Star Sports/TRC Derby eve - latest news and interviews

KENNELMATES King Memphis and Queen Joni are generally available as 16-1 joint-favourites for the Star Sports/TRC English Derby less than 24 hours before the £175,000 competition starts over Towcester's 500m course.

Star Sports/TRC Derby eve - latest news and interviews


KENNELMATES King Memphis and Queen Joni are generally available as 16-1 joint-favourites for the Star Sports/TRC English Derby less than 24 hours before the £175,000 competition starts over Towcester's 500m course.

Bidding to give in-form Liz McNair a first victory in the premier Classic, the pair wait until Friday for their initial appearances, going back-to-back in heats 11 and 12 which open that night's Derby proceedings.

Supporters of Queen Joni can take heart from sectional expert Ray Bourne's assertion that her 28.67sec trial stakes victory on May 12th saw her record the fastest halfway split he has ever clocked at Towcester, namely 13.56sec.

Other notable halfways he has registered in the Derby build-up include The Other Kobe (13.65sec), Crafty Shivoo (13.71sec), Faypoint Harvey (13.74sec), Bockos Thunder (13.76sec) plus King Capaldi and Links Maverick (both 13.77sec).

In terms of finishers, Droopys Vivacity, Newinn Port and Undulation have all flown from halfway although the last-named has been withdrawn from the Derby in-season leaving T5 vacant in heat two on Thursday.

There has been much pre-competition talk about the reliability of Towcester where there have been a number of issues recently both with hare and traps but promoter Kevin Boothby struck a defiant note at Tuesday's Star Sports Derby preview.

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Kevin Boothby on reliability and the cost of hosting the English Derby - courtesy Star Sports

Boothby also reflected on his own chances of landing the Classic having reached the final with Savana Beau in 2022.

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Boothby is expecting a fast time from Clona Curly and says Burj Khalifa loves the track

Ireland has won the last two renewals courtesy of the Graham Holland-trained duo of Romeo Magico and Gaytime Nemo and leading Irish commentator Ian Fortune is predictably bullish about a fifth victory in six years for the raiding party while acknowledging the UK challenge is strong.

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No team leader but incredible Irish strength in depth according to Ian Fortune

Pat Buckley, the 2020 winning trainer with Deerjet Sydney at Nottingham, skipped Towcester last year but returns with a powerful team this year and daughter Emma Buckley has already settled in at her temporary base lodging with June and Tony Harvey.

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Emma Buckley says the kennel has a more Towcester-suited team than last year

Following the closure of Greyhound TV, Ayozat has stepped in with a pay-per-view offering of the initial rounds leading up to the final which will be free-to-air on the Sky platform, Channel 186.

The sisracing.tv homepage live stream will also show every Derby heat.