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William Hill Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon 480M

THE Derby and St Leger double has been achieved just twice. That fabulous bitch Dolores Rocket did it in 1971 and Tartan Khan in 1975. On both occasions the Derby, being the shorter race, came first with a natural progression up in trip for the St Leger.

But it seems Fizzypop Buddy relishes a challenge and the dog who last year completed an unbeaten run through the William Hill St Leger has now embarked on the same mission in the Derby, which is also backed by the bookmaking giants.

Having finished fourth when the 4-5 favourite for the Regency final at Hove 72 hours earlier, there was concern in some quarters that the June Harvey-trained Fizzypop Buddy wasn’t quite at his best.

Those that held that view – including myself – need not have worried. Fizzypop Buddy is in rude health as he demonstrated by breaking well. He relinquished an early advantage and then made his stamina the deciding factor to score going away by two lengths from Blakes Turbo in 28.37sec (0.10sec fast). Only the first two qualified.

Face The Blade was eliminated at the first round stage last year and he has obviously made up his mind that the same wasn’t going to happen this time around when running in heat 27 – the first qualifier of the evening.

In a race reduced to five runners after the withdrawal of a lame Quivers Camp, Face The Blade clocked a 04.84sec sectional, led at the first bend and won as he liked by four and a half lengths in 28.15sec (0.20sec fast).

Roxholme Barkley was drawn in trap one in heat 35 and moved acutely right from trap rise. Luckily he was so quickly away –clocking a fast 04.67sec sectional – that he was clear of the field, and he went further clear along the far side.

Meanwhile, Making Paper, fifth in the final last year, began to pick up and stayed on strongly to finish just a head to behind Roxholme Barkley who posted 28.18sec (0.10sec fast).

Mark Wallis has made no secret of how much he fancies the chances of Domino Storm in the Derby and last year’s Oaks winner made it seven wins on the bounce in the 34th heat of the round.

Wallis has recently been highlighting the versatility of Domino Storm. “People have this

 

view she is all about a smash break and needs to lead – that’s not true,” he told The Sun newspaper.

And, as if to prove the point, Domino Storm got herself behind in the race, which was led by Knockbrogan King, and produced a grandstand finish to score by a shade under three lengths in 28.38sec (0.10sec fast).

Domino Storm brought up the second leg of a double for Wallis and Belle Vue trainer Brian Thompson also bagged a brace with Garryglas Droopy and Calzaghe Billy.

Garryglas Droopy finished strongly to defeat Ballymac Cathal by three parts of a length in 28.74sec (normal) and Calzaghe Billy was a more emphatic seven-length winner in 28.32sec. (normal)

In the last heat of the night Ballymac Frano won by three parts of a length in 28.53sec (normal). Afterwards, however, the local stewards disqualified Ballymac Frano for aggressive interference and he will play no further part in the competition.

 

TRAINER QUOTES

Brian Thompson (Garryglass Droopy and Calzaghe Billy) “We only entered the two and both have won their first round heats, so it (the Derby) has started really well. Calzaghe Billy was having his first race for us. He reached the semi-finals of the Kirby Memorial at Limerick recently and has always raced against good company. He was trained by June McCombe at Belle Vue before we had him so I know he had been well looked after and we are very pleased with him. Hopefully he can continue to improve.

“Garryglas Droopy didn’t have a trial at Wimbledon because we only decided to enter him for the Derby literally the day before the event closed. So with that in mind it is feasible to expect him to continue to improve. He is best known for his six bend performances but we took the view that he was worth entering him for the Derby because of the fast split times he was recording in his staying races. Obviously we are delighted with him up to now.”