By Mark Pierrepont

Nottingham could have been forgiven if the standard of open races tonight had been a little below the usual high standards.  With the Star Sports English Greyhound Derby Final meeting having taken place at Towcester on Saturday evening , you might have thought that the quality on show at Nottingham tonight might have suffered.  Not in the slightest , there is quality on show throughout the evening and if you live within travelling distance , you really should be heading to the track for what is sure to be a great nights racing.

The first 3 races of the evening are graded affairs , which are decent enough races but don’t offer up much in the way of betting opportunities.  There are plenty of nearly bets on the card but just three which warrant financial interest.
The Corrs Light Puppy Trophy gets underway with the first of 3 heats at 737pm but it is in the second two heats that there are pups worth a second look from a betting point of view.  Funk Factor (NEXT BEST) trained by Brian Thomspon at Monmore Green is a pup who without doubt will be competing regularly in open class.  A winner of 3 of his 4 career starts to date , including a maiden open at his home track last time out , this September 2016 pup recorded a more than decent 1801 over 305m in his first look at tonight’s venue in a trial last week.  I’d have preferred him drawn nearer the rail , there’s no getting away from that , but he doesn’t have to lead and if he can turn handy enough to Swift Taxman , he should be too strong for that runner in the latter stages.
In heat 3 at 807pm it is the Anna Thompson trained Madabout Him (treble) that draws my attention.  This August 2016 dog was an impressive 10 length winner of his sole start in Ireland around the Tralee track , winning in A5 in a time of 2908.  He was soon on his way over to Mark Wallis at Towcester , not showing a great deal in a couple of A4 races.  Madabout Him was soon on his travels again and found himself at the kennels of one of the games up and coming trainers Anna Thompson.  After one trial at Nottingham where he recorded 30.82 calculated , he improved out of all recognition on his debut for the kennel when popping out and making all in a puppy race over 480m here last week , winning by six lengths in a time of 2858 (+40).  The 500m trip of tonight’s race doesn’t look like it will be an issue , in fact the longer run to the bend and the much more suitable trap 2 draw should improve the dog further.  A level start and this dog should yet again out run his odds, often it’s the trainers name that makes the price , not the dog , I wonder would he have been sent off at the 12/1 he returned at last week had he still been with his former trainer , or indeed would he be the price he’s likely to be today ?
Heat 2 of the Carling Black Fruits Trophy takes place at 907pm and those at the track could witness something very , very special.  Brinkleys Poet (NAP) is a dog who supposedly won’t stay a true four bend trip.  Not in my book , on what I’ve seen of him , he looks as if he’ll stay true four bend trips without any issue at all , let’s not forget , the only 2 dogs to beat Poet over 4 bends in the UK are Rising Brandy and Droopys Verve , not exactly selling platers.  Poet already has two track records to his name.  The first of which came in the Betfred Gymcrack Final at Kinsley , recording 2695 (+10) when destroying the opposition by 7 3/4 lengths.  He finished second in his heat of the Ladbroke Sprint Trophy at Crayford on the 22nd May , before absolutely annihilating his final opposition a week later when running out a 12 length winner in a track record 2285 (+10).  This dog is something very , very special , next years Star Sports English Greyhound Derby is some way off , there are a lot of bridges to cross , but he’s one that antepost punters should be putting in their books sooner rather than later.  The non believers will soon be believers and his price is sure to crash.
I always recommend taking prices on my selections during the day at the best odds you can avail yourself to.  Nine times out of ten you will beat the likely sp.