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William Hill/Underground Puppy Derby - Peterborough 435M

IT’S amazing how quickly greyhound racing moves on. In April we were celebrating fresh new talents such as Droopys Trapeze and Holdem Rio in the Gymcrack at Kinsley, and here we are a little over a month later acknowledging the arrival on the big stage of the latest batch of potential superstars such Newinn Shadow, Kallinan Infanta and Droopys Polly in the first round of the William Hill/Underground Puppy Derby at Peterborough.

It’s the first time the Peterborough Puppy Derby has been staged since 2012 and boy how we have missed it judging on the superb racing at the Posh on Wednesday and the marvellous youngsters that have emerged from it.

Top of the pile is Newinn Shadow whose racecourse debut in the fifth heat of £8,500-to-the-winner 435-metre contest is one of the best I have seen for a while.

Pre-competition trials had marked Newinn Shadow as special and the December 2014 whelp didn’t disappoint. He broke quickly, moved to the middle of the track from his trap five starting position, maintained a middle course around the bend, and won going away by five lengths from a fast-finishing Savanna Lord in 26.03sec (0.20sec slow) – the fastest time of the night.

Killinan Infanta is the youngest in the competition and in a pre-race interview David Pruhs, her trainer, seemed to be warning not to expect too much from a lightly-framed January 2015 whelp who was far from the finished article.

If the astute Pruhs was just trying to dampen the air of expectation shadowing the English debut of Killinan Infanta he needn’t have worried as the daughter of Brett Lee led at the sectional and popped around the first bend in front as trouble behind held up the others in the sixth and concluding heat.

The talented Droopys Country, who lost more at the first bend than he was beaten by, closed the gap to half a length at the line but there was a lot to like about the resolution and desire shown by Killinan Infanta, who posted 26.24sec (0.20sec slow).

Droopys Polly boasted an impressive CV going into the fourth heat. The Matt Dartnall-trained bitch had won three of her first four races at Towcester before breaking into season and heat four was her first race back after a five-month spell off the card.

You wouldn’t have known it, however, as the August 2014 daughter of Romeo Recruit benefitted from first bend trouble but then went on to score by an ever-increasing nine and a half lengths in 26.20sec (0.20sec slow).

Having suffered a defeat at Sheffield on May 10, his only start since landing the Gymcrack, Droopys Trapeze resumed winning ways in the third heat.

This was just the type of performance we have come to expect from the Jimmy Wright-trained youngster as he broke quickly and put the race to bed soon after the start to score by a length and a half from Lightfoot Mikel in 26.28sec (0.30sec slow).

Holdem Chico, who was the market leader in the final of the Gymcrack, was the odds-on favourite for the second heat and did the business by converting a first bend lead into a three-parts-of-a-length verdict in 26.55sec (0.30sec slow).

Favourite backers, however, were out of luck in the opening heat when Ballymac Santose, trained by Richard Devenish, proved too good for the market leader Ballymac Elvis to win by a length in 26.33sec (0.30sec slow).

 

SEMI-FINALS WEDNESDAY, JUNE 8

A CLEARER run than he experienced in the first round should see Droopys Country turnaround heat six form with the progressive Killinan Infanta. The Jimmy Wright-trained dog made up the best part of three or four lengths on David Pruhs’ precocious January 2015 bitch after a bump at the opening turn and could have the edge.

First Semi-Final

1 Savanna Lord

2 All About Class

3 Killinan Infanta

4 Droopys Ring

5 Ballymac Santose

6 Droopys Country (m)

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEWINN SHADOW has the momentum and gets the vote to make it two wins from two starts but it really is a terrifically competitive race. Not least because Holdem Rio has his perfect draw in trap one and the extremely useful Droopys Polly goes from trap five. The Seamus Cahill-trained Newinn Shadow doesn’t look likely to be inconvenienced by running from trap six and he should win again, although perhaps not as easily.

Second Semi-Final

1 Holdem Rio

2 Lightfoot Mikel

3 Liosgarbh Nealy

4 Ballymac Elvis

5 Droopys Polly

6 Newinn Shadow (m)

 

 

DROOPYS TRAPEZE looked so good in the first round it is impossible to construct a case for any of the others defeating him. A quick start should put him ahead on the run to the opening turn and he can build on that throughout.

Third Semi-Final

1 Ballymac McCole

2 Dranoel

3 Droopys Trapeze

4 Kooga Klammer

5 Pieman Rocket (m)

6 Newinn Hulk (m)

 

TRAINER QUOTES

SEAMUS CAHILL (Newinn Shadow and Newinn Hulk): “I couldn’t have been happier with Newinn Shadow. And at this stage he looks a really nice prospect. He has very limited trial experienced so that was a cracking debut run. He has drawn an extremely tough semi-final and the likes of Holdem Rio and Droopys Polly will take plenty of beating but Shadow is doing everything right and I’m hopeful he will be in the final. Hulk ran well to be second in his heat and will continue to come on – Droopys Trapeze looks the likely winner of his semi-final.”