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Coral Essex Vase - Romford 575M - £10,000

PAUL YOUNG is in a pretty good place right now. From a professional point of view 2016 has seen the emergence of his Bubbly Bluebird as the winter favourite for the Derby and a leading contender for Greyhound of the Year. And, from a personal perspective, in October he tied the knot with Miriam, nee Emmet now Young.

Things just couldn’t get any better…until they did. On Wednesday Bubbly Torpedo lived up to his name when exploding into action from the outset to take the Coral Essex Vase and give Young his first victory in one of the most important races at his home track.

It was also a first for the Champagne Club syndicate whose determination to win this 575-metre event goes back to before the turn of the Millennium.

Steve Fluin, the founder and chairman of greyhound racing’s most high profile consortium of owners, said: “I thought our chance had gone when Bubbly Gold, before now our most recent finalist, finished second last year.”

Bubbly Torpedo is a half-brother of Bubbly Gold – both are outofSpioraid Cath – and he is the seventh Champagne Club-owned runner in the Essex Vase final. The others were: Bubbly Gold, as previously mentioned last year, then Bubbly Totti (2009-08), Bubbly Casino (2006), Bubbly Lad (1998) and Bubbly Boy (1997).

On Wednesday, Roswell Romanov was the favourite to give Mark Wallis his fifth Essex Vase win in the last decade and he seemed well enough placed in trap one to do just that following an unbeaten journey to the decider.

But the August ’14 son of Quail Hollow was always on the back foot after conceding an early advantage to Bubbly Torpedo and then losing ground when checking at the first turn.

Peregrine Falcon came off the second bend a length or so behind Bubbly Torpedo but didn’t have the wherewithal to capitalise on that position and it was left to Roswell Romanov to rally close home.

His late effort was too little and too late as Bubbly Torpedo stretched clear to collect the £10,000 first prize by three and a half lengths in 35.24sec (normal).


What Connections had to say







Paul Young (trainer of Bubbly Torpedo): “He had to break well and he did on the night. It was the only way he could win. He’s excelled himself, and it’s great for the team and the Champagne Club. He is best in front. That’s his style.

“It’s been a great year. Bubbly Bluebird has been terrific and now this. But don’t forget Belle Vue (Young has three runners in the semi-finals of the Laurels and Bubbly Madeva in the Oaks on Thursday).”

Mim Young (assistant and wife of trainer): “When he led at the first bend I was pretty sure he had it in the bag but you can never be 100 per cent certain. He has run so well and we’ve had a great year. But all our success is down to the massive team effort from everybody at the kennels

Doug Norton (member of the Champagne Club Syndicate, owners of Bubbly Torpedo): “That was fantastic. I thought he showed great trackcraft, particularly when he cut in at the first bend. That meant he closed off the inside from the other runners. They just couldn’t get close to him. Then he settled in the middle of the track, where he wants to be. He’s a fabulous dog from trap five. He sees the bunny and he goes!

“I must say that we have had a fabulous year and it is down to our marvellous trainer, Paul Young. He is a modest man but I think he deserves credit for the way the dogs have performed.”

Steve Fluin (founder and chairman of the Champagne Club): “He (Bubbly Torpedo) was injured in Ireland when we got him. Paul and Miriam and the whole team have been brilliant this year and did so well to get Bubbly Torpedo to a level to win the Essex Vase. I cannot believe the year we have had.”


The Mitch Millward Memorial Marathon

THE inaugural Mitch Millward Memorial Marathon (750m) was the highlight of the under card and it went to the inform Slick Sebastian.

The Patrick Janssen-trained runner took it up from Spa Road Piper rounding the first and second turns and then saw off challenges from Fizzypop Buddy, the warm favourite, and latterly Billys Bullet to land the £5,000 first prize by two lengths in 47.29sec (normal).

It is hoped the race, which honours the memory of Mitch Millward, a leading owner who died last year after a battle with cancer, will become a yearly event on the Essex vase Final card.

What Connections Had To Say

Patrick Janssen (trainer of Slick Sebastian): “He only turned two in the summer and missed out by a short-head to make the St Leger final. He’s really taken to Romford and I thought that if he led tonight he would take a bit of catching. I’m over the moon with him. He stays further than tonight’s trip and is a real nice prospect. I was a friend a Mitch Millward and it is great to be able to remember him in this way. I delighted for Keith (Allsop, owner) as he is a tremendous supporter of the kennel.”

Keith Allsop (owner of Slick Sebastian): “He likes it here and that’s his fourth straight win at the track. We knew it was a good quality final but he’s a tough dog to beat when in front. He’s a very talented, gutsy dog who has been trained really well by Patrick.”