Julie Collier Blog 10: #GreyhoundDerby2021
The #GreyhoundDerby2021 is now underway and Julie Collier is back with her latest blog!
🐶 I’m going to start this week’s blog with the sad news that Faughn Rebel has had to be withdrawn from the Star Sports Greyhound Derby. After he qualified for the quarter-finals, connections had been writing on twitter how proud they were of the dog they called ‘Rebs’. But sad news was to follow that the dog had in fact injured a stopper bone and has not only been withdrawn, but also retired. Trainer Richard Yeates said he was ‘absolutely gutted’ and, having watched him run a big race on Saturday, just beaten a head by Adeles Duke, thought he had a ‘real chance’ in the Derby. Sad times but the dog is in one piece and we all wish him a very happy retirement. LATEST DERBY PRICES
🐶 Two more greyhounds picked up injuries in the third round too; Native Maestro and Jonno You Go. Maestro who had run so well in the lead-up to the competition and in the first round, didn’t quite look himself the previous week and then went out on Saturday night. It was later reported he sustained a hip muscle injury. It’s not career threatening and Nicky Holland is hopeful of having him back for the Irish Derby. It wasn’t such good news for Nathan Hunt’s Jonno You Go who sadly broke a hock but was well looked after by track vet Polly and has since been operated on by Stefano who did a neat job as you can see from this x-ray. Wishing him a very happy retirement. LATEST DERBY PRICES
🐶 Staying on the subject of injuries, I had a good chat with Tom Heilbron this week who, as many of you will know, is a professional boxer. He knows what’s what when it comes to nutrition, training and injuries, in humans and dogs. Happily he has reported his Pacemaker Ted is bouncing. But pretty much every trainer says that until their dog gets knocked out of the competition. Fair play to Liam Dowling who admitted after the first round that his Ballymac Aerial was worryingly exhausted, but that type of honesty is unusual. Tom told me he has never gone into a fight without picking up some kind of niggle in his preparation and it’s likely that some of the dogs left in the competition now would be running with niggles. It’s all part and parcel of elite competition and sport, be it humans or canine’s. It’s a massive part of the trainer’s job at this stage to know exactly what is what with their dog and what treatment they may or may not need. This is where the cream rises to the top. For what it’s worth, I also think Pacemaker Ted at 25/1 in places to win his quarter-final is way too big and I really wish both Tom and Lee Field with his Adele’s Duke, all the luck in the world in reaching the semi-finals. It means so much to both of them. LATEST DERBY PRICES
🐶 With seven races left in the Star Sports Derby, trap 3 has all but sewn up the Derby trap challenge with 15 victories so far compared to nine for traps 1 and 2. A study of the average sectionals and times clocked from each box suggests that trap 1 does indeed put it’s runners at a disadvantage (though nobody told Deerjet Sydney that!) The red box’s average sectional is 4.32sec, slowest of all the traps while trap 3 is fastest with an average of 4.27sec. It’s quite reminiscent of the debate around the boxes at Nottingham for their first Derby and I’m sure it’s one that will continue long after the derby has finished. LATEST DERBY PRICES
🐶 The Buckley camp is really firing on all cylinders with their remaining two runners with defending champion Deerjet Sydney posting the fastest time of the third round and the middle seed working wonders for Knocknaboul Syd, who showed the early he is known for from trap 5. The kennel’s Glengar Bale is also favourite for the Derby Plate (5/1). I’m glad things have worked out for them after a really tough start to the campaign with a couple of devastating injuries. And Emma’s little face after every win…it lights up Towcester. LATEST DERBY PRICES
🐶 Thorn Falcon may have lost his first ever race at the weekend but in defeat, he showed he is able to battle when required and also stayed on strongly behind Knocknaboul Syd. Patrick Janssen’s now has four of the remaining 23 runners, an incredible achievement in itself, and with three who I think are genuinely capable of winning a Derby. So this week Lofty and I got Emma Buckley and Patrick together for a Derby Zoom Room. There is every chance the winner will come from one of these camps and the prices are now up with Star for the Derby winning trainer. Buckley is 9/4, Patrick wanted 10/1 but Lofty gave him a less generous 7/2! LATEST DERBY PRICES
🐶 We all love to see young, ambitious people in the sport and we definitely have another one in Michael Cronin. I’ve seen him grow up from literally being a little boy to a frustrated teenager who wasn’t allowed in the kennelling area with his Dad during previous Derby campaigns. Fast forward to 2021 and Michael is parading the Cronin Derby dogs. At the weekend, the 15-year-old came over by himself (with a driver) and was running the show. When I commented that finally he’s allowed to handle the dogs, his response was ‘I’ll be training them soon’. Good for you Michael. All About Ted is coming forward and running brilliantly and I think is going a little under the radar. LATEST DERBY PRICES
🐶 Whilst there still might not be a clock at Towcester, the winners time is now displayed on the big screen as soon as it is humanly possible to get it up! Plus, replays were back on the screen too! Hurrah! It really does make such a difference not just to the racegoers but for the trainers to be able to see an immediate replay as well. Changes are happening all the time at Towcester. Last week there was a new burger bar and, it has to be said, although I didn’t sample the offerings, they looked absolutely delicious! But messy. Darrell William’s was working for RPGTV Saturday night and tried to hide to consume his…but there is always that annoying colleague lurking with a camera! 🙂 LATEST DERBY PRICES
🐶 Steve Nash has been working his magic once again during this Derby. We all admire his racing shots week in, week out but he has such a great eye for all types of photos. He regularly shows me bits and pieces between racing and I really hope he publishes some sort of Derby photo diary once it’s all over. This one he took of the RPGTV cameraman, Tim, is stunning. And one of many. LATEST DERBY PRICES
🐶 It was so good to see main man, Ben Keith at Towcester on Saturday night. And not just a main man, a new man too! Unlike the rest of us who have acquired a lockdown stone, Ben has shed several as well as his glasses and is looking a million dollars! As we all know, Ben loves his racing but he absolutely adores the dogs too and couldn’t wait to stroke the winners as they came into the presentation area. We all love how much he loves the dogs… LATEST DERBY PRICES
Best of luck to everyone on Saturday night. This really is serious business now.