Ian Fortune

At precisely 11.20am on Monday morning, it became official that Swords Rex has been withdrawn from the Star Sports/ TRC English Derby.

It was clear to all that the sensationally fast tracker just wasn’t himself when qualifying in a distant third on Saturday night and it comes as no surprise to hear that he picked up a problem.

Whether we will ever see the sensational former Easter Cup and Kirby Memorial Champion again on the track has yet to be confirmed but he certainly owes us nothing. One of the great greyhounds of modern times, his absence from the Derby is a huge loss to the classic.

Swords Rex was due to race from trap four in the third quarter final on Saturday night.