GREYHOUND PREVIEW: In this week’s piece we focus on the Starsports English Derby Trial Stakes from Towcester on Sunday. Another good week for BARRY CAUL last weekend when Jaytee Etienne won the KAB Maiden Derby. Tipped up on April 17th at 33/1 and again mentioned in last week’s piece prior to the final.

More Derby Clues on Offer at Towcester

As the English Greyhound Derby draws ever closer punters will have the notebooks out this Sunday afternoon when numerous Derby hopefuls will be put through their paces. Graham Holland as always will have a formidable team and his duo of The Other Kobe and Bockos Crystal catch the eye. The pair finished first and second in last year’s Irish equivalent and it will be interesting to see how they perform on Sunday.

Kobes Return

Last Year’s Irish Derby Champion The Other Kobe has switched kennels from Jenifer O Donnell to Gramham Holland with a crack at the English Derby the target. Kobe had a brief spell at stud but is now back in full training. He moved well around Towcester on his first look at the track last week, visibility tiring late on. He has been drawn in trap five for his UK race debut on Sunday and supporters of Kobe will know that is far from ideal. In his early days Kobe would have gone straight for the rails on the run to the corner but as he has gained more experience that maneuver is less pronounced. There is no doubt he will edge inwards but only if the space is there. My opinion is that Kobe would not take his place if he were not as good as ever, and I expect him to come forward from last weeks run. It would be a brave man to back him in such a strong contest on his return this Sunday but hopefully he can show some positive signs and have no doubt he will continue to improve. Coolio Gold will be the selection to try make all from the red jacket.

Towcester Derby Trial Stakes

Romeo Steel is my idea of the winner of the opening Derby trial stake at 3:02. Graham Holland’s youngster was a semifinalist in the recent KAB Maiden Derby. On that occasion Steel was just in front at the turn before meeting trouble and losing all chance at the opening turn. Running from the red box on Sunday Steel should have to much early pace for his rivals and this looks to be a drop in class from what he has faced in recent weeks.

Middle boxes will be the focus in the 3:38 where Bockos Thunder (3) and Faypoint Susie (4) look set to dominate. Faypoint Susie made a winning return to the  track a few weeks back when making all in a slick 29:17. She posted some good efforts in the derby last year and goes well at the track. On this occasion I will side with the lightly raced Bockos Thunder. Thunder arrived from Ireland with a big reputation and has shown flashes of brilliance in recent weeks. Drawn on the inside of Susie this weekend will help, and he is a greyhound to keep on the right side of over the coming weeks.

Last year’s Irish Laurels winner High Trend goes from trap one in the 4.58. It is safe to say he got lost around the track on first look last weekend and with that experience under his belt he will surely be hard to beat in this. High Trend is up there with the best four bend performers in Ireland. As well as winning the Laurels he also won the Winter Racing Festival Championship 525 at Shelbourne Park last December. You can be sure of a much more polished performance this weekend and I expect him to improve significantly from his track debut. This is a greyhound who could surprise a few people this weekend.

Recent Time Greyhound Nutrition Juvenile Champion Faypoint Harvey will be all the rage in the 5.54. That final was only a four-runner event, but he could do no more that beat what was in front of him. Harvey is another from the Graham Holland kennel who arrives here with a big reputation. He already won the prestigious Munster Juvenile Cup at Clonmel and ought to be too strong for his rivals this weekend. Salacres Hang On is a dog with fine early dash and will be looking to slip the field early, but you would imagine he would need some trouble in behind.

Last years Irish Derby runner-up Bockos Crystal runs in the 6.09. She has been quite lightly raced this year having only had the two starts around Cork. She has won both of those outings and her recent trial over two bends here was eye catching. Age is against her but on the clock, she is running as well as ever. She has had one race around her in the past when coming from off the pace to score. Storys Cashout in two would not be known for his early pace and this looks a good opportunity for Bockos Crystal to make all.

All the best

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