STAR SPORTS GREYHOUND DERBY: In her fifth weekly countdown blog to the big race, Julie Collier has news on Easter Cup winner Clona Blaze and now Nottingham on the agenda, King Turbo plans still fluid, Mark Wallis searches for Derby contender and all hands to the deck at Nottingham in preparation for the big night.
➡️ Clona Blaze won the Easter Cup at Shelbourne Park last Saturday night in a time of 29.37 for trainer Graham Holland and his wife Nicky had the 1-2 with Clonbrien Prince finishing a neck behind, in what was a thrilling final. Kevin O’Brien, whose young son (also Kevin) owns Clona Blaze is feeling understandably bullish ahead of the Star Sports Derby exclaiming ‘we want to bring it home!’ Holland, who sent out six winners on the night, confirmed that Nottingham is in his plans for all three of his Easter Cup finalists saying ‘these are all very good dogs.’ Yep, we agree! LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ King Turbo was the winner of the Hove Winter Derby last week beating Sporting Dave by 3 lengths in 28.46 (-20). Having won four category 1 finals last year, Turbo wasted no time at all in getting the first of 2019 on the board with a dominant performance, breaking well from trap 1 and making all. Turbo wasn’t allowed to run in last years Star Sports Derby after being disqualified in a race as a pup. Now the rules have been changed allowing him to take his place if connections so wish… However, plans for the dog are still fluid with training duo Liz and Rab McNair and owner Brendan Keogh said to be undecided as to whether or not the dog will be aimed at Nottingham . Watch this space… LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ Confirmation has come through from Mark Wallis that last years Star Sports Derby finalist Bruisers Bullet has been retired. In fact, he’s already found a forever home in Scotland! The kennel star sustained damage to ligaments in his wrist after a handslip at Monmore and that was enough for connections to call it a day. He did stop off for a quick visit to Merefield Stud on his way up north though and Mark believes he will be a hit at stud. That retirement unbelievably leaves the Wallis camp short of a single derby contender right now. Surely something will materialise in the hands of the Champion Trainer? LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ Nottingham Stadium have announced they will not race on the evening of Friday June 28th, the night before the Star Sports Greyhound Derby Final. All hands will be on track (so to speak) to ensure that everything runs smoothly on the big night. Nottingham’s regular Friday night meeting will instead be moved to Sunderland and broadcast on RPGTV. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ Keep an eye on Geelo Whiskey. He’s a dog that has been bought by owner Nick Brereton and trainer Carl Perry specifically with the Star Sports Derby in mind. The March 2016 son of Tullymurry Act won his first race at Sheffield last week and although he needs to come forward on what he has shown so far, he has only had three races under Carl, who believes there is plenty of scope for improvement. He will now solely be aimed at Nottingham with the Star Sports Derby in mind. Incidentally, from the same kennel, Geelo Blissful also looks to be shaping up nicely running a huge race to finish second after finding trouble on what was her first race of the year and then following up with a win at the new home of the Derby. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
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.