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Juvenile and Springbok

 

Wimbledon has been under a cloud of uncertainty for what seems like an eternity but last night that cloud was lifted and the home of the Derby shined very brightly. It was a great advert for the sport and showed just how important Wimbledon and the SIS coverage on Sky Sports are. Greyhound racing fans will be talking about last night for a long-time to come but for those that missed it I will try to do it justice.

 

The scene was set for a sensational night of racing featuring The William Hill Springbok, Racing Post Juvenile and a supporting card packed with quality. The expectancy levels where rightly soaring but what unfolded was quite remarkable and it was one of the greatest nights racing you will ever see. 

 

Beauty Gets Champagne Corks Popping

 

Bubbly Beauty got the night off to a flying start when justifying her odds of 11/10F to run away with this contest by 2.5L in 28.66. Her early-pace looks to be a formidable weapon recording 4.81 for a bitch that stays 575m ensured she was never going to be caught over 480m although runner-up Brinkleys Queen gave it a good go. 

 

Keppie Is Victorious 

 

Trade Victorious has been catching the eye at Romford winning his last three starts and tonight upped in class he made it a fabulous four-timer at 4/1 in 16.14. This was a talented field including the highly touted Cloudbursting but none where a match for the explosive trapper from Poole. 

 

Opposition Never Saw Gamble 

 

Patrick Janssens has worked for some of the biggest trainers in the sport (Mark Wallis, Linda Jones, Matt O'Donnell etc) but now he's branched out on his own. It is great to see a small trainer mixing it with the big names and coming out on top. He certainly did that tonight with See No Gamble 11/4 who after the first twenty metres never saw a rival to win by 4L in 28.90.

 

Keith Is Still Swift 

 

Swift Keith The East-Anglian Derby winner sent out a very clear message that he is still a big player and must not be forgotten about. It was a case of Deja Vu, twelve months ago at this meeting he blew racing fans away and tonight he delivered a magnificent performance. Sent off at 11/4 his supporters never had an anxious moment clocking a smart 4.75 sectional he had gone and crossed the line in the fastest time of the night 28.35. This was some training performance from John Mullins because before tonight he had not raced since October in The All England Cup final. Could he win the Derby? 

 

China Battles To Glory 

 

Having just been blown away by Swift Keith there was no time to recover because Jaytee China 5/4F and Forest Sara 3/1 served up one of the best races you will see in the bitches category. There was only 1 spot in it on sectionals and after 480m you could only separate them by a head in 28.60. For the entire race you never knew for sure which of these brilliant bitches would emerge the victor and although Jaytee China made it on the podium the gallant runner-up also deserves huge credit. I can't wait to see these super bitches go head to head again.

 

Ozzie Jumps To Springbok Glory 

 

Reculver Ozzie was sent off the 8/11F and it looked a case of all over when he bombed out to lead (he came off the pace in the heats). His supporters would be taken on an emotional roller coaster when he made a jumping error at the fourth hurdle and Final Farloe 5/1 hit the front. Heading to the fifth hurdle it was race on but Ozzie made a terrific leap and ended a twenty-year wait for Barry O'Sullivan by winning the William Hill Springbok. He took the £5,000 to-the-winner competition by 0.75L in 30.05 over Final Farloe with Julius George only 0.5L further back in 3rd who did some running after missing the break. These front three will be contenders for all the major hurdle competitions in the calendar.

Last year Cornamaddy Jumbo won this great race and went on to be crowned Greyhound Of The Year, could Reculver Ozzie repeat that feat?

What an advert this was for hurdling - note to promoters 'can we please have more hurdle races and competitions'.

 

 

Barry O'Sullivan Trainer Of Reculver Ozzie 

 

'It feels fantastic to have finally won it but I went through the mill last night. When he trapped I thought just jump now and he's won it but he missed the fourth hurdle and I thought his chance had gone. He showed terrific heart to get back up and win, I keep watching the replay and I can't believe it. This morning he is sore, it's nothing serious just jarred up but makes his win even more impressive.

It was a great occassion all my family and kennel staff turned up to support him and we are thrilled. This is a victory we all are enjoying and I'd like to thank my staff for all their hard work. His main target now will be the Champion Hurdle back at Wimbledon and I see no reason why he can't be a contender.

This was a great advert for hurdling and the racing on the night was brilliant. I hope promoters get behind hurdling and give people an incentive to get involved. The Derby have an amazing prize of £250,000 to-the-winner I would love to see a hurdle race in the UK for a massive prize. Imagine the buzz if hurdlers chased a winning prize of £50,000 and what that would do for the sport'.

 

Market Can Reach Dizzy Heights

 

Bubbly Time was all the rage in the betting ring being sent off the 10/11F and it all looked to be going swimmingly with her out in front but she ended up finishing fifth after tiring close home. There is a new staying star on the scene Market Heights 7/2 and Jason Foster's star came home strong over the 894m to record a smart victory beating Musical Fawn 10/1 by 1L in 56.54. 

 

Dec Puts In A Royal Performance

 

King Dec 6/1 the 2014 Arc champion made his first appearance of the year and put in a sparking display of front running to land the spoils. He blasted from the traps and looked better than ever on his way to a 5L victory in 28.42. His first big target of the year will be to try and defend his Arc crown at Swindon, on this performance he must stand every chance of doing exactly that.

 

Rooney Scores In Dramatic Style

 

One punter at Wimbledon was left rummaging around on the floor for his ticket after his selection Vanrooney 1/1F completely missed the break he threw his ticket away. Little did he and the rest of the greyhound world know we where about to witness one of the greatest performances ever in a one off race. Out the back and seemingly no chance of winning the former Irish Puppy Derby Champion used all of the 687m distance to get up to win by 0.75L in 42.39. This was quite literally a jaw dropping performance and begs the question what would he have done if he had broke in his best fashion?

 

Brogan His The Top Juvenile

 

Seamus Cahill retained the Racing Post Juvenile worth £5,000 to-the-winner with Ballymac Brogan 9/2 after winning it last year with Droopys Odell. This race was packed with champions but you could not help but be impressed with this victory. Ballymac Brogan possesses sizzling early-pace and he showed that with an eye-catching 4.72 sectional which ensured he turned in front. Hot on his tail was the brilliant Newinn Yolo 5/2 who really served it up to Brogan after riding a bump at the corner but Seamus Cahill's youngster came out on top after an epic battle by a short-head in 28.39.

These front two pulled right away from Maum Legend in 3rd, Lenson Sanchez 4th, Likeitalot 5th and Laughing Gravy in 6th.

Did we see the 2015 Derby winner in this race? There is every chance we did. Ballymac Brogan is open to any amount of improvement and Newinn Yolo lost nothing in defeat. Lenson Sanchez will bounce back and you can't write off Maum Legend. 

 

Seamus Cahill Trainer Of Ballymac Brogan

 

'He's only had nine races and is open to improvement, let's be honest if he is to win the Derby he will need to improve but I think he can. Ballymac Vic had terrific balance and was a great bend runner, Brogan looks to have inherited this and he really attacks the bends. His strongest attribute is his early-pace when he gets it right he is lethal, he is a really exciting greyhound to train. He will head to Sittingbourne for the Trainer's Championship and then the Derby will be his focus. I've never won the Derby but with Ballymac Brogan and Southfield Jock (very little between them) I feel this is the best chance ive had of lifting the trophy'.

 

Queen Takes Lawrence Brothers Final In Style 

 

David Mullins looks to have a very exciting prospect in Brookside Queen who took the £2,500 to-the-winner Lawrence Brothers Intertrack Trophy at 12/1. Only a June 2013 puppy she flew out to make every metre a winning one to score by 2.75L in 28.85. This competition has been so exciting and brilliant sponsorship from Dave and Clive Lawrence who have got a great champion. Next stop the Puppy Oaks at Towcester and she is definitely a puppy worth following.