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William Hill Northern Puppy Derby - Newcastle 480M - £8,000

THE Northern Puppy Derby doesn’t have the depth of history of some of the other juvenile events in the Calendar but there is little doubting its importance to owners and trainers.

Previous winners include the brilliant El Premier (1996), Knockevan Star (1999) and Farloe Reason in 2007. Last year Droopys Buick gave Jimmy Wright his first winner.

Yet another top class entry has been received for the 2016 renewal, including one or two very lightly raced youngster who could shape into leading middle-distance puppies in the months to come.

KILDALLON BOLT confirmed himself as one of the leading youngsters in the country with a smooth success in the fourth first round heat of the William Hill Northern Puppy Cup (480m) at Newcastle.

I have been a fan of this November ’14 son of Barefoot Bolt since his smart success at the semi-final stage of the Nottingham Puppy Classic when he posted a time seven spots quicker that Bubbly Bluebird in the 500-metre Category One.

It’s a matter of record that Kildallon Bolt finished second – beaten more than five lengths by Bubbly Bluebird in the final of that event – but he has since won three from four and he was particularly impressive during Saturday’s performance.

Not only was his 28.64sec (normal) the quickest of the round it was also pleasing to the eye, particularly the way the Heather Dimmock-trained runner stayed on that long Newcastle run-in.

The round started with the defeat of the long-odds favourite Droopys Dresden in heat one, although in mitigation the David Mullins-trained runner found trouble literally everywhere he went.

In the end the dog who went into the race having won his first two races, qualified in third – which is about the best connections could have hoped for under the circumstances.

The race was won by Farloe Raider, who trapped quickly then proceeded to move to the right on the way to the bend, hampering those in behind. The Jimmy Wright-trained runner stayed on well to score by three and three quarters of a length in 28.91sec (0.20sec slow).

Wright, who won this even in 2015 with Droopys Buick, completed a quick double when Droopys Yen confirmed even-money favouritism in the following qualifier.

Having suffered a troubled run when beaten on debut, the November ’14 son of Blackstone Gene kept clear of bother this time before picking up early leader Bestreaction at the third turn and going on to score by three lengths in 29.27sec (0.20sec slow).

Pat Rosney’s only previous success in the Northern Puppy Derby was provided by that superb bitch Dairyland Sue back in 2003, when it was staged at Sunderland. But there was enough about the performance from Newinn Louis in the third heat to suggest that the popular Lancashire trainer could be in the running to go close this year.

The December ’14 son of Kinloch Brae broke well and was never headed as he stayed on to score by four lengths from Pinewood Barney in 29.17sec (0.10sec slow).

King Eden confirmed odds-on favouritism in the five heat with a slick three and a quarter lengths victory in heat five. The Rab and Liz McNair-trained runner wasn’t the best away but he went to the turn quickly and was always in command thereafter to register a 28.80sec (normal) victory.

David Mullins, whose Droopys Dresden failed when odds-on in the first heat, ended the night on a high when his January ’15 whelp Be Majestic picked up early leader Toems Baba at the second bend and went on to score by three lengths in 28.86sec (0.10sec fast).

WHAT THE TRAINERS HAD TO SAY

Heather Dimmock (Kildallon Bolt): “We are really very pleased with him. He seems to like the bigger type of track and Newcastle falls into that category. I was happy with the way he stayed up the, long straight there and his run in general was good. He has been a pleasure to train since we got him. He is extremely laid back for a young dog and has given us no cause for concern. He goes into the semi-finals in good order.”

 

How Saturday’s semi-finals might unfold.

 

The First Semi-Final

Droopys Yen did enough in the first round to suggest he is open to enough improvement to secure this. Only two go through to the final so there is no margin for error and Liz and Rab McNair will be cursing their luck that they have litter mates King Eden and King Kid drawn in traps five and six respectively. Droopys Yen looks perfectly positioned in trap four to get round the first bend unscathed and he take the race by the scruff of the neck along the far side. King Eden has pace up and might lead but it is questionable whether he will be able to hold on.

The Draw

1 Bramble Rafa

2 Sunoak Jacob

3 Yolo The Link (m)

4 Droopys Yen (m)

5 King Eden (w)

6 King Kid (w)

 

The Second Semi-Final

Kildallon Bolt cannot put a foot wrong at the moment. There is so much to like about this heavyweight son of Barefoot Bolt. He has early pace and stamina and, although this is a really good field, I fancy him to come off best. Newinn Louis impressed in victory at the first round stage and Droopys Dresden was also eye-catching, but in defeat. The Romford dog had an unblemished record from two starts up to that and lost nothing in defeat. David Mullins, the trainer of Droopys Dresden, has also got Be Majestic in the line-up and he impressed at the opening stage. It’s a cracking heat and Kildallon Bolt might have the edge.

The Draw

1 Newinn Louis

2 Caherina Piper

3 Kildallon Bolt (m)

4 Droopys Dresden (m)

5 Coolavanny Smash (w)

6 Be Majestic (w)

The Third Semi-Final

March ’15 whelp Farloe Raider showed cracking early pace at the weekend and should go close again. Of slight concern is the fact that the Jimmy Wright-trained runner moved to the middle on the run-up and might well do the same again here from trap one. That said he has good speed from the starting traps and could make all. Murrys Act finished behind Farloe Raider the last time they met and may be the closest at the finish.

The Draw

1 Farloe Raider

2 Gorgeous Pippy

3 Beatties Cushy (m)

4 Pinewood Barney (m)

5 Toems Baba (m)

6 Murrys Act (w)