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

THE £300,000 William Hill Derby was decided on Saturday night at Wimbledon by a final that in the 28.22sec it took to complete contained everything that made this competition so special and makes greyhound racing such a fascinating and fantastic sport.

The biggest crowd since the track switched sides from the main grandstand to the Mick The Miller Stand in March 2010 – and 20 per cent up on last year’s final – watched a monster of a final that lived up to its star billing and more.

How would Hiya Butt handle run from trap five? Could Lenson Rocky lead into the turn? Can Peregrine Falcon produce the run trainer Pat Curtin been confidently predicting? Was the Charlie Lister “Derby Final Factor” going to kick in for Cloran Paddy? All those questions and more were about to be answered as the hare rushed to the traps.

Hiya Butt again showed himself to be best and most consistent trapper in the competition with another sizzling break. He stayed straight for 30 metres or so before the first bend at which stage he began to head towards in the rails.

In behind Lenson Rocky (trap one) moved to the middle and Peregrine Falcon (trap four) edged inwards. Droopys Roddick (trap three) was the meat in the sandwich. Cloran Paddy trapped slowly, got a belt from the hind-quarters of Droopys Roddick, and had a wall of dogs ahead of him but Jaytee Jet (trap six) was enjoying a solo on the outside.

At halfway Hiya Butt had a two to three lengths lead over Lenson Rocky. Jaytee Jet was a further couple of lengths away in third, whilst Droopys Roddick, who found a safe pocket at the first and second bends, had moved through to fourth – about a half a length behind Jaytee Jet. Peregrine Falcon was fifth and Cloran Paddy was sixth.

Those in behind started to close on Hiya Butt at the crown of the third and fourth turns and during a mad rush for the line Hiya Butt stayed inside, Droopys Roddick kept to the middle as Lenson Rocky began to fade away, as, with one last push, Jaytee Jet got up to land a truly magnificent final – definitely up there in the top three of those staged at Wimbledon since the race was switched from White City in 1985.

It was a one-two for Ireland – there first win in the event since Loyal Honcho in 2007 - as Jaytee Jet defeated Droopys Roddick by a neck. Hiya Butt was a short-head away in third. Lenson Rocky took fourth. Cloran Paddy fifth and Peregrine Falcon was sixth. There were just four and a half lengths between first and last.

For trainer Paul Hennessy it was the highlight of his career that has spanned more than three decades and means he follows Nick Savva into the record books as the only other trainer to win the Greyhound Triple Crown – the English, Irish and Scottish Derbies.

And what a way to land your first UK Category One contest for John Turner. Jaytee Jet also gave him his first in Ireland when taking the Easter Cup in March.

WHAT THEY SAID AFTERWARDS

JOHN TURNER (owner of Jaytee Jet): “He’s a super dog. He really is. He just gives you his heart and soul everything when he takes to the track. This has been touted as one of the best Derbies in years, so it’s fantastic to win it. He is such a fast dog. He misses his break from time to time but when he gets it right he is so hard to beat. It’s really an incredible feeling to have won the Derby – even better than I thought it would be.”

PAUL HENNESSY (trainer of Jaytee Jet): “He’s an amazing greyhound. Thank God it has work out for us. It is great team effort. I wasn’t sure he had got up as three dogs crossed the line together. I know what it is like to be narrowly beaten in this race and I feel for the connections of Droopys Roddick and Hiya Butt but I am delighted for the man that owns this dog.”

KEVIN HENNESSY (son of trainer Paul): “This is a project started 16 months ago at Enniscorthy, where he looked a potential superstar (in an Unraced stakes) I don’t know how he won that race. He seemed to lose his momentum going round the third and fourth bends and I must admit I thought he was beaten. He is the dog of a lifetime, and hopefully there are plenty more big races in him. I started backing him when he was knocked out of the Derby last year. He was an 80-1 chance then and I have been backing him ever since.”

SUSAN HENNESSY (wife of trainer Paul): “This really means the world to us. Every year we come over here – most of the time we go back heart-broken but thank God he did it tonight. I was just hoping Paul (Hennessy) wasn’t going to be disappointed whatever way the race went. He is always so philosophical. He takes everything in his stride. But we knew this was the big one and I was so pleased for him that he has done it.”

JON IVAN-DUKE (for sponsors William Hill): “It was a greyhound Derby final for the ages and it will be talked about for many years to come. A lot of people turned to me afterwards and said it was the best final they have ever seen. It was certainly up there with the very best and a race to remember.”