3rd May 2016
(Opens to a third party website)
That time of year is on us again!, yes it's Greyhound Derby week and some 230 entries went into Sunday's draw and one of our 16 hopefuls Calco Flyer was the first name pulled out and he begins his campaign on Thursday in heat 1. The whole first round is spread out on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and at the end of a complicated process 96 names will go into the drum for the following week's second round, I will go into detail below.
Firstly we have a small matter of a Coral Regency Final at Hove on Wednesday night and what a fairytale story it would be if Billys Bullet was to win. The fact that he has made the £10,000 final is a huge delight for connections and ourselves. This time last year he was recovering from a badly broken hock sustained in the first round of the Regency when he was without doubt the hottest property in the greyhound world, a lengthy absence followed and his comeback has seen him win at Hall Green and Towcester and run some solid races in defeat but his brilliance of the year before was just a notch or two down, of course this had to be expected but the patience has paid off big time and there was more than just a glimpse of his awesome best as he beat kennelmate Patchys Kerry in the first round and on Thursday a decent break saw him power to a fastest semi final win in 41.49. His draw in trap 4 in Wednesday's final isn't ideal but Billys Bullet has come out of the race well and a big run is expected.
It was mixed fortunes in the Regency semi finals as Patchys Kerry tasted defeat again in her quest for a third straight Category 1 victory, no excuses she simply didn't stay the stiff 695m and will now have a short rest before preparing for the Grand Prix at Sunderland which should suit her much better. Ribble Atom also bowed out and unfortunately Black Francis tore a gracilis muscle and though not too bad he has now been retired. In a great career he won some 23 opens over the last three seasons and has been a real credit to his owner Jeff Craft.
So onto the William Hill Greyhound Derby and we have 16 entries trying to emulate our two former winners Kinda Ready (2009) and Blonde Snapper (2012) and here is assessment of our runners and our chances :-
DOMINO STORM - (50/1)
Bookies are refusing to believe a bitch can win a Derby and held her price of 100/1 for quite a while but her recent demolition job at Sheffield in a new track record making it six wins on the bounce for our Oaks heroine has forced them to cut her back. Can a bitch win the Derby?, yes they can. She is not draw dependent, stays 480m strong and doesn't have to lead to win and I see no reason why Domino Storm can't add the Derby to her bitches classic. Her draw in trap 1 in heat 34 is ideal and she faces the early paced duo of Bubbly Bingo and Knockbrogan King.
ROSWELL ICEMAN - (66/1)
Highly regarded and mixed fortunes since arriving last October but this strapping 37 kilo fella is capable of coming good when it matters. He enjoyed a confidence boosting win in a trial stake last week. Annoyingly pitched in with Ballymac Shirley in heat 38 with only two qualifying and faces the talented Boyneside Fun from Charlie Lister's kennel.
CALIFORNIA - (100/1)
Totally unexposed type who has come over to our kennel with fast wins at Tralee and Limerick and and was only 5/2 to beat Derby ante post favourite Droopys Roddick in his last run. He possesses electric early it but this may just have come too soon for this April 14 son of Ballymac Vic but if surviving heat 4 he could be interesting.
BALLYMAC SHIRLEY - (100/1)
Another great bitch that has graced our kennel over the last couple of years. She has won 11 of her last 14 races and has a flying 28.37 trial stake win to her name. The girls division is certainly interesting this year and she is capable of going a long way but she can't afford a missed break in her heat with Roswell Iceman.
SAFFRONS BOXER - (150/1)
Boxer is giving our Markwallisgreyhounds Racing Club some great fun and is seriously fast on his day. Lightly raced for his age he has a 28.50 to his name and could be a type to go a few rounds though he does face a stiff heat 9 with the likes of Eden The Kid and Stay Loose in opposition.
SHUTTHE BACKDOOR - (150/1)
Seriously fast tracker and experienced dog brought across the water for us to race for Irish legend Brendan Matthews. Building up nicely but needs to handle the track slightly better and reminds me of the early paced Aero Nemesis who came close to Derby glory for us two years ago. Reasonable heat (6) on Thursday and could go a long way, value?
CALCO FLYER - (150/1)
Experienced dog who is running at the top of his form and might be one to go much better than last year's first round,. Came back to win the British Bred race on Derby final night and handles Wimbledon well. Could give the Calco Syndicate a real thrill and was the first name out the hat and should progress from heat 1.
CLONDOTY ALEX - (200/1)
Solid open racer who has a superb attitude and strike rate. He seems to be at home at Wimbledon judging by two good trial stakes runs and another with blistering early pace, face. A stern test in heat 8 against ante post favourite Droopys Roddick but should qualify.
DEANRIDGE ANGEL - (200/1)
Nice open race bitch who has good all round pace. On her day can beat the best and might be one that might go a few rounds. Drawn in with youngster Tellhimjohn in heat 30 with only two qualifying. They both have to beat King Alley to be able to make it to round 2.
TELLHIMJOHN - (200/1)
Our youngest dog in the event. Was going well making the Monmore Puppy Derby semi final before having a bad bout of the cough and probably now slightly short of full fitness and experience but has a decent turn of early and a good draw in heat 30 with Deanridge Angel. One for the value seekers I'm sure.
SWIFT WHIRLWIND - (200/1)
Top class over a sharp six bends and drops back here. Unluckily eliminated in first round last year when well fancied to go along way so who knows he might go better now with less expectations. Good draw and chance in heat 21 of getting campaign off to a flyer.
BALLYMAC SINBAD - (250/1)
Been plagued by injuries since a great summer last year and sprang a 14/1 surprise in last year's heats.Comeback run last week was satisfying and showed he has the early pace to maybe cause another upset this year,. Reasonable heat 31 to do just that.
MAC'S ON STORM - (250/1)
Fast dog on his day and quite capable of springing a surprise or two. Open race wins over a sprint and a sharp six bends so very versatile but has a difficult first round heat (24) in with the likes of Coolavanny Pat and Southfield Jock.
GINAS LAD - (250/1)
Made the Maiden Derby final at Newcastle before arriving at the kennel and has won a couple of times at Towcester in good style. Maybe his bare form is not one of a Derby winner but recorded a smart 28.74 trial and every chance of qualifying in heat 8 with Clondoty Alex and Droppys Roddick.
FAMIAS HOPE - (500/1)
Another fast Towcester dog who takes his chance. Got slaughtered in a trial stake last week when in a good position. Might surprise in heat 24 in with Mac's On Storm and will win plenty over the coming months.
DEANRIDGE MADBYE - (500/1)
Probably not lived up to expectations after a fast win at Tralee but a couple of reasonable trial stakes runs see him take his chance. Not the toughest of heats (18) except Ballymac Brogan and might go a round or two. Set to step up in distance after Derby.
The first batch of heats is now only three days away and it's starting to get exciting. There's nothing like the Derby and you never know this may not be the last one at its home Wimbledon which has staged it for the last 30 years. We are very fortunate to have won the premier classic twice before but I'm also sure we can achieve another famous victory again, will it be this year?
We have a reasonably strong team and we kick off the first round with CALCO FLYER. He is in the form of his life and his recent victory over last year's Derby finalist and Henlow Derby winner Making Paper at Sheffield was a solid effort and at 150/1 represents decent value,. Aso he is worth supporting in the British Bred to go furthest market as I see Eden The Kid as vulnerable.
ROSWELL ICEMAN has been well touted and this cracking looking greyhound has what is needed to go a long way. Getting all departments right is what's required but at 66/1 (100/1 in a place or two) he is worth an interest.
SHUTTHE BACKDOOR was a lot shorter a couple of weeks ago when it was announced he was in our team but some may look at his two trial stakes runs and say he's not up to scratch but this fella can only improve and reminds me of Aero Nemesis who nearly won for us two years ago, he has blistering early pace and has tasted big race success across the water, he should improve each week and now at 150/1 is huge value to perhaps go all the way.
We have pulled off some big priced finalists before, Secret Crystal way back in 2001 was 800/1 ante post and in 2010 Adageo was a 500/1, both were not far away in the final. A young improver might well be TELLHIMJOHN who is lightly raced and looked decent when just failing to make the Monmore Puppy Derby final (came back with a severe cough), he has great early pace and at 200/1 is reasonable value to go a long way.
Save the best for last and I just can't see why people are saying a bitch can't win the Derby, yes it's hard for the fairer sex but not impossible. In DOMINO STORM we have a live chance, she has to rank as one of the all time top bitches of the last few decades and if you can tell me of any other greyhound currently in better form than her then it must have a great chance of winning the Derby. After sensationally winning the Oaks in December she had a few weeks off before coming back for the trainers championship, a hot race and trap 5 was her undoing there but since then only a minor blip in the first round of the Arc (going against railers) has gone against her. A superb six timer at Swindon, Sheffield, Towcester, Wimbledon (twice) and back to Sheffield last week which saw her break the track record over 500m in a magnificent 28.27. A great draw in the first round should see her comfortably qualify for the next stage, the 100/1 + has been mopped up but at 50/1 she still represents value. We are a kennel that can buck trends (this year's Golden Jacket where we managed to get an ante post favourite home a perfect example) and DOMINO STORM would be a most popular winner and she can show her shiny goofy teeth on the winner's podium on June 4th.
With a hug from Sid
for good luck
how could she
A good night at Sheffield last Tuesday on the Sky card with puppy Rubys Rascal finding plenty of trouble before galloping clear to a 5 length success in 29.04. Ferryforth Fran ran ok in the 660m when 4th but an impressive double from Calco Flyer in the British Bred 480m in a fast 27.57 and Domino Storm who showed terrific all round pace to score by over 6 lengths in a new track record of 28.27 for the 500m.
On Thursday at Hove mixed fortunes in the Regency semi finals with Billys Bullet now close to pulling off a fairytale ending in Wednesday's Final. Mass Megan ran well to just get up on the line in a puppy race over 515m in 30.06. Airforce Duchess found plenty of trouble spots when 2nd in a 515.
Over at Wimbledon in Derby trial stakes there were good runs from Clondoty Alex (2nd), Shutthe Backdoor (2nd) and Saffrons Boxer (3rd) before Roswell Iceman got a well deserved victory in 28.64.
A rare blank at Romford on Friday with all five of our runners in the first three without winning. Both Vandiva and Adageo Djongo are in finals for next Friday,
On Sunday at Henlow Saffrons Anna was at her scintillating best when equalling her own track record of 25.60 when winning her heat of the 428m Dual Distance event. Garryglass Pixie also qualified in a 550m Midi comp when just touched off in her heat.
On Tuesday Catunda Daisy pulled off a surprise 10/1 victory in an A7 coming from way off the pace to get up right on the line in 28.91. Both Swift Dante and Blastoff Bonnie on debut went down narrowly in their respective races.
On Friday another good win from Saffrons Champ in A5 company in 28.76. Shlowdown Sally looked promising when leading to the run in before going down a couple of lengths on debut and Broxbourne Flyer is getting closer to a win when again a close up second.
On Saturday plenty of new dogs making their debuts with Mexico showing great promise when 3rd to kennelmate Vangaal who scored comfortably in 28.60. Experto Crede and Farran Evans were both second before an impressive win for Sligo Star in an A3 in 28.37.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
The Bags Track Championship pre qualifier at Sheffield is tonight and Ela Ela Genie and Mac's On Storm represent Towcester. A couple of opens at Towcester including heats of a puppy event which sees in form Rubys Rascal.
Wednesday is the first of four big nights for the kennel. Firstly the Coral Regency Final could see a fairytale come true for Billys Bullet and plenty of interest on the supporting card as well.
The William Hill Greyhound Derby kicks off on Thursday and we have six runners, on Friday we have four runners and Saturday another six runners including Domino Storm.
In a busy week we will also be at Romford Friday and Henlow on Sunday.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Though our ante post selection Patchys Kerry bowed out the Coral Regency on Thursday we do have Billys Bullet running for us now at a juicy 14/1 so plenty of interest for us there. Our double at Sheffield with Calco Flyer/Domino Storm was a bit short but paid 5/4 (a lot bigger if you took the early prices).
So now it's time for our Derby ante post stakes. As said above, my best bet for the first round would have to be Calco Flyer in the very first heat, though only around 5/4 he looks different class to his rivals.
CALCO FLYER - 5 pts win - heat 1 William Hill Greyhound Derby first round - Wimbledon - Thursday
DOMINO STORM - 2.5 pts e.w ante post 50/1 - William Hill Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon
SHUTTHE BACKDOOR - 2 pts e.w ante post 150/1 - William Hill Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon
ROSWELL ICEMAN - 1.5 pts e.w ante post 66/1 - William Hill Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon
CALCO FLYER - 1.5 pts e.w ante post 150/1 - William Hill Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon
TELLHIMJOHN - 1 pt e.w ante post 200/1 - William Hill Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon
ADVISED LAST WEEK
PATCHYS KERRY - 5 pts win ante post 7/2 - Coral Regency - Hove - lost
BILLYS BULLET - 1.5 pts e.w 14/1 (1-2-3) - Coral Regency - Hove - final Wednesday
CALCO FLYER/DOMINO STORM - 4 pt win double - Sheffield - Tuesday - WON 4/7 - 1/2 (5 pts profit)