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Ivy Hill Skyhigh is the one Mark Wallis is looking to for Greyhound Derby glory at Towcester while he thinks there is great value in Drumcrow Brent

Mark Wallis believes Ivy Hill Skyhigh represents his best chance of securing a third Star Sports and TRC Events & Leisure English Greyhound Derby title, which begins tonight at Towcester, writes Graham Clark.

The Lakenheath handler, who won the Category One prize when it was staged at Wimbledon with Kinda Ready (2009) and Blonde Snapper (2012), will field a team of eight in this year’s competition which is worth £175,000 to the winner.

Although the 11-times champion trainer expects the large contingent of Irish runners to prove tough to beat in the 500 metre event he feels the son of Taylors Sky, who runs in heat 16 tomorrow, has the class to go a long way in the competition.

Lakenheath trainer Mark Wallis Picture: Mark Westley
Lakenheath trainer Mark Wallis Picture: Mark Westley

Wallis said: “The Irish dogs dominate the betting and they will be fancying their chances but we will try and keep the flag flying high for Britai.

“We have got some interesting contenders but for me Ivy Hill Skyhigh is what I would consider our best dog of going the furthest.

“He was just edged out in the Laurels at Perry Barr and he has come back to Towcester and won two trial stakes. He has got good early pace but if he gets in behind he can finish strong as he has won over further.

“He has got a tremendous record competing over four bends over the last three or four months and I’m quite optimistic of a deep run from him.”

Of his remaining entrants, Wallis feels two of his opening night runners Drumcrow Brent, who lines up in heat two, and Coolavanny Kyser, who appears in heat eight, are others that could go far in the competition.

He added: “Drumcrow Brent is one of the best value dogs in the Derby at around 100/1. He has got great all round pace and is a strong stayer.

“As a wide seed he is guaranteed good draws as there are not many wide runners. He has a few lengths to find on the best of them but he is a big strong dog.

“Coolavanny Kyser has already made three Category One finals this year and he has got blistering early pace and he is better over 480 metres.

“With his class and early pace he could go quite a long way if his stamina holds out.”

Making up the rest of Wallis’ team is Fatboyz Exile (heat one), Ballymac Gaybo (heat four), Hopes Bullet (heat 21, tomorrow), Black Eyed Molly (heat 22, Saturday) and Zachs Tornado (heat 25).

Reigning champion trainer Patrick Janssens, from Hockwold, Wallis’ former assistant, is also well represented.

He has Goldies Mabbutt and Thorn Falcon (both heath five), Aussie Captain (heat 12, tomorrow), Bockos Belly (heat 14), Jacks Solution (heat 19), Perrysblueyedboy (heat 22, Saturday), Bockos Melody (heat 26), Kilara Lion (heat 27).

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