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Betfred Select Stakes - Nottingham 500M (£7,500)

RAB McNAIR makes no secret of his huge regard for Nick Savva. The ebullient Scot cannot heap enough praise on the man who through his “Westmead” prefix has done more than any other to raise the profile of British breeding.

I am sure McNair, assistant to wife Liz in training a select team of high quality racers from their kennels in Kent, would be thrilled if Eden The Kid could, on Tuesday evening at Nottingham, become the first British-bred since Savva’s Sonic Flight to land the Betfred-sponsored Select Stakes over 500 metres, live on Sky Sports 1 from 7pm.

This is a race created in 1952 to bring together the best middle-distance performers in training and the list of those that have been successful over the years shows it has achieved that objective.

The inaugural Select Stakes in 1952 was won by Ballylanigan Tanist, whose record in 1951 of winning the English and Welsh Derbies, running-up in the Scottish Derby and landing the Laurels stands up against those that came before and since.

Other Select Stakes winners have been Mile Bush Pride, Mutts Silver, Desert Pilot and Some Picture. Last year it was won by subsequent 2015 GBGB Greyhound of the Year Swift Hoffman.

Whoever wins on Tuesday will have earned the right to be talked about in the same breath as the those previously mentioned and others that have been successful in the race at both Wembley, its venue until 1996, and at Nottingham where it has been staged since.

Eden The Kid finished second to the Swift Hoffman in last year’s Select and has warmed up for this term’s renewal with a couple of trials and a smart race victory at Nottingham over Making Paper. The latter has come in from the subs’ bench after the sad career-ending hock fracture sustained by Ballymac Brogan in a trial at Nottingham last week.

Droopys Buick hasn’t had the best of luck lately. He was pulled out of the first round of the William Hill Derby with an infection and that after clocking a sizzling 28.04sec (0.20sec fast) over track and trip in a trial, days before, and a couple of weeks ago he failed after trouble in running to land the odds in the Wilf Husband Memorial at Newcastle.

Jimmy Wright, his trainer, has his dogs in cracking form at present and is sweet about the claims of Droopys Buick, whose best chance of winning is in leading in the early stages.

Making Paper, a Derby finalist last year, was unfortunate when going out of this year’s competition during the second round having looked so impressive, despite suffering a defeat, at the first round stage. Diane Henry’s dog likes Nottingham, particularly the long run-in there, and is expected to make an impact from trap one.

A dog trained in Ireland has never won the Select Stakes, although I’m not sure there have been many that have contested the race. Lenson Sanchez, a greyhound used to the plundering of prizes this side of the Irish Sea following his success in the 2014 Puppy Derby at Wimbledon, bids to put that particular record straight for County Tipperary trainer Pat Buckley.

Buckley is a great supporter of UK racing and few would begrudge him, and the dog, something of an Anglo-Irish alliance given that Lenson Sanchez is owned by London-based Len Ponder, landing the Select.

This year Lenson Sanchez has reached the final of the Easter Cup at Shelbourne Park in March, won by the subsequent Derby hero Jaytee Jet, and he also reached the quarter finals of the Derby at Wimbledon.

Domino Storm finished third to her brother, Swift Hoffman, in last year’s Select Stakes. She went into the Derby in May in smashing form – having won seven from eight prior to the competition, including a track record run over 480 metres at Sheffield – and landing two heats until her third round elimination.

Hot Pipe hasn’t had the best of times since he was a surprise winner of the Scottish Derby at Shawfield in April and he hasn’t trialled particularly well. But “Scotchie” Brown’s dog has pulled a big run out of the bag when it mattered most before, and he could do it again, particularly as the only wide seed in the line-up.

WHAT CONNECTIONS HAD TO SAY

Mark Wallis (Domino Storm): “Her draw (trap four) makes it a little difficult but it is what it is. We were delighted she got an invitation for the second successive year and, after a short-break following the Derby, she can go one or two places better than last year when she was third to Swift Hoffman.”

Jimmy Wright (Droopys Buick): “He is very well. He galloped at the weekend and went well. I’m happy with the draw. If he breaks well I think he will have a great chance.”

 

The Betfred Select Stakes (500m) (£7,500)

1 Making Paper

2 Eden The Kid

3 Droopys Buick

4 Domino Storm

5 Lenson Sanchez (m)

6 Hot Pipe (w)

 

Bedfred Select Stayers Stakes (730m) (£2,500)

THE appearance of Roxholme Magic in the Betfred Stayers Stakes has really given the card an added boost and has caught the imagination of the racing public.

It is fair to say Hayley and Mark Keightley, the part owners and trainers of the marathon superstar, are being brave racing their bitch over a trip well shy of her best, particularly as her style of dropping out early and producing a late surge could see her well behind early on

There is plenty of quality in the line-up for this six-bend contest, including Regency winner Billys Bullet and the talented Borna Mindy, the winner of six of the her last eight opens.

 

1 Borna Mindy

2 Billys Bullet

3 Fabulous Landing

4 Muskerry Dalo (m)

5 Oneco Melissa (w)

6 Roxholme Magic (w)

 

Hayley Keightley (Roxholme Girl): “I know we are taking a chance. They are quicker early than the dogs she usually faces and this is a shorter trip than she usually races over. There is the chance they’ll go off at a quick pace and she might have problems staying close enough to make her finishing kick pay dividends in the latter stages. But it’s all about competing and that is what we are in it for.”