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The Coral Regency - Hove 695m (£10,000)

History 

 

When you talk about 'Regency History' there is only one place to start and that is with the legendary trainer Gunner Smith. Not only did he win the very first running in 1948 with Bunnys Hoard but he won it an amazing eight times; Box Hedge 1954, Barnaby Rudge 1956, Mr Watt 1960, Luxury Liner 1961, Fluffylugs 1981, Paradise Lost 1982 and Macs Jeanie 1984. Gunner Smith never won a Derby; the closest he came to that was in 1961 with Luxury Liner who finished fifth in the final. He may not be a name instantly recognisable but surely deserves his place in greyhound immortality for his Regency exploits.

 

There's been so many great champions over the years most notably Scourlogue Champ in 1985. Perhaps the greatest champion of them all though is Yankee Shadow who won it back-to-back in 1986 and 1987. She also won the Cesarewitch in 1986 at Belle Vue and finished 4th in the TV Trophy the same year behind Scurlogue Champ at Newcastle. There's one notable name missing off the winners list 'Ballyreagan Bob' but he did produce the 1991 winner Bobs Reagan. In the modern era a famous victory in 2008 by Flying Winner sticks in the memory. In 2012 it was also won by her son Mr Chow which is a feat worth noting. 

 

The race itself started out in 1948 over 525 yards it remained over four-bends until 1966 when it moved to 725 yards. It's remained over six-bends bar 2004 and 2005 when they dropped it back to 515m. Since 1996 it's been over 695m and is one of the greatest six-bend races in the calendar and is currently worth £10,000 to-the-winner.

 

Brothers Set To Have A Regency Battle

 

It's the Regency so a high class entry is certain but this year it looks extra special. The build up seems to have captured the imagination of greyhound fans and it's going to be a competition to savour. One battle that's got people talking is the brothers Billys Bullet and Touch Tackle (Ace Hi Rumble - Droopys Start, October 2012). The brothers are having a big year with Billys Bullet already winning the Prestige (Hall Green) and Touch Tackle winning the Queen Mother Memorial Cup (Sheffield). They met in a recent trial-stake and put up a sensational display with Billys Bullet narrowly coming out on top but he would have the superior track knowledge. They both came out on Sky Sports at Swindon in separate races and both wowed the greyhound world with very impressive performances. All that did was up the excitement levels and it's going to be thrilling to see which of the brothers goes the furthest in the competition. If you think the story stops there think again because there is a third brother 'Market Heights'. Trained by Jason Foster he is perhaps best known for being a star on the Marathon scene but is a talented performer.

 

Two other siblings Midway Nick and Genie, (Premier Fantasy - Midway Skipper, August 2011) are both in flying form at Henlow and Romford respectively. Midway Skipper was a superstar of the staying ranks and it's fitting to see her offspring doing so well.

 

It's not all about those though this is an amazing entry and you can look forward to seeing; Millwards Teddy (2014 Yorkshire St Leger Champion, St Leger runner-up), Chaotic Dotty (Perry Barr track-record holder), Swansalona Diva (British Breeders Stake Champion), Bubbly Time (Golden Jacket Finalist), Watch N Learn (2014 Runner-Up), Droopys Cottage (Won last two over course and distance) and this barely scratches the surface of the thirty-six runners heading to the traps for round-one. This is going to be amazing and one of the most eagerly awaited competitions for a long time.

 

Jim Daly On Touch Tackle

 

'He often gets overshadowed by his litter-brother Billys Bullet over this type of trip Billys might get first run but I honestly feel there is not a lot in them. He beat us on 16th April over the Regency course and distance by just over 1L, I think our dog is still getting used to Hove and is open to improvement. It's going to be an amazing competition and we are excited to be involved. It was great to get the Queen Mother Memorial Cup victory at Sheffield and if I'm honest I think Hove should suit him more, in fact I think the track is perfect for him. In an ideal world I'd like the trip increased to around 730 or 740m but he should go well. He broke the track-record at Sittingbourne over 642m and if he comes away he is not short of pace. It's important not to forget that he's posted 28.25 +10 at Wimbledon over the Derby trip. 

The boys (Grant Holt & Steve Morison), everyone connected to the kennel and racing club are enjoying this dog. He's the sort of greyhound we need and if I'm honest we need a couple more but on that front we have some exciting youngsters coming through. We have nothing for the Derby this year but training a dog like Touch Tackle is exciting and makes up for that. The long-term plan may be a tilt at the TV Trophy I'd have to sit down with the boys and look at it nearer the time'.

 

 

 

First-Round - Thursday 7th May 

Semi-Final - Thursday 14th May 

Final - Wednesday 20th May (Sky Sports)