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Betfred Eclipse - Nottingham 500M - £8,000

IT took a while but Droopys Buick finally landed the big one his talent truly deserves in the final of the Betfred Eclipse (500m) at Nottingham on Tuesday.

And the impressive way he secured the £8,000 Category One left no doubt he is still very much one of the best middle-distance performers in in the UK and Ireland.

The collective sigh of relief from connections of Droopys Buick when he crossed the line a length and a quarter ahead of Tynwald Baz was almost palpable after a year during which sickness, bad luck and injury seemed to have conspired to deny him any silverware.

But the 2015 GBGB Newcomer of the Year and winner of last year’s Northern Puppy Derby was clearly determined to make his mark in 2016 and he had to do it the hard way to land a race in which no quarter was given nor expected.

Bumping at the start set the tone for what was to be a rough first quarter of a lap as the runners pushed and shoved their way into their preferred positions. Droopys Buick (trap four) was the marginal leader at the first bend but favourite Bubbly Bluebird (trap one) was forced to check as Tynwald Baz (trap five) plotted a clearer route around the outside.

Tynwald Baz took over from Droopys Buick off the second turn. Bubbly Bluebird held third place but was being pressed by last year’s beaten Eclipse favourite Ballymac Mossjoe (trap six) along the farside. The latter had recovered well from a bump and a slight stumble at the first bend. Barricane Tiger (trap three) had also taken a knock at the first turn, whilst Shaneboy Freddie (trap two) had slipped at the start and was squeezed for room on the run-up.

Tynwald Baz kept up a good gallop approaching the third turn and was clearly in no mood to surrender his lead. Droopys Buick continued to chase the leader but it wasn’t until the run-in when the advantage held by Tynwald Baz began to reduce. Sensing the success of his endeavours, Droopys Buick kept going until he drew level and then pulled clear to score by a length and a quarter in 30.13sec (0.10sec fast) – the slow time reflect the early trouble in the race.

A year that included being pulled out of the English Derby and All England Cup due to injury and reaching the finals of the Scottish Derby, Wilf Husband Memorial and Ladbrokes Gold Cup without success has ended on a high for Droopys Buick.

 

 

WHAT CONNECTIONS HAD TO SAY

Jimmy Wright (trainer of Droopy Buick): “I thought he was in trouble when Tynwald Baz got ahead of him along the back straight but he showed his class to win. I’m delighted. We have had kennel sickness and I was really worried he would pick it up. He has been isolated for 10 days which seems to have kept him clear of it. I wasn’t sure he would pick-up Tynwald Baz until late on during then race. This win really means the world to us. It is what we work for. I’m also pleased for the dog. He has had a lot of critics but he has proven them wrong this evening.”

 

Angela Harrison (Assistant to Jimmy Wright): “I’m extremely proud of the dog. He was fantastic. When I saw him in second place at the third bend I wasn’t sure he’d win because the dog in front (Tynwald Baz) is a fair dog but I was shouting for him off the fourth turn.”