GREYHOUND PREVIEW: The main action this weekend comes from Towcester where the final of the KAB Maiden Derby is the feature. Last year’s Irish Derby winner The Other Kobe is back in training and is due to trial before racing. At Hove on Saturday evening, they have the final of the Brighton Belle for the ladies. BARRY CAUL previews all the action …..

Hennessy Holds the Key in KAB Maiden Derby at Towcester

With the English Greyhound Derby just around the corner there have been numerous Derby contenders strutting their stuff around Towcester these past few weeks. The KAB Maiden Derby final will be the highlight on the card with the bonus of last year’s Irish Derby winner The Other Kobe set to trial before racing. Now under the care of Graham Holland it will interesting to see how Kobe takes to the track. At Hove on Saturday Night, it is the final of the Brighton Belle featuring the excellent Crafty Shivoo, and it is another high-quality card at Shelbourne Park on Saturday with the semifinals of the Shelbourne open 600.

KAB Maiden Final at Towcester

Trainer Paul Hennessy has an excellent record with his runners around Towcester and the County Kilkenny trainer has no less than three runners in this Sunday’s final. Jaytee Craze will be extremely popular after his impressive all the way win last Sunday afternoon. Fast away from trap one he made all in a slick 28:88 and has a decent time advantage on his rivals. Once again drawn in the red jacket the powerful son of Ballymac Cashout will be impossible to contain if leading early. On his Irish form he can be haphazard at boxes, he is the most likely winner but at short odds he may be worth taking on.

I was impressed with Jaytee Etienne when he won over 400 yards in Dundalk earlier this year and he has caught the eye on more than one occasion around here in recent weeks. His starting has been letting him down and he does have the worst of the draw but there is a big run in this dog, and it will happen sooner rather than later. The last of the Hennessy runners is Barefoot Awesome, a powerful son of Good Cody his lacks a year of early pace and will seek the rails on the run to the corner. Awesome is strong from the second bend but its hard to see him getting a run. Miami Bullet was a couple of lengths off the best of these on his Irish form but has improved since switched to the UK. He chased home Jaytee Craze last weekend but will need to avoid the rail running Barefoot Awesome early.

Graham Holland will have a formidable team for the upcoming Derby, and he is represented by the lightly raced Garfiney Blaze. Blaze is open to some improvement but needs to find a bit on the clock to get involved. Glorious Tom completes the line up for Tom Heilbron, a fast starter on his day he should have plenty of room on the run to the corner but is another who needs to find a few lengths to score. Jaytee Craze is the obvious starting point and should take this with a decent break, but at 16/1 (advised 33s last weekend) there is a big run in Jaytee Etienne, and he should not be ignored despite a poor draw.

Last year’s Irish Derby winner The Other Kobe has not been seen on a track since that history making night at Shelbourne back in September. He has had a brief spell at stud and is the proud father to a handful of litters. The decision has now been made to have a tilt at the English Derby and all going to plan Kobe will trial before racing on Sunday afternoon. New trainer Graham Holland describes the dog as being” in great shape and has settled into his new surroundings well.” It will be fascinating to see how he takes to the track. His rails hugging style could just suit the place.

Brighton Belle at Hove

Six of the best ladies in training line up in a superb Brighton Belle final at Hove this Saturday evening where the excellent Crafty Shivoo just heads the market ahead of the equally talented Queen Joni. The duo dominates the market, and the others will need a little luck to get involved. Crafty Shivoo has the best of the draw and overcame a hefty bump at the start last weekend before leading at the opening turn and going on to score comfortably in a winning time of 30:06. She clocked 29:60 the previous week and with a clear run on Saturday she could easily get close to that sort of time again.

Queen Joni is the obvious main danger. She led early for a comprehensive victory in her semifinal stopping the clock in 29:98. For me the trap draw is crucial, and I think the even money on offer about Crafty Shivoo looks tempting. Queen Joni should follow her home with Queen Dusty expected to outrun her big odds from trap six.

Good luck


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