Nottingham plays host to eight intriguing second round heats of the Star Sports & Arc Greyhound Derby on Saturday, and Joe Nordoff from Timeform highlights his best bets.
Strictly on recorded sectionals from last weekend NEWINN SESSION (Trap 5, 7.34) would need to step up to conquer those to his inner on the approach to the first bend.
However, it was highly significant that his respective heat last Saturday was run in some of the worst conditions, the going allowance an incredibly slow -130. With that in mind Graham Holland’s charge was deserving of having his effort marked up, coming off a true line around bends 1 and 2 following a fast break he showed fine determination to reel in the powerhouse that is Bockos Doomie having let that rival sneak up his inside.
Given how he shaped that day, the switch off the rails to the orange jacket may well benefit Graham Holland’s charge (a winner from both trap 4 and 5 in Ireland). There rates a distinct possibility for crowding on his inner with a number likely to be heading for the rails on the approach to the first bend and hopefully the son of Laughill Duke can emerge unscathed and book his place in round three.
Lenson Bocko (Trap 4), who similarly shaped as if he would have derived plenty from his first competitive start at Colwick Park, may well take a big jump forward and emerge as the chief danger.
The market for heat 4 at 8.21 at present revolves around Deerjet Sydney (Trap 3) who posted a Timeform figure of 126 when registering a three-and-a-half-length success eight days ago. Yet, equally as notable that day was his marked move towards the rails operating from trap 4. With that in mind the switch to the white jacket outside a pair of moderate breakers should hold no fears and he ought to be seen to good effect again.
However, it may pay to side with sole wide seed TROY FIREBIRD (Trap 6), who recorded a quicker final time in defeat in round one, to come out on top.
A smart performer when getting it right (current Timeform Master Rating of 130), David Mullins’ charge should have plenty of room to open up out wide, particularly with Vics Charm (Trap 5, TF116) expected to be edging left on his approach to the first bend as he did from this position last week.
Troy Firebird has clearly taken well to Nottingham, a circuit which can be difficult to navigate and he appeals at odds as big as 3/1 early doors.
DOOLIN DUKE (Trap 5) was a beneficiary of crowding on his inner early doors when building up a handy advantage around the opening bends in his respective heat but most taking from Pat Buckley’s charge was his strength at the finish, seemingly relishing the testing conditions to record a facile 12-and-a-half-length success.
The strong suspicion is there remains a good deal more to come from Doolin Duke and he can be in the vanguard from lid rise, with his main challenge possibly holding Coolavanny Chick (Trap 6) on the approach to the opening corner given her strong-running style.
The final heat takes centre stage at 9.26 and a race that may be fought out between impressive heat winners GONZO (Trap 6, TF128) and Blue Tick George (Trap 1, TF133), the former narrowly preferred on account of the draw.
Julie Bateson’s charge announced himself on the big stage when taking the Ladbrokes Gold Cup final in August. The son of Laughill Blake impressed in C&D trials and showed all-round pace to score last week, forced to move off slightly at the opening bend he quickened up impressively to register a three-length success. It is feasible to think he is still improving, an ideal attribute operating in greyhound racing’s greatest competition.
Jumeirah Sprite (Trap 5, TF 123) may well be heading left from his draw in orange and another sub five-second sectional break again should see Gonzo immediately on the front foot. Aforementioned Blue Tick George got the better of a protracted dual with Coolavanny Bani himself seven days ago and is danger to all if getting room to open up, but he can ill afford any box napping given the make-up of tonight’s affair.
- Newinn Session (Trap 5, 7.34)
- Troy Firebird (Trap 6, 8.21)
- Doolin Duke (Trap 5, 8.36)
- Gonzo (Trap 6, 9.26)
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