We don’t like to blow our own trumpet but sometimes you’ve just to stand back and take the kudos.
Almost 12 months ago we previewed the Greyhound Derby Final and hit the jackpot by prediciting the first three home. IN. THE. CORRECT. ORDER.
Can lightning strike twice?
The hare’s running …..
Trap 1: LENSON ROCKY
Something of a revelation in this year’s competition.Rocky was only third favourite to be the top ‘Lenson’ greyhound at the start of May, with Lenson Panda and Lenson Sanchez taking the eye of punters.
Owned by Greyhound Racing’s King of London, Lenny Ponder, he was a 66/1 poke for outright honours ante-post. In truth we couldn’t give that price away. Rocky has shown his fighting spirit by crushing the opposition week-on-week.
The fastest semi-final winner in a scintillating 28.13, he once again receives the coveted Trap 1 spot which he made his own last Saturday. Is drawn perfectly inside the slow-starting Cloran Paddy.
Verdict: Should go very close.
Trap 2: CLORAN PADDY
Luckily he’s a greyhound and not a cat as he’d have more than used up his nine lives by now. Sent off second-favourite for the first-round heat behind the well-fancied Diego Flight, he rode his luck in-running, qualifying for round two behind 20/1 outsider Torphin Bluesky.
He did produce a good run on a lightning-quick track in the quarter-finals before using up life number 13 in the semi-finals getting up on the line for third spot. Needs to spend the week rubbing his magic lamp but does have six-time winning trainer Sir Charlie Lister in his corner.
Trap 3: DROOPYS RODDICK
One of the major fancies since his mesmerising RFS Puppy Derby at this venue in November 2015 where he recorded a ridiculous 27.97 effort destroying quality opposition by almost nine lengths.
His 2016 campaign has also been impressive starting off with an ok third-place in a low-quality Joe Dunne Memorial Puppy event at Shelbourne Park before a phenomenal Con & Kirby Memorial victory at Limerick, stopping the clock at 28.09 in the final.
Gives the impression though that he doesn’t produce his best at Wimbledon despite his Puppy Derby win. Winning last week’s semi-final came as something of a surprise but the 4.77 split certainly played a big part. Needs to a similar start this week to ensure he’s not too far off the pace.
Verdict: Potential for tricasts.
Trap 4: PEREGRINE FALCON
Wasn’t a major fancy coming into this year’s English Derby under the radar despite being a 2015 Irish Derby & St. Leger Finalist. One month and five runs later he’s in the final of another big one and is still available to back at a double-figure price as the outsider of the bunch.
Owned by shrewd Irishman Pat Curtin, he defied a negative post quarter-final prognosis and mixed it with the best of them in last week’s semi-final. Probably needs to produce a career best here to land the biggest prize of them all. Likely to be inconvenienced by Hiya Butt on his outside.
Verdict: A valiant defeat.
Trap 5: HIYA BUTT
Owner Paul Ellis will be hoping for third-time lucky as he makes his third Greyhound Derby Final in the last 12 months.
As the owner of Farloe Blitz, beaten in last year’s English & Irish finals, Mr Ellis will be hoping to go one better and land the spoils as an outsider rather than the favourite.
With the burden of expectancy off his shoulders, the Hayley Keighley-trained runner is not without a chance. Needs to lead with his customary smash break and then hope for a little trouble-in-running behind to help his cause.
However, he looked flat out in last week’s semi-final as Droopys Roddick and Jaytee Jet breezed past him in the final 20 yards. Is this one run too many?
Verdict: More likely to be last than first.
Trap 6: JAYTEE JET
Defied the odds as a puppy to reach the 2015 English Greyhound quarter final where he was unlucky not to win (beaten a head, a head and a short head). A year later and with bags of experience under his belt he returns as the 2016 fav.
The Jet looks tailor-made for the Irish Greyhound Derby in a couple of months’ time but may as well net his owner stg £150k in the meantime by winning the English version first.
Has a perfect draw on the outsider of Hiya Butt, he should have it all his own way and be right in the mix coming off the last bend. Slight concerns exist over his trapping and pacing-up abilities but his back-straight pace is insane.
Did a ‘Holdem Spy’ in round two and actually qualified! Then, wowed the masses posting a time of 28.11 secs when cutting loose in round three. The one to beat.
Verdict: Draw swings it. Wins.
T6: JAYTEE JET
T1: LENSON ROCKY
T4: PEREGRINE FALCON