Just to put you in the mood

There’s nothing quite like those three days in early February. Harry Findlay’s won a Gold Cup at Cheltenham but he still talks about the 1999 Derby final in hushed tones. Here’s a quote from Findlay from 2009 about the battle between the Big Fella and Toy Razor. Findlay later named his race horse after the hound.

“The dog died last month. He was unbelievable for me. He won his trial stakes and everyone wanted to buy him. He went on to win the final of a 64-dog trial and it was the greatest battle you have ever seen.

“You can talk about battles between Kauto Star and Denman, but you need to watch Big Fella and Toy Razor in the final. Big Fella went on to win 31 consecutive races, which is a record, and he beat Toy Razor again.

“I love all sports and was at the Nou Camp the other night for the Champions League match. You can’t beat live events, but there is no sight like watching a greyhound in full flow and to have a Grand National favourite named after a coursing dog – you couldn’t ask for more.”


Neck on the line… Derby

I’ve been dreading this moment for the last few weeks, prediction time– or as I should call it guessing time!

Betting on coursing can be a hazardous pursuit at the best of times. Where as horse racing takes place over a set distance with humans in control, in greyhound racing those making a wager are forced to rely on thoroughly unpredictable animals.

Even without the uncertainty brought by the dog, it’s impossible to predict when a short slip will come or when a dog will run offline or pick up an injury. For the pups in particular the form is far from complete and picking a dog without some form of inside knowledge can be no more than a giant raffle!

In saying all that, I have watched as much video as I can and I’ve attended my fair share of meetings, so I’m going to try and make some form of selection. Aided by the superb supplement in today’s Sporting Press I’m going to try and pick out my last 4.

Warning: It may be best to do the opposite of what is suggested below!

Boylesports.com Derby

The top quarter of the Derby includes 5 dogs 14/1 or less in the betting with Bet Browne and a further 4 dogs who I could make an argument for! There are a number of mouth watering looking buckles most notably the meeting of Mister Music and Newinn Wonder and the meeting of Windfarm Hill and Droopys Bestie.

To be completely honest- and I don’t think I’m alone in this- but anyone that can confidently predict who will come out of the top quarter of this draw has a much greater coursing intellect than I can ever dream of having! My own idea of quarter finalists would be Kingdom Call and the winner of  Windfarm and Droopys in their opening buckle. Windfarm Hill will love the longer field in Clonmel but I have niggling doubts that he can be somewhat inconsistent. Anything below his best and  Droopys Bestie will take advantage.

The second quarter looks a competitive as well. Tilford Tom‘s performance in the Corn na Feile suggests he certainly has the pace to compete at the highest level. Wilton Magic showed serious pace when winning his Trial Stake and certainly has the kind of breeding necessary to handle the hill at Powerstown.

The bottom half of the quarter looks like it may be decided by the opening round meeting of Ballyverry John and Newry Awake. Ballyverry John has been well supported over the last week or two but Newry Awake showed exceptional early pace to win the Ballymena Trial Stake. I’ve just got a feeling that the Brendan Matthews trained Newry Awake can spring a mini surprise here.

The the third quarter appears to be a very open affair. Team Tyson, a half brother of Skellig Way represents the Fermoy meeting which has an excellent Clonmel record in recent years. He’d certainly be on my shortlist as would Needham Coin.

Droopys Abbott only got a call late last week but he may appreciate the longer field and I’ve a funny feeling he may get the better of Jacksons Lane if the pair meet. Kilkeale Hero has flown somewhat under the radar but Go On Slogan won a competitive Trial Stake in Castletowngeoghegan and the Dessie Kerrigan runner has a real chance. I might just side with the Derry based greyhound.

Glendower and Thomas the Tank can confirm the bookmakers odds in the bottom quarter with formers equisite breeding sure to stand to him. Watching Phoenix Frankel win his Trial Stake on the Youtube video of the Cavan meeting would worry me a little given the amount of work he leaves himself to do. He did improve his exit from slips in Dundalk and I’ve a narrow fancy for the Ian Reilly trained runner in his much anticipated meeting with Windsor Forest.

The Slipper’s selection- Last 4

  • Kingdom Call
  • Tilford Tom
  • Team Tyson
  • Phoenix Frankel

Put your faith in the clocks?

With both Derby and Oaks appearing to be very open contests there have been quite a few people waiting until after the first round before plumping for their respective selections.

With the benefit of a look at how each dog handles the hill and avoiding a few tricky first round encounters, there is the added benefit of seeing how each dog runs against the clock. But just how reliable has this proven over the last few years.

I’ve looked at the last 6 National Meetings and examined the first round times of the Derby and Oaks. Only Adios Alonso and Sullane Sign have led on the clock after round 1 and gone on to win the stake. The 2010 Derby times work out to be the most reliable with 6 of the quarter finalists clocking in the top 8 in the opening round.

Of course the fastest dogs and bitches could very well meet each other in the opening round or knock each other out but the results are interesting nonetheless.

DERBY TIMES 2012- 2007

Derby 2012

Fastest- Blueview Sam– 12.44 (Beat final)

Winner- Go Home Hare– 12.55 (T-5th fastest)

5 of 8 fastest made Quarters

Derby 2011

Fastest- Newry Legend– 12.70 (Withdrawn 3rd round)

Winner- Central City– 13.04 (17th fastest)

2 of 8 fastest made Quarters

Derby 2010

Fastest- Adios Alonso– 12.38

Winner- Adios Alonso (Fastest)

6 of 8 fastest made Quarters

Derby 2009

Fastest- Wallace Green– 13.03 (Beat 3rd round)

Winner- Kingsmill Dynamo– 13.42 (19th fastest)

1 of 8 fastest made Quarters

Derby 2008

Fastest- Catunda Ashmore– 11.63 (Beat semi-final)

Winner- Razor Ashmore– 11.90 (22rd fastest)

4 of 8 fastest made Quarters

Derby 2007

Fastest- Murtys Shadow– 11.60 (Beat 3rd round)

Winner- Micromover– 11.70 (9th fastest)

2 of 8 fastest made Quarters

OAKS TIMES 2007- 2012

2012 Oaks

Fastest- Fives Treasure– 12.44 (Beat semi-final)

Winner- Dale Roisin– 12.78 (T-19th fastest)

2 of 8 fastest made Quarters

2011 Oaks

Fastest- Leigh Countess– 12.79 (Beat 3rd Round)

Winner- Skellig Babe– 13.01 (11th fastest)

2 of 8 fastest made Quarters

2010 Oaks

Fastest- Lucan Glory– 12.67 (Beat semi final)

Winner- Lisloose Accord 12.96 (15th fastest)

4 of 8 fastest made quarters

2009 Oaks

Fastest- Kingsmill Bliss– 12.97 (Beat 3rd round)

Winner- Fortuna– 13.25 (T-6th fastest)

3 of 8 fastest made quarters

2008 Oaks

Fastest- Droopys Scotch and Sullane Sign– both 11.75 (Beat 2nd round and Winner)

Winner-Sullane Sign– 11.75

4 of 8 fastest made quarters

2007 Oaks

Fastest- Lucan Diva– 11.67 (Withdrawn 3rd round)

Winner- Qualityandgold– 11.70 (3rd fastest)

4 of 8 fastest made quarters

Market Movers following the draw- Boylesports

Boylesports have priced up all 4 stakes in Clonmel at the weekend with betting now available on their website. There are plenty of dogs lengthening in price with 34 bitches in the Greyhound and Petworld Oaks available at 33/1 or better. 28 dogs can be supported at prices 33/1 or greater.

All prices quoted were correct as of 4.30pm on 28/01/13.

Greyhound and Petworld Oaks

Prices shortened on the following after the draw:

  • Camarillo Blonde- 9/1 from 10/1
  • Red Orchid- 12/1 from 16/1
  • Catunda Magic- 14/1 from 16/1
  • Adios Belle- 16/1 from 20/1
  • Gowayoudat- 16/1 from 20/1
  • Smart Ali- 16/1 from 20/1
  • Blades of Joy- 20/1 from 25/1
  • Double Trouble- 20/1 from 25/1

Boylesports.com Derby

Prices shortened on the following after the draw:

  • Ballyverry John- 12/1 from 14/1
  • Glendower- 14/1 from 20/1
  • Mr Big- 14/1 from 16/1
  • Newry Awake- 16/1 from 20/1
  • Team Tyson- 20/1 from 25/1
  • Comino Joe- 33/1 from 40/1

Market movers following the draw- BetBrowne

The draw for the Boylesports.com Derby and the Greyhound and Petworld Oaks was made in Clonmel last night.

With updated prices now available I’ve taken a look at the main market movers in light of the draw.

BetBrowne‘s latest betting sees the following:


There’s a new joint favourite in the Greyhound and Petworld Oaks with Blades of Steel drifting from 7/1 back to 8/1 and Camarillo Blonde shortening to 8/1 from 10s.


  • Camarillo Blonde- 8/1 from 10/1
  • Adios Belle- 12/1 from 20/1
  • Central Heroine- 14/1 from 16/1
  • Nina For Out- 14/1 from 20/1
  • Dependable- 16/1 from 33/1
  • Smart Ali- 12/1 from 16/1
  • Call Posie 16/1 from 20/1

There are also plenty of bitches on the drift as well. Full betting is available on the BetBrowne website.


Ballyverry John shortened during the last week and has now been cut to 10/1 joint favouritve with BetBrowne. Corn na Feile winner Tilford Tom is on the move as is Old Kilcullen Puppy Stake winner Kilkeale Hero.


  • Ballyverry John- 10/1 from 12/1
  • Tilford Tom- 12/1 from 14/1
  • Thomas the Tank- 12/1 from 16/1
  • Kilkeale Hero- 14/1 from 20/1
  • Windfarm Hill- 14/1 from 16/1
  • Glendower- 14/1 from 16/1
  • Mr Big- 14/1 from 16/1
  • Boy The Kid- 16/1 from 25/1
  • Jacksons Lane 16/1 from 20/1
  • Spruce Bolt- 20/1 from 25/1
  • Go On Slogan- 25/1 from 28/1


I think there are 15 dogs in the Derby on the drift following the draw with BetBrowne so there may be some value there. You can  check that out now on the website