GREYHOUND DERBY PREVIEW: The English Greyhound Derby continues on Friday at Towcester. Our expert BARRY CAUL previews heats 11-20. All heats will be streamed LIVE on the BETDAQ website.

Heat 11
Queen Joni and Clonbrien Treaty will take up a significant percentage of the market here. Joni was sensational when scoring around here in a blistering 28:67. That run came off the back of winning the Brighton Belle at Hove breaking the track record in the process. If she can keep starting the way she has it is hard to see her beat. Clonbrien Treaty has some excellent Irish form. He won the Kirby Memorial and St Leger in 2023 as well as this year’s Easter Cup at Shelbourne. He seems to have taken to the track really well in a couple of recent runs. Treaty can sometimes miss the kick and is not always the sharpest of trappers, however, he does possess incredible early pace and moves well down the far side. He will steer a wide course around the opening turns and that could benefit him if he were to mis the kick. Its hard to look past Joni in her current form but the Graham Holland pair of Clonbrien Treaty and Faypoint Sean won’t make life easy. Hopes Hurricane deserves a mention, a greyhound with stunning early pace he could be the key to the race but has yet to win over four bends. He was a finalist in last year’s Irish Sprint Cup at Dundalk when known as Get It Right. He impressed in that event and is an intriguing runner.

Heat 12
Track record holder King Memphis will be all the rage in heat twelve albeit at very skinny odds. Fancied by many to go all the way this year Memphis ran well behind Swords Rex here last week, closing all the way to the line. He can break much quicker and with one of his better starts he will be impossible to beat. Ballymac Finn has long been one of Irelands quickest greyhounds and is holding his form well despite getting no younger. He just didn’t seem to take to this place last year but despite that he still made the semifinal. Finn has only won one from nine this year and needs to show a bit more sparkle if he is to beat King Memphis. Brinkleys Magic was another to go well in this event last year but like Finn he has only won once from ten outings in 2024.Blake Delight will be running on well from halfway and could easily nick a qualifying place.

Heat 13
Hawkfield Blue is my idea of the winner in this. A dog with exceptional Irish form he seems to have gone slightly under the radar. He beat Clonbrien Treaty in a red-hot unraced stake at Shelbourne last year and put in some huge runs against top company thereafter. Blue has been lightly raced this year but ran well behind Swords Rex and King Memphis last time out. He can flash from traps on occasions and his recent runs at the track will stand to him. Last years Irish Derby runner-up Bockos Crystal is another who has been lightly campaigned in 2024. She is a real class act on her day who can start and stay. The lightly raced Droopys Pivotel will be fancied by many in this and looks a greyhound with a bright future, but he faces two seasoned rivals in Hawkfield Blue and Bockos Crystal and cannot afford to make any mistakes.

Heat 14
One of the more open heats on the night where last years semifinalist Burj Khalifa catches the eye. Its safe to say he’s not running as well as he was this time last year and needs to improve on his recent trial efforts. He is returning from a short break and can be expected to come on for his latest outing. It’s not the strongest of heats and he should be thereabouts at the business end. I was at Shelbourne Park last Saturday night and Rapido Bob was an impressive winner for Peter Cronin. He was well supported on the night and beat a decent field. His lack of a spin around here is an obvious concern, but this heat will not take much winning and he is a dog improving with each run.

Heat 15
A five-runner race here with trap six vacant. Romeo Steel looks the one to side with in this from an ideal draw on the fence. He was an impressive winner from this box here when last seen and a repeat would make his hard to beat. His main danger looks to be the lightly raced Ballymac Dapper in two. A greyhound with a beautiful pedigree he too moved well around here on first look and can be expected to come on for that outing. It’s a tricky heat for punters this with Wasted Monday in five not without his chance. He has a vast experience edge over his rivals here and will be looking to use that to his advantage.

Heat 16
Only five will line up once again in heat sixteen where the excellent Swords Rex kicks off his derby campaign. A beaten favorite in last years final when he was paw perfect in every round before missing the break in the biggest race of all. He’s getting no younger but has been lightly raced in recent months and this race has obviously been the target. He impressed when beating King Memphis last week and he will come on a bundle for that outing. Coolavanny Otto is a greyhound with a huge engine and the five-dog race will suit him. Otto lacks a yard of early pace but does pick up the pace from the second bend. Still very lightly raced I expect massive things from Otto during the event, but lowering the colours of Swords Rex in this may just be a step too far too soon.

Heat 17
Mr Chelm is the one to beat in heat seventeen. A star of the track in his youth for Peter Cronin things didn’t go his way when he made the initial switch to the UK. Since he switched back to Peter the dog has rediscovered his best form. Now approaching his fourth birthday age is against him but if his recent trial efforts at Shelbourne and Waterford are to go by, he still has plenty to offer. Mr Chelm has raced around here in the past, so a lack of a recent run does not worry me. Wrighty is a likeable type who has winning form around here over two and four bends and will look to give Mr Chelm most to do. Of the rest Beatties Electra could stay on for a place.

Heat 18
Hawkfield Abbie is much better than she has shown so far around Towcester. Usually a reliable starter when racing in Ireland she has made a mess of the start on a couple of occasions now but do not ignore her if she hits a big price. Antigua Hawk is a greyhound with a big reputation. He was well fancied prior to the start of this year’s Kirby memorial at Limerick but carried no luck in the early rounds of that event. This will be only his fourth start and he has yet to win a race, but his trial form is sensational, and he will get it right sooner rather than later. Ballymac Patriot won the prestigious Juvenile Classic at Tralee and must be respected. Clonroosk Sydney has some top-notch Irish form. He has recently switched kennels and his trial form has been encouraging.

Heat 19
Faypoint Susie and Newinn Port dominate the market in this both representing last years winning trainer Graham Holland. On Irish form there is not a lot between them. Faypoint Susie is the more consistent, but Newinn Port does have flashes of brilliance from time to time. Susie flew from traps to make all last time out whereas Port has been sluggish from boxes on a few occasions. Its not a race I am keen to get involved with, but Faypoint Susie looks the solid option.

Heat 20
Last years champion Gaytime Nemo goes in the final heat on Friday’s session. The brilliant son of Droopys Sydney did everything right when making all to land last years decider. Since then, he has been lightly raced and has failed to win in seven outings. In fairness to the dog, he has raced against only top-class opposition and his trial work between races has been of the highest quality. He was narrowly denied in his latest run around and looks primed to make a winning start to the defense of his title. Bluejig Baron and Bettys Jack both have recent winning form around the track, but Gaytime Nemo should be far too good if anywhere near his best.

Friday’s Best Bets
Heat 13 Hawkfield Blue
Heat 17 Mr Chelm
Heat 20 Gaytime Nemo

Good luck


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