Reading Time: 4 mins

JONATHAN HOBBS: Eyes down for the second round of the Star Sports & Arc Greyhound Derby from Nottingham tonight live on RPGTV.

Punters can look forward to eight fantastic heats as the race to the £50,000 first prize takes a step nearer, with places in next week’s quarter-finals now up for grabs

On another ‘Super Saturday’ on RPGTV, the Nottingham action is supported by a host of competitions at Crayford with the semis of the Jay & Kay Coach Tours Kent St Leger and Ladbrokes Gold Collar backed up with heats of the Rose Bowl and Kent National Hurdle.

Kicking off with the Nottingham action . . .

7.34: The Irish challenge in this year’s English Derby is top-drawer – none more so than in heat one! Graham Holland has a huge hand with last year’s Irish Derby winner Lenson Bocko and ante-post favourite Newinn Session. Both ran well last week and are joined by compatriot Knocknaboul Syd, who could lead them both after last week’s winning effort from Pat Buckley. He might need catching, but the draw and double-figure odds catch the eye about Tommys Panther. Anything other than a clear race and he’s pitching for a position inside and might cause a surprise. He’s certainly decent value.

Play: Tommys Panther (e-w)

7.51: Just a five runner race and probably one of the weaker heats. King Cash (Liz McNair) caught the eye last week and he’d be a player if conditions came up testing again, but Graham Holland’s Ballydoyle Valor has good all-round speed and the Irish entry has every chance to pace up handily should Ardralla Jim (Tom Heilbron) edge inwards early. Amka Rofe (Bob Smith) is a decent front runner given the chance, but Ballydoyle Valor has chunks in hand on that rival on the clock – albeit both ran in rain-soaked conditions last week and will no doubt appreciate a drier Saturday night this week!

Play: Ballydoyle Valor

8.06: Southwood Jet was a popular winner last week and Richard Rees’s dog could again shine given anything like a fast start – he’s two-from-two at Nottingham. However a smash break from likely middle lover Catunda Logan might make things tricky for the blue jacket for a stride or three. Better pitched might be Coolavanny Bani. Angela Harrison’s bitch should lead Lenson Whelan (Patrick Janssens) and Look Like Power (Jimmy Fenwick), who might also dive left, but does face a battle outside from Smurfs Machine. If keeping that rival at bay, he might be away – note a 29.53sec best trial. She’s quick enough.

Play: Coolavanny Bani

8.21: Deerjet Sydney could be another for the Irish – if clearing his lines early. Pat Buckley’s dog started well in the first round but dived across to the rails and can be expected to do the same again from the white jacket. Slower trappers inside clear the way for the speedster and he might take some reeling in, although expect Vics Charm (Jim Reynolds) and Troy Firebird (David Mullins) to soon be handy outside. Sparta Master (Sharon Thompson) will be staying on and could pounce should the pacesetters get in each other’s way. The same applies – and some! – about Peter Harnden’s powerful Irish Derby finalist Kilara Icon.

Play: Deerjet Sydney

8.36: Doolin Duke (Pat Buckley) versus Coolavanny ChIck (Noel Hehir) could be the buckle of the round. The two Irish runners impressed with comfortable wins last week – Doolin Duke winning by a street – and, while tonight’s battle could be closer, the inside line gives the Buckley runner the edge from five potentially. Little Emir’s absence could see Newinn Jacko (Ernie Gaskin) shine. The latter is fast up but will edge inwards early doors – and will have space to run.

Play: Doolin Duke

8.52: Wolfe provides Graham Holland with another major chance tonight and, on the evidence of last week’s first-round win, he looks the real deal this year again. The issue might be clearing Savana Cody from lids-rise should Diane Henry’s dog trap smartly again and just edge off the fence. That could leave Jazzers Man (Brian Thompson) ready to slip clear. He runs wide but fast and, while 500m tests his stamina, the lead could be sufficient to keep these at bay – although it could be a long way home for backers of stripes Wingman (Ken Humphreys) ran well last week and will pace up into contention given the chance.

Play: Jazzers Man

9.11: Glengar Bale has been consistently supported this week – for outright honours – such was the impression Pat Buckley’s Irish Derby semi-finalist made last week. Same again does the trick, although any mistakes and Distant Village will soon be handy, ready to run his usual solid race. However, it might be wrong to write off Bockos Doomie after his defeat by Newinn Session last week. He’s a top-notch performer, loves the red jacket, and will bounce out in all probability inside. Conditions should be quicker than last week (!) and that will also help this outstanding sort from Patrick Janssens’ kennel. Note 20 wins from 27 starts.

Play: Bockos Doomie

9.26: The eighth and final second-round heat and Gonzo looks plotted outside. Julie Bateson’s dog impressed in the heats and, while likely to run wide round the first two bends, did take a middle course down the back which saves him ground. Jumeirah Sprite (Debbie Calvert) will edge inwards early so clearing the way for stripes. Expect Swanley Chick (John McGee) to blaze a trail early, given she’s expected to head Blue Tick George (Jim Daly) and Deanridge Rapid (Allison Kelly-Pilgrim). The latter looked a real talent judged on trials and could raise him game big-time tonight.

Play: Gonzo

Best bets at Crayford could be Hayley Keightley’s pair of Ballydoyle Bee (7.22) and Roxholme Poppy (7.39) in their Kent St Leger heats, along with Michelle Brown’s powerful Micks Little Gem (7.57) in hers.

Go with Smallmead (8.29) and Desperado Dan (8.44) as best in the Gold Collar semis, while the well-drawn Agincourt Eve (9.36) catches the eye in the Rose Bowl.

Good luck all.


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