Greyhound Derby preview - first round heats 1-12
William Hill's odds compiler Ian Magor gives us his views on Friday's first-round heats of the williamhill.com Derby. Every single heat of the Derby can be watched, for free, live on William Hill TV.
Cloheena Cash is running consistently well in top grade at Wimbledon and local fans would have been hopeful of him providing interest for a few rounds but he has been pitched in against some top-class dogs here. Springwell Hot is approaching the age of five but is probably running better than ever and reached the final of last month's Blue Riband; Slick Seahawk has looked an exciting prospect at Nottingham but probably lacks experience at this level; Droopys Diarra comes from a team who know exactly what is required to reach Derby finals and Give Mesome Luck can run like a champion when it all comes right. However Razldazl George has already proven himself a top-class hound when beaten a short-head in the Easter Cup and like all Dolores Ruth's team he has been brought along with this competition in mind. This is a tough heat but he can come out on top.
Selection: Razldazl George
Kinda Ready returns to the scene of his 2009 Final triumph and although he owes his connections nothing, they will probably be disappointed if he doesn't progress from this heat. Romeo Spartan has more illustrious kennel companions but his record bears the closest scrutiny. That said, a draw in six would have been preferable and it is worth taking a chance on Rockview Head, who won a high quality 15,000 euro Tralee competition in March and ran the track well when clocking 28.53 in a recent trial.
Selection: Rockview Head
Droopys Bradley was absolutely outstanding when romping the St Leger final here last year and showed he can run as fast as the very best four bend dogs with two sub 28.30 trials last month. His problem is being in a position at the first bend to be able to unleash his brilliant back-straight pace to maximum effect. Nambisco demonstrated these difficulties in a two dog trial, inflicting a 1 ¼ length defeat. Martin White's lightly raced Scottish Derby winner can improve further and just needs to beat Westmead Guru to the bend to confirm the trial form with Droopys Bradley.
This is one of the hardest heats of the first round. Glenard Sunrise only failed very narrowly to reach his second Derby final last year and saves his best form for this event. Frisby Fontenblu won the Monmore Spring Festival with ease and Harry Crapper wouldn't be making the long journey from Yorkshire without realistic hopes. I will take a chance though on Bright Redcliffe. He accounted for Rayvin Giovanni during the Romford Puppy Cup and then ran with credit in the Henlow Derby. If his blistering early pace is still intact he can win this on the run to the corner.
Selection: Bright Redcliffe
Chris Allsopp holds all the aces here with Express Shuttle and Brittons Empire. The former's win in the Blue Riband will make him the market fancy but Brittons Empire actually went round quicker in a supporting race that evening and ran really well when narrowly beaten by Farloe Titan at Monmore last weekend and at the prices, he is the preference.
Selection: Brittons Empire
Most people would say that Shaws Dilemma was slightly disapponting last year but this is only because so much was expected of her. The fact is that she reached the final of the Leger and the Oaks around here. She ran very well in her comeback race at Sittingbourne last week and is strongly fancied here to show what a capable bitch she is.
Selection: Shaws Dilemma
Farloe Orion is a useful sort but has had to contend with injury problems. He would be fancied if totally fit and sound but I would much prefer to side with Ministry Magic who, while not quite living up to original expectations, has always ran with credit in top-class company, particularly around here. He looked better than ever when almost holding on for victory in front of Sky cameras last week and I make him one of the best bets of the first round.
Selection: Ministry Magic
Dolores Ruth has made no secret from day one of how highly she regards Razldazl Jayfkay. Because of this, many have referred to him as a talking dog. Indeed, Dolores herself when asked recently if she talks to the dog said that she does and that he talks back! If Jayfkay had spoken to the racing office himself he could not have asked for a better first round draw and if he builds on a scintillating 28.20 trial the track record could be under threat.
Selection: Razldazl Jayfkay
Boher Paddy has suffered just one defeat in a ten race career and has looked like Charlie Lister's principal Derby hope from an early stage. He goes about his work with ruthless efficiency, much like his handler. He will need to be on his toes here though to hold off Easter Cup winner, Makeshift, and it has to be said that the latter's form has more strength in depth at this point in time. With Paddy looking certain to go off odds-on, Makeshift has to be the value selection.
Destroy The Camp would probably be ranked second to Blonde Snapper in Mark Wallis' team and is perfectly drawn at a venue where he has shown much of his best running in the past. His chances are respected but he may have to play second in the rankings again, this time to the slightly forgotten dog, Yahoo Jamie. Charlie Lister's charge won The Derby Plate on final night last year. He is lightly raced for his age and looked as good as ever when winning a trial stakes last month. He can get this year's campaign off to a winning start here.
Selection: Yahoo Jamie
Charlie Lister brings an exceptionally strong team to this year's event and is 3/1 with Hills to register another competition victory. He has another likely favourite here with the well drawn Mottos Banker. This isn't straightforward though. Kerrydale Lar reached the final of the Harolds Cross Puppy Derby final and was fancied to win what amounted to a high quality renewal. Slick Robert has been running well at Nottingham and showed he has a real affinity for this track when reaching the semi-final of last year's competition and he is taken to make a successful return to Plough Lane.
Selection: Slick Robert
Taylors Cruise ran really well here during the Puppy Derby last year but subsequently seemed to lose his way. Since becoming part of Charlie Lister's team he has been transformed and was a good winner of the Scottish Derby last month. He ran really well when beating Laurence Blunt and Martin Wakefield's Droopys Diarra recently and the same duo's Krug Ninety Five may well be chasing him home again.Selection: Taylors Cruise