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Greyhound Derby 2023 betting: Swords Rex hard to fault

| 23.06.2023

We’re tracking the form of the leading contenders in the Greyhound Derby 2023 betting to see which dogs are still on course for Towcester glory.

At the semi-final stage, these are the remaining favourites to join legends like Mick The Miller, Patricias Hope, Rapid Ranger and Westmead Hawk on the Greyhound Derby winners list.

Swords Rex @ 7/4

Began the competition as 10/1 favourite after setting a then Towcester track record of 28.76 in a trial stakes and has only enhanced his reputation with four smooth successes in the competition proper, quickly taking control of proceedings to score in 28.93 three times and 28.95. Graham Holland took the trophy back to Ireland 12 months ago and Swords Rex is a proven performer on the Emerald Isle, landing last year’s Con and Annie Kirby Memorial at Limerick and a recent Easter Cup triumph at Shelbourne Park.

Romeo Command @ 3/1

Belgian-born handler Patrick Janssens trains at Towcester and knows what it takes to land the sport’s blue riband event, having struck with Thorn Falcon two years ago. Romeo Command rattled off eight straight wins before being upset in a trial stake here and has bounced back by coming out on top in all four rounds. Was the fastest of the third-round scorers in 28.75 and never looked in danger of defeat during the quarter-finals. A strong-running dog, he will be hard to catch whenever getting on the bunny.

Clona Duke @ 7/1

Set Towcester alight when scorching to a 28.73 track record triumph in the first round but has since only been workmanlike, rather than spectacular. Had to overcome missing the break when scrambling home by a short-head in 29.58, was beaten a long way by Brinkleys Magic in round three and then upset by outsider Mystical Mario last weekend. Sprang a 20/1 surprise when successful in last October’s Juvenile Derby Final at Shelbourne Park, though, so write him off at your peril.

Gaytime Nemo @ 8/1

Took advantage of trouble in behind to claim a wide-margin quarter-final victory in 28.94. Had previously been a beaten favourite twice after scoring in 28.95 in round one, so getting round the first bend in front is clearly crucial to his chances. Wasn’t one of Holland’s leading fancies heading into this competition, boasting just four wins from 11 outings in Ireland, but top sectionals of 4.12 and 4.14 are definitely worth noting.

Ballymac Finn @ 12/1

Has only managed third place in each of the opening four rounds, but has repeatedly featured in tough heats. Ballymac Finn has proven he can do the business in long competitions, as he was runner-up to Born Warrior in the 2022 Irish Derby final. Was also an excellent second to Ballymac Whispa in January’s Kingdom Derby decider at Tralee and reached the Easter Cup semis after beating Swords Rex in the second round.

Burj Khalifa @ 12/1

Stuck to his task well when chasing home Romeo Command last Saturday. Was also a good runner-up behind the same rival in round two and romped home by five lengths in 29.14 in between. Damian Matthews commented: “I thought he ran a stormer on Saturday and he certainly hasn’t let us down. When your name’s in the hat, you’ve got a chance – and he’s in good form.”

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All odds correct at time of publication



Tony Kelshaw