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William Hill All England Cup - Newcastle 480M - £10,000

CONNECTIONS of Droopys Buick have had a frustrating year but they must be hopeful that the son of Yeah Man can finally bag the big one in the William Hill-sponsored All England Cup (480m) at Newcastle.

Having won the Northern Puppy Derby at this fixture 12 months ago and the Festival Puppy Stakes at Monmore at the backend of the year, the omens for a good 2016 were very positive.

But, despite performing right up to his best, Droopys Buick has found himself out of luck in the finals of the Scottish Derby, Wilf Husband Memorial and Gold Cup at Monmore this year. He was also defeated in the Racing Post Juvenile and sickness ruled him out of the William Hill Derby after a sizzling 28.11sec pre-competition trial.

But the November ’13 whelp set the standard at the first round stage of the All England Cup at the weekend with a sizzling front-running 28.23sec (0.10sec fast) effort. It was easily the fastest of the session and Droopys Buick appears in the right sort of form to make a huge impact in the competition.

Droopys Buick brought up the second leg of a first round double for Jimmy Wright following the success of Minglers Thunder in the second heat. The dog who won last year’s Steel City Cup at Sheffield was quickly away and always in command before coming home a length and quarter in front of Sidarian Padre, the odds-on favourite, in 28.67sec (normal).

That same time was recorded by the talented Ballymac Mossjoe, although the going was considered 0.10sec fastest when the Barrie Draper’s dog ran in the last heat of the evening.

Nevertheless, it was a potent performance from a dog with a cracking CV and the ability to annex a big one – his 2015 success in the Coral Sussex Cup bears testimony to that.

The All England Cup got under way with the shock first round defeat of odds-on favourite Oscar Whisky. He was one of two Charlie Lister-trained runners in the contest, the other was Stay Lucky, and both went through courtesy of finishing second and third. But the winner, in what was a particularly messy contest, was Ballymac Darragh, who posted 29.18sec (0.10sec slow) and won by two and a half lengths.

After an impressive first round win in the William Hill Derby, things didn’t quite go the way they were expected for Calzaghe Billy, and Brian Thompson’s dog was eliminated at the third round of the Wimbledon competition.

He had a spell on the side lines afterwards but bounced back on his return after more than four months with a strong-running win in heat three. The son of Ace Hi Rumble powered home in the closing stages to defeat Honour And Glory.

Droopys Trapeze, having his first run back for Jimmy Wright after a tilt at the Harolds Cross Irish Juvenile Derby, which ended at the first round stage, trailed the field in the early stages after a slow break. He made up plenty of ground but failed by a neck to qualify behind the 29.06sec (normal) winner.

William Hill Derby finalist Cloran Paddy was favourite for the fifth qualifier but the Charlie Lister-trained runner was always on the back foot to the impressive Tynwald Baz. The latter trapped quickly and made all to defeat Cloran Paddy by a shade over two lengths in 28.68sec (0.10sec fast).


How Saturday’s semi-finals might unfold.

The First Semi-Final

Jimmy Wright suffered the frustration of his three runners in the competition being drawn in the first semi-final, especially as only two qualify for the final. The favourite will undoubtedly be Droopys Buick. He is in trap three and with anything like a good start he ought to have the legs of these to the first bend and beyond. There is an awful lot to like about kennelmate Minglers Thunder. The early-pacer has drawn trap one and appears booked for a clear run which should ensure him second place. Droopys Five, also trained by Wright, might just miss out on a place in the decider.

The Draw

1 Minglers Thunder

2 Droopys Five

3 Droopys Buick

4 Honour And Glory

5 Calzaghe Billy

6 Maglass Razzle (w)


The Second Semi-Final

Like Jimmy Wright in the first semi-final, Charlie Lister also has three runners bidding for just two qualifying positions here. It’s not the easiest to call but on the balance of everything that went on in the first round I think Ballymac Mossjoe might just be the right choice, although Cloran Paddy can only improve and it is difficult to assess the form of some of the others given the messy nature of race involving Ballymac Darragh, Oscar Whisky and Stay Lucky, all of whom re-oppose. Add to that the presence of the talented Shaneboy Freddie, second to Droopys Buick at the first round stage, and you have a contest to savour.

The Draw

1 Ballymac Darragh

2 Shaneboy Freddie

3 Ballymac Mossjoe

4 Cloran Paddy

5 Oscar Whisky

6 Stay Lucky (w)


The Third Semi-Final

I was impressed with Tynwald Baz at the first round stage and take the dog owned by Terry Corden and trained by Lawrence Tuffin to prove too quick for these. The son of Droopys Jet is unbeaten in two starts since finishing second to Pinpoint Den in the Betfred Steel City Cup at Sheffield and has the sort of early pace that will always prove an asset. Sidarian Padre is blessed with an ability to win races. Charlie Lister’s dog would perhaps appreciate more a draw next to the fence but he is big threat. Stay Loose, another Lister runner, merits respect on the inside.

The Draw

1 Stay Loose

2 Tynwald Baz

3 Sidarian Padre

4 Corrig Echo

5 Shutthe Backdoor

6 Farloe Cody (m)