GREYHOUND DERBY FINAL PREVIEW: The English Greyhound Derby reaches the climax with the final on Saturday at Towcester. Our expert BARRY CAUL reviews each runner with his final verdict. The race will be streamed LIVE on the BETDAQ website.

Final Countdown at Towcester, as Memphis Seeks to be Crowned King

There was many a cloud cast over Towcester and the ability to host a smoothly run Derby, but in fairness to all involved at the track the racing and track surface has been excellent. Credit must go to all involved as the biggest night of the year is on the horizon. Ante Post favourite King Memphis still heads the market but not for the first time, he will need to do everything right to land the £175,000 to the winner showpiece.

2024 English Greyhound Derby

🔴 Whyaye Man
🔵 Ballymac Gizmo
⚪️ King Memphis
⚫️ De Lahdedah
🟠 Churchfield Syd
🔲 Boylesports Bob

Trap 1 🔴 Whyaye Man

Whyaye Man: Began his career in Ireland when trained by Robert Gleason. He made a winning race debut around Shelbourne Park coming from well off the pace to score, but that run was less than straight forward shall we say. He came back after a couple of months off to win an A2 over 600 yards at Newbridge and raced in A1 company or better for the remainder of his Irish career. He was a fine winner of a 525 in Shelbourne on his seventh start when clocking 28:26 and continued to run well, making it to the semifinal of the Kirby memorial before he made the switch over to the UK. He was to make a winning UK debut for new trainer Mark Wallis around Towcester and has since won races at Nottingham Monmore and Sheffield. He was a finalist in the Champion Stakes at Romford and also made the final of the Kent Plate at Central Park. Whyaye Man has been a wonderfully consistent greyhound for connections and has the draw to give him a chance this weekend.

Trap 2 🔵 Ballymac Gizmo

Ballymac Gizmo: The youngest of the six finalists who qualified well at the start of his career. He must have displayed plenty of promise for the Dowling’s to pitch him in against De Lahdedah on only his second official in February of this year. He was beaten only three lengths in that trial, and it was a hugely encouraging effort. Gizmo made his race debut around Enniscorthy in the Michael Fortune Future Champion unraced stake and was by far the fastest of the entire first round winning by twelve lengths in 28:41. He went on to be a beaten finalist in that event when unlucky in the decider, before clocking a blistering 28:26 at Shelbourne prior to winning the opening round of the Shelbourne 600 in another eye-catching run, stopping the clock in 32:33. Gizmo ran with real credit to make the final against some seasoned campaigners such as Ryhope Beach, Pennys Lynx and Singalong Dolly. Towcester was up next and despite not winning a round, this is the one that matters. I thought he ran really well last week and stumbled at the start after breaking well. He will be one of the more likely ones for me in this and ignore him at your peril.

Trap 3 ⚪️ King Memphis

King Memphis: Memphis was ante post favourite to win this event with some bookmakers long before a race was run, and here we are with less than thirty seconds of action remaining and he is still the bookmaker’s favourite. In his thirty-one races to date Memphis is yet to finish out of the first three, with twenty wins and eight second place finishes for Liz and Rab McNair. King Memphis ran well when second on debut in what turned out to be a red-hot contest, he finished a half length second to New Destiny with Droopys Clue back in third. That was in June of last year and he returned to action in the August after missing a few weeks with a cough. He again finished second but displayed plenty of promise in that outing at Swindon only being caught close home. He went on to win two of his next three at Swindon before running at Oxford where he made people sit up and take notice. Memphis finished runner up in the valuable RPGTV Cowley Puppy Collar at Oxford behind Long Fellow. Since then, he has excelled, a stunning winner of the RPGTV Puppy Derby around here before winning the Olympic at Hove and finishing runner up behind kennel mate Queen Joni in the final of the Kent Plate at Central Park. King Memphis holds the track record around here and his consistency is remarkable. His finishing positions in races at this track read the following:21211211112. He is a deserving favourite and will surely be involved in the finish.

Trap 4 ⚫️ De Lahdedah

De Lahdedah: The second runner in the race for Liam Dowling. Another who was to impress on debut when winning around Tralee in the opening round in the Juvenile Classic where he was knocked over in the semifinal when one of the outright favourites to win the event. He dusted himself off and resumed winning ways when winning an open 525 at Shelbourne before beating Boylesports Bob by three lengths in a puppy 550 at the same track. He was then pitched into the Irish Derby and after some massive performances in that, he found himself as the 5/2 favourite to win the event outright at the semifinal stage. He carried no luck in his semifinal and still being so young he switched to the Juvenile Derby where he put in some huge runs in the early rounds coming from off the pace to score in 27:78 on one occasion. Luck was to desert him once more as the semifinal proved his undoing. His next outing was a tilt at the Kingdom Derby where he made the final before a crack at the English Derby. Trapping can sometimes let De Lahdedah down, but when he is good, he is exceptionally good! If he were to repeat one of his better starts when it matters, it would take an incredible performance to beat him.

Trap 5 🟠 Churchfield Syd

Churchfield Syd: What a story it has been for connections of Churchfield Syd. The dream looked to be over within seconds as he fluffed his lines badly at the start in the opening round but ran a cracker to qualify, and has been excellent ever since. Syd finished runner up on his debut at this track before moving to Monmore when he showed flying early pace in the Monmore Puppy Derby heats before something looked a miss when he was miles clear in his semi before fading to finish last. He had a long break after that and returned to Monmore where he got to the final of the Ladbrokes Gold Cup behind Links Maverick, with Whyaye Man back in forth. He made it to the final of the Birmingham Cup at Perry Barr before winning his first Cat one final at Central Park where he took the valuable Kent Derby. He has since added the Winter Derby at Monmore before heading to Towcester for this year’s Derby. Syd has the most natural early pace of the line up and if all six were to break in a line he would certainly lead. He has won his last three from the front and has a chance to make all once again.

Trap 6 🔲 Boylesports Bob

Boylesports Bob: Amazingly it took Bob five races to get off the mark when winning an A2 contest at Shelbourne Park in 28:04. As mentioned above he was then second to De Lahdedah in a puppy 550 before being knocked out in the second round of the Irish Derby. He once again made his exit in round two of the Juvenile Derby before having a long break of over four months off. His return was an excellent one where he beat a good field when racing prominent all the way to land an open 550. He then made the final of the Easter Cup when showing bits and pieces of brilliance but struggled to put in all together in any one round. Towcester was next up for Bob and in his five races to date he has displayed real pace and power in all his starts. Bob is still quiet lightly raced for his age. His trainer Paul Hennessy has won the event in the past, and Bob has a perfect draw out in six. If he can turn in a handy position he may well be just finishing fastest off all.

Verdict: It is a thrilling final and once again a case can be made for all six runners. The break as always is crucial. It may only concern a maximum of three dogs as we hit the back straight. Boylesports Bob and De Lahdedah are electric when on song, but both are hit and miss starters. Churchfield Syd looks the most likely leader but does need a little trouble in behind and its hard to rule out King Memphis given his excellent record at the track. I will side with Ballymac Gizmo in two. Still quite lightly raced this dog has real pace and power and despite not winning a round he could win the one that matters. I thought he broke well last week but just took a false step after a stride or two. If he can break like that once more and turn prominent, he looks the value bet. Good luck to all connections and all who visit Towcester this weekend.

Good luck


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