STAR SPORTS GREYHOUND DERBY: What a Friday night it was at Nottingham! All the big names went through to the quarter-finals making this a seriously high quality Derby……
➡️ The big controversy of the third round was the disqualification of Swift Jim after he had managed to finish second for trainer Susan Watson. Unfortunately on his way to qualification he had a good look at Dower Rory on the run to the line – not the way you want to go out of the Derby and I feel very sorry for connections who have described themselves as ‘astounded’. Rumblings began on social media that the fourth placed dog in that heat, Liberty Hawk should take what was now a ‘spare’ place in the quarter-finals. But that is against the rules and so was never a possibility. Then…more drama!! In heat 7 there was a dead heat for third place between Front Edge and King Sheeran. The rules meant that a fourth placed dog is not allowed to go through but did allow a solution to the dead heat scenario. The connections of the two dogs in question were leaning towards a run-off for a place in the next round. But since the losing dog would then automatically stand-by as a reserve, the Greyhound Board ruled the solution was to put them both through. Common sense prevailed in my opinion, the drama adding an extra test to this year’s Star Sports Derby. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ Dorotas Wildcat (pictured) has shortened to 4/1 favourite with Star Sports. The defending champion showed his trademark early with a 4.95 sectional, winning in 29.28 (+30). That was the first of a few flying times on the night, including last year’s Star Sports Derby runner-up Droopys Verve, who showed what trainers Angela Harrison and Jimmy Wright have said all along; Verve is as good as he has ever been. He won heat two in 29.14 (two spots inside the old track record) and is still available at 8/1 with Star Sports, fourth in the betting. Clonbrien Prince laid down his claim to potentially being the most dangerous of the Irish runners winning heat three in 29.19. He is now second favourite, 6/1. Magical Bale finished off the third round by demonstrating how good a form he is in, showing scintillating speed off the second bend, clocking a 29.22 win. He is now third favourite 7/1. How on earth do you pick from those four alone!? My feeling is that IF they can all make it to the final, so much of this year’s Derby will depend on the draw… LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ All the connections heading into the Star Sports Derby quarter-finals will be enjoying the ride I’m sure, and so they must. This sport is full of ups and downs as Stuart Buckland experienced over the weekend. He has his second ever Derby quarter-finalist in Dower Rory who ran brilliantly to win his third round heat Friday night, much to the delight of the kennel. Come Saturday night, their up and coming kennel star Ballymac Pat broke a metatarsal in a race at Monmore. Hopefully Rory can put the smile back on their faces on Saturday – have a listen to my interview with trainer Stuart Buckland for his thoughts on the dog and how far he can go. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ There is SO much debate around Skywalker Logan, the Irish runner who came over to Nottingham and broke the track record in the first round. He broke well enough in the third round heat but met the HUGE Volcanic Reef at the bend and took a hefty bump, but still ran on well to qualify, much to the delight and relief of trainer Pat Guilfoyle. He said ‘that turned into a battle. He had been a touch off-colour earlier in the week too.’ Perhaps, that wasn’t Skywalker Logan at his best then. It’s an intriguing debate in that opinion is very divided about the dog. When I presented RPGTV last week, some viewers rate the dog as exceptionally special – able to ping at times or come from well off the pace. Indeed some commented on social media, that with the way the track was running Friday night, if Logan had managed to clear at the bend, he may have been the first ever dog to break 29 seconds at the track. Other viewers think he can’t produce those sorts of performances week in, week out, in a competition, or that he simply hasn’t got the early to win. My view (for what it’s worth) is that this IS a special dog that we should celebrate. I’m not sure why people are looking to knock him. I would love to see him in the final. But I do think he may need a little more luck in the draw and in running than others if he were to WIN the Derby. He may be able to withstand being knocked sideways at the first bend and run on for second or third, but to pick up some of the front runners we saw on Friday night is a big ask. But who knows! For me, he is a class act. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ Another Irish runner not to underestimate is Paganini Show. He’s only a July 2017, the joint youngest in the competition (along with Front Edge) and we can literally see him improving before our eyes. Pat Buckley is happy with his draw moving out to trap 3 in his quarter-final and says the dog is in great form. He’s 25/1 with Star Sports. Buckley knows what is takes and is giving it everything. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ In the Star Sports offices, the money keeps coming for Worseforwear, despite him finishing third to Priceless Blake after being crowded on the run up to the bend. At Nottingham on Friday, with there being five out of eight favourites obliging, it was a losing night for Star with Lofty at the helm. Steady business and happy punters! LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ Irish broadcaster Ian Fortune has been impressed with the Star Sports Derby so far. He tweeted:
I couldn’t have put it better myself…at least not within the constraints of one tweet! LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ We’ve been left with 19 unseeded runners for the quarter-finals, three middle and just two wides. The draw worked out well and I’m sure we are set for more drama come Saturday night. It may be the case that almost half the dogs left are Irish but we have last years 1-2, as well as Magical Bale, so I still think the trophy will stay on our shores. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
I’ll be heading to Nottingham Saturday and I can’t wait!
➡️ By the way, if you’re not lucky enough to be heading to The Ritz for the Star Sports Derby draw and afternoon tea on June 24th, you still don’t need to miss a beat. Star Sports will be bringing you all the action LIVE as it happens via our blog www.starsportsbet.co.uk/derbylunch/ We will also be streaming the draw live, via twitter @starsports_bet plus I’ll be interviewing connections and will bring you all the latest news and reaction – as it happens.
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.