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Greyhound Derby betting

May 22nd, 2012

The William Hill sponsored Greyhound Derby takes place this Saturday at 10.35pm at Wimbledon dog-track and is televised on Sky Sports 4 (their coverage is from 9-11pm).

Run over a trip of 480 metres, the Derby is the most prestigious race on the British greyhound racing calendar with a prize of £125,000 to the winner, however this year’s final is not the line up most pundits anticipated after some shocks in the semi-final’s last weekend, especially the exit of Bubbly Phoenix and the three Razldazl dogs from Ireland.

That’s good news for last year’s winner Taylors Sky and whilst only four greyhounds have won the title twice, two of those have been relatively recently - Rapid Ranger (2000-01) and Westmead Hawk (2005-06). Of course, Westmead Hawk is Taylors Sky’s father, which also bodes well for connections.

Whilst Taylors Sky won the Classic in a then track record time (28:17) last year (after posting 28:31 in both the Quarter and Semi-Final’s), he hasn’t sparkled in qualification this time around, winning only once. However, his times have lowered every race - from 29:30 in the first round down to 28:42 in the semi-final - and he looks to be coming nicely to the boil under the expert eye of trainer Charlie Lister who has trained the last two Derby winners and six in total, including the aforementioned Rapid Ranger. The reigning champion can be backed at best odds of 10/3 (Ladbrokes) from trap 4.

However, the slight favourite for Saturday’s showdown is Coolavanny Bert at best odds of 3/1 with Betfred and Totepool. Winner of three qualifying rounds and with remarkably consistent times in the last three rounds (28:51, 28:48 & 28:44), if trainer John Gardner can get another performance like that out of the favourite he’ll be there or thereabouts and is surely one for forecast or tricast bets.

That this contest is available at 3/1 the field is an indication that the race is one of the most open final’s on record, but Farloe Ironman who scorched to a new course record time of 28:16 in his Semi-Final last Saturday (ahead of Coolavanny Bert), is almost certain to win if he can repeat that performance. That time was really out of the blue from a dog that finished last of five runners in the first round, but if he takes advantage of trap 1 in the final and makes the first bend in front he could take a lot of catching. The Matt Dartnell trained dog can be backed at best odds of 4/1 with Bet365, Ladbrokes and Paddy Power.

The only remaining Irish challenger Judicial Ruling is next in the betting at 5/1 generally and has also posted a notable time (28:19) in the rounds. However, since that second round he has come off the boil somewhat, finishing in third place in his third round, Quarter and Semi-Final (never faster than 28:54) and he will need to find his earlier sparkle to trouble the favourites, especially given his well-documented injury scare last week.

Up next is Blonde Snapper, who just pipped Taylors Sky in their semi-final in a time of 28:41. Last year he went into the competition as the 14/1 second favourite but was knocked out in the first round, before landing the Williamhill.com Classic at Sunderland (450m) last July and last month the Golden Sprint Final at Romford (400m). That experience could prove to be valuable and the standout odds of 13/2 with Paddy Power are tempting.

Finally, in this highly competitive final, is the only dog available at double figures - Sky Bet offer a standout 11/1 for Westmead Adonis who has yet to win a race in qualification and, like Judicial Ruling, has finished in third place in the last three rounds to sneak into the final. However, trainer Nick Savva has trained four Derby winners before (including Westmead Hawk twice and Westmead Lord) so perhaps it wouldn’t be such a surprise to see their namesake upset the odds from trap 3.

In conclusion Taylors Sky remains the one to beat, but at the prices his conqueror in their Semi, Blonde Snapper, looks best value at 13/2. Coolavanny Bert could run them closest.

Greyhound Derby trap draw:

Trap 1: Farloe Ironman
Trap 2: Coolavanny Bert
Trap 3: Westmead Adonis
Trap 4: Taylors Sky
Trap 5: Judicial Ruling
Trap 6: Blonde Snapper

Tri-cast prediction: 4, 6, 2

Each way 1/4 1,2 (Bet365 1/3 1,2).

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