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Antepost betting tips and analysis

Ian Brindle provides an in-depth look at the antepost Greyhound Derby market, with Clonbrien Treaty his headline selection for the sport’s showpiece.

Greyhound Derby betting tips

2pts e.w. Clonbrien Treaty 25/1 (General 1/4 1,2,3,4,5,6)

1pt e.w. Ower Cracker 50/1 (General 1/4 1,2,3,4,5,6)

0.5pt e.w. Unreal Bruiser 100/1 (General 1/4 1,2,3,4,5,6)

Sky Bet’s Greyhound Derby odds

Thursday sees the commencement of The Star Sports and TRC English Greyhound Derby with the cream of British and Irish racing heading to Towcester for six fantastic weeks of competition.

As with its equine namesake, the Derby is one of the showpiece events of the sport, but in a year where the Northamptonshire circuit has experienced repeated procedural issues, it will be imperative for all that we get a clear round and the best rising the top.

Irish odds-on for victory

With the Irish Derby taking place later in the calendar than has ordinarily been the case, there are a record number of entries from across the Irish Sea and quality abounds.

The sponsors currently go 4/5 about the raiders taking the prize and it is exiled Englishman, Graham Holland, that has provided the last two winners.

Gaytime Nemo will bid to become the first dog since Westmead Hawk to win back-to-back Derbys but the layers offer 100/1 about his chances despite him peaking last year when the big cheques were cashed.

Holland trained last year’s antepost selection, Swords Rex, and the dog will aim to right a wrong having flunked the race at the boxes in the final. This year’s first round draw curiously pitches him in against fellow finalist, Cochise, in heat eight.

CLONBRIEN TREATY has been the trainer’s standout performer in Ireland over the last 12 months and he was to win the Easter Cup at Shelbourne Park at the principal expense of kennelmate and last year’s Derby fifth, Clona Duke.

That competition is generally regarded as one of the big signposts to the Classics and as he’s seeded wide, he’s highly likely to get his favoured six draw in each assignment. I cannot let the 25/1 pass by on that basis alone.

Among the Holland battalion is Irish Derby winner, The Other Kobe. He’d retired to stud but the lure of the £175,000 pot was enough to tempt his owners back to the racetrack, and that 28.97 in his first start since leaving Jennifer O’Connell suggests that he may yet take a hand.

Buckley back to Towcester

Pat Buckley boycotted the 2023 competition but he’ll be leaving no stone unturned with 13 entrants in this year’s renewal.

The big ticket performer is Ballinabola Ed, who has been nursed back to fitness having suffered a gracilis injury, though the market has very favourable in regard to Bens Teddy.

Connections will hope he’s over the crashing fall he took during the Easter Cup but he’s proved extremely progressive with a third in the Irish Derby followed by a demolition job over 600 yards at Shelbourne Park’s Winter Festival.

OWER CRACKER is a greyhound we don’t know too much about but he was impressive in his trial and may have crept under the radar. The youngster gave a fair account of himself during the Kirby Memorial, and the evidence of his running style suggests that the decision to middle seed is sensible.

He will face leading Liam Dowling hope, De Lahdedah in the first round but if he can handle that banana skin, I don’t envisage those current odds hanging around for too long.

Jaytee Craze has been well touted and hails from the kennels of 2019 winning handler, Paul Hennessy.

The dog already possesses Towcester experience having campaigned in the KAB Maiden Derby though he failed to trap out in the final and saw his chances compromised. Owned by John Turner – who tasted success in 2016 with the magnificent Jaytee Jet – he ticks plenty of the right boxes.

McNair spearheads British challenge

With leading British hope Droopys Clue out injured, it’s been no surprise to see the patriotic punters putting their collective faith in Liz McNair and the K.S.S. Syndicate.

Fromposttopillar was ante-post favourite for the combination last year and on this occasion, their collective eggs do not appear to be all in the one basket.

King Memphis has long been a fancy for this year’s prize and its not hard to understand why.

A tremendous campaign during 2023 saw him lead home a McNair 1-2-3-4 in the RPGTV Puppy Derby over course and distance, and he was to prove this to be no fluke when following up in the Olympic at Hove.

Some critics have suggested that he may be a little draw dependent but that call could be viewed as harsh given his explosive early pace. That said, its perhaps fair comment to suggest that the draw was a contributing factor to his eclipse by kennelmate, Queen Joni, in the Kent Plate final at Central Park though he did finish ahead of King Capaldi.

In fairness to the winner, she had produced a couple of gritty performances during that competition and the bookmakers make her a general 2/1 favourite to be the lady to go deepest in the Derby. The prospect of a member of the fairer sex prevailing outright being rated at 4/1.

Romeo seeks Command performance

Romeo Command was a big fancy for last year’s competition and he ran his heart out to finish as runner-up. We haven’t seen him competitively since finishing second to Signet Goofy in the Blue Riband in January and he is likely to be a warm order for his opening bow in Heat 22.

Links Maverick has never raced around Towcester but his trial was one of the more compelling of the sessions and he has the potential to put the Tom Heilbron kennels on the map.

A true competition performer in every sense of the description, he has already scooped the Ladbrokes Gold Cup at Monmore (with an unbeaten sequence), the Pall Mall at Oxford and the Northern Puppy Derby at Newcastle.

Saturday will represent a baptism of fire against Pat Buckley’s Superfast Gorden and fellow North-East rival, Wicky Ned.

Jimmy Fenwick’s youngster was a worthy winner of the Gymcrack at Sheffield and has a fair amount of presence given he tips the scales at over 36kg.

Mark Wallis secured his 14th Trainers Championship last year, and with Coonough Crow landing the Kent St Leger at the weekend, he’ll be hoping that some of that stardust can land upon Newinn Syd.

At his best when drawn near the rails, those that joined in the ante-post gamble will have winced as he drew box four in the opening heat on Thursday.

It’s not unusual to see a big priced outsider making the final and with that in mind, I’ll add UNREAL BRUISER as a fun bet to my portfolio at 100/1.

Trained by Diane Henry (who was responsible for 2022 finalist Savana Beau) and owned by track promoter, Kevin Boothby, he was highly thought of when with Graham Holland.

A regular winner of minor Opens, he’s yet to click in a big competition but he does possess course experience and a likeable attitude and can outperform lowly market expectations.

  • This year’s Derby will be streamed live by the majority of bookmakers and in the betting offices by SIS. Coverage is also available on Pay-Per-View with BetGoodwin TV (Sky Channel 186)

Posted at 1350 BST on 21/05/24

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