STAR SPORTS GREYHOUND DERBY: Just 12 dogs remain and one will be crowned 2019 Star Sports Greyhound Derby Winner. Julie Collier with all the latest news on the semi-final draw and the quarter-final action from Nottingham.
➡️ I keep thinking the racing in each round of the Star Sports Derby can’t be as good as the previous round. But it keeps delivering! I was at Nottingham for the quarter-finals on Saturday night working for RPGTV. We tried something new, our reports are now completely live plus we have a reporter and presenter as well as an extra camera. We are basically trying to get as close to the old Sky Sports style programme without any of the budget! The feedback I’ve heard so far has been excellent and we will continue to work to make it even better! LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ Something struck me Saturday night. So many of the trainers love a laugh and a joke and there has been a lot of banter during this years Derby. But once they have their hands on their dogs and are parading, the professionalism is amazing. They are fully focused on that dog and getting them through to the next round of the Derby. I was in the middle of the track pre-race and it’s actually very quiet when the dogs are milling around and heading towards the traps, its really intense! And once again, it shows how much it means to everyone involved. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ I was sad to see Droopys Verve go out of the Star Sports Derby on Saturday night. We all want the good dogs to progress, which they have for the most part, but Verve was the biggest name casualty of the quarter-finals. His flying time in the third round showed what he is still capable of and I had hoped the penny had dropped so to speak. But sadly, it wasn’t to be. A bitterly disappointed Jimmy Wright said after the race ‘thats racing, he looked set to at least qualify, if not win, then got knocked back to last.’ It must have been tough for Angela Harrison coming straight back out to parade Droopys Expert but he is safely through and is doing them proud. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ Mark and Hayley Keightley have Roxholme Glory through to the semi-finals on Saturday, they lost Roxholme Jim from the competition in the same race. It’s been a really tough time for the kennel as Mark’s mum sadly passed away, the funeral was on Friday. Being part of the Derby at these later stages is hopefully helping to lift their spirits a little and who knows, Mark’s mum loved the dogs so maybe they have an extra helping hand up there now. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ Well done to Kevin Hutton getting his two runners through to the Star Sports Derby semi-finals. Both defending champion Dorotas Wildcat and Magical Bale are looking like they are at the top of their game and both have very realistic chances of winning the Derby. It’s a shame they’ve been drawn in the same heat alongside each other, Wildcat on the outside of Bale. There were loud groans at the draw when Wildcat’s name came out! One Star Sports punter has certainly taken a view on the race and has bet £2,000 Magical Bale to win the Derby at 4/1. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ Not only have the kennel mates been drawn together, so have the two bitches, Ballymac Tas and Queen Beyonce (pictured below). Of the two, Beyonce looks like she could beat anything right now and I was particularly taken with her performance on Saturday night. To come from behind an Irish Derby winner is some feat! Rab gives her plenty of cuddles and ear rubs on parade and she is paying him back ten-fold. Hers is a story we will be able to follow for years to come as she will head into their breeding paddocks once her racing career is over. For now though, if anybody out there has any way of contacting THE Beyonce to see if she is interested in whats happening at Nottingham right now, do let me know. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ I interviewed Patrick Guilfoyle again on Saturday night – he is such a nice man and he thinks the world of his dog Skywalker Logan. He is also convinced the dog is clever rather than lucky in how he finds a bit of room to manoeuvre when needed. He managed to run on to qualify on Saturday night. EVERYONE involved in the Derby would give their right arm just for qualification at this stage. Logan certainly still has his supporters. On Saturday night Star Sports Martin Chapman layed £500 at 10/1 for Logan to win the Derby. If he can get to the final, he could have a big say. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ I love the little bits you get to see when you’re lucky enough to be as close to the dogs as I am, I am very lucky. There was a nice moment on parade with Nicky Holland and Nice Charmer (who subsequently went out of the Derby). He couldn’t have looked at her more adoringly and gently nuzzled into her when she stopped stroking his chin for a moment. He had pet written all over him; ‘charming by name, charming by nature’ was NIcky’s comment! Then I saw him at the pick-up! He wasn’t interested in the decoy hare, he wanted the real thing with a vengeance! He pulled off the box and got it! Not so charming post-race perhaps… LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ The ‘fastest to halfway’ stats (provided by The Greyhound Star) from the quarter-finals make for interesting reading. There is no surprise that Magical Bale clocked the fastest sectional to half way after his joint fastest of the competition 4.88 split. Next was Ballyanne Sim, then Droopys Expert, Dorotas Wildcat and Priceless Blake. All five of them are drawn in the same semi-final on Saturday! As they say, early pace wins the race…or in this case, exceptional early pace could win the race… LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
I’m sure by now, many if not all the dogs left in the Derby have a little niggle here and there. For any trainers reading this, I hope you all have a good week with your dogs. Just one race left and you could be in the final of the greatest greyhound race in the world.
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.