THE GREYHOUND WEEK BLOG: Julie Collier with all the latest news from the world of greyhound racing…..

➡️ Mark Wallis has three finalists in the Golden Jacket final at Crayford on Saturday in what is an incredibly hot affair featuring four category one winners. Last years runner-up, Antigua Fire was a comfortable winner of the first semi-final and was, once again, the fastest of the round after shrugging off crowding at the boxes. In a trouble marred race, Fire clocked 45.02sec beating Sheldan. Skilful Sandie made light work of semi-final two in 45.30sec. There was a battle for the second qualifying spot with Aayamza Express eventually fending off Affleck Bolt. Roxholme Poppy led the third semi-final and went on to score for Hayley Keightley, with Wallis’s third finalist, Avastorm, qualifying in second. In such a competitive race, the first three in the betting are, as you would expect, very close. Antigua Fire is the 11/8f with Roxholme Poppy at 5/2 and Skilful Sandie 3/1, all with Star Sports. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS

➡️ January 2015 whelp, Goldies Hotspur just missed out on a place in the final finishing third in semi one and has now been retired by connections. She won the TV Trophy in 2017 and was runner-up in 2018 and has made numerous other category one finals. What a star she has been. Patrick Janssens now hopes to breed a litter with her at his kennels when she comes into season. Here’s to a happy retirement. She deserves it! LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS

➡️ Here at Star Sports we showed we aren’t afraid to take a big bet again this week as we layed Boylesports King to win the 2020 Greyhound Derby at 28/1 with a potential return of £25,000!! LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS

➡️ The new, double rammed starting traps for the 500m Star Sports Derby course have arrived at Nottingham and were phased in over the weekend. The boxes have rams in place between traps 2/3 and 4/5 rather than just a single ram between 3/4 as with the old boxes. The track also continues to make some gradual alterations to the banking on the bends ahead of the years biggest competition which kicks off in just seven weeks! LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS

➡️ There have been some eye-catching runs this week as preparation really starts to ramp up for the Star Sports Derby. Last week I wrote about how Star Sports took a sizeable bet about Deanridge Sirius. Well he had a trial at Nottingham on Monday, his first run over four bends here in the UK, stopping the clock at 29.89sec – the fastest time of the night. Sirius is currently 50/1 for the Derby. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS

➡️ It’s also been a good week for Jimmy Fenwick whose Look Like Power made it three from three at Nottingham on Monday night, when he made pretty light work of his puppy opposition. The dog is in unreal form – he’s now won seven from his last eight races and is 50/1 to win the Star Sports Derby. Jimmy also confirmed that his bitch, Dilly Dilly, who also won a ladies competition on the night, will form part of his Derby team and he expects her to become more comfortable at Nottingham. She is 150/1 ante post. Jimmy’s team will obviously be headed by the ante post favourite Ice On Fire who trialled at Sheffield on Tuesday evening clocking an excellent 27.60sec in preparation for the RPGTV Juvenile on Saturday 29th February. Should he win the Juvenile, he could line-up for the Derby and be even shorter than the 9/1 currently available. Lemon Ronald, 100/1 ante post, will complete Jimmy’s team of four Derby runners. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS

➡️ The 16/1 rank outsider, Volcanic Reef, flew from the traps at Hove last Saturday to win the £10,000 Winter Derby for trainer Heather Dimmock and owners The Jabber Crew (pictured). On reflection, the price seemed big given he was sent off 2/1JF (with King Sheeran who was outright favourite for this final) for the Olympic in December, and he has some cracking form on his card. The Jabber Crew includes Richard and Donna Evans whose company, LPS, are joint sponsors of the Derby and that seems the likely aim for Volcanic Reef now, perhaps with a tilt at the RPGTV Steel City Cup along the way. Volcanic Reef is 150/1 for the Derby. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS

➡️ In the Springbok heats, it was Jim Reynolds Billericay Blue that was most impressive when winning heat two. In what was only his third ever hurdle race, he clocked the fastest time of the day, 29.68sec. In the final heat, ante post favourite Droopys Cruiser was picked up by Dave Mullins Rough Star. Other heat winners included Barry O’Sullivans Forest Capri (litter brother in Golden Jacket ante post favourite, Antigua Fire) and Belinda Green’s Bockos Rory. Droopys Cruiser, despite that defeat, remains the 15/8f with Billericay Blue coming in at 3/1. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS

➡️ As the excitement builds around the Star Sports Greyhound Derby, for those of you who want to get involved in the banter, news and fun on social media, please use the hashtag #GreyhoundDerby2020. Simply search using that for all the latest! LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS