Mark Wallis is of the opinion that Aero Nemesis represents his best chance of winning him a third William Hill Greyhound Derby.
Five-times champion trainer Wallis, who has won the competition with Kinda Ready in 2009 and Blonde Snapper in 2012, has selected the Irish import as his lead hope in the prestigious Category One event which gets underway tonight.
Although yet to win in either of his two outings to date since joining the Lakenheath handler, the September 2011 son of Ja Mann — who is best priced 125/1 with the sponsor — has put in a series of impressive trials.
“Aero Nemesis is a dog that is very much unexposed having come over from Ireland,” said Wallis, ahead of the race which is worth £200,000 to the winner this year.
“Although he has just fallen short in each of his two runs, he’s fast enough to win a Derby and he could have gone under the radar.
“Like Blonde Snapper, he is a wide dog with early pace who likes to cut in.
“Hopefully he will improve out of sight and I think he is massive odds to give us a third Derby winner.”
While putting forward Aero Nemesis as his number one hope, Wallis is also expecting to see Blackstone Marco feature prominently in the 480-metre contest at the south London venue.
Formerly with Ernie Gaskin, the son of Head Bound has already picked up two wins since switching to Wallis, including in the Ladbrokes Spring Festival 480 Dogs final at Monmore.
“Blackstone Marco came into the competition with a good reputation although he has suffered with a bit of inconsistency,” said Wallis.
“He was beaten in the semi-final of the Arc, but he didn’t really handle the track at Swindon, but before that he won a competition at Monmore.
“He is a tidy dog who is fast enough to do well, but the key is he loves Wimbledon.”
Six other dogs from Wallis’ all-conquering kennel will also take their chance in greyhound racing’s premier prize, including Garryglass Rodge and Benkaat Nero, both dogs who reached the third round stage of the competition 12 months ago.
“Garryglass Rodge is much stronger than last year and he is certainly a much better dog than last year,” said Wallis.
“Benkaat Nero was forced to miss the Arc final last month as he had in infection in his leg and we couldn’t take a chance on him, but he is fine now.”
Completing the Imperial Kennels handler eight-strong team in this year’s event will be recent Irish import El Flutter, Coral Essex Vase hero Reel Trickyone, Blonde Razor and Ilewin Frimley.
“El Flutter looks a nice dog and although he is not blessed with early pace he received a confidence boosting win at Sittingbourne at the end of last month,” said Wallis.
“As for Reel Trickyone he has been thriving over further. While he has more stamina than early he could make it through a couple of rounds.”