By Sam Norris
Last Updated: 3rd June 2019
The incumbent champion is the obvious starting point in the 2019 Greyhound Derby betting as Dorotas Wildcat (12/1) bids to become the first back-to-back winner since the legendary Westmead Hawk did the business in 2005 and 2006.
The Derby has a new home in 2019, with the race set to be held at Nottingham for the first time. The East Midlands venue has already been a happy hunting ground for the Wildcat, who dominated the Eclipse here winning his heat and the semi before prevailing in the final to back up his Derby win.
That got the pulses racing as the possibility of another back-to-back champion seemed closer to becoming a reality, but 2019 has not gone to plan.
His shock defeat at odds of 1/5 in a heat for the Winter Derby at Hove tempered enthusiasm as he finished stone last down on the south coast and followed that with another disappointing effort, when only finishing second in a minor open race at Swindon behind a puppy, Kingsbrook Glyn (100/1).
That’s left concerns surrounding the reigning champion, but he is dangerous to discount at a track where he has run well in the past.
With the first heats for the big one just around the corner, a couple of competitors stand out in the current Greyhound Derby 2019 betting.
Droopys Verve (16/1) may be ready to step out of Dorotas Wildcat’s shadow.
The bridesmaid to Dorotas Wildcat in last year’s Derby and then again in the Eclipse – he looked to have every opportunity to win the Scottish Derby at Shawfield in early May having won his heat and the semi, but blew the start in the final and couldn’t recover.
Droopy’s Verve (orange jacket in headline image) stayed on powerfully to grab third that day and with question marks around the reigning champion, he could be primed to finally get the better of his old adversary. It’s no surprise to see last year’s 1-2 head the market again.
Irish eyes could be smiling again
Paul Hennessy sent out Jaytee Jet to win the Derby for Ireland in 2016 and one of this year’s Irish raiders Clonbrien Swift (25/1) has caught the eye in trials.
Often a trail blazer when running in Ireland, he burned his rivals off in a couple of A1 races at Clonmel before heading to Nottingham for a pair of Derby trial stakes over the last couple of weeks.
Clonbrien Swift made a winning start to racing in the UK, bagging his first race by a length and putting in a sub 30 second time in the process.
He was only second next time around, but looks a greyhound who will be suited to the rigours of the Derby, if able to avoid the crowding which probably did for his chances last time out.
He’s a definite player in this field and it’s interesting that the layers are taking no chances.