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Star Sports Derby - Towcester 500m - £175,000

FOR many, Saturday is the night when the Star Sports Derby finally comes to life. We’re now down to the final 48 and those who visit Towcester for the fixture, thoroughly recommended, by the way, or watch in the betting shops or on Sky Sports will enjoy what is going to be a tremendous night’s racing.

The second round saw the departure of many a big name. Those that went include Bubbly Bluebird, the winter Derby favourite, Dorotas Wildcat and Droopys Wilbury to name a few. But we are left with a field right from the top drawer and eight heats over 500 metres at worth £1,000-to-the-winner, which are perfectly framed to produce some very high-class action.

It is difficult to know where to start when looking the qualifiers. Perhaps we should begin with heat five in which two of Ireland’s biggest hitters, Priceless Brandy and Clares Rocket, cross swords.

Both have won in the two preliminary rounds. Priceless Brandy has looked the more assured on the track but it’s Clares Rocket who produced the quickest time when setting a track record of 28.77sec – subsequently bettered by Tyrur Shay – at the first round stage. The scene is set for a thriller.

Heat one is a real conundrum. This includes the extremely likeable Pacey Bambi, who has the unenviable task of starting on the outside of the heavyweight British-Bred Carn Brae and Garryvoe Bobby, who has a demanding trap five draw to overcome.

There is so much to like about Bruisers Bullet, who starts from trap one in the second heat. He has really come to hand for Champion Trainer Mark Wallis, especially for his never-say-die attitude.

Those in opposition here include the tremendous Shaneboy Freddie and Graham Holland’s Ballinakil Clare. She has been brought over to accompany Clares Rocket but is making a fair fist of her campaign as well.

Cloran Paddy, a finalist in last year’s Derby and St Leger, takes on 2016 GBGB Greyhound of the Year, Droopys Buick, and King Eden, amongst others, in the third qualifier.

Heat four sees the defending Champion Jaytee Jet in action. The Paul Hennessy-trained runner was an impressive strong-running winner at the second round stage and seems to be getting better race by race.

Tyrur Shay, the star of the second round after a track-record breaking run, runs from trap five in the sixth qualifier. Include in the line-up for this contest are are Ballymac Matt, the Irish Derby winner a couple of years ago, and Forest Con, winner of the Ladbrokes Puppy Derby at Monmore in the spring.

Hiya Butt, who reverts to being unseeded after a flirtation with a middle classification in the second round, starts from trap three in heat seven. This has the potential to be a smashing race with the impressive Danzey Exception, unbeaten thus far, and the Carol Weatherall-trained duo Razldazl Tierna and Calico Ranger, included.

The last heat is difficult to call. But there is a lot to like about the progressive The Other Reg, the only one amongst the sextet who was a winner at the second round stage.

 

Saturday’s Draw

Heat One 1 Carn Brea

2 Pacey Bambi

3 Minnies Highway

4 Minglers Toure

5 Garryvoe Bobby

6 Sallows Ford (w)

 Heat Two 1 Bruisers Bullet

2 Coolavanny Pet

3 Shaneboy Freddie

4 Ballinakil Clare

5 Droopys Who

6 Dorotas Vic (w)

Heat Three 1 Romeo Treaty

2 Cloran Paddy

3 Droopys Buick

4 Slaheny King

5 Newinn Blitz

6 King Eden (w)

Heat Four 1 Swithins Brae

2 Airport Jumbo

3 College Paradise

4 Liam Og

5 Ballymac Sarahjo

6 Jaytee Jet (w)

 Heat Five 1 Clares Rocket

2 Priceless Brandy

3 Crossfield Hugo

4 Jaytee Yankee

5 Barricane Tiger

6 Fweshfromthesesh (w)

 Heat Six 1 Ballymac Matt

2 Sober Cindy

3 Droopys Acrobat

4 Knockard Spring

5 Tyrur Shay (m)

6 Forest Con (w)

Heat Seven 1 Velvet Blaze

2 Danzey Exception

3 Hiya Butt

4 Cable Bay

5 Razldazl Tierna (m)

6 Calico Ranger (w)

Heat Eight 1 Astute Missile

2 Stay Loose

3 Coolavanny Mason

4 Teejays Apache

5 The Other Edge (m)

6 Murrys Act (w)