The Ladbrokes Puppy Derby has a long and rich history dating back to 1943 and the roll of honour is an illustrious one, hounds such as Bandicoot Tipoki having landed the event in 2009, going on to complete the William Hill Derby double in 2010.
This year includes another quality entry and Joe Nordoff from Timeform highlights his best bets from the opening rounds.
Despite being beaten at odds on for the third successive start, time is likely to tell Bockos Belly (Trap 1, TF125) met with a fellow very useful sort when he finished runner-up to Freedom Editor in a C&D open 2 weeks ago. A strong-running son of Kinloch Brae, he’s undoubtedly on many people’s radar for outright glory but in truth he may find his draw in red a troublesome one, not least with Burnchurch Mick (Trap 2, TF108) expected to be turning left out the boxes. With that in mind, the percentage call is to side with COLD AS ICE (Trap 5) who tops the Timeform ratings on 128.
Third in the English Puppy Derby at Towcester in December, he impressed in scoring over C&D without a look around, defeating another useful local in the shape of Cabra Kai, his stamina looking more assured in my opinion than had been the case previously. He possesses much more early pace than his sire Holdem Spy and is capable of a much better break than his latest spin over this trip would imply.
Well-housed given the make-up of the race, Jimmy Fenwick’s charge could well lead and with potential for scrimmaging inside, he can maintain his 100% record around here.
Heat four takes centre stage at 7.07 and, with a slick C&D spin under her belt BETTYS BOOK (Trap 2, TF100) may well be up to adding to her tally. Kevin Boon’s charge didn’t impress on the clock when registering an open-race victory at Towcester in January, but there was plenty of substance behind the victory, coming from a most unpromising position and looking all about stamina. Certainly not devoid of early dash, it’s possible she can lead up Ballymac Brook (Trap 1, TF102) on the fence. With early pace on her outside in the form of Sheffield raider Geelo Celticgold (Trap 3, TF104) the daughter of Droopys Sydney may need to bide her time initially but is fancied to be turning the screw from halfway and come with a sustained run on the inner to book her place in round two with further progress a distinct possibility.
A facile winner in A4 company at Shelbourne Park towards the back end of last year, FREEDOM EDITOR (Trap 5, TF117) has a made a smashing start for the Paul Sallis kennel following his switch. Despite being sent off at 6/1 he could hardly have been more impressive when opening his UK account in A1 company last month, breaking smartly and never looking in any danger. The April 19’ whelp has built on that subsequently, posting a career-best when taking the scalp of aforementioned Bockos Belly (second favourite for the competition) in a C&D open with the latter named having no answer to Freedom Editor’s burst of acceleration from the third bend. His draw in orange in heat 5 at 7.24 may not be totally ideal for this middle seed but in truth he has escaped several fellow leading protagonists in his heat and this son of Good News may well have too many guns for his rivals. A strong-runner at the 480-metre trip, he’s already proven far from reliant on an early lead and he also makes plenty of appeal for outright honours at odds around 12/1
The last of the six heats comes at 7.44 and WESTWAY BLAKE (Trap 1) stands out from a ratings perspective and is fancied to pass this test with flying colours. A rapidly progressive sort in graded company, he’s confirmed himself a versatile open racer of some merit, winning with considerable ease over C&D last week. The draw on the rails looks perfect for this fast-trapping son of Laughill Blake and it will come as a disappointment where he not able to account for tonight’s rivals. Arthur Sprout (Trap 2, TF 101) may be the one to fill the forecast spot.
Published at 1845 GMT on 11/02/21
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