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Can Maxi Do It Three Years Running?

We have just 17 sensational greyhounds, following the withdrawal of Crokers Champ with lameness, all chasing a spot in the final of the 2015 William Hill Classic and a chance to race for the second biggest four-bend prize in the sport. This year's competition is the best ever and it promises to be some occasion; Will Pinpoint deliver another Maxi performance? Will Calzaghe George deliver a telling blow? Will Conna pull the Trigger? Will Alba hit new heights and retain his crown? Will Romeo send Charlie Lister OBE Ballistic? All these and more will be answered on Saturday night during the three thrilling semi-finals.

 

Three outstanding races that if they fail to get you excited you should immediately go and get your pulse checked. Kelly Macari's three greyhounds looked in sensational form in the heats. You can read all about Kelly's reaction after those performances here http://www.gbgb.org.uk/news/2/2015/7/159/William-Hill-Classic---450m-25000 but there's no doubt Kelly will be cursing her luck having drawn Pinpoint Finas and Pinpoint Maxi together in the 1st semi-final. You could not argue if any of these six made the final but what a story it would be if Pinpoint Maxi could do it for a third year in succession.

 

The 2nd semi-final sees last year's hero Mileheight Alba in action. Pat Rosney will be hoping he can make history by becoming the only greyhound to win this great competition back to back. It's packed with quality and any mistakes will be severely punished. There's champions everywhere you look including Farloe Nutter and Laughing Gravy who both have a bulging trophy cabinet. 

 

The 3rd semi-final looks set to be an epic encounter and I decided to catch up with Julie Calvert trainer of No But and Steven Atkinson trainer of Kneejerkreaction.

 

Julie Calvert on No But 

'It's a very hard heat and I will have my eyes shut at the first-bend. He was brilliant in the heats and he's very well in himself. I'm very happy with the draw and he's a dog who can do it from the front or from behind. I bred him myself and it's safe to say I've got a soft spot for him. You get attached to them all when you train them but it's something extra special when you've seen them grow from day one. He's the perfect racing dog with no faults, he's so laid back and seems to take everything in his stride. It would be amazing to make the final, I really would be over the moon. After this competition touch wood everything is ok we will probably have a go at the Steel City Cup at Sheffield'.

 

Steven Atkinson on Kneejerkreaction 

'He's got to keep trapping out but if he does he's right up there with the best greyhounds in the country. He is spot on and I'm very happy with the draw but like I said he must come away. It would be amazing for his owner George Andrews if he was to make the final he's a great supporter of the sport. He won the Northern Puppy Derby at Newcastle and it would be special for him win a category one in all aged company. He's lightly raced because it's not always easy to find races for him up North, we travelled to Wimbledon but it seemed to take a lot out of him. I don't like planning but taking it a race at a time but if he's sound he will go for all the major races in the North. His main target will be the All England Cup, it would be a dream to win the Northern Puppy Derby and All England Cup double. He's a very friendly dog and when he retires he will come and live in the house with me. I may even get a nice bitch and breed a litter with him but that's something to consider down the line. Right now I'd love him to fly out on Saturday night and make the final of the William Hill Classic'.

 

Semi-Final Draw

 

1st Semi-Final 

T1 PINPOINT FINAS 

T2 PINPOINT MAXI

T3 CALZAGHE GEORGE 

T4 JOLLY TRICKS (M)

T5 ROMEO BALLISTIC (W) 

T6 JOHNNY VIVARO (W)

 

2nd Semi-Final 

T1 FARLOE NUTTER

T2 MILEHEIGHT ALBA 

T3 DROOPYS ALESSIO 

T4 BUBBLY NINJA (M) 

T5 LAUGHING GRAVY (W)

T6 DOLCINO ROSE (W) 

 

3rd Semi-Final 

T1 WHO NEEDS PACE 

T2 NO BUT 

T3 KNEEJERKREACTION (M) 

T4 VACANT

T5 CONNA TRIGGER (W) 

T6 POOLIE STORM (W)