Net sets the standard in third round of Derby

The Pat Buckley-trained Mind The Net set the standard in Saturday’s third-round heats of the English Greyhound Derby, when coming from behind the pace to take the third heat.

Sent off the 6-4 favourite, he was third early but showed fine backstraight pace to move into a challenging position.

In front between the final bends, he pulled three and a half clear of long-time leader Jordans Briana, in 28.16, with the Owen McKenna-trained Vanrooney getting up late to take the third qualifying spot.

The round started with a real upset as 25-1 chance Thatchers Champ made all the running to score for trainer Paul Young. After just getting to the turn in front, he moved across from his trap six draw and made the rest for a two-and-a-half-length victory over Salad Dodger, in 28.36, with odds-on favourite Fiery Splendour, trained by Owen McKenna, running below his best but qualifying in third place.

The Kevin Hutton-trained Jet Stream Duke took heat two comfortably. The 5-1 chance had the pace to fend off a couple of challenges from Blackrose Vic before quickening three clear of that rival in 28.33, with Kincraig Rory in third, and the Paul Hennessy-trained Bubbly Gold exiting the competition with a fourth-place finish.

Roxholme Ted, trained by Hayley Keightley, kept matters uncomplicated when leading all the way in the fourth heat.

The 11-8 favourite had the legs of General Wolf on the run-up and stayed on well to win by a length and a quarter in 28.49, with Droopys Ward flying home to share second place with the Michael O’Donovan-trained Laughil George.

In Westmead Chris’s absence, trap six was vacant in heat five and the orange-jacketed Aero Nemesis led down the outside.

Mark Wallis’s dog, sent off the 11-8 favourite, stretched clear down the back and raced unchallenged to a two-and-a-quarter-length victory over the Paul Hennessy-trained Ecclestone in 28.32, with Sidarian Teejay in third.

The Peter Cronin-trained Metro Jack came from four lengths off the pace to take heat six.

The 5-6 favourite moved into second place behind Ballymac Loch when Eric Court appeared to check exiting the second bend.

The leader held his advantage all the way to the home straight but Metro Jack proved too strong, getting up in the dying strides for a half-length victory in 28.54, with Brother John in third.

Farley Chicken couldn’t cope with Jaytee Hawaii’s early pace as he sat some six lengths off the pace, in third place, as they raced to halfway in the seventh heat. However, Liz McNair’s dog, a 5-2 chance, stuck tightly to the inside, and his stamina gained the day as he led late for a neck victory over the running-on Up To It in 28.35, with the long-time leader the same distance back in third.

Scottish Derby winner Holdem Spy denied Peter Cronin a double when he edged out Crokers Champ in the final heat of the round. Fifth early, Carol Weatherall’s dog showed brilliant pace to lead between the final bends but was all out to hold the renewed effort of Crokers Champ by a head in 28.39, with Farloe Trent a length and a quarter back in third.

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