21 June, 2021

AUTHOR: James Dowen

Julie Collier Blog 9: #GreyhoundDerby2021

The #GreyhoundDerby2021 is now underway and Julie Collier is back with her latest blog!

🐶 The cream is rising to the top and what a cracking Star Sports Derby we have! There really is a lot of dogs still left in that could feasibly win and that’s reflected in the betting which is as wide open as I can remember of any Derby. Deerjet Sydney and Native Maestro now head the betting jointly at 10/1 but there are 10 dogs at 16/1 or less. I should point out that while the top two may be Irish, spots three and four are taken by English trained dogs – Bockos Belly and Hilight Arkle. Great Britain have now been cut from the 11/4 offered last week to win the Derby, to 2/1. We are holding our own! LATEST DERBY PRICES

🐶 On Monday I took a trip to see Patrick and Cheryl Janssens and their daughter, Ria along with their four dogs left in the Star Sports Derby as we head towards the third round. I am so pleased they are doing well. Patrick has won just about everything going. Could this be his year to add the Derby to his CV!? Thorn Falcon is a beast of a dog. 39kg of pure muscle but agile and well balanced, the perfect greyhound. He is one of those dogs where you feel privileged to be in his company. Bockos Belly has taken off at Towcester, breaking the track record on Friday night when clocking 29.03sec. This competition really seems to have mad a man of him and Patrick is thrilled with his form. Realistically, he says those are his best two chances of winning the whole thing but he also said ‘there is something about that dog’ with regards to Aussie Captain, who is improving very quickly before our eyes. Kilara Lion may not be showing his best form but has had a few issues. Should everything click into place, he could yet make his mark. Patrick still has great faith in his four-time category one winner. LATEST DERBY PRICES

🐶 Damien Matthews was on RPGTV on Wednesday evening and gave us some details about De Machine that we didn’t previously know. It’s fair to say that the kennel have been disappointed with their Towcester Puppy Derby finalist but he isn’t 100%. After both his races in the competition so far, the dog has been sick and Damien thinks the Kirby Memorial runner-up has had a bit of a tummy bug. Fingers crossed we see an improved dog this week. He also has Unlock Unlock who only had a litter of pups in January! How well is she running in the circumstances? I think she is favourite to win the ‘performance of the round’ award and she now heads the best bitch market at 2/1, with Ballymac Aerial yet to show her sparkle and coming in at 9/4. Jaguar Magie is 5/2 in the market and the remaining two bitches, Queens Beyonce and Dolly are both 8/1. LATEST DERBY PRICES

🐶 There were two greyhounds whose trainers requested seeding changes after the second round. The first is Knocknaboul Syd who switches from rails to middle. The Buckley’s have been left scratching their heads as their ante post favourite appears to have left his trapping boots at home. Pat was very quick after the weekend’s race to request the change. Let’s hope it does the trick! The second request which was honoured was for Kevin Hutton’s Magical Silas to switch from middle to rails. LATEST DERBY PRICES

🐶 I think the draw worked out very well once again and that’s reflected in the fact there are no odds-on chances across the board in all eight of the third round qualifiers. Even the new track record holder, Bockos Belly will be a decent price given the fact he has reining champ Deerjet Sydney on his inside. What a clash that is! LATEST DERBY PRICES

🐶 So Bojo has confirmed, as we expected, that the easing of restrictions is being put back four weeks and, in doing so, has given Towcester another headache. From chatting to Kevin Boothby, I get the impression that not too much will change though, albeit there will still be some silly rules in place where trainer and owner can go to the pub before and after the meeting but can’t stand side by side at the track. That really is driving everyone mad, not least Nathan Corden who is attempting to enforce it. Towcester is huge though, and they will be working with the local council to get the best outcome possible. But the initial impression I get is that we will still be on for a ‘festival-style’ Derby with music. It’s a good job. Lofty is looking forward to getting his dancing shoes on again! LATEST DERBY PRICES

🐶 Speaking of Lofty, what a night he had when tipping Dualla Prince to win who was, at the time, 50/1! Unbelievable! Well done that man. And indeed, that lady, as trainer June McCombe is set to retire, could it be the perfect finale for her? What a dream that would be! Obviously full of confidence and with a head larger than it was previously, Lofty is going for it again on Saturday night and is tipping Soul Warrior in heat eight at 40/1! Does lightening strike twice!? LATEST DERBY PRICES

🐶 Going through Saturday night’s heats, I definitely still have a question mark in my mind about trap 1 at Towcester. Ballymac Wild and Roxholme Sheikh were very impressive winners out of red but, by their standards, their sectionals were still not amazing compared to some other times clocked the same night from other boxes. Overall, trap 1 proved to be a good qualifying box with 10 of the 15 dogs in 1 making it through to the third round, but in terms of being able to ping, I have my doubts. That said, David Mullins is delighted to have got trap 1 again for his Tenpin as is Patrick Janssen’s for Kilara Lion. Let’s see what the weekend brings. Jury’s out. LATEST DERBY PRICES

🐶 The aforementioned Roxholme Sheikh ran a massive race for Hayley Keightley Saturday night. After the race, she was telling me this is now the only dog she has in training and it will be the last too. She still has Roxholme Olaf but is unsure if he will return to racing following injury. Saturday night’s performance from Sheikh put all her concerns about the track and trip to bed. She had really thought she was going out of the competition prior to that run. Sheikh now goes in heat 5 on Saturday and is one he can certainly qualify from. LATEST DERBY PRICES

🐶 If you haven’t already seen it, check out the Derby Zoom Room I did with Lofty, Kevin Hutton and Lee Field this week on the Star Sports Greyhound Derby page. Kevin’s dog are all out of very special dogs to him and he’s delighted how they’re running. And Lee Field is buzzing to have a runner in the Derby third round and whose to say he can’t go further? Adeles Duke is flying and a very talented youngster. LATEST DERBY PRICES

🐶 Pat Buckley did make a lot of us laugh on Saturday night in the car park at kennelling. The curry that was arranged for the trainers on the Friday night took longer than anticipated to prepare, so much so that most of them had left by the time it arrived, Pat got his knickers in a bit of a twist at the lack of facilities offered to trainers and decided to take matters into his own hands. And so was born, ‘Pat’s Picnics’, serving tea, coffee, cakes and sandwiches from his van in the car park! A quick trip to Costco and some freshly prepared hot drinks by June Harvey went down a storm and it was nice to see trainers, some of who had never met before, mingling and have a bit of light relief, particularly Pat himself who has had some rotten luck at Towcester. Even Tom Heilbron who watches what he eats like a hawk due to his stringent boxing training regime, was cajoled into having a sandwich. I enjoyed my cuppa. Same again Saturday Pat 🙂 See you there! LATEST DERBY PRICES



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