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William Hill Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon 480M

THIS time last week connections of Jaytee Jet were contemplating a run-off against Badmoonrising for a place amongst the final 48 in the William Hill Derby after they dead-heated for third in their second round heat.

That re-run didn’t happen after a lame Farloe Cody was withdrawn, which meant both dogs could go through to the third round, and today John Turner, the owner, and trainer Paul Hennessy can reflect on Jaytee Jet clocking the fastest time of the competition and sitting at top of all ante-post betting on the event. A week is clearly a long time in greyhound racing.

On a night when Eden The Kid and Ballymac Matt, the hitherto first and second in the betting for the £150,000-to-the-winner competition, bade farewell to the competition, Jaytee Jet not only survived, he positively flourished in heat five.

The Easter Cup winner who reached the quarter-finals of the Derby last year when still a puppy, produced a sizzling performance which had the runner-up Imperial Express nearly nine lengths behind and half a length ahead of the third-placed Cloran Paddy in a very slick 28.01sec 0.10sec fast). Domino Storm was the big name casualty here. Mark Wallis’ bitch broke well enough but struggled to get going and eventually finished fourth.

Whilst it should in no way discredit what was a superb run both visually and on the clock by Jaytee Jet it must be recorded that heat five was the first after the bowser had regraded the track and the official going assessment changed from minus 0.10sec for heats three and four to plus 0.10sec for heats five and six.

Ballymac Matt was the first high profile elimination. The Irish Derby winner again seemed unhappy at the turns and finished fourth in a race which was led by Bubbly Turbo but finished in cracking style by Lenson Sanchez.

The 2014 Puppy Derby winner and a semi-finalist in the Derby last year scored by three parts of a length from Bubbly Turbo, with Ajlo Legalbeagle a further two and half lengths behind in third. The winning time was 28.49sec (0.10 slow). It was a good race for Romford trainer Paul Young who trained second and third.

The Arc winner hasn’t won the Derby as far as I can recall. One or two have gone close – Kilcannon Bullet (second to Lartigue Note in 1989) and Fires Of War (fourth to Slippy Blue in 1990) spring to mind.

But the growing feeling that Ballymac Brogan could be the one to end that frustrating sequence was given the further credence when the Seamus Cahill-trained dog threw himself at the first bend to clear Blue Cafu and take what was the prove a winning lead in the opening heat of the round.

California a sent those that have taken fancy odds about him winning the big one into dream land when taking a couple of huge scalps in the shapes of Jaytee Dutch and Droopys Latina in the second heat in 28.57sec (normal).

Ballymac Darragh stayed best to pick up Southfield Jock in the closing stages to take heat four in 28.73sec (0.10sec slow). Hiya Butt, still unbeaten, is rapidly becoming a serious player and he enhanced his growing reputation further with a sizzling 28.40sec (0.10 fast) run in heat six,

Eden The Kid, Droopys Roddick and You Never Lister were expected to be the main players in heat seven but it was a very messy race from which Eden The Kid failed to progress and You Never Lister sustained a shoulder injury which has subsequently forced her retirement. The race was won by Be Up Front in 28.45sec (normal) – Droopys Roddick qualified in third.

Boyneside Fun has gone under the radar somewhat but maintained his unbeaten record when seeing off the highly-regarded Lenson Rocky after a protracted battle in heat eight in 28.34sec (normal)

 

WHAT THE TRAINERS SAY

 

Daniel Wallis: (son of Mark Wallis, the trainer of California): “That’s the best he’s run since he came to us (first trialled April 13) and he’s beaten a real good field. He trapped well and showed what he is capable of. I think there is more to come. He’s got really good early pace and being a wide runner he looks set to get a decent draw.”

Seamus Cahill: (Ballymac Brogan): “He came away nicely and got a lovely run (to the first bend). The six dog (Old Joe Golden) may have missed his break a little which helped but it was a cleanly run race and I think our dog was the best in it. I wouldn’t be too worried about the quick runs coming up (Tuesday and Saturday). He’s pretty strong and is at the top of his game at the moment.”

Pat Buckley: (Lenson Sanchez): “He loves Wimbledon. He’s won the first three rounds now and has taken everything that has been thrown at him. He’s been perfect in terms of his soundness up to now. I’ve always thought he is something of a dark horse for the Derby. He has been flying at home. He’s a very capable greyhound and could go all the way. He’s capable of 28.00sec. -28.20sec.”

Paul Hennessy (Jaytee Jet and Jaytee Dutch): “He is an exceptional talent but I just wish he would come away from the traps as well as did (in the third round) all the time. He’s a big dog – he reminds me of Larkhill Joe, who was one of the best dogs I’ve ever seen. Last week he was tremendous. I don’t think there is a dog in the competition who would have got up and qualified (dead-heated third) from the position he was in. Jaytee Dutch ran a little bit stuffy – he may have needed the run. He will be great for Tuesday (quarter-finals) though.

 

THE WILLIAM HILL DERBY QUARTER-FINALS – 24/05/2016

 

First Quarter Final (8.16pm)

1 Jaytee Dutch

2 Cloran Paddy

3 Lenson Rocky

4 Ballymac Darragh (m)

5 Ajlo Legalbeagle (w)

6 Boyneside Fun (w)

A fabulous line-up. Boyneside Fun hasn’t put a foot wrong and will make the go from the outset with his powerful early speed. Lenson Rocky may have been on less favourable going on the inside when beaten by Boyneside Fun in the third round. Cloran Paddy continues to impress with his speed off the back, whilst Jaytee Dutch is all class. Ajlo Legalbeagle is as tough as teak and Ballymac Darragh is hugely determined. Verdict: 3-1-2

 

Second Quarter Final (8.33pm)

1 Blue Cafu

2 Southfield Jock

3 Shaneboy Freddie

4 Dragon Overload (m)

5 Newlawn Ned (w)

6 Stay Lucky (w)

There is plenty of pace in traps one and two. Blue Cafu is the better draw but the tenacity and terrier-like determination of Southfield Jock is a potent force. Dragon Overlord is scraping through at big prices but is there on merit. Shaneboy Freddie has plenty of ability when allowed to show it. Newlawn Ned is consistent and Stay Lucky is probably a bit better than his recent form would suggest. Verdict: 2-1-3

Third Quarter Final (8.51pm)

1 Hiya Butt

2 Droopys Latina

3 Peregrine Falcon

4 Be Up Front (m)

5 Imperial Express (m)

6 Jaytee Jet (w)

What a super race. Hiya Butt is one of the closest railers I have seen. He also has explosive early and is sure to be a player. Jaytee Jet was fabulous at the weekend and will most probably be favourite – he can occasionally put in a poor break though. Imprerial Express can trap well and may get in the way of Jaytee Jet. Droopys Latina has an abundance of pace but seems to lack track craft. Peregrine Falcon is an Irish Derby finalist and has ability and Be Up Front is running out of his skin. Verdict: 6-1-2

 

Fourth Quarter Final (9.08pm)

1 Lenson Sanchez

2 Droopys Roddick

3 Bubbly Turbo

4 Ballymac Brogan (m)

5 Od Joe Golden (w)

6 California (w)

What a huge race is could be for the early pacers. Six of the finest exponents of the art of front-running in the competition have been drawn against each other and heaven knows who is going to come off best. In situations like this I would go for the best drawn, and that may well prove to be Lenson Sanchez in trap one. If he gets around in front it will be hard for the others to catch him, although in that regard a case could be made for Droopys Roddick who might just sit off them early on. Bubbly Turbo is all action from the start, Ballymac Brogan is probably in the form of his life, Old Joe Golden is trained by the most prolific Derby winning trainer of all time and California is really coming to hand for his dual Derby winning handler. Verdict 1-2-4