GREYHOUND DERBY PREVIEW: The English Greyhound Derby is now at the second round stage and our expert BARRY CAUL previews Saturday’s second batch of heats. All races will be streamed LIVE on the BETDAQ website.

🟪 Heat 9
2022 English Derby Runner Up Mr Chelm looks to have a good draw in the opening heat of the night on Saturday nights card. There were positives to take from his first start in over six months when he was third behind Wrighty in the opening round. With a lack of early pace on either side this Saturday Mr Chelm could battle for the early lead with Unreal Bruiser and hopefully prove too strong for that rival from halfway. Clona Curly will be flying from the second bend and will have his supporters, but he does rely on luck and will need the gaps to appear in the second half of the contest. He can ill afford to give Mr Chelm too much rope. Clona Kody is another who will look to lead early and is not without a chance, but Mr Chelm at 8s is chosen to come home in front in the opening heat of the night.

🟪 Heat 10
Barntick Bear was one of the stars of the opening round when leading off the second bend before pulling away for a comprehensive victory. Bear is not always that quickly away and he has been drawn in one of the tougher heats of the second round. There is no doubting his ability, but can he lead the likes of High Trend and Merits Inclusion this time around? For supporters of Barntick Bear he may be better sitting off the pace and coming through late but that becomes difficult with the calibre of greyhounds likely to be in front of him of the highest order. High Trend and Merits Inclusion look likely to set the early fractions. Ballinabola Ed ran a cracker on his return to action when behind High Trend. Ed is sure to improve for the run and can’t be discounted. I’m going to firmly sit on the fence here, it’s hard to rule any out with confidence and for me it’s a race to savour. Good luck to all connections.

🟪 Heat 11
I thought Antigua Hawk was awesome in round one when breaking smartly and making every yard in a smart 28:81. This week’s heat is much tougher, and he must put in a repeat effort to get the better of some high-class rivals. Droopys Doughnut was well supported last weekend but needs to start better. Faypoint Harvey was a little awkward away from traps last week and did well to qualify in the circumstances. Keefill Goose led for a long way in his heat and has the chance to race prominent again but will need luck. The inside duo of Ballymac Gizmo and Jaytee Craze are two incredibly fast greyhounds. Craze ran a remarkable race after meeting trouble on more than one occasion last time out. He can often cause his own trouble with his slow starts, but he has a massive engine. Jaytee Craze will be the selection of many in here, but I do like Ballymac Gizmo. He ran well behind a hot winner in the opening round and will improve significantly on that initial outing. At a price, Gizmo could be the one to side with.

🟪 Heat 12
Crafty Shivoo is now seven from seven around Towcester and on that basis alone she is hard to oppose in heat twelve. She led early last week but was passed mid race by Grouchos Duke before taking it up again close home. Rioja Joey and Romeo Steel won’t make it easy for her as they both poses fine early pace. The current 3s on offer about Shivoo looks fair. She is usually a reliable starter from these traps and if leading you would expect her to prove too strong. Ballymac Slick is a greyhound who will be suited by a step up in trip soon, but he could get a nice tow into the race, and I would expect him to qualify.

🟪 Heat 13
Boylesports Bob was one of the stars of the opening round. He looked to be in all sorts of trouble around the first bend in his first-round heat but his pace from the second bend was simply sensational. He does have that tendency to miss the break on occasions but looks to have a decent draw with four inside seeds in this heat. A clear run should suffice for Bob who can trap well from time to time. Ballymac Dapper rates the obvious danger in here. Dapper was unlucky on a couple of occasions in his first-round heat. Carried wide on the run up he was forced to check at the third bend and came home really well to be narrowly denied by Romeo Steel. This lightly raced son of Ballymac Arminta is an interesting runner this weekend and looks to be a greyhound with a big future. Boylesports Bob has a big experience edge over the promising Ballymac Dapper and just gets the nod in what should be an Irish one-two.

🟪 Heat 14
Heat fourteen is possibly one of the weakest heats of the night and all eyes are drawn to Ballymac Finn. Finn has long been one of the most consistent greyhounds in Ireland and was running below par in this event last year yet still made the semifinals. His return to Towcester was full of promise behind King Memphis and he faces nothing of that calibre in this heat. Savana Jackpot is hit and miss at the start but is capable on a going day, but Finn should have too much pace and power for these rivals. Hawkfield Abbie has been frustrating to follow in Towcester so far, she can move well to the turn on occasions but has totally lost her trapping boots in recent weeks.

🟪 Heat 15
Despite suffering defeat in round one Grouchos Duke was for me one of the real eyecatchers. A greyhound with huge early pace he looked in need of the run but showed fine pace when breezing past the excellent Crafty Shivoo down the far side. I expect Duke to lead up this field and hopefully he can put this race to bed before the run-in. That was his first run since March, and he should strip much fitter this Saturday. Antigua Kestrel could get a nice run into the race if Duke was to lead early, and this lightly raced type will improve on what he has shown in the UK so far. He posted a huge run around Limerick in the early rounds of the Kirby Memorial back in April and remains of interest.

🟪 Heat 16
The second round will conclude at 20:40 on Saturday evening and I’m going to put one up at a big price in here. Foggy Bottom has done most of his racing around Shelbourne Park and won nine races at the track in 2023. He was consistently running against top class performers week in week out at the Dublin track and on his best form has a real chance in this. He is not that long in the UK, and this will only be his fifth start over here. He was known for his fast starts and ability to make all when trained in Ireland and he will get his starting right sooner rather than later. Miracle will be the likely favourite in the race but at double figure odds its well worth taking a chance on Foggy Bottom in the lucky last.

Saturday’s Best Bets
Heat 9 Mr Chelm
Heat 14 Ballymac Finn
Heat 15 Grouchos Duke

Good luck


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