PAUL HENNESSY, twice an English Derby-winning trainer, has his sights firmly set on a third success after landing a double in the quarter-finals of the 2022 Star Sports & TRC English Greyhound Derby at Towcester on Saturday as the much-experienced pair of Priceless Jet and Hello Hammond scored popular victories for the Gowran handler – the former setting a new track record.

Lining up in the first quarter-final, Priceless Jet produced his best break yet to lead his field into the turn from the six-box and the August 2018 son of Droopys Jet and Ravenna was never headed as he crossed the line six and a half lengths clear of Kildare (Peter Cronin) and Coppice Fox (Kevin Hutton) in 28.78sec (+10), which clipped six spots off Lautaro’s previous best for the 500m trip set in the first round.

Kennelmate Hello Hammond then landed a quickfire Derby double for the trainer, represented on the night by wife Susan and daughter Sarah, as the August 2018 son of Jaytee Jet and Jaytee Pearl finished fastest of all to win by almost two lengths from Faughan Rebel (Richard Yeates) and Deelish Frankie (Patrick Janssens) in 29.22sec. Ante-post favourite Ballinabola Ed was eliminated here in fifth.

Susan Hennessy said: “We’re just thrilled with these two older boys. They just love their racing and especially seem to love it here at Towcester. That’s the second time Priceless Jet has broken the track record at Towcester and, once he broke so well, you felt he could do a time, but even so that was great. ‘Hammy’ just loves a challenge, never gives up, and took his chance well. It’s been a great night and we’re delighted to be back next week.”

Romeo Magico made it a third Irish-trained quarter-final winner on the night as Graham Holland’s Easter Cup finalist trapped in front and landed a trap-to-line victory in the third quarter-final as the August 2019 son of Magical Bale and Fabulous Artist crossed the line almost five lengths clear of Make Noise (Seamus Cahill) and Lautaro (Patrick Janssens). The winning time was a fast 29.01sec (+10).

The last three semi-final places were up for grabs in the final quarter-final and Signet Goofy maintained his superb unbeaten record in the Classic as John Mullins’ dog scorched clear off a 4.03sec sectional – the fastest in the Derby – and was never headed as he crossed the line over three lengths clear of fast-finishing Savana Beau (Diane Henry) and Mickys Barrett (Jason Gray) in 29.21sec (+10).

Towcester spokesman Nathan Corden said: “It was a fantastic weekend’s racing with heats of the Madri Excepcional Ladies, Gain Nutrition Feed Challenge Cup and SportyStuff TV Puppy Cup on Friday, the RPGTV Derby Plate and Watling Street Sprint Trophy plus the Derby semis on Saturday, and the heats of the BGBF Truframe British Bred Champion Stakes on Sunday – and we do it all again this Friday and Saturday!

“Good luck to the connections of all the runners involved, but especially those in the semi-finals of the Star Sports & TRC English Greyhound Derby – three runners in each semi-final going through to the final and what will be a fantastic occasion here on Saturday, June 25 – and a great few days given we begin the week with the Derby Lunch here at Towcester for connections of the finalists on Monday. That’s always a great occasion.”





Semi-finals: Saturday, June 18

Final: Saturday, June 25