GRAHAM HOLLAND maintained his iron grip on the Star Sports/TRC English Greyhound Derby when Gaytime Nemo, the 9-1 outsider of his three finalists, flew from the boxes to make all and take the £175,000 prize for the second year running for his kennel after Romeo Magico’s win for him in 2023.
Gaytime Nemo scored by three and a half lengths from a soon second Romeo Command in 28.89sec.
Brendan O’Connell, the winner’s owner and breeder, said: “Incredible. This means so much for our entire family.
“This was the second litter from our brood bitch Gaytime Derval. I liked Nemo when we schooled him, though he was a bit of a boy racer with huge pace but lacking in composure – so we sent him to Graham.
“But he then had an injury in January and didn’t race for nearly five months. Yet he matured during that period, Graham liked what he saw and he has improved through the Derby since. We didn’t want trap one, but were happy with trap two!”
Holland grinned: “I think this must mean a pay-rise for Rachel [his daughter]. That’s our third Derby winner in a row she’s paraded – Newinn Taylor at Shelbourne  then Badger [Romeo Magico] last year here, now Nemo.
"You learn from your mistakes and you also need to be honest in your opinions. I was grateful the O’Connell family agreed we should bring him here.
“It was a bit of a leap of faith because he had been off several months after quite a bad injury but he had grown up and you could realistically hope he could improve as he got fitter.
"It didn’t work out on the night for Rex and Duke but they all look fine and our team will go for the Irish Derby. It’s been a good Towcester for us.”