The Star Sports, ARC & LPS Greyhound Derby 2019 – Nottingham 500m – £100,000
SKYWALKER LOGAN raced to a new track record for Nottingham’s 500m as he produced a sensational run in the second batch of first round heats of the Star Sports, Arc and Local Parking Security (LPS) Greyhound Derby on Saturday.
In winning heat 23 of the premier Classic, the Pat Guilfoyle-trained runner clipped 11 spots off Sawpit Sensation’s previous best set in 2012 – with those taking the 5-2 from the sponsors for the track record being bettered during the competition sitting pretty!
After Skywalker Logan had come through an early battle with eventual runner-up Holdem Zidane, he stretched on down the far side to post 29.05sec (+20), drawing clear to win by six lengths – racing to ante-post favouritism in the process.
Winning trainer Guilfoyle was naturally delighted afterwards with his Irish Cesarewitch winner and the way he handled Nottingham.
“He’s liking the stiff 500m test here and it was a fantastic run,” he said. “He travelled over well and I think they enjoyed watching him on the terraces. They were watching the clock when he went clear – and he hasn’t disappointed!
“He’s a great competition dog, with stake wins at Cork, Mullingar and Shelbourne – where he was fastest over 525 yards last year (27.99sec) – he was doing crazy times at Cork, too. He’s not three years old until September so is very much in his prime.
“We decided to come to Nottingham quite late really,” he added. “I didn’t know too much about the Nottingham circuit, but there’s not much at home for him so it’s perfect timing. They’e not machines, but we’re happy with how his Derby has started.”
Nottingham director Nathan Corden singled out Skywalker Logan as his main selection for Derby glory – with the Mullingar Cesarewitch form catching his eye, especially he has fond memories of that particular event.
“I was a part-owner of Droopys Gloria, who won a Irish Cesarewitch, so it’s an event dear to my heart. It takes a good greyhound to win it – and Skywalker Logan is clearly that, especially when you consider his times at Shelbourne and Cork.
“It was a brilliant run and the track record says it all,” he added. “I know the sponsors put up 5-2 at their Derby preview in London. It was very popular, but also required a special performance and you can safely say Skywalker Logan produced that.”
Next best on the clock on Saturday was Queen Beyonce (29.27sec, +30), who initiated a treble for Liz McNair in winning heat 21. British-bred Greyhound of the Year King Turbo (29.76sec +20) justified the odds in heat 25, followed by King Dylan (29.87sec, +20) in heat 26.
There were six Irish winners on Saturday. Skywalker Logan aside, Peter Cronin landed a double with Jacks Tornado (29.69sec +20) and Lemon Express (29.90sec +10), as did Paul Hennessy with Jaytee Taylor (29.75sec) and Boylesports Xtra (29.62sec +10). Graham Holland’s Lenson Blinder (29.46sec +10) also struck gold.
The Irish challenge saw also victory for last year’s Irish Derby champion Ballyanne Sim (29.82sec +10) who struck for Mark Robinson, which means the most recent Derby winners at Shelbourne, Towcester (Dorotas Wildcat) and Shawfield (Braveheart Bobby) are also in the hat for this weekend’s second round.
Patrick Janssens was at the double with Desperado Dan (29.65sec +30) and Lenson Whelan (29.78sec +20), while other heats went to Kevin Proctor’s Front Edge (29.77sec +30), Alan Bellis’s Liberty Hawk (29.73sec +20), Angela Harrison’s Droopys Nadal (29.32 +30) and Hayley Keightley’s Roxholme Jim (29.97sec +10).
Star Sports, Arc and LPS Greyhound Derby dates:-
Second round: Friday, May 31 & Saturday, June 1
Third round: Friday, June 7
Quarter-finals: Saturday, June 15
Semi-finals: Saturday, June 22
Final: Saturday, June 29
Further info: www.nottinghamdogs.com