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Star Sports Derby - Towcester 500m - £175,000


Bruisers Bullet - fastest of the night


MARK WALLIS-trained runners dominated the first batch of second round heats of the Star Sports English Greyhound Derby with a superb four-timer for Imperial Kennels at Towcester on Friday.


The champion trainer, twice an English Derby-winning handler, sent out Black Farren, Bruisers Bullet, Boylesports Duke and Bombers Bullet to all strike gold at the Northamptonshire venue - although he is certainly not getting carried away.


“It was a great night for the kennel and well done all the staff, but we’ve got to remember it’s only the second round,” he said. “There’s a long way to go but it’s always good to get winners and all four of them did it nicely I thought.


“Black Farren was workmanlike but he’s proving what a great competition dog he is,” added Wallis. “He’s got to a Scottish Derby final and finished second in an Irish one, so is more than capable at this level and hopefully can continue to go about his work well.


“Bruisers Bullet was majestic and gave a very good dog in Rising Brandy a start and a beating and looks a worthy favourite going into the second lot of second-rout heats. Everyone knows we think the world of him and when he’s in front he’s generally away.


“Boylesports Duke took his chance well and could go a long way given the fact he’s one of just a few wides left in the competition, while Bombers Bullet again really caught the eye passing the top- class Bubbly Bluebird comfortably down the back-straight.


“Everyone, including ourselves, have always felt that Bruisers Bullet and Black Farren had the profiles coming into the Derby to be our best chances, but I’ve said all along he was great each-way value around 80-1 and he’s progressing nicely.”


Fastest of the night was comfortably Bruisers Bullet, as the Olympic champion came through a clash with Rising Brandy in great style as he posted a superb 29.05sec (-20), his calculated time less than two lengths outside Tyrur Shay’s 28.72sec track record.


Black Farren posted 29.49sec in winning heat three, as he caught Knockard Spring on the run for home, while Boylesports Duke (29.54sec) in heat six and Bombers Bullet (29.27sec -20) in the following heat seven completed the Wallis ‘yankee’ on the night.


The night had started well for the Irish with Pat Buckley’s Borna Gin (29.37sec -20) reeling in John Lambe’s Distant Rain in heat one, before compatriot Peter Cronin’s Whoops Jack recovered from a slight stumble exiting the traps to lead at the bend in heat two to win in 29.36sec (-20).


Paul Young’s near-senior Bubbly Turbo made all in heat three to win in 29.62sec (-20) in a race which saw the elimination of highly-fancied Magical Bale, who missed the break and failed to find a way pass the winner and Calico Brandy before Droopys Bonucci pounced late to qualify.


The remaining winner on the night was Sporting Dave (29.28sec -20) as Seamus Cahill’s dog paced up well to underline his likely for Towcester again and follow up a similarly impressive first round heat as he held a strong-running effort from Philip Simmonds’ Droopys Dresden.