Mark Wallis believes that Blonde Nipper has all the right credentials to follow in the footsteps of his father Blonde Snapper and land this year’s William Hill Greyhound Derby.
Although his form is inferior to that of the 2012 winner of the prestigious Category One event, the six-times champion trainer feels that the lightly raced Mark Currell-owned dog has every chance of matching his sire’s achievements.
The October 2012-born dog, who is one of 20 to line up for Wallis in the competition, will start his pursuit of winning the coveted title in heat 44 of the opening round at Wimbledon on Saturday.
“Blonde Nipper is our main hope in this year’s Derby,” said the Lakenheath handler.
“He was not suited to Swindon in the Arc. Since then he has had a good win at Towcester but we have left him off on purpose since the start of the month for this.
“He is coming to hand at the right time and starting to look the part. He trialled extremely well and to the eye he showed awesome middle pace which was as good as anything else in the Derby.
“If he can just sharpen up and improve his early pace he is a live contender in my opinion.”
While nominating Blonde Nipper as the lead hope from his all-conquering Imperial Kennels to taste victory in the blue-riband 480 metre competition, Wallis believes three of his others runners can also go a long way in the event.
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Heading that trio is recent Arc runner-up Evanta Evita who will line-up in heat 31 of the opening round tomorrow alongside improving kennel-mate Swift Whirlwind, another of those Wallis is anticipating a bold show from.
“Evanta Evita is pure class and loves Wimbledon,” he said.
While the likes of Blonde Razor, Adageo Bob, and last year’s semi-finalist Aero Nemesis will all return for another shot at landing the £250,000 competition, Wallis’ final selection is one of his lesser lights.
“Reel Shirty is around a 500/1 chance but he is a real little improver,” added Wallis.