Express & Star

Pup for the cup in a £20,000 Derby

Monmore Green hosts the final of one of its most historic competitions tonight while also paying tribute to their long-serving former racing manager.


The showpiece of the prestigious Premier Greyhound Racing Puppy Derby – dating back to 1943 and formerly known as both the Ladbrokes Puppy Derby and Midland Puppy Derby – headlines this evening’s card and will see the winner bag a cool £20,000.

Racegoers will also be treated to the inaugural Jim Woods Memorial Trophy final, which takes place in honour of the late Scotsman who served at Monmore for 27 years and passed away last November.

The Puppy Derby will see four visiting trainers compete for the crown, with Hove’s Belinda Green and Derek Knight having Bradys Bullet and Clona Uriel respectively going for glory.

Newcastle’s Tom Heilbron takes both White Clover and Links Maverick into the 8.43pm race, while Maxine Locke (Romford) hopes Cooliogold emerges victorious and John Marriott (Sheffield) looks for Fearsome Quest to seal a major triumph.

Assistant racing manager Jake Pain is excited to see who takes home the spoils as he said: “It should be a great final as it’s a very tough one to call.

“Links Maverick will be a popular pick having won nine of his 11 races but Cooliogold, with five wins from six runs, also boasts a superb record in his young career.

“It’s anyone’s game and we wish the five trainers involved all the best as they each go for their first Puppy Derby trophy.

“We’ll also be paying tribute to Jim Woods with the Memorial Trophy final and hope everyone coming along enjoys a fine night of racing at Monmore.”

The Jim Woods final will immediately follow the Puppy Derby climax, and Crokers Brandy appears to have a strong chance of succeeding for home trainer Paul Sallis.

The October 2020 dog goes into tonight’s stayers event, ran over 630m, following a stunning performance in last weekend’s heats – winning by a whopping 10 lengths in a time of 37.51secs.

Trainer Sallis added: “He’s always been a nice dog, but he’s maturing nicely now. He’s beat some good dogs recently. He’s gone from a 38.50 dog over 630m to a 37.50 dog, so we’re chuffed with him.

“I don’t think he’s been in trap one before over 630m, so we’ll see how that goes, but if he traps well and shows early pace to that first bend, hopefully we can have a repeat of last week. There’s a bit of pressure with being the favourite but fingers crossed, we can win it.”