The Star Sports English Puppy Derby is one of the most famous competitions in greyhound racing and the final of the 2020 competition takes centre-stage tonight [Friday] at Towcester. First run in 1929, the competition was held at Wimbledon until it’s closure in 2016 and now returns to Towcester having been held at Henlow for the last two years. We have previewed the six runners for Friday’s final with our runner-by-runner guide.
9:39pm – The Star Sports English Puppy Derby Final – Open Race, 500m
Trap One: Ballydoyle Razor
One of the leading contenders in the final. He won his heat in fine style and was then not disgraced in the semi-final, making up good ground round the final bend to finish second. This demands a career best, but this draw should suit.
Trap Two: De Machine
Irish raider who has finished second in both of his heats. He shaped well in the opening heat, but was simply no match for Surprising last time out. He did interestingly run on well in the closing stages and he could be staying on strongly past rivals towards the end of the race, but he needs a career best here.
Trap Three: Surprising
A leading player. He has looked sensational in both of his heats. He bolted up four and a quarter lengths in the opening heat and then was simply electric in his semi-final. Having broken quickly, he never looked in any trouble and cruised away to score by over 11 lengths. That effort came in a good time and with that performance fresh in the memory, he makes plenty of appeal.
Trap Four: Cold As Ice
Trained in Newcastle, he is another with live claims. A smart winner in his opening heat, he was arguably slightly disappointing last week having broken smartly, but having no answer to Bockos Melody. This draw will suit him better, but he does need to improve on his semi-final effort.
Trap Five: Puff The Tiger
Unbeaten in the competition. He cruised to victory in his opening heat and then showed a good attitude to win his semi-final. Clearly, he is a dog enjoying life at Towcester and if able to break well again, he is a major player given he hasn’t seen a rival so far in the competition. If he breaks, he is the one to beat.
Trap Six: Bockos Melody
Second in her opening heat, she put together a lovely performance to defeat Cold As Ice in her semi-final. She was always in control there and interestingly won from this draw. That effort saw her post one of the quickest times of the competition and she has to be feared here.
Verdict – Surprising to deliver
A fascinating event. Surprising is unbeaten in the competition and was very impressive last week when scoring by a wide margin. He has to back that effort up, but he looks well-drawn and gets the verdict. Dangers lurk everywhere with Cold As Ice and Bockos Melody of major interest, particularly, the latter. However, the main danger could be Puff The Tiger. Also unbeaten in the competition. He has delivered with consummate ease in the competition so far and if he breaks well form the traps, he could be hard to peg back. However, Surprising created quite the impression last time out and can confirm the hype with success in the Star Sports English Puppy Derby Final.
Selection: 9:39: Towcester: Surprising (Trap Three)