National Derby Semi Final Previews

This Friday afternoon The Gardens will be home to the fantastic semi-final round of the Group 1 Newcastle Herald National Derby (515m).

The National Derby is for male greyhounds whelped on or after July 1st 2007 and the semi-finals are set to determine the field for the lucrative $50 000 final on February 5.

The first Derby semi-final will be the race of the night, featuring a star studded field made up of three of the four heat winners from last week, including the in-form Elite Blue Size in box six.

Coming off three successive victories, the Reg Kay-trained runner also boasts the best time over the distance, a sizzling 29.76, which he ran when taking out the second heat last week.

Elite Blue Size faces a high calibre of rivals including the Raymond Webster-trained Jedd Lion in box two who was the runner-up to Tuiaki in heat four.

The dog that ran second to Elite Blue Size in heat two, the Jason Mackay-trained Bogie Brave has drawn awkwardly for the semi with box five.

Other top dogs in the first Derby semi include Droopy’s Fool in box three and Victorian sprinter Silent Guardian in box seven.

Droopy’s Fool is aiming for their third consecutive win following their surprise victory in the first heat last week. Droopy’s Fool started at odds of $12.40 and beat home Silent Guardian by ½ a length.

In the same heat, the highly fancied Lochinvar Marlow failed to fire, the $1.70 favourite coming in dead last and missing out on his chance in the Group 1 series.

Another speedy dog in the first semi is Marie Burton’s Vagrant, the long-shot outsider who won the third heat at odds of $50.60.

The second semi-final features only one of the heat winners from last week, the Neville Brown-trained Tuiaki in box four.

Two runners-up from the heats, Reddy To Whine and Gnarley Boy will start from boxes three and seven respectively.

The meeting will also see the two semi finals of the Group 1 National Futurity take place, which is the female greyhound equivalent to the Derby.

Races six (5:27pm) and eight (6:11pm) at the exciting afternoon meeting are scheduled as the semis of the National Derby.