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RPGTV Henlow Derby - Henlow 460M - £10,000

CLONDOTY ALEX, having been dogged by bad luck for so much of the year, now finds himself favourite to land his second Category One in a little over a month in the Henlow Gold Cup (460m).

The price about Mark Wallis’ dog landing the £10,000 competition was cut in half after a first round effort which saw the three-year-old defeat Skywalker Archie by a length and a half in 27.65sec (0.30sec slow).

The strength of the performance was not lost on the layers, particularly as the runner-up had completed an unbeaten run through the Henlow Maiden Derby in August.

ButClondoty Alex will have his work cut out in the second semi-final of the Gold Cup on Sunday evening (live on RPGTV) that is stacked with talent.

Included in the line-up is Peregrine Falcon, a finalist in the 2015 Irish Derby and this year’s William Hill Derby, Thirteen Bags, the winner of the Maiden Gold Cup here, local hero Westmead Rossi and Skywalker Archie, who renews rivalry. It promises to be an absolute cracker which I wouldn’t dare to call.

Champion trainer Wallis has an excellent chance to take the first semi-final with the very talented California. The son of Ballymac Vic has twice looked good over track and trip, in a trial stakes for this event and in the first round.

His best asset is breakneck early pace which he deploys to tremendous effect. He has posted a fast 03.68sec in his last two starts and a similar start on Sunday would put him in a tremendous position heading to the opening turn.

Liam Og, who came from behind Westmead Rossi and then held off Shaneboy Freddie at the weekend is the only other runner in the line-up who scored at the first round stage.

Lenson Santi, the fastest first round winner, might just come off best in a very competitive third semi-final that includes fellow first round scorer Ajlo Legalbeagle and Stay Loose, who was beaten less than a length by Lenson Santi at the weekend.





The Semi-Final Draw


First Semi-Final

1 Liam Og

2 Shaneboy Style

3 Prince Rock

4 Idle Talker (m)

5 California (w)

6 Quivers Lad (w)


Second Semi-Final

1 Peregrine Falcon

2 Thirteen Bags

3 Clondoty Alex

4 Westmead Rossi (m)

5 Skywalker Archie (w)

6 Glenpadden Wood (w)


Third Semi-Final

1 Shaneboy Freddie

2 Stay Loose

3 Young Romeo

4 Lenson Santi (m)

5 Savana Terry (m)

6 Ajlo Legalbeagle (w)



Tony Collett (trainer of Lenson Santi): “I was really pleased with him last Sunday. He seems to be running into form at the right time. With the greatest respect to those in opposition, he seems to have drawn the easiest of the three semi-finals. Let’s hope he now performs well enough to make the final.”




THE FIRST ROUND – Sunday, October 16 2016

Heat One

It looked like Westmead Rossi was set to confirm odds-on favouritism when he took the lead approaching the first bend. Nick Savva’s front-runner went into the race having suffered just one defeat in his last 10 starts and he appeared in control off the second bend. But that familiar turn of pace between the second and third bends seemed to be missing and when Liam Og challenged for the lead Westmead Rossi was clearly in trouble. The Paul Crowson-trained Liam Og went ahead rounding the final turn and then held-on by a short-head from a powerful finish from Shaneboy Freddie in 27.92sec (0.30sec slow). Westmead Rossi secured a place in the semi-final draw by holding on for second.

Heat Two

Dual Derby finalist Peregrine Falcon came off best here. The three-year-old son of Ace Hi Rumble broke well but was beaten to bend by a sizzling turn of early speed from Idle Talker. Carol Grasso’s locally trained runner continued to put the pace to the race along the far side but he was pretty much flat to the boards when the John Mullins-trained Peregrine Falcon moved smoothly though on the inside to take up the running off the final turn and went on to score by a length and a half in 28.02sec (0.30sec slow). Idle Talker kept on well for second place, three parts of a length ahead of his kennelmate Glenpadden Wood. The first three qualify for the semi-finals on Sunday. Second favourite Droopys Who finished last after early crowding.

Heat Three

Ajlo Legalbeagle has had a great year for Paul Young. He finished fifth in the East Anglian Derby and reached the semi-finals of the William Hill Derby at Wimbledon. Time is running out for the February ’14 whelp to bag a big one before the end of the year and connections will have been encouraged by his good start to this event. The 36-kilo son of progressive young sire Romeo Recruit took it up at the second bend and stayed on well to win by three lengths from kennel mate Young Romeo, who was in turn five and half lengths clear of the chasing pack headed by Shaneboy Style. Ajlo Legalbeagle stayed on strongly to clock 27.88sec (0.30sec slow).

Heat Four

East Anglian Derby winner Clondoty Alex caught the eye with a smart early paced performance. Mark Wallis’ dog broke well but was challenged for the lead by Skywalker Archie before surging ahead of Peter Swadden’s runner off the second bend. Clondoty Alex stretched his lead to the best part of four lengths along the far side before the ever so game Skywalker Archie, who completed an unbeaten run through the Henlow Maiden Derby, began to close around the final two turns until he had reduced the deficit to just a length and a half at the line. The winning time recorded by Clondoty Alex was 27.65sec (0.30sec slow). Savana Terry, whose once promising career has been blighted by injury, secured the remaining qualifying position in only his third race since April.

Heat Five

Lenson Santi recorded what was to prove a fastest-of-the-night 27.64sec. In one of the more competitive qualifiers of the evening, the dog trained by Tony Collett for Len Ponder trapped quickly and was soon clear. At one stage his lead was in the region of two to three lengths before it was reduced in the latter stages by the running on Stay Loose to three-quarters of a length. It the third straight win from Lenson Santi who has clearly discovered a rich seam of form. Quivers Lad continues to perform well for Tracey Stowe and he claimed third place. Favourite Bubbly Turbo was well placed throughout – he held second place along the back straight - but faded out of the reckoning in the closing stages.


Heat Six

California gave Champion Trainer Mark Wallis a first round double with as impressive a performance of front-running, although supporters of the dog who rose to prominence during the William Hill Derby experience a severe case of the jitters as Thirteen Bags stayed on strongly to force the issue right to the wire. In the end California held on by a neck in 27.69sec. from Diane Henry’s dog, who landed the Maiden Gold Cup at Henlow at the beginning of the month. Prince Rock, who has won two races from three starts since joining Charlie Lister, turned handily enough but failed to keep up with the leading duo and finished five and a half lengths behind the second-placed Thirteen Bags. The 03.68sec sectional recorded by California was the best of the round.