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John Smiths Kent Derby - Central Park 480M - £7,000

BUBBLY BLUEBIRD came of age in style at Central Park on Tuesday with an authoritative victory in the £7,000 final of the Category One John Smith’s Kent Derby (480m).

It was the first all-aged competition for Paul Young’s precocious youngster and he passed the test with flying colours. In doing so he enhanced his position as one of the winter favourites for the Derby but also became the most likely recipient of the Greyhound of the Year title, which is decided by the votes from GWA members.

Bubbly Bluebird started from trap three in one of the best line-ups for a middle-distance final all year. It looked a tricky enough makeup and but for the determination and sheer class of Bubbly Bluebird it could so easily have brought about only the second defeat in an 11-race career.

Having been marginally behind Kranky Damo (trap one) and Barricane Tiger (trap two) at the boxes, Bubbly Bluebird quickly made good a difficult position with a sizzling turn of pace which put him a length up on those on his inside and positioned him to take the first bend in front.

Beforehand my view was that if any dog was going to lower the colours of Bubbly Bluebird it was going to be Droopys Who (trap five). The dog who recently joined Richard Rees from Pat Buckley in Ireland was ever so impressive when the fastest at the semi-final stage and he looked likely to improve.

Droopys Who turned second - literally sharing body heat with Bubbly Bluebird. For a moment, just a moment, it looked as though we had a race on. But Bubbly Bluebird quickly kicked clear the second they entered the back straight and put the race to bed in a matter strides.

Kranky Damo was another to show cracking pace between the second and third bends and he barged passed Droopys Who at the crown of the third and fourth turns to take second.

There was no catching Bubbly Bluebird, however, as he kicked clear on the run for home to score by an ever-increasing three lengths in 28.87sec (normal). Kranky Damo had a length to spare from Barricane Bullet in second and third place.

What Connections Had To say      

Paul Young (trainer Bubbly Bluebird): “He doesn’t like to get beat. He has so much determination. I couldn’t ask any more of him. He’s definitely the best I’ve ever had. It was a great final and he did what he had to do. He’s so professional.”

Steve Fluin (of the Champagne Club, owners of Bubbly Bluebird): “That meant so much. Paul and Miriam have worked so hard to make him what he is. It’s absolutely brilliant. He’s just a sensational dog. There are lot of things that have come together that make him what he is. It’s great training from Paul and Miriam and all at the kennels. The Dunphys (Michael and Sean) sold him to us and he represents some fantastic breeding. But the people that perhaps should be mentioned most are the members of the Champagne Club. It’s their money that goes to buying these great greyhounds. Without them we wouldn’t have them.”