Mark Wallis feels that Blonde Nipper is the best placed of his remaining runners in this year’s William Hill Greyhound Derby to make it through to the third round.
Seven of the Lakenheath handler’s 20 entries in the Category One competition safely made it through the first round of the event at Wimbledon over four nights of action at the end of last month.
As was the case in the first round, Wallis has seen four of his dogs drawn in the same second round race.
Both Evanta Fantasy and Blue Moment are set to clash in heat six on Friday, while 24 hours later Evanta Evita and Van Frankie will take each other on in heat 14.
“We didn’t do too bad but we had five finish third which on a normal year would have been good enough to make it through, however we have to live with that,” said Wallis.
“The draws in the second round have not been that kind to us and they all look to have tough races.
“I would like to think that we could get three or four through.
“But out of the ones we have left Blonde Nipper probably has the best chance on paper of getting through.
“Although it is a tough heat it is not one of the really bad ones.
“He has got to beat the dog that beat him last time (King Alley) but there should be a little bit more to come from him.”
Reflecting back on the first round, which yielded the six-times champion trainer four-winners, there were two in particular that stood out for him.
One of which featured a dog better known for plying his trade around the tight turns at Romford.
“Seeing Adageo Bob win was a nice surprise,” said Wallis.
“He showed what he can do when he is fresh.
“That is why we gave him a break and gave him just the one sprint trial.
“I have a feeling in this round though that you may see more of his stamina kick in.
“It might be a case of him staying on to nick third place. “
Wallis was delighted to see a recently-acquired addition to his kennels continue his recent good form among a strong field.
“Ballymac Sinbad was not a total surprise but it was good to see him get through a tough heat and make it four wins out of five since joining us.
“He was getting caught near the end but it was by a dog that is fancied for the St Leger.
Wallis added:“He won on merit the other day and although he has got to find another two or three lengths, he could be the one that improves.”