Southwood Jet has been in great form and is unbeaten in this competition, as indeed is Knocknaboul Syd. Something’s got to give this weekend. It’s fantastic to have this big clash between the British and the Irish in terms of those two greyhounds.
I do think Knocknaboul Syd is the greyhound to be with. I rate him so strongly this week I’m going to make him my best bet of the session. It’s just the way this greyhound runs because he keeps himself straight and keeps himself out of trouble and then he makes his move.
He’s been so consistent in previous rounds; you can set your watch by him. My worry with Southwood Jet is that trap 1 is not a trap that’s ideal for a greyhound who needs to get out. He’s just not been as quick in trap 1 as he has been when in the middle.
Look at the way Smurfs Machine ran last week; it was a big step up from his previous runs. This is a greyhound being brought through by a trainer who knows absolutely what he’s doing to make the dog come to peak at the latter stage of the competition.
I think he’s got a great chance of pulling off a big upset. The reason for that is because we know that Deerjet Sydney is going to come out and he’s going to turn left, he’s going to head straight towards the rails. It’s what he does and that’s a worry for Wolf.
Deerjet Sydney is the most likely winner of this semi-final, he’s been magnificent all through the competition but I’m going to take a chance on Smurfs Machine to keep improving from a nice draw at a bit of a price.
Derby Plate semi-finals
I think Hope’s Bullet and Doolin Duke are the ones to concentrate on and, if the latter had been drawn inside of the former, I’d be very keen on Doolin Duke. As it is, I’m still going to take Doolin Duke to win the race.
If you look at what happened in the heats, he got into all sort of trouble but was absolutely flying coming home and it may well be that he has to take second place early on behind Hope’s Bullet. Let’s not write off Hope’s Bullet by any means because this is a progressive sort.
But, go back to the first round of the Derby, Doolin Duke did comprehensively beat Hope’s Bullet and he was drawn on the outside as well so I don’t see any reason why that can’t happen again so Doolin Duke is the selection.
Waikiki Lad is a very consistent sort who always runs his race, but the problem I’ve got here is just the make-up of this race for Waikiki Lad. He’s in three and will take a step to the right. There’s every chance that he and those outside him could meet at the start.
The greyhound here with the best draw is Catunda Logan who has a bit to find on the clock, but as we know, the clock is not as important as getting a clear run. This is a greyhound that is pretty consistent at the start.
I think we’ll get that all-important run round for Catunda Logan and I’ll take that greyhound to come out on top and go on and win this Plate semi-final.
Darrell’s picks at Nottingham on Saturday
Derby Plate semi-finals
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