Shay Can Be King Of Towcester

English Greyhound Derby

Outright Betting

Excitement is building for one of the biggest nights on the greyhound calendar on Saturday night at Towcester, the English Greyhound Derby. Here’s the lowdown before the main event!

1. Hiya Butt (Hondo Black-Hather For Pat) Sept 13 (7/2)
What an unbelievable achievement it is for the connections of Hiya Butt to get him to his second Derby Final. Yes he can still fly to the turn but I think he has lost maybe a length since last year.

This could be because of the type of track Towcester is, I’m not sure. If he is to win the Derby he has to do a 5.12/14 sectional to the bend and hope the big two (Rocket and Shay) get a bit of trouble. We have been taking him on the last two rounds thinking he is going to be falling in a hole up the home straight. This hasn’t happened yet!

2. Droopys Acrobat (Tullymurry Act- Droopys Acrobat) Sept 14 (14/1)
2016 Cesasrewitch winner in Mullingar as a pup! Has really thrived since joining Seamus Cahill. Was as big as 50/1 before the opening round of the Derby. His early pace has surprised me so far in the competition, I always had him down more as a stayer than an early pacer.

The trap draw could have been kinder to him, I can’t see him leading Hiya Butt up on his inside and Clares Rocket will be going up strong on his outside. Will go off at double figures in the final.

3. Clares Rocket (Confident Rankin-Lemon Madrid) June 14 (11/10)
A sensation! There could be a film made about this dog if he is to win the Derby. Has been ante-post favourite for this event since connections pencilled it in to his schedule last year.

There were a few question marks over his running after being beat in two trial stakes before the Derby got underway.

He has since put those runs behind him and is the only runner to reach the final unbeaten. A lightning fast 5.10 sectional in the semi-final set him up for a huge run. Can he reproduce that start? I wouldn’t be so sure. If he can get a fast start it’s all over, but if he misses it even slightly then I think he could be in a spot of bother. Currently 11/10 favourite!

4. Astute Missile (Kinloch Brae-China Doll) Aug 14 (33/1)
Was known as Karlow Melody when he raced here in Ireland. Some of his best form in Shelbourne Park was over 575/600 yards. Has been keeping in with some top company in the UK prior to the Derby.

Reached the semi-final of the Produce Stakes in Swindon earlier in the year. Looking at his draw here I would be slightly concerned, I think he would prefer to be drawn nearer the fence. He will have a fair job getting across! This is the second runner in the line-up for Seamus Cahill who is seeking his first Derby.

5. Tyrur Shay (Big Daddy Cool-Black Eyed Boss) Oct 14 (13/8)
Better known as Coolio before being purchased by PJ Fahy! Current track record holder (28.72 in round two). Without doubt the strongest stayer in the line-up. Was only beat a length and three quarters by the Rocket last time after being forced wide at the opening turn.

This fellow’s Achilles heel is his trapping ability, he is up and down in the boxes while the hare is behind the box. It’s either one or the other, he will hit it or miss it badly. His sectionals range from 5.16 to 5.34!

I think the draw has worked out extremely well for this lad, all the early is on the inside and the dog on his outside will be keeping out. His owner is bidding to add the English Derby to the two Irish Derbies and Scottish Derby already on his mantelpiece!

6. Murrys Act (Tullymurry Act-Brave Meave) Mar 15 (25/1)
This year’s Racing Post Juvenile winner. Has brought his trainer Kevin Boon on an amazing journey this year so far. Broke the track record in the first heat of the first round of the Derby but only held it less than an hour!

Will run his usual race on the outside but will need everything to go his way if he is to get his head in front. The youngest runner in the field, he could have a bright future over further distances!


Tyrur Shay gets the vote to collect the £175,000 prize fund on offer. There could be trouble on the run to the bend on his inside, if so then he will be there to pick up the pieces and swoop to the front off the last corner.

Irish Independent Laurels
Fastest time of the opening round was the 28.26 from John Toft’s Cosy Socks as she led from the first bend when beating Barefoot Painter by four and a half lengths.

Ante-post favourite Clonbrien Hero missed the kick in the opening heat but he qualified in third behind Denis Fitzgerald’s Loskeran Vardy in 28.79. There was carnage at the opening turn here so the jolly was lucky to stay on his feet.

Other first round winners were Rosstemple Brae in 28.61, Owen McKenna’s Offshore Point in 28.32, David Finn’s Sopwell Tracy in 28.32 and Tony Hegarty’s Unknown Vision in 28.40. Both Paul Hennessy and Thomas Buggy enjoyed fine opening round doubles thanks to Away Jet 28.40, Jaytee Dutch 28.44, Kilgraney Ace and Denver in 28.29 and 28.34 respectively. 48 runners went into the second round draw next Saturday night.

Betting for both aforementioned competitions are all available along with the Derby Plate, Sprint and Stayers competition. So go online or pop into any of our shops nationwide and find the mistakes!

Before we go I’d just like to wish both Irish trained runners the very best of luck in the final. A win for either two is a bad result for our ante-post book but we will still cheer them on! Bring it home! #BetOnBoyle

*Prices correct at time of publication