Two races stand between Dorotas Wildcat and a listing alongside Mick The Miller, Patricia’s Hope, Rapid Ranger and Westmead Hawk as a double Derby winner – but among the eleven obstacles in his path, none will be tougher to overcome than kennelmate Magical Bale – writes Floyd Amphlett.

The brilliant winner of the 2017 ECC Puppy Derby and runner-up in the 2018 Irish Derby, Kevin Hutton’s black clocked the fastest sectional and winning time in the quarter finals of the Star Sports/ARC/LPS Greyhound Derby and looks to be coming to peak form heading into the last fortnight of the event.

It was a dominant performance from box to beam that can be summed up by the well beaten runner-up Droopys Expert clocking the third fastest time of the night.

The opening heat saw the biggest shock of the night with the elimination of the 2018 Derby runner-up Droopys Verve. Badly drawn, he was unlucky to be drawn on the outside of private buckle between neighbours Priceless Blake and Roxholme Glory. When Paul Hennessy’s runner finally seized the advantage at the second bend, Verves’ progress was block by 36.9 kilos of Glory and he never recovered.

The betting suggested that the third qualifier was a match between Queen Beyonce and Clonbrien Prince and they duly finished in the first two positions. Connections of both will be delighted with the respective performances.

Beyonce, kept her unbeaten tag by showing she has the trackcraft and guts to call on when she makes a hash of the start. Any doubts that she is the top middle distance bitch in Britain were surely dispelled. Prince had the opportunity to run himself into bother but battled away to reel in the non-staying Ballyanne Sim.

It was left to the defending champ to produce a fitting finale to the round and he didn’t disappoint. From a poor draw, Wildcat struck to his line and task going to the first bend and the result was never in doubt from there on. Jaytee Taylor continues with his Jaytee Jet impersonations and looked every bit as classy in second place.

The semi final draw sees three kennels providing half the runners though only  Kevin Hutton has his pair drawn together. Six Brits and six Irish remain. Roll on Saturday.

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QUEEN BEYONCE (t2) wins from Clonbrien Prince (t5) and Ballyanne Sim (t4). Paganini Show (t3) just misses out.
Photo: © Steve Nash

PRICELESS BLAKE wins first Quarter Final. Photo: © Steve Nash

DOROTAS WILDCAT (t4) wins the last Quarter Final from Jaytee Taylor (t6) with Skywalker Logan (t2) just third ahead of Lemon Ronald (t5). Photo: © Steve Nash