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William Hill Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon 480M

RACES define competitions and when the story of the 2016 William Hill Greyhound Derby is written there will almost certainly be a special mention of the seventh second round heat in which Jaytee Dutch produced a performance that will long live in the memory.

We may well be celebrating the Paul Hennessy-trained Jaytee Dutch landing the £150,000-to-the-winner but if he doesn’t he will have already made a contribution to what is quickly developing into one of the best Derbies of recent years.

In a race during which Jaytee Dutch experienced setback after setback, he threw himself at the line to deny early-leader Crossfield Molly by a neck in 28.68sec – a huge run given the problems Jaytee Dutch had getting a run.

Lenson Santi took third – thus denying Making Paper, fifth in the final last year behind Rio Quattro, a place in the draw for the third round on Saturday week.

Eden The Kid, third last year, continues to impress and he followed up his first round victory with another win on Thursday. There is something special about Wimbledon for the British-bred, trained by Liz McNair. Perhaps it is that his father, Westmead Hawk, was a dual Derby winner there.

Whatever it is Eden The Kid relishes every grain of sand at Plough Lane but he was made to go a bit before ranging alongside the early leader, Ballymac Brogan, the Arc winner. The pair brushed off each other on the run-in before Eden The Kid got up by a head in a slick 28.24sec.

It was a bad night for the bookmakers with seven of the eight heats going the way of the market leader.

The shortest priced of those, Domino Storm, made it look very easy in the first heat of the night. The is something of Pearls Girl about Mark Wallis’ bitch. Those of you with long enough memories will recall the bitch trained by Sam Sykes whose versatility enabled her to win an Oaks and Gold Collar as well as finishing fourth to Moaning Lad in the 1995 Derby final.

In a race reduced to five runners following the withdrawal of Droopys Astorish, Domino Storm led to the bend with her customary zippy early and defeated her kennel mate Deanridge Maybe by three and three-parts of a length in 28.31sec (normal).

Wallis, who has twice won the Derby with Blonde Snapper (2012) and Kinda Ready (2009) is having a cracking competition this year and registered a double on the night when Clondoty Alex made all in heat five. His time was a slick 28.37sec (normal) on a track that had just been treated with the water bowser.

Irish trainer Pat Buckley also bagged a brace courtesy of Droopys Roddick in the second heat and Lenson Rocky in heat eight – the last of the evening.

Droopys Roddick maintained his 100 per cent record from trap four when picking up Stay Loose, last year’s Gymcrack winner, late on and scoring by three-parts of a length in 28.55sec (normal).

Some racegoers have so far been underwhelmed by the performances from Droopys Roddick in this year’s Derby. That may be because the last time we saw him on these shores he was hacking up by almost nine lengths in the final of the RFS Puppy Derby at Wimbledon in November. It is worth remembering he is a young dog being brought along slowly by his experienced trainer and is expected to improve.

Another in Buckley’s hands that is expected to improve is Lenson Rocky. There really is a lot to like about this son of Droopys Scolari who won’t lose his puppy status until next month.

He showed good early and stayed strongly to post 28.31sec (normal) and Len Ponder’s dog is beginning to shape as a serious contender.

You Never Listen and Be Up Front, litter sister and brother, incredibly finished first and second in heat three – with My Real Mutley, another member of the September 2012 Makeshift – Swift Elm litter in fourth.

The Jim Reynolds-trained You Never Listen is as tough as teak, a point she proved when taking over at halfway from Be Up Front and then going on to score by three-parts of a length in 28.47sec.

And Tony Collett’s Derby continues to take shape after Kentish Duke won heat four in 28.66sec – a race in which St Leger winner Fizzypop Buddy was eliminated.

TRAINER QUOTES

Jack Buckley (son of trainer Pat): “Droopys Roddick is a real competition dog. At this stage it’s all about qualifying - to win is a bonus. We’re really pleased with him. He is gradually finding his feet and he will come into his own when we get to the business end with three quick runs between the third round and semi-finals. Lenson Rocky is coming to hand nicely and we are really pleased with him.”

Tony Collett (Kentish Duke): “I was pleased with that run because it was a good field and he had the likes of Holdem Chico, the Olympic winner, behind. Admittedly it was a bit messy on the outside but he got in front and was able to hold on. I’m really pleased with him.”