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Coral Olympic - Hove 515M - £7,500

DROOPYS BUICK is long odds-on to take the Coral Olympic, the last Category One of the year, over 515 metres at Hove on Thursday.

It means what looked like being a frustrating, and possibly barren, 2016 for Jimmy Wright’s crack middle-distance runner could end with him taking two top drawer finals and making a serious challenge to be GBGB Greyhound of the Year.

Defeats in the finals of the Scottish Derby, Ladbrokes Gold Cup and Wilf Husband Memorial – in addition to his withdrawal from the English Derby through sickness – meant a miserable time for Wright and the Conlon Family, the owners of Droopys Buick.

But he bounced back when defeating a cracking field that included Bubbly Bluebird, Tynwald Baz and Barricane Tiger, in the final of the Eclipse and his performances in the preliminaries of the Olympic have been foot-perfect.

He was at his best in the semi-finals when defeating the aforementioned Barricane Tiger, himself the winner of the Category One Sussex Cup over track and trip, in a sizzling 29.65sec – easily the fastest of the three semi-finals.

On the evidence, so far this £7,500 final ought to be a cake walk for Droopys Buick, as long as he traps well. But there is plenty of quality amongst the other five runners to capitalise if the three-year-old son of Yeah Man makes a mistake.

Peregrine Falcon, a dog who has reached both the finals of the Irish and English Derbies in the last could of years, is probably the best of them. He joined John Mullins from Pat Curtin’s kennels in Ireland in August and has since won half of his 16 races.

Barricane Tiger has seen plenty of the backside of Droopys Buick but he has ability and, if getting a fair rub of the green, he will be on hand to threaten Droopys Buick.

Brinkleys King, Cork Falcon and Huarache Scotty make up the sextet and now can be considered make weights.

THE CORAL OLYMPIC DRAW

1 Droopys Buick

2 Huarache Scotty

3 Peregrine Falcon

4 Barricane Tiger

5 Brinkleys King (m)

6 Cork Falcon (m)

THE CORAL OLYMPIC SEMI-FINALS – THURSDAY, DECEMBER 22

The First Semi-Final

Peregrine Falcon’s tremendous record since he joined John Mullins from Pat Curtin, his trainer and part-owner, in August continued with a smart trap-to-line victory. The dual Derby finalist has won seven of his 16 races since arriving and Mullins’ Suffolk kennels. He has finished second four times, third four times and fourth once. Here he broke quickly and was always travelling best as he scored by a length and three parts from Cork Falcon in 30.11sec (0.10sec slow). The first two only qualified for the final, so you had to feel for local trainer Seamus Cahill who also supplied the third and fourth placed Ballymac Lyster and Coconut Corker.

The Second Semi-Final

Anyone who noticed the impressive display from Brinkleys King when he ran second to Droopys Buick at the first round stage last week will have invested a bob or two in the June Harvey-trained newcomer. And he didn’t disappoint when tracking the early leader, the heavily-supported Huarache Scotty, before slipping through on the rails to take it up at the second bend. From that point there was only going to be one winner as Brinkleys King stayed on to score by a length in 30.21sec (0.10sec slow). Huarache Scotty lost nothing in defeat and kept on well to take second place for Towcester trainer Kevin Hutton.

The Third Semi-Final

Droopys Buick treated those at the track and punters watching in the betting shops a virtuoso performance in easily the fastest time of the night. Jimmy Wright’s Eclipse winner broke well from trap three and led on the way to the first bend. There was a hint of him moving towards the rail on the run-up and he was pretty close to the inside as he went round the first bend in front. The Newcastle-based runner quickly accelerated and ran his rivals into submission as he crossed the line three and a half lengths clear in 29.65sec (0.10sec slow). A measure of the quality of the performance is that the runner-up, Barricane Tiger, is himself a Category One winner having landed the Sussex Cup over course and distance in the summer.