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Derby Hopefuls on Parade - Trial Stakes, Trial info and Tyrur Shay

THE countdown to the 2018 Star Sports English Greyhound Derby began in earnest at Towcester on Saturday when the Northamptonshire venue staged the first in a series of trial stakes for the £175,000 Classic.

Angela Harrison’s Droopys Verve (29.22sec -10), Kevin Boon’s Shaneboy Freddie (29.25sec) and Kevin Hutton’s Bit View Knight (29.55sec) took the honours in the three divisions of the 500m contest to set their stall out for the world’s greatest greyhound race.

Before racing, last year’s Derby runner-up Tyrur Shay (pictured above, breaking the track record during last year's Derby) made a spectacular return to the track when posting a fast 28.12sec (-10) for the 480m trip and PJ Fahy’s Irish raider will have delighted connections and his legion of supporters.

Likewise Charlie Lister’s Tyrur Harold (28.15sec) moved well in his workout, while Rising Brandy (29.29sec) impressed over 500m with the Monmore Puppy Derby winner having a solo spin for the Matt Dartnall camp.

Chris Page, Towcester racing manager, reminds trainers that entries for the Derby close on April 24 and confirms that Derby-only trials sessions will be held at the track this coming Thursday (April 12) and April 19.

“We’ll have limited some availability on our Wednesday trial sessions, but these are generally for our graded strength and own trainers - solos cannot be guaranteed on Wednesdays. Either way, please book these as early as possible with the Racing Office.

“We’ll be staging trial stakes again this Saturday (April 7) and the following two (April 14 and April 21). Races close on the Tuesday of each week and will again be divided where sufficient entries are received.

“We’d also appreciate it if trainers would indicate the proposed seeding of their greyhounds when booking trials with the racing office - we’ll then ensure you have your desired trap. However, the course taken during trials will determine the seeding for the first round.”

Aware of the Derby-centric schedule facing Towcester in the coming weeks, Page is keen to see Towcester’s trainers and graded strength accommodated by other tracks looking to stage inter-track events - especially in the first three weeks of May.

Star Sports English Greyhound Derby details and entry form here: