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

Friday 5th June Heats 1-8 (RPGTV)

Saturday 6th June Heats 9-16 (RPGTV)

 

96 greyhounds racing over two nights with one aim; to get in to the third-round of the William Hill Greyhound Derby and keep alive that dream of winning the £250,000 first-prize. It won't be easy, it is champion against champion and everywhere you look there is exciting match-ups. Let's take a look at what we can look forward to on each night and I've selected a greyhound from each of the nights action and put them under the spotlight. 

 

Friday Highlights

 

Heat 1 see's the new track-record holder Eden The Kid in action, can he smash the clock again? Connections will surely be happy with qualification and it looks an interesting race the young kid on the block taking on the vastly experienced Swift Keith. 

Droopys Nidge goes in heat 2, he's always worth tuning in for and taking on another highly rated Irish runner in Riverside Pat it could be something very special.

Lenson Sanchez got the Derby underway with a brilliant win he goes in heat 6 and is taking on four other heat winners including the sensational Scottish Derby champion Swift Hoffman. It's set to be a cracker and could be the race of the round. 

Farloe Blitz goes in heat 7 and I've put him under the spotlight - can he go all the way and win the Derby? 

 

McKenna Says Blitz Is Best I've Ever Come To England With

 

Eden The Kid, Droopys Nidge, Teds Last, Droopys Ward, Lenson Sanchez, Droopys Ward and  Newinn Yolo all made ultra-impressive starts to their Derby campaigns. Another greyhound who started his campaign off in style was the Owen McKenna trained Farloe Blitz. He showed terrific early and all round pace to score impressively in the first-round. Taking on four other heat winners in heat seven including the joint fastest sectional Aclamon Messi and the highly rated Rio Quattro who showed terrific middle-pace to surge past last year's finalist Crokers Champ in the heats. It looks a mouthwatering prospect and race for us all to savour. I decided to catch up with Owen McKenna and get the lowdown on his only runner Farloe Blitz.

 

Owen McKenna on Farloe Blitz

 

'He's the only greyhound I've got in the competition but he is the best dog I've ever sent to England for the Derby. You only need one greyhound if they are good enough and I think Farloe Blitz is good enough. He's got great early and is very well in himself, he can go a long way in the competition and I'd say he's good enough to win it. I'm happy with the draw, it could have been a lot worse but he's got trap-three and I like him there and expect a big performance but if he keeps qualifying I will be happy'.

 

Saturday Highlights 

 

It's going to be a night to remember the first heat of the night heat 9 see's 2014 Standard Greyhound Of The Year and Best Newcomer Newinn Yolo taking on Clares Wonder (Kingdom Derby Winner) and Baile Mhic (28.27 Cork). Newinn Yolo got those titles winning competitions and he's a superstar the brilliant All England Cup champion will have to be at his best to come out on top against these classy Irish performers. Can he do it? 

Heat 11 is going to be interesting seeing four top-class Irish runners taking each other on it could be a race at Shelbourne Park this; Save The Don, Quietly and Sidarian Blaze all made impressive winning starts. Diane Henry (Making Paper) and Peter Crosse (Swift Perth) will be hoping to spoil the party. 

Last year's runner-up Droopys Ward goes in heat 12 and he's taking on Adageo Bob and Ascot Woodie who both ran out impressive winners in the first-round. We must not forget Geelo Vegas the National Sprint hero he will be looking to blaze a trail and it promises to be some race this.

I've chosen Viking Jack in heat 14 to put the spotlight on - can he reproduce that flying sectional?

 

Hayton Says Jack Can Only Improve

 

One greyhound that was a real surprise in the first-round was Viking Jack. It was no surprise to see the Gold Cup hero winning but recording the joint fastest sectional time of the entire first-round was. He is such a powerful runner and if he keeps clocking 4.71's to the line he could go a long way, possibly even win it. He goes in heat 14 on Saturday night and is taking on one other heat winner Evanta Evita. Tinahue Pinto and Fire Height Tosh both impressed in defeats however and it looks set to be a cracking contest.  

 

Jim Hayton on Viking Jack

 

'He loves the curved boxes and showed everyone what he can do. The problem is getting him to do that consistently, he does not always do it but when he does he is right up there with the best dogs in the country. He swung off around last-bend and that's not like him, you'd like to think the more he runs Wimbledon the more he can only improve. I'm happy with the draw there are no easy heats it's the Derby and although it was nice to win in the first-round it's all about qualifying. Give me four 3rd place finishes now and let us line up in the final. The dog is very well and we are full of optimism like everyone we need some luck but the dog is definitely good enough'.