Team Ireland To Take Home The Derby
English Greyhound Derby
We make Ireland an even money shot to take the Derby across the Irish Sea for the second year in a row following the success of Jaytee Jet last year.
It all kicks off this Thursday night in Towcester with the first heat due off at 7.30. We don’t have to wait long until the first of the leading Irish hopes hits the track. Droopys Awsome (F. Black) and Ark winner Garryvoe Bobby (G. Holland) take each other on in heat two. Garryvoe has the superior early pace and should be well in command on the run to the corner.
The ante-post jolly Clares Rocket puts his credentials on the line in heat six. Yes he has disappointed thus far in Towcester but this is his chance to redeem himself! His biggest danger will come from the dog on his immediate left, Whoops Jack trained by Peter Cronin.
Jack will be edging left on the run to the bend so could do the Rocket a huge favour. To be honest if he is to win this Derby he is going to have to win this heat comfortably as I doubt he will get a better draw throughout this campaign.
PJ Fahy’s Tyrur Shay looks a very warm order in heat five but I doubt you will get rich backing him. On what we have seen so far it looks as though he has taken to the circuit extremely well.
Droopys Buick is the first of the leading English hopes into action on the opening night. He is arguably the fastest greyhound in the UK but I feel he is draw dependant. Yes he has drawn four on Thursday night but he is grades better then what he is in with and should win with ease.
On to Friday night we don’t have to wait long to see the leading lights in action. Scottish Derby winner Dorotas Woo Hoo will go off a short priced favourite in the opening heat.
I wouldn’t be rushing to back him as there appears to be plenty of early on his inside. In Shawfield Woo Hoo was showing all his pace down the back straight, and I would be slightly concerned about him here because the track is all bends and the straights are very short.
Con and Annie Kirby winner Bentekes Bocko looks to be the Irish banker on the second night. He has been drawn in a five runner heat which is always a plus. My only concern is the fact he hasn’t raced in nearly two months. Pat Buckley has a habit of bringing his runners to the English Derby very fresh and this has proved very successful so far!
The main event on Friday is without doubt heat sixteen which features Bruisers Bullet, Bubbly Bluebird, Newinn Shadow and Dorotas Vic. This has the makings of a cracker! Bluebird will go to traps as favourite following his sub 29 second run last week. Bruisers Bullet looks to be Mark Wallis’ leading hope.
He only has a handful of races under his belt so far but he has taken on and beat the best around. He could be a dark horse. Newinn Shadow’s last race was back in January where he was KO’d.
He has since switched kennels and is now under the guidance of Charlie Lister. Shadow has been given plenty of time to recover from his fall and has had plenty of confidence boosting trials. It’s a pity he has drawn such a strong heat starting off.
Coolavanny Mason can give Pat Buckley a double on Friday night and it looks a match race between himself and Freshfromthesesh. The draw looks to be in Mason’s favour! All eyes will be on Hiya Butt in the last heat on Friday.
He was one of the stars of last year’s Derby with his electric early pace but this 500m trip could break his heart.
He looks a guaranteed leader but supporters could be holding their breath off the last bend if he is in front!
Without doubt the best heat on Saturday night is heat 25 where we have four top Irish runners in opposition. Droopys Wilbury, Kiss And Hug, Sonic and Jaytee Jet will all be battling for three qualifying positions. Kiss And Hug has the best recent race form of the quartet but the draw hasn’t been kind to him.
Sonic will have to really up his game to be in the shake-up and we have yet to see the Sonic that was in last year’s Irish Derby. He seems like a dog who thrives on racing so connections would take the hand off you for third place!
Jaytee Jet is bidding to win back-to-back derbies. He is a real competition dog and his recent workout over course and distance tells us all is well with Paul Hennessy’s charge.
Droopys Wilbury is the shortest priced runner in Pat Buckley’s squad. Last year’s Puppy Derby Champion looks a real Towcester runner with his early speed and he doesn’t lack anything in the stamina department either!
Old favourite Ballymac Matt will be contesting his sixth Derby. He won the Irish version in 2015 and reached the final of both the Scottish and Irish Derbies last year. This will be his third English Derby and you couldn’t dismiss him in his heat on Saturday night. He takes on Droopys Bonucci in heat 29.
Bonucci announced himself as a leading Derby contender after a sizzling 28.96 trial over course and distance last week. Priceless Brandy will go off the shortest priced runner on Saturday night and for me he is Ireland’s leading light. Coolavanny Pet can be his biggest danger with a perfect draw in one.