By Mark Pierrepont
Laurence Tuffin’s Derrygrath Nick recorded a fastest of session 2999 (+30) when trialling over the 500m Star Sports, ARC , LPS Derby trip on Monday.  Meanwhile Sheffield handler Barrie Draper gave Lostrigg Freddy and Droopys Wild their first looks at the Colwick Park circuit , recording 30.18 (+30) and 30.03 (+30) respectively.  Roman Empire was an interesting trialist for Ernie Gaskin , just a July 2017 whelp out of the prolific open race producing dam Droopys Hilda , he won the first 3 races of his career , including heat and semi final of the Ladbrokes Puppy Derby at Monmore before finishing third, beaten just 3 lengths into third in the final itself, Empire is a pup with huge pace.
Track and trip at Nottingham should suit ideally but a reliance on a rails pitch , especially in against derby class dogs could bring about one or two issues.  30.16 (+30) doesn’t quite do Empire justice last night , slowly away and recording a moderate split of 5.24 , he then totally blew the first bend losing all momentum , he picked up well from the second bend onwards , ran the first bend much better second time round on route to the pick up and can only improve for this sighter.
Kevin Hutton’s Irish import Druids Busy Man was originally pencilled in for a look around last night , he was a late scratch from the trial session.
Kevin said: “It’s nothing serious , he’s a slight touch of cough. He’s on antibiotics, I’m confident it’s just a minor set back and in a couple of weeks it should be all systems go again”.
On the race card itself there were three Derby trial stakes.
Honour Turbo , a stunning home bred greyhound from the kennel of Adrian McPherson, won the first stake in all the way fashion in 29.94 (+30).  It takes a good dog to back run this 38 kilo powerhouse once he hits the front and despite the best efforts of the Liz and Rab McNair trained King Dylan , he proved this to yet again be the case as he hung on by a diminishing short head in a close finish.  Dylan moved well and maybe his decision to try and fail to pass up the inside of Turbo at the third bend was on this occasion costly.  He will learn though and this has to go down as a very promising effort.
The second trial stake was won by another local , this time Jill Llewellins Nidderdale Lark (29.91 +40).  This is a good bitch when allowed to dominate and after securing an early lead the result was put beyond doubt when the slow into stride odds on favourite , King Cash took a heavy bump at the first turn which all but put him out of contention.  Cash ran on to finish a never nearer 6 length fourth.
The third and final trial stake of the evening saw a match up between the team McNair/KSS King Turbo and Chris Akers trained , Kieran Hickey owned Martinstown Band.  Band was coming into this race after four straight wins around course and distance , with just one defeat in his last six and that was when finishing runner up to Honour Turbo.  It was King Turbo who got first run though , Band didn’t get a clear passage around the opening turn and the much hoped for head to head duel didn’t materialise.
King Turbo ran out a neck winner in the end from Barrie Drapers Newinn Missile in (29.79 +30) with Band running on for third a further length and a half behind.
Whether Nottingham is truly a track that King Turbo is in love with I’m not so sure. His class has seen him win last night and his times are far from pedestrian , I think we’ve seen him to far better effect elsewhere however and who knows we may yet see the real Turbo at Colwick Park.
I spoke to Chris Akers after the race and though disappointed to see the winning run of Band come to an end he was pleased with the effort.  Chris said “He’s not quite come away in his best style tonight , but what impressed me was that he’s shown guts and an ability to run on into what would be a qualifying position come the derby.
“This should serve him well in the competition itself.  I thought it was a real good effort to close the gap after early trouble against two dogs of the quality of Turbo and Missile”.
Trial sessions are slowly but surely getting filled up with more and more dogs targeting the derby and the coming weeks look like providing plentiful clues.