SIMON NOTT: THE FINAL (Saturday) it’s the final countdown. Star Sports Greyhound Derby Final night at Towcester with the big race off at 9.07pm. There’s a big supporting card and it’s a marathon night not a sprint with 14 races on the card. Simon Nott blogs live from the track with a race by race guide how to fortunes flowed between layers and backers.
Race 1 6.29pm
The Star Sports Greyhound Derby heats that started five Saturdays ago seemed a long way off as betting got underway for the opening race. Betting was frenetic and ultimately lumpy when a punter came in for £4,000 – £6,000 Trap 2 Ashakiran just before the traps open and the jolly bust out of them and was a never headed clear to win. The roar that went up from the crowd was deafening but from our point of view a terrible start.
Race 2 – Star Sports Derby Sprint 6.48pm
The next race featured another odds-on favourite and the punters were keen to back it. Ben was screaming ‘Just back the favourites’ who could argue in this year’s competition. Hoping the tide would turn he was determined to fill the hod.
The tide didn’t turn, the favourite won as it liked, the saving grace being the biggest bet was £800 not £8,000 but still another nasty loser, when will one get beaten?
LET’S GET GAMBLING…..
Race 3 – Star Sports Derby Puppy Stakes 7.08pm
Ballymac Defo at 6/4 favourite was the first jolly not to open odds-on but it didn’t stop the punters steaming in. But not on the favourite which eased to 7/4 then 2/1 with Newinn Jet at 9/4 from Trap 1 threatening to flip flop – that is until a punter came in for an £8,000 – £4,000 … then a monkey Trap 6 at 7/2.
We got the two short ones beaten when Trap 4 Geelo Blissful won the race though a £1,600 – £200 late on took the shine off the race, still the jollies were beaten, it’s turned!
Maybe our benevolence dishing these out to punters blinded by the sun was being rewarded by the gambling deities.
Race 4 – Star Sports Derby Bitches Stakes 7.26pm
Betting was open in the fourth race 5/2 the field.
Trap 1 Sylvias Chloe came in for support her price whittled down to 2/1 helped along by a bet of £2,250 to £1,000.
It was an extremely competitive betting heat, the race even more so, Trap 4 Ninja Penny winning a 14/1 was a tremendous result, it had tuned but sadly we’d run out of sunglasses, had we done enough?
Race 5 – Star Sports English Derby Plate 7.47pm
Droopys Expert in the next opened 11/10 and was expected to be a popular choice with the punters. It was, we laid £4,400 – £4,000 then out of the blue a £10,000 – £2,000 Black Farren.
The bets kept pouring in, tenners, scores, fifties, monkeys. Then £750 on the jolly at 11/10.
Aye Aye 14/1 shot Trap 5 was an absolute result, a virtual skinner. Now we’re rolling.
Race 6 – Star Sports Derby Stayers 8.05pm
The test of our luck changing would be the next with Trap 6 Clares Kyletaun the half-arm-on 4/6 jolly, Ben also offered a without market with Trap 1 Rubys Rascal heading that market at even money.
A punter was soon in with an £800 – £1200 to get the ball rolling.
The punters steamed in with decent bets but none to top that one. Once again we got a jolly beaten, it really had turned, 9/2 third-in winner Ridgedale Max was another great result for the book. The hod was looking healthy.
Race 7 – Star Sports English Derby Invitation 8.24pm
Bubbly Bluebird was 2/1 jolly in the opening salvo of the next. Then we laid a £12,000 – £1,000 Droopys Dresden, so had no choice but to get to work.
The gamble ran a very big race to run second behind 11/4 winner Innocent Times which was another good result for the book, spurred on by the lump and having to try and bet up to it.
Race 8 – Star Sports Dorando Marathon 8.44pm
The race before the Greyhound Derby was the quietest early on for betting action, the thought being punters were keeping their punting powder dry.
Then the money started to flood in, an even £650, £2,000 – £500 plus plenty of £100, £200 bets but very few were for the winner 14/1 shot Maysdreamcatcher which was nothing short of a dream result. These results couldn’t be written in, but next up was the big one, the Star Sports Greyhound Derby Final.
Race 9 – Star Sports English Greyhound Derby Final 9.07pm
Virtually the first bet in the book was £10,000 – £500 Dorotas Vic and the game was on in earnest.
That was closely followed by a £10,000 – £1,000 Bombers Bullet.
Betting was brisk with such a good range of dogs backed, the book was so good that winning 2/1 second favourite Dorotas Wildcat was actually a winner in the book.
Race 10 – Star Sports Champion Hurdle 9.35pm
Hardly surprising with the presentations and paying out over the popular winner the next race was the lowest staking race of the night, plus the 6/5 favourite Lenson Wilson won and relative to the book we had was a bad loser.
Race 11 – Star Sports Seniors Stakes 9.53pm
After business has been colossal it’s hard to get books into perspective when they get back to ‘normal’ normal for an astonishing night like tonight was fielding £300 and £400 bets like they were tenners on a racecourse in recent years.
Sadly for the our book the roar that went up when 2/1 favourite Shaneboy Freddie scooted further and further clear told the big red four-figure loss story. It was a big dent on a so far good winning night.
Race 12 – Star Sports Derby Invitation 10.11pm
The betting was far less frenetic, despite a 5/4 favourite in Ninja Fortune, just when we started to lull into a false sense of security a punter came in with £1,200 for Newinn Shadow at 5/1 which meant Lofty was suddenly looking at a very lopsided book with little chance of betting up to it.
We got away with it it when 4/1 shot Wildfire Legend won the race getting a modest few quid in the process.
Race 13 – Star Sports British Bred Stakes 10.29pm
It’s fair to say everyone was flagging by the penultimate but with just two more pushes to go Lofty upped a gear and priced up two markets. King Turbo was a prohibitive 1/4 straight but Alfies Prince headed a more competitive without market at 5/4. We laid a punter a £500-£400 at that price.
Unsurprisingly there was very little of interest in the straight market or the odds-on jolly. A punter came in and surprised us with £3,200 – £200 Makos Boy without then another with a monkey the jolly without and they were off.
They finished as a lot of punters expected, King Turbo beat Alfies Prince and as an old Westcountry bookie used to say ‘We dwindled some back’
Race 14 – Star Sports Stayers 10.47pm
Which left the last race of a tremendous five weeks of Greyhound Derby action to go. Would the punters come and have one last real go or would they retire to the bar for fittingly the concluding Stayers race?
We soon found out at least one hadn’t when we laid a £10,000 – £2,000 Trap 1 Moreton Madras almost as soon as Lofty switched the lights on. Time to get to work though betting up to that bet.
We couldn’t, trap 1 losing a nice few quid but turning the last bend trap 6 Gazilly Shay almost got us the lot before before being collared by 5/2 favourite Garryglass Champ in the shadow of the post. It wasn’t a massive loser but a bit of a blow. So that was it, the end of a fantastic five weeks of amazing sport and betting. Here’s Lofty.
LOFTY CLOSE OF PLAY…..
OUR MEGAMIX MEMORIES…..
Simon Nott is author of:
Skint Mob! Tales from the Betting Ring