On a night (August 16) of enthralling Peterborough Greyhound Derby semi-final action at Fengate, the hopes of having a local champion now rest on the paws of Kooga Klammer for Spalding-based David Pruhs’ kennel.
The night began with three city trainers dreaming of a final place, but it was just Pruhs celebrating at the end.
It was a bad start for the home dogs when Ballymac Dema crashed out of the first semi-final. The Turves-based greyhound put in a respectable performance but could only finish third, ending Richard Devenish’s hopes of reaching the final.
Instead it was the dogs in the two outside traps that made all the running. Viking Jimmy made a remarkable recovery in last week’s qualifying heat to make it through and there was no first bend drama in his way this time round. The Yorkshire raider charged from the traps and never looked back while 9/4 favourite Idle Talker followed him home.
The second semi-final saw another city dog’s hopes prematurely end when a tough first bend left Grantham-trained hound Bit View Colin with too much ground to make up.
However, there were no such problems for derby favourite Hiya Butt, who lived up to his short 4/5 starting price to bound to victory. Thomas Golden sprung a surprise at 12/1 to finish second and book his place in next week’s final, holding off a late run from the inside by All About Class.
The last semi-final was a contest that revolved around Pruhs, who was represented by Kooga Klammer and Dark Recruit. Before the traps opened, Kooga Klammer was the 10/11 favourite to reach the line first, but the greyhound failed to replicate the blistering start that helped him to victory in the heats last week.
Instead it was 10/1 shot Angry Man that cruised into an early advantage thanks to a swooping first bend and he wasn’t for catching.
On the final run into the home straight it looked like it would be Kooga Klammer’s kennelmate Dark Recruit that would provide Pruhs with a finalist, only for Klammer to snatch second in the shadow of the finishing post.
Peterborough Greyhounds racing operations manager Martin Race commented: “The standard of racing has been brilliant throughout the competition and we have seen countless examples of that this evening. The stage really is set for an exciting finale next week and we look forward to welcoming a big crowd and the Sky Sports cameras to Fengate next Wednesday.”
The six finalists will battle it out at the Fengate Stadium next Wednesday (August 23) and the race will also be screened live on Sky Sports, with a winning prize pot of £8,500 up for grabs.
William Hill Peterborough Greyhound Derby semi-final results and finalists:
Semi-final One: 1st: T5 Viking Jimmy (25.96); 2nd: T6 Idle Talker.
Semi-final Two: 1st: T3 Hiya Butt (25.84); 2nd: T4 Thomas Golden.
Semi-final Three: 1st: T6 Angry Man (25.87); 2nd: T5 Kooga Klammer.