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Trainers target Derby success

08:46 17 May 2014

Greyhounds are chasing the biggest prize in the sport (pic: Coral)

Greyhounds are chasing the biggest prize in the sport (pic: Coral)

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Greyhounds going for William Hill glory

The William Hill Derby, the world’s greatest greyhound race, reaches the third round stage at Wimbledon Stadium, London, today.

And the Irish are firmly in control with the Co. Tipperary-based Owen McKenna-trained pair of Fiery Splendour and Vanrooney topping the betting for outright honours in the £200,000 classic.

McKenna is looking to land what would be a hugely emotional success having lost his father, the legendary Irish greyhound trainer Ger McKenna, last week.

And in Fiery Splendour he has the new track record holder for Wimbledon’s 480 metres trip after a sensational 28.06sec in the first round of the six-run competition at the turn of the month.

Fiery Splendour runs in the first of eight heats at what will be a packed Plough Lane Stadium, with the first three in each qualifier making it though to the crunch quarter-finals on Tuesday, one of three races in eight days leading to the semi-finals on Saturday week, which can make or break a challenge.

Charlie Lister, winner of seven English Derbys, has Jordans Brianna still in the competition at the last-48 stage and this early-paced youngster will try to make all in a five-runner heat three, while the Scottish Derby champion Holdem Spy has his sights set on the second leg of greyhound racing’s triple crown when he lines up in heat eight.

All the action is live on Sky Sports and on SIS into the UK’s betting shops.

Latest betting: 6-1 Fiery Splendour, Vanrooney, 8 Holdem Spy, 10 Swift Keith, 14 Mind The Net, Aero Nemesis, 16 Crokers Champ, Brother John, 20 bar. See bagsracing.com for further details and big-race form.

SIS/Sky Sports fixtures 2014 – Wimbledon - Saturday, May 17 [William Hill Derby third round]; Wimbledon – Tuesday, May 20 [William Hill Derby quarter-finals]; Wimbledon – Saturday, May 24 [William Hill Derby semis]; Wimbledon – Saturday, May 31 [£200,000 William Hill Derby final].

Newcastle - Wednesday, June 4; Kinsley – Tuesday, June 10; Sheffield - Tuesday, June 24; Sunderland - Wednesday, July 9; Nottingham - Tuesday, July 15; Hove - Tuesday, July 29; TBC - Wednesday, August 6; Monmore - Thursday, August 21; Romford  - Tuesday, September 9; Yarmouth - Wednesday, September 17; Sheffield - Tuesday, September 30; Newcastle - Thursday, October 9; TBC - Wednesday, October 15; Nottingham - Tuesday, October 28; Wimbledon - Tuesday, November 11; Nottingham - Tuesday, November 18; Romford - Tuesday, December 2; Belle Vue - Wednesday, December 10.

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