Roy the Boy looks ahead to the 2018 Star Sports Greyhound Derby and identifies an early each way ante-post selection.
Every time I see a greyhound race, it seems to be a two-bend sprint or a handicap these days. A bit of an exaggeration but there are clearly more of them than ever. I had no idea the likes of Poole and Swindon were staging handicaps until recently. And boy are they scruffy; a dozen or so yobs stood behind raggedy starting cans with cables everywhere. It’s like a scene from Scrapheap Challenge. In hindsight the only rack which ever got the presentation of handicap races right was Hove as their handicap races started from a chute on the inside of the track. It meant starting boxes did not have to hurriedly be lifted off of the running track during the race. God only knows why they did away with them, it’s a bookmaker-owned track after all.
The Star Sports Greyhound Derby is starting to hot up at Towcester and, ahead of Saturday’s third round, I’ve been going through the field. At this stage nothing looks to be in the proverbial ‘class of one’ category. In fact the competition looks wide open.
That said I could not help but notice most of the fancied runners are railers and just eight middle seeds and twelve wide-runners remain in the competition. As an added point of interest, some of these ‘railers’ are enormous - there’s a plethora of ‘railers’ weighing between 37 and 39 kilos left in the Derby.
Under the circumstances you have to find a wide-runner that can keep qualifying by avoiding Towcester’s ‘squeeze-point’ congestion. Whoops Jack, runner-up in last year’s Champion Stakes and winner of the Gold Collar (both at Shelbourne Park), fits the bill. At 20’s with Power’s, and given their each-way terms of 1-2-3-4 in the final, Whoops Jack could be cheap shot at a nice win.
Whoops Jack (each-way) @ 20/1 with Powers, SkyBet and select others