GREYHOUND PREVIEW: With the start of the English Greyhound Derby this week it’s time to try unearthing some remaining value in the ante post market. With most bookmakers paying the first six places, getting one to the final could prove lucrative. In this week’s piece I will put forward five selections at 50s or bigger and give reasons why they may be worth a small each way investment.
Beepers Lariat 60/1 (Droopys Sydney-Beaming Smasher)
Only a June 21 Whelp, Beepers Lariat started off his career by winning a first-round heat of the Juvenile Classic at Tralee in a smart 28:50. He was unlucky to be eliminated in the second round behind Ballymac Marino. His next outing came at Limerick in preparation for the Kirby Memorial, he fluffed his lines in that prep race but was mighty impressive in the first round of the Kirby winning by seven lengths in 28:43 with Storys Law, Romeo Hanzo and Boylesports Vic all well beaten in behind. He impressed yet again in round two beating Scaglietti and Belindas Finn in 28:53. Luck once again deserted him in round three when he was eliminated behind eventual winner Clonbrien Treaty. His final Irish Start came at Limerick when he faced some real stars including Bobsleigh Dream, Romeo Magico and Annagh Bailey. Lariat finished a very respectable third in that contest. He has since had a trial around Towcester clocking 29:37 and was impressive in victory on his race debut last weekend when he overcame a slow start. He powered to the corner before holding Warzone Tom all the way to the line. That was a very likeable performance and there is certainly much more to come from this youngster.
McNeil 100/1 (Jaytee Jet- Home Julie)
McNeil is the son of 2016 Derby Hero Jaytee Jet. A winner on debut at Mullingar, he steadily improved through the grades, always looking like he would be much better when stepped up in distance. He won an A3 contest around Limerick at the back end of last year but has taken his form to a new level in 2023. He gained his first open race victory when coming from of the pace to score at Shelbourne before a fine run behind Ballymac Johnjo over 600 yards at Limerick. He ran the best races of his career when behind the excellent Ballinabola Ed in the RPGTV 600 at Shelbourne recently and has since moved well in a recent trial. His trainer Paul Hennessy has excelled with strong running types in the English Derby in recent years with Priceless Jet, Hello Hammond, and of course Jaytee Jet.
Cryptopunk 100/1 (Dorotas Woo Hoo- Bogger Bonnie)
One of the most consistent greyhounds in training and I implore you to forget his recent run at Towcester. Cryptopunk qualified at Limerick just over a year ago in a flying 28:48 and has raced in the very best open races throughout his career since. He won the 2022 Consolation Irish Derby and the Consolation Irish Laurels in the same year. His most recent win came around Shelbourne Park in March when he posted a stunning 28:17. To put that run into context, only Swords Rex and Stream Of Sydney have gone faster at the Dublin venue this year. Cryptopunk will come on a bundle for his recent run at the track. His trainer Graham Holland took this last year and Punk has been overlooked by bookmakers in my opinion.
Ballymac Walt 100/1 (Ballymac Cashout- Ballymac Diva)
One of the younger greyhounds in the competition, Walt made a stunning racing debut at Tralee when stopping the clock in a blistering 28:12. Only his classy kennel companion Ballymac Marino has gone faster at the Kerry venue this year. Its safe to say Walt has had a couple of niggly issues since that fine debut run. He will need to come forward from his recent trial runs but there’s no doubting his ability. He’s with an ace handler in Liam Dowling and must be showing the right signs at home to merit a tilt at the big one.
Eze 150/1 (Pestana- Ballymac Tam)
Posted some flashy efforts recently, most notably when winning around Swindon on the 23rd of March where he led off the second bend and powered clear for an impressive victory in 28:25. He posted a smart 29:26 first look at Towcester and did show promise despite finishing in rear in a recent Derby trial stake behind Jacktavern Bella. Should be more to come and will improve.