Razldazl Billy, brilliant winner of the www.paddypower.com Irish Greyhound Derby on Saturday night, could challenge for the English equivalent next year, owner Billy Marks revealed yesterday.Outlining plans for the runaway Classic hero, he said the dog is going to stand at Michael Dunnes stud in Portlaoise for six months but will not be completely wound down
Razldazl Billy, brilliant winner of the www.paddypower.com Irish Greyhound Derby on Saturday night, could challenge for the English equivalent next year, owner Billy Marks revealed yesterday.
Outlining plans for the runaway Classic hero, he said the dog is going to stand at Michael Dunne’s stud in Portlaoise for six months but will not be completely wound down.
“We will keep him ticking over and he might run in some one-off races. We think he will improve next year and the plan is the Easter Cup followed by the Champion Stakes and then the defence of his title in the Irish Derby.”
However, Marks disclosed that a trip to Plough Lane in Wimbledon for the English Derby might also be on the cards.
“The trainer (Dolores Ruth) says the long run-up there will suit him, but the first bend concerns me. It might be part of the plan, we’ll see.”
The winning owner is still coming to terms with Razldazl Billy’s devastating performance in Shelbourne Park when he made all the running to come home six lengths clear in a brilliant 29.49, just seven spots outside the record set by Bypass Byway when taking the 2002 decider.
The trap four runner blasted from traps followed by Barefoot Jenny on his inside. He started to pull clear down the back straight and there was never any doubt about the outcome. Antrim Classic ran on to be second, with favourite Bar The Devil never getting in a blow and trailing home last to the disappointment of part-owner Kieren Fallon who earlier in the day won a thrilling Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on Dylan Thomas.
“I got permission to watch the race from the RTE podium at the first bend, and when he went clear Ian Fortune standing beside me said ‘are you not going to give him a cheer?’
“I replied ‘he has to get home yet’”
The reason for Marks’ caution was the toe injury picked up by his pride and joy as final preparations were being put to his challenge for the big race last Wednesday. As a consequence he took a walk in the betting throughout the rest of the week and on the night itself, eventually being sent off at 9/2.
There was no need to worry as Razldazl Billy bounded up the home straight to the delight of the large crowd of supporters who travelled from these parts to cheer him on.
“When I saw how far he was ahead I was stunned, and then Ger Canning shoved a mic in front of me.
“Something like this very seldom happens, and it’s one of the best feelings I have experienced in my life with dogs and horses.”
That’s some statement from a man who has been involved with the likes of Carvill’s Hill, The Illiad, Canute Express and Omerta, and been the orchestrator of some hugely successful gambles.
“As it has been put to me I am one of only 75 people to have won the Irish Derby, That’s not bad for a fella from Dublin Street in Dundalk.”
The display of Razldazl Billy in the ?175,000 to the winner contest was something connections always felt he was capable of.
“We thought it was in him, and he was trained for the final throughout the competition which is a risky thing to do.
“Then, he did his toe on Wednesday. I was on a downer on Thursday and feared he mightn’t even run.”
However, it all came right in the end.
“It was great the way the dog did it on the night at Shelbourne Park which is like Croke Park to me.”
Razldazl Billy was operated on by vet. Danny McHenry on Monday for the toe injury. It was pin-fired, and he will be off for a month.