STAR SPORTS GREYHOUND DERBY: In her 14th weekly countdown blog to the big race, Julie Collier has a bumper blog with the 192 final entries now confirmed !!
➡️ Entries for the Star Sports Greyhound Derby closed on Monday night with 212 names in the book and Nottingham’s racing office has been hard at work processing them. That figure needed to be whittled down to 192 based on trials, times and seedings. Not a job I envy… It’s done though and Nottingham reassured us all the seeding panel are still smiling by tweeting this photo (below). Undoubtably there will be withdrawals before the Derby starts and there are reserves standing by, sorted in the order they will step in. We wait to see how many will get a place. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ One dog already withdrawn is unfortunately Roxholme Nidge. After being checked out again today (Wednesday) it was deemed that his shoulder injury sustained in the Bresmed Northern Sprint final hasn’t recovered in time for him to take his place in the Star Sports Derby. As always with the Keightley’s, the welfare of the dog has taken priority, despite them being absolutely gutted. Fingers crossed that Nidge can be well enough to race Derby Finals night and show everyone what he can do. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ Star Sports Greyhound expert ‘Lofty’ has retreated to Portugal ahead of the fun and games of the greyhound derby and one punter has taken advantage of his perhaps more than usual relaxed outlook. Whilst sat on a balcony drinking a cold beer, he laid Jaytee Taylor to lose £25,000. As those of you who have been watching my kennel visits will be aware, the 2016 winning camp of the Hennessy’s have Taylor down as their best chance of winning another English Derby and that was before the dog clocked 29.56 in his first look round Nottingham on Saturday – and bear in mind Susan Hennessy said the dog is currently undercooked! You better come home soon Lofty!! LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ The Irish are still being extremely bullish about their chances of winning this years Star Sports Derby so it was all eyes on Brinkleys Poet’s race against Slippy Cian on Monday night, the later being Ian Fortune’s number one pick of the Irish contenders in the Star Sports Derby preview. It’s was Poet who led (off a 4.96 sectional) and was never picked up (clocking 29.60) cementing his amazing comeback from injury and in many eyes making him a genuine contender for this years Derby. He might also have given those Irish commentators something to think about! LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ Another big name has been added to the Irish challenge for the Star Sports Derby when Skywalker Logan was confirmed as a runner before the entries closed on Monday. The brilliant son of Tarsna Havana had flown under the radar mainly due to the fact that he had been engaged in the Larry Clancy Memorial Cesarewitch at Mullingar, but after an impressive victory in the midlands classic, his owner Ray Patterson and trainer Pat Guilfoyle decided to allow him to take his chance at Nottingham. A strong runner to follow. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ Star Sports this week launched an enticing Greyhound Derby offer and one that certainly would have benefitted me over the years! If you bet a dog ante post and it gets knocked out in the first round then you’ll get your money back as a free bet to get involved again from the second round onwards. Obviously, we are all experts and so won’t need to take advantage of this 🙂 … but just in case… LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ The Star Sports preview night in their prestigious Mayfair shop proved to be a massive hit! It was attended by a range of enthusiasts including trainers, owners, punters, bookmakers and media personnel who all left in no doubt about the strength of the Irish challenge this year but also that we have a pretty solid English team bidding to retain the title. Given all that, perhaps it was no surprise that a gamble soon developed for the 29.16 track record (set by Sawpit Sensation in 2012) to go offered at a special price of 5/2. That went by the end of the evening, but 6/4 still looks very fair given the class of dog heading to Nottingham. Local trainer Peter Harden also expressed his surprise at how Martinstown Band is seemingly being underestimated in many quarters. Peter has been extremely impressed with the dog, which is a concern to Star Sports given the liability on the dog is as big as £350,000!!! LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ Whilst visiting Pat Buckley in Ireland and learning more about his team for the Star Sports Greyhound Derby I noticed that glint in his eye that I have seen a few times before. Most notably ahead of Mind The Net’s Derby campaign where he ended up well fancied in the final. The dog that prompted ‘the glint’ this year was Burgess Bucks, a relatively unknown quantity over on our shores. I promptly added him to my ante post portfolio and I hope many of you did too as he clocked 29.51 last Thursday on his first look round Nottingham and his price was slashed. Definitely one to watch. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ Defending Derby Champion Dorotas Wildcat had his final preparatory look round Nottingham in a trial on Tuesday and as if like clockwork, matched his very fast 29.22 from the week before, the fastest any dog has gone round the track pre-Derby. Trainer Kevin Hutton had planned to enter Wildcat in a trial stakes race but was put off doing so due to the risk of racing against dogs that hadn’t had a look at the track and following the injury to his Druids Busy Man (pictured below) in a trial stakes race (that dog is recovering well from his broken hock). In the Star Sports Derby preview this week Kevin flagged up his Ballymac Osby as being a decent value ante post bet and also admitted that Magical Bale will have to be nursed through the competition slightly, the week in between all rounds will definitely help his cause. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ Anneliese Thompson’s two Star Sports Derby entries, Haggswood River and Madabout Rioga are preparing for the competition in unusual fashion! By launching their modelling careers!! These knitwear gems (below) are made by one of the kennels owners in aid of the Greyhound Trust. Very fetching. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ I still feel that there are some big price ante post bets that are going under the radar a little. One of those could be Forest Alan, owned by the New Forest Lads. He’s trialled once at Nottingham clocking 29.81 and you would think will improve for another look on Saturday. He’s also just won a good open at Hove over 515m by five and half lengths in 29.81. The dog is clearly in good heart and is a huge price still. Bockos Doomie could be another worth taking a chance on. Patrick Janssen’s has made a late decision on entering this exciting and precocious young talent after he won a 515m maiden final at Hove this week in 29.72. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
STAR SPORTS GREYHOUND DERBY 2019: Our expert panel preview the 2019 Star Sports Greyhound Derby held for the first time at Nottingham Greyhound Track.
Our panel, hosted by Julie Collier is:
Kevin Hutton Greyhound Derby Winning Trainer
Martin Chapman ‘Lofty’ Star Sports Greyhound Expert
Ian Fortune Irish Greyhound Expert
To check out the latest betting for the Star Sports Greyhound Derby visit
You can also download the Star Sports App, full details at:
STAR SPORTS GREYHOUND DERBY 2019
LEADING ENGLISH CONTENDERS
LEADING IRISH CONTENDERS
WHAT TO EXPECT
Jaytee Taylor was a puppy star in the second half of last year at Shelbourne Park when he headed the betting for the Irish Derby after the early rounds. He’s barely raced since in anticipation of the English Derby.
Priceless Blake was most recently knocked out of the Scottish Derby semi-finals in 3rd place. A dog with nice early and a never give up attitude who will take his place in the Star Sports Derby.
What a stunning looking greyhound! Meet Bob. A dog who can ping the boxes like he is on elastic, as he showed at Shawfield in the Scottish Derby.
Panther is a huge, strong greyhound who has already caught the eye of a few after his trial at Nottingham last week. He didn’t handle the first two bends perfectly and you would think he will improve on his next look around.
An October 2016 dog who still needs to mature a little. If he can do that and the Hennessy’s can keep him sound in the coming weeks, there is no doubting this lovely, friendly dog’s ability and potential.
DREAMING AGAIN: THE ENGLISH DERBY
Susan tells us what it’s like to win an English Derby, why they want more and their best chance of winning a second English Derby this year.
LENSON WHELAN (name change TULLIG FOOTPAD)
A March 2017 dog who is the first of the two new recruits from Pat Buckley’s kennel. Patrick tells us about the dogs temperament and why he thinks he can get better and better as the competition goes on.
Bockos Rory is a VERY young dog, just August 2017, but he will take his place in the Star Sports Greyhound Derby. Patrick believes he is progressive enough and whilst he may be learning on the job, the ability and potential is there. He’s also a ready-made pet with an unusual tail!
Laid-back by nature, Seaglass Tiger is extremely versatile… and fast! Patrick is hoping his early and middle pace can help him go deep into the Star Sports Derby. He’s already proven in competitions and another youngster that will be improving.
At the moment, this is Patrick’s number one pick for the Star Sports Derby. Here he compares him to other top class dogs in the country and tells us why he is so impressed by the dog he calls ‘the fastest he has trained.’
The dog known as ‘Des’ in the kennel won the Coronation Cup over 575m at Romford. This is a staying type of dog with track craft and a great strike rate who Patrick thinks could keep qualifying.
The second dog of a recent intake from Pat Buckley. He went out of the Star Sports Derby in the third round last year – can he go further this year? Patrick gives his early assessment of Biker and tells us how he is settling in.
A super-friendly dog as you can see! Known as ‘Dave’, Goldies Ginola is still only an April 2017 but may well be part of Patrick’s team depending how he trials. Patrick also tells us what it would mean to him to win the Star Sports Derby.
This April 2017 dog has only had 7 career starts but has won 4 of them. Peter tells us why he expects this dog to improve through the Star Sports Derby. Only time will tell how far he can go.
Jazz Beat is a well bred son of Zero Ten and Volcano. He has had his share of injury problems which means he is lightly raced but he’s now fit, well and raring to go to Nottingham.
DA HEAD HUNTER
Da Head Hunter has a different sort of profile to many of Peter’s others dog in that he is a second season dog. He ran in last years Star Sports Derby at Towcester, winning in the first round before a second round exit. Now at three and a half years of age, he is still lightly raced and will take his place in his second English Derby.
A March 2017 dog who has only had 6 races – and won half of them. Now on the comeback from injury, Peter tells us why he thinks this is a dog that will keep improving and also why detecting and fixing niggles is so important to him.
Crossfield Con is clearly a dog that Peter likes a lot and it’s easy to see why. The dog has never been out of the first two in his 6 races so far. His seventh race will be in the first round of the Star Sports Derby at Nottingham where Peter tells us why he could be a dark horse for the competition.
Badminton Jet was trained by Matt Dartnall during the Puppy Derby at Monmore where he picked up an injury. He was sent to Peter to race in the Con Kirby at Limerick but injury stopped him being entered. He’s raring to go now though and Peter says, totally unexposed.
A 28.20 dog at Shelbourne and a brother to Crossfield Con. A big brindle boy who can definitely run.
This is the only wide runner of Peter’s team so one who is likely to get decent draws in the Star Sports Derby. We do know he has great early, time will tell if he gets the trip.
IRELAND v ENGLAND
So does Peter think this years Star Sports Derby champion will be Irish or English trained? Maybe no surprises in his answer here but it is certainly given with conviction! Peter gives his thoughts on Nottingham as a Derby venue and why he loves the English Derby so much.
Brinkleys Poet burst onto the scene last spring winning the Gymcrack at Kinsley. An exceptionally fast dog that has been plagued by an injury that threatened to end his career. But now he is back racing, Mark gives us his assessment of the dog’s current form.
Romeo is the dog with the BIG character and a tail that wags so much he has injured it many times! To the eye, he is starting to look like the real deal and as Mark explains, he is expecting plenty more over the coming weeks.
Known as Merlin in the kennel, this dog came over from Ireland with a big reputation. He turned 2 in April and has had very little racing so is one we can expect to see improving as the competition progresses.
ANTIGUA SANDS and ANTIGUA VOW
These two girls have big futures ahead of them and although Mark thinks it’s a big ask for a bitch to win a Derby, this pair could be in the reckoning for bitch to go the furthest in the competition.
Here David tells us why he thinks Noelles Phelpso has the attributes that will be required for the Greyhound Derby at Nottingham. Plus why he is very happy with where the dog is at with just four weeks to go.
Piemans Bullet has taken on and beaten the best in his career, including last years Star Sports Derby Champion Dorotas Wildcat. Now a veteran, and highly rated as a hurdler, he was most recently seen hurdling in the heats of the Grand National! But now, all roads lead to Nottingham.
This is a dog that could be anything. He has literally only had one race for David, a flying 24.14 qualifying trial around Romford. David doesn’t have much time to get him ready for the Derby but there is no doubt the dog can run!
Lightfoot King has been an unlucky dog when it comes to big finals. Now, as a December 2015 dog, he is as good as ever, lightly raced and has plenty of ability as we head towards to first round of the Star Sports Greyhound Derby. Sean sees him as his best chance as things stand.
Ballymac Dingle falls into the ‘could be anything category.’ He didn’t have an ideal start to his racing career but, now in the hands of Sean, he is being given every chance to prove his ability. He’s still finding his feet in his races but will be on the van for Nottingham and his natural progression could see him become a contender.
ANHID CHARMER, BALLYMAC DEVON, CUORE DE FERRO
Sean has 3 more dogs arriving at his kennel from Ireland in the coming days thanks to some big spending owners who have put their faith in him. All 3 are very exciting prospects. Sean tells us what he knows about them and also what it means to him to be heading to the Star Sports Derby with a team that gives him a chance of going far.
Droopys Nadal is a dog that has taken plenty of time to come to hand. Now, at just 2 years old, he’s an exciting dog for the Harrison/Wright kennel. Jimmy tells us why he thinks the dog will thrive at Nottingham.
Droopys Trapper racked up many top class wins as a puppy and broke the Sunderland track record to boot. At two and a half years old, Jimmy is hoping he can now carry that form into the Star Sports Derby and tells us why preparation is key with this dog.
After winning the 2017 All England Cup, Droopys Expert suffered an injury that ultimately meant we didn’t see the best of him in last years Star Sports Derby. He’s going to be 4 years old in October but he’s back in-form and, perhaps surprisingly, Jimmy believes he could be the best of the bunch.
The 2018 Star Sports Derby runner-up is one cool customer. A seriously Pacey dog who was extremely young to be lining up as a Derby contender, let alone finalist, last year as he only turned 2 during the Derby. He’ll have another crack at the title this year as a 3 year old and Jimmy explains why this dog will improve as the months go on.
ALISON KELLY PILGRIM
Alison Kelly Pilgrim trains greyhounds for Ray Dean and Paul Surridge who have owned many good dogs before. Now, in a bid to win the Star Sports Greyhound Derby, Kelly tells us how her owners have invested in a nice team for her to take to Nottingham.
June Harvey’s son and assistant trainer Matt Redman tells us about Ower Boy Bullet and assesses his chances for the Star Sports Greyhound Derby. Matt absolutely loves this dog and rates him extremely highly. He’s had his share of problems but now looks to be back on track.
Craig Morris, assistant trainer to Hayley Keightley with his early views on the big race.
RICHARD HARKNESS PREVIEW
With just over 3 months to go before the Star Sports Greyhound Derby gets underway, RPGTV pundit and former Derby-winning part-owner Richard Harkness gives his early thoughts on the contenders this year and tells us who he will be backing anti-post.
Nic Jeal has enjoyed much success in his relatively short time as a greyhound owner. Now he has new purchase Antigua Romeo aiming to be a real contender in this years Star Sports Greyhound Derby. Here, his trainer Matt Dartnall tells us more about this May 2017 son of Romeo Recruit and why he is expecting a lot of improvement over the coming months.
Rising Brandy was nothing short of stunning in the 2018 Star Sports Greyhound Derby. But after winning his quarter final, connections were devastated to find the dog was lame at the pick-up with a shoulder injury that kept him off the track for six months. His trainer Matt Dartnall tells us how he is now on the road to recovery and how realistic a chance he is for the 2019 Derby.