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Weblog: A Ladbrokes look at the sport

Our Shawfield final looks excitingly wide open

The frantically busy yet always enjoyable spell that is the Grand National meeting is over now for another year which means one thing, for Ladbrokes greyhound racing at least, that all roads lead to Shawfield.

The Ladbrokes Scottish Derby final on Saturday has shaped up to be an absolute cracker, the polar opposite of last year’s admittedly breathtaking rout by Ballymac Eske with the range of running styles on offer set to delight the bumper crowd.

Sadly there isn’t a local hope going to post which is the only drawback but plenty of trainers who decided to make long journeys to participate in the competition in the first place have been rewarded for their continued treks to Shawfield  with final berths and the wide open nature of the betting means connections have every right to be optimistic which must help temper the travelling time.

Holdem Spy, a runner who has already proven to be a real crowd favourite due to his last-gasp style, looks set to go off favourite for the race although it’s certainly conceivable to make a case for all six runners, with even Toolatetosell not entirely written off at 25/1.  

Mind The Net - our idea of the winner before the first round -  is the finalist we’d rather keep on side with both Metro and Calzaghe Jack likely to have their backers as well.

Jaytee Lightning was popular ante-post also so, as things stand, we’ll be cheering the Irish runners on the night and as usual for a big Ladbrokes final we’ll be offering a series of catchy and competitive special prices and enhancements from Saturday morning onwards. Keep your eye on our advert in the Racing Post, our site, or our mobile app for more information.

As far as our next big race assignment is concerned, a pleasing piece of news broke during preparations for Sheffield and Shawfield confirming that the Monmore Gold Cup has been awarded Sky status for this year. It’s an excellent competition and the track put on a first class show last time Sky came to town for the TV Trophy so that’s a meeting to look forward to.

On the subject of the Crabbie's Grand National, the winner was an excellent result for the firm, but perhaps a better longer term result for the industry overall was that Saturday confirmed that the great race is still treasured by the public (despite their trouble picking the winner in recent years!) and that the vibrancy and buzz of the betting shop on the big day is still widely enjoyed, adding plenty to the high street in the process.

As ever, enjoy the final and supporting card at Shawfield on Saturday and, if at all possible, head to the track. If not, you’ll be well looked after by RPGTV with Darrell Williams providing live updates.