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William Hill Grand Prix - Sunderland 640m (£15,000) - Final - Wednesday 15th June (Sky Sports)

Six top class stayers racing over 640m in a bid to win £15,000 and be crowned the 2015 William Hill Grand Prix champion. It's got all the ingredients of being something very special. It was suggested to me this week would it be better if the Grand Prix was run at a separate time to the Classic. I don't think so. You don't hear people saying the same about the Cheltenham Festival or Royal Ascot in horse racing. It adds something special for me it genuinely feels like a festival and something greyhound fans can get right behind and support. Before this great festival I always felt a bit low after the Derby but now you don't have time to do that.

 

Farley Rio is looking to make history and become the first greyhound to ever win the Grand Prix back-to-back. What a dog he is; his record is phenomenal and you have to hand it to his trainer Kevin Boon. To keep him at the highest level for so long and performing so well is a magnificent achievement. I caught up with Kevin the morning after the semi-finals and you can read what he said here http://www.gbgb.org.uk/news/2/2015/7/166/William-Hill-Grand-Prix---640m-15000 .

 

Bubbly Gold finished runner-up last year and connections will be hoping he can go one better. He's a superb greyhound and this will incredibly be his fifth major final (twice runner-up and two thirds) he is overdue some luck in a big one. There's no doubt the Bubbly Club will be out in force once more but will they this time be cheering him on to glory? Paul Young is also represented by Teejays Panther who's performed admirably to make it to the final. He was set to be represented by a third runner but sadly the talented Jaytee China had to be withdrawn lame. We will no doubt see her back on the track and the Oaks at Belle Vue will be her main target.

 

Harry Crapper the trainer who's twice finished runner-up in the Derby deserves massive credit also to be back in the final with Dinzeo. He's a greyhound of some ability and they will be hoping he can improve on last year's fifth place.

 

There's a new star to the staying ranks; Toottoottootsie. Trained by Paul Prior this is his first category one final. Toottoottootsie has been flying and capturing the imagination of greyhound fans up and down the country so I thought I'd catch up with Paul ahead of the biggest night in his greyhound career.

 

Paul Prior on Toottoottootsie 

 

“This is my first category one final and I've waited a long time for this so I plan on enjoying it. I've always known what she is capable of and while she may have surprised one or two she's certainly not surprised me. She's clocked some cracking times at Doncaster and Kinsley, it's nice she is now showing everyone what she can do. I don't want to tempt fate but she's trapping brilliantly out of the boxes at Sunderland and I'm hoping she can do this again in the final. She takes her racing really well and was bouncing the morning after the semi-finals, I'm not worried about the quick turnaround. No excuses from me she is in great form, happy with the draw and so far she's not put a foot wrong. 

After the final if she's still performing we will definitely look at the Yorkshire St Leger (Doncaster) and the St Leger at (Wimbledon). Like I said I've waited a long time for a greyhound this good and we can have a go at the big races and have a lot of fun. I'm so proud of her and just to be on this stage is a dream come true. I'd like to thank William Hill for their fantastic sponsorship and everyone for their good wishes. I've not thought what I'd do if we won the £15,000 first-prize, I think the first thing I'd do is buy you a drink and then think about what I'd spend the rest on”.

 

Can Rio Defend His Crown? Will Bubbly Strike Gold? Will Panther Pounce? Will Tootsie Do The Business? Can Harry Take The Chequered Flag With Dinzeo? Who do you think will win the 2015 William Hill Grand Prix? It's going to be very exciting finding out that much is for sure!

 

Final Draw

T1 Bubbly Gold

T2Teejays Panther

T3 Jaytee China (Withdrawn)

T4 Farley Rio

T5 Dinzeo

T6 Toottoottootsie