Star Sports English Greyhound Derby: Holland goes back-to-back with Gaytime Nemo!

Gaytimo Nemo won Irish trainer Graham Holland back-to-back StarSports English Greyhound Derby titles on Saturday in front of a packed grandstand at Towcester Racecourse.

Fifty-three weeks after winning his first English Derby with Romeo Magico, Holland struck again with Gaytimo Nemo who beat Patrick Janssens’ Romeo Command to the £175,000 first prize with Richard Rees’ Cochise placing third.

The three-year-old clocked the fastest sectional of his Derby campaign to steal a two-length lead entering the first turn before extending further down the back straight. Favourite Swords Rex lost third place to Cochise in the closing strides while Clona Duke and Ninja Kerry placed fifth and sixth respectively.

It capped off a magical evening for the Tipperary team who were also successful in the RPGTV Derby Final Night Stayers with Jacktavern Bella, whose Derby campaign ended at the Semi Final stage only a week ago.

A delighted Holland said afterwards: “Our first English Derby win was special, and it felt just as good on Saturday.

“He had clocked a decent sprint time in May after missing much of the year with lameness – and now he’s a Derby champion. Everything we achieve at Riverside Kennels is done as a family and it’s the team’s dedication and help which makes the kennel successful.

“The time everyone puts into these dogs is massive and we’re very grateful to our owners for having confidence in our ability. We’re over the moon!”

Other big winners on the night included Whyaye Man who won the RPGTV Derby Plate, Space Jet who took the Dorando Marathon and Savana Top Cat winner of the Greyhound Trader Champion Stakes.

Meanwhile Fabulous Azurra and Millbank Peach won the two Champion Bitch Stakes races while Signet Goofy took the BGBF TruFrame British Bred Champion Stakes Final.

Towcester Racecourse Managing Director Kevin Boothby said: “We’d like to congratulate Gaytime Nemo and connections of all winning greyhounds on a fabulous night of racing.

“The Derby Final truly lived up to all expectations following six weeks of outstanding competition and we were once again blown away by the support for one of UK sport’s most historic events which showcases UK greyhound racing at its very best.”

The meeting went ahead without any disruption despite attempts by a handful of Animal Rising protesters to unlawfully break onto the track in the build up to the Derby Final.

Kevin added: “While everyone has the right to peaceful protest, Animal Rising’s reckless, unlawful – and often dangerous – actions are planned with the sole intention of placing widespread media coverage of which its very existence is dependent on.

“The group attempted to use greyhound racing as a soft target to bring attention to a far wider campaign where no activities that expose animals to risk of harm are permitted, including dog agility, flyball, canicross and polo.

“It is with the greatest irony that Animal Rising members arrived to Towcester Racecourse on Saturday by motor vehicles – which are responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of animals each year. It appears deaths to animals which are facilitated by actions which serve a convenient purpose to Animal Rising and its members are not on the list of behaviours they wish to be banned.

“Its failed attempts to unlawfully disrupt the evening also prompts the unnecessary deployment of our emergency services. This comes at a significant cost to the taxpayer. We know funds can be spent far better than policing a legitimate sporting fixture that is enjoyed by many.

“The actions of Northamptonshire Police and our additional security operation were outstanding and ensured the entire evening proceeded with no disruption.”