GREYHOUND DERBY PREVIEW: The English Greyhound Derby moves onto the quarter finals on Saturday at Towcester. Our expert BARRY CAUL previews all four heats which will be streamed LIVE on the BETDAQ website.


The sad news broke during the week that Swords Rex was lame and will not be taking his place in this weekend’s quarter finals meaning only twenty-three remain in the hunt to be crowned 2024 English Greyhound Derby Winner. King Memphis now heads the ante-post betting at around 3/1 with last years Irish Derby Winner The Other Kobe and De Lahdedah next in at 5s.


🟪 Quarter Final 1 🟪

The excellent Crafty Shivoo made in nine wins from nine starts when beating off De Lahdedah and last years winner Gaytime Nemo in a thrilling contest last weekend. She is bidding for her tenth straight win around here and is sure to be a popular choice in the opening quarter final. As you would expect at this stage of the competition the heats get tougher and she will have to be on her A game once again if she is to get the better of some top-class rivals. Superfast Gorden wasn’t the best away from boxes last weekend and did move off on the run to the bend before checking off the back of Droopys Doughnut at the first bend. Gorden is much better when able to dictate but his slight tendency to move off on the run up must be of concern to supporters of Shivoo and Gaytime Nemo who is drawn between the pair. Nemo has returned in top form in a bid to defend his title and went a little under the radar last weekend. He turned behind two of the best in training in Crafty Shivoo and De Lahdedah and stuck to his task well. He won the final from this box last year and is well capable of flying to the corner. Droopys Pivotel won well last week but is surrounded by early pace and needs a little luck in this for me. I am a huge fan of Grouchos Duke, it was evident that he came into this event lacking on fitness, but John Byrne has brought his charge along steadily, improving with each run during the competition and there may be more to come. The best drawn dog in the race in undoubtedly Churchfield Syd out in six. Syd fluffed his lines at the break in the opening round but has been much better in the last fortnight, he will need to lead to win but there is a possibility of crowding on the inside. Most of this field can rocket from traps and its hard to predict who will do it on the night. It will be stakes to a minimum in this race for me, but it is hard to oppose Shivoo in her current form.


🟪 Quarter Final 2 🟪

All eyes will be on ante-post favorite King Memphis is this. He was exceptional last weekend when beating a good field and with a similar break he will be hard to stop this weekend. There is not a huge amount of early pace in this heat with Ballymac Finn the obvious exception. Ballinabola Ed has been starting well in the last few weeks and can go to the corner strongly. Ballymac Finn is running the track much better than he did last year when he made it to the semifinals, and with a level break, I think Finn could nip around in front in this. A strong sort when out in front Finn would be hard to peg back and despite his advancing years, he looks excellent value in here for me to make all. I fully expect King Memphis to qualify given the make-up of the race, but I am not sure he would come from behind Ballymac Finn. Ballinabola Ed ran well behind Memphis last week but will probably need to lead to win. Similar comments apply to Whyaye Man and Hawkfield Abbie while Ballymac Gizmo is an improving youngster who will be staying on late in the day. Finn can be backed at 9/1 at the moment and I am sure he will be no where near that price come Saturday. He can fly to the turn on occasions and will not be picked up too easily if leading early.


🟪 Quarter Final 3 🟪

Its unfortunate for connections of Swords Rex that he will not be able to take his place in this quarter final. He was oh so unlucky in last year’s event when paw perfect up until the final where he missed the break when it really matters. He has been a real star for Barbra and Leonard Lowndes and if this is to be the last we see of him I am sure he will have an incredible stud career ahead. His new kennel companion and last years Irish Derby winner The Other Kobe has been installed as short as 4/11 to win this heat and that is on the skinny side for me. There is early pace on Kobes inside this weekend and I like the chances of Hawkfield Blue in here around about the 8/1 mark. Blue has been very lightly raced this year but is coming back to his very best form. He was a real star in Ireland last summer and is another who can hit the lids on occasions. Edwards is another who can move well to the turn so the 4/11 available about Kobe will surely move closer to 1/2 come off time. Ballymac Slick has a good draw out in five and looks a good bet to qualify while Droopys Doughnut is another with a good draw but must lead to be seen at his best. Again, this is all on the break, but I would much rather be with Hawkfield Blue at the prices.


🟪 Quarter Final 4 🟪

Boylesports Bob looked to be heading out of the derby for much of his third-round heat last Saturday night, but Paul Hennessys charge flew home off the last bend to grab a qualifying position. There is no doubting the pace Boylesports Bob has but it is his slow starts that have left him with plenty to do. He can come away racing on occasions and with the level of his competitors improving every week he can ill afford to miss the break on Saturday. The draw has worked out well for Bob as he should be able to master Beatties Sparkle in the early yards if he can produce one of his better starts and then it is a case of how close he can turn to the leaders. One of those he may just struggle to reel in is the brilliant De Lahdedah. A real star on his day De Lahdedah has taken well to the track and has the ability to break fast and he stays this trip strongly. He was unlucky to bump up against an inform Crafty Shivoo last week and if he can repeat that sort of a break he will be looking to go around in front. If he does break in a similar fashion Boylesports Bob will need to do everything right to get the better of him. Cooliogold has been running well around here in recent and Bockos Thunder ran better than his finishing position suggests last time, they could fight it out for the final qualifying position, but it will be De Lahdedah for me.

Good luck

BARRY.


DAQMAN Fri: Newmarket NAP
DAQSTATS Fri: Hamilton NAP
Treo Eile’s Racehorse Retraining Masterclass
2024 Open Championship preview/picks
previous arrow
next arrow