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William Hill Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon 480M (£150,000)

 

 

 

EDEN THE KID, last year’s third, is set to get his challenge for the £150,000-to-the-winner William Hill Derby off to a positive start in the ninth first round heat (9.32pm) over 480 metres at Wimbledon tonight.

The British-Bred has had just one sprint trial at Wimbledon since his defeat in the Scottish Derby at Shawfield on April 9 but he is sure to be produced spot on by Liz McNair, his experienced handler, for tonight’s 480-metre qualifier.

McNair flirted with the idea of removing the middle seeding from Eden The Kid but the status quo was maintained for the draw last Sunday. He runs from trap four and can score, probably at the main expense of Stay Loose.

Jaytee Jet and Droopys Roddick are two of Ireland’s leading contenders and they can land heats five and eight respectively.

Over the next month the best greyhounds in the UK and Ireland will bid to become the successor to Rio Quattro as Derby champion, and Eden The Kid, Jaytee Jet and Droopys Roddick are expected to have a major say in who lifts the famous Derby pot aloft on June 4.

Jaytee Jet has been allocated his favourite trap six draw in heat five (8.26pm) but it is a race from which only two go through to the second round and he meets two other fancied Irish contenders, Farloe Joey (trap one) and Toolmakers Scot (trap three).

But on the back of a sizzling 28.32sec trial and some tremendous early season form which culminated in him landing the Easter Cup at Shelbourne Park, it is hard to look past the Paul Hennessy-trained Jaytee Jet, who reached the quarter-finals of this competition last year when an inexperienced puppy.

Droopys Roddick has also arrived at Wimbledon with a recent major stake under his belt after securing the €80,000 Con and Annie Kirby Memorial at Limerick. British racegoers will already be familiar with this striking blue brindle after he won the Puppy Derby at Wimbledon last year.

Trap three is the starting position for Droopys Roddick and a decent break from Pat Buckley’s dog ought to set him up for a straightforward success.

Jaytee Spartacus is rated one of the best of the British-trained runners and he can start as he means to go on in the second heat (7.29pm). Paul Young, his trainer, has had a runner in the last two Derby finals and has made no secret of the high regard he holds for this son of Scolari Me Daddy.

The strongest opposition to Jaytee Spartacus is likely to come from Pinpoint Boom (trap two), Deanridge Pennys (trap one) and Tyrur Fergal (trap four). Charlie Lister, the most prolific Derby winning trainer of all time, is particularly keen on the lightly raced last named.

It could be a good night for Lister as his Old Joe Golden and Bellmore Neymar can give him a double in Heat Three (7.54pm) and Heat Six (8.42pm).

Pat Buckley might also bag a brace with the aforementioned Droopys Roddick and Lenson Panda in Heat 12 (10.18pm).

FRIDAY

It was interesting to hear Pat Buckley say, excluding his own, the dog he would most like to train in the William Hill Derby given the choice would be Droopys Buick.

Buckley was impressed by the way Jimmy Wright’s Northern Puppy Derby winner glided around the bends during a slick 28.04sec trial and who can blame him. It was a tremendous run.

Droopys Buick gets his Derby bid underway in Heat 20 (8.58pm), and it is a pretty tough assignment. Only two go through and the opposition includes Diego Flight, a semi-finalist last year, and Cloran Paddy, a progressive youngster trained by Charlie Lister.

Droopys Buick, a confirmed railer, has drawn three and needs to be on his toes at the start to get clear on the run-up.

Heat 15 (7.39pm) is another cracker with top Irish challengers Black Adler, winner of the Commerford Puppy Stakes at Shelbourne Park last backend, and Droopys Latina set to do battle from traps one and two. The latter may just prevail.

All eyes will be on Ballymatt Matt, last year’s Irish Derby winner, who starts from trap one in Heat 19 (8.42pm).

I must admit to being confused by this highly-talented son of Tyrur Big Mike. He can hit the front and fly, and then occasionally he’ll drop out and come with a run in the closing stages – the Scottish Derby being a case in point. But he is without doubt top class and looks too good for his first round opposition.

I must admit to being a fan of Bramble Magpie but he has Double Oh Seven, amongst others, to take on in Heat 22 (9.32pm). There have been some positive messages regarding the latter who is trained in Ireland by Paul Hennessy. Coolavanny Slip is another to consider in this qualifier.

Heat 26, the last of Friday’s batch, is a very hotly contested race. There are only five runners – Just two qualify – but each and every one of them is top class. Rio San Marino, trained by last year’s Derby winner Danny Riordan, might just have the edge.

SATURDAY

SCOTTISH Derby winner Hot Pipe will have to wait until the very last race of the first round before he can gets his bid underway when running from Heat 39 (10.35pm) on Saturday.

It’s an eight-hour journey south for the Armadale-based Jim “Scotchie” Brown, the part-owner and trainer of Hot Pipe, and whilst he may not win on Saturday I think the chances of him qualifying for the next stage are good.

I reckon the winner will be either Paradise Maverik or Tarsna Havanna, with preference just going to the former who was one of two Pat Buckley-trained runners eliminated in the semi-final won by Making Paper last year – the other was Lenson Sanchez.

Talking of Making Paper, Diane Henry’s dog should have a significant say in the outcome of Heat 35 (9.32pm). Roxholme Barkley is another big player, drawn in trap one, but Making Paper has been brought along nicely for this and could have the edge from trap five.

Domino Storm, bidding to be only the third bitch since 1979 to win the Derby, comes fresh from a 500-metre track record run at Sheffield and looks a good thing in the red jacket in Heat 34 (9.15pm).

Mark Wallis, her trainer, has made no secret that he fancies last year’s Oaks winner to go all the way in the Derby and, whilst it is the hardest event in the calendar to win, it is difficult to argue against his view.

Whilst talking about bitches in form it would be remiss of me not to draw your attention to Crossfield Molly (trap five) in Heat 28 (7.39pm). She has been going great guns for trainer Seamus Cahill and could progress to the latter stages.