The 2014 Greyhound Derby at Wimbledon kicked off with 212 greyhounds in the first round and after five tough rounds over the entire month we are down to six greyhounds who will contest the Greyhound Derby 2014 Final on Saturday the 31st of May. Below we discuss the chances of each of the finalists and give our free greyhound racing betting tip for the final, which is best priced at 7/1 with Ladbrokes.

Trap 1: Crokers Champ – Best Price 3/1 @ 888Sport

There seems to be little doubt that Crokers Champ has the best early pace amongst the six finalists, with his 4:62s sectional from the 2nd round the fastest of any greyhound in the entire competition. His early pace should see him lead this race and then backers would need to hope that he can maintain his lead – as he was picked up in his semi-final by Droopys Ward and in a previous round by Holdem Spy. There are also some doubts about trap 1 for the Irish runner – his slowest sectional came from trap 1 in an earlier round and if he wants to get clear enough to be a big favourite then he needs a top break. Positively, Salad Dodger and Droopys Ward on his right aren’t the sharpest from the traps.

Trap 2: Salad Dodger – Best Price 20/1 @ bet365

Salad Dodger is one of three greyhounds to have reached the final without winning a single race in the competition, the others being Kincraig Rory and Farloe Trent. He is also one of two puppies (the other being Droopys Ward) to have made the final, with Crokers Champ barely out of puppy status too. Salad Dodger has done well to reach the final and deservedly takes his place – he is good at all aspects of racing: good trapping, good middle pace and good strength to finish, and that in itself is the issue as he does not excel at any one area to make him a serious contender to win the big races. In this race others will start faster and finish better, making even a top two finish for the each way money difficult.

Trap 3: Droopys Ward – Best Price 7/1 @ Ladbrokes

Droopys Ward kept his best form for the semi-final as he broke over half a length better than his Wimbledon average before picking Crokers Champ up to win in a sharp 28:25s (+10) and the general feeling is that he is peaking at the right time. It is generally unfashionable to back a slow starting railer but when you have one who will be finishing best of all the 6 greyhounds and in form then he has to be taken into serious consideration. If he breaks like he did in the semi-final he will have a strong chance of going up with the traps on either side of them and from there he needs to hold his pitch to go after Crokers Champ who is expected to lead.

Trap 4: Mind The Net – Best Price 5/4 @ Betfair Sportsbook

The Scottish Derby runner-up, Mind The Net, is a worthy favourite for the Derby Final as he looks to have the best all round racing game in the race and has the fastest race time of all the finalists (28:09s +10). He has won his last three races from the third round to the semi-final and looked tremendous in his semi-final when he went past 3 greyhounds, including Aero Nemesis, on the run in. Mind The Net is capable of winning in a number of ways, he does have some nice sectionals that can have him in contention early doors but as witnessed by his semi-final he can come from lengths down too. Without doubt the fastest greyhound in the race, the only debate is whether the price is value or not.

Trap 5: Kincraig Rory – Best Price 25/1 @ William Hill

Kincraig Rory is probably the most unfashionable greyhound left in the competition and has been far from the spotlight in his Derby campaign thus far, with four 2nds and a 3rd place so far meaning he has reached the final without much danger but without much applaud. The problem is that he seems to have the worst of it in this race – will likely trap last and although he comes home well, the likes of Droopys Ward and Mind The Net, look like stronger finishers. Looks priced about right.

Trap 6: Farloe Trent – Best Price 8/1 @ William Hill

The McNair-trained greyhound is the sole wide seed in the Derby Final and should get some nice space early in the race to do his work with Kincraig Rory slow away on his inside. His average sectional in the Derby thus far is 4:84s and while that would easily clear Kincraig Rory but it may give him problems clearing most on his inner but if he stays wide enough he can remain in contention. A repeat of his 4:75s sectional from the 3rd round would have him challenging Crokers Champ early. The problem is that even if he leads he would still be a big price to win as others will be chasing him down hard and his fastest time came in that 3rd round when he ran 28:62s which with a clear run which would unlikely be fast enough.

Verdict

We are certainly set for an excellent Derby Final, and that is always the case with supporters given a month to familiarise themselves with the finalists. It helps that we have some excellent greyhounds and stories in this race, with the two Irish runners: Crokers Champ and Mind The Net the favourites, with two puppies still in the race, one of those being Salad Dodger who was running in A6 400m races at Romford last year.

Crokers Champ is going to dive into an early lead, but the belief is that he won’t trap as well as normal from trap 1 and thus won’t get far enough clear to hold on from the stronger finishers. Some have claimed that he was only picked up due to the three quick runs between the 3rd round and semi-final but given his time in the semi-final was quick we can discount that view.

I’ve discounted the two wide traps, Kincraig Rory and Farloe Trent, which may be foolish but I don’t believe they’ll be good enough. Salad Dodger has a small chance but didn’t get to Crokers in the semi-final so may struggle to in a better race. Mind The Net is fantastic and is a great favourite, I believe the 5/4 is the right price and he is odds on in most places but instead of making a bet at the right price we can make a bet of slight value on Droopys Ward at 7/1 who if he can repeat his semi-final performance and hold Mind The Net early could produce a small upset victory with his excellent finish. The 6/1 with bet365 can be taken when backing each-way given that they offer third odds for a top 2 finish and 2/1 that Droopys Ward finishes in top 2 looks a solid bet.

Back Droopys Ward to win the Greyhound Derby (Wimbledon 9:08pm Saturday 31st) @ 7/1 with Ladbrokes

or

Back Droopys Ward each-way to win the Greyhound Derby @ 6/1 with bet365