Feral Franky qualifies for Paws of Thunder final

Raymond Smith and Feral Franky at the Forbes kennels.

Raymond Smith and Feral Franky at the Forbes kennels.

The roar of the crowd told greyhound trainer Raymond (Jack) Smith that Feral Franky had won his heat of the Group 1 Ladbrokes Paws Of Thunder at Wentworth Park, and advanced to next week's final.

The Forbes-trained greyhound is dubbed the people's champion and he didn't disappoint his fans on Friday night.

AAP reports Feral Franky overcame two mid-race checks to storm home and claim victory in the qualifiers of the first NSW Group 1 of 2020.

"I didn't know whether he had won or not, but when I heard the crowd roar, I assumed he did," Smith said.

"He makes me smile.

"It doesn't matter whether he wins or loses, he's just exciting to watch."

Feral Franky is renowned for his come-from-behind victories, he's the darling of the commentators and the greyhound racing world.

When we last caught up with him last October, he'd won 15 of 18 starts.

Since then he's had

Feral Franky just managed to claim Victorian-trained Caishen in the shadows of the post to claim his Paws' heat, winning in 29.91s.

While he will be there next Friday, his brother won't be taking part.

The biggest surprise of the night came in the opening heat of the Paws Of Thunder, when TAB Million Dollar Chase winner Good Odds Harada missed out on qualifying for the final.

The Frank Hurst-trained sprinter, who won the world's richest greyhound race at Wentworth Park back in October, did not show his usual speed at box rise, and then struggled to work his way through traffic and finished fifth.

The box draw for the $75,000 to the winner final was conducted later in the night and Feral Franky will again have to navigate his way to victory from box one.

The draw is: 1 Feral Franky 2 Connie's Boy 3 Western Envoy 4 Start A Riot 5 Buck's Future 6 Oakvale Beauty 7 Caishen 8 King Cratos 9 Nangar Diva 10 Cawborne Marty.

The Ladbrokes Paws Of Thunder will be one of three Group 1 events to be held on a big racecard next Friday night at Wentworth Park.