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Betfred Eclipse - Nottingham 500M - £8,000

ON week when America is in the news for all the right or wrong reasons, depending on your politics, a greyhound named after one of the most famous brands from across the pond is providing the buzz in the Betfred Eclipse (500m) at Nottingham, which reaches it semi-final stage on Monday.

The Buick is one of classiest automobiles on US highways, and there is little doubt Droopys Buick was right at the front of the queue when the canine gods were handing out class.

It’s been a frustrating year for connections of Droopys Buick after several near misses and hard luck stories. But trainer Jimmy Wright and the Conlon Family, who own the son of Yeah Man, might just be beginning believe he can finally bags a big one.

On Monday, during the first round of the Category One Eclipse, he again highlighted just what a talented his is with a fabulously quick 29.24sec (0.40sec fast) – in complete contrast to 12 months ago when he went out at that very same stage.

There are no easy heats when you reach the semi-finals of any Category One competition. That will be a point not lost on Wright as he digests those in opposition to Droopys Buick in the first semi-final on Monday. But the canny Scot will also be confident that the star of his Northumberland kennels can make it through to the final if running up to his best form.

Lest we forget, however, the presence in the race of Sussex Cup winner Barricane Tiger, dual Derby finalist Peregrine Falcon and Steel City winner, and kennelmate to Droopys Buick, Minglers Thunder, to name but a few.

Pinpoint Boss impressed me when making a winning UK debut for Kelly Macari in the first round of the Eclipse on Monday and he might come forward enough to take the second semi-final.

The line-up oozes quality and the likes of Tynwald Baz, Shaneboy Freddie and Kildallon Bolt, the Northern Puppy Derby winner, will, amongst others, be determined to stop Pinpoint Boss in his tracks.

Bubbly Bluebird lost his 10-race unbeaten run when beaten by Tynwald Baz in the first round but Paul Young’s dog lost nothing else when a game second on Monday after a very poor break.

He gets a chance to redeem himself in the third semi-final and it would come as a big surprise, to me anyway, if he doesn’t, despite some crackers in opposition, including the likes Ballymac Mossjoe, the beaten favourite in last year’s Eclipse final.


First Semi-Final

1 Barricane Tiger

2 Peregrine Falcon

3 Minglers Thunder

4 Droopys Buick

5 Ballymac Darragh (m)

6 Garryglass Champ (w)


Second Semi-Final

1 Tynwald Baz

2 Revilo Bob

3 Shaneboy Freddie

4 Kildallon Bolt (m)

5 Stay Lucky (w)

6 Pinpoint Boss (w)


Third Semi-Final

1 Bubbly Bluebird

2 Swift Carter

3 Ballymac Mossjoe

4 Fourpenny Blaze (m)

5 Oakfield Caesar (w)

6 Maglass Razzle (w)



Heat One

Shaneboy Freddie converted a first bend lead in to a seven and a quarter lengths success in 29.60sec (0.50sec fast). Kevin Boon’s dog was a semi-finalist in this event last year and judging on this opening stage effort he remains a potent force that could again make an impact on the competition. Garryglass Champ came from mid-division to take second. Revilo Bob, who had been second earlier on, kept on best for the remaining qualifying position. Droopys Country, the favourite, was unable to get into the race after a slow start and first bend bumping.


Heat Two

Peregrine Falcon took his win tally to four from his last eight with an impressive length and a half success over Stay Lucky in 29.67sec (0.50sec fast). John Mullins dog, a finalist in both the English and Irish Derbies, is quickly becoming the “Mr Consistent” on the open race circuit having finished second or third in the other half of his last eight contests. He snatched the lead around the first bend and held Stay Lucky comfortably enough. Minglers Thunder, last year’s Steel City Cup winner, was third.


Heat Three

Ballymac Mossjoe, the beaten 7-4 market leader in last year’s Eclipse final, confirmed odds-on favouritism but only just in this exciting qualifier. Barrie Draper’s dog looked set for an easy success when taking it up approaching the first turn. He entered the back straight seemingly in command but Ballymac Darragh suddenly mustered a fabulous turn of pace that propelled him into the lead, on the inside of Ballymac Mossjoe, at the third bend. Ballymac Darragh went a full length clear but seemed unable to quicken off the final turn and was caught in the dying strides by a renewed challenge from Ballymac Mossjoe, who got up by a head in 29.96sec (0.50sec fast). Maglass Razzle was a further head away in third.


Heat Four

Droopys Buick produced the heat of the round with a sizzling effort. Jimmy Wright’s dog contested an early advantage with Be Up Front but quickened ahead of the second turn and wasn’t challenged thereafter. The extremely talented son of Yeah Man went on to win by five lengths in 29.24sec (0.40sec fast). Oakfield Caesar moved into second place at halfway and stayed there, whilst Swift Carter was the best of the rest from third. Having been so prominent early on, Be Up Front was unable to maintain a good enough pace from the second bend to secure a place in the semi-final draw when finishing fourth.


Heat Five

Pinpoint Boss made a winning UK debut for Kelly Macari with an impressive victory by almost four lengths in 29.53sec (0.40sec fast). In what was a smashing line-up that included Sussex Cup winner Barricane Tiger and Kildallon Bolt, the winner of the Northern Puppy Derby, Pinpoint Boss took command from early leader Shaneboy Style just before the third bend and stayed strongly to score. The winner was known as Tyrur Siucra in Ireland where he won four of his 11 races. Barricane Tiger kept on well for second and Kildallon Bolt just outpointed Shaneboy Style to take third.


Heat Six

A no-nonsense out-and-gone approach from Tynwald Baz landed this by three and three-quarters of a length in 29.56sec (0.40sec fast) and ended a 10-race winning series from Bubbly Bluebird. The latter, trained by Paul Young and winner of the Puppy Classic over track and trip and more recently the Kent Derby at Central Park, lost his chance with a slow start, although it is to his credit that he recovered well enough to take the runner-up position. But there was no catching Tynwald Baz, a finalist in both the All England Cup and Steel City Cup recently, who showed his class with a textbook display of front-running. Oscar Whisky, winner of the aforementioned All England Cup, failed to qualify as Fourpenny Blaze took third.