Greyhound Derby preview - Quarter Finals
William Hill's odds compiler Ian Magor gives us his views on Saturday's Third Round heats of the williamhill.com Derby. Every single heat of the Derby can be watched, for free, live on William Hill TV.
Another winning round is nice to report but only £2.80 to £10 level stakes keeps any excitement restrained. It’s a fantastic card tonight with every race full of intrigue and quality and hopefully I can add a more significant lump to the £147.53 made to date.
There is an abundance of early pace in traps 2-4 here and Yahoo Jamie and Millies Hawk look drawn the wrong way round. Rally Town will be looking to get across them and struggles to dominate in this company so Carden Bert looks the best drawn of this quartet. Droopys Joe has no early pace whatsoever but has a lovely draw from which to bring his strength from the second bend into play but if any dog gets a clear I don’t think he can reel them in. Craighall Horse is relatively lightly raced and got no sort of run when exiting the Derby in the second round and a couple of months ago he easily outstayed Carden Bert over 460m. The extra 20m makes him a good value bet to repeat the dose here.
This looks to rest between the inside three. Rotar Wing is a worthy favourite and has been beating decent opponents with outrageous ease recently. His shrewd trainer has taken the trouble to trial him here and it is hard to oppose him in his current form. However, Officer Donagh has taken a little while to show anything like the form which saw him winning race after race last summer but I think he is getting close and Jimmy Lollie had to do everything absolutely right to beat him at Hove on the last Sky meeting. I think he is extremely good value to go one better tonight.
Taylors Riviera was probably lacking a touch of race fitness when winning at Hove a fortnight ago and leading all the way was a rare experience for her. I find it easy to forgive her only just lasting home on that occasion and expect her to win again. I’m very tempted to put up Bubbly Eagle against her as he beat her when she was odds-on in the Dorando round here on Derby final night last year and ran an excellent six-bend trial last week, but the draw isn’t ideal and he hasn’t ran competitively since February, so he is reluctantly passed over.
Mesedo Blue is impressing more with each run. He looked as if he would appreciate a wider draw when running from 2 on Saturday and did very well to hold off Moneygall Obama when that rival broke swiftly from the inside and turned in a handy enough position to expose any chinks in Seamus Graham’s charge. I am confident he can extend his unbeaten record here and see Glenard Sunrise as the most realistic challenger. He should go better from here than when clad in orange on Saturday and having a troubled run throughout as a consequence.
Barefoot Bullet was back to the impressive form he showed in round 1 at the weekend and is difficult to oppose. The likely prices force my hand though. I have mentioned Slick Robert several times now as a big runner and the market again makes him too big to resist. Hopefully he can impress again this week but do so crossing the line in front. If Romeo Reason leads up Bullet he will be hard to pick up and Head Iton Ellis’ connections must be happy with a draw in 2 and a slow-starting dog inside him.
I hoped to see Krug Ninety Five force himself right to the top end of the market on Saturday and although he had excuses my enthusiasm for his chances of winning the competition are now very much tempered. It was difficult to move for the superlatives flying around Plough Lane after Toomaline Jack’s sensational track record breaking effort and he cannot be opposed in that sort of form. In fact I see Roo Come On as the biggest danger and he was behind Jack by nearly six lengths on Saturday.
It is not to criticise Bandicoot Tipoki to say he hasn’t faced the greatest competition to date. What has been put before him he has dismissed with disdain but tonight he will have to be at his very best. Lyreen Mover has brute early pace and will be moving right and if BT doesn’t come out a little quicker than he has to date he may have to perform miracles to make the first bend in front. Tranquil Time motors into the bend and presents a further hazard. Farloe Skywalker is learning the game in exalted company and whatever happens tonight, to get this far on only his seventh run makes his future prospects look extremely exciting. If he copes with the quick reappearance I think he can swell the ranks of admirers by making the most of a very favourable draw.
Droopys Belletti was my long-term fancy for the William Hill St. Leger when he was winning four bend races at Sheffield and staying on really well to the drop but since taking on staying company an objective look at his record makes him look no better at this stage than many other dogs in the division. Add in a draw nearer the fence than the stands and I think he is a poor value favourite. The dogs drawn at either extreme look best placed to benefit from any shortcomings and Bush Paddy will have plenty of room to avoid the sort of problems he encountered when narrowly beaten in this month’s Regency final. He is a confident selection to win and make any St Leger dreams in the minds of connections that bit more vivid.