The next couple of months are the biggest of the year in the greyhound racing and on the flat calendar in horse racing in the UK as the two Derby campaigns are set to get underway. The Derby is the most prestigious race in both sports. Here are some further details about the two competitions and some tips to follow.
When Is The Derby?
The Derby in horse racing always takes place on the opening Saturday of June so this year it will feature on June 3 at 3.45pm. The 1m4f contest occurs 24 hours after the Oaks which is the leading race over the same distance for fillies.
Where Is The Derby?
Epsom Downs is the home of the Derby and has been ever since 1780 therefore the racecourse is rich in history. The Surrey track is the perfect test of a thoroughbred racehorse as not only is the stamina and speed under the spotlight in the race, the runners have to act on a course which is full of undulations. Remaining balanced when travelling at a high speed is no easy feat there.
Where Can I Watch The Derby?
When ITV secured the rights to terrestrial horse racing in the UK last year, they ensured the Derby would be on ITV1 for the first time in many years. The main presenter Ed Chamberlain will be joined by Jason Weaver, Matt Chapman, Luke Harvey and Francesca Cumani for the coverage of the meeting. You can also watch the watch on your tablet or mobiles through the ITV Hub service, while tickets remain available for both days of the Derby meeting.
Tips For This Year’s Race
Given he has won this race in three of the last five years, all eyes will be on Aidan O’Brien’s runners at Epsom next month. The Irish trainer does an excellent job preparing his horses for the race. His best chance this year looks to be with the Dee Stakes winner Cliffs of Moher who impressed at Chester during their May Meeting. The horse is a son of the 2001 Derby winner Galileo so connections will be hoping he can follow in his father’s footsteps on the Downs.
If you are looking for a runner at much bigger odds, the Andre Fabre-trained Waldgeist could be overpriced at 33-1. The French trainer does not send many horses over to the UK and only does so if he feels they have a strong chance of being successful. This well-bred three year old won the Group One Criterium de Saint-Cloud earlier in the season. He would ideally like Soft to be somewhere in the official going but he did win on Good ground at Chantilly on his debut last year.
When Is The Greyhound Derby?
Qualification for the 2017 Greyhound Derby begins on May 24 this year with the Qualification Round which is scheduled to take place over four days. The key dates for your diary are the June 24 and July 1 as they are the semi-final and final respectively.
Where Is The Greyhound Derby?
This is the first year that the Greyhound Derby will be held at Towcester. After 32 years at Wimbledon, the English Classic has moved to the Northamptonshire track. There were a number of different tracks interested in hosting the most prestigious race in greyhound racing including Sheffield and Hove, however, the decision was handed to Towcester due to their facilities and location.
Where Can I Watch The Greyhound Derby
The qualification, first and second rounds of the tournament will be shown on Racing Post Greyhound Derby. Sky Sports then pick up the coverage from the third round all the way through to the final on July 1. Tony Ennis and Jonathan Hobbs will present the coverage on Sky Sports and will be joined in their coverage by Errol Blyth, Julie Collier and Daryl Williams.
Tips For This Year’s Race
Clares Rocket has topped the Greyhound Derby for a number of months now. The Irish Greyhound looks the dog to beat this year in the competition and is available at a best price of 14/1 with bet365 to go all the way. If you are looking to back the favourite with bet365 then have a look at the Oddchecker review of the site before you do so, which includes full details of their sign up offer where you can pick up to £200 in a free bet for opening an account. Although Clares Rocket has yet to win at Towcester, he has run around the Derby track twice so that experience will stand him in good stead ahead of the competition.
Trainer Charlie Lister has won the Greyhound Derby on seven occasions so his entries always have to be given a great deal of respect. His best dog this year looks to be with Dorotas Woo Hoo. The May-2015 dog won the Scottish Greyhound Derby at Shawfield earlier this month so has proved he is more than capable of going all the way in a major competition. He is currently available at 18/1 to secure a famous double in the Derby races.
Good luck if you are having a bet in the Epsom Derby and Greyhound Derby this year. Both races always seem to produce great stories and it would be a huge surprise if 2017 did not produce something special to add to the history books in the two sports.