THE GREYHOUND WEEK BLOG: Julie Collier

THE GREYHOUND WEEK BLOG: Julie Collier with all the latest news from the world of greyhound racing – including Friday’s news of the dates of the Star Sports sponsored Greyhound Derby at Nottingham and a plethora of competitions this week.


➡️ The dates for the Star Sports Greyhound derby have been announced! The competition will kick off on the 10th and 11th of April 2020 with the final on May 16th. With the dates being earlier than last year it means it’s SIX months away!! Happy days… LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS

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There are so many competitions this week!!

➡️ The Kent St Leger Final over 714m at Crayford on Saturday night saw Mark Wallis back on top of the Trainers Championship, as Antigua Fire landed the spoils. Sheldan was well-backed for the final, eventually going off favourite. But Antigua Fire was always handy on the shoulder of leader Roxholme Dolly and always looked to be in a dangerous position with Sheldan playing catch-up. Antigua Fire stayed on well to score by four and a half lengths in 44.96sec, with Brigadier Bullet giving Wallis a one-two. Later that night, Wallis and Antigua Fire’s owners Nic and Amanda Jeal were quickly back in the presentation area, when their 380m track record holder, Brinkleys Poet won his six-bend debut ahead of the Gold Collar at the track he loves. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS

➡️ Forest Alan won the Kent Derby at Central Park on Sunday night for a thrilled set of owners, the New Forest Lads and his trainer Seamus Cahill (presentation pictured above). Alan outstayed the favourite, Patrick Janssen’s Bockos Doomie, who had led and battled well but ultimately lost out by half a length with Forest Alan taking the £7,500 final in 29.00sec. The result also meant that Patrick missed out on going back above rival Mark Wallis in the Trainers Championship after he took the lead on Saturday night (see above). LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS

➡️ The Scurry got underway on Saturday night over 260m at Belle Vue. Wall Garden was the fastest heat winner (15.08sec) for trainer David Mullins, returned at 10/1! It was some compensation for Mullins, after his defending champion Troy Bella was eliminated behind Angela Harrison’s Droopys Reel (15.18sec.) Tree Top Jet was another heat winner in 15.14sec and is still my value bet albeit now shortened to 9/2 with Star Sports. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS

➡️ It feels like British-Bred competitions are coming thick and fast at the moment. The latest is the BGBF Breeders Stakes at Nottingham over the 500m trip, the heats of which were on Monday and provided another occasion for Liz McNair to shine, as she landed a treble! Perhaps most impressive of the three was Swindon Produce champ, King Sheeran, who won by 12 lengths, returned 1/4f beating Saving Sonic. King Turbo had a tougher race but managed to oblige, as did King Lennon who put in a strong-running victory, reversing the Northern Plate final form with Witton Derecho by over six lengths. All three King dogs have drawn separate semi-finals. Salacres Barley also won his heat for Peter Harnden, as did two of the 2018 finalists, Heather Dimmock’s Down To The Felt and Alan Newitt’s veteran, Carn Brae. The three ‘Kings’ head the betting with Sheeran favourite at 6/4, Turbo 4/1 and Lennon, 9/2. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS

➡️ There was some unwelcome drama in the heats of the Yorkshire St Leger at Doncaster on Wednesday night. In heat three, Pond Natalya broke from trap 1 and moved left which saw her running on the inside of the inside rail due to a huge gap right next to the traps! The bitch ran across the inside of the track, eventually re-joining the field on the home straight with quite an impressive hurdle of the rail. The hare had already been stopped and obviously the race void. Thank goodness all dogs were reported to be ok. The re-run will be the first race on Saturday’s card and Harry William’s has confirmed that Pond Natalya will take her place. Kevin Boon can’t make it to the track on Saturday so his Leemount Venus will be a non-runner and David Mullins’ Piemans Noelle in a 50/50 chance to run, the concern for him being the resulting quick runs. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS

➡️ In the heats that were completed, a morning gamble proved spot on when Lauren Sawyer’s Good Karma, backed from 12/1 into 4/1, held off Droopys Live in the first heat clocking 42.04sec. Sheldan was back in action again and finished second to a tiring Sonic Spur, who won for Chris Akers in 42.08sec. Goldies Hotspur is still going strong, the January 2015 bitch leading on the run home to beat Brigadier Bullet by over two lengths in 42.68sec. Defending champion Roxholme Poppy put in an impressive run for Hayley Keightley, leading at the third bend and going on to score by nearly seven lengths in 41.85sec. And Antigua Fire added to what has been a cracking week when he won the final heat in a fastest of the round 41.67sec beating Affleck Bolt by over five lengths. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS

➡️ Star Sports Derby finalist Skywalker Logan has been in action again in Ireland, this time over 600m. He won his heat of the minor competition in 32.23sec and gets trap 4 in the final at the weekend. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS

➡️ The All England Cup started at Newcastle on Thursday night with some super hot heats, none less so than the first, where Droopys Verve looked to be in great form when beating Roxholme Glory in 28.40sec, returned 5/4F. Angela Harrison will be thrilled to see Verve back performing at his best and also that she landed a nice double, with Droopys Nadal also winning his heat (28.70sec). The fastest time of the round and perhaps the most impressive performance to the eye, came from Steve Andersen’s Bramble Reggie. He flew the lids from trap 4 clocking 28.22sec and winning by almost four lengths from Forest Jason. It was a mixed night for Steve Andersen as his Bramble Milburn sadly went wrong later in the night. Jimmy Fenwick sent out the first three in heat five, his star dog and Puppy Classic champion, Ice On Fire winning in 28.28sec when 2/5F. Debbie Calvert also got on the winners rostrum with her Payyaway Kane overcoming trouble at the first bend to beat Grogeen Country in 28.63sec. What a competition this one is! LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS

➡️ On a lighter note, I am really proud that my retired racing greyhound Lola will be starring in Battersea’s new advertising campaign. The first advert will air tomorrow night on ITV in the second break during the X-Factor, around 9.05pm. Battersea wanted to challenge the perception that greyhounds need a lot of exercise and so Lola is doing what she does best – snoozing! Fingers crossed it will help to get a few more people to consider a greyhound as a pet. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS