It’s a cracking Derby Plate Final and I’m a big, big fan of DOOLIN DUKE who did us a favour last week. This greyhound has got a really good makeup because in Trap 4, Hopes Doggy, looks like powering through and they’re probably going to edge towards the rail. He’s not the quickest but he shows great pace up late and the key to him is his strength in the second half of the race. He really does see it out well and that’s the issue Catunda Logan has got.
Catunda Logan had a big lead last week but was reeled back in and was almost picked up in the closing stages so even if DOOLIN DUKE is two or three lengths down at half-way, I’ll be confident he can go on and win this race. I make him a very, very strong selection.
BONUS BET: If you want to play a forecast I wouldn’t be surprised if Vixons Lad doesn’t get involved. He’s a strong dog in Trap 1 and continues to be underestimated by the bookmakers, so Doolin Duke to beat Vixons Lad for the cast.
It doesn’t get much better than this! I know it’s an old cliche but every dog has got a chance of winning if they get the run – the key is, who will get the run?
Southwood Jet has been imperious so far. He’s won every round and proved that you can trap from the inside, which not every greyhound has been able to do. If he leads, he’s going to take a lot of beating.
But in fairness, I don’t think he’s the strongest in the field so there are others who would fancy their chances if they’re two or three lengths away. The big key is what happens at the start of the race because we know that Deerjet Sydney is going to try and come in and turn left, so you have to consider the possibility of those two coming together – which would reduce both their chances.
I was very sweet on Smurfs Machine in the semi-final – he’s got to lead to have any chance but he could do that. He’s got the best splits but he could be vulnerable – he stayed middle in the previous round and allowed Wolfe to get back at him up the inside.
Coolavanny Chick has done really well to get to the final but when all is said and done she’s probably not quite good enough, which leaves us with the two Graham Holland runners. WOLFE will be fours years old on Sunday but he’s just been so good in this Derby. He digs very, very deep and he was able to pick up Smurfs Machine. I think he’s got a good draw because his kennel-mate Ballydoyle Valor will move in early on and I think Wolfe is the value play in the final.
BONUS BET: It wouldn’t surprise me if Ballydoyle Valor defies the odds and runs a very big race so it could even end up being a Graham Holland forecast. The way to play, for me, would be backing Wolfe, a forecast of Wolfe to beat Southwood Jet and then Wolfe to beat Ballydoyle Valor – that will pay very well if that was to come in – and I will put the three of them in for a combination tricast.
My NAP has to be Doolin Duke in the Derby Plate Final because this greyhound has got the pace to get himself a good position early on and the key is how he sees out the race. If Catunda Logan, his big market rival, is two or three lengths up at half-way I would still be confident Doolin Duke could pick him off.
But we’re being a little more adventurous with the NB and there were many possibilities but RIVERSIDE HONEY in the Dorando Marathon is my pick. She was eliminated in the Stayers’ heats last week but had not run since December – she had been off doing all sorts of things, including having a litter, but that was a big marker. This is a cracking race with Mick’s Little Gem, who won the Dorando last year, and Cesarewitch winner Aayamza Royale both in this race as well. I just like the way Riverside Honey ran last week and it could be another big winner for the Graham and Nicky Holland team.
Hopefully these are two bankers. ROXHOLME KRISTOF has just been unbelievable. He went through the Three Steps to Victory at Sheffield unbeaten but unfortunately got knocked out in the first round of the Derby because he wasn’t used to the track. He was unbelievable in the Stayers’ heats last week – he was inside the clock if you take into account the wet going and he looks almost impossible to beat. He looks like a greyhound we’ve got to keep onside going forward in all the big staying events, and should win the Stayers’ Final.
KNOCKABOUL SYD was eliminated in the semi-finals of the Derby last week. He tried to get across from the middle in the pouring rain – it was monsoon conditions out there – but he’d been absolutely fantastic up until then. If the final is missing an ingredient, it’s Knockaboul Syd so I make him the second leg of this short-priced Double. I am very hopeful that both can go in.
8.52pm, Derby Plate Final – Doolin Duke (Trap 5) (NAP)
9.11pm, Derby Final – Wolfe (Trap 4)
9.26pm – Riverside Honey (Trap 5) (NB)
Double: 8.21pm – Roxholme Kristof (Trap 5) & 8.36pm – Knockaboul Syd (Trap 2)
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