MAGICAL BALE (pictured below, T4) reversed last year’s Irish Derby Final form with Ballyanne Sim on his way to setting a fastest-time-of-the-night as the second round of the Star Sports, Arc and LPS Greyhound Derby began with the first eight heats at Nottingham.

The clash of last year’s Shelbourne first and second in heat four always looked one of the clashes of the second round and the race did not disappoint as Magical Bale led at the first bend and was always ahead, drawing away late to win by over six lengths in 29.30sec (+20).

The performance delighted his trainer Kevin Hutton, who said of the Westwell Racing Club-owned runner: “We always knew he’d improve for the first round, and he certainly did it well. We’re hoping ours all continue to come forward – he definitely is.”

Liz McNair landed a double courtesy of Queen Beyonce (29.54sec, +10) and King Sheeran (29.71sec +10) in heats seven and eight respectively – with another littermate King Dylan qualifying earlier when second to Alan Bellis’s Liberty Hawk (29.67sec +20) in heat one.

“I’m delighted with them all,” said Rab McNair, husband of the trainer. “Along with Brendan (KSS Syndicate) we bred and then reared them at home, so they’re our kids really and winning with any of them is something special for us.

“I said to Richard (Evans, Local Parking Security) at the presentation it’s all about qualifying. He’s involved with Volcanic Reef so, while we were happy to beat him, for both of us it should only be about qualifying. We can all then look forward.”

Graham Holland’s Clonbrien Prince (29.42sec +20) added to his first round victory with another fluent success as he led early in heat two before crossing the line six and three-quarter lengths clear of another Irish raider Paganini Show (Pat Buckley).

One of three Irish-trained winners on the first night of second-round action, the others were Gerry Holian’s Lemon Shane (29.56sec +10) and Pat Buckley’s Scottish Derby champion Braveheart Bobby (29.57sec +10) in heats five and six respectively.

The latter has been subsequently withdrawn, so misses Friday’s third round and a chance to add to his famous Shawfield success.

Desperado Dan (29.76sec +20) was a strong-running winner of heat three as he rode a bump at the first bend but was clear off the second, as he led home Irish duo Lemon Express (Peter Cronin) and Nice Charmer (Graham Holland).

Winning trainer Patrick Janssens said: “It was a tough start to the week with Kilmore Lemon’s injury – he was the fastest dog over 300m I’ve ever put a lead on – but ‘Dessie’ winning another Derby heat is great. We love this dog – and he’s enjoying Nottingham.”


Star Sports, Arc and LPS Greyhound Derby dates:-

Third round: Friday, June 7

Quarter-finals: Saturday, June 15

Semi-finals: Saturday, June 22

Final: Saturday, June 29

Further info:

Friday’s third round form and draw:—nottingham-adv1.pdf