A very different English Greyhound Derby in 2020, a round shorter and four months late. Fundamentally it starts with what would normally be the second round, the final 96 but without any of the first round shocks. As such, it’s as competitive a Derby as there has been. We nailed the each way money with Kilara Icon at 150/1 in the Irish equivalent and have some big prices to go with again.
Black Parachute – 25/1
Showed his early exit in the Irish Derby to be all wrong when bolting up in the consolation competition, the Derby Plate. He’s clocked 29.18 and 29.27 at Shelbourne this summer (Pestana’s track record being 28.99) showing great all-round pace. He stays 500m well and while he didn’t exactly fly round Nottingham on his first look (30.09 calc) its a tough first bend and he’ll come on plenty for the experience.
Distant Village – 50/1
There are very few wide seeds in the Derby this year so the perfect draw in stripes will almost always be available to wide runners throughout the competition. Distant Village has taken well to the track, clocking a smart 29.63 when winning a trial stake on the 21st of September. Already a Cat 1 finalist this summer in Hove’s Sussex Cup, he appreciates a galloping four bends and can make his mark on the biggest stage.
Darbys Ranger – 66/1
Only just out of puppy status, he is a fast-improving type with very few miles on the clock. He has caught the eye in trial sessions around here, a 29.64 off the back of a 4.94 sectional reading well. The penny really dropped with him at Shelbourne over the summer, looking progressive albeit at a lower level to this.
Now in the care of Kevin Boon, he’s moved off in his trials so an opening round slot in 5 is ideal. His middle tag should see him in a similar trap as far as he progresses with it looking very unlikely that we have seen the best of this boy yet. His grand-dam was a litter sister to Mind The Net who was a finalist in both the English and Scottish Derbies in 2014, Darbys Ranger can follow in his paw prints.
Forest Alan – 125/1
A rather insulting price for this experienced tracker who doesn’t know how to run a bad race. He made the final of the Eclipse over this course and distance last November, running the winner of that event and long time favourite for the Derby – Ice On Fire – to two lengths in the semis. He’s a consistent type who will look to keep plugging away when others have cried enough and keep doing enough to qualify.