Derry Greyhounds: Sizzling Performance by Kenyan Flame at Bart Teague Memorial Oaks

There was great weather and a very good turnout for Oaks Final Night at Brandywell.

We had a fully sponsored racing program and valuable prizes on offer. The management and supporters of Brandywell Greyhound Track were especially honored that the Teague family chose this track to sponsor the Oaks in memory of their beloved Bart Teague, who sadly passed away on July 25, 2021.

Bart loved a night with the dogs and his son Tony said “Brandywell combined friendliness, banter and the weird story that summed up what racing was all about” for his father.

For the second year in a row, the Westwell Syndicate and Sean Burke of Newpark Stud have shown their support for Brandywell greyhound breeders by sponsoring a service to Magical Bale for the Oaks winner.

This was much appreciated as Magical Bale is a highly sought after sire who has had an incredibly successful year. He sired 2022 Star Sports & TRC English Greyhound Derby winner Romeo Magico in Towcester.

Monaghan Bros of Lisnaskea, the Brandywell Greyhound Supporters Group and Lorney McMonagle also contributed to the overall prize fund for the Oaks & Consolation Oaks.

In the semi-finals, Kenyan Flame (Laughil Blake x Wee Tee, October 2020) was the fastest of all who qualified for the Bart Teague Memorial Oaks final.

As the decoy passed the box, the field split pretty evenly, but Flame, starting from trap 4, had just enough pace to take the lead into the first turn.

From there she built an unassailable lead to win by an impressive 7.75 lengths in 29.08 for owner Sean Hughes. It was a tremendous effort from a female dog who has now won 5 of her 11 races and she won the £800 prize, velor show jacket, engraved trophy and service at Magical Bale.

Kenyan Flame who won the Bart Teague Memorial Oaks with owner Sean Hughes (centre). Godfather, Mrs. Bridie Teague (right). Jaime Green (back, left) and Ethan Martin (front right) both won framed photos with the Oaks winner. Ethan’s brother, Riley, is front left.

Ballymac Julia rode a very good run for Lenny O’Hanlon to finish second after not getting a clear run into the first corner and last year’s runner-up Gotheratlast took the final podium spot at the third place for Tiernan McGhee and coach Niall McGhee.

Closer case

The Magical Bale Consolation Oaks final was much closer, although Fridays Arista (Droopys Sydney x Tyrur Kerri, Jan 20) led from a line trap for Paul Whyte. While Droopys Katie came in with a late touch to finish second, just 1 length behind the winner, she never seemed to finish strong enough to pass Arista.

Hailing from the dam line of Tyrur Pearl, Arista has now won 5 of his 19 races and clocked a decent time of 29.48 when landing this final. Tyrur Pearl also appears in the pedigree of 2010 Irish Derby winner Tyrur McGuigan, so Arista ticks a lot of boxes when considering future options for her.

Support races

The race began with the “Brandywell Greyhound Supporters Group, Members Only” sponsored sprint. Abrakebabra Soo (Ardnasool Jet x Droopys Josie, Aug 2020) walked well away from trap 4 for the Cheap As Chips syndicate and trainer William Berry.

As the corner approached, it was crowded and Soo came out of the field with a lead that he comfortably held until the winning line. He recorded 17.49 and above all his first career success on his fourth attempt. He was also the first winner of this 2020 litter by Droopys Josie.

Sean Conway, for the second consecutive year, very generously sponsored 3 races on Oaks Final Night. Coincidentally, it was the John Conway (no relation to Sean Conway) owned by Burrow Bounty (Skywalker Ace x Burrow Shifter, Dec 20) who won the first of these sponsored races.

Trapped 1, Bounty paced well to the turn and took advantage of the space inside early leader Curlew Bubble to grab the lead and she ran well down the straight finishing 2.25 lengths ahead of her closest competitor in a time of 16.84 to land the Sean Conway Kennels Sprint.

It was an impressive start to the race for Bounty and added to the first win for litter brother Degreatdefector who clocked a very fast 28.61 at Waterford. This looks like a very promising litter.

Don Vincenzo who won the Sean Conway Kennels Sprint. Photo; (left to right) Brendan McLaughlin representing sponsor Sean Conway, Angela & Erin Hegarty.

Don Vincenzo (Crafty Gonzalo x Meghans Diva, May 2020) knocked on the door in all of his career debuts and he got his reward in race three, the Sean Conway Kennels Sprint.

He was moderately far from Trap 2 and worked his way through the terrain at the first turn where most riders were rushing for room. Thereafter, Vincenzo was unchallenged and stopped the clock in 17.37. It was a determined race and deservedly scored the first success on the track for this reach.

Lisnaskea’s Monaghan Bros also sponsored the sixth race on the card. It was a 500 yard run and Lakeside Model (Tyrur Big Mike x Newquay Delight, Feb 2019) was resilient in taking the win from Shaun Eastwood.

We featured Model, aka Pete, a fortnight ago in the Derry News as he was Shaun’s first greyhound and he is clearly capable of keeping Pete fit and satisfied while living in the family home.

Model had around 5 lengths to make up to early leader Fifebouy Shandy heading into turn three but he kept up the momentum to finish 0.5 lengths ahead of Shandy in 28.16.

Special evening

The biggest cheers of the night were heard in the Sean Conway Kennels 500 when Old Fort Mickmac (Crash x Old Fort Dakota, Oct 20) took the lead out of turn two and went on to put 7.5 lengths between him and the field to the winning line.

He recorded a fast 27.94 and entered a few notebooks as it was only his third career start. Mickmac is owned by Tony Teague and the crowd was thrilled to see Tony pick up a winner on what was a very special night for the family.

Lakeside Model who won the Monaghan Bros 500 with owner Shaun Eastwood (left) and Aaron Teague representing sponsors Monaghan Bros.

Snipe Drum (Laughil Blake x Colorado April, June 20) is a super consistent dog for Juliet Aldridge and Vincent McGuinness.

He won 3 in a row as he showed a blistering pace from the first corner traps. He was perfect for the paw and clocked a quick 16.62 to clinch the H2 Buildings UK Trophy sponsored race. Drum now tops Brandywell’s ranking for ‘most winning dogs of 2022’ with 6 career wins so far.

It was a fantastic night race as spectators admired the performance of the canine athlete.

There was a good atmosphere on the track as the greyhound community once again pulled together their fundraising efforts through a raffle with great prizes sponsored by the Westnera Arms Hotel, H2 Buildings UK and The Butcher, Armagh.

The proceeds of which went to the Odhran Edgar fundraiser, as requested by the Teague family. It was a generous and thoughtful gesture that, by all accounts, summed up the character of Bart Teague.

It’s a legacy that clearly runs through his family.

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