STAR SPORTS GREYHOUND DERBY: In her final countdown blog to the big race, Julie Collier brings the very latest news on the Star Sports Greyhound Derby at Nottingham – the first round action gets underway on Friday evening !!
➡️ There are just two days until the start of the Star Sports Greyhound Derby and I for one can not wait! I thought there might be a quiet period before the storm but seemingly not, with trials taking place right up until Monday evening and a couple of high profile withdrawals plus announcements from Nottingham… LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ Perhaps the biggest news of the week has been the withdrawal of Martinstown Band (pictured below), the heavily backed local dog trained by Chris Akers, on who Star Sports stood to lose around £350,000. He trialled before racing on Friday clocking a modest 30.14sec (+20) which wasn’t what was expected. Checks afterwards revealed there was a recurrence of a monkey muscle injury, initially sustained when he got a bump in a race with King Turbo in early April. Chris later put on social media that the dog was ‘still the apple of my eye’ and we certainly hope to see him in action again in the not too distant future. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ Another notable withdrawal this week was Rising Brandy for trainer Matt Dartnall. Sadly, last year’s Derby semi-finalist suffered a recurrence of a shoulder injury (that the kennel have been battling with since last year) in his trial on Saturday. Also withdrawn were Alien Sea (lame) for Mark Wallis, Ballymac Syd (sore) and Ballymac Brayden (sore) for Liam Dowling and Plaza Roicead (in season). There was misfortune for Pat Buckley who’s Designer Label has also had to be withdrawn after he broke a hock after the line in a trial on Saturday night having clocked a promising 29.74. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ It’s been announced by Nottingham that Irish Broadcaster Ian Fortune (pictured) will be the commentator for your Star Sports 2019 Greyhound Derby final. Ian commentated on the Eclipse final last year at Nottingham and with there being such an Anglo-Irish theme to this year’s Derby, Nottingham Director Rachel Corden wanted Ian to do the honours again. Ian said ‘Final night is one of the great occasions in greyhound racing and to have the chance to call home the winner is a real honour.’ I wonder how much will he enjoy calling home an English winner!? LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ Seamus Cahill must be delighted with the way his Derby team are coming to hand as his quartet trialled on Saturday night, the fastest of them was Droopys Gold who recorded a time of 29.41sec. Not far behind was Sporting Dave (29.46), Forest Alan (29.60) and Droopys Nirvana (29.96). Paul Young also trialled several, Wildfire Jimmy the pick of them, he clocked 29.56sec. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ I went to Kevin Hutton’s Kennel last Friday which was just brilliant. He and his fiancé, Donna are always so welcoming, despite the fact they’re incredibly busy and it’s such a pleasure to see greyhounds being so well looked after – and SO happy! Dorotas Wildcat really does have an air of authority about him. I’m convinced he knows he is good! Whilst I was there, the draw was taking place and, it has to be said, it’s less than ideal for the dog nicknamed Catmandoo! He’s certainly in one of the heats of the round against Select Stakes winner Brinkleys Poet and Irish raider Wolfe. Hutton said ‘it’s tougher than we’d have hoped but he is good to go!’ Wildcat knows how to do it the hard way, when winning the Derby at Towcester last year he really didn’t get an easy race in any of the rounds. When I left the kennel I was in absolutely no doubt, at least in the mind of Kevin, that Magical Bale is capable of winning a Derby. Good news for all those of you who took the early price. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ In other draw news, Angela Harrison’s Droopy’s Verve will face Graham Holland’s Irish star Slippy Cian in the opening heat on Saturday night in what looks to be another mouthwatering contest. Verve clocked an impressive 29.45sec in his last preparatory trial last Friday after a fortnight off the track. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ Monday’s trial session threw up a couple more dogs to consider ante-post. Trade Fudge went very well for Dan Brabon clocking 29.49 and also Hero To Zero went well in 29.51. The latter is a dog who has been sent to John Mullins’ kennel from Pat Curtin in Ireland and connections (who know the time of day) rate him highly. He has little to write about in terms of early, but will be one to watch coming up that long home straight at Nottingham. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ It’s fair to say that Star Sports like to add a touch of class to proceedings when sponsoring a Derby and they have come up trumps yet again! This year’s Star Sports Derby lunch and draw for the final will be held at The Ritz! There will be a champagne reception followed by high tea at the famous London Hotel on Monday June 24th. Nottingham Director Rachel Corden was delighted with the choice of venue feeling that it put some tradition back into the Derby and also explained that one of her favourite photos of her late father is of him having tea at The Ritz, so it feels fitting. Well done to Ben Keith – but a word of warning – whatever the biggest losers in the book are for the greyhound derby, it’s worth weighing up which dogs are owned by the biggest drinkers in the sport. A pint at The Ritz won’t be cheap! Can we have some odds on the bar tab maybe!? LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ Mark Wallis has seen the Derby preparation for Brinkleys Poet completed in style as he easily landed a 500m open at Sheffield on Saturday night. Quickly in front, he opened up in style along the back straight and came home more than five lengths in front of Lightfoot Oscar in a smart 28.79, ahead of that meeting with Dorotas Wildcat in the last heat on Friday. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ Skywalker Logan (pictured) took off on his first look around Nottingham on Saturday night with a ‘fastest of session’ 29.27sec trial. Pat Guilfoyle’s dog won the Mullingar Caesarewitch last Saturday, a 600 yard classic, suggesting he was going to love the galloping nature of the Colwick Park track. He broke ok (5.09 sec sectional) but ramped up the turbo as he turned down the back. Guilfoyle was reported to be delighted saying ‘he is a fine, fast dog.’ The half brother to Magical Bale (they are out of the same dam, Sizzling Sarah) impressed Nathan Corden too, the Nottingham Director saying it was ‘one of the fastest runs I’ve seen here.’ LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ Finally, it’s time to check out the Star Sports website starsports.bet for a whole host of specials available for this year’s Derby. A market that’s proving popular is ‘will the track record be broken?’. It’s a pretty tight market but YES has been the one punters have wanted to be on and is now a 5/4 chance. If you’re backing this market the magic number to lower is 29.16 ! LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ Look out too for the ‘fastest sectional’. Last week on RPGTV I was joined in the studio by Steve Anderson who will take Bramble Milburn to the Derby. This dog has blistering early (albeit he will want the line coming home) and could be a good bet (according to Steve) at a decent price to clock the fastest time to the post first time up the home straight. Definitely a bet to consider! 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
Kevin Hutton is the Star Sports defending Derby champion having won his first ever Greyhound Derby at Towcester last year with superstar dog Dorotas Wildcat. Now the Derby moves to Nottingham and ‘Cat-mandoo’ will be back to defend his crown, backed up by a very smart team.
Ballymac Osby was one of the dogs stolen from the Hutton kennel this time last year and came back in the worst state – it was touch and go for a while. He has gone on to become a very nice dog and heads into the Derby as a lively 50/1 chance.
Kevin hasn’t had Kingsbrook Glyn in his hands very long, in fact the first round of the Derby will be just his second race for the kennel. He’s a youngster who looks to have a very big future over slightly further distances than the 500m at Nottingham but, as a staying sort who will handle the trip and the rigours of a Derby, he takes his chance this week.
The 2018 Star Sports Greyhound Derby winner was a very classy champion. Since then he has won the Eclipse at Nottingham, a track he loves. He’s also been on stud duty but has returned to racing, Kevin believes, as good as ever. He is the fastest dog to go round Nottingham so far in pre-Derby trials and races and is the Star Sports ante-post favourite.
This dog has been on a real journey. He was entered into last years Derby at Towcester but went out of the competition in the second round. Following that, he crossed the pond for a tilt at the Irish Derby, eventually finishing second in the final. Things haven’t been straight forward since but the dog looks great and Kevin tells us why he thinks this dog has a real chance of winning the Derby.
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.