JONATHAN HOBBS: We’re down to the quarter-finals of the Star Sports & Arc Greyhound Derby at Nottingham tonight. Four brilliant contests which form a major part of the action on RPGTV tonight – but not all of it!
… with brilliant support, Crayford weighs in with two Category One finals – the Jay & Kay Coach Tours Kent St Leger and Ladbrokes Gold Collar, plus the Ladbrokes Rose Bowl and the Hazard Syndicate Kent National Hurdle.
Eyes down for the best of action, kicking off with four heats of the RPGTV Derby Plate – for those greyhounds who were knocked out of the first and second rounds of the Classic.
Here are my recommended plays on the BETDAQ betting exchange
7.34: Hopes Doggy has the early pace to potentially run amok in this first heat of the Plate. He posted decent split times in prep trials for the Derby and, while knocked out in heavy rain on his UK debut in the heats, a 29.56sec best trial gives Mark Wallis’s dog the edge here.
Play: Hopes Doggy
7.51: The Irish have a massive hand tonight in the Derby and will have high hopes of Doolin Duke winning heat two. However the Pat Rosney-trained All England Cup champion Bower Luke has good form at Nottingham overall – and his trapping gives him every chance to steal a march.
Play: Bower Luke
8.06: Faughan Rebel was considered a dark horse for the Derby but failed to shine in the wet in the first round, but looks a player here judged on cracking trial work. The Richard Yeates-trained runner is well pitched outside and should soon be handy into the turn. Go with King Dylan for a place.
Play: Faughan Rebel
8.21: Deanridge Sirius was just short of work feel connections heading into the Derby, but a trial last week will have brought him on and a 29.43sec shows what he’s capable of. The draw for Allison Kelly-Pilgrim’s runner also catches the eye, although keeping the speedy Hopes Bullet at bay is key.
Play: Deanridge Sirius
8.36: So into the Derby quarter-finals and Deanridge Rapid could run well at decent odds – with the switch to trap four perhaps enabling Allison Kelly-Pilgrim’s dog – note a 29.39sec best trial – to get into the race sooner. However keeping tabs with Coolavanny Chick and Antigua Boy and holding Wolfe is key.
Play: Deanridge Rapid
8.52: Southwood Jet might not have looked the ideal runner from go from trap five in the second quarter-final, but it might work for Richard Rees’s runner. He has impressed all with his performances at Nottingham, leading off the front and can so again – perhaps always holding Troy Firebird and Blue Tick George.
Play: Southwood Jet
9.11: Ballydoyle Valor will be fancied by many to shine for Ireland, but could just take a step off a true line early and any crowding could see others pounce. Might Smurfs Machine (9.11) be well placed outside? Seamus Cahill’s dog needs to do everything right, but draws can win races and he’s quick in the clear.
Play: Smurfs Machine
9.26: Chances are that Irish trainer Pat Buckley wins this fourth and final quarter-final – he’s got three chances! Best of them might prove to be Deerjet Sydney who gets the red jacket he’s craved at Nottingham and could get first run on kennelmates Knocknaboul Syd and Glengar Bale – and might be away.
Play: Deerjet Sydney
The votes in Crayford’s major finals go the way of Desperado Dan (8.14) to win the Ladbrokes Gold Collar – he’s dominated the event and looks well drawn to lead a powerful Patrick Janssens kennel – while Hayley Keightley’s Ballydoyle Bee (7.39) could get first run in the Jay & Kay Coach Tours Kent St Leger.
Desperado Dan is joined by kennelmates Seaglass Shadow and View King in the Gold Collar final, but such has been the favourite’s form of late having gone close to winning the Champion Stakes he’s tough to look beyond.
The Kent St Leger decider could prove more competitive. The draw inside the talented local Beechgrove Bell could help Ballydoyle Bee big-time, although keeping the powerful and outstanding Micks Little Gem will certainly not be easy!
Good luck all.
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