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William Hill Classic - 450m (£25,000)

In terms of stature there is only the Derby which is bigger for four-bend greyhounds to chase. It was an amazing night of action that had more drama than an episode of Coronation Street. Kelly Macari played a starring role once more but although she will be jubilant to see Pinpoint Finas and Conna Trigger book their places in to the final in style it will be mixed with sadness about Pinpoint Maxi. The great 2013 champion and finalist last year was breathtaking in the heats, there's no doubt in my mind he is one of the most talented greyhounds of his generation, but also one of the unluckiest in terms of injuries. Our thoughts are with this great champion and all his connections. Jolly Tricks, Bubbly Ninja, Laughing Gravy and No But join the Kelly Macari duo in next week's final, let's see how they did it.

 

1st Semi-Final - Trapping is the name of the game but especially at this level over 450m and that is exactly what Pinpoint Finas did, he trapped best of all. He created his own luck out in front and while it got messy in behind Kelly Macari's greyhound had flown the nest. Jolly Tricks put up a big performance here but although he was closing with every stride he still had 0.75L to make up at the line. Our thoughts here with Calzaghe George and Pinpoint Maxi two outstanding greyhounds that have wowed the crowds on many a big night and hopefully both will be ok. 

Time: 27.14

 

2nd Semi-Final - David Pruhs was laughing when he saw his greyhound Laughing Gravy ping the lids. The former Romford Puppy Cup champion was in scintillating form here running out a very impressive trap-to-line winner by 4L over Bubbly Ninja. The former suffered a bumpy ride but stayed on well to book his place in next week's showdown. 

Time: 26.93

 

3rd Semi-Final - The big question was could Conna Trigger rediscover his trapping boots tonight? He answered that question emphatically by coming out under the bars to record a fast 4.82 sectional. Once this talented tracker was in front, the opposition had their work cut out to catch him. No But for Julie Calvert put in another brilliant performance to close the gap to 0.5L at the line and both of these emerge with huge credit from a thrilling semi-final. 

Time: 26.78

 

Kelly Macari On Pinpoint Maxi, Pinpoint Finas and Conna Trigger

 

'Everyone connected with Pinpoint Maxi is absolutely gutted but there is good news, he is at the vets now and will be operated on and come home to enjoy his retirement. He's been a fantastic greyhound but for injuries you wonder how good he could have been. He's already started on a stud career and it's a really exciting time. I can't wait to see his offspring hitting the tracks and if they have anywhere near his ability then it's safe to say there will be some exciting pups. I'd like to thank everyone for their good wishes and their support, greyhound racing is amazing and everyone comes together at times like this.

 

You have to remain positive though and Pinpoint Finas and Conna Trigger both ran excellent races. They are both veterans and it was great to see the old boys doing the business. I'm delighted for the owners and the final will be some occasion. Early-pace is the name of the game and on their day both can really fly to the corner. To have two chances in the final is amazing and I'm so proud of them both. It won't be easy in the final because there's some quality greyhounds in it which you'd expect for £25,000 to-the-winner. Win, lose or draw we will be at Sunderland and have an amazing time and hopefully we will get some luck on the night. It would be sensational if we could manage to win this great competition again'.   

 

See full results here http://www.gbgb.org.uk/resultsMeeting.aspx?racedate=11/07/2015%2000:00:00&track=Sunderland

 

Final - Wednesday 15th June (Sky Sports)

T1 Pinpoint Finas

T2 No But

T3 Bubbly Ninja

T4 Jolly Tricks

T5 Laughing Gravy

T6 Conna Trigger