The spotlight has obviously been on the opening round of the Star Sports/TRC Events & Leisure English Greyhound Derby and the obvious choice would be to pull out the fastest winner, Native Maestro (29.10) as the outstanding performance of the week.

But instead we will be giving it to his kennelmate Lenson Bocko who returned from apparent retirement to clock 29.35 in his first race in eight months.

A big shout out too to Unlock Unlock who was only beaten three quarters of a length by Native Maestro in her first race since producing a litter of pups.

On the subject of pups, Ted Soppitt appears to have a new flying machine on his hands in Skywalker Stan. The youngest of all the runners in the heats of a juvenile event at Sunderland, the 34 kilo black clocked a flying 27.00 on Sunday morning. On Sunday afternoon, half brother Newinn Bonner was winning the week’s best sprint at Kinsley.

Open racing returned to nearly Doncaster on Wednesday and Ballymac Rocket (29.66) lived up to his billing as the track’s top middle distance runner. However, we are edging it to kennelmate Hather Daisy whose 41.56 run would put her only about four lengths behind Roxholme Poppy in her pomp.

The middle distance dogs have dominated at Nottingham in recent months, but Kilara Chorus changed that with the fastest 680 seen at the track in six months with an impressive 41.28 run. (Riley Ray’s 41.12 was the quickest over c&d last year).

Yet more stayers – and a FOY for Mays Sabbath over the eight bend Romford course. Given the way she ran down and pulled away from Troy Suzieeq, this could be her bare minimum trip. What is more, as a half sister to Micks Little Gem and Slippy Maska, ten bend form is practically guaranteed. While at Swindon, Magical Ezra remains unbeaten over the 649m course in three outings.

28.77 winner Ucanotbeserious was Perry Barr’s POW last time out but was picked up and beaten a couple of lengths on Wednesday by the fastest middle distance hound of this week Takemyhand.

With nothing leaping off the formbook at Crayford, the nomination goes to Dave Lee’s Neora Neptune who joined the leader board when landing his seventh race of the year in a 23.46. It was the veteran’s 125th Crayford outing and only 10 spots off his personal best (calc).

No problems with fast times at Hove where Candolim Oasis was quickest 29.23 (+10). But we have to edge it to Alma Keppie’s Do It Eli with a 29.33 (N) run after beating a quality field that include Brutus Bullet and reigning champ Freeky Pumbaa. That is four in a row and six wins in his last seven A1s for a hound whose career began in A6 at Romford.

At Monmore there was little between a string of A1 winners so the title goes to dog who beat last week’s track champion (Cabra Kai), the Graham Rankin trained Boherna Jet with a 28.54 win on -20. Harlow’s defending champ Trade Pippy was also turned over in the track’s highest grade event, an A4. Her vanquisher was Barnora Benn. Pelaw’s Gartcloss Pamer was unable to defend his title when engaged in a no-race last Sunday. A week on and he produced the second fastest ‘435’ of the year, nine spots short of his own previous best.

Last week’s Newcastle selection Potent Touch was on the mark again with a 28.48 win in A1. However his similarly aged kennelmate Droopys Conrad overshadowed that time just 15 minutes later with a 28.35 run. No such issues at Sheffield, the highest grade race of the week – A2 – was won in the fastest time of the week – 29.13 – by Rockforest Hugo.

Throughout the winter, there were very few sub 28.00 runs for the Yarmouth standard trip but with the warmer weather that barrier was bettered five times in the last week, and none quicker than the 27.75 of Jakes Magic.

The Central Park selection Dapper Rodney would also qualify as the most improved performer of the week. Three runs ago he was beaten at Central Park in a calculated 29.76 for the 480m. Two runs ago he clocked 29.18 when narrowly beaten in the final strides. But on Sunday, Nathan Hunt’s puppy landed his first maiden open in a very respectable 28.77 (calc).

We began with a tale of patience being rewarded and we conclude with one. All About Taylor’s last win was a three length victory over Bockos Jonjo in 23.69 for Romford’s 400 metres last October. Until Sunday afternoon, when Carol Grasso’s brindle destroyed a Henlow A1 field in a flying 27.29 for the 460m.

CENTRAL PARK 28.97 480m DAPPER RODNEY (Droopys Roddick-Mustang Jill, Aug 19)
CRAYFORD 23.46 380m NEORA NEPTUNE (Droopys Jet-Feora Inish, Jul 16)
DONCASTER 30.35 661m HATHER DAISY (Hather For Matt-Hather Two Bake, Jul 18)
HARLOW 26.72 415m BARNORA BENN (Boherna House-Palace Princess, Jul 18)
HENLOW 27.29 460m ALL ABOUT TAYLOR (Taylors Sky-Yahoo Perlena, Jun 18))
HOVE 29.33 500m DO IT ELI (Superior Product-Do It Kim, Apr 18)
KINSLEY 16.29 268m NEWINN BONNER (Coolavanny Jap-Newinn Boodles, Sep 18)
MONMORE 28.54 480m BOHERNA JET (Droopys Jet-Isle Of Capri, Aug 18)
NEWCASTLE 28.35 480m DROOPYS CONRAD (Out Of Range-Droopys Ant, Aug 19)
NOTTINGHAM 41.28 680m KILARA CHORUS (Pat C Sabbath-Kilara Lizzie, Apr 19)
PELAW GRANGE 25.72 435m GARTCLOSS PAMER (Ballymac Vic-Glenlee, Aug 18)
PERRY BARR 28.69 480m TAKEMYHAND (Laughil Blake-Droopys Eiffel, Aug 18)
ROMFORD 46.79 750m MAYS SABBATH (Pat C Sabbath-Mays Maska, Aug 18)
SHEFFIELD 29.13 500m ROCKFOREST HUGO (Ballymac Eske-Any Kisses, Dec 17)
SUNDERLAND 27.00 450m SKYWALKER STAN (Droopys Sydney-Newinn Boodles, Dec 19)
SWINDON 39.94 649m MAGICAL EZRA (Good News-Magical Zeta, Dec 18)
TOWCESTER 29.35 500m LENSON BOCKO (Droopys Jet-Melodys Diamond, Aug 17)
YARMOUTH 27.75 462m JAKES MAGIC (Superior Product-Lissan Eve, Oct 17)