The bookies have all eyes on Droopys Verve, though Monmore assistant racing manager Paul Johnson rates Rising Brandy as being equally likely to win the Ladbrokes Puppy Derby following Tuesday’s first round.

He said: “Droopys Verve was hugely impressive, but when Rising Brandy hit the front at the third bend, he looked a very good greyhound and has obviously been well prepared for this competition.

“Some of the locals were suggesting that the inside was running 30 spots slower than the outside in the early heats but I am not convinced. In my opinion, the better dogs were drawn on the outside and it all evened itself out in the end.

“The draw has worked out well with a mix of seeds. Droopys Verve is the obvious one to beat in the first semi final. He has Droopys Junior on his outside again so he can’t be caught napping, but the two on his inside have graded form at Towcester and Henlow and I would be confident he would lead them up. La Soldado is the obvious danger.

“The second semi looks likely to be dominated by 2-4-5. Lostrigg Charlie will probably come on for a first look at the track in a while though Moaning Star stayed on very strong and could well make the final. The third semi is too tough to call. There is very little between them. We should end up with a very good final.”