Mr Boo gives none a ghost of a chance

Robin Parke

THE cheers almost raised the roof of the Canidrome's well-appointed cafeteria and bar when the record-breaking Mr Boo did it again last weekend.

For the 53rd time the marvellous Mr Boo was winning a race and this time he was most certainly at backable odds.

Those well versed in the champion's exploits were bemused by the price of almost 6-1 about Mr Boo considering that he was moving up to his favourite trip of 550 yards as opposed to the shorter 525-yard course he had been narrowly beaten over on St Patrick's Night.

And Mr Boo did his followers proud, actually wrapping the race up just after the first bend when he streaked into a five-length lead that he was never to relinquish.

Among those impressed were new greyhound sponsors Declan and Joe Murphy with the former saying: ''I have seen Mr Boo on a couple of occasions but, to be frank, I have read more about him than seen him.

''But it's good to see a champion in any sport and we certainly saw one tonight.'' Namesake Brian Murphy, who is track boss at the Canidrome, conceded that he felt Mr Boo might have had plenty to do to win his 53rd race.

''There were a couple of pretty smart dogs in that race and I certainly didn't expect to see him win it like that.

''It certainly augurs well for the immediate future and it is difficult not to believe that he is racing as well as he ever did.'' The Carlsberg Derby remains the big prize for Mr Boo who has agonisingly failed to win the premier race on two previous occasions.

Current trainer Pat Larkin says: ''There's so much luck attached to this game. You can have a dog absolutely perfect for a race and with the form and time to win it then something gives you a bump and the race is lost.

''A lot of it is staying clear of trouble. The way he won last week it didn't matter - he simply cleared the boxes and it was virtually all over.

''The Derby is a long way away and so many things can happen but it would be a tremendous climax to his career if he could win it.'' The Canidrome is braced for record-breaking business over the holiday period.

With Hong Kong seemingly emptying for the Easter and Ching Ming break, it is almost impossible to get a hotel room in Macau and there will be very brisk business at Asia's only dog track.