STAR SPORTS GREYHOUND DERBY FINAL BLOG: Julie Collier with all the latest news heading into the final at Nottingham on Saturday including the latest interviews.
➡️ So it’s arrived. The Star Sports Greyhound Derby Final has come around really quickly, despite the competition being a week longer this year, as all rounds were held a week apart. There is less than 35 seconds remaining of this years renewal…with £100,000 at stake. There is still very much all to play for. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ The Star Sports Derby lunch, or afternoon tea to be more precise, at The Ritz was a big hit with connections of the six finalists. It seemed befitting to have what is essentially a press day for the most iconic greyhound race in the world, held at London’s most iconic hotel. It felt special, just as the Derby lunch should. Of course the occasion was made even more of an event because the draw was made. My buddy Ryan Sidebottom did the honours and I’d left him under no illusion as to how important it was, particularly this year, with six unseeded runners going into the hat. Despite that, the first dog he pulled out was Magical Bale (pictured) who will race from trap 1 in the final, the one box Kevin Hutton did not want. I can’t remember the last time nobody wanted traps 1 or 6 in a Derby final! But if you add together the wins of the two traps throughout the Derby so far, it still comes to less than the wins of traps two or four individually. Add to that the long-standing bias against trap 1 in Derby finals – Wimbledon famously ran 26 consecutive finals without a winner in red. It has all been enough to ensure that Magical Bale won’t be starting the race odds-on anyway. It’s fair to say the draw has thrown the race wide open. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ Star Sports are offering an industry best price about Magical Bale for the final, he is currently 6/4 to keep the Derby trophy in the Hutton camp. There are no losers in the book for the final which is good news for the sponsor, though Droopy’s Expert would be their worst result. Have a look at Star’s special markets too including betting on which dog will finish last. I know they say anything can happen in a final but does Bale to come last at 10/1 appeal to you? Ballymac Tas heads that market at 6/4. Bale is understandably favourite to clock the fastest sectional in the race whilst the fastest time bracket 29.20 – 29.29 is favourite at 6/4. Personally I feel there is some value in that market in the slightly slower times. Lets not forget these dogs have had a tough Derby campaign! Have a look at all the betting options at starsports.bet. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ The power of social media was in full swing on Sunday and the peoples demands have been put into action by Nottingham. Now retired, defending champion Dorotas Wildcat will parade in front of his public once more as he leads of the Derby parade. It will no doubt be an extremely emotional moment for Kevin Hutton who will be in behind with Magical Bale and of course, the main lady in Catmando’s life, Donna Witchell’s. I am sure they will be shown a huge amount of appreciation by the Nottingham crowd. I will be right there with the RPGTV cameras to get you the best footage of the occasion. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ Peter Harnden was at the Ritz with his sister, representing Liam Dowling who has been residing with Peter during the competition. Peter told everyone how much he has enjoyed the Derby ride alongside Liam and how special it has been. Then, as he left the ‘do’, he bumped into racings man of the moment, Frankie Dettori! Frankie apparently said how much he loves dog racing. It would be great if we could possibly try to get people like that along to the Derby, or any meeting, to help promote our sport. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ The Greyhound Star have had their stopwatches out again! There is no surprise to report that in last weeks semi-finals, Magical Bale was the fastest to halfway and Skywalker Logan was fastest from the halfway point. Derby favourite Bale was about three quarters of a length quicker to halfway than the second favourite, Clonbrien Prince though Graham Holland’s runner was just over a length quicker from halfway to home. From half way, Bale’s half brother Skywalker Logan takes a minimum of two lengths out of the field. That gets the juices flowing even more! LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ Many of us have been living and breathing the Star Sports Derby for months now and none more so than Nottingham’s joint racing manager, Jason Smith. Jason has fancied Clonbrien Prince to win the Derby since his first trial at the track and isn’t deserting the most fancied of the Irish runners now. ‘I think Droopy’s Expert in trap 5 will move to the rails and Skywalker Logan wants trap 1, which could leave Clonbrien Prince with a clear’ is his prediction of what will happen. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ Make sure you have a listen to the interviews I’ve done this week with Angela Harrison and Liam Dowling. Both offer helpful insights into the state of play with their respective finalists and opinions on whether or not trap 1 suits Bale is massively divided, many think it’s the perfect draw! Only time will tell… LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
➡️ The Irish certainly have a strong hand with four of the finalists. Last time and the only previous time that has happened in 2016, the trophy was on the boat back with them in the paws of Jaytee Jet. Will history repeat itself? The odds may be against the English dogs. But, we do still have the favourite!! LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS
And with that, we are all set. First and foremost I hope that all dogs come off safe and sound. I hope it’s a race to savour and that it produces a true Derby champion. Good luck to all connections.
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.