83 came after suffering a bump upon leaving traps before clever track craft at the bend brought a telling back-straight challenge. Breaking better in his semi-final, he appeared to have the race settled before reaching the opening bend before his attempt to turn at pace brought a drift towards the outside and a significant bump with eventual second Gulleen Billy which greatly affected both runners in a winning time of 30.04 as Dream Mover prevailed by two and a half lengths.

Good News must repel a Dream Move

It may appear as though there is a mountain to climb for any of his rivals to mount a serious threat to Good News in the final given the vast difference in semi-final times and while it will admittedly take a big run to cause an upset, the deficit is not as vast as it may seem at first glance. The likely scenario is that Good News breaks well, holds the inside line to the bend and completes victory thereafter but he will have to break well to ensure victory for there are plenty to rival him on the run to that first bend.

On his immediate outside in Trap 2 is Lone Bullet who possesses slick early pace for the 550 yard trip and a reproduction of his smart break when gaining a Round One victory in 29.98 would serious complicate the favourite’s task while bringing last year’s winning trainer Michael O’Donovan a realistic win claim of his own.

Another finalist who warrants plenty of respect is Tim Gilbourne’s local favourite Gulleen Billy who has charted a path to the final without victory but remains a huge threat to all as true Open race standard bearer at Limerick. Filling second place in both heats without clear passage, Billy is a tenacious performer and if finding his best break can significantly reduce the time differential if leading to the opening bend, dismiss him at your peril!

The Muzzle
With six inside seeds for the final, those drawn in the middle traps could consider themselves unlucky in the draw and a fast break will be essential for the chances of Black Farren or Cheer For Me. The former is an improving youngster who opened with a pleasing second to Derby champion Rural Hawaii before battling from last place to earn a qualifying position behind Dream Mover and Gulleen Billy last time but while he will certainly be doing his best work from halfway, the fear is that he may be a touch too far adrift of runners who will cede little late on.

In the context of this particular race, a Trap 5 draw is far from ideal for Cheer For Me and his 2014 winning trainer James Roche. He threw himself into outright contention with a brilliant early paced display in Round One when defeating Gulleen Billy in 29.85 but while gamely negotiating his way to second place from a horror draw in Trap 6 last week, he actively sought the rails on that occasion and likely to repeat that move now, his claims for a clear run are under much threat.

It’s a long standing adage in racing that often it can prove best to be drawn on the outside in a race with all inside seeds and there could definitely be merit to the old saying here. Dream Mover would undoubtedly prefer a pitch closer to the rails but he broke well from Trap 3 in Round One, even better from Trap 4 last week and a repeat could plausibly see a clear run now. Running off the bend last week when holding the inside line, he may be better coming from wider out to sweep the turn at pace and with Cheer For Me almost certain to move left, the room could be available to reach the bend in a prominent position before delivering his formidable back-straight challenge.

A wonderful breeding success for Robert Roberts, he is sired by the kennels twice raced Some Sleeper with this his first litter. A talented crop, the litter also includes Urban Rock who was narrowly eliminated from our semi-final and a victory for Dream Mover would further vindicate a wonderfully successful breeding venture for the Roberts family.

FINAL DRAW: 1) Good News 2) Lone Bullet 3) Gulleen Billy 4) Black Farren 5) Cheer For Me 6) Dream Mover

Verdict: Good News is well drawn in the context of this final and is the selection for victory by defending the inside against Gulleen Billy which can set up his back-straight attempt to settle the race. Dream Mover can fare best of the outside challengers in the early exchanges and with these three expected to cut out the running, it will be difficult for the remainder to mount a telling effort. There is not as much to make up on the clock as the semi-final times would suggest and both Gulleen Billy and Dream Mover are realistic threats to the favourite, however, always a likely superstar of the sport, Good News is taken to convert a highly realistic chance for a prestigious stake victory. 1-6-3

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Brady calls for ‘reality’, ‘common sense’ & ‘teamwork’

Brady calls for ‘reality’, ‘common sense’ & ‘teamwork’ to get Ireland’s greyhound sector recovery ‘back on track’

 “Ireland’s greyhound industry has a relatively short window of opportunity for key stakeholders to bring about a rebuild of good commercial and sporting activity in the sector. If dog owners and breeders fail in the next few weeks to begin the journey required to get the industry back into healthy operation, the sector risks drifting into rapid and accelerated decline, according to Dr Brady, Interim CEO of Bord na gCon, the Irish Greyhound Board.

“Recovery cannot be accomplished without constructive stakeholder engagement” he added. “Disputes of any kind, big or small, cannot be settled without mutually respectful engagement amongst the parties concerned.  All IGB stakeholders should now take a seriously objective reality check, apply common sense and get started on pulling together to get the sector back on track for sustainable successful operation” said Dr Brady.

Dr Brady was speaking of his concern for the sector’s future ahead of a Public Accounts Committee meeting later this week (Thursday, 18th May). In evidence of mounting concern Dr Brady pointed out last week that 170 jobs could unavoidably be lost at Dublin’s ‘iconic’ greyhound stadium Shelbourne Park in the near future, if a current protest blockade of greyhound racing in the stadium continues for much longer.

Since calling for engagement last week to resolve the Shelbourne Park protest, Dr Brady said that he has been “encouraged by calls from people with Harold’s Cross sold now wanting to move on confidently that the industry has within its reach a capacity to rebuild debt free for the future”.

On behalf of the IGB Board and to help resolve the Shelbourne stand-off, Dr Brady said that he is “personally willing to engage quietly and productively with DGOBA to negotiate getting greyhound racing and the broader sector back on track as quickly as possible”. There has been contact with the Irish Greyhound Owners & Breeders Federation. A meeting of the National Greyhound Consultative Forum will be held within one month after the start of racing in Shelbourne Park.

Dr Brady added “subject to the return of normal racing to Shelbourne Park, the Irish Greyhound Board on a planned and managed basis, over the coming months, will embark on a programme of active industry uplift and investment in sector rebuild”.

“According to Dr Brady, the priority focus will be on prize money enhancement, promotional, operating systems and regulatory improvement, potential capital investment in Shelbourne Park and Curraheen Stadium in Cork, IT investment to exploit opportunities for online wagering and co-mingling and on greyhound ownership, especially through syndication and enhancing welfare and integrity”.

 “There will be a number of primary planks to the policy going forward. The sector needs a radical overhaul of grassroots participation focused on the core greyhound constituency, a targeted investment in the consumer experience, the re-imagining of the presentation elements of racing and a properly resourced, intensive focus on communications to improve the presentation and profile of the industry” Dr Brady added.

I remain hopeful that through engagement over the next few weeks, we can start the rebuild of the sector back to full throttle for sustainable successful operation”, Dr Brady said.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Offer for Harold’s Cross Stadium Confirmed

Offer for Harold’s Cross Stadium Confirmed

On 2 May 2017, the IGB received an offer for Harold’s Cross Stadium comprising circa. six acres of land. The offer received by the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) for the property from the Department of Education and Skills was €23 million (twenty three million euros), in line with the market valuation and the relevant D/PER circulars. The offer is subject to contract.

The Irish Greyhound Board has accepted the offer, subject to the approval of the Minister  for Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, for the sale.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Interim CEO seeks talks with stakeholders

One hundred and seventy jobs at risk in Shelbourne Park if blockade continues,
CEO calls for meaningful dialogue to resolve current impasse.

One hundred and seventy jobs could be lost at Dublin’s iconic greyhound stadium Shelbourne Park, if a current protest blockade on racing at the Dublin venue isn’t lifted, the Interim CEO, Dr Se├ín Brady has stated today (Wednesday 10 May).

Dr Brady has called on those behind a protest which has forced the closure of Shelbourne Park since early-February to engage in meaningful dialogue before the Irish greyhound industry is damaged beyond repair. The closure has seen the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) incur a loss of €300,000 in revenue while the unfortunate disruption has seen greyhound trainers and owners lose out on €250,000 in prize money.

“These are losses which, if continuing, simply cannot be sustained. The greyhound industry as a whole now has to decide whether to start working together to drive forward or to allow legacy friction to tear the sector apart in sterile and hopeless recrimination and blame” according to Dr Brady.

Last week, the IGB accepted an offer for the purchase of its Harold’s Cross Stadium, Dr Brady said and this gives rise to a once in a lifetime opportunity for the sector to look forward without crippling debt which had been a feature of the Irish Greyhound Board’s operation for many years.

Commenting on the decision to sell Harold’s Cross, Dr Brady said, “the sale made operational and commercial sense. It was necessary to avoid the IGB becoming insolvent. We could not continue to operate two tracks within a few kilometres of each-other.”

The IGB is now preparing a programme of activity to year-end to help rebuild the industry and he has asked for stakeholder input.  “Disputes can always be settled if parties talk constructively about delivering solutions and, IGB and its operations want to see sustainable solutions in place, to enable the sector to drive forward to ongoing best-practice successful operations.” Brady said.

Dr Brady continued: “I am willing to meet the Dublin Greyhound, Owners & Breeders Association (DGOBA) and the Irish Greyhound, Owners & Breeders Federation (IGBOF) to address issues and begin a process of uniting the different factions in our industry. First, however, we must deal with the elephant in the room and that’s to begin dialogue to resolve the current protest at Shelbourne Park.

On behalf of the IGB, I would be happy to meet and discuss proposals in the coming weeks and I will take all feedback into consideration, in developing IGB plans for the rest of the year. I believe that it’s high time for those in the industry, who wish to get Irish greyhound racing back on its feet, to step forward and to bring settlement and agreement to dispute.”

“Regrettably, for a variety of reasons, the greyhound industry is in decline globally and the Irish industry is not immune to that. However, if the industry in this country works together, it has strengths which could be harnessed to reach out to new audiences and demographics, to exploit new wagering models based on technology platforms and to ensure best practice in regulation, integrity and welfare.

The Irish Greyhound Board is far from perfect and it needs systems improvement and development. But, in the main it endeavours to service the industry well. The continuation of strife and dispute over legacy issues and refusal to progress through discussions to meaningful solutions will make improvement more difficult to achieve. This will also test the patience and goodwill of those who question the continuation of Exchequer support for an industry so divided within itself,” he concluded.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

IGB Statement Re; Harolds Cross Sale

Sale of Harold's Cross absolutely essential to reduce greyhound industry debt

"The sale of Harold's Cross is absolutely essential in order to reduce the enormous legacy debt that threatens the national greyhound industry. The picketing at Shelbourne Park for the past three months has meant no racing in Dublin, this dispute is costing the IGB €30,000 per week and has already cost €200,000 in lost prize money to greyhound owners. Unless racing is resumed and the debt is reduced now, jobs and the national industry are at risk.

The sale of Harold's Cross to the Department of Education and Skills has followed all correct procedures for the sale of assets between state agencies. The debt has to be addressed now, irrespective of whatever Board or management is in place. A partial sale of Harold's Cross is a half measure and will not address the debt.  The sale will provide for much needed investment in greyhound racing across the country and to support its future development."



Sale of Harold’s Cross Stadium confirmed

‘A new lease of life for greyhound racing’

The Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) has today (Tuesday 2 May 2017) confirmed it has accepted the offer from the Department of Education and Skills for the purchase of Harold’s Cross Stadium.

Phil Meaney, Chairman of the IGB commented “This decision brings to an end to a long and sometimes difficult process to sell one of our Dublin stadiums, which makes commercial and operational sense for the IGB. The Board is well aware of the place that Harold’s Cross had amongst the greyhound community, particularly in Dublin. However I believe the sale will be of huge benefit to the industry as a whole.

This will allow us for the first time in many years, a capacity to invest in the many areas that require support and attention. The IGB is committed to ensuring the connection to the Harold’s Cross fraternity remains and we will go to great lengths to accommodate them at Shelbourne Park in a welcoming and respectful way.”

‘The sale will act as a stimulus, giving a new lease of life to the greyhound racing industry in Ireland’
 commented Dr. Sean Brady, Interim CEO of IGB. The IGB believe that all stakeholders
 in the greyhound sector can and should now work together to rebuild the sector from decline, to renewed growth and opportunity.

CEO Sean Brady continued:

‘I ask all stakeholders to work and pull together, to get involved right now in returning the sector to vibrant operational health. I also urge all stakeholders to leave aside any recriminations of the past without delay, so that all stakeholders can work productively together to lay positive foundations on which we can rebuild racing and entertainment activity in the sector in a sustainable manner.’

The sale of Harold’s Cross – though it has been divisive, has been essential to avoid the IGB becoming insolvent in the near term. With the benefit of the prospect of future financial stability, IGB now seeks active and positive cooperation to get the sector quickly back into gear and running at full throttle.

Sean Brady concluded:

‘There are many exciting opportunities open to the IGB to design and plan the rebuild of our sector to ensure that Shelbourne Park serves the greyhound catchment area around Dublin to best possible effect and that it becomes the national stadium of which we can all be proud. The IGB will now immediately focus on rebuilding our sector with a schedule of activity from May to year-end 2017 and we want dynamic stakeholder input, for the benefit of all industry participants.’

The IGB, as a semi-state commercial body, will now be seeking the approval for the sale from the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.