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Star Sports Derby - First round - Thursday's heats

SO, after what seemed like an endless stream of trials and Trial Stakes, it’s time for the preamble to end and the action to begin as the 2017 Star Sports Derby bursts into life at Towcester on Thursday.


It’s a first for both Towcester as the venue of the sport’s greatest race and for Ben Keith’s Star Sports as the backer. Here’s wishing them the best of luck.


The 32 first round heats are split over three nights – Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The draw took place at Towcester on Sunday afternoon and was watched live on Towcester TV by people at locations all over the worldwide.


There is nothing better than watching the action as it unfolds. Admission to Towcester is free of charge for every round except the final. Those of you that are unable to get to the track for the first round can take in all the action on RPGTV.


The first three in each heat, over 500 metres, will go into the draw for the 16 second round heats split evenly on Friday and Saturday next week.


The First Round


Thursday – Heats 1-10


All eyes will be on Derby ante-post favourite Clares Rocket, still a maiden at Towcester after two Trial Stakes, which is something of a surprise. Graham Holland’s dog hasn’t been able to settle on what part of the track he wants to run on but he may well be suited to trap four in heat six.


Droopys Buick was pulled out of the Derby before it got underway last year when going down with a sickness. That was all the more galling because he had moved so well in a trial just days before over the 480-metre trip at Wimbledon.


He was subsequently voted 2016 Greyhound of the Year after picking up a couple of Category One competitions in the autumn/winter. The Angela Harrison-trained dog can get his Derby campaign off to the best possible start in heat four.


Murrys Act, the Racing Post Juvenile winner, is one of those competing in the opening heat of the night at 7.30pm and just fifteen minutes later Droopys Awesome, trained by Frazer Black and owned by the Diamonds Are Forever Syndicate, which includes Paschal Taggart, takes on Arc Winner Garryvoe Bobby, amongst others in the second heat.


Tyrur Shay caught the eye with a sensational strong-running effort in a Derby Trial Stakes on May 13, when the dog owned and trained by PJ Fahy had Clares Rocket, amongst others, in behind.


A couple better known for their exploits over further the Derby 500 metres trip – Rubys Rascal and Jaytee Patriot -  feature in heats 4 and 8 respectively.


And King Eden, the Puppy Derby winner, starts from trap six in heat 10. Also in this contest is Droopys Essie, purchased at the Pre-Derby Sale at Towcester, who is making her racecourse debut.


Thursday Heat 1-10

Heat 1

1 Astute Missile

2 Ilewin Brickwall

3 Cappoquin Al

4 Carn Brae

5 Paradise Valdez

6 Murrys Act (w)

Heat 2

1 Droopys Awesome

2 Garryvoe Bobby

3 Trickys Delight

4 Savana Donie

5 Dorotas Tiger

6 Powerful Boy (w)

Heat 3

1 Beaming For You

2 Ballydoyle Time

3 Tiernans Gift

4 Piemans Bullet

5 Danzey Exception

6 Ravestock Vic (w)

Heat 4

1 Rubys Rascal

2 Razldazl Tierna

3 Chilli Squid

4 Brandyandbaileys

5 Graces Blueboy

6 Dunham Sleepy (w)

Heat 5

1 Roswell Iceman

2 Jims Chance

3 Strides Hugo

4 Velvet Blaze

5 Shaneboy Freddie

6 Tyrur Shay (w)

Heat 6

1 Burgess Sugarray

2 Ballymac Eliza

3 Whoops Jack

4 Clares Rocket

5 Slippery Louise (w)

6 Droopys Missouri (w)

Heat 7

1 Barricane Tiger

2 Sober Cindy

3 Burgess Tadhg

4 Droopys Buick

5 Giro Day (w)

6 Dragon Overlord (w)

Heat 8

1 Bockos Alfie

2 Beaming Jestic

3 Lightfoot Star

4 College Paradise

5 Empress Katie (m)

6 Jaytee Patriot (w)

Heat 9

1 Slouane Wonder

2 Minglers Toure

3 Diego Flight

4 Slaheny King

5 Kooga Klum (m)

6 Killeacle Wayne

Heat 10

1 Jaytee Yankee

2 Droopys Essie

3 Liam Og

4 Droopys Polly

5 Westaway O’Neill (m)

6 King Kid (w)