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William Hill Grand Prix - 640m (£15,000)

In terms of staying races they don't come much bigger and for 17 sets of connections they had just one aim; Qualify for the final and have a chance of winning the £15,000 to-the-winner prize. It was an incredible night of action that saw the defending champion Farley Rio safely book his place in the final. He will be joined by last year's runner-up Bubbly Gold who made it through in a tight finish and last year's 5th Dinzeo who won impressively. They will be joined by three new stars to the staying ranks; Jaytee China, Teejays Panther and Toottoottootsie. Let's see how this incredible action unfolded. 

 

1st Semi-Final - Teejays Porshe trapped out best of all to make the corner in front with his kennel companion Bubbly Gold in second. It was looking good for the Paul Young duo but Teejays Porshe surrendered the lead around the sixth-bend and Bubbly Gold hit the front. Dinzeo was crowded at the opening corner but Harry Crapper's greyhound was flying in the latter stages along with Ian Aylward trained Baliff Ray. Dinzeo powered past Bubbly Gold to win by 1.75L, there was an almighty battle for the second qualifying spot and it took the judge to separate Bubbly Gold and Baliff Ray. Bubbly Gold got the verdict by a short-head but Baliff Ray looks a greyhound worth following especially if upped in distance.

Time: 39.97

 

2nd Semi-Final - Toottoottootsie booked her place in the final with a stylish 7L victory over Teejays Panther. This daughter of Tyrur Sugar Ray exploded in to action to make every metre a winning one and posted an eye catching 15.72 sectional. Teejayspowerhawk and Fearsome Code suffered big trouble at the corner and Jaytee Osprey was done no favours. It was a race against the clock for Paul Prior's talented stayer who is fast growing a legion of fans. This was very impressive and it was left to the Paul Young duo to battle it out for second. Teejays Panther secured that spot by 1.75L but Jaytee Osprey will surely have better days.

Time: 39.62

 

3rd Semi-Final - Jaytee China in only her second ever six-bend start set a ferocious pace out in front. She did likewise in the heats but ended up finishing 3rd. She was much stronger here and nearly got the win. It took a power packed finish from defending champion Farley Rio to prevent that from materialising. In the end Kevin Boon's star tracker had just too much and he got the victory by 0.75L with the same distance separating Jaytee China from the fast finishing Blackhouse Heidi back in 3rd. 

Time: 39.81 

 

Kevin Boon on Farley Rio 

'I thought he was fantastic and I'm so proud of him. He came away much better here and that's the key, if he can do that again or improve in the final then he's a great chance of making history. The first-round was the tricky one it's hard when you’re the defending champion if you go out at the first hurdle it's always a low. He's improving and putting weight on and I'm hoping like every trainer that my dog can improve. It will be fantastic if he can become the first greyhound to ever defend his Grand Prix crown. I honestly don't think he gets the credit or the plaudits he deserves, I've seen some comments that he is inconsistent. Everyone is entitled to their opinions but he's always taking on the very best. We never shy away from taking on the best dogs in the country and when you do that it's hard to keep winning with any regularity'.

 

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 Bubbly Gold

T2Teejays Panther

T3 Jaytee China

T4 Farley Rio

T5 Dinzeo

T6 Toottoottootsie