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Greyhounds: Breeding Lines: Marshall's Derby success means Tullamore joins breeding elite.

Byline: P R Saward

DISREGARDING the 1947 renewal, which ended in a long division due to adverse weather, 70 years of coursing Derby history have produced only nine greyhounds who were able to win the Classic and subsequently sire offspring who were also capable of inscribing their names on the roll of honour.

Newry Hill (the 1992 winner) made it look easy by throwing Hilltown, Lomond and Big Fella Thanks in consecutive years, lulling us into a blas acceptance of this father-and-son ascendancy, but in the previous 35 years only Gayline (1975) and Fourth Of July (1957) had achieved the double.

Tullamore, who rounded off his unbeaten career in the 1996 Derby, thus joined a select band when his son Smokey Marshall proved too strong for Matt Hyland in the deciding buckle for last week's Irpounds 25,000 Boyle Bookmakers' Derby.

The essential element of luck also played its part in events, as the winner only came in as reserve. He secured his stand-by ticket at Nenagh, and was the sole member of his six-strong litter to win a qualifier.

An April whelp, Smokey Marshall is from Tullamore's fourth crop, which numbered 40 litters, more than his combined output in 1996, (5 litters), 1997 (14) and 1998 (4).

Not surprisingly, his tiny batch of 1998 pups meant that he was not represented in last year's Classics, but his tally of 20 qualifiers (including three reserves) in the current campaign was bettered only by Hilltown's 29.

Smokey Marshall was bred and is trained in Cashel, Co. Tipperary, by Tom O'Dwyer, who owns him in partnership with Danny McCann, of Toomebridge, Co. Antrim.

He is the first Derby winner O'Dwyer has owned, but is the fourth to emanate from the breeder's famed `Smokey' dam line. Like his predecessors Townbrook Bimbo (1985), Pyramid Club (1988) and Owens Sedge (1993), he descends from the 1978 Oaks heroine Smokey Flavour, who figures as his fourth dam.

Tullamore and Owens Sedge were by Crafty Toledo, whose male line produced other Derby winners in Fungies First (1994) and Mounteden Guest (2000).

Smokey Marshall's dam Smokey Margaret was a 20-1 chance before coursing began in the 1999 Oaks, but was put out in the first round after changing sides and being beaten four lengths in a straight run.

She was covered by Tullamore shortly afterwards, and after rearing the Derby hero and his siblings, was trained again. In the 1999/2000 season she reached all-aged cup finals at Loughrea and Knockgraffon and the semis at Listowel.

The bitch was by Newry Hill out of Smokey Louise, a 1993 Oaks semi-finalist whose daughter Smokey Marion (by Tivoli Smut) won the bitches' Classic in 1997.

Newry Hill's influence on the protagonists at the Festival was remarkable. As well as siring the winners of the consolatory events, Caxton Blue Sky and Duarigle Dancer, he was the brood bitch sire of both Derby finalists and the Oaks heroine Ballymac View.

Matt Hyland, incidentally, was from the only litter sired by Freemount Park in 1999. The five pups, bred by Eileen Flaherty in Kilflynn, Co. Kerry, included Onthebyeroad, who won a round of the Oaks.
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Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Feb 15, 2001
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