DROOPYS VERVE and Dorotas Wildcat, runner-up and champion respectively last year, stole the show in the third round of the Star Sports, Arc and LPS Greyhound Derby at Nottingham on Friday.

On a night when Graham Holland’s team flexed their muscles once again with a double strike, as did Kevin Hutton, it was Angela Harrison’s Droopys Verve who set the standard on the clock with an all-the-way victory in heat two as he clocked 29.14sec (+30).

The run delighted Jimmy Wright, assistant of trainer Angela Harrison, who said: “He had no luck in the first round when another dog took him out, then he slipped and stumbled in the second round.

“You can’t legislate for that, and you feel people were quick to criticise him, but he’s a class act this dog. He’s shown at home he’s got the ability and we knew if he broke well he’d be able to show that. It’s still all about qualifying, however.”

Kevin Hutton, trainer of reigning champion Dorotas Wildcat (pictured below, T2), was thrilled to see his Eclipse winner come through a tough heat with a flawless effort as he crossed the line ahead of Roxholme Glory (below, T4) and Droopys Expert (below, T1).

“He needed to clear Expert and, once he did that, you’d hope he could go on,” said Hutton after The Cat’s 29.28sec (+30) success. “It was a very satisfying run and he’s coming on with each run. So far, so good and we can look forward to next week.”

Hutton’s third round double was landed by Magical Bale who made all impressively in 29.22sec (+30) in heat eight, while Graham Holland’s double came via Clonbrien Prince (29.19sec +30) and Nice Charmer (29.42sec +30) in heats three and seven respectively.

Holland said of the pair: “Clonbrien Prince is a very fast dog who’s taken to Nottingham really well. He’s a strong type who thrives on his work and would have been suited by the three-runs-in-a-week English Derby schedule they has – he’s that sort of dog.

“Both him and Nice Charmer have proved good competition dogs. Clonbrien Prince won the Shelbourne 600 and Nice Charmer ran well in the Leger and Produce at home. They’re into the quarter-finals now and we can now look forward to next week.”

There was further Irish success in heat five as Paul Hennessy landed a one-two with Priceless Blake (29.41sec +30) leading home Jaytee Taylor, while Liz McNair struck with the unbeaten Queen Beyonce (29.49sec +30) in heat six.

Earlier, the Stuart Buckland-trained Dower Rory (pictured below, T5) came through to land a 14-1 surprise in heat four, a race in which Swift Jim (Sue Watson) was disqualified for deliberate interference as he came together with the 29.99sec (+30) winner on the run for home.

Given Front Edge (Kevin Proctor) and King Sheeran (Liz McNair) later dead-heated for third in heat seven, it was decided to allow both into the draw for the quarter-finals instead of the pair having to run-off, or their place decided on the toss of a coin.

Paul Illingworth, senior stipendiary steward at the GBGB, explained the situation: “In my view the rules, ostensibly GBGB Rules of Racing 90 and 91, make it clear that no runner can be promoted from the same race.

“However, there is no direction relation to the permitting of a dead-heater that either loses the toss of a coin or a run-off to stand by as reserve.

“My logic is that there are two greyhounds available after the dead-heat and there are two places – requiring a run-off in such a situation is what has come under question and I have decided it makes sense for them both to go forward.”

Draw and form for Saturday’s quarter-finals: www.bagsracing.com/assets/15-june—nottingham-quarters.pdf

Star Sports, Arc and LPS Greyhound Derby dates:-

Quarter-finals: Saturday, June 15

Semi-finals: Saturday, June 22

Final: Saturday, June 29

Further info: www.nottinghamdogs.com