Paul Hennessy brought over the first batch of his potential Star Sports, ARC and LPS Derby trialists on Saturday for their first looks at the Nottingham circuit. Jaytee Taylor won first, second and third round heats of the Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby at Shelbourne last year.
He lined up in a two dog 500m trial against the strong running Panther. After setting the pace upfront, it was eventually Panther who come through on the run in to win by 2 lengths in 29.74 (+40). Taylor had gone up in a flying 4.98 sectional compared to Panthers moderate 5.18. Jaytee Jerry who was eliminated from last years Irish derby at the fourth round stage recorded a more than acceptable 29.84 in a solo at the same session.
Distant Sailor meanwhile, a dog put up by his ex-trainer Patrick Janssens as his Greyhound Star dog to follow for 2019, recorded a reasonable 29.95 (+40) off a swift sectional of 502. Sailor was having his first run for new handler Robert Vaughan, who must have been pleased with the effort.
Mondays trial session at Nottingham is always one of that attracts plenty of interest and as the Derby approaches that interest will only intensify.
Kevin Boon’s Swan Style posted an always led 29.72 (+30) off the back of a 509 sectional when beating off Paul Crowson’s Rahyvira Flash by 6 3/4 lengths.
Shortly after, all eyes were on the Ernie Gaskin trained Roman Empire, a young dog with considerable potential. Empire had recorded 30.16 (+30) on what was his first look at the circuit last week off the back of a 5.24 sectional.
He’d blown the bend badly on that effort though and all eyes were on how he took it this week. The answer was much, much better. One of the tightest railers in training, he headed tight to the rail from his trap one position this week, no sectional was recorded but he appeared to move to the turn well, at this point he stuck to the rail like glue. A huge improvement on last week and he set sail for home, eventually stopping the clock in 29.79 (+30).
He’s young, strong and improving all the time, he looks sure to warrant an entry in the competition, with the only concern looking to be a reliance on a rails draw, especially against faster dogs as the competition progresses.
Knockard Spring reached veteran status this month, but he’s still running exceptionally well and is a credit to his affable trainer Kevin Boon. Spring recorded 29.78 (+30) off the back of a flying 4.99 split. Life in the old dog yet.
Slippy Maggie was having her first run since changing into the hands of Hazel Kemps daughter, Michelle Brown. More known for her staying exploits, Maggie recorded 29.94 (+30) off a moderate 521 split.
Peter Harnden’s Salacres Barley was an interesting runner on the 305m trial list. Hit by injury problems in recent times, Barley looked a pup of huge potential when narrowly going down to defeat in last years Puppy Classic final at this venue. If he can put his recent problems behind him, he could be an interesting entry. He recorded 18.09 (+10) when beating kennel mate and Nottingham’s top local 500m dog Salacres Vincent (ex off colour) by 1 1/2 lengths.
A review of Graham Holland’s trialists will appear in his column today.