STAR SPORTS GREYHOUND DERBY: In the second weekly countdown blog to the big race, Julie Collier captures the greyhound news this week – including the latest on defending champion Dorotas Wildcat and the growing Anglo-Irish banter.
➡️ Now here is a scary thought…whilst chatting to Kevin Hutton at the weekend he declared this to me – ‘I think The Cat is a better dog this year than last’! He is of course referring to last years Star Sports Derby Champion Dorotas Wildcat who does indeed look to have come back extremely well and I for one am mildly surprised – given the number of bitches he has served and the fact he isn’t getting any younger. But, I don’t doubt Kevin for a minute and given the fact the dog loves Nottingham and is well proven there in top class company, maybe the 14/1 available with starsports.bet should be snapped up now! The Cat goes in heat 3 of the Winter Derby which starts at Hove on Thursday evening. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ Irish Champion Trainer Graham Holland certainly appears to be firing on all cylinders already after sending out no less than 8 winners at Shelbourne Park on Saturday night, including 5 heat winners in the Easter Cup. Amongst them was Slippy Cian who casually reeled in Irish Derby winner Ballymac Sim clocking 29.47 and winning by three and a half lengths. Lenson Blinder was another heat winner for the kennel. Could he be the dog to finally get his owner Len Ponder the Derby trophy he has always dreamed of? LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ There looks set to be some classy bitches entered in this years Derby including Angel of the North Oaks winner Geelo Blissful. She had a sprint trial round Nottingham on Monday night clocking 17.91 (+20) with a view to getting an invitation into the Juvenile. After that, all being well, all roads lead to the Derby. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ The McNair kennel must have been disappointed not to be able to enter their super fast King Turbo in the 2018 Derby after he was disqualified as a puppy. The change to the rules this year will potentially allow him to compete at Nottingham. With a kennel full of dogs bred in the purple you’d expect the McNairs to have a decent hand this year. Owner Brendan Keogh says the best of them, to his eye, is King Dylan, one that he regards as a very exciting prospect. The wry smile that accompanied this statement tells me he is going to be one to watch. Dylan also takes his place in the Winter Derby. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ Irish commentator Ian Fortune has already started the Anglo-Irish Derby banter on social media bullishly declaring #itscominghome. It has to be said, there do appear to be a large number of strong 550 yard dogs racing in Ireland right now. I also can’t help but feel we may have played into Irish paws a little. The track at Nottingham is far more similar to Shelbourne than either Towcester or indeed Wimbledon were. As well as that, the new one race a week format means some trainers will most likely choose to travel and as such, I think there will be more Irish entries this year. Time will tell, it could make for an even better Derby! I am loving the fact the banter has started already! #we’vegotTheCat 😝 LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
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.