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RPGTV SCOTTISH DERBY - SHAWFIELD 480M (£20,000)

A DOG that cost just £1800 and is one of small team of three trained by Scotchie Brown at Armadale in West Lothian took on the big boys and beat them in Saturday’s final of the RPGTV Scottish Derby at Shawfield.

Hot Pipe was the 25-1 rank outside for the high-class decider of the £20,000 480-metre Category One competition but you wouldn’t have known it as he displayed pace, guts and determination in equal quantities to defeat a field that included an Irish Derby winner (Ballymac Matt) and an English Derby third (Eden The Kid) amongst others.

In doing so the February ’13 son of Head Bound became the first Scottish runner to lift the title since Cosha Orchis way back in 1974 and, coincidentally, the win was achieved a year to the day that Hot Pipe had lost his maiden tag in an A3 at Shelbourne Park.

His trainer had wanted a fast break from Hot Pipe and he got his wish as the striking black broke quickly from trap six. Ballymac Matt (trap one) also trapped well. Leave At Dawn (trap two) moved right from the traps and Droopys Buick (trap four) went left, which meant Eden The Kid (trap three) was hampered. Fair Taxes (trap five) came away well and sat in behind the leaders as they made their way to the first bend.

At the turn, Hot Pipe cut across to the inside – forcing Ballymac Matt to check his stride. Leave At Dawn slipped through on the rails and for a moment held third. Ballymac Matt was second at this point but didn’t take the second bend too well and was clearly under pressure, allowing Fair Taxes to charge along the far side and joined Hot Pipe at the third turn.

For a moment – a brief moment – on the run-in Fair Taxes appeared to head Hot Pipe. The latter, however, battled back into the lead and then had to deal with a renewed challenge from Ballymac Matt on the wide outside.

The three of them – Hot Pipe, Fair Taxes and Ballymac Matt – flashed across the line together. The photo showed Hot Pipe had held on, by a short-head from Fair Taxes, with Ballymac Matt in third. The winning time was 29.09sec. Eden The Kid didn’t get into the race after early and finished fourth, with Droopys Buick and Leave At Dawn in fifth and sixth respectively.

 

WHAT THE TRAINERS SAID

SCOTCHIE BROWN: “I thought he has over priced as I believed he had a chance of leading on the outside. I was hoping for a bit of crowding in behind but that didn’t happen so he had to battle it out, which he did. It was a great final, full of top class greyhounds and our lad did us proud. He was fast, strong and determined. We are over the moon. He wasn’t expensive – just £1800. To be honest we offered only £1500 for him, which was turned down, and, but for watching him run so well at Shelbourne Park, we might not have gone to an extra £300. But we did, thankfully. In terms of the future, we will concentrate on the opens at Newcastle and Sunderland – his next big race will most probably be the William Hill Classic over 450 metres.”

 

KELLY MACARI: “Firstly I’d like to offer my congratulations to Hot Pipe’s connections. He ran a great race and was a fantastic winner. Ballymac Matt has come out of the race okay and we will speak with Liam (Dowling, former trainer and part owner) to decide whether he stays with us or goes back to him in Ireland to concentrate on defending his Irish Derby title. He’s never been the smoothest of bend runners and I think we saw that on Saturday, particularly at the second bend where he seemed to lose his footing. It was a tremendous final in terms of quality and you cannot give dogs of that class and inch and he paid the price for doing that. I was pleased by the way he ran on and he was in front after the line. But he has come back in one piece and that’s the main thing.”

 

ON THE UNDERCARD

A victory for Newinn Champ in the £2,500 RPGTV Puppy Trophy (480 metres) was the highlight of the supporting races at Shawfield on Saturday. The strong-running son of Aero Majestic trapped quicker than expected and tracked early leader Slippy Perry before passing him on the run-in to score by half a length in 28.87sec. For trainer Pat Rosney it was a second success in the race, having won it 12 months ago with Vatican Gurkha. The night must have also evoked memories of last year’s victory of his Swift Hoffman in the Scottish Derby for the popular Rosney. Julie Bateson, a devoted supported of Shawfield, scored in the £2,500 RPGTV Trophy over 500 metres with Halcrow Bound in 30.25sec.