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On paper the first semi-final looked to be tough as it featured last year's defending champion You Never Listen and last year’s runner-up Laughing Gravy. On the night though, no greyhound was a match for Vanayamzaman. The Kevin Hutton trained star, exploded from the boxes and delivered an exceptional trap-to-line winning performance. Laughing Gravy and You Never Listen, had to battle it out for second and that all important qualifying slot. Laughing Gravy emerged triumphant crossing the line, 1 and 1/4 lengths behind Vanayamzaman, in a super-fast time of 23.91.


The second semi-final was a messy affair. Jolly Ranger came out on top by 3 lengths, over Ballinclare Solo, in 24.50. Undoubtedly, there was bad luck stories all over the place, but you have to give huge credit to Jolly Ranger and Ballinclare Solo, both showed great determination and make the big final on merit. 


Arguably the biggest shock of the night came in the third semi-final, when National Sprint Champion and impressive first-round winner Scolari Sound crashed out. He broke moderately and paid the price. In stark contrast Droopys Story soon led and was dictating the race from the front. Pass To Go put in a good performance, to take second but he was 1 and 1/4 lengths down at the line, in 24.17.


Full Results Here: 


Final 18/03/16


T1 Jolly Ranger

T2 Ballinclare Solo (m)

T3 Droopys Story (m)

T4 Laughing Gravy (w)

T5 Pass To Go (w)

T6 Vanayamzaman (w)


Can Gravy Go One Better In 2016? 


I caught up with David Pruhs to ask him


“Romford is his track, he won the Romford Puppy Cup here and finished runner-up in this competition last year. You need a bit of luck but I'm very happy with his draw. That may seem strange with him being a wide-runner, but I think it was vital to be drawn on the inside of Vanayamzaman. On these sharp tracks it is difficult when you go up wide and cut the bend, especially in a final of this calibre, you have five dogs to clear, in theory now he's only got three to clear”.


David, Laughing Gravy has been performing at the highest level for two years, you have had other dogs like Isheforreal who have enjoyed great longevity in the sport, what is your secret?


“The biggest thing you need is luck, if you get injuries they take their toll. We always give a dog a break if they put in a mediocre performance, it makes no sense to me to run a dog who's not performing well, even if there is no obvious injury. The owners are so supportive and you need that, there is never ever pressure on us to run”.


Laughing Gravy looks to be a stronger greyhound now, will you target the Derby this year?


“I'd say no, it's doubtful he will even run in it; he does not like Wimbledon and my thoughts are a more productive route will be the Gold Cup (Monmore) and Classic (Sunderland). He made the final of the Classic but we could not take our place in the £25,000 event, I'd love to go back and give that competition a good go, if he's still performing well at the time”.


We will see six fantastic greyhounds, chasing the £10,000 to-the-winner prize. All six will arrive at the start, hoping and believing they have a chance of winning this illustrious race. It's set to be a race to remember, get to Romford and watch this great race unfold live.