Superstud Droopys Sydney is off the ‘available’ list for the next couple of weeks with semen being extracted to be stored for the future.
Stud keeper Michael Dunphy said: “The plan is for the owners to keep some for themselves and the rest will be put up for sale. We are conscious that he is 11 years old now, but he was very quiet in the early part of his career. We are now probably getting 20 calls a day for him.”
Injured after his first race, Sydney is a son of Dukes Special out of Droopys Laramie (Westmead Hawk-Droopys Sporty) and is a litter brother to Wimbledon 687m track record breaker Racenight Jenny. The fact that his sire was lightly used at stud has meant that Sydney has been a suitable cross for a large proportion of Irish dams.
Michael said: “It has defintely helped that Duke Special wasn’t that busy during his career though I have a feeling that his breeding is also heavily influenced by Laramie.”
But such is the nature of breeding that the Dunphy brothers realise that you cannot live on past successes.
Michael said: “We have a string of young stud dogs here. If the likes of Pestana, Dorotas Wildcat, Malachi and Broadstrand Bono don’t make it, we could be in big trouble in six months time.”
One dog who has made a particularly pleasing impression is British bred King Sheeran (Eden the Kid-Skate On). A 27.96 trialist at Monmore at 19 months old, he landed the Trafalgar Cup but then broke a hock at Nottingham and spent seven months off the track.
He returned to reach an English Derby semi final where he finished fifth (three quarters of a length behind fourth placed Wildcat), before kicking on to win the Produce Stakes, the Olympic and the British Bred Derby. He was also runner-up to Ice On Fire in the Eclipse.
His first litter to reach the track includes King Ezra – the only 2021 whelp still engaged in the Juvenile Classic. While in Ireland, his first litter at the Droopys Kennel includes the exciting February ’21 puppy Droopys Totem. He clocked 21.55 (400) in a qualifying trial at Dundalk and was snapped up by Brendan Keogh on behalf of the KSS Syndicate.
Michael said: “He is with Ian Reilly who thinks a lot of him. It is disappointing that he is the only survivor, the mother killed the rest of the litter when they were born.
“But we really like what we have seen of the Sheeran pups so far. They are great hunters; a fabulous attitude. We’ve just had another bitch whelp down to him and we are about to use him on Droopys Hunch, who is probably our best young brood bitch (check out Droopys Got It and Storys Cash Out).”
Despite the rising price of racing dogs, the Droopys Kennel have no intention of increasing their breeding operation in the future.
Michael said: “We have a set number of kennels and that’s pretty much the end of it. I think this year we will probably have 18 or 19 litters.”
Also at the weekend, Baggios Champ will attempt to add to the British bred trophy cabinet for Wales based owner, trainer and breeder Frank Bryce, when he contests the Premier Greyhound Racing Regency Final.
A psychiatric nurse by profession, Frank bred Champ from a litter by Kinloch Brae out of former Irish star, Samiya.
Samiya was a fabulous racing bitch as best demonstrated by one line of form, a heat win in the 2015 Irish Derby where she clocked 29.51 with litter sister Ballydoyle Honey in second and Rural Hawaii, third. She also recorded 29.46 for the Shelbourne 550 and 32.19 for the 600 trip where Honey took sibling revenge in the final of the Mulvaney 600.
Samiya was from one of the most successfully tough bloodlines in Irish racing being closely related through her dam to the likes of Fear Emoski (Bo Shine Bullet, Ballydoyle Valor) and Slippery Thelma (Savana Beau).
Samiya’s first litter had featured Irish star Da Head Hunter though her next most high profile runner Duke De Janerio had still to surface.
Frank said: “We were looking for a good bitch and after Samiya had missed from a previous mating, Michael Gleeson agreed to sell her. The Kinloch Brae’s were her first litter and then she had some Top Honchos who weren’t as good. Unfortunately, she missed from her next mating and we noticed she had started to limp. When she was examined, it turned out the cancer so she had to be put to sleep.”
For those with a decent memory, Frank was first involved with greyhounds over 30 years ago and got to the latter stages of the Produce Stakes at Bristil with Evenin All, a son of Westmead Mona.
He said: “I dropped out of the game with the expense of a young family but now my boys Daniel and Christopher are a big part of what we do. Without them, I wouldn’t have time for the dogs.”
Based in Haverfordwest, Frank rears his pups on an acre and a half of land with access to six acres owned by his sister nearby.
As for the prefix. . .
Frank says: “My mother is Italian and bought Daniel a football shirt when he was a kid. It had ‘Baggio’ (after Roberto Baggio) on the back and the brothers became known locally as ‘Big Baggio’ and ‘Little Baggio’. It just seemed a nice prefix to use that meant something to us.”
And Champ’s chances in the final. . . ?
Frank said: “I’ve heard him described as ‘inconsistent’. I don’t think he is, though he is certainly ‘draw dependent’. I wouldn’t really have chosen one to be honest; I would have preferred to see him from two.”