Paul travelling with Hiya hope for £175,000 English Greyhound Derby
Derry's Paul Ellis is no stranger to having runners in the English Greyhound Derby, having watched his Farloe Blitz finish second two years ago.
He's hoping to go one better next Saturday night at Towcester where a prize of £175,000 is up for grabs with Hiya Butt, currently trained in England by Hayley Keightley and whom Paul owns in partnership with Dublin's Trevor and Greg O'Donnell.
Butt won his semi-final from trap one with a top show, clocking 29.17 in beating Droopys Acrobat a length. And he will once again wear the red sheet as he tries to outdo top Irish runners Clares Rocket and Tyrur Shay who were first and second in the other penultimate heat (28.86).
Rocket has been ante-post favourite since the start of the competition and is the only unbeaten finalist, in the capable hands of Tipperary-based and English-born Graham Holland.
Shay who set a new track record in the quarter-finals (28.72) ran on strongly after early trouble and was less than two lengths behind Rocket (28.86). The Rocket goes from trap three with Tyrur, owned by Galway's PJ Fahy, again out wide in trap five.
The final line-up in trap order: 1: Hiya Butt; 2: Droopys Acrobat; 3: Clares Rocket; 4: Astute Missile; 5: Tyrur Shay; 6: Murry Act.
- At Drumbo, Vigorous Becca produced a big run in the second semi-final of the Skywalker Farloe & DTSC Bitches 525, making her a warm favourite to pick up the £700 prize next Saturday night for Fintona owner-trainer Davy Graham.