Net new Derby favourite

  • By: Ian Brindle
  • Last Updated: May 20 2014, 8:25 BST

Mind The Net is the new favourite for the William Hill Greyhound Derby after Pat Buckley’s dog posted the fastest time of the round on Saturday.

Backed with plenty of confidence ahead of the third heat of the evening, the son of Westmead Hawk saw off Jordans Brianna and Vanrooney in the manner of a dog that is coming to the boil at the right time. Stopping the clock at 28.16 seconds; he is now a general 6/1 favourite for the sport’s premier classic.

As London basked in glorious sunshine, there was a feeling that the track record could be under threat in the very first heat of the round but noted pace angles, Fiery Splendour and Swift Keith failed to trap with their customary zip and the latter was to exit the competition.

Paul Young’s Thatchers Champ had clearly failed to read the script and he silenced the terraces with victory at odds of 25/1.

Fellow wide seeds, Aero Nemesis and Roxholme Ted won their respective heats through a similar use of early pace and though neither of their times reflected their supremacy, the surface at Wimbledon seemed to slow appreciably before the bowser was sent around after the sixth heat.

The Sky Sports viewers were served up a real humdinger in the last of the eight heats as   Holdem Spy served up a middle-section masterclass to land the spoils.

Carol Weatherall described the Scottish Derby winner as a “thinking dog” and though he consented to do just enough once he hit the front, he always had the measure of the ultra-game Crokers Champ.

Jet Stream Duke, Metro Jack and Farley Chicken were the other heat winners on the night.

Tuesday’s card at Plough Lane will be particularly special as the “Night Of Passion” sees one of the most valuable ever undercards outside of a Finals night.

With the track celebrating racing since 1928, there is a bounty of £1928 to the winner of a six-bend open race at 20.04 where leading Irish light, Tyrur Sugar Ray returns back to Plough Lane having run in last year’s Derby.

Conor Fahy’s inmate is set to take on a who’s who of the current British staying scene with Droopys Ed Moses, Poole Golden Crest scorer, Romantic Rambo and Prestige heroine, Scala Dromin all lining up in opposition. 

The Sky cameras will also show the Pin Point Recruitment Marathon (19.49) and this may offer plenty of pointers regarding the Dorando Marathon on Finals night.

Jason Foster’s Storm Pockets bids to keep the prize for the locals though he’ll face a tough examination on this occasion. Old Refrain was a recent winner at Hove over 930 metres while Watch N Learn and Black Francis step up to the distance for the very first time.