SUNDERLAND GREYHOUND STADIUM hosts its biggest night of the year this evening as the William Hill UK Festival of Greyhound Racing comes to a climax with the final of the William Hill Classic.

The Classic final, which is worth £25,000, is second only to the William Hill Greyhound Derby in terms of prize money and is the most prestigious race held in the North.

It could have a locally-trained winner for the second year running as Kelly Macari, who is based in Sunderland, trains the odds-on favourite Pinpoint Maxi (8-13), who is looking to become the first dog to record back-to-back victories in the race.

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“This is the best greyhound racing you will see anywhere in the North of England and we hope to see lots of local support for Kelly Macari’s favourite in the William Hill Classic - although Pinpoint Maxi has been really well-backed by punters so it wouldn’t be a good result for the bookies,” said William Hill spokesman Jon Ivan-Duke.

Trainer Pat Rosney has a strong hand for the night, with two in the final of the William Hill Classic – 7-2 second-favourite Mileheight Alba and 33-1 outsider Bush Standard – as well as the 11-8 favourite for one of the chief support races, the William Hill Puppy Plate, in the promising Newinn Yolo.

Romford-based handler Paul Young will be looking forward to the £15,000 William Hill Grand Prix, where he has the 4-7 favourite Bubbly Gold, who routed the opposition in the semi-finals and looks set for another big run.

The first of the four big races kicks off with the William Hill Festival Flyer at 8.34pm, a sprint race in which Baliff Cairo (5-4) leads the betting for trainer Ian Aylward, with the plum draw in trap one.

Tonight’s first race gets underway at 6.28pm, with admission priced at £6. There is also live coverage of the racing on Sky Sports 4 from 7.30pm.