The battle to become Peterborough’s prize greyhound begins this week with the William Hilll Peterborough Derby qualifying heats taking place at Peterborough Stadium tomorrow (August 9).
Over 100 greyhounds entered the Derby trials last month and now the fastest 36 dogs will battle it out across six heats of enthralling racing at the Fengate stadium, all competing for a place in next week’s semi-finals.
A highly competitive line-up is headed by market favourite Hiya Butt at 9/4 (William Hill). The dog from Derry arrives at Peterborough in top form after finishing sixth in the Greyhound Derby at Towcester last month, a race that saw 28/1 shot Astute Missile land the £175,000 prize.
However, a selection of city-based trainers will be hoping to make home track advantage count tomorrow.
One of these Peterborough entries is Kooga Klammer, trained by Spalding-based trainer David Pruhs. The two-year-old hound was beaten in the semi-final of the Peterborough Puppy Derby last year but is fourth favourite to take the 2017 title at 12/1. (William Hill)
Ballymac Dema is another familiar face to the Fengate circuit, trained by Turves-based trainer Richard Devenish. The 14/1 chance finished second to Kooga Klammer on its last run three weeks ago but the Peterborough pair have been kept apart at the heat stages.
The Derby prize stands at a lofty £8,500 and will be held across three weeks, with the top two dogs from each qualifying heat progressing through to the semi-finals due to take place on August 16. The final will be held on August 23 and is set to be broadcast live on Sky Sports.
Peterborough Greyhounds racing operations manager Martin Race commented: “It’s great to have the Derby return to the track once again after such a successful reintroduction of the Puppy Derby last year. The competition provides a brilliant opportunity for the track to take centre stage on the greyhound racing calendar and gives local trainers the opportunity to land a big prize.
“We can’t wait to get started on Wednesday and it is a fantastic opportunity for the public to enjoy three action-packed evenings of high-class racing.”
The racing gets underway at 7.25pm tomorrow and booking tickets in advance is recommended if you’re looking to dine in the Raceview Restaurant. Otherwise you can pay on the evening at the door for general admission.