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Ladbrokes Gold Cup - Monmore 480m (£10,000) - Hoffman Proves Once More He's Swift

Ladbrokes Gold Cup - Monmore 480m (£10,000) 

 

Hoffman Proves Once More He's Swift

 

We now have the six finalists that will chase the title of 2015 Ladbrokes Gold Cup champion and bank the brilliant £10,000 to-the-winner first prize. Spectators witnessed three amazing semi-finals that definitely possessed the wow factor. 

 

1st Semi-Final - The 2015 Scottish Derby champion and Select Stakes hero Swift Hoffman was all the rage in this 1st semi-final. The Pat Rosney trained superstar did not disappoint his swelling fan base and put in an emphatic display. He was quickly in to stride from trap-six and once he cleared the first-bend in front it was a race against the clock. He ran out a very comfortable 4L winner over his kennel companion Vatican Gurkha in a sparking 27.83 off a 4.31 sectional.

 

2nd Semi-Final - After Swift Hoffman posted such an amazing time you could have been forgiven for thinking that none of his rivals would get close to that. Up stepped Timaru Surprise for Martin White. He rocketed out the traps recording a faster sectional of 4.27 and scorched around the 480m circuit recording 27.88 in a 4L victory over My Real Mutley. 

 

3rd Semi-Final - It was all about early-pace in this semi-final and the Paul Sallis trained Starshineedifice has got that in abundance. He recorded the fastest sectional of 4.24 and just held on close home from El Lema by 0.5L in 28.04 .

 

Next Up 

Final - Thursday 27th August (Sky Sports)

 

Swift Hoffman was always going to take the beating in this year's running of the Ladbrokes Gold Cup but heading to the decider it looks like everything is to play for. There's no doubting Pat Rosney's star will go off favourite but with Timaru Surprise posting a quicker sectional and only ending up five spots behind definitely makes it interesting. Martin White looks to have himself a very exciting greyhound. He raced four times in Ireland with a single success in A6 company around Shelbourne Park in 28.97. Since he's arrived on these shores he just looks to have improved beyond all recognition and his handler deserves huge credit for this upward curve.

You can't write off Starshineedifice for Paul Sallis, he possesses fantastic early-pace and a repeat of his sectional in the semi-finals would see him go close to leading. Pat Rosney's other representative Vatican Gurkha is a good greyhound in his own right. He may live in the shadow currently of his illustrious kennel mate but you get the feeling he will shine brightly one day, it may be in this final. El Lema for Kevin Hutton has done brilliant in reaching he final and he's a very consistent greyhound, I can't remember the last time he ran a bad race. If he was to ping then he's an obvious danger to all. Last but by no means least My Real Mutley, what a greyhound he is for Maria Collins. He's made the final again and it's no mean feat to line up in back-to-back Gold Cups. So I decided to catch up with Maria Collins and get her thoughts ahead of the big final.

 

Maria Collins on My Real Mutley 

'I'm delighted he's in the final again, it's tough to get to one final of a race like this but to do it two years in a row is magnificent. I'm delighted with his draw, I prefer him in trap-one than anywhere else and this is a massive bonus. He can come away a lot better, he does not do it that often but I know he's got a real big break in him and that fills us with hope. There's a lot of pace on his outside but if he can come away in his very best fashion we have a chance. He was awesome last year and he's not hit those heights yet but there's signs he's coming in to himself and he will hopefully peak at just the right time. It's great sponsorship from Ladbrokes and I'm delighted to be involved in this great race once more'.

 

Last year Viking Jack flew out of trap-six to record an impressive victory and with Swift Hoffman set to wear the stripes this year Pat Rosney will be hoping he does the same. The Lancashire handler is yet to win the Gold Cup, could 2015 be his year? The semi-finals have done one thing; they've thrown this fantastic competition wide open and connections of all six will be heading to Monmore Green full of hope.

 

Draw

T1 My Real Muttley, 

T2 El Lema, 

T3 Vatican Gurkha, 

T4 Timaru Surprise (m), 

T5 Starshineedifice (w), 

T6 Swift Hoffman (w)