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

KILDALLON BOLT goes into Thursday’s final of the William Hill Northern Puppy Derby having won his heat and semi-final by a combined 10 lengths and with his rivals needing to pull something really special out of the bag to halt the tremendous progress of Heather Dimmock’s irrepressible youngster.

The November ’14 son of Barefoot Bolt has really found his rhythm at the Tyneside track and he is the odds-on favourite with all firms betting on the prestigious Category One puppy prize, won last year by the exceptional talent that is Droopys Buick.

To my eye Kildallon Bolt, reportedly a very calm, laid back greyhound, is improving with every run at Newcastle. He starts well from the middle and with a good break it is difficult, given his superiority on the clock, to construct a case against him winning.

Jimmy Wright trains the aforementioned Droopys Buick and the very likable Scot is doubly represented by both Farloe Raider and Droopys Yen.

I think it is fair to say both are capable of better than their semi-final defeats would suggest. Certainly Farloe Raider caught the eye with a smart 28.71sec at the first round stage when having only his second career start, and Droopys Yen produced a taking strong-running effort when defeating Sunoak Jacob by three lengths in the first round.

Both Farloe Raider, the youngest in the line-up, and Droopys Yen seemed a little below their best at the weekend but they are capable and as such must enter calculations. They are also half of a strong home representation in the final that is completed by Bramble Rafa and Pinewood Barney.

Bramble Rafa was there to pick up the pieces when Droopys Yen threw away his semi-final by swinging ever wide off the last turn at the weekend and It would be folly to dismiss the chances of Steve Anderson’s runner.

Pinewood Barney was something of a surprise winner at the semi-final stage for Savva Roberts. It is worth noting, however, the youngster with just two runs under his best is extremely consistent from the starting traps and can be expected to put in a bold show from the outset.

Be Majestic completes the line-up as the only wide seed. He looked a smart sort in the first round when scoring nicely but the David Mullins-trained runner was well beaten by Kildallon Bolt at the semi-final stage, although that was no disgrace given the merit of that run.

The Final

1 Farloe Raider

2 Bramble Rafa

3 Kildallon Bolt (m)

4 Droopys Yen (m)

5 Pinewood Barney (m)

6 Be Majestic (w)

What Connections said

Heather Dimmock (trainer Kildallon Bolt): “He has come out of the semi-finals in good order and should be spot on for the final. He’s a lovely dog to train – you can do literally what you like with him. He is so laid back. The draw in the final is fine and we’re are very hopeful. His owners, Adam Duncan and Geoff Wells, have always been on the lookout for a good dog and Mick Pacey (assistant trainer) sourced him for them from Ireland.”

How the Semi-Finals Unfolded

The First Semi-Final

The odds-on favourite, King Kid, lost his chance at the start when slowly away from trap six and, as a consequence, the Liz and Rab McNair-trained runner took a hefty first bend bump, which sent him reeling. It was a messy first turn from which Droopys Yen, who caught the eye with a strong-running win in the heats, emerged in-front and led into the back straight. Jimmy Wright’s dog maintained an advantage until swinging wide off the last bend and losing ground. Bramble Rafa, who had been second from the first turn, stayed on strongly to score by a length and a quarter in 29.04sec (normal). Droopys Yen comfortable held on for second and a place in the final.

The Second Semi-Final

Kildallon Bolt was the odds-on favourite and won in the style expected of him. Heather Dimmock’s dog registered his sixth win from his last eight races with a quick start and a textbook display of early speed which put him well clear of his rivals before they arrived at the first bend. The David Mullins-trained Droopys Dresden, who beforehand looked likely to be the chief danger to Kildallon Bolt stumbled at the start and forfeited his chance. It was left to his kennelmate Be Majestic to chase home the winner, albeit at almost eight lengths behind. Kildallon Bolt posted 28.58sec (normal) – easily the fastest of the round to establish himself favourite for Thursday’s final.

The Third Semi-Final

Pinewood Barney was something of a surprise but fully deserved winner. Trained locally by Savva Roberts, the January ’15 whelp broke quickly and was always in command as he came home a shade under two lengths ahead of favourite Farloe Raider in 28.98sec (normal) and in doing so lost his UK maiden tag at the second time of asking. The runner-up had impressed with a quick start at the first round stage but he was more than a length slower from the traps this time and paid the price with crowding in the early stages of the race. He qualified for the decider by holding off a late challenge from Murrys Act by a head.