GREYHOUND DERBY PREVIEW: The English Greyhound Derby moves onto the third round on Saturday. Our expert BARRY CAUL previews all the eight heats which will be streamed LIVE on the BETDAQ website.

🟪 Heat 1

Last years winning trainer Graham Holland has a strong hand in the opening heat of the third round on Saturday evening with The Other Kobe and Clonbrien Treaty at the top of the market. The star duo have amassed almost €300,000 in prize money between them and they are certainly not finished yet. Its safe to say Kobe has taken well to the track well while Clonbrien Treaty is not running it as fluent as most. Kobe should have too much early pace for Whyaye Man in one and Singalong Dolly in three. Whyaye Man is running well of late but does not seem to trap as well when drawn on the fence. Hawkfield Blue ran a cracker when runner up behind the other Kobe and has a chance to get much closer this weekend. He was well adrift of Kobe at halfway way in their second-round clash but narrowed the gap all the way to the line finishing just under two lengths behind Kobe. Clonbrien Treaty is as good as any of these on his Irish form and may just improve on what he has shown us around here so far, he has just over a length to find on The Other Kobe on the clock on last weeks running and I feel he will run the track better with those couple of runs under his belt. As the only wide seed he has a perfect draw to work from and could prove hard to beat in the opening heat of the night.

🟪 Heat 2

Ballymac Finn scored for the first time in seven outings around Towcester when making all to post a career best 28.99 last weekend. The 2022 Irish Derby runner up made it to the semifinals of this event last year despite not running the circuit with much fluency. His two runs this year (28.99 & 29.16) are far better than anything he posted in last years event when 29.46 was his best run in the quarter finals. Finn has long been one of Irelands best and seems to be running as well as ever. That first victory last week will undoubtedly do his confidence the world of good and he looks sure to be on the premises in one of the weaker heats. The obvious danger and race favorite will be Boylesports Bob. Bob has displayed phenomenal pace in his too runs here to date and is high on many peoples list for outright honors. There are a few factors to take into consideration when backing Bob at short odds, he does have a habit of missing the break on occasions and Aero Convey in five looks highly like to cause him a problem or too on the run to the corner. Boylesports Bob will be storming home from the second bend and is highly likely to qualify granted any sort of a clear run, but if Ballymac Finn was to slip around in front, Bob must produce his A game to run him down. For me Ballymac Finn is the safest bet in heat two.

🟪 Heat 3

Bockos Thunder caught the eye in defeat last week behind Gaytime Nemo and looks to have a good draw to work from in a heat that doesn’t seem to contain much early pace. Thunder will be looking to get first run on the likely pace setter and race favourite Churchfield Syd in six. Syd was much better at traps last weekend compared to the opening round and set the pace for much of the journey before being run down late by De Lahdedah. It could be a case of Deja Vu for followers of Syd again this weekend as Bockos Thunder does stay on well from the second bend and has a good chance to race prominent. Bluejig Baron always seems to run well and can make the most of his good draw and take a qualifying position.

🟪 Heat 4

I have been a long-time fan of Jaytee Etienne for obvious reasons. The greyhound has pace to burn but has become oh so frustrating at traps. Etienne has some high class two bend form around Dundalk and can fly to the corner when he does things right. He came from off the pace to win the recent KAB Maiden Derby around here and again had to do it the hard way when picking up Newinn Syd in the opening round. Yet again he was well supported last weekend when backed from 7/2 into 13/8 before he completely blew the start and was last to the bend. Such is his pace he stormed thought the field to finish third behind the reopposing Superfast Gordon. Gordon is much more professional at boxes and had recorded identical splits of 4.05 in both rounds. Those splits are far above his rivals in this heat and a repeat should see him race clear to the corner for trainer Pat Buckley. Superfast Gordon is the most likely winner, but I have said this in my last two articles that there is a start in Jaytee Etienne. He is becoming frustrating, and this is a case of the heart ruling the head. Someday-soon – Jaytee Etienne will get his starting right, he is in the last chance saloon, but there is no doubting his pace. Of the others, Never Say No ran well last week and has a fair chance of making the top three.

🟪 Heat 5

I like Grouchos Duke in here, currently the complete outsider of the field at 12s he will be much shorter on the night, and I can see him going off around a five or six to one chance. Grouchos Duke displayed huge pace in the opening round when breezing past the excellent Crafty Shivoo down the far side before tying up late on. Duke again set the pace last week before being caught late in the day by Whyaye Man. Those two outings will surely bring him forward. Duke obviously came into the event a little short on fitness, most of the other derby competitors had a trial over the derby trip before the opening round whereas Duke trialed over the sprint distance. This will be only his fifth race since last November and he can only improve. He has a leader’s chance and will be hoping to slip the field. Antigua Hawk has done little wrong in his two starts in the competition winning both outings and this lightly raced greyhound has a huge future ahead of him. He will edge toward the rails on the run to the corner and in a better class of race this weekend he might not have it all his own way. Glengar Martha set the fastest sectional of the opening round but wasn’t so quick last time. She has a good draw outside her kennel mate in five who will be edging in. Ballymac Gizmo will need to be alert early as Hawk will be looking to take his ground. Edwards in three can go up well but I doubt he can match Grouchos Duke for early pace and the old by McNeill will be storming home but is likely to be well off the pace at halfway. I really like Grouchos Duke in here, for me with a level start he should lead and any trouble in behind will aid his cause.

🟪 Heat 6

One of the races of the derby so far featuring last years winner Gaytime Nemo and the current derby favourite De Lahdedah with wonder bitch Crafty Shivoo in there for good measure. This could be a 5/2 the field race come off time and as a bookmaker if you could lay any of the top three in the market at around 2/1 you would be more than happy to do so. Shivoo looks to have the most early pace in the race followed by Gaytime Nemo and Miracle. De Lahdedah can go up well on occasions but looks unlikely to clear the inside runners, he is incredibly fast, but I do worry for him this weekend from the draw. Scaglietti is running well but seems to be some way short of his best and is surrounded by early. King Combs could benefit from any crowding on the inside and has a chance while Miracle needs some luck. As a punter, you will find better betting opportunities as this is a wide-open contest. If forced to pick one I would side with Crafty Shivoo, and I do fear for De Lahdedah from the draw.

🟪 Heat 7

A race worthy of a derby final itself. This contest is brimming with talent, and much will be decided on the break. Swords Rex got the better of King Memphis earlier in the month on his comeback from a long absence and has come forward with each run in the event. Rex is much better when able to dictate but faces some stiff competition for the lead in this heat with fast starters Newinn Syd and Road Exile in opposition. Road Exile is probably better known as a sprinter but does get this trip and he can be a real spanner in the works for some of the more fancied runners in this. It would not surprise me to see Road Exile turn in front and I doubt if a Swords Rex or Newinn Syd could pick him up. King Memphis is another who has incredible speed but its hard to see him getting to the front early and he is zero from two from the box. Ballinabola Ed is another to return from a long absence and he too has improved with each run. He will be hoping to get a nice tow into the race behind his kennel companion Road Exile. Ed has been one of the stars of Irish Racing for a few years now and its brilliant to see him back to something near his best. Peter Cronin’s Azurite completes the line up but looks to have a nightmare draw. Road Exile represents the value here, available at 16s to win it he has a great chance to lead and if he does, he is likely to have a few goalkeepers in behind.

🟪 Heat 8

Only three places will remain up for grabs in the quarter finals by the time they go to traps for the final heat of the third round. Its not the strongest of heats and I will side with Unreal Bruiser to come out on top. He was excellent in the opening round when seeing off the inform Whyaye Man and if he can hold Coolio Gold to the opening corner he will prove extremely difficult to beat. Coolio Gold has gone to the corner strongly in the opening two rounds but does look vulnerable on the clock. Ballymac Slick will be coming home fastest of all but must avoid the early paced pair of Coolio Gold and Druids All Go in the early part of the contest. I feel Unreal Bruiser can get a nice run up the rails early and go on to take the last heat at the expense of Ballymac Slick.

Good luck


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