GREYHOUND DERBY PREVIEW: The English Greyhound Derby continues on Saturday at Towcester. Our expert BARRY CAUL previews heats 21-31. All heats will be streamed LIVE on the BETDAQ website.

Heat 21
Kingdom Derby winner Road Exile and Droopys Vivacity look the two to focus on in Saturdays opening head. Road Exile mixes sprinting and four bend action in Ireland and he competes with the best around in both disciplines. He has already shown he has the required stamina to see out 480m against top opposition and with a level start here he should race clear to the bend. Droopys Vivacity looks like he will be suited by further in time but is certain to move well from halfway. One at a big price is Foggy Bottom, a model of consistency when trained in Ireland he won more than his fare share against some of Irelands top performers and shouldn’t be ignored rom red at double figure odds.

Heat 22
Last year’s runner up Romeo Command has been installed as short as 1/3 with some firms to win Heat 22. He has been kept to trial work since finishing second behind Signet Goofy in the Blue Riband Final back in January. His recent trial efforts have been solid but not spectacular and at those prohibitive odds I’d much rather be a layer than a player. He should come on for his most recent effort and he has drawn one of the softer heats, but I’d like to see him back to his best before getting involved. Salacres Tipster has shown enough early pace in recent outing to make him interesting at around the 8/1 mark.

Heat 23
2023 Irish Champion Stakes winner Trinity Junior still retains most of his old ability as he showed when winning a hot contest at Shelbourne Park last time out. He will arrive here without a previous race and that must be a concern, but I was impressed with him last time and think he is the one to beat here. Rushy Meadows looks to be his biggest danger, a young bitch with a bright future she finished second in the Puppy Oaks and Shelbourne before emerging a comfortable winner of the ‘Istabraq’ open 525 at Limerick on Kirby Memorial Final night. She has only finished out of the frame on two occasions and should progress into round two.

Heat 24
Ballymac Sargie is absent from trap one in this heat leaving it as a five-runner race. Da Bold Falcon comes here with a huge reputation after impressing early in his career. The absence of a runner on his inside can only aid his cause and he should have no excuses on Saturday night. Rioja Joey and Glengar Martha have a big experience edge over Da Bold Falcon, and both have impressive form to their name. Da Bold Falcon looks a greyhound with Immense potential, and I expect him to take this before going onto bigger and better things.

Heat 25
The return to action of Ballinabola Ed will be one of the features of the night and it’ll be fascinating to see what ability remains. A real star last year Ed undoubtedly has the pace to go far in the event if anywhere near his best. He will need to be at the top of his game on his comeback as High Trend is one of the current stars in Irish Greyhound racing. Last years Irish Laurels winner improved significantly for his initial outing at the track and will take the beating in this for last year’s winning trainer Graham Holland. Beaming Outlaw is likely to move well to the corner but faces his toughest test to date.

Heat 26
Barntick Bear is fancied by many to go a long way in this year’s event and his running style and never say die attitude should see him keep qualifying, but he faces an underrated rival in Ballymac Gizmo this Saturday night. Gizmo stood out in the early rounds of the Shelbourne Open 600 after a highly encouraging trial prior to the event. He carried little luck in the latter stages of the competition but remains of interest. If he can lead up Barntick Bear I find it hard to see anything in this field pick him up and he is sure to come on for his recent trial. King Sydney sets the standard but may have to give way to his less exposed rivals on this occasion.

Heat 27
One of the more open heats of the night and its hard to rule any of these out with confidence. Keefill Goose has the best of the draw and maybe able to use that to his advantage. He won well around here last time and has displayed decent early pace at a variety of different tracks. Slick Sentinel is not without a chance and this lightly raced sort is open to much improvement.

Heat 28
Jaytee Craze was unlucky not to win the recent KAB Maiden Derby final. He was awesome in the semifinals but carried no luck in a messy decider. Craze looks short enough to me in here at around about 4/9. It’s not the strongest heat but he does have a bad habit of missing the start. If he gets it half right at boxes, he is the one to beat but is not for me at that sort of price. Ballymac John has shown flashes of brilliance from time to time is his career and he appeals most in here at the prices.

Heat 29
One of my main ante-post selections Bonjurno Boy goes in Heat 29. A winner on debut around here when making all in 29.15 he then ran well in defeat on a couple of occasions when he had no luck in running. Those outings will stand to him as he gains more experience. Drawn on the outside of Clona Curly in this he should have to much early pace for that rival and can hopefully build up a winning advantage. I doubt we have seen the best of him just yet. Clona Curly will be odds on for this but granted his running style you would have to take him on. Curly can be slow away and that’s not ideal around here.

Heat 30
Its great to see Bens Teddy back in action after he took a bad fall when last seen in action around Shelbourne Park in March. A finalist in the 2023 Irish equivalent it will be interesting to see how he takes to this track. A real powerhouse on his day if he were to take to Towcester he has a live chance. Teddy has a good chance in his heat on Saturday. Merits Inclusion, a recent Kirby Memorial finalist is likely to go up well on the inside. If Teddy can turn relatively close out of the second bend, he should prove to strong late on. Ballymac Senan and Antigua Walt (Formerly Ballymac Walt) have both impressed in recent trials and have chances.

Heat 31
The last of the opening round heats is one of the toughest of the opening rounds. Links Maverick is one of the more fancied English ante post runners and he will be looking to make all in this. I fancy him to do so but there is little margin for error. Superfast Gordon is certainly well named, and he has a good draw in one. Wicky Ned and King Combs are sure to have their supporters and Savana Jackpot will be coming home well from the third bend. I’m sure all connections would just love to come through this heat, but I’ll side with Links Maverick to make all.

Saturday’s Best Bets
Heat 24 Da Bold Falcon
Heat 25 Ballymac Gizmo
Heat 29 Bonjourno Boy

Good luck


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