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William Hill Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon 480m (£250,000)

255 greyhounds divided into 48 heats staged over nights = William Hill Greyhound Derby first-round and quite possibly the greatest four nights consecutive racing we have ever seen in this country. The action was breathtaking and without question had a festival feel about it and is something the whole sport can be extremely proud of.

 

Westmead Hawk - The Legend Lives On 

 

Greyhound fans around the world will never forget the great champion of 2005/2006 Westmead Hawk. He gave his army of fans plenty to cheer about in the stands and those at home shouting at their TV sets. The Hawk did not only set the tracks on fire but he became a huge hit in the breeding paddocks. He is the sire of two previous winners Taylors Sky (2011) and Sidaz Jack (2013). 

 

His offspring are back in 2015 and making the headlines: Eden The Kid is not two until August but he's already a superstar and he became the first greyhound in history to break the magical 28.00 barrier. He stopped the clock in a new track-record of 27.95 +20 on his way to an impressive 7.5L victory over Westmead Alexis.

Droopys Nidge clocked the second fastest heat time of 28.18 N and really looked to have the wow factor. Incredibly the fourth fastest time was also recorded by an offspring of Westmead Hawk; Droopys Ward. Last years runner-up was impressive on his way to scoring in style in 28.30. 

There was also a heat win for a fourth son; Gaytime Hawk who won in 28.51 N. Van Frankie finished second in his heat but ran with credit to ensure Westmead Hawk has five sons all bidding to land him another victory in the 2015 Greyhound Derby.

 

Charlie Lister OBE Impressive Treble 

 

Talking of Derby legends they do not get much bigger than the 'Derby King' himself Charlie Lister OBE. The seven times Derby winning trainer seems to have gone under the radar somewhat this year and knowing Charlie he won't mind that one bit. He landed an impressive treble of first-round victories with Teds Last 28.37 -10 (28.27), Boyneside Fun 28.38 N and Old Joe Golden 28.49 N. Will one of these three be the greyhound that gives him a remarkable eighth victory? I decided to catch up with the 'Derby King' and get his thoughts on his trio of winners from the Derby first-round.

 

Charlie Lister OBE on Teds Last, Boyneside Fun and Old Joe Golden

 

"It's been a tough time with injuries but I have to say I am more than happy with what we have got. All three are open to improvement around Wimbledon and we just have to see how it goes. I never get carried away with the first-round it is all about doing it against the best at the latter stages. Times don't bother me either you can get carried away with them or disappointed, I prefer to judge them against the opposition and look at it on a dog to dog basis.

Teds Last is a nice pup, he won well and he's only had three races winning all of them. He is open to improvement for sure and does not turn two till August. He went about it well and I think he perhaps did not get the recognition he deserves. 

Boyneside Fun was making his first four-bend start and he did it really well. He is another that is open to improvement the more times he goes over the trip. He's got nice early-pace and is a really nice dog.

Old Joe Golden is just turning two but is lightly raced. That was his eighth race and he is another that is improving all the time. 

I'm really happy with what we have and we just have to take it one race at a time. We need some luck in trap-draws and definitely no injuries, if that happens we have a chance but like I said it is early days in the competition. Once you've gone a round or two you can start maybe thinking you can win it'.

 

Ten Fastest Greyhounds From RD 1 (Calculated times)

 

1 - Eden The Kid 28.15

2 - Droopys Nidge 28.18

3 - Teds Last 28.27

4 - Droopys Ward 28.30 

5 - Save The Don 28.32

6 - Sidarian Blaze 28.33

7 - Adageo Bob 28.36

8 - Lenson Sanchez 28.37

9 - Boyneside Fun 28.38

10 - Newinn Yolo 28.39

 

Fastest Sectionals From RD 1 (Still In Competition)

 

1 - Viking Jack, Aclamon Messi, Leamaneigh Turbo 4.71

2 - Clares Wonder, Aimnfire 4.72

3 - Badmoonrising 4.73

4 - Screen Critic, Farloe Blitz 4.74

5 - Ballymac Sinbad, King Alley 4.75

 

Irish View - 19 Chances To End The Wait 

 

Cast your mind back to 2008 and the brilliant Loyal Honcho raised the roof at Wimbledon with a magnificent victory for Ireland and the late Seamus Graham. The Irish love affair with the Derby goes all the way back to 1929 when they secured their first victory courtesy of Mick The Miller and his trainer Mick Horan. They had to wait until 1962 for their second when The Grand Canal secured victory in the world's greatest race. The victories came with some regularity from then on 1969, 1973, 1980, 1981, 1989, 1992, 1996, 1999, 2004 and that most recent victory in 2008. 

After the first-round Ireland have nineteen greyhounds left in the competition split between nine trainers; Pat Buckley 6, Graham Holland 3, Peter Cronin 3, Paul Hennessy 2 and one greyhound each for Owen McKenna, Liam Dowling, Ian Reilly, Frazer Black and Craig Kelly.

 

Just Five Girls Left In - Can One Of Them Win It?

 

Only five bitches have managed to secure a qualifying position from round-one. Three bitches scored in RD 1;  Evanta Fantasy 28.63 -10, Jaytee China 28.72 N and Evanta Evita 28.91 -10. Marmalady and Bubbly Beauty performed well to finish second to ensure five of them made it through. It was 2003 when Farloe Verdict became the last bitch to be crowned the champion after she was awarded the race when Droopys Hewitt was disqualified. You have to go all the way back to 1979 to find a bitch that crossed the line in front when Geoff DeMulder won it with Sarahs Bunny. 

 

Does Size Mattter?

 

Does size matter? If you think it does the biggest greyhound to make it through from the first-round is Magical Hotch weighing in at a whopping 37.8 kilos. The smallest greyhound dog is Loughteen Eoin who stops the scales 29.2 kilos.