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Derby fever is now gripping the greyhound world with just over a week to go before the Star Sports sponsored classic gets underway at Towcester. Our eleven entries are in the book and we await Sunday's draw with baited breath. Without doubt our number one hope will be Bruisers Bullet, he trialled back last Tuesday after a small injury forced him out of his previous race blitzing around in 29.12, the joint fastest time with the Greyhound of the Year Droopys Buick on a star studied trial session. His odds were quickly cut back to 25/1 to win the Derby and I can report he has come back in fine shape. With no qualifying round all of our entries will either race or trial at Towcester this week in preparation for the event with Bruisers Bullet having his final work out tomorrow night before racing. It has to be said being able to watch all the trials on towcester.tv is a welcome addition to the Derby this year, of course losing Wimbledon this year is a sad loss but Towcester can show this year all that is good about our sport.
It was a pleasant surprise to receive an email on Thursday announcing the Towcester Greyhound Welfare Graded Derby to be staged in August, an event for 48 Greyhounds over 480m worth £10,000 to the winner. This is fantastic news and though the exact details are to be set out I can see this being a great chance to reward owners and trainers and shows why Towcester is the leader in our industry.
This Sunday I will be guesting on RPGTV to go through our Derby hopefuls and look at the draw overall for the whole event, we will also have runners at Henlow that night and be reviewing the week's action and talk about the latest news. The whole industry at the moment seems to going through much needed change and today's news that Arena Racing Company have acquired Newcastle and Sunderland from William Hills is quite a big story. Both tracks seem to be very good viable businesses and hopefully they will thrive under the new ownership, wouldn't it be nice if someone could come in and buy Hall Green and Belle Vue and put a bit of investment into the facilities and secure their future.
Again this week our only open race action came from Romford on Friday and Henlow on Sunday. On Friday the feature event the Friday Night 500m Standard saw a rare missed break from Clondoty Alex and though he battled hard he could only finish 3rd. Chubbys Oak was rewarded after some good runs over track and trip with a win in 24.25. A few near misses in other races apart from the standing dish Roswell Romanov who again put his rivals to the sword winning in 35.23. O
n Sunday at a Henlow we had a nice treble with Shlowdown Sally (16.56) in the sprint while Sapa Express (27.99) and Swift Henry (27.70) took both 460m Maidens.
A couple of nice winners n Tuesday as Union Pride opened her account winning in 28.76 while Toker Creek was also impressive winning in a good 28.28.
On Saturday morning Carden Punch won well in 29.06 while Catunda Daisy came from way off the pace to win an S4 in 42.48. Just a few runners at night with Ferryforth Fran winning a heat of a top grade sweepstake in 41.51.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN - CHUBBYS OAK
GRADED - CATUNDA DAISY
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
With trials for the Star Sports Greyhound Derby Tues/Weds/Sat we will just be at our usual Romford on Friday and Henlow on Sunday.
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It's difficult to find too much early in the week and with the Derby just over a week away I will be saving our best naps for then. On Friday though Calco Flyer returns to Romford and can pick up where he left off and put a defeat at Henlow behind him.
CALCO FLYER - 3 pts win - Romford - Friday