Viking Jack Ready For Derby Campaign

Although there is no such thing as an easy heat, Viking Jack has faired well in the first round draw.  Two go through from five.

jack derby

The first round will be over four nights, starting tonight (Wednesday), with some six and some five dog races. We are lucky to have a five dog race. Jack was priced up by sponsors William Hill at 11/10 but Boylesports have priced Jack up at 13/8 for this heat!

Jack is a lively outsider for the Derby. Here is a great piece by The Antepost men….

Monmore Gold Cup winner Viking Jack is too big at 80/1 for such an ultra-consistent and versatile greyhound. Throughout his career he has taken on top quality dogs and performed with such admirable merit and determination that he can defy almost dismissive odds to at least make the final. If he can then produce a rare ping break (like he did to such devastating effect in that aforementioned Category One win) when it matters then it will take an extremely quick hound to catch him.

His career is just littered with impressive performances. Dating back to 16 April last year he was gaining on subsequent Derby winner Salad Dodger at Nottingham (Romford Puppy Cup winner Laughing Gravy behind) and then when stepped up in trip he gave a beating to King Kane (TV Trophy winner) over a strong 660m trip at Sheffield, nearly caught the machine over a short 6 bends that is Adageo Bob and was then dropped back down in trip in July at Monmore where he was led by Roxholme Ted (once 2014 Derby favourite) and caught him going away. That time of 28:07 at Wolverhampton is seriously shifting and he confirmed his likeness for the track when he made-all in the tournament mentioned previously in August (27:94 posted). It is without question that Monmore is a similar track to Wimbledon and so when Jack returned to Plough Lane on 16th May 2015 (failed to qualify in the first round last year with no look and vastly less experienced and developed as he is now), he didn’t quite come out but showed tremendous back-straight pace (his real forte) to nearly catch the Gymcrack winner Stay Loose on the line (lost a head). Whilst Loose might not be the strongest of hounds, it was still an impressive effort nonetheless for Jack to get near him and now he has had a look at the track for the first time in over a year, he can be expected to go much better next time out (hopefully from the boxes too!).

Jack’s problem is that he does have a shocker of a start in him. He was eliminated from the 3 Steps to Victory at Sheffield when he completely fluffed the start in the 500m round and just allowed too many dogs to get a start on him. He also has missed it on his first look at Towcester so it is imperative that he avoids one of his tardy exits in the latter rounds: that’s the luck you need in a Derby.

His last final was the Pinpoint Recruitment Stakes at Newcastle where he was desperately unlucky not to turn the bend in the front, where he would surely have been very hard to pick up. That was a race where he led sprinters Conna Trigger and Pinpoint Finas so Jack is certainly not devoid of early when he times the break well enough. All of this leads to a profile of a dog who should be shorter than 80/1 as his pace, his durability and ultimately his determination are a potent combination for a real Derby contender.

Recommendation:

Viking Jack – 1 point each-way, 80/1 (6 places)

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