STAR SPORTS GREYHOUND DERBY: Semi-Final Preview Blog

STAR SPORTS GREYHOUND DERBY SATURDAY BLOG: Julie Collier with all the latest news heading into the semi-finals from Nottingham tonight including an interview with Kevin Hutton.


➡️ We are so lucky to have had a dog as good as Dorotas Wildcat (pictured below) to watch and enjoy over the last couple of years. There is no arguing that he is an exceptional greyhound and come what may, the chances are, he has a maximum of two races left. So savour every moment, not just during the race but have a good look at him in the paddock and on parade too. You would struggle to find a finer looking dog. Have a listen to my interview to hear the latest from trainer Kevin Hutton (below) as he heads into the Star Sports Derby semi-finals tonight with the first two in the betting – and they go head to head drawn alongside each other in the first semi-final. Wildcat is still favourite with Star at 100/30, Magical Bale, now favourite with some bookmakers, is 7/2. Neither of them looked particularly phased by it all this week! LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS

➡️ Irish raider Ballyanne Sim has already given his owner Eamon Cleary one of the highlights of his life by winning the Irish Derby final last year. Eamon has been patiently waiting for Ballyanne Sim to find his trapping boots, which he finally did on Saturday night in the quarter-finals. Now, he just needs to stay a little bit better as well…and therein lies the challenge of great greyhound trainers – how to get a dog to trap and stay! It’s a conundrum that trainer Mark Robinson is having to work on with Ballyanne Sim. Racing weight is certainly a factor and Eamon this week explained that Sim is racing about a pound heavier this year than last. People said the same things about Sim during his Irish Derby campaign, that he didn’t stay. He certainly stayed when it mattered! Can history repeat itself at Nottingham? LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS

➡️ Rab McNair has been speaking this week about the kennels amazing achievement of getting a litter brother and sister through to the Derby semi-finals. Rab says this is a bigger achievement than any of their previous category 1 wins, in part, because the pups were home bred and reared. He said ‘its so much more satisfying to have bought these pups into the world and seen them progress so far, than win any race with a dog you might have bought for £20-30,000.’ Frankly, with the brood bitches and sires the kennel now have and proven track record in producing top notch hounds, I don’t think they will ever need to buy again! Rab has such admiration for the great Nick Savva. Well, I bet Savva is watching on now wishing he had a litter as good as King Sheeran and Queen Beyonce! The two of them should be spoken about in the same way in my opinion. Whether Liz and Rab McNair win the Derby this year or not, I have no doubt they will in the not too distant future. And maybe like Savva, three will come along at once! Rab also said this week that he isn’t feeling any pressure. Now that is one statement I’m not sure I believe. How can you not? Especially when you want it as much as he does… keep an eye on him on parade talking to his dogs, telling them they are champions. He’s also warned off any reporters from going near him if he gets eliminated. Noted Rab, noted. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS

➡️ Kevin Hennessy, Assistant to his Dad, Paul, has reported all to be well with the kennels Star Sports Derby semi-finalist’s Jaytee Taylor and Priceless Blake. On the face of it, a trap 5 draw for Blake may not appear ideal but Kevin is delighted with the way it has worked out saying ‘he trapped great and went straight up from trap 4 so I think he’ll do the same from trap 5. He will only cut in at the corner. The tightest railer left in the Derby (Ballyanne Sim) is in 4 and Sheeran will stay very wide (from trap 6) so I think when you see the head on after the race, Blake will have a meter either side of him so I am hopeful if he gets a decent start he will run a big race.’ He also reports Jaytee Taylor to be ‘100%’ and raring to go. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS

➡️ Ballymac Tas is the rank outsider of the remaining Derby contenders but her trainer Liam Dowling says he is travelling to Nottingham with ‘more than hope’. He pointed out that her times have been getting better, despite the fact she hasn’t really run Nottingham great. Dare I, at this stage, flag up a potential contender for the 2020 Derby from the Dowling kennel in the shape of Ballymac Cooper. The Champion Unraced winner made his Shelbourne Park debut at the weekend and seriously impressed clocking 29.29. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS

➡️ The Greyhound Star have been having a little look at some stats and facts again this week. It makes for interesting reading and highlights the trapping ability and early pace of Magical Bale (pictured) nicely. He occupies two of the top four spots for fastest sectionals in this years Star Sports greyhound Derby including a 4.88 which equaled the best efforts of Droopys Nadal and Braveheart Bobby. Also up there is Ballyanne Sim who managed a 4.90 in the quarter-finals, Roxholme Glory has a 4.93 and Clonbrien Prince with a best effort of 4.94. In terms of half-way sectionals, Magical Bale again tops the list reaching 250 meters in 14.55 seconds. Then, if we start to look at the second half of the race, Skywalker Logan and Jaytee Taylor share the spoils, between them taking the top 4 places, Logan just quicker with 14.33 and Jaytee Taylor best effort at 14.38. It’s s reminder of what an epic final we could be in for. There is no doubt there will be an abundance of early in the final being chased down by Taylor and Logan maybe…the mouth waters!! LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS

➡️ Mark Wallis has had a disappointing Derby campaign by his high standards. That said, I have no doubt he is going to pop up with plenty of winners in the supporting races starting tonight and indeed in the supporting races Derby final night. This week, when pushed, he said that Magical Bale is his idea of a Derby winner. He also gave credit to Kevin Hutton for getting Wildcat back to his peak in what is his third season of racing. A credit to both dog and trainer. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS

➡️ Owners with dogs running tonight are being offered a 30% discount on restaurant packages at Nottingham. So if you’re an owner and you fancy a nice three course meal on the night, make sure you take advantage! LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS

➡️ Yes yes Ian Fortune… he tweeted this week to say ‘we are here and we mean business.’ May I just take this opportunity to remind him that we (English) still have the first two in the betting! Bring it on Ian, bring it on… LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS

So, the semi-finals are upon us. For six sets of connections, dreams will come true. I genuinely wish everyone the best of luck. Safe and sound to all dogs and may the best of them get through.


LATEST VIDEOS


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
https://starsports.bet/event/greyhoundracing/228423/greyhound-derby-2019/ante-post

You can also download the Star Sports App, full details at:
https://www.starsportsbet.co.uk/new-the-star-sports-app/


STAR SPORTS GREYHOUND DERBY 2019

LEADING ENGLISH CONTENDERS


LEADING IRISH CONTENDERS


IRISH OUTSIDERS


ENGLISH OUTSIDERS


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

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.


KINGSBROOK GLYN

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.


DOROTAS WILDCAT

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.


MAGICAL BALE

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

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

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.


BOYLESPORTS XTRA

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

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.


JAYTEE JERRY

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

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!


SEAGLASS TIGER

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.


SEAGLASS PHANTOM

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.’


DESPERADO DAN

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.


DROOPYS BIKER

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.


GOLDIES GINOLA

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.


WORSEFORWEAR

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

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.


COOLAVANNY ABOUT

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

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

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.


JACKS TORNADO

A 28.20 dog at Shelbourne and a brother to Crossfield Con. A big brindle boy who can definitely run.


LEMON EXPRESS

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

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.


ANTIGUA ROMEO

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.


ALIEN SEA

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.


NOELLES PHELPSO

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

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.


PIEMANS STAR

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

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

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

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

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.


DROOPYS EXPERT

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.


DROOPYS VERVE

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.


MATT REDMAN

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

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.


ANTIGUA ROMEO

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

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.