Greyhound Derby First Round Preview – Friday

Brighton and Hove Greyhounds Stadium

There is barely time to digest an evening of cracking action on Thursday before Towcester is straight back into action once more on day 2 of the first round of the Derby. The clash between Rising Brandy and Dorotas Wildcat especially was breathtaking! Our greyhound tips will once more come from Towcester tonight as heats ten to eighteen go to the traps. It isn’t too late to have an antepost bet, our Greyhound Derby Tips have a wealth of information. Joining us once more are Dave Clark and Jonathan Hobbs help us look over the main contenders.

Heat 10 – Droopys Verve

Myracing – Our idea of the winner, he is a monster in the making. His trial stakes win in 28.77 calc was quite simply sublime. He is only a baby so the demands of such a long and challenging competition are going to be something completely new to him, but he has the potential to go all the way. This longer trip should suit him better than the 480 test at Monmore did, but despite that, he was still runner-up in the Puppy Derby there. His natural pace is electric, with a bit of improvement still to come.

Dave Clark – Switching from unseeded (railer) to being seeded as a middle was a shrewd move by connections, he definitely looked more comfortable when racing from trap five than he did from trap one. If he continues to trap as he did when in the orange jacket, then he is certainly one of the dogs to beat. I know connections have been excited by him since his very first trial at Newcastle, he has posted some ridiculously fast times there and has already made his mark at Towcester. It is a long journey to travel down for Angela Harrison and her team and it is imperative Droopys Verve handles the numerous journeys backwards and forwards during the competition, that would be my only concern with him, on the track he is lightning fast.

Jonathan Hobbs – Verve is in very good hands and already has shown he handles Towcester well – and, importantly, from any trap it seems! Indeed, his trapping and early pace is stunning and his performances have underlined the quality of the Monmore Puppy Derby form. It’s good to see the winner there, Rising Brandy, also in the Derby. The form looks top class, and this pair of youngsters are closely matched at best.

Heat 12 – Bruisers Bullet

Myracing – A semifinalist last year, he was unable to overcome first bend carnage. He showed his class when absolutely bolting up in an invitational on Final night, however. That was a rare display of early boot from him, showing that again when winning a trial stake in imperious fashion last month. He won’t always come away as well as that, but he boasts arguably stronger form here than any other dog. He needs the usual Derby luck to avoid the trouble, but he looks set for a long stay in the competition.

Dave Clark – He is my idea of the winner and I have been backing him since last year’s Derby. Towcester is a track like no other – a long run to the corner from the 500m traps, big swooping bends, a tiny back straight and a long run for home – and, while others will struggle to handle the circuit, Bruisers Bullet runs the track as well as any dog I have ever seen. He also has the maestro and nine-times champion trainer Mark Wallis in his corner which is a massive positive!

Jonathan Hobbs – On the evidence of his Trial Stakes win on Trainers’ Championship night, he’s a dog without a flaw. It was a power-packed performance and rubber-stamped his Derby chance. He was one of the stars of last year’s Derby as a young dog, being knocked out in the semis, but roaring back to win on final night. Difficult to pick holes in – perhaps others have more raw speed early – but has a leading chance of giving kennel a third Derby win.

Heat 12 – Oi Oi Upenalty

Myracing – A red-hot heat but a middle draw suits her well. She will need to ride her luck in the early stages to avoid Bruisers Bullet on her inside at the first bend. A Christmas Oaks Finalist and Easter Cup semifinalist, she knows what she has to do to keep qualifying in competitions.

Jonathan Hobbs – The price has probably gone where Oi Oi Upenalty is concerned, but she’s come over with a good reputation from Ireland and looks the type who likes to be in the shake-up – that’s good for qualifying. She’s a strong running bitch and that catches the eye.

Photo courtesy of Racing Post/Edward Whitaker

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