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William Hill Classic - Sunderland 450M (£25,000)

HIYA BUTT is the headline act of a cast of stars that line-up for the first round of the William Hill Classic over 450 metres at Sunderland on Saturday.

Luke Bagwell, of the sponsors, echoed the thoughts of many when he said: “It’s a fabulous field. There are at least 10 dogs you can give a major chance to.

“Hiya Butt is bound to be popular given the early pace he showed in the Derby at Wimbledon and his subsequent trials at Sunderland. We have taken a bit on him at 7-2. But he won’t have it all his own way and the likes of Jaytee Spartacus, Southfield Jock and Pinpoint Den are sure to make him go a bit.”

The last two mentioned – Southfield Jock and Pinpoint Den – clash in the very first heat of the £25.000-to-the-winner Category One. It’s a fabulous start to the event and the heat also includes the Derby semi-finalist Bubbly Turbo.

Heat One (8.26pm): There is very little between Southfield Jock and Bubbly Turbo on William Hill Derby semi-final form. It’s worth noting former wide seed Bubbly Turbo (trap one) is now drawn inside Southfield Rocky (trap two) and there is potential for trouble. With that in mind it could pay to follow Pinpoint Den, an impressive sub 27-second winner over course and distance on June 18. Throw in Derby Plate scorer Charity Buster, Anglo-Irish winner Be Up Front and recent Nottingham winner Rock Me Kewell and we have a race full of promise.

Heat Two (8.42pm): Another top class contest where the outcome is far from clear. Toolmaker Scot (trap four) is the only representative from Ireland, something of a surprise given the value of the competition. He moved extremely well when posting 26.92sec in a trial over track and trip. Recent Peterborough Puppy Derby winner Holdem Rio (trap two) wasn’t as impressive in his trial but there is no doubting his class and he is a serious player. Those same sentiments apply to crack sprinter Coolavanny Rebel (trap five), whilst only a fool would rule out the Charlie Lister duo Bigmans Kid (trap one) and Stay Lucky (trap six), and Pinpoint Ethan (trap three) is an interesting new recruit for Kelly Macari.

Heat Three (8.58pm): All eyes will be on Hiya Butt (trap one) after his tremendous William Hill Derby campaign, and two good trials over this track and trip. It’s his first race since finishing a narrowly beaten third in the Derby final and the early pace he displayed then – and all the way through the competition – can put him ahead of these. Clondoty Alex (trap two) was beaten a short-head by Charity Buster in a fantastic finish to the Derby Plate and must come into the reckoning, as should the talented Master Lego (trap six), who impressed in a Trial Stakes last weekend.

 

Heat Four (10.03pm): This is one of the more competitive heats. Aljo Legalbeagle (trap six) has kept some very exalted company recently. He trialled well and looks nicely drawn. Calzaghe George (trap four) reached the semi-finals of this last year and has returned in good form from a short break having won his last two races, both of which were here. Stay Loose (trap three) and Droopys Five (trap two) are others that catch the eye, Save The Don (trap one) and Bubbly Bingo (trap five) merit plenty of respect.

 

Heat Five (1018pm): No But (trap three), last year’s winner, may be returning to his best form in time for his title defence. Banner Lightfoot showed fabulous early-speed during the Gymcrack at Kinsley and looks the type to do well over this course and distance. Roxholme Scolari (trap two) has been trialling well and will benefit from an uninterrupted run of races. Woodys Antigua is a kennelmate of No But and clearly has some ability, whilst Docino Rose is open to improvement. Baran Jack makes the log journey from the south coast and is clearly rated highly by connections.

 

Heat Six (10.35pm): A real cracker to end proceedings. Jaytee Spartacus (trap two) is a very talented hound and will be well fancied to land this outright. He has trialled well over course and distance and has strong claims. California (trap five) produced some sizzling early paced displays during the early rounds of the Derby and is a serious player. Derby semi-finalist Shaneboy Freddie (trap three) is as tough as teak and extremely consistent. He must enter calculations. Ashbank Senna (trap one) was responsible for a very smart trial. Fane Whalerdaler (trap four) looked good over track and trip recently and Bramble Bruno (trap six) has improved in trials.