Today’s National Derby & National Futurity Heats

This afternoon at the course’s twilight meeting The Gardens will host the heats of two feature Group 1 series, the National Futurity and the National Derby.

Both run over the sprint distance of 515m, the Futurity is for bitches whelped on or after the 1st of July 2007 and the Derby is the male greyhound equivalent.

The four Newcastle Herald National Derby heats will run as races two (3:24pm), five (4:25pm), seven (5:05pm) and nine (5:45pm).

The scintillating 12-race programme also includes the three Nexia Court National Futurity heats scheduled as races four (4:04pm), six (4:44pm) and eight (5:24pm).

This year’s National Derby features some champion sprinters including the super consistent Outa Credit. Trained by 2008 Australian Trainer of the Year Reg Kay, the son of Surf Lorian is competing in heat one on Friday against five top dogs including Victorian star Silent Guardian and Robert Smith’s Lochinvar Marlow.

Lochinvar Marlow has displayed impeccable recent form winning four of his five starts at The Gardens and is going for his seventh win in nine starts on Friday.

It will be Outa Credit’s first start since October, the dog injuring his toe and suffering problems in his Achilles tendon over the past few months.

The first heat looks the race of the day and also includes Boston Blackie and Droopy’s Fool, both coming off last start victories at Wentworth Park.

Reg Kay’s other smart dog entered in the Derby series is the speedy Group 2 Gosford Gold Cup winner Elite Blue Size in heat two. Elite Blue Size will be the one to beat jumping from box one but will face some classy competition from the likes of the Darren McDonald-trained Octane Show beside them in box two.

Meanwhile the fourth heat has a solid line up including the Raymond Webster-trained Jedd Lion, the in-form Kevin Oh Seven and Group 1 Vic Peters Classic champion Dancing Surf.

Bitches lining up in the Futurity heats include Ron Bell’s speedy Christalle who faces off against the Norm Becroft-trained Mighty Hot in heat one.  But it is the Sam Sultana-trained Odessa Shiraz with the coveted rails alley who is likely to start as the favourite.

Becroft also has Mighty Elite in heat two up against the highly fancied Pink Surprise in box one and Brendan Wheeler’s reliable runner Greta Bale drawn wide in seven.

The semi-finals of the National Derby and National Futurity will be run on January 29, followed by the $50 000 finals on February 5.