Ian Fortune

After an eventful weekend in which Pestana was the standout performer as he raced to Boylesports Champion Stakes glory, the Derby market hasn’t changed too drastically.

Predictably, the defending champion Lenson Bocko remains at the head of the sponsor’s market at 8-1 despite his failure to land a blow in the Champion Stakes.

The Graham Holland trained superstar was having just his second start in just eight months and failed to threaten after missing the kick and finding opening bend traffic. It will be interesting to see what seeding the defending Derby champion will carry in the draw this day fortnight.

There is no doubt he has often edged to the fence when room is available but in his two starts since returning from lockdown, it’s notable that he has edged inwards in the opening stride. Of course, he was a middle seed in the Champion Stakes, which was already a departure from last year’s Derby when he raced to glory as a wide seed.


Graham Holland is also responsible for the second choice in the Derby market, Newinn Taylor.  

The brilliant tracker made it eleven wins from eleven in the Produce Stakes on Friday and he will be a hot favourite to land the classic this weekend.

There is absolutely zero doubt Newinn Taylor will relish an extra 25yd to the opening turn, but whether the extra emphasis on stamina will suit is yet known. At 12-1 many will be willing to take a chance that he has strengthened up over the break and is ready to joint the elite.

Liam Dowling has a couple of the 14-1 mark. Ballymac Inspeed was subject to a well-publicised gamble over the Covid-19 lockdown and is joined by his kennel companion Ballymac Cooper, who has looked like himself in recent outings.

Da Bold Eagle was another that came in for support for the Derby and is a 16-1 chance although he is likely to be a bigger price ahead of the classic. Others at 16-1 include Newinn Session, Glengar Bale and Black Parachute.

All three have an almost ideal profile. They are young, progressive and have the stamina and pace to relish the step up to 550yds. Certainly, Newinn Session is fair value and I can see him proving popular despite his exit from the Produce Stakes on Friday.


That brings us to Pestana. 20-1 about the Owen McKenna trained speedster seems a very fair price.

I was one of a number of people to question whether he had the stamina to win the Champion Stakes over 550yds and was happy to be proven wrong. He has clearly developed into a serious greyhound and there are very few in training that will be able to challenge, let alone lead him, in to the corner.

Another worthy of a mention at 20-1 Toolmaker Sydney. He opened his account at Shelbourne Park on Saturday, displaying awesome back straight pace in the process. While he is far from the finished article, he has one very obvious quality – pure unadulterated pace. Outnumbered, Champions Stakes runner Up Ballymac Wild and Ballyhimikin Jet are also on the 20-1 mark.

Boylesports Bet:

8 Lenson Bocko

12 Newinn Taylor

14 Ballymac Inspeed

14 Ballymac Cooper

16 Da Bold Eagle

16 Glengar Bale

16 Newinn Session 

16 Black Parachute

20 Ballydoyle Valor

20 Toolmaker Sydney

20 Pestana

20 Outnumbered

20 Ballymac Wild

20 Ballyhimikin Jet

25-1 bar.