The build up is complete. The traps are about to open. The 2018 Greyhound Derby - live on RPGTV - starts tonight and correspondent Darrell Williams is on hand with the best betting advice...
"Time to smash into the first favourite King Eden (19:13). Liz McNair’s first-round winner from twelve months ago is strongly fancied to repeat the feat"
The Greyhound Derby is finally here and for fans there will be little else talked about over the next month as the battle to be crowned Derby champion takes hold.
With a colossal twenty-six first round heats over the next three nights the temptation will be to go bet crazy with a desire to try and find every winner but as we know a selective wagering policy is always best.
King set to be crowned in the opener
So, with those words echoing in our minds, time to smash into the first favourite King Eden (19:13)! And no, I'm not being flippant. Liz McNair's first round winner from twelve months ago is strongly fancied to repeat the feat. Perfectly drawn as the sole wide seed - watch out for those (w) runners by the way - despite a moderate 11% strike rate in OR's over the CD since January 2017, the classier ones will have a huge draw advantage as the event unfolds.
Withdrawn from the Gold Cup at the track after the first round, King Eden has not raced since but will have been sharpened by a recent sprint trial at Central Park and looks ready to get his Derby off to the perfect start. Grab the 11/8 with the Betfair Sportsbook before it goes.
Head West for more success?
John Lambe has enhanced his profile through ace sprinter Affane Party and might be the man to get a tune out of the former Hayley Keightley trained Forest West. Knocked over in a heat of the Towcester Gold Cup and an early Scottish Derby elimination he has shown promise in a brace of trials and is drawn to run his race this evening (20:17) Holding off Calico Ranger won't be easy while over-priced Borna Account also makes some appeal but the draw inside Slippy Cian can pay dividends.
Brandy better than the Cat?
The battle of the night comes in heat eight (21:05) with unbeaten Puppy Derby winner Rising Brandy taking on the might of Shootout and eight times CD winner Dorotas Wildcat. While perhaps not the ideal race to have a strong view about, on this occasion I'm firmly in the camp of Matt Dartnall's exciting youngster who is improving rapidly and can establish first run. Taking on the Wildcat is never easy, yet again Kevin Hutton's top-class hound has been done few favours by the draw which could prove costly.
Don't forget place markets are also available for tonight's Derby heats where despite the presence of Droopys Expert in the field course specialist Black Eyed Hula could surprise a few at big odds in the second heat (19:29). The highly competitive third heat (19:45) has any number of potential outcomes but a small place wager on well-drawn Bubbly Turbo, a first round winner last year, also looks appealing.