AUTHOR: Star Sports Content


THE GREYHOUND WEEK BLOG: Julie Collier with all the latest news from the world of greyhound racing…..

➡️ For those looking for Derby clues, there was a very interesting trial session at Newcastle on Thursday night. Star Sports Derby ante post favourite, Ice On Fire continued his Derby preparation with a 28.69sec trial, following on from the 28.72sec he set last week on his first outing. The 28.69sec was matched by Angela Harrison’s Droopys Trapper and bettered by his kennel mate, Droopys Pilot who went round in 28.68sec. Quickest of the session was Fenwick’s Northern Puppy Derby runner-up, Look Like Power who is an extremely exciting dog – he clocked 28.67sec. Also catching the eye was Angela Harrison’s Droopys Verve who was having his first trial following a toe operation. He clocked an impressive 16.95sec over the 290m. He will be a veteran in June but may well have a third Derby campaign ahead of him! Ice On Fire is still 10/1 ante post with Star Sports. Droopys Trapper is 125/1, Droopys Pilot is 250/1, Look Like Power comes in at 125/1 and Droopys Verve is priced at 66/1.

➡️ Priceless Blake, the 2019 Star Sports Derby champion has been nominated alongside Irish Derby hero Lenson Bocko and Laurels winner Rockbay Foley, to be Dog of the Year at the Irish National Greyhound Awards. Unlike our GBGB awards where Irish wins are not counted, UK wins by Irish dogs are taken into consideration when deciding the Irish awards. Blake trialled at the weekend at Shelbourne Park and clocked 28.52sec. That time was matched to the spot by kennel mate Jaytee Taylor. Priceless Blake is 50/1 to defend his Derby title. Jaytee Taylor is also a 50/1 chance.

➡️ Dolores Ruth trialled her Boylesports King at Shelbourne on Saturday night – his first run back since he was runner up in the Irish Derby and he clocked an impressive 28.21sec. Dolores confirmed that the Star Sports Derby is his target and he looks a force to be reckoned with. Rightly so, Dolores treated King to a McFlurry from McDonalds on the way home and he was loving it! Boylesports King is 40/1 with Star Sports ante post.

➡️ It’s still anyone’s guess how many dogs will be coming over from Ireland for the Star Sports Derby with the valuable Con Kirby clashing. The Con Kirby has, in my opinion, always been a real yardstick of a good dog with the likes of Droopys Roddick winning it and going on to finish second in the English Derby. Irish Derby winner Lenson Bocko is, however, one confirmed runner for Graham Holland and he also trialled at Shelbourne at the weekend, moving well and posting 18.52sec for the 350 yard trip. Lenson Bocko is 14/1 ante post.

➡️ Ernie’ Gaskin’s Roman Empire has made a stunning comeback to racing following treatment for a broken hock and it all continued on Saturday night at Monmore. The dog has now been stepped up to six bends and clocked 37.22sec (-20) when comfortably putting to bed a classy field that included the likes of Velvet Juliet. As a staying type, you would think he would be perfectly suited to the Derby at Nottingham but at the moment, connections are thinking the dog doesn’t have enough early pace and are likely to swerve the competition. They may head to Sheffield to take on Ice On Fire if they were to get an invite for the Juvenile. Whatever route, Ernie decides, I think this dog still has a big year ahead of him.

➡️ Also at Monmore, Kim Billingham’s Ballymac Miscula proved she is still a bitch to be reckoned with. She’s on the comeback trail following injury and won what was her fourth race back clocking 27.96sec beating hot favourite, Levante Beach by two lengths. Ballymac Miscula is 125/1 ante post for the Star Sports Derby, Levante Beach is an 80/1 chance.

➡️ There were worrying scenes for anyone who has backed pup Droopys Addition for the Star Sports Derby as he took a tumble in his race when sent off 8/11f. However the Trafalgar Cup winner was reported to be none the worse for wear the next day by Ernie Gaskin. He is still a 40/1 chance for the Star Sports Derby.

➡️ We may be in the depths of winter but the Winter Derby at Hove is hot hot hot!! Ironically, just as Matt Dartnall left Hove as a trainer after controversially not having his contract renewed, his Killeacle Gus was the fastest heat winner. Matt acquired the dog from Ken Tester following that trainer’s retirement and he duly obliged by four lengths in 29.16sec after Chris Akers favourite, Sonic Spur, walked out of the boxes but recovered well to take second. He is now 8/1 ante post, Dartnall’s Gus is 13/2.

➡️ Liz and Rab McNair had three of the heat winners and look to have a very strong hand, perhaps most notably in King Sheeran who is holding his form incredibly well. He beat Antigua Romeo in what was perhaps the hottest of the heats, pulling clear at the third bend to win in 29.18sec. King Lennon and Queen Dolly completed the McNair treble. Sheeran is 2/1 ante post favourite with Star Sports, Lennon is 12/1 and Dolly 16/1.

➡️ Druids Busy Man had his comeback race at Central Park on Sunday night following a broken hock. Such was the excitement about this seriously pacey greyhounds return that I was hoping he’d make a very credible part of Kevin Hutton’s Star Sports Derby team. But it wasn’t to be as the worst happened and Busy Man broken down, unusually breaking his other hock on leaving the boxes. Thankfully, he was stopped at the first bend (well done that man). As you would expect of the Hutton camp, he’s received the best of care and is now back in the kennel and bouncing. He will be ready for his forever sofa in due course. Assistant trainer Donna told me that he’s the first greyhound she has even seen having a broken hock strapped up by the track vet that rolled on his back on the vets table for a belly rub!! Sounds like he will make a wonderful pet…

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