William Hill English Derby 2015



Feisty Four remain in chase of £250,000 and immortality!

So the Derby field was halved from 24 to a semi-final line-up of 12 aspiring champions on Tuesday and we saw our cavalry reduced from 8 to 4. You could say that was a decent return in keeping with the statistics for the round but it could have been so much better with Clares Wonder and Jaytee Jet missing out by just a short-head in their respective heats while Gaytime Hawk was arguably the unlucky runner of the whole round when losing his comfortable qualifying position by running into the back of Geelo Vegas at the closing bends of heat 3.

Bully-like Blitz really wants it!

Farloe Blitz
The consolation when losing Clares Wonder however was a scintilating display by Owen McKenna’s outright favourite Farloe Blitz when he got us off to a flyer in the opener, answering his Derby call when put to the sword by a blistering start from Evanta Fantasy on his inner. Cementing his place at the top of the market he showed an admirable determination to forcefully claim the lead entering the second bend in the manner of hound with a deep cited hatred for being led and remains our leading hope for glory in 2015.

Irish Tricast closes quarter session

Sanchez & Maverick
Worryingly then, we had to wait until the final heat to qualify another for the semi-finals and thankfully, a plausible chance to fill the tricast places was converted with Pat Buckley safely guiding his duo of Paradise Maverick and Lenson Sanchez through with the pair split by Peter Cronin’s Tynwald Bish. Cronin lost out with Salonika here but he will have been delighted with the smart start and early pace that Bish showed. Run out of first position by Paradise Maverick in the home-straight was no disgrace and the winning time of 28.28 means that all three remain serious Derby contenders.

Irish on top but Vegas may dictate fortunes

Indeed our four survivors all feature in the top 6 of the betting market and the prospect of the £250,000 first prize making a hasty conversion to Euros is beginning to look increasing more likely. Although the home team still have their sprinter Geelo Vegas in the semi’s, we have the most potent early pacer in Farloe Blitz, for his burst of speed can last almost to the finish line but that British sprinter may hold a big key to the hopes of all our runners. What Blitz does not want in the final is a runner that can lead him to the bend and bring the possibility of a bump. The most likely remaining runner to cause such a headache would be Geelo Vegas, and Farloe Blitz would be doing himself a big favour in the semi-final if he could trap well and deny this fellow a lead which would almost certainly ensure his elimination.

Enigmatic Rio Quattro
It is my contention that we also have the most potent stayer left in through Irish Cesarewitch winner Paradise Maverick. He proved why he is so feared on these shores when within any reasonable striking distance on the back-straight by powering to a 28.28 victory on Tuesday. The English will contest this opinion and point to Rio Quattro who ran Eden The Kid so close on Tuesday and who has posted 28.29 in the competition. However I labelled him a Derby Bismark last week and will not budge from that opinion which is not intended as a slight on his talent but it was disappointing that he could not clock better than 28.67 when in front at halfway in round 3. He seems to do his best running with a hound to aim at, and the decorum shown when expressing concerns about his chances in this column last week was brashly lacking when outspoken Sky Sports presenter Matt Chapman openly questioned whether he prefers chasing dogs than the bunny!

Geelo Vegas could also have a real say on whether Paradise Maverick could take Derby victory. Should Farloe Blitz and Maverick reach the final, the Buckley runners chances would surely be enhanced by having a rival in the field that could possibly deny Blitz a second bend lead. Reeling in Farloe Blitz would be a much more daunting prospect than doing the same to Geelo Vegas. Vegas himself is no also ran for any runner with his early pace clearly holds claims in a Wimbledon Derby but he could also be a big factor in where the crown ends up, if not with himself!



1) Rio Quattro
2) Farloe Blitz
3) Eden The Kid(m)
4) Geelo Vegas(m)
5) Diego Flight(w)
6) Roxholme Ted(w)

McKenna Derby dream still Live!
The Derby favourite is our sole representative in the opener and an intriguing heat it is. He has a viable rival for the second bend lead in top class sprinter Geelo Vegas but trap 2 appears ideal with slower starter Rio Quattro on his inner. Track record holder Eden The Kid’s best start would not be enough to inconvenience Blitz on the run to the bend and even if Geelo Vegas does lead up, expect the McKenna favourite to both rail well and fly off the second bend to set up his inevitable passing move on the back-straight. Excepting a bump in the early strides, which may occur, “The Kid” would surely follow these around and be certain to fill a qualifying place at the minimum. With Geelo Vegas headed before the closing bends, he will be all out to cling on to a final place. The logical assumption would be that Eden The Kid and Rio Quattro will the ones applying the pressure, with the former first in line and while Diego Flight is respected as a finisher, with at least one tail to aim at, Rio Quattro would be too hard to reel in. 

Win:2 F/C: 2-4 T/C: 2-4-1


1) Paradise Maverick
2) Making Paper(m)
3) Millwards Davy(m)
4) Lenson Sanchez(m)
5) Tynwald Bish(w)
6) Viking Jack(w)

Cronin's Bish must Break!
Three Irish runners renew rivalry here and it is not beyond the realms of possibility that they can fill the tricast places again. That won’t be easy but it is the fancy, especially if Paradise Maverick repeats his improved start of Tuesday. He is almost assured the freedom, such as it is, of the inside on the run to the bend and with that room to race independently is the clear choice for victory. Viking Jack has returned to his more usual breaking form the last twice and we must fancy that the early battle on the outer can be fought by Tynwald Bish and Lenson Sanchez, this scenario is crucial to getting both through. Bish must be forward off the second bend and probably needs to be in front but he can with a repeat of last week’s start. It is also vital that Sanchez begin well and turn into the first bend ahead of both Millwards Davy and Making Paper for all three English runners in the heat stay well and while they struggle to reach the top clocks, will pounce on any opening if offered to them.

Patriotism aside (honestly), Sanchez and Tynwald dominated the outside battle early on with the pair heading Paradise Maverick at the bend. Possibly Tynwald edges it off the second bend but from this point expect a repeat of Tuesday’s quarter-final with Maverick again preferred. They must race without bumping at the bottom bends because if there is, it will become a lottery but not for the strongest runner Maverick who you would still expect to prevail even with bumping at that stage.
Win: 1 F/C: 1-4 T/C: 1-4-5



16Jun Wdon 480m [1] 4.88 4332 1st Tynwald Bish Bp1,ROn,LRIn 28.28 N 5/2 OR 28.28
13Jun15 Wdon 480m [2] 4.92 3322 2nd Teds Last Bmp1, Chl3-4 28.30 N 8/1 OR 28.41
06Jun15 Wdon 480m [1] 4.98 5555 3rd Jet Stream Sound Rls,RnOn 28.47 +10 6/4F OR 28.72
27May15 Wdon 480m [3] 4.90 2333 2nd shd Lenson Sanchez RnOn        28.17 +20 7/2 OR 28.38

16Jun Wdon 480m [3] 4.83 2223 3rd Paradise Maverik CrdRnUp, RnOn 28.28 N 10/11F OR 28.43
13Jun15 Wdon 480m [4] 4.83 2111 1st 4 Clares Wonder Ld1        28.12 N 5/2 OR 28.12
05Jun15 Wdon 480m [1] 4.83 6433 2nd Evanta Fantasy Bmp1,RnOn 28.56 N 7/4 OR 28.82
27May15 Wdon 480m [2] 4.88 3222 1st shd Paradise Maveri LdNrLn        28.17 +20 11/8F OR 28.37


16Jun Wdon 480m [4] 4.79 1111 2nd Paradise Maverik QAw, Ld-RnIn 28.28 N 8/1 OR 28.39
13Jun15 Wdon 480m [5] 4.84 2122 2nd ½ Rio Quattro Chl1-1/2 28.67 N 5/1 OR 28.72
06Jun15 Wdon 480m [6] 4.94 6333 2nd 4 Coolavanny Jap Crd&W1, RnOn 28.32 N 7/2 OR 28.65
30May15 Wdon 480m [5] 4.89 3222 2nd Leamaneigh Turbo  ClrRn   28.21   +20 3/1 OR 28.69


16Jun Wdon 480m [2] 4.76 3111 1st 1 Millwards Davy EP, Ld1 28.32       +10 4/5F OR 28.42
13Jun15 Wdon 480m [1] 4.74 4111 1st Boyneside Fun Bmp&Ld1        28.36 N 6/4F OR 28.36
05Jun15 Wdon 480m [3] 4.67 4111 1st Rio Quattro QAw, SnLd 27.99 +10 8/13F OR 28.09
27May15 Wdon 480m [3] 4.74 3111 1st Roxholme Ted EP, SnLd 28.21 +10 10/11F OR 28.31

Irish Derby assault still on track with three winners and an eager eight survivors

The Derby field was again halved on Saturday last so from an Irish point of view, retaining three quarters of our survivors is a pleasing and admirable effort from our charges and in boxing terms, we are definitely ahead on points having landed some of the more significant blows on the night.
***Breaking News/Droopys Nidge out of Quarter Final!

The outlook was ominously worrying when losing both Quietly and Riverside Pat in the opener but we gratefully got Salonika through there and the remainder of the heats saw an upturn in fortune, even if not immediately apparent when Coolavanny Jap was cruelly denied a third bend run and a certain qualifying place behind Teds Last and kennelmate Paradise Maverick in Heat 2. Contrasting fortune within this heat saw the end of Droopys Nidge Derby dream until saved by that third bend melee but he has now highlighted to his English supporters, the reservations that most on these shores always held about him as regards the rigorous demands of a Derby campaign.

Sanchez sets the session alight
Sanchez(2) in winning action

We had to wait until heat 4 to see an Irish winner and Lenson Sanchez made that wait worth while when returning to his sizzling round 1 form by dominating throughout in the fastest time of the night, 28.12. Once denying Clares Wonder the lead, he would always take victory but this forecast was a welcome result for two very viable Derby prospects.

Blitz the boss

Farloe Blitz
There can be no doubt that the performance of the round came in heat 5 when Owen McKenna’s Farloe Blitz settled any argument about who was the leading player in this Derby by taking the “heat of death” in decisive fashion with early pace that can continue to end the Derby hopes of high profile runners. He ensured that Newinn Yolo and Eden The Kid would need to battle for their place in the quarter-final and it must be said that the latter did enhance his credentials when displaying an admirable battling quality to add to his undoubted Derby class speed. 

However, when Blitz leads to the bend, it puts wrench like pressure on his rivals, making things increasingly tighter behind him for an improving class of rival each round and the more often he does, the more dangerous the Derby gets for those in his wake. Be in no doubt, Blitz is the biggest player!

A rock solid performance by Peter Cronin’s Tynwald Bish when actually taking ground out of Rio Quattro late on augurs well for his chances of further progression and for me only reinforced that Rio Quattro is a Derby Bismark as the prospect of him leading so soon in a heat again is highly unlikely and even his most fervent supporters must have been hoping that he could win by a wide margin when in front at halfway.

The final heat was a body blow for this commentator as the NAP of the night, Gaytime Hawk was denied victory by the Derby Dark Horse Jaytee Jet when the penny finally dropped at traps for the Paul Hennessy powerhouse. He now adds greatly to our Derby challenge if he can repeat his 4.83 split for the manner in which he dismissed the challenge of Gaytime Hawk on the back-straight was simply brilliant especially when considered that the Holland runner is no shrinking violet in this Derby despite ceding to Jet this time.

Too much fuss made of extra run

Overall we claimed 3 victories and got 8 through to the quarters, a fine return from our twelve round 2 survivors. We now face into the much debated three runs in a week and you will hear pundits and commentators surmising about which dogs will handle the extra run better than his rivals or which will struggle. If your favourite speaker or writer starts into that, turn them off. We are dealing with some of the fittest living beings on the planet with some of the most talented, scientific and gifted handlers that ever held a greyhound. They should and will, all be well able for it! Excepting the likely possibility that some may have a niggling injury or two, they are bred to run, they are super fit and are in expert hands. Unless you are in the kennels you don’t know anything of possible injuries, and you can’t be in all the kennels. Pondering the extra run in terms of giving advise or punting guides is futile. We can only do what we have done for each round so far, take the form on offer and assume all are capable to repeat or build on that!

Heat by Heat Previews

1st Quarter-Final


McKenna dream is alive & well
We can only greet this draw with glee from an Irish point of view with both our runners having what appear ideal draws to reach the semi-finals. Trap 2 looks perfect for Farloe Blitz and although both the bitch Evanta Fantasy and brilliant round 3 winner Millwards Davy warrant the utmost respect, it is hard to see how they can deny the McKenna runner the lead on the inside now. The same can be said about Clares Wonder on the outside where he can surely lead Diego Flight and Romany Rouge. This heat should be all about the Irish Pair and the reverse forecast looks nailed on. However there is merit in considering a sporting small wager on Clares Wonder at likely good odds. The heat offers him his most plausible chance since the opening night to race completely independently on the run-up and could possibly lead up if Blitz didn’t make the fastest of starts. For me, I’ll leave it alone and my prediction would be a Farloe Blitz win, with Clares Wonder close behind while Romany Rouge may stay on and take third after the much respected Millwards Davy and Evanta Fantasy have been inconvenience by being denied the lead by the Irish pair.

Verdict: R F/C 2-5

2nd Quarter-Final


Eden The Kid
No Irish here and a real opportunity for Eden The Kid to return to winning ways as the heat appears to have a make up where we can predict the early yards. Evanta Evita can retain her place on the rails as she has handled trap 1 at Wimbledon and Rio Quattro will have plenty to occupy him on the run up. A bump for him would put his chances of qualifying in serious jeopardy with the presence of Making Paper a complication for Rio should he again sneak a run at the bend because he will be as strong on the run home as Rio. All this should be taking place after Eden The Kid and Boyneside Fun have shown the best early pace to contest the lead to the bend before “the Kid” takes over, dominates and returns to his blistering clocks. Having Making Paper on his inner should offer plenty of wiggle room for Eden The Kid and he is a strong fancy to qualify with Boyneside Fun and Evanta Evita.

Win:4 C T/C: 4-1-6

3rd Quarter-Final


Such a complicated heat here and both our representatives will need to be sharp to progress. It’s well known at this stage that I am a Gaytime Hawk fan but he took a jink to the right when leaving trap 1 in round 2 and if he does that here he could be in all sorts of bother. Geelo Vegas on his outer has been progressive throughout his campaign, improving his finish time each run and producing a brilliant start last time out. Trap 2 appears ideal for him and he has enough early pace to fend off Teds Last on the run up. The Hawk must trap and match him on the inner or else he has a huge task on his paws.

One of the most impressive cameos of this Derby so far was for me, the manner in which Teds Last dismissed the challenge of Paradise Maverick on the back-straight on Saturday. I did not believe Maverick could be beaten with the prominent position he held at halfway and I can only draw the conclusion that Teds Last is the real deal! I have too much green running through me to back him here but patriotism aside, he would be a maximum bet fancy for the heat with a run on the outside of Geelo Vegas early on before asserting off the second bend.

Kevin Hennessy knows the talent of Jaytee Jet
Once again the complication in the heat will be Jaytee Jet. He is adding greatly to this Derby and if reinforcing the improvement shown on Saturday, is a threat to all. Excepting my admiration for Gaytime Hawk, I would love to see himself and Teds Last locked together at halfway and see what happens! However, as a betting option he is still extremely hard to recommend. He is now back in trap 5 which he failed to break from in the first 2 rounds and everything says that he will be rolling the dice for another strong finish to try sneak a qualifying place.

Even when Viking Jack repeated his fast start in round 2, I was not convinced he would do it again and I’m still not. If he does, he has a great chance to qualify and fair play to him but he is not a betting option here either. The deeper you look, the best chances for a run are with Geelo Vegas and Teds Last and the latter is clearly the one to be on even though I will be screaming for Hawk and Jet to reproduce their best starts.
Win: 3

4th Quarter-Final *** Breaking News/Droopys Nidge withdrawn!!


Nidge must prove he can bounce back
I gave a big enough reel of concerns about Nidge before Saturday’s heat and I won’t be doing again now but he was lucky then and may need to be here also. Ok, if he does the 4.77 he’s away and gone and back at the top of the market but unless he clears the Peter Cronin pair inside him, he will be in allsorts of you know what again. It’s a tough and complicated heat but in reality it does all hinge around Sanchez. Yes Blonde Nipper can come away better than Saturday but Sanchez was gorgeous then and has plausible claims of leading him up here. If he does that, the heat is over. He will repel all on his outer, have a lovely pitch at the bend and scoot clear. Being on his right looks ideal for Tynwald Bish and having lowered his split on Saturday he is warming to his Derby challenge, possesses quality pace all round and has a good profile in the context of this heat. Kennelmate Salonika will not be moving in on top of him too soon and the possibility of racing room gives him a real chance to qualify but probably at the chief expense of his travelling companion.

So to Paradise Maverick. I didn’t like him from trap 1 in round 2 and am not happy to see him there again now. It was disappointing to see him beaten on Saturday from a position that he would rarely secure on the back-straight of a 480m competition and that did dent his credentials, but could you rule him out of qualifying now?....Well no has to be the answer to that. He is still a strong finisher, who could sneak a rails run and get up for a place late on. He probably has to be in front of Blonde Nipper before the third bend to do that however and it is fair to say that he has a big task on his paws now.
Win: 3 F/C 3-4



13Jun15 Wdon        480m       [2]           4.92         3322        2nd          1¼           Teds Last Bmp1, Chl3-4          28.30       N             8/1          OR                28.41
06Jun15   Wdon      480m       [1]           4.98         5555        3rd           1¾           Jet Stream Sound Rls,RnOn   28.47       +10          6/4F        OR                28.72
27May15 Wdon      480m       [3]           4.90         2333        2nd          shd          Lenson Sanchez      RnOn               28.17               +20          7/2                OR           28.38

13Jun15 Wdon        480m       [4]           4.83         2111        1st           4              Clares Wonder        Ld1                  28.12               N             5/2                OR           28.12
05Jun15   Wdon      480m       [1]           4.83         6433        2nd          3¼           Evanta Fantasy       Bmp1,RnOn            28.56       N             7/4                OR           28.82
27May15 Wdon      480m       [2]           4.88         3222        1st           shd          Paradise Maveri LdNrLn                 28.17               +20          11/8F                OR           28.37


13Jun15 Wdon        480m       [6]           4.82         1222        2nd          4              Lenson Sanchez      W, Ld-1           28.12               N             10/11F                OR           28.44
06Jun15   Wdon      480m       [5]           4.78         2332        2nd          3¾           Newinn Yolo           W, EvCh           28.03               +10          11/4                OR           28.43
28May15 Wdon      480m       [6]           4.72         1111        1st           1              Swift Keith              QAw,ALd         28.44               N             4/5F                OR           28.44

13Jun15 Wdon        480m       [2]           4.84         3222        2nd          2¼           Jaytee Jet                EvCh                28.27               N             4/1                OR           28.46
06Jun15   Wdon      480m       [1]           4.93         1444        3rd           2              On Alert  Bmp&PSt,HRls1      28.51       N             8/11F      OR                28.68
28May15 Wdon      480m       [2]           4.88         5332        1st           ½             Tinahue Pinto          LdRnIn             28.51               N             11/8F                OR           28.51


13Jun15 Wdon        480m       [5]           4.84         2122        2nd          ½             Rio Quattro             Chl1-1/2  28.67       N             5/1          OR                28.72
06Jun15   Wdon      480m       [6]           4.94         6333        2nd          4              Coolavanny Jap       Crd&W1, RnOn       28.32       N             7/2                OR           28.65
30May15 Wdon      480m       [5]           4.89         3222        2nd          3½           Leamaneigh Turbo  ClrRn       28.21       +20          3/1          OR                28.69

13Jun15 Wdon        480m       [5]           4.93         5443        2nd          2              Geelo Vegas           W, ClrRn  28.36       N             12/1        OR                28.52
05Jun15   Wdon      480m       [6]           4.76         1111        1st           nk            Glenpadden Lord    EP, LdRnUp             28.46       +10          8/1                OR           28.56
29May15 Wdon      480m       [6]           4.90         4311        1st           3¾           Sparta Flame          Crd1, Ld1/2             29.18       -10           7/2                OR           29.08


13Jun15 Wdon        480m       [1]           4.74         4111        1st           1¼           Boyneside Fun        Bmp&Ld1                        28.36               N                6/4F        OR           28.36
05Jun15   Wdon      480m       [3]           4.67         4111        1st           2½           Rio Quattro             QAw, SnLd              27.99       +10          8/13F                OR           28.09
27May15 Wdon      480m       [3]           4.74         3111        1st           1½           Roxholme Ted         EP, SnLd  28.21       +10          10/11F    OR                28.31


13Jun15 Wdon        480m       [6]           4.83         4111        1st           2¼           Gaytime Hawk        EP, Ld1            28.27               N             8/1                OR           28.27
05Jun15   Wdon      480m       [5]           4.95         6644        3rd           3              Salonika  SAw                 28.46               +10          7/4F        OR                28.80

27May15 Wdon      480m       [5]           5.04         5322        1st           ½             Vanfrankie              VSAw, LdRnIn         28.68       N             4/5F                OR           28.68




We could have hoped for a better spread than to have 3 Irish runners in the same heat tonight but at least all have plausible claims of qualification here. We must fancy Quietly to lead up and if we are to fill all 3 places then he must. Ibiza Rocks is no slouch in the early strides so it is crucial that the Ian Reilly charge ends his Derby in the opening 50 yards now by denying him a run on the rails while at the same time offering his tail as a bulls-eye target for Riverside Pat to aim at on the run to the bend. Pat is not breaking at Wimbledon and a run in behind Quietly may be his best chance of avoiding potential bumping at the bend, provided Ibiza Rocks has been quashed early and is not on Riverside Pat’s inner, ready to dish out a thump upon turning.

Riverside Pat(2)  faces another stiff test in heat 1
Salonika would control the outside if repeating his fast split of last week and would almost be assured a qualifying place if so. Trainer Peter Cronin has said that trap 6 would be his favourite box and we can only hope that he can step out of trap 5 as smartly. With just a level break he can be expected to out pace Diego Flight on the run up and that in itself offers the chance of a clear run but he must at least match if not better Geelo Vegas early on if he is to properly cement a safe passage. If doing so, he should be strong enough from the second bend to protect his position, most likely in behind Quietly down the back.

Overall, Quietly leads around and dominates followed down the back by Salonika. Anything is possible in behind and as a strong finisher Diego Flight must be highly respected but there is just too much class about Riverside Pat and it will take significant bad luck to keep him out.
Win: 2 T/C 2-5-3



If you hadn’t got that distinctive Derby feel before this heat, you know the one where there is so much class in one place that 15 minutes between races is just not enough to take it all in and get yourself set to absorb what’s about to happen?......well you’re going to get it now! This is a vicious heat and a sign of things to come. Pat Buckley will surely be cursing his luck to have two in any heat but especially this particular one and it will be difficult to get one through, let alone two but both are plenty capable.

Droopys Nidge
From very early in his career I have been of the opinion that Nidge would go through his career as a heart breaker in big competitions. His class can not be underestimated, he is a monster but his inconsistency always looked likely to see him fail in rigorous campaigns like this. A contributing factor to that was his giddy nature in traps when often seen pawing at the bars or charging too soon. He has however got it right twice now at Wimbledon and the “English” runner (clearing my throat) will win again if he gets it right a third time. I would rather hold an outright ticket on him than ever back him at short odds to win a heat because I still believe it can go wrong for him at any time and that’s not just at traps. We have seen him look quite lack lustre on occasion when behind runners on the back-straight also but in the context of predicting this heat on current evidence….well we just have to allow one of the qualifying places for him.

So we are possibly looking at how can Buckley fill the other two places. One scenario is that Nidge just about leads up and sweeps into the bend sharply, as he does, causing mayhem in behind. We would back Paradise Maverick to emerge from such a situation with his finishing prowess and the make up of the race overall suggests that he has quite a good draw here. It’s hard to know what to safely wish for here but Badmoonrising does trap from the squeeze box and he will forcefully defend the rail. The woeful exit of Maverick from red last week should be bettered in trap 2 now and he can be expected to track Badmoonrising for a possible slipstream into the back-straight where he can be expected to mount a serious challenge. That is a very likely scenario on the inner and the verdict there is Maverick qualifies.

The application of the middle seed worked a treat for Coolavanny Jap last week and we must pray that it does again now. Teds Last got it wrong last week after a brilliant round 1 win and he is crucial to Jap’s chances now for the Buckley runner must lead him up and retain a position on the inside of Nidge for a clear run into the back-straight. If he does that, he can qualify. He sees out the trip well enough to retain a place but we would want him to be ahead of Badmoonrising before the third bend.
So overall, if we assume a repeat by Nidge, he and Jap race in close order on the run-up with Badmoonrising dominating the inside.

Coolavanny Jap
These three together at the top of the back-straight with Maverick stalking after tracking the red jacket on the rail. Maverick denies Jaytee Berlin and Teds Last their chance as he is too strong at this point after all three were led to the bend. Nidge asserts before the third bend with Maverick flying at Badmoonrising. Jap gets a run one the outer of these two, chasing Nidge before Maverick eventually gets through off the final bend. If that comes through, copy and paste this paragraph all over the Internet! This is too complicated for a bet unless you are a Kamikaze who wants to weigh in with a wedge on Nidge. Best advice is to sit back an enjoy an awesome Derby heat…..oh it’s on!
Verdict: No Bet



A break for the Irish here in a highly competitive heat where Leamaneigh Turbo is likely to start favourite and he is hard to adamantly oppose given the way he is trapping at present. He is likely to lead on the outer and in doing so deny Wotnofizz his chance and the trap 6 runner is the only that can be left out of calculations with any sort of confidence. Swift Keith got it right at the second attempt from trap 1 last time and merits plenty of respect again now.
Rab McNair trains Leamaneigh Turbo
He can make a bold bid if he repeats last week’s effort on the inside of the two brilliant Mark Wallis bitches Fantasy & Evita. It’s a shame for fans of bitches in all aged classics to see these two drawn beside each other. The pair are closely matched but being on the inside, Fantasy has greater claims to qualify and may be worth a punt here. She can go to the bend and appears to be warming to the Wimbledon boxes. She can match Swift Keith up and possibly even lead him. Leamaneigh Turbo would be under serious threat come the closing bends if so and overall she appears the most solid option in the heat.
Win: 2



Sanchez(2) in round 1 victory
We are back with a bang in this one! Only one of these managed to win last week and On Alert is an English runner with real merit in the Derby if just short of the blistering clocks. He has proper claims again as he has proved in the past that he can handle trap 1 at Wimbledon and he should not face too much competition for the rails pitch from Kentish Man and should also contain Ascot Woodie on the run up. All evidence suggests that Clares Wonder can lead on the outside here and be first into the back-straight. He found a performance of real merit when failing to lead behind Newinn Yolo last week and looks to be in great order.

Lenson Sanchez, has over the two rounds so far, showed many qualities you could hope to see in a Derby contender. He clocked when finding a clear run in round 1 and battled for his place last week with steely determination. Game as you like, he will take some eliminating from this Derby and can progress now. It may get scary again but that 4.83 split last week was an improvement, and he is capable of better. Any sort of a run at the bend will see him flying at Clares Wonder late on and the heat really is all about these two with On Alert the choice for third.
C T/C: 6-4-1



Three potential and plausible Derby winners in this heat, mouth watering! Arguably the leading hope of each nation clash here. Ireland’s Farloe Blitz, England’s Newinn Yolo and Scotland’s Eden The Kid with the exception of Droopys Nidge have been the three stand out performers so far. The prospect of losing any one of them at this point was almost unthinkable until the draw came out, but it is a real possibility now.

The brilliant Farloe Blitz
From the Irish point of view, Farloe Blitz wins this heat if he handles “that box”! He has too much early pace, they will not prevent him from turning first and therefore he is the logical choice. Sounds simple……just please break!

It is much more complicated for Yolo than it appears at first glance because that latest 4.78 split was better than he is renowned for and if he returns to his more usual and quite adept break it can get tight for him on the run-up. Coolavanny Gooch is not my idea of a Derby winner but he can go to the bend and may prove a complicator here if still on Yolo’s shoulder on the inside because Yolo certainly will not be given any space on his outer by track record holder Eden The Kid who in turn will struggle for wiggle room with two smart early paced types in the wide boxes.

Overall we can only trust Farloe Blitz to break and once that happens this heat should be over as regards the win. There is a real possibility of a five dog concertina in behind and this is not as simple as the best dogs qualify. A real Derby head scratcher outside of the fact that Blitz will win!
Win: 1



No Irish in this one and a highly competitive contest on paper if not the hottest of the night. Roxholme Kid found a good start to show his top quality early pace last week and will be popular again now. He won’t get it easy on the inside but can probably just about command the rails pitch at the bend. Should that happen, Hayley Keightley will have sound claims of the forecast as Roxholme Ted could also control the outside on the run up. He has more early pace than the two runners either side and expect these to dominate the race where Glenpadden Lord’s inside run (he has performed out of trap 1 here) may secure him the remaining qualifying spot.
Win: 2 T/C: 2-5-1



Two Irish this time and we do have a chance to get both through, but it will not be easy. Rio Quattro really stepped up to the plate last week with a decent break by his standards bringing a clear run to chase Farloe Blitz home in a sizzling clock. A clear run for him would most likely see him home here and the prospect of the strong stayer leading up Pat Buckley’s Go Ahead will make life difficult for the trap 1 runner. He produced a brilliant effort to chase home Quietly last week and having done that from trap 1, the draw in it’s itself has been kind enough with the prospect of a rails run again and that’s what he needs. Whether he matches Rio Quattro to the bend (that would be ideal) or follows him around, he must rail well, keep clean and try stay on for a place.

On the outside, Tynwald Bish has plenty of early pace at this level but is not quite trapping at Wimbledon. He should however still lead Shotgun Harley up and he probably really does need to. Just inside him, Lenson Tiggy and Blonde Nipper may fight the overall early lead and if they do, they could plausibly give Bish a nice tow into the back-straight. Peter Cronin’s strong runner would make a bold bid to qualify in that scenario.

Overall Blonde Nipper would be the vote overall as he can lead the two on his inner and being on the inside of doubtful stayer Lenson Tiggy at this point would see a back-straight surge to put him in control with Tiggy acting as a blocker in behind. This is where we will need things to go our way. We want Go Ahead railing like the Eurostar, ready to sneak a run off the final turn where hopefully Tynwald Bish is still in front of Rio Quattro. We may need some luck and it is going to be a mad scramble, but we’re in with a shout! For a bet, Nipper is the percentage call and Rio should ensure that he is a price. That’s if you can bring yourself to shout against the Irish?!



We round off the night with two powerful Irish runners in their own right. One an almost complete article in the form of Graham Holland’s Gaytime Hawk, the other and unpolished diamond in Paul Hennessy’s Jaytee Jet. The latter has much to learn about the game, the first and most urgent being trapping. As the heats get faster, he is increasingly likely to give away even more early ground and you would have to be concerned about his prospects now in a hot heat where many will not be for passing, even with his awesome finishing power.

Gaytime won Cork Derby trial stake
Gaytime Hawk however is a different animal altogether and how grateful it is to see him away from that wretched trap 1 now having almost lost his Derby chance when exiting in red last week. Expect him to come away better from trap 2, lead Droopys Ward and a rails run from that point makes him a big fancy to take the heat. Even if sneaking around on his tail, I’m prepared to stick my neck out and say Droopys Ward won’t pass him. A more likely scenario is that when Hawk is in front at the third bend, both Bubbly Beauty and Viking Jack will be in his slipstream and acting as blockers. Bubbly is threatening to return to his Shelbourne Park trapping form and has decent early pace while Viking Jack, an inconsistent breaker until the Derby started, must be fancied to lead on the outside again.
The race appears set up for third bend trouble but Gaytime Hawk can be in advance of that threat with a rails run to lead at that stage. Should that trouble occur, it brings the possibility of a late qualifying surge from Jaytee Jet but with strong runners like Hawk, Droopy and Jet Stream Sound he probably needs that to happen for a tricast place. The clear and only betting option here is a Gaytime Hawk win.
Win: 2


ROUND 2 Heats 1-8 Friday June 5th **(scroll down for heats 9-16)


1 Swift Keith
2 Badmoonrising
3 Ninja Turbo
4 Eden The Kid (m)
5 Southfield Blue (w)
6 Screen Critic (w)

A somewhat subdued reaction to the new figures posted by Eden The Kid for the 480 yard Derby trip at Wimbledon on Saturday last was a little surprising to say the least. It had after all been well banded about that the record might fall during the 2015 campaign so I can only surmise that the repeated suggestions that the track was extremely fast for that first Saturday heat were more in disappointment that the various commentators and pundits failed to consider the Rab McNair youngster as one likely to achieve such a feat rather than a lack of appreciation for a sublime display of total greyhound racing excellence. The remainder of the heats on Saturday rubber-stamp what a truly awesome display Eden The Kid produced and this commentator can’t wait to see him repeat the dose on Friday!

New track record holder Eden The Kid
Maybe he’ll never go as fast again, maybe he’ll go faster, but if returning in the same form he can take the opening heat of Round 2 where a break close to level terms will suffice. A 4.79 sectional was impressive as he clearly did not ping the lids and it is conceivable that he will face an early test now. Badmoonrising looks the best drawn in the heat and it will be a shock if he can’t command the rails position at the bend ahead of Swift Keith and Ninja Turbo. He could match the new record holder to the bend which makes bumping possible and a possible further complication for “The Kid” would be a repeat of veteran Screen Critic’s blistering round 1 break. However they would have to make him the meat in a greyhound sandwich at the first bend to prevent him from taking control at the top of the back-straight and “The Kid” appears to have too many gears to suggest he can get beat here. Swift Keith will mount a late qualification bid and may just pick off 2013 finalist Screen Critic for 3rd.
Win: 4 F/C: 4-2 T/C: 4-2-1


1 Lenson Premier
Riverside Pat
3 Teejays Panther
4 Bubbly Zeus (m)
5 Wot No Fizz (w)
6 Droopys Nidge (w)

Holland can land heat 2
Our first Irish runner of the night with Graham Holland’s Riverside Pat expected to make a bold bid for victory and confidently expected to progress at the very minimum. Yes, at first glance this appears a great draw for Nidge with a slow starter on his inside but as we all know, he is not blessed with Derby class early pace and a repeat of his predictable domination in round 1 is not so obvious now as Bubbly Zeus could definitely be seen returning to a little form last week. He can start even faster than his 4.85 split as all at Shelbourne will recall but just a repeat of that latest effort here would mean Nidge having to negotiate a path on his outer at the bend, bringing the risk of a bump. The sight of that trap 1 box parked literally on the curving rail of Wimbledon’s fourth bend is vile, a sentiment it seems that was also held by Riverside Pat last week when ponderous about starting his campaign from such cramped surroundings. Expext him to step out much more smartly this time and claim the inside pitch at the bend from Lenson Premier to set up a huge challenge on the back-straight. A repeat of his 28.30 trial form may land this heat with Nidge likely to lose a yard or two while plotting his way to clear racing room on the back-straight. By the time he does, Pat may have flown!
You would have to be quite taken with Teejays Panther’s game 2nd to Newinn Yolo last week and it would be hard to leave him out of trio calculations but let’s keep this simple, an Irish win where the presence of Nidge ensures a price!
Win: 2


1 Glenpadden Lord
2 Ring Ben
3 Westmead Alexis
4 Aimnfire (m)
Jaytee Jet (w)
Salonika (w)

Two for the Irish team here in a heat where both hold claims of progression as both appear likely to have the race run to suit. There was something of a melee at the first bend when Salonika scored last week but he suffered plenty of bumps himself before a strong back-straight challenge saw him home in 29.08. He would be capable of much better with a clear run and he will get that here, in the early strides at least for Jaytee Jet has not mastered the art of trapping yet!
Kevin Hennessy holds Jaytee Jet in very high regard
All the early pace is on the inside here and although one of the outsiders for the heat, Aimnfire may dictate the faith of the English runners. He showed good early pace last week from trap 1 and now has a middle seed applied but a repeat of his round 1 effort would see him turning into the bend in contention at least if not a touch in front and it could get very scary for those on his inner. Even if Aimnfire mis-fired, things still look likely to get tight inside and predicting the fate of traps 1 to 4 here is extremely tricky.

We do however know what Jaytee Jet will do. He’ll track the whole field to the first bend, eventually find a gap, power down the back and fly up the home-straight at whatever is in front. Can we back him? Well no has to be the answer, but he will qualify with any kind of normal luck. For a bet, we may do worse than take a small chunk of the Riverside Pat winnings and have it on the best drawn dog in the race Salonika and hope he gets round the outside unscathed. The strong runner would be hard to pass if in front at the third bend and should be a nice price.
Win: 6


1 Thirteen Bags
2 Roxholme Kid
3 Lemon Laveer
Tynwald Rodney (m)
5 Diego Flight (w)
6  Romany Rouge (w)

Peter Cronin trains Tynwald Rodney
A very interesting heat with Tynwald Rodney flying the Irish flag after a game first round performance when chasing home a strong stayer who had flown following a bullet break. Barring something similar this time there is not much early pace on show with the possible exception of Thirteen Bags and more so Roxholme Kid who would not inconvenience Rodney if either did lead up. The Cronin charge can repel the two runners on his outside and probably does need to at least match Diego Flight to the bend.

Overall though he has claims to win the heat being a strong runner who might be able to get a good position ahead of similar types to himself. For a prediction, Roxholme Kid leads on the inside at the bend with Rodney securing second place on the back-straight before reeling in the leader close home and repelling the inevitable late surge of Romany Rouge, or am I just being over patriotic?.......I don’t think so!
Win: 4

Heat 5

1 Loughteen Eoin
2 Kentish Man
3 Farloe Nutter
4 Leamaneigh Turbo (m)
5 Roxholme Ted (w)
6 Sozzleberry (w)

The McNair team have them ready for Rd 1
No Irish this time and quite a competitive heat despite the fact that Leamaneigh Turbo has to be clear favourite to repeat his first round rout if reproducing the bullet break that he has possessed since his early days in Ireland. It hasn’t always been in evidence throughout his UK campaign but if Rab has him sweet, which he claims all his runners are from the word go in the Derby, then we must fancy him to do it again now. In that case he leads around and wins with Roxholme Ted following him and threatening late on as he does not throw in the towel when led.

The only runner I’m willing to rule out is Sozzleberry who will be led this time and most likely eliminated. The three on the inside are harder to predict, especially Kentish Man and Farloe Nutter who are capable of much better than they produced in round 1. Nutter may be happier in trap 3 now and is the dark horse in the heat, especially if Leamaneigh Turbo flops.
Verdict: No Bet


1 Lenson Sanchez
2 Evanta Fantasy
3 King Dec
4 Blue Moment (m)
5 Shotgun  Harley (w)
6 Swift Hoffman (w)

Sanchez faces stiff examination in heat 6
We come roaring back into battle this time with a proper Derby dog in Pat Buckley’s Lenson Sanchez. He could have found an easier heat though and we will need a trouble free run. For that he needs to rail well because leading up here would take a bullet break and the chances of that are slim from the squeeze box but the canny Buckley must take credit for forward thinking now. He chucked Sanchez into trap 1 for his last trial here in preparation for a draw like this. His 4.94 split would have us sweating a first bend run but with that experience under his belt, we may see him pop out a little better this time and he would hold big claims of victory if so. He will carry some ante-post money of mine into the round at 40/1 so I’m plenty willing to leave the heat alone as a punting venture and just watch him qualify. It’s a strong heat overall and Swift Hoffman certainly has the best of the draw on the outside. 

The English should get stuck into him with the make up of the race as those on the inside have much tougher assignments. King Dec is expected to lead on the rails at the bend as he possesses powerful early toe and can trap much better than last week. The bitch in trap 2 must be afforded the utmost respect and should she also lead Sanchez to the back-straight, would post stubborn resistance all round. It’s too trappy for a punt unless you are with “the Hoff” and we will see just how realistic the Sanchez Derby claims are, right here right now!
Verdict: No Bet


1 Magical Hotch
2 Rio Quattro
Farloe Blitz
4 Jolly Tricks (m)
5 Aclamon Messi (w)
6 Marmalady (w)

McKenna can be happy with draw
We’ll take this draw! Farloe Blitz could not have been more impressive in victory last week and gets a hugely confident vote to register back to back wins now.
Two slower starters on his inner could well have been hand picked by Owen McKenna himself and Jolly Tricks should not trouble him for very long even if producing his very best start, nor would Aclamon Messi if he was to repeat his rare ping from last week. Expect Blitz to be in control by the finish line first time and still be there the second! With the likelihood of first run on Magical Hotch, Rio Quattro is the choice to chase him home.
Win:3 F/C: 3-2


1 Jaytee Berlin
2 Teds Last
3 Holdem Bernado
4 Milwards Davy (m)
5 Old Joe Golden (w)
6 Ballymac Cathal (w)

Flying pup Teds Last can land the last!
We can relax for the final heat without an Irish representative where Charlie Lister’s impressive youngster Teds Last is sure to be all the rage. The draw has worked out perfectly with a slow starter on his inner and the pup has a clear cut opportunity to enhance his reputation even further by commanding the rails very early in proceedings.
The heat is extremely competitive otherwise with a generous sprinkling of early pace in the traps outside Ted and predicting what follows him around is not straight forward. Having been denied the lead by Teds Last they may all be scrambling for the third spot as the heat sets up well for Jaytee Berlin to sneak around on the rails for a strong back-straight challenge and he is the choice for the forecast.

Win:2 F/C: 2-1

**All heats previewed without benefit of bookmakers prices to eliminate the possibility of prejudice on price grounds!





1 Barefoot Artist
2 Dusktilldawn
3 Newinn Yolo
4 Lenson Tiggy (m)
Clares Wonder (w)
Baile Mhic (w)

Three Irish this heat and while all have solid claims to progress, it is highly likely that we will lose at least one with the presence of what appears the leading English trained hope Newinn Yolo sure to prove a big stumbling block. Leading our charge here should be Clares Wonder after a pleasing round 1 win with a lightning split. A repeat of that form will see him race prominently throughout and it would be a surprise if he did not make a qualifying place at the minimum. Should Clares Wonder run to that opening round form, Liam Dowling’s Baile Mhic would have a huge task on his paws to gain a run as there is a wealth of early pace inside the Holland runner which may see a few of these get very tight at the first bend. Baile Mhic must keep a wide line at the turn and hopefully follow Clares Wonder into the back-straight on the outside of any potential trouble if he is to have reasonable claims of progression.

Newinn Yolo is UK's leading hope!

Nothing will come easy for Barefoot Artist on the inside either and it will be crucial that he starts well enough to defend the rails against Dusktildawn. A recent 4.99 trial split from the squeeze box must be lowered if he is to sneak a run to utilise his classy middle pace for a qualifying place. Supporters of Newinn Yolo will also be looking at this heat and thinking that the impressive tracker could have found a more straight forward heat as there is danger for him, even from trap rise. Lenson Tiggy is a smart trapper with good early pace who if led by Clares Wonder will not have room to move right and therefore won’t be offering Yolo the freedom of Wimbledon on the run-up. The big thing in Yolo’s favour is that he can probably gain a length on the pair inside him and command the rails at the bend. If he does he will be hard to repel, but that is his best case scenario and I would not like to be wading in with folding money at the likely odds.

A fascinating heat that is best watched but Clares Wonder could be another winner for Ireland if holding a full one length lead upon turning the first bend. Overall it is too tough for me to call and the best recommendation would probably be…
3-5 R F/C


Heat 10
1 Jaytee China
2 Coolavanny Gooch
3 Affane Scolari
Coolavanny Jap (m)
5 Magical Charles (w)
Tynwald Bish (w)

Another highly competitive heat which on the face of it looks wide open but I’ve been sweet on Coolavanny Jap for some time and he can stamp his class on the Derby now having battled well to get here despite some traffic last week. The application of a middle seed appears a natural step given his tendency to move off the rails when drawn further in and with Magical Charles on his outer, he should have ample wiggle room in the early strides here. He can show pace up but can also be classed as a strong runner at this trip. He is maturing into a more rounded race dog now but remains capable of blistering times and he will take all the beating in this heat. Expect him to be the most forward of the three seeded runners at the bend which may be enough to secure victory as things may get tight on the inside.

Jap faces tough examination!
Tynwald Bish ran with great credit in round 1 when chasing home Leamaneigh Turbo after his bullet break and could do little more than his solid 2nd when showing smart middle pace. He can be close to the pace on the outer by leading Magical Charles early and could benefit greatly if Jap sweeps the bend in front. This is a possible and likely scenario that would give us real claims of getting both through but there are others to respect here. Magical Charles will be flying late for his tricast bid and Afane Scolari merits plenty of respect after pulling a minor shock in round 1. The biggest threat to our two however is the brilliant bitch Jaytee China who was so impressive last week after a poor start. She can come away much better than her 4.93 split, rails well and powers from the second bend. She is probably the best drawn and must be afforded the utmost respect.
Win:4 C T/C: 4-6-1


1 Go Ahead
 Sidarian Blaze
4 Making Paper (m)
Save The Don (m)
6 Swift Perth (w)

Paschal Taggart will be cheering home Save The Don!
Worst case scenario here with four Irish in the same heat but I genuinely believe we can get three through. We have starters in here who can all ensure their qualification in the first few strides as all have draws that can afford each other a run. We know Quietly will lead Go Ahead from traps and quickly be in charge of the rails position. Sidarian Blaze can be next in line behind him, on the inside at least and he is fully expected to contain Making Paper on the run-up as is Save The Don. What a wonderful training performance Fraser Black has produced to get him ready for the Derby having been injured in the Scottish version just a few weeks ago. Provided he contains Swift Perth in the early exchanges, this heat will be all about the Irish runners.

Expected to miss out is Go Ahead but he would hold claims to snatch a spot if the early pacers became entangled. He could possibly sneak a run in that scenario and produce a challenge off the second bend. Quietly will be all out to contain Blaze and Save The Don if things go to plan but I fancy that tricast here with Blaze just about the choice over Save The Don.
C T/C 3-5-2


1 Ascot Woodie
2 Kentish  Kane
3 Droopys Ward
4 Geelo Vegas (m)
5 American Werewolf (m)
6 Adageo Bob (w)

No Irish here and last year’s runner-up Droopys Ward will be all the rage after what must be labelled a wonderful opening round win when displaying all the stamina and track craft which brought that deep 2014 run. He is likely to be a short priced favourite and probably deserves to be but his racing style means that big punts can never be confidently advised. That applies here as there is some plausible opposition to him, if difficult to accurately predict. He is likely to be led on his inside, if not by Kentish Kane then certainly by Ascot Woodie who returned a thoroughly respectable win last week. Geelo Vegas should also be turning into the turn with his tail flashing across Droopys nose and we must also respect the fast, if albeit rare start made by Adageo Bob last week.

Droopys Ward(3) crossing the line in 2nd last year

The big complication for Droopy could come in the shape of strong running Kentish Man for if he turns into the back-straight ahead of the favourite he would post stubborn resistance throughout and could be a blocker all the way to the line. That is worst case scenario for Droopy, he could of course turn with a handy pitch and have the heat settled before the closing bend just as easily but for a bet, there are too many possible scenarios and if I was forced to choose I would opt for Ascot Woodie to command the rails all round and take his chances from the front where a repeat of his 28.58 could see him home if there was a bump or two behind.
Verdict: No Bet


1 Gaytime Hawk
2 On Alert
Bellmore Neymar
4 Balymac Loch (m)
5 Fairy  Prince (m)
6 Dragon Big Bux (w)

A big heat for Ireland with the immensely promising Craig Kelly youngster Bellmore Neymar and a potential Derby monster in Graham Holland’s Gaytime Hawk. The latter produced a fantastic back-straight effort to land his heat last week despite a poor pitch at the first bend and if handling the cramped conditions of trap 1 now, has big claims to register another win. The presence of On Alert here is concerning for both our runners as his performance last week merits huge respect despite being collared late by Bellmore Neymar. A brief glance at the splits will tell you that this is likely to get tight on the run-up and none of the three already mention will give anything away on the back-straight so in that case I would choose to be on the inside if a three way tussle was to occur. So I’m with Gaytime Hawk!
The impressive Gaytime Hawk

Bellmore Neymar has only raced twice now so he has to be given all due credit for overhauling On Alert last time and of course it is conceivable that he can improve for that. He appears quite adept at traps for one so inexperienced and he has to be now to secure a run at the bend. If he repels Ballymac Lough in the early strides he surely then must qualify with anything like a clear run. The four inside traps should fill the tricast and the furthest I’m prepared to stick my neck out is for a Gaytime Hawk win.
Win: 1


1 Tinahue Pinto
2 Evanta Evita
3 Fireheight Tosh (m)
4 Bubbly Beauty (m)
5 Viking Jack (w)
6 Van Frankie (w)

Tinahue Pinto is our sole contender here and I fancy him to land this heat on the back of his classy graduation to open racing when leading Gaytime Hawk to the shadow of the post last week. We could get some value here with a couple of home challengers that will be well fancied. Going through them however i find myself knocking their credentials one by one. Fire Height Tosh clocked 28.43 last week but did it with everything in his favour after a fast start that even his most fervent supporter could not confidently say he will repeat now.

Buckley has claims for a late Rd2 treble!
The 4.71 split from Viking Jack is another rare occurrence that I would be surprised to see repeated. If they do it again, fair play to them but I would not want them carrying my hard earned. The one to fear, and the one with the most sound credentials is the plucky bitch Evanta Fantasy and this heat is likely to be decided by the early battle between her and Tinahue Pinto. The race card will show 4 races where she has not led to the bend but be fully assured that she can! Added to that she is a strong runner throughout, fully sees out the trip and is capable of much faster than 28.81. Pinto has to retain the rails against her but he has proper early pace and back him to get the job done having handled trap 1 admirably last time.
Win: 1


1 Paradise Maverik
2 Sparta Flame
3 Jetstream Sound (m)
4 Ballymac Sinbad (m)
5 Boyneside Fun (w)
6 Mash Mad Blackie (w)

Lots of early pace in this heat but it’s all from the English runners and that can play nicely into the paws of our Cesarewitch Champion Paradise Maverick. He is not a slouch in the early yards but he won’t be leading any of these heats at the first bend either and in this particular case that looks ideal. He might not break from trap 1 and there should be no need to panic if that’s the case. All he need do here is stick close to the rails and he will possess way too much class to get eliminated.

Cesarewitch Champ Paradise Maverick
The first semblance of a gap from the second bend, he’ll be gone through it and it can just be a matter of how many runners he picks off before the line comes. Boyneside Fun is clearly best of the home team with an highly impressive round 1 win under his belt and the sprinter looks a solid option for win claims here but will probably not offer sufficient value. I would still be uncomfortable backing him or any of the English runners with the class of Maverick in the mix but also, racing styles like the Buckley runner’s bring the chance of crowding and this heat is probably best left alone, especially if you have a few Euros on ante-post as I have just had at 40/1. Maverick, along with Lenson Sanchez are my two against the field at this stage so a watching brief for me where I can just admire him flying down the back-straight!
Verdict: No Bet


1 Ibiza Rocks
Beaming Bucko
3 Here We Go (m)
4 Blonde Nipper (m)
5 King Alley (w)
6 Baliff Hubert (w)

Buckley is straight back into battle here with Beaming Bucko and last week’s victory was a real tonic for this fellow as there was a look of inconsistency about the youngster entering the Derby. That of course is something that can come in due course but there is highly plausible claims to build on that win right now as the draw appears to offer him a rails run on the tail of fast starter Ibiza Rocks. Should both reproduce their respective starts from last week Bucko should repel Here We Go and receive a nice tow into the back-straight to mount a serious challenge. King Dec looks set to dominate on the outside and he along with Ibiza Rocks should contest the lead off the second turn. Position will be key in behind them and Bucko looks the most likely to be next in line even though Blonde Nipper merits big respect. Both he and Here We Go can arrive with a bit of a rattle at the closing bends but sticking to the rail, the Buckley runner should not be passed by these two and it should just be a matter of whether he can pick off the leaders for the win. A tight affair overall, I would probably leave it alone as regards punting.
Verdict: No Bet





No Irish in the opener and this heat appears to be all about Eden The Kid in trap 3. A pleasing set of trials at Wimbledon culminated in a slick 28.23 last time and we can ease into a busy night of action with no investment here as he is sure to be way too short. The only conceivable danger is Westmead Alexis(2) who can quickly grab the rails on the run-up but his resistance to the jolly should not last beyond the second turn in what looks a straight forward, straight-forecast!
 F/C 3-2


Another all English affair here and thankfully with much greater depth than the opener even if still below what we would hope for. The big disappointment looking at this heat is the failure of Bubbly Zeus to reproduce his excellent Shelbourne form since moving to the UK. His smart trapping, early paced style that brought seven straight wins in a glorious career start was a joy to behold. Now he is plodding around Wimbledon in trials, scraping under 29.00 with splits that are just beneath him. The latest 5.08 was miserable and ok, he pecked on his first stride but his best of 4.87 is hardly up to his consistent 2.00 and less at Dublin. What a prospect he could have been in this Derby but that just does not look on right now. There isn’t all that much early pace on show other than Zeus and the best the others will manage is about 28.60 so Zeus could still convert against an exposed bunch of strong running types who are probably headed by Viking Jack(6) but this is a no bet race where I will just hope to see a “Bubbly Blast Off”…..for old time’s sake! 
Verdict: No Bet


Tynwald can bring a winner for Cronin!
Our first representative of the night comes in the shape of Peter Cronin’s Tynwald Bish(5) and he can kick start the Saturday onslaught with a trap to line victory. He was unlucky in Scottish Derby semi after a round one heat win and handled Wimbledon well enough last year in a hot puppy stake. He can repel Kakantu(6) in the early exchanges and even a repeat of Leamaneigh Turbo’s recent fast sprint form would not inconvenience all that much as he would prove a generous tour guide before Bish takes over on the back-straight. The best home hope may be Aero Babooshka(2). A solid open performer he can show pace all round and would be form choice to chase Bish home. 
Win: 5 F/C: 5-2


Another break for the Irish here in a heat that will be all about Kentish Man in trap 2 as an open race winner here with what is probably a career best effort in his latest 28.40 solo. While he would fail to dominate most heats in this or any Derby, with this particular draw he has found one of the weaker offerings. Best of the rest is probably Barnish Panther but he can not be accused of being in great form at present and the token selection for the forecast is Wotnofizz in trap 6. He is strong enough at the trip, can go up fairly well and will chart a middle to wide course for a likely clear run. Overall though this one is underwhelming! 
Win: 2


Liam Dowling with Vulturi
Right, we’re back in action here with a monster! There isn’t a race goer in Ireland that doesn’t look forward to watching Liam Dowling’s Vulturi swallow ground on the back-straight against some of the best hounds in training. A wonderfully genuine racer he has smart track craft and a resilient finishing kick that can scare even the fastest clock busters. There isn’t a buster in this heat but the home defences are stronger this time than in the previous heats. That combined with Vulturi’s racing style means we’ll settle for a qualifying place from the six runner heat and take the win graciously if it comes. Charlie Lister’s Boyneside Fun is a big player from trap 6 and if avoiding a collision with decent early pacer Ballymac Cathal(5) at the bend, he could be the one Vulturi is eyeing up on the home-straight. The runners on Vulturi’s immediate outside are similar sorts to himself, if well below his class, and he may not face all that much opposition on the run-up. If turning in second place, he would have plausible claims of hauling in the Lister leader but that would be a tough task if Boyneside produced his 28.37 solo form. A watching brief advised and just enjoy Vulturi’s back-straight prowess. 
Verdict: No Bet

Heat 41

Buckley may qualify another with Burgess Four
We can consider ourselves unlucky here to have three runners in what is a strong heat. Gratefully though they all have reasonable draws and with the possible exception of Baliff Hubert(6), appear to be the best three dogs in the race. Hopefully the bookies will rate Burgess Four on his debut 28.74 trial at Wimbledon for we all know that he will produce a far smarter run if leading from trap 1 now. The Buckley charge is a formidable performer when on the bunny and should be afforded a clear passage on the inner by his slower starting compatriot in trap 2, Oakvale Rumble. Craig Kelly has already scored a heat win this week and his strong running Puppy Derby semi-finalist is capable of fast runs when securing racing room. He may get that now if slipstreaming Burgess Four around the opening bends and he can be expected to make a bold qualifying bid. Liam Dowling’s Bruno Ya Know occupies trap 4 and can show smart pace throughout. There is an inconsistent look to his profile though and a good break will be imperative to his chances. Expect the home charge to be led by the afore mentioned Baliff Hubert as the smart sprinter looks set for a clean run on the outer. He will post a solid 28.60 if getting around in front and make our charges work for a round two spot but if Burgess breaks he can thwart Baliff Hubert and drag Oakvale into the next round draw with him. 
Win: 1 F/C: 1-2


2014 runner-up Droopys Ward
A big one for the home team here with 2014 runner-up Droopys Ward the big fancy in a six runner heat with some depth of quality. A plumb draw in trap 1 looks ideal for for the strong running favourite and he should take all the beating. Lightly raced since his 2014 Irish Derby campaign, he has been targeted at this and warmed up with highly pleasing trials the last twice. Blonde Razor(2) on his outside will keep him company, or possibly lead him in the early exchanges and is the most plausible threat but even his best run would surely come unstuck before the fourth bend. Fire Height Tosh merits respect with an open race win here but would require his very, very best. 


Another all English heat here and it looks a very straight forward opportunity for Badmoonrising to get his campaign started with a win. A good draw in red can see him lead on the inside while main rival Soviet Kenny(5) tries to plot his way through runners to mount a late challenge at the leader. Kenny will find a gap at some stage and pass lesser lights for his qualifying place but will most likely have too much ground to make up on the leader in what appears a Nap forecast. 
Win: 1 F/C: 1-5


Blonde Nipper
One Irish runner here in the lightly raced Brogan Harvey who appears to have a big task on his paws to qualify. He could conceivably have huge amounts of improvement to come in the future but would probably need some of that to arrive right now! He will need to trap well with pace on either side, especially from Blonde Nipper(3) who looks the main player here if leading the two runners on his inside. He has impressive pace all round and is in good current form. A comment that also applies to King Alley in trap 6. The smart early pacer will give the selection plenty to do if leading into the back-straight and these are the two to concentrate on while praying that Harvey can produce a career best and give us something to cheer again for the in form Buckley team. 
Win: 3


A leading Irish player here with Ian Reilly’s Puppy Derby winner Quietly and if ever a dog fully met the perceived perfect Wimbledon profile, it is this fellow. A fast trapper, he is a bullet to the bend when in top form. He can improve on a moderate first trial at the circuit last time and will prove hard to repel in a heat that has some smart runners for the home team. As regards a early threat to Quietly’s lead, I am going to say that there is none, he will lead up. Be Up Front in trap 6 gets the nod as the most likely to be on his tail at the bend and the decent early pacer does see out the trip quite well but having been denied the lead his effort may come a cropper on the back-straight because there is two runners in the shape of Aero Inferno(2) and Honest John(3) that can mount much more telling challenges down the back. Honest John is a strong runner and the one we really don’t want to see in second place too soon. He may be denied that by Aero Inferno, a lightly raced type with solid pace throughout. His draw looks ideal to lead Honest John in pursuit of Quietly with the rails to help and and these are the three to concentrate on. 
T/C 1-2-3


Five decent sorts here for the home team but most definitely headed by trap 1 runner Lenson Jed. He failed to bring his Sittingbourne form to Wimbledon in two race defeats earlier this month but can lay that ghost now on the back of two very decent trials an an ideal draw in red. He will be a short enough price but we may squeeze a few bob out of the heat by including Droopys Tramore(4) to follow him home. A strong runner he can negotiate his way through the remaining runners to emerge second on the home run. 
Win:1 F/C: 1-4


Droopys Nidge
Calling so many of these heats all English affairs is a bit ironic when you have spent the last twelve months writing about them scorching around Irish tracks for Irish breeders, owners and trainers but that said this heat is another all English affair, Nudge Nudge Nidge Nidge!
A one dog contest most likely, with outright favourite Droopys Nidge(4) expected to come home in isolation. A few nice early paced sorts inside him will be dismayed at his presence in the heat and one or two may keep him in their sights for a short while. However, without being the best early pacer in the Derby Nidge will still manage to shake them off fairly swiftly and soon have this reduced to a solo trial. If the track is as good as it was on Wednesday, the clock could go here for a Nidge solo in fast race conditions is a recipe for fireworks. 
Verdict: Small punt on the track record to be broken! (if the early heat times merit it)


A huge blow for the McKenna team here, having to withdraw their Wimbledon record holder Firey Splendour and we are left cheering on Fraser Black’s aptly named Save The Don(4). Predicting a performance from the Scottish Derby finalist is impossible though as it has been a struggle to get him here after sustaining an injury at Shawfield. From an Irish point of view this is a heat to sit and watch, hoping that he can perform close to his best. For a punt, Calco Flyer(2) may be worth taking a chance with. Roxholme Kid on his inner has a poor record from trap 1 and Flyer looks set for a run on the inside. His sole look at Wimbledon was only a 28.78 trial win but he was defeating Blonde Nipper in the process! 
Win: 2



FRIDAY MAY 29th Heats 23-35


Teds Last is unexposed for Charlie Lister
Two English will progress from a five runner heat with no Irish here. The likely favourite is Charlie Lister’s twice raced pup Teds Last who appears to have a bright future and his deut win form from Tralee was franked when Lenson Premier scored on Wednesday. There will be many who won’t want to oppose him but I will with the more experienced Taranis Bolt in trap 6. He is no slouch early and can really power off the second bend with a clear sight of the bunny. The pup will have to get everything right on the inside to repel this fellow given a clear run. 
Win: 6 F/C: 6-3


Buckley Derby assault is well on track!
Two Irish this time and we do have claims for the forecast, but it will not be easy. Pat Buckley’s Blue Cafu looks our leading hope and he has added a consistency at traps since his early days at Limerick in an impressive and sustained graduation to the top flight. A powerful galloper, his first look at Wimbledon could hardly have pleased more when clocking 28.56 in last week’s trial and he gets the vote. Peter Cronin’s Salonika runs from trap 6 and Blue Cafu may dictate whether he qualifies or not for English runner Sparta Flame(2) must be denied a first bend lead if we are to get both through. A lack of experience at this level is a concern for the Cronin charge but a strong runner he would most likely take second here if Blue Cafu was in charge off the second turn. Sparta Flame does have proper early pace though and will be tough to contain early and the sole recommendation is a Blue Cafu win. 
Win: 1


Pat Curtin can score with Deanridge Pennys
Pat Curtin’s Deanridge Pennys is our sole representative here and he has been in solid if not sparkling form at home in recent months. However the trips across the pond seem to be doing him no harm whatsoever with quality trials when firstly reeling in Quietly in 28.57 before posting 28.37 in a defeat of Ivy Hill Bart. There is some depth of quality to this heat however and victory will not come easy. From trap 3 he must match Millwards Katy(4) in the early exchanges or risk a bumpy passage at the bend. The English bitch has big early toe and is a highly talented sort. Further complication is the presence of another early pacer, Evanta Fantasy with her ideal draw in trap 1 and this heat really could get tight at the bends. Still Deanridge Pennys, even if not leading up, should hold too many guns down the back and secure another Irish Victory. 
Win: 3


Barefoot Artist flies the Irish flag here and he is better than the bare form of his latest Wimbledon defeat. That was his open race debut when stepping up from A2 company for the first time and he can start much better than he did on that occasion. The heat overall is not the hottest on paper but is extremely competitive and difficult to adamantly break down. The English will be all about the Guilfoyle bred Magical Hotch here and I can readily recall being astounded by his back-straight pace in an early career Thurles victory but they will sweat a little if they over invest as he is unlikely to lead up. He will roll the dice for a safe passage to the back-straight before delivering his challenge, so normally in this case you would look for what is going to turn first but I’m afraid it will take a better analyst than me to find that. I’m leaving this one alone and hoping that Barefoot can qualify along with Magical for my neighbouring Guilfoyle’s. 
Verdict: No Bet


All English again here and at first glance you would almost chalk this straight down as a win for Irish St Leger finalist Burgess Oscar but he has just one race win since leaving Ireland and disappointed in his latest trial. Things must have looked very sweet for his new connections when inflicting defeat on Scottish Derby winner Swift Hoffman in his first Wimbledon prep trial but an almost ten length reverse a week later tempers confidence now, to say the least! He can not be backed with any sort of confidence here but his presence may see some value about what looks a solid alternative in the form of trap 6 runner See No Gamble. He can go well to the bend, is plenty strong enough from the second bend to home and posted 28.39 here earlier this month, he’ll do for me! 
Win: 6


Defending Champion Salad Dodger
The home team are out in force again this time, led by defending Champion Salad Dodger….and dodge he must do for qualification will not come easy! Sweetened up with a solo at Romford, he looked in good shape for his Derby campaign in solid trial runs at Wimbledon early this month. Housed in trap 2 his problems are many and may manifest straight from trap rise. Inside him is Jaytee Hawaii and while his finish times are not scary, he does go to the bend. So too does Queen Asia(3) on his outer and the McNair bitch is still on the upgrade with a rock solid trial here last week and the inside could get messy with these three so close. That possibility of trouble on the inner makes trap 6 runner Shotgun Harley the choice for victory. A strong runner at the trip he is no slouch in the early strides, generally charts a middle to wide course throughout and has much to recommend him with the make up of this particular draw. 
Win: 6


No Irish again here and the home charge is led by Screen Critic(6) who has been in reasonable form of late if somewhat below what brought him a final appearance in 2013. The heat overall does not boast any great strength in depth and I will be hoping Bubbly Beauty(5) can offer some value from trap 5. She can trap faster than her latest trials and has done here in the past. Expect El Lema to make a bold bid with his early pace from trap 3 which can give Bubbly a nice tow into the race off the second bend, making her the safest option where a repeat of her early season 28.60 form would surely suffice in a moderate heat. 
Win: 5


Easter Cup winner Sidarian Blaze
There are a couple of nice types among the home contenders here but we will not entertain defeat for our Easter Cup Champion Sidarian Blaze in an ideal trap 1 draw. He can trap well enough to the defend the rails and stamp his authority on the race with an emphatic back-straight surge, that’s the plan and he will stick to it! Kippers Usain(3) and Mad Mash Blackie(6) should fight out the second qualifying place with preference for the former who ran with credit here last year. 
Win: 1 F/C: 1-3

Heat 31

A full compliment of 6 this time and a tight squeeze if we are to get our sole Irish runner Indigo Jack to the next round. In his favour though is the likelihood that he can command the rails position throughout as the usual fast starter is not surrounded by any great lid pingers! Ideally we would want him in front down the back and left alone until turning into the third bend for he will not being doing his best work coming home. The main player in the race should be trap 6 Swift Whirlwind. A similar type to Jack is arguably that little bit stronger coming home and will most likely start a justifiable favourite. Hopefully this pair will run to plan and though there is some staying form among the remaining runners, they would have trouble getting up late with the expected 28.60 (or thereabouts) that the leaders are likely to post. 
R F/C: 2-6


Ballymac Matt is our sole representative and what a prodigious talent the Liam Dowling charge is. A gorgeous trial at this trip last time does augur well for for his chances now, especially with a smart sectional, something we see all too rarely and consistency is definitely the chink in his armour at present. While he must be ruled out as an ante-post punt on those grounds he is well capable of producing a stellar Wimbledon run and this heat offers a plausible chance but the home team do merit much respect. The once raced Bubbly Ninja looks a promising sort on trial form and appears to have ample early pace to produce a forward bid on the rails but the big player is Romany Rouge in trap 6. A strong runner with rock solid Monmore form he trialed well here before a very respectable effort in a hot open race behind Riverside Pat last time. A clear run on the outer here would make him hard to contain. I still don’t believe he would handle Ballymac Matt if he was the one to lead down the back, but will Matt break? It’s a head scratcher! The home supporters really should have a cut at the 6 dog because from their point of view they only have to worry about Matt breaking but for me I’ll leave it alone and just cheer home a Dowling winner…..hopefully! 
Verdict: No Bet

Heat 33

Peter Cronin may pull a FAST one!
Another heat where predicting what the Irish will do is difficult. We have two, Go Ahead for Buckley and a cheeky looking entry in the form of twice raced sprinter Dungill Rocket for Peter Cronin. One thing we can predict is that Go Ahead(3) will not lead up but he will fly at whatever does with a big challenge from halfway. The ideal scenario would be to have him chasing Dungill Rocket at that point and in a heat without any real strength in depth, it might be possible. He has won graded sprints at home and won them well enough but arrives to the first round as the most unexposed runner in the Derby with only his very first qualifying trial at four bends giving any indication as to his credentials. The canny Cronin has given him two more sprints at Wimbledon in preparation, leaving us even more in the dark! However the latest sprint was sizzling and a reproduction of that now would surely see him lead to the third bend. What happens from there only Peter Cronin knows but I’m willing to risk that we see something quite saucy from the July ’13 youngster and I’m thinking Nap material. Win: 6 F/C: 6-3


Scottish Derby winner Swift Hoffman
The Scottish Derby winner Swift Hoffman(5) will garner much support and hopefully take most of the limelight ahead of this heat to make Sidarian Vega(2) an attractive price. Yes Hoffman is a huge Derby player with his usual decent breaks, solid early pace and ability to maintain a strong gallop all the way to the line. He posted 28.28 in his latest trial and also defeated Bellmore Neymar (who scored on Wednesday) in 28.46 earlier in the month. With all that said however I still say he won’t contain Vega if the flying Holland youngster breaks! Learning his trade in an exceptionally hot Tralee Juvenile, he signed off on that stake win with a simply brilliant 28.08. He would have to be a working man’s price, for we must respect the fact that he needs to trap and this is the first time he has been in the 480m boxes but if he does, Hoffman would need even more luck than he got against the Paddies at Shawfield. 
Win: 2 F/C: 2-6


Global Chariot is the sole Irish runner in the closing heat and he has a tough task on his paws. Boozed Miranda(6) looks sure to go off favourite here and justifiably so. She is a smart early pacer with rock solid open form, most particularly at Poole and Swindon. Unplaced here two weeks ago, she can fare better now with a highly likely lead on the outside and expect her to post a reasonable time that the others are just not capable of catching her in. Ibiza Rocks is probably the most likely to chase her home with a good draw in red while Global Chariot will need his best break to claim the second spot from him. 
Win: 6




A cracking opening night of action on Wednesday and I'm sure I'm suffering withdrawals even before bedtime. The advised treble came a cropper unfortunately but I got out late on with the Jaytee Jet/Ring Ben double. Hope you fared better and the homework is already done for Thursday, bring it on and up our side!

Round 1 heats 11-22 Thursday May 28th

Heat 11

Holland can get Irish off to a flyer!
A nightmare draw from an Irish perspective where at least 2 from our Derby platoon will fall victim to the unforgiving opening round shootout. Strong fancy to dodge the bullets however is Graham Holland’s Gaytime Hawk. An impressive and powerful galloper he needs just the merest semblance of racing room to quickly show his high class pace which can match up with the very best in the sport. His draw in trap 2 is no inconvenience to him on it’s own but not the fastest breaker of all time there is the possibility that things can get a little tight for him on the run-up. However, provided he avoids a major collision, he will prove too strong here. Paul Hennessy runs Kilara Hey Mac(3) who must better his recent home form to qualify and Budgie Bypass(6) appears his best chance of a qualifier but he really will need his best start to get a run ahead of sole English runner Face The Blade(4) who it must be conceded has very plausible claims to progress here. A repeat of his recent trial form will see him lead on the outer and as much as pains me to admit, can deny the remaining runners the second spot, possibly at the chief expense of Pat Buckley’s pup Tinahue Pinto. A smart trapper with early pace, he has a good draw in red and looks likely to make a bold show but with Gaytime Hawk sure to be on his case quickly, he has a huge task on his hands. Win: 2 F/C: 2-4

Heat 12

No Irish here but all on these shores will surely be wishing the ex Peter Cronin runner Metro Jack a safe passage again this time around having entertained so well in a deep run to the semi-final last year. Trap 1 and a return to Wimbledon looks right up his street and he will be a threat to all if sneaking around unscathed at the bend for his usual power packed finish. Not in the form of his life at present however we may look elsewhere for the winner and that is likely to be Lenson Twiggy from trap 4. They love this fellow in the UK and he looks a real Wimbledon sort. A good trapper with early pace he can start his campaign with a win by denying Glenpadden Lord(3) the lead to skip clear off the second bend. Expect Iceman Frank(6) with the freedom of the outside to follow him around and a repeat of his latest trial win may be enough to claim second on the grounds that he is in better current form than Metro Jack.
Win:4 F/C: 4-6

Heat 13

Liam Dowling trains Baile Mhic
Just the sole Irish runner here and what a talented sort he is, if a little frustrating. Liam Dowling’s Baile Mhic is still struggling to add consistency to his undoubted speed and is hard to recommend as a punting option. However, if he could somehow get on the bunny he is capable of blistering clocks as he showed in the Laurels at Cork. How it would please Liam Dowling to see a home-bred son of Ballymac Vic follow in the great sires paw prints and thrill the Wimbledon crowd with a brilliant run…..here’s hoping! The home team may believe they have the answer here through Rafas Wee Jet in trap 1 following decent trials the last twice. They could pay dearly if they over invest however because those trials were a vast improvement on his race efforts here a few weeks back and he could conceivably be hassled by his trap 2 rival on the run-up. Trap 3 runner Lemon Laveer merits plenty of respect in a heat without huge depth and he will mount a strong challenge from the second bend if finding clear racing room. But myself, I’m going have my sneaky few bob on Baile Mhic in the hope that the market shows him less respect than he deserves. In terms of advice though, it should really be a no bet race!
Verdict: No Bet

Heat 14

Coolavanny Jap
At first glance this appears a 2 dog affair and further inspection confirms that, in my head at least. From the Irish point of view I’m raging to see the sprinter drawn on the inside of Pat Buckley’s Coolavanny Jap, who I just adore. To my mind he was the unluckiest of all in the Scottish Derby final but he showed his class on the way to the final there, having also showed it at Limerick in the Con & Annie Kirby and with a smart raid on Towcester in his earlier days. He has to give Blackrose Rebel the rail now and most likely the first bend lead too but expect Jap to quickly be on his case off the second bend. It won’t be easy to overhaul the leader on the evidence of his latest 28.51 trial but given a clear passage at the closing bends, Jap can do it….can’t he?
Win: 2 F/C: 2-1

Heat 15

An all English affair and not the strongest heat on paper. Charlie Lister’s Romeo Ballistic(6) is lightly raced for his age but has got his career going in the right direction. A smart early pacer he looks ideally suited to Wimbledon and is definitely the one to keep on the right side of here with two smart trials under his belt and the likelihood of racing room for a first bend lead. He may have most to fear from Holdem Bernardo in trap 3 if that rival outpaces the inside duo on the run-up but preference to fill the forecast spot goes to trap 1 runner Blackstone Marco. A strong runner at this trip, he rarely draws trap 1 but has six wins from his last six appearances in red and though admittedly they did come at longer trips, it may pay greater dividend to side with him to chase Romeo home.
Win: 6 F/C: 6-1

Heat 16

Mckenna has another busy night ahead!
Two Irish runners here and I am fearful for their chances. Not on the grounds of ability for both Tynwald Rodney and Farloe Rumble are extremely talented individuals with highly promising careers ahead. A heat winner in the Scottish Derby, Rodney may well start favourite and would overall be the form choice but from a punting point of view, he has worn red twice and been slow to exit each time. If that is remedied tonight he wins, but a watching brief is advised and hopefully he pops out and gives us more confidence going forward. Owen McKenna’s Farloe Rumble scorched around Tralee in his first two starts, leaving a great impression as a strong running type. However he still has a green look about him in his transition to top grade company and this is a worry now, both for him and Rodney beside him. I still believe these to be the two most talented in the heat but a complicator as regards financial support behind them is the presence of smart English runner Broadway Rival(5) who is well drawn to lead on the outside for a bold qualification bid while Ballygibbon King must also be respected after winning two heats in 2014, even if not in that same form at present. If I was forced to have a bet I would chance that Rodney can lay his trap 1 ghost and dominate, but I’ll just sit back and cheer the Irish on in this heat.
Verdict: No Bet

Heat 17

Owen McKenna’s Go Django(5) is the sole Irish runner this time but he has yet to surpass his impressive debut run at Tralee and being bumped around in a prep race here last time won’t have helped. He is up against it now but hopefully the application of his middle seed can aid his cause as the two best runs of his career have come with the black jacket. A good start will be needed as he is surrounded by some smart English runners with Blackrose Vic(2) the choice for victory in what appears the best of the draw. He can claim the rails on the run-up for a likely clear passage to the back-straight with the strong runner fancied to prevail from this point. A plausible case can be made for all runners but Old Joe Golden may be the one to claim second here with a clear run on the outer as there is real a possibility that things will get tight among the middle runners Glenpadden Bolt(3) and Making Paper(4).
Win: 2

Heat 18

Riverside Pat in victory at Wimbledon
We won’t make money here but it will be a major shock if we are not toasting a winner in the shape of Graham Holland’s Riverside Pat. You can argue a case that Stay Loose in trap 2 has enough early pace to maybe pose a threat to the bend but just a few strides of independent racing should see Pat command the rails position and convert this highly plausible opportunity. That same English runner is the main threat to thwart the Holland forecast in this heat but that remains a strong possibility with Hoffs Nephew(3). A progressive type with all round pace he takes a big step from A3 to contest his first open race in the Derby but once Riverside Pat has denied Stay Loose the first bend lead expect “the Hoff” to be rushing up on his outer to claim second place. I could not sign off on this heat without a forward mention for Aero Nemisis in trap 6 and although not in the form that saw him reach the semi-final’s last year, he is still capable of pulling off an open race win if things were to fall his way but remains vulnerable to younger improving types.
Win: 1

Heat 19

Ivy Hill Oscar pictured with Noel Hehir
We are going to lose at least one Irish challenger this time and maybe two with all three a little too close for comfort being housed in the three inside boxes. We would have hoped for a more impressive trial last time from Vans Viking when the inconsistent breaker came away fairly well. He can improve on that however and is capable of blistering starts although they are hard to predict. Beside him in trap 2 is Pat Curtin’s Ivy Hill Oscar who himself rarely leads up but does possess good all round pace, if a touch below the very best open racers. In trap 3 is Beaming Bucko and again the concern here is that he is just not coming away well enough to secure himself clear runs at the top level. All are capable of qualification but too hard to predict as regards a punting recommendation. Here’s hoping they race independently of each other and give us something to cheer. With the concerns about all three of our raiders, English punters could be forgiven for regarding this as a big chance for a glorious forecast over the Paddy trio as they will expect Fridays Angel(5) and Dragon Big Bux(6) to lead our boys into the back-straight. Fridays Angel has not found the finishing times worthy of backing this up however in recent spins at Wimbledon, a comment that can also be applied to Dragon Big Bux. The big early pacer is a poor trapper that can run out of steam after lung bursting efforts to hit the front. The heat is too hard to predict but one of ours should get through if not two and everything about this race screams no bet.
Verdict: No Bet

Heat 20

Rachel Holland & Clares Wonder
Hopefully Graham Holland’s Clares Wonder(6) has gotten his Wimbledon blip out of the way when bumped around after his poor break in a race debut at the circuit on Saturday of last week. When he hits the ground running from traps he can be scintillating and he must be labelled an Irish banker here. The main threat is My Real Mutley(3) who can outpace the runners on his inside for a clear passage on the rails and is most likely to follow Clares Wonder home from the highly respected Bubbly Gold.
Win: 6 F/C: 6-3 T/C: 6-3-2

Heat 21

No Irish here and a tight affair between some talented sorts which is not straight forward to figure out. Dolcino Rose looks to have the best of the draw in the stripes. She will need to lead around the opening bends to win but she can post some fast times despite racing wide and earns the vote. Noirs Allen is the choice to chase her home. A strong running type when having a clear view of the bunny, he has slower starting Jaytee Berlin on his inner and although the early pace of trap 1 Aimnfire must be respected, should get first run at the leader down the back and deny Jaytee Berlin a qualifying place as he may find a blocker or two at the closing bends.
F/C: 6-3

Heat 22

Another all English affair this is quite a hot heat where some talented sorts will lose out. The battle for early supremacy on the inside will prove key here and marginal preference is for Jaytee China(2) to just get around in front from two smart sorts on either side. Thirteen Bags(3) looks highly likely to be tracking her directly from trap rise and a clear run for both could see an epic buckle throughout. The party pooper could well be Southfield Jock(1) who himself can trap well with early pace but must get everything right from traps now to defend his rails pitch.
Win: 2 F/C: 2-3

Recommended Bets now available here: http://grgracing.blogspot.ie/p/tipping.html


William Hill English Greyhound Derby 2015 Wimbledon

Ok, if you are anything like me you will be glued to RPGTV for the heats of the Derby with laptop in tow hoping to catch the good thing at a working man’s price. In that case you will need your homework in order before the usual smart advice of the RPG broadcast team either confirms or denies your assertions. My homework will appear here for each night of action and will of course have very much an Irish slant but pay good attention to the British pundits for they know their home team as well as we think we know ours and construct your strategy accordingly.

I’m holding off on a pre-competition investment for now (I think) but having gone close in the past two years with each way ante-post bets on Airlie Impact (2nd, backed at 150/1 through to 14/1) and Crokers Champ (3rd, 25/1), I will be value hunting again very soon.

Find the race card on the Racing Post website here: http://www.racingpost.com/greyhounds/card.sd#resultDay=2015-05-27&meetingId=9 but also buy the paper and mark the card as the results and the races stick in your head much better when you have written them down, there's going to be a lot to take in!

First Round Heats 1-10 Wednesday May 27th

Heat 1

Irish Cesarewitch Champ Paradise Maverick
Most Irish punters will take one glance at this and immediately assume a Buckley forecast, though that can come to pass with unlucky Scottish Finalist Lenson Sanchez(2) and Irish Cesarewitch Champion Paradise Maverick(3), it is not so straightforward. Crucial to that result is that one of them must deny the English pair on the outside a lead at the first bend. Even though Maverick has a vacant trap to his right, which is a huge help, Sanchez is the greater hope to grab the rails pitch at the bend. Once he leads into the back-straight he most likely wins with Maverick’s finishing power taken to claim the remaining qualifying spot. 
Forecast 2-3

Heat 2

Peter Cronin with Crokers Champ
There is some decent early pace among the home contenders here which is the perfect scenario for last year’s third Crokers Champ. Returning from a long absence, you could be forgiven for believing he would need this outing but hailing from the formidable Peter Cronin kennel you can also assume that he would not be here unless ready! He is probably 1/20 to lead to the bend and with only Rio Quatro(2) who can be labelled a powerful finisher, the strong likelihood is that he will stay there. I would like to have been a fly in Peter Cronin’s kennels over the past few weeks because if Croker is fully tuned and ready for a Derby campaign, the 50/1 quotes could be ridiculous. Remember, he was contesting his 11th race in 10 weeks come the final last year and I could not help but think he would have won if arriving there fresh (or just his usual break in the final). The dog and the team behind him can maintain a performance round on round and he could well be Ireland’s leading player again. 
Win: 1    F/C: 4-2

Heat 3

Slippery Fred should be short here with an ideal draw in red. We would have hoped to see him build on his smart 28.57 trial run last time but the bumping he got then should not repeat itself now. He need only match Killmagner Mike in trap 3 (who has some smart sprint form) from traps to secure a clear run and a back-straight lead. The second qualifying place looks very much up for grabs here as Aclamon Messi is not arriving in the form that he showed here last year so we may do worse than to take a punt on ex-irish runner Magical Charles. An enigmatic sort, he has taken well enough to Wimbledon in trials, will show strength from the second bend and won’t be inconvenienced should Aclamon Messi(5) find his best breaking form. 
Win: 1   F/C: 1-6

Heat 4

Newinn Yolo
The home challenge begins in anger here with their shortest price ante-post runner Newinn Yolo entering the heat in an ideal trap 1 draw on the back of some brilliant Wimbledon form but what a treacherous heat he has found. He can be hassled all the way by Teejays Panther in trap 2 which would be complication enough but he also reopposes Conna Trigger(5) who gave him plenty to think about at Newcastle and he too has a good draw here with a slow starter in trap 6. As if that wasn’t sufficient to worry favourite backers, Yolo has Wimbledon form to reverse with Ballymac Brogan who held him off here in March and is capable of leading to the back-straight now with his current good form reinforced by a great buckle with Riverside Pat last week. Overall this heat is too trappy to have a real cut at, but the red jacket also makes it hard to be adamant about laying Newinn Yolo. 
Verdict: No Bet

Heat 5

McKenna will hope Farloe can Blitz rivals in heat 5
Leading Irish fancy Farloe Blitz looks assured of favouritism here from trap 3 where a level break can see him outpace the smart trapping Domino Storm for a rails lead at the first bend. He can be expected to take the heat with improvement likely from his latest 28.57 run. He can afford no mistakes however with two lively runners on his outside in Millbank Steve(4) and Roxholme Ted(5) with the Graham Holland runner expected to track the Owen McKenna favourite down the back for likely qualification. A very interesting runner for Paul Hennessy in trap 6, Jaytee Dutch has buckets of potential despite a tricky looking draw tonight. He can trap faster than his latest effort here and the pup can display powerful pace from the 2nd bend. He needs a good start to ensure a pitch at the bend with so much early on his immediate inside but if there is a shock, it may well be him. 
Win: 3 F/C: 3-4

Heat 6

Nutter has ideal draw in trap 1
The home team are out in strength again here and led by the well drawn Farloe Nutter in red. Thumped around in the first round heats last year he has taken well to the track in recent trials and looks set for a much cleaner passage this time around. There can be no arguing about his recent form with a defeat of Sidarian Blitz under his belt at Newcastle just 3 weeks ago and he will take all the beating. The sole Irish contender here is Con & Annie Kirby finalist Ivy Hill Bart and he certainly has a draw to give him every chance of qualification. Connections believe trap 5 is his best box and a vacant trap 4 aids his cause. Crucial to his chances is matching trap 3 runner King Dec to the first bend but with Farloe Nutter expected to inconvenience Dec by denying him the lead and/or a rails run, the plucky Bart can emerge second on the back-straight and maintain a qualifying effort. 
Win: 1 F/C 1-5

Heat 7

Hennessy on the Derby trail with smart pups!
A comrade to Jaytee Dutch (heat 5 trap6), Paul Hennessy’s pup Jaytee Jet(5) is the sole Irish player here and may be the leading player in the heat overall. Opening his Wimbledon campaign with a smart 28.55 trial there was no disgrace when subsequently beaten by Ballymac Brogan two weekends ago and though he may take some time to hit the front here, a clear run should suffice for victory. Expected to give Jet a tow into the back-straight is Swift Kidman in trap 1. A usual smart trapper he can defend his rails pitch at the chief expense of El Pedro(3) and more likely to pose a threat would appear to be Vanfrankie if the fast finisher can manage to turn close up. 
Win: 5 F/C: 5-1 T/C: 5-1-6

Heat 8

I’m not saying you need an Irish runner to make a good heat but there is none in this and it does appear a weak heat on paper….!! Drumsna Castle has some nice Towcester form in the book and he along with Sing Song Man are the most consistent in the line-up. The formers latest solo effort does not inspire too much confidence however and there is little to chose on form between the better drawn Coolavanny Gooch in trap 1. The runner in the field that could register a proper Derby clock is Ballymac Manix(4) but he needs to get to the front early to achieve that and he can hardly be labelled a reliable breaker. If you must have an investment, side with him but if you can get a price on this to be the slowest heat of the night, take it! 
Verdict: No Bet

Heat 9

On Alert has the form in the book!
Just one Irish challenger here and what a brave decision by Craig Kelly to target the Derby with his once raced Bellmore Neymar. He could hardly have been more impressive on his debut at Shelbourne Park and has backed that up with very pleasing outings at Wimbledon. Going down to Swift Hoffman on his first look at the circuit was no disgrace and he showed smart progression to post 28.51 last week. Trap 1 in itself looks ok for him but a bigger problem is the highly talented On Alert being housed on his immediate outside. His 4.80 split looks daunting from an Irish point of view but he doesn’t always come away quite that sharply and if Neymar can find a good break, he has plausible claims…..here’s hoping the brave decision is rewarded! Overall this looks a 3 dog affair with Ballymac Vickson entering the equation from trap 4 and his early pace may carry him to a first bend lead if the inside duo fail to race independently of each other. The head must rule the heart for a selection though and On Alert gets that vote by virtue of experience. Hopefully he can deny Ballymac the lead and leave the way for Bellmore Neymar to qualify.
 Win: 2 F/C: 2-1 T/C: 2-1-4

Heat 10

No Irish here but trap 1 runner Ring Ben has only just left these shores after graduating to open company from his Kilkenny A3 win last month and has claims in the heat on his smart trials after landing in the UK. He can command the rails throughout and a clear run would bring a bold bid for the strong runner who if hitting the front at any stage, will prove a tough nut to crack! He has most to fear from Burnfoot Alpha(5) and more particularly the strong running Diego Flight in the stripes. The latter is superbly consistent and has form against the very best in Britain. Should he lead up, we may open the gate but the possibility of a good start by Burnfoot Alpha brings with it a chance that he may get held up for a stride or two at the bend which could prove enough for Ben to prevail. 
Win: 1 F/C: 1-6 T/C: 1-6-5

Recommended Bets will appear at this link http://grgracing.blogspot.ie/p/tipping.html


  1. Not sure having a vacant trap alongside is as much a help as you suggest. Current set up of traps at Wimbledon pushes dogs wide from the traps. Since the change to the "old" side , five years ago , 53 blank traps , 22 wins for traps either side , 31 losses for traps either side.

  2. Love the stats and very handy to have, thanks for that. However the comment about the vacant trap being a help was made in relation to Paradise Maverick who, if you watch his videos, is inclined to take a step to the right upon leaving traps. A free box on is outside is in my opinion an advantage in this case as from the point of view of my prediction for the race, it keeps him clear of his kennelmate inside and should give him the freedom to get up to speed quickly without suffering a bump. If i was to explain all that at time of writing i would not get the blog post up for the first round until the week of the final ha! So in essence, it was not a general assumption that a vacant trap is always a good thing but more an assertion that it was a good thing for this individual hound. Thanks for the comment, please feel free to comment away, stats like those will always be helpful!

  3. Absolutely Flying Dave....They're going to give it some rattle!!