Greyhound Derby Final 2022: Guide to the contenders
2022 Greyhound Derby Final preview and odds
After a competition packed full of thrills and spills, we’re taking a look at the six dogs left standing in our 2022 Greyhound Derby Final preview.
Ballinabola Ed blazed a trail through the early rounds at Towcester but crashed out in the quarter-finals and now it is between these runners after the semis went more to plan.
Four Irish raiders head the Greyhound Derby Final betting but the same number of Emerald Isle runners qualified for the decider last year and were then outshone by the two home hopes.
Trap 1: Savana Beau @ 20/1
The outsider of the field due to slow starts leaving him with plenty of work to do. Got up close home to land a third-round heat by a short-head from Lautaro but may be relying on trouble up front to reel in some of the more fancied runners at this stage.
However, nobody could doubt his gameness after battling on for third behind Romeo Magico from a difficult position in the semis.
Owner Kevin Boothby said: “That was emotional. He hit the rail at the first bend, he got stopped twice, but he’s got a serious heart this dog. I love this game and for me to get to a Derby final, it’s like a dream, it means the world to me.”
Trap 2: Kildare @ 9/4
Showed tremendous early pace to establish a clear lead at the first bend in his semi-final following a level break and is drawn to do something similar in the decider.
There will be some concerns that Peter Cronin’s charge only held on by half a length from Priceless Jet in a time of 29.16 after being four or five ahead at the third bend but he will take some catching if in the same mood.
Cronin said: “He can probably trap a little bit better but his raw pace got him to the bend and I think there’s a big run in him. He’s a good dog and he’ll keep improving.”
Trap 3: Hello Hammond @ 6/1
Ran an absolute cracker when a staying-on third in the semis behind Kildare after repeatedly being denied a clear passage on the turns. Earlier came home in front in the second round and the quarter-finals to make it 10 wins from 59 career starts.
One of two finalists for Irish handler Paul Hennessy, who struck with Jaytee Jet in 2016 and Priceless Blake three years ago.
With an Irish Derby triumph and three Scottish Derby victories on his CV, Hennessy certainly knows how to get his dogs right for the big night.
Trap 4: Romeo Magico @ 15/8
Drove into the first turn with lots of courage to get inside Mickys Barrett and then kept up a relentless gallop to score by more than three lengths in a time of 29.06.
That made it three emphatic victories in his last four outings, as he led from trap to line in round two and the quarters. Having made it through to the Easter Cup final at Shelbourne Park in March, this is an ultra-consistent dog at the peak of his powers.
Graham Holland has now sent over six finalists in as many years and will be hoping to break his duck in this event, having won the Irish Derby three times.
Trainer’s wife Nicky beamed: “He didn’t come away that well but he showed a lovely turn of pace to get to the first bend and was away and gone.”
Trap 5: Mickys Barrett @ 9/1
Has built on an excellent second in the Northern Flat at Newcastle to enjoy a fairytale run through to the 2022 Greyhound Derby Final for a large syndicate of owners from Nottingham.
Handler Jason Gray commented: “I thought if he could break and get a run round that bend, he’d have every chance of qualifying – and he absolutely did it, he nailed it.
“I’m gobsmacked, for a small trainer like me, it’s overwhelming. To qualify for the greatest night in our sport, it’s amazing.”
Trap 6: Priceless Jet @ 7/2
Showed great determination to close the gap on Kildare in the semis after previously beating the same rival by six and a half lengths when setting a new track record in the quarter-finals.
Trainer’s wife Susan Hennessy said of their two finalists: “They’ve just come in and taken everything in their stride. We’re so proud of them. They had the age and they also had the experience.
“One thing which kept coming into my mind throughout the competition is that form is temporary and class is permanent and our two boys have really showed their guts throughout.
“They didn’t get it right every night but they kept plugging away, they kept trying and they have great heart.”
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication