After a fantastic month of greyhound racing we have cut the original field of over 150 dogs down to the final 6 who will compete this Saturday, the 29th, at 9:08pm in the final of the English Greyhound Derby 2013. There have been shocks along the way but two of the antepost favourites have made their way to the final and are joined by 4 other quality dogs. Below we take a look at each of the 6 finalists and give our opinions on their chances and ultimately we have selected a 10/1 chance with SkyBet.
Trap 1: Sidaz Jack – Best Price 8/1 @ William Hill
Sidaz Jack looks like the early leader to me in the final of the Greyhound Derby. Charlie Lister’s youngster has impressively improved his sectional time in every round so far, culminating in a fantastic 4:71s split in the semi-finals where he led Ballymac Vic before being overpowered.
Having the immense early pace that Sidaz Jack has is a huge positive but the negative is that he doesn’t seem to be quite strong enough to hold off the quality runners who turn close behind. This is likely to be the case again on Saturday night when he can lead the field from trap one but the field is of so high quality that it looks like something will be able to pick him off.
With that said, if he get a bit of luck in running and we see a bit of trouble in behind , he might be able to stretch them out and his recent times of 28:49s and 28:41s would be good enough if there is trouble.
Trap 2: Droopys Jet – Best Price 13/8 @ bet365
Droopys Jet is the 13/8 favourite to win the Final of the Greyhound Derby and is justified in being so after some excellent showings. In fact, apart from the opening round where he was beaten by Shaneboy Alley, he has led early in all of his races and won in consistently excellent times.
The Irish-trained speedster has shown his diverse early ability by breaking from traps 1, 2, 3 and 6 throughout the Derby and whilst trap 2 might be the perfect trap for Droopys Jet it does comes with some issues in this race as Sidaz Jack looks like he could boss the early pace on the inside, therefore potentially holding up Droopys Jet.
With leading not a guarantee in ths final we might need to see something different from Droopys Jet and it will be interesting to see if he can avoid trouble and come from behind.
Trap 3: Ballymac Vic – Best Price 7/4 @ Coral
Ballymac Vic has been in the top two in the market for the duration of the competition and it is no different at this stage as he sits just behind his fellow Irish-trained dog, Droopys Jet, in the betting for the final of the Greyhound Derby.
Vic has won all but one of his races in the competition thus far, only losing out to Droopys Jet in the Quarter-Finals when he turned 2nd and couldn’t make any impact on the leader.
The draws throughout the competition have been favourable to Ballymac Vic but he is obviously a class dog regardless, however he looks set to have a tricky time in the early part of the race on Saturday with both dogs inside him having the ability to lead him up. If both lead Ballymac Vic then it is unlikely he will have enough about him to go past both to win, especially with the dangers also lying outside him in the race.
Trap 4: Airlie Impact – Best Price 33/1 @ Ladbrokes
Regular readers of the Betpal greyhound racing articles will have a keen eye on Airlie Impact as we offered up the dog at 179/1 before the first round of the competition as a potential winner. He has not let us down and ran fantastically well to reach this stage.
33/1 is a rather insulting price about any dog that reaches the final of the greatest greyhound racing competition in the world but he does look to have it all to do having been given trap 4 as a wide seed and with all 5 other dogs clearly beating him for early pace.
Airlie Impact will have to come from last to first to win this race and will definitely be looking for some trouble amongst the leaders to allow him to use his late gallop to swoop home. A tough task but we have had some big priced winners of the final in recent years with Kinda Ready, most notably, winning at 25/1 in 2009.
Trap 5: Bittles Bar – Best Priced 12/1 @ William Hill
Not too many people would have had Bittles Bar amongst their antepost selections for the Greyhound Derby but he has performed admirably, showing excellent early pace to advance through the rounds. Interestingly, Bittles Bar was switched to a wide seed after the 2nd round after being unseeded previously.
The problems that Bittles Bar faces are that although he has excellent early pace, so do four other dogs in the race and he will face severe competition for the lead in the early stages and he has to lead to have any chance of winning. I can’t see him leading this race and with that go his chances.
If he does sneak out in front then, like the aforementioned Sidaz Jack, he will need a little bit of trouble in behind to avoid one of the stronger dogs closing on him.
Trap 6: Screen Critic – Best Price 10/1 @ SkyBet
If Screen Critic breaks like he did in the semi-finals, where he was a little fortunate to qualify for the final, then he has no chance in the final of the Greyhound Derby, but if he breaks like he has in every other round bar the semi-final then he has a fantastic chance of pulling off a minor shock from his trap 6 draw.
Screen Critic’s victory over Farloe Warhawk in the 3rd round sticks in the mind and demonstrates what a quality dog this is despite two 3rd place finishes in a row.
If there is trouble on the inside amongst the favourites then it would massively improve the chances of the dogs running from wide. Screen Critic looks sure to have a battle with Bittles Bar in the early pace department but has shown excellent all round pace throughout the competition and can go past dogs if necessary.
Droopys Jet and Ballymac Vic rightly sit at the head of the betting as both are fantastic dogs who have really lit up this year’s renewal of the Greyhound Derby. That said, I think the best thing to do on Saturday night is take them on given how the race is drawn. Sidaz Jack can lead Droopys Jet up by about a length early in the race which will hold up the favourite, which in turn is likely to hinder Ballymac Vic who might not be able to lead up with the two dogs on the inside cracking out.
To me, this opens it up for something from the outside traps to shine given that we think Sidaz Jack can lead, hold up the favourites, but not be strong enough to hold on for the full 480m. Of the wide seeds, slight preference is given to Screen Critic who looks to hold the edge over Bittles Bar. He can show good early and cut across the field and potentially turn level with the leader before grabbing a lead off the 3rd before staying home strong.
Screen Critic to win the 2013 English Greyhound Derby @ 10/1 SkyBet