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BETFRED GYMCRACK – KINSLEY 462m (£8,000)

THE Betfred Gymcrack is always a high class affair and this year is no exception as was highlighted by the semi-finals at Kinsley on Sunday during which a new record for the 462-metre trip was created by Droopys Trapeze.

The authority with which the Jimmy Wright-trained dog disposed of his rivals in the first semi-final of this £8,000-to-the-winner Category One suggested the run was a quick one. And so it proved when the winning time of 27.02sec – one hundredths of a second faster than the previous best set last September by Battyford Tracey – was announced.

Jimmy Wright, the Newcastle-based trainer of Droopys Trapeze, says the September ’14 son of Tullymurry Act has “huge” early pace and he is not kidding. Droopys Trapeze stopped the sectional clock at 05.04sec on his way to defeating Riverside Escape by three and quarter lengths.

The third semi-final also featured a sizzling run – this time from Holdem Rio (trap three). The need for the July ’14 son of Crash to get away to a good start given the pace on his inner in the shape of Geelo Sapphire (trap one) and Tyrur Fergal (trap two), was not lost on Heather Dimmock, his trainer, and she must have breathed a sigh of relief when he trapped clear of the field.

Holdem Rio clocked a slick 05.08sec sectional and maintained a frantic pace throughout to win by a shade over two lengths from Live Annie (trap five) in 27.14sec.

The runner-up caught the eye. Seamus Cahill’s bitch was held up around the first couple of turns before delivering a fast-finish to take the remaining qualifying position. Thus maintaining the tremendous record her trainer has in the event, having had at least one finalist every year for the last five years.

Banner Lightfoot brought his career record to six wins from as many starts when making all in the second semi-final. The Charlie Lister-trained dog won three at Galway before coming from Ireland and has now landed a couple at Kinsley and another at Nottingham since joining his current kennel.

He has excellent early but was slower on the sectional – he clocked just 05.21sec – and on the end time, which was 27.50sec. There is, however, a lot to like about Banner Lightfoot’s early pace and consistency and he put his rivals to the sword from the outset to score by four and a half lengths. Lowgate Hagrid again stayed on well to take second and claim a place in the final.

The Betfred Gymcrack Final 20/04/2014

THE draw has worked out well for a cracking decider. Trap one is a fabulous starting position for Holdem Rio and if he breaks as quickly as we know he can he will take some beating.

However, Droopys Trapeze (trap three), the youngest in the final, continues to improve and recorded a quicker split time than Holdem Rio in the semi-finals. That is countered by the fact that he is drawn on the outside of Heather Dimmock’s dog, which is a clear disadvantage.

It looks like it will be a classic encounter between those two early on and don’t dismiss Banner Lightfoot (trap four) who has sizzling pace to the turn. Riverside Escape is another with pace up and could feature, whilst Lowgate Hagrid is particularly quick coming home.

If the Holdem Rio-Droopys Trapeze stranglehold on the event is to be broken it may be by Live Annie. She was eye-catching when closing down Rio Holdem on Sunday and is very strong.

Betfred Gymcrack Final Draw

1 Holdem Rio

2 Riverside Escape

3 Droopys Trapeze

4 Banner Lightfoot (m)

5 Lowgate Hagrid (m)

6 Live Annie (m)

 

WHAT THE TRAINERS SAY

JIMMY WRIGHT: “I’m really pleased with the early pace he is showing and happy enough with his draw in trap three. To be honest he’s as good from either one, two or trap three. He came out of Sunday’s race well and I’m looking forward to the final, although it’s not until Wednesday week which is not ideal. He’ll probably have a gallop on Saturday just to keeping him ticking over and that should put him spot on. Holdem Rio looks the biggest danger but it is a good final.”

HEATHER DIMMOCK: “I was pleased with his semi-final run and happy with his trap one draw in the final. I was also very impressed with Droopys Trapeze. He showed cracking pace and it could be a case of whoever leads between Holdem Rio and Droopys Trapeze will win – although there are four other very good dogs in the decider. Our dog has come out of the race in good form and at the moment we are toying with the idea of giving him a trial as there is now a ten-day break until the final. The alternative to a trial is one or two gallops at home. We’ll think carefully and come up with the best option to have him right for the final.”

 

AND THE RACING MANAGER

ANDREW MASCARENHAS: “Holdem Rio has his draw for the first time in the competition and I think it’s between him and Droopys Trapeze, after his track record run in the semi-finals. I thought Live Annie also ran well when finishing behind Holdem Rio in the semi-finals and might be in with a chance if improving.”