The Star Sports, ARC & LPS Greyhound Derby Semi Finals Review
NOTTINGHAM director Nathan Corden has spoken of the track’s pride in staging what is being described as the best meeting of the year for Saturday’s semi-finals of the Star Sports, Arc and LPS Greyhound Derby.
The full 14-race open-race card is likely to be only eclipsed this year by Greyhound Derby Final night itself next week – Saturday, June 29 – when a host of finals and valuable one-off contests will thrill an anticipated sellout crowd at the Colwick Park venue.
“When we saw the quality of entries coming through to the racing office earlier this week, we knew we had something special in store – and those entries just kept on coming. It was a real task to whittle some of the races down – apologies to those who missed out.
“However, we’ve got a star-studded card and competitions over a variety of distances, with the Derby Plate heats also for those dogs and bitches knocked out in the early rounds of the Derby. Dorotas Wildcat won that event two years ago, of course!”
Kevin Hutton’s defending champion followed up his 2017 Derby Plate victory at Towcester with a famous victory in the sport’s top event the following year – and his bid to create history by scoring back-to-back Greyhound Derby remains alive.
“I’m sure Kevin (Hutton, trainer and part-owner) and Dave Usher (part-owner) know there’s still along way to go with the semis and, should he qualify, a final next week – but what he’s doing is just brilliant. He’s got a fan club here anyway having won the Eclipse.
“He’s trying to win Derbys at two different tracks which has not been achieved in the UK, although my Irish friends are all too quick to tell me Spanish Battleship won three Derbys in a row at two different tracks – Shelbourne and Harold’s Cross!
“Kevin would no doubt have preferred his pair to have missed each other in the semi-finals, but Magical Bale also deserves his place in the semis. He’s been quite exceptional, too, and was the star of the quarter-finals last week.”
With six of the semi-finalists Irish-based runners, Corden also feels the competition is set fair. “England versus Ireland is always key to the Derby – and this year is building up nicely with each having six qualifiers apiece – and the quality overall is tremendous,” he added.
Corden said preparations for Greyhound Derby Final night on June 29 were well ahead and that just a few tickets now remain. The event is likely to be an all-ticket affair and those wishing to attend are advised to contact the track (www.nottinghamdogs.com).
‘We’re well aware this is the sport’s biggest night of the year upcoming and all the staff have worked extremely hard in the buildup – and that continues into next week. However, it’s the dogs who are the stars of the show. We will never lose sight of that.”
Saturday’s open-race form: www.bagsracing.com/assets/22-june—nottingham-adv2.pdf
Star Sports, ARC and LPS Greyhound Derby dates:-
Semi-finals: Saturday, June 22
Final: Saturday, June 29