English Greyhound Derby: Savana Beau camp thrilled with progress entering Round Three

The StarSports English Greyhound Derby reaches the halfway stage at Towcester Racecourse on Saturday, and dreams of being represented in the final are rife among connections.

A 192-strong field has been cut to just 48 greyhounds following Rounds One and Two, and now just one race stands between trainers, owners and their four-legged stars and a place in the quarter finals.

Eye-catchers thus far include the Graham Holland trained pair Swords Rex and Clona Duke – who broke the track record in Round One – plus kennel favourite and defending champion Romeo Magico.

Also unbeaten is Ballymac Marino, Faypoint Susie, Romeo Command, Maree Champion, Cochise, Signet Goofy and Savana Beau. The latter of those dogs is owned by Towcester Racecourse Managing Director Kevin Boothby, who described living the Derby dream as an indescribable feeling for any owner.

Savana Beau came from off the pace in his Round Two qualifier to clock 29.25 and beat Jacktavern Bella and Goldies Perryman. He’ll line-up in Heat Six at 7.48pm on Saturday, and Kevin is hopeful of another big run from his star dog.

“His performance on Saturday was breath taking,” said Kevin. “I was going crazy on the balcony when he started coming through the pack.

“He’s got an unbelievable amount of pace and he’s an exceptional dog – we’re very lucky to own him. It’s a journey for everyone who is still in the competition, and right now the name of the game is qualifying as the weeks go by.

“He’s had to overcome a lot too. He’s picked up a few injuries and Diane (Henry, trainer) has done an excellent job to get him to where he is now. She was worried he wouldn’t quite be ready for the Derby hence why he had a lot of trials.

“His times were okay and he’s progressing every week. To win in the style he did on Saturday is fantastic.”

Round Three of the Star Sports English Greyhound Derby begins at Towcester Racecourse on Saturday, June 10, with all eight qualifying heats happening on the night. The top three greyhounds in each heat will advance to the quarter finals the following weekend.

Tickets are available from £8 and can purchased online or on the door. All children aged 14 and under go free.