DOROTAS WILDCAT (pictured below, T4) raced to the top of the sponsor’s betting after a brilliant performance from the defending champion in heat 13 of the second round of the Star Sports, Arc and LPS Greyhound Derby at Nottingham on Saturday.

Kevin Hutton’s dog had a trap-four draw to overcome but a searing burst of the pace as the bend approached took him to the front, a position he never looked likely to relinquish as he stretched clear to win by four and a half lengths in 29.43sec (+10).

Antigua Sands (Mark Wallis) and Ballymac Osby (Kevin Hutton) qualified in behind Dorotas Wildcat in a tough heat, delighted Donna Witchells, assistant and fiancee of Hutton, who said: “It was a tough heat but we’ve come through it.

“We had a delayed preparation for Wildcat, so he’s going to have needed these early races and hopefully can improve again – and it’s fantastic for the kennel that Osby through as well. He’s a really special dog to us all after last year.”

Angela Harrison, who had qualified 2018 runner-up Drooper Verve the night before, landed a double courtesy of fastest-of-the-night winner Droopys Expert (29.42sec +10) in heat nine and Droopys Trapper (29.59sec +20) in heat 14.

Ireland’s Paul Hennessy was also at the double in heats 11 and 16 courtesy of Priceless Blake (29.52sec +10) and Jaytee Taylor (29.84sec +20), while new track record holder Skywalker Logan (29.97sec +10) pounced late to catch Cooneen Jack in heat ten.

The Hayley Keightley-trained Roxholme Jim (29.67sec +20) struck in heat 12 and the same kennel later qualified Roxholme Glory behind heat 16 winner Worseforwear (29.56sec +20), who struck for Irish handler Peter Cronin.

Summing up the evening, Nottingham commentator Paul Lawrence said: “I thought Dorotas Wildcat and Jaytee Taylor were the two eye-catching performances of the night – and having the reigning Derby champion still in is just fantastic.

“Everything is bubbling up nicely and congratulations have to go Nathan and Rachel Corden (Nottingham directors) for embracing the flagship event of our sport. It’s a first for them and they’re doing a great job – and it all started with the buildup.

“The use of social media giving instant trial times in the lead up to the competition was well received and the streaming of trap draws has also given enthusiasts a chance to feel part of the Derby vibe.

“Add in the support of RPGTV with the use of replays, head-ons and expert analysis, and it’s all helping to build a great Derby.

“As the track commentator, it’s been a joy to share in the enthusiasm of Jason (Smith) and Peter (Robinson) – Nottingham’s joint racing managers – and young Kyle (Hackett) busying away, recording all the data on the computer.

“There’s been a great buzz about Colwick Park and it’s testament to the skill of the management team and all the staff that have come together to get the Derby off to such a fantastic start.

“Personally, it’s been very satisfying to get such good feedback from the commentaries throughout the first four nights, but it’s easy to get swept away with the tide of passion that seems to pass through the whole stadium. To be part of it is just great.

“Of course, the real stars are the greyhounds themselves and we marvelled at the many match-ups and performances that left us breathless. Skywalker Logan with the track record in the first round was incredible – but he also showed plenty again to win from off the pace on Saturday.

“He and Dorotas Wildcat top of the betting and all eyes will be on them again in the third round, but there’s still plenty of strength in depth left in this year’s competition. There will be a multitude of twists and turns to come no doubt!”

Full results second round Saturday:

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