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Towcester Lowther Stakes Report/ Nottingham Puppy Classic Preview

The Lowther Stakes - Towcester 480m (£10,000)


Forest Is On Fire For Keightley 


Never before in my lifetime have I seen six bitches of the quality that lined up in The Lowther Stakes final at Towcester going head-to-head. Any of the six could have landed the £10,000 first prize but it was Forest Twilight who shined brightly not only running riot and winning by 4.5L but also setting a sensational new track-record in the process. This incredible victory took her to an eighth consecutive win and sent out a clear message she is the best bitch on these shores and possibly one of the greatest we have ever seen.

Forest Twilight exploded from the traps recording a marvellous 4.01 sectional, she ran a brilliant bend and then stepped on the accelerator. In truth her fine opposition had no answer to Hayley Keightley's magnificent bitch and she turned one of the greatest ever bitches races into a procession. Forest Twilight looks to have it all blessed with incredible early-speed and over 480m she's definitely not stopping and crossed the line 4.5L in front of Evanta Evita in a new track-record of 27.59 +10.

Forest Twilight has now had nine races her only defeat came on debut at Swindon in an A2 but since that defeat she's gone unbeaten. I can't help but think we are witnessing the rise of a true star of this sport. If Forest Twilight was a horse the whole world would be waxing lyrical about her exploits. Greyhound racing needs a genuine superstar to capture the hearts and minds of the public. The search could be over and I'd urge greyhound fans around the country to get behind Forest Twilight and let's see how many races she can go unbeaten. I've a feeling there is even more to come from this wonderful bitch in the coming weeks and months.

Evanta Evita, Roxholme Dream, Queen Asia, Coolavanny Slip and Domino Storm all deserve massive credit for the part they've played in making The Lowther Stakes a huge hit. Don't write any of these fantastic bitches off they will be a force to be reckoned with in any competition.


Mark Keightley on Forest Twilight

'I can't remember six bitches of that quality in a race together. Any of the other five could go and win anywhere and not just against bitches but against dogs. This category (bitches) is so strong and it's brilliant for the sport. It's frightening what Forest Twilight did it really is and what's even more frightening is who is to say she's reached her level. If she does not improve anymore she's a superstar but I honestly think there is more to come. This competition was wonderful I spoke with Mark Lowther personally but I'd like to go on record and say thanks, what he did here is marvellous it really is and he deserves huge thanks and gratitude from everyone in greyhound racing.

We won't dodge anything but she will be trained with our eyes firmly fixed on the Oaks at Belle Vue. I think the longer straights at Belle Vue will really suit her and the Oaks must now be her main target. We won't wrap her up in cotton wool she will race but it will be with the aim at arriving in Manchester with her trained to perfection'.


The Caffreys Puppy Classic - Nottingham 500m (£7,500)


Semi-Finals - Monday 24th August 

Final - Monday 31st August 


First run back in 1995 this competition has produced some outstanding champions including last year's winner Newinn Yolo. It's been under the fantastic sponsorship of Caffreys since 2009 and their commitment should be applauded. This year's competition looks to be outstanding and we have 17 brilliant pups heading to the three semi-finals on Monday at Nottingham.

The 1st Semi-Final sees Johns Present in action for Paul Young, he's the sole heat winner but still faces tough opposition. Fred The Shred ran well in defeat behind Crossfield Cesar and Paul Sallis will be hoping he can reproduce that fine effort. Jimmy Wright has a very strong hand in this year's competition and he's represented here with Pumpstreet Niall. Sadly Calzaghe Rocky was withdrawn off colour but I'm sure he will be back soon and looks set to have a promising career.

The 2nd Semi-Final sees the highly rated Camp Joker go here and he was in terrific form in the heats. The Pat Rosney rising star scored by 4.75L in a calculated 30.26. He will have to be at his best though because he may be the only heat winner in this semi-final but Roxholme Hottie looks to be a youngster with a very bright future. She suffered crowding at the 4th bend in the heats and went down by 1.25L in a calculated 30.55. Charlie Lister OBE is represented by Coolavanny Pat who can boast some smart trial form. This is set up to be a race to savour.

The 3rd Semi-Final is off the charts and this could easily have been the final. It sees four very impressive heat winners go to traps and with only two set to qualify for the final they cant afford any mistakes. Jimmy Wright sends out Droopys Buick 29.85 calculated and Droopys Vodka 30.18 calculated. Both of these pups look to be very special and you'd have to say very exciting careers await. Seamus Cahill will have been delighted with Crossfield Cesar in the heats he checked on the run up but still recorded a 5.07 sectional and a calculated 29.87 end time. Anthony Giftkins saw his Coolavanny Bisto beat Roxholme Hotttie to record a calculated 30.45. This is going to be some race and it is one that's certainly captured my imagination. 

Who do you think will make it through these semi-finals and line up in the £7,500 to-the-winner decider? 


Seamus Cahill On Crossfield Cesar 

'It's a very tough race there's plenty of pace on his inside and he must trap. He ran well in the heats but for the checking on the run up but I hope that was a one off. He's very well and it's all systems go, I'm expecting a big run from him. What ever wins this competition normally goes on to have a big career and this year will be no different. There is real strength and depth in the competition and it will take some winning. We have done everything we can and now it's up to Crossfield Cesar to go out and prove himself. I think he is capable of doing that'.