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William Hill Peterborough Derby - Peterborough 435m - £8,500

HIYA BUTT underlined his big-race credentials once again when racing to a fastest-of-the-night success in the semi-finals of the William Hill Peterborough Derby at the Fengate track on Wednesday - and now lines up a hot favourite for next week’s live-on-Sky Sports decider over 435m.

 

Trained by Hayley Keightey for Derry’s Paul Ellis and Dublin brothers Trevor and Greg O’Donnell, the dual Derby finalist and last year’s Laurels champion showed typical speed into the bend to lead in the second semi after a bump from the boxes, and raced away for a three-length win over Geraldine Kovac’s Thomas Golden in 25.84sec.

 

He now has trap one as the sole rails runner in a field of seeded greyhounds, chasing the £8,500-to-the-winner prize at Peterborough’s biggest meeting of the year next week, the final the centrepiece of a gala card with open races. These close to entries on Friday.

 

Mark Keightley, husband of Hiya Butt's trainer Hayley, said of their multiple big-race finalist: "It's an absolute thrill to reach another Category One final with Jim (Hiya Butt).

 

"If there's a more consistent greyhound in training competing at the very highest level in every race he runs than this fellow in the last two seasons I don't know its name!

 

"He'll love the red jacket on Wednesday, although all the shrewdies tell me it's a huge negative. We will see! But again huge credit goes to Hayley for producing this near-on veteran in super form for another magic competition."

 

Keightley also had news on their marathon star Roxholme Magic who he revealed could be nearing a comeback, although plans remain fluid for the veteran performer.

 

"She'll have to show us a touch more than she has at the moment in a few wake-up trials to convince us we'll continue the 'comeback' so to speak, but it's early days yet.

 

"She is approaching five years old remember, so we have to be a little forgiving. She owes us and the sport nothing and only when we are 100 per cent happy with her shall we race again. We will see."

 

Viking Jimmy, who reached the Classic final at Sunderland before heading to Peterborough, landed the first semi-final for Kinsley trainer Jim Hayton and owners Carl Harris and Dean Andrews, making all after a smart break from stripes.

 

Posting 25.96sec as he crossed the line two lengths clear of Carol Grasso’s Idle Talker, it was a performance that delighted his Kinsley-based trainer Hayton, who praised for dog for his consistency over both two and four bends.

 

Barry O’Sullivan’s Angry Man, still a puppy and the youngest runner in Wednesday’s final, caused a 10-1 surprise in the third semi but the victory was full merited as he blasted out of the traps and made all in 25.87sec from local champion Kooga Klammer (David Pruhs).

 

The four-and-a-half lengths victory for the September 15 whelp was the third for O’Sullivan since he was purchased out of Irish trainer Peter Cronin’s kennel having travelled over for the heats of the Gymcrack at Kinsley in May.

 

Trap draw for Wednesday’s final: 1 Hiya Butt, 2 Kooga Klammer (m), 3 Thomas Golden (m), 4 Angry Man (w), 5 Idle Talker (w), 6 Viking Jimmy (w).