GREYHOUNDS: The Peterborough Puppy Derby returns tonight

Big-time racing returns to Fengate.

Big-time racing returns to Fengate.

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The eagerly-awaited return of the William Hill and Underground Racing Peterborough Puppy Derby takes place at the Fengate stdium tonight (June 1) with six competitive first round heats.

The first heat of the 2016 Puppy Derby will go off at 8.10pm and the opening race will kick-start six enthralling heats of racing throughout the night that will see 36 top-class dogs battle it out in a bid to qualify for the semi-finals.

One of those dogs will be Kilian Infanta for Peterborough-based trainer David Pruhs, who will be desperate to land this valuable prize at his home track.

Kilian Infanta will take to the sand from trap two at 9.32pm in a bid to build on her successful qualifying trials.

The top three finishers from each of the six heats will then take their place in one of the three semi-finals at the Peterborough stadium on the following Wednesday (June 8).

Tonight’s racing action will mark the return of the Puppy Derby to Fengate following a three-year absence.

Punters will be treated to some of the best puppy racing in the country with many of the industry’s top trainers targeting the £8,500 prize.

Despite drawing big crowds in previous years, the Puppy Derby fell victim to broadcasting cuts from Sky Sports in 2014 which resulted in a drop in sponsorship levels and forced the event off the track.

However, three years on and the race is set to return to the sand in style with the grand final (June 15) set to be broadcast live on Sky Sports.

Director of racing Con Baker said: “There is a real buzz about the place ahead of the Puppy Derby. It was sad to lose the race after 2013 but it had been such a big event in previous years we weren’t prepared to downgrade it to a lesser event.

“Some of the best trainers from around the country have entered dogs so it really should be a Puppy Derby to remember.”