It is the racing highlight of the year. As recollections fade, greyhound folk can always put a label on each year with memories of the Derby Final. The winner. The race. The night.

Whether it is White City, Wimbledon, Nottingham or Towcester, the six weeks of preparation all lead to now. For some of the connections of tonight’s finalists, the preparation runs into decades.

The weather forecast is set fair. The Towcester management and staff have stepped up to produce one of the outstanding competitions of recent years. 

Just enjoy.

The race to get Droopys Clue fit for the start of the Derby was never really on following a recent wrist injury. But there is nothing that former winning trainer Seamus Cahill would like more than to see the Greyhound of the Year remind racegoers of his class. The trials have gone well and the joint track record holder can step up even closer to his PB of 28.58. High Trend should be gone early and give him enough room for manoeuvre. 4-3-5

Betting guide: 5/2 Droopys Clue, 4/1 Bombay Joker, Bockos Thunder, 6/1 Burg Khalifa, 6/1 High Trend, 7/1 Ballymac  Finn


A race where some beaten Kent Silver Salver finalists, take on a couple of non qualifiers from the Hope Jeal Sprint and Islandbridge sprint finalist Cree Jo Jo. Although the former Owen McKenna trained Jo Jo has been beaten in his last seven races, five of those defeats were behind Ballinakil Alf, including two by a length or less, and Graham Holland’s Islandbridge winner would be starting at very short odds here. Richie Taberner’s runner has trialled well and should get a relatively clear run with Guzzler likely to run wide at the bend. 4-6-1

Betting guide: 7/4 Cree Jo Jo, 3/1 My Lennie, 4/1 Not So Slow, 6/1 Romeo Crusade, 8/1 Westfield Bullet, 12/1 Guzzler


It’s the OAPS! Or what might even be called a Seniors Event. The stand out pair will both be travelling from Hove with Cochise entitled to top billing. Richard Rees’ 2023 Derby finalist is not quite the dog he was, but is still capable of a ‘low 29’ and that should be more than good enough in here.

Clairekeith Remy is a serial Cat One finalist and might even have the edge of his trackmate over Hove’s 515m course. He is incapable of running a bad race. 4-3-2

Betting guide: 6/4 Cochise, 7/4 Clairekeith Remy, 8/1 Milton Lango, 12/1 Ballyblack Speed, Mustang Diva, 25/1 Droopys Quiktime


Of the many hounds who will have come out of the Derby with the tag ‘can’t wait to see him over six bends’, none fits the bill better than Barntick Bear. Though in his case, that memory probably goes back to Monmore when he put in a monster of a late finish to almost catch Untold Dollar in the PGR Puppy Derby Final. He has 28.68 form for four bends and looks capable of a 42.50 over this distance.

Ballymac Slick has similarly made thunderous finishes to his races in the Derby. He though has been over the trip, just once, over the 750 at Shelbourne and it didn’t go well. That said, he slowed so severely as there might be questions as to whether he cramped or just need the experience. Older and strong now no doubt. 1-5-6

Betting guide: 6/4 Barntick Bear, 9/4 Ballymac Slick, 6/1 Cooladerry Dust, 7/1 Bubbly Scorcher, 14/1 Ballymac Nova, 16/1 Doohoma Princess


The betting on this one has been interesting in the last couple of days with money coming for Wicky Ned and most of the others driftiing.

Having been so impressive in the Brebet Gymcrack at Sheffield, this year’s Derby attempt was always going to a learning experience for Jimmy Fenwick’s runner who would be many people’s idea of a 2025 Derby ante post favourite. He has four wins from six races, including a couple of stunners, and cannot be opposed. 3-2-1

Betting guide: 10/11 Wicky Ned, 4/1 Romeo Steel, Table Toppers, 10/1 Slick Sentinel, 16/1 Answering, 25/1 Littlers Nuke


The betting reflects the known form in this one. Aero Sacundai has led some of the best four benders in training but barely got home and he has something of the ‘Havana Class’ look about him. Whereas National Sprint winner Bombout Bullet is a specialist two bender.

Most experienced punters would go for the ‘specialist’ ahead of the dual purpose runner as we might, but for the draw which would rely on Belinda Green’s runner having to possibly run around the Monmore dog and that seems a tough task.1-3-6

Betting guide: 1/1 Aero Sacundi, 9/4 Bombout Bullet, 8/1 Bettys Jack, 8/1 Mustang Ojay, 14/1 Salacres Buzz, 25/1 Droopys Rarity


On a card where it is hard to oppose favourites, Savana Top Cat makes a case for looking value. The original Romeo Top Cat is well exposed as a ‘very decent if not quite top class’ hound – a fact that can be verified by looking at his last four lines of form.

But that might be good enough in here. On known form, Gary The Arb has the edge, but he also has Vixons Filofax as a potential awkward neighbour who may deny him a clear run. 3-1-2

Betting guide: 9/4 Gary The Arb, 11/4 Vixons Filofax, 7/2 Savana Top Cat, 4/1 Uncle Freddie, 8 /1 Salacres Blake, 25/1 Noduff Sahara


If your life depended on picking one winner tonight, it would probably be Crafty Shivoo in here. She has only ever been beaten once over course and distance and the 1/2 being offered just 24 hours ago has been snaffled. This is a girl who can mix it with the strongest boys and realistically, this is a dip in class. She is the third fastest hound ever over course and distance and simply cannot be opposed. 2-3-6

Betting guide: 4/9 Crafty Shivoo, 6/1 Antigua Bingo, Coolavanny Mercy, 12/1 Fabulous Terra, 16/1 Flying Desire, 25/1 Baywatch Bullet


Three months ago, Queen Joni won her fourth Category One final. Behind her in the Kent Plate were King Memphis and Whyaye Man!!!!! She had previously won the Brighton Belle, British Bred Derby and the Produce Stakes. She has 23 wins in 30 races and up to the point of stumbling in the first round of the Derby, was the ante post favourite. How can she not be the selection?

Faypoint Susie ran with distinction in the early rounds of the Derby. Clona Curly has been disappointing in recent races having looked a youngster of massive potential when winning at Newcastle when winning the Northern Puppy Derby.

Betting guide: 8/15 Queen Joni, 11/4 Faypoint Susie, 16/1 Druids All Go, Kilara Roberto, 25/1 Clona Curly, 33/1 Wrighty


This promises to be one of the great clashes of the night between two exceptional ladies. Coonough Crow has seven wins and a second in her last eight races. Queen Georgia has five wins in her last six. Crow took Georgia’s track record. This is Venus Williams v Martina Navratilova!

Although the clock, and the betting favours Crow, it might just be Queen Georgia‘s night simply on the basis that she will probably lead and the MWD runner will have to pass her. But who needs to bet anyway. You can just enjoy the battle. 3-2-6

Betting guide: 11/8 Coonough Crow, 13/8 Queen Georgia, 10/1 Alright Gordy, 12/1 Savana Heross, 20/1 Haka Carlo, 28/1 Magical Luna


One a night with plenty of apparent matches – many of which will no doubt see turn-ups – this is one of the night’s more open contests. The bookies have gone for Miracle. We think there could be a decent case made for Miami Bullet, based on his 27.33 Sheffield run backed up by a 35.03 at Romford. There is also a chance for Maiden Derby runner up Glorious Tom to step up. 5-3-6

Betting guide: 11/4 Miracle, 3/1 Coss Tokyo, 4/1 Glorious Tom, 5/1 Miami Bullet, 6/1 Salacres Tipster, 16/1 Singaporeslinger


There is a story behind every finalist and this year is no exception. In King Memphis, we have a British bred pup who we featured as a six week old pup as being from a litter of great potential. We followed him through almost non-existant schooling and his racing debut, on the Derby undercard a year ago, when he ran New Destiny to half a length clocking 29.04.

We followed him with particular interest throughout his 31 races where his record stands at a remarkable 20 wins and 8 seconds. Remember, British breds don’t get the luxury of unofficial trials. He is an Olympic winner who also won an English Puppy Derby over course and distance.

He set a new track record of 28.66 when still a pup and spent the winter as the ante post Derby favourite. At two years and seven months old, Memphis should be coming to his peak. His colours have only been lowered once, in the semi finals. This looks a far better draw. He loves the white box and has the slow breaking Ballymac Gizmo on his inside.

If Memphis breaks with them, he leads the railer to the first bend. And in a Derby dominate by front runners, if he does come away, it will probably take a sub-28.50 run to beat him.


When Ger McKenna finally landed an English Derby with Parkdown Jet, there was huge delight among greyhound followers on either side of the Irish Sea that the great man had finally achieved a lifetime dream.

There will almost certainly be similar thoughts if Liam Dowling takes off the prize with either of his runners. The ‘Ballymac man’ has brought to much to the Derby over the years (he got to within half a length with Ballymac Tas) and no one would begrudge the Kerryman a well deserved British success to go with his 2015 Irish Derby victory.

His best chance would surely lay with De Lahdedah who arrived at Towcester with just one win in his last eight races. But the dog with a 27.78 Shelbourne 525 yard run on his card has won three from five, plus a narrow second, and in decent times too. If he produces another 3.94 sectional, he seizes the prize slot on the rail and would probably not be caught.

Ballymac Gizmo‘s breeding suggests that he might be more of a ‘600 yard type’ not that is bad thing requisite at Towcester. He might be a 20/1 chance but that looks a big price. He only has seven races on his card in Ireland – including a 28.41 (calc) debut win at Enniscorthy, so if he was to come away, he probably wouldn’t be picked up.


Paul Hennessy knows precisely what it takes to win an English Derby and he has done it twice in the last eight years with Jaytee Jet at Wimbledon and Priceless Blake at Nottingham. A win for Boylesports Bob would be a unique treble, not to mention his Irish and Scottish Derby wins, and we are not even going into his success with the equines.

If you were comparing the Hennessy Derby runners, Bob would be of a similar ilk to to Jaytee Jet. (And not too dissimilar to Priceless Jet and Hello Hammond). A powerful wide runner who would relish putting the winning line back another 50 metres. If Rab McNair has nightmares, it is probably of King Memphis leading into the backstraight with the striped jacket running alongside.


Having the 28/1 outsider Whyaye Man won’t bother Mark Wallis. He too has two Derby wins under his belt in Kinda Ready and Blonde Snapper.

The most successful British trainer of the past 20 years is rapidly approaching his 100th Category One win and in so many way, last year’s Derby Plate winner represents a typical Wallis runner.

Seemingly at the point of being out of his depth, he is brought to his peak at the right time and he makes a final with a best of 28.98 on his card.


Last, but certainly not least, Churchfield Syd, handled by one of the most popular handlers on the open race circuit, Richard Rees.

Richard proudly carries the burden of following in the steps of dad Philip, and granddad Phil who won Derbys with Pagan Swallow and Mutts Silver respectively. So might it be Richard and not Paul who achieved a triple track Derby win? It is a re-run of an angle first aired when Cochise made last year’s final.

Syd has been the ultimate in consistency. Brave after trouble in his first round heat, his sectionals and front running style have seen him dominate races from the front. He has already won a Kent Derby, finished in first place in a Winter Derby and finished runner-up in a Gold Cup.

While 28.98 probably won’t be enough to win a clean run Derby Final, there is possibly more to come. Besides, he was good enough to hold off Droopys Clue and Romeo Command at Central Park!

Betting guide: 6/4 King Memphis, 7/2 De Lahdedah, 11/2 Boylesports Bob, 15/2 Churchfield Syd, 20/1 Ballymac Gizmo, 28/1 Whyaye Man,


At first glance, this might seem the most horrendous trap draw possible for the 2023 Derby runner-up Romeo Command. In a field of five railers, he drew orange. While it is true that he has three defeats in five races from T5, the losses all came when he was an inexperienced pup in Ireland.

He has since won in the orange jacket at both Central Park and at Towcester in last year’s quarter finals. He has 46 races on his card now and is old enough and experienced enough to cope, particularly with a slight dip in class. Keefill Goose looks the most serious danger but he will get plenty of other opportunities this year, and next.

Betting guide: 4/5 Romeo Command, 5/1 Never Say No, 6/1 Greenwell Coe, 7/1 Keefill Goose, 14/1 Romeo Hotshot, 33/1 Coppice Ella


Ballymac Taylor has had seven races over 900 metres plus and has won six of them. The only defeat was over Monmore’s 900m course. The course and distance record holder is universally acknowledged as setting the benchmark for marathon runners and had a perfect preparation over six bends a week ago.

But just to keep it interesting, there will be plenty of eyes on Savana Jackpot, particularly if he can reproduced his 28.78 run for the first lap and a bit. What a contest that would turn out to be. 3-5-2

Betting guide: 3/10 Ballymac Taylor, 11/2 Innfield Charm, 14/1 Savana Jackpot, 16/1 A Mystical Love, 33/1 Antons Maggie, 66/1 Fabulous Aurora