“The whole night went exceptionally well. The racing was competitive though most of the leading fancies went through. I don’t think we had any injuries on the night and there was a good crowd. It couldn’t have gone any better to be honest.”

Newcastle boss Ian Walton enjoys quality open racing as much as any of the punters on the terraces and with only 20 spots separating all six winners of the William Hill Northern Puppy Derby heats, he is looking forward to equally competitive semi finals next Thursday.

He said: “I think there is a lot of improvement to come next week. Of the three that caught my eye, I thought Droopys Trapper looked extremely brave to force his way through a crowd of dogs and go on to win. Roxholme Butt was a real eye catcher and so was Glengiblin Steve who perhaps went under the radar, coming from Pelaw. He certainly impressed me.”

For his part, Mark Keightley is expecting big things of his expensive Irish purchase Roxholme Butt who was the youngest dog in the competition and making his racing debut.

He said: “I am normally an ‘€8-10,000 man’ when buying unraced pups, though he went a bit deeper with this one because he impressed me so much on the schooling track. I really think the world of this dog. Everything about him is classy.

“This was a very tough introduction but we had looked around and not seen a suitable puppy race for him. As far as I am concerned, he went to school for the first time on Thursday night and he will benefit greatly from the experience. I am sure we will see a more knowledgeable puppy next time out.”

Entries are coming in strong for the Angel of the North Oaks with the £500 standard also expected to fill. Both competitions begin next Thursday and conclude on August 9th.

Any training requiring trials for a full open race card on final night is asked to book them as soon as possible.

Restaurant bookings are also being taken for final at £22.50 per head