“I think the night started brilliantly for Pat Buckley, but ended in a disaster when he saw the draw for the fourth quarter final.”
Nottingham’s Nathan Corden reflects on some memorable moments in the Star Sports/ARC Greyhound Derby semi finals which saw the elimination of favourite Newinn Session, and long time ante post leader Bockos Doomie. Gone too was the highly rated Gonzo.
But it is a diverse Derby with a third of the last 24 being Irish trained, including the majority of the leading fancies. There are still three females in the hunt, two exciting locals, and widely differing opinions, even relating to the best chance of the powerful Buckley trio.
Corden said: “If I had to choose one at this stage it would probably be Knocknaboul Syd, on the basis of his early pace. He may not be the fastest of the Buckley dogs but has really taken to the track and his trapping and early pace has been exceptional.
“Overall I thought it was a very good second round. It was disappointing to lose Newinn Session though I think his kennelmate Lenson Bocko was the most culpable for that. Thankfully Bocko has the four box in the quarter finals.
“The one who really shocked me was Churchill Holly. I stood at the first bend and thought ‘who is that outpacing Glengar Bale in the early stages?’ It was a terrific performance. I was also pleased to see Kilara Icon get through for Peter.
“The first quarter final sees Wolfe drawn out in five and will presumably move in. But Coolavanny Chick has her box in six and I hadn’t realised that she had as much early pace as she showed last night.
“Southwood Jet hasn’t put a foot wrong and was superb again in the second round. I don’t know how he will cope with the draw in five in the second quarter final. A lot will depend on what Lenson Bocko does.
“The third quarter final should see a battle for early pace between the two bitches. Providing he keeps out of trouble, I can see Ballydoyle Valor making the most of his opportunities from a perfect draw inside. He really seems to have taken to the track.
“As for the fourth quarter, it would be a worthy final. It is a nightmare for Pat Buckley, but you could make a fair claim for all six. It really is a very high quality Derby quarter final.”
Latest betting from the sponsors: 13-2 Deerjet Sydney, 7-1 Knocknaboul Syd, 15-2 Coolavanny Chick, Glengar Bale, 8-1 Southwood Jet, 10-1 Lenson Bocko, 12-1 Ballydoyle Valor, Wolfe, 16-1 Blue Tick George, Swanley Chick, 22-1 Churchill Holly, Distant Village, Troy Firebird, 25-1 Kilara Icon, 33-1 Deanridge Rapid, 40-1 Antigua Boy, Smurfs Machine, Swift Lettuce, 50-1 Amka Rose, Newinn Jacko, 66-1 Rockmount Ozzie, Wingman, 80-1 Final Mad, Lenson Whelan.