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

IRELAND’S Toolmakers Scot provided favourite backers with their only moment of relief on an otherwise disastrous start to the William Hill Classic at Sunderland on Saturday.

The dog that earlier in the day had set out with trainer Steven Gleeson on the 600-mile trip from his Co Kildare kennels to Wearside showed no ill-effects from the journey with a sizzling 26.74sec victory at odds of 6-4 favourite in the second of six first round heats of the £25,000-to-the-winner competition.

It should be noted it was the first race after the bowser had regraded the track, but that shouldn’t detract from what was a superb display from the two-year-old who took over from early leader Coolavanny Rebel approaching the third bend and made light work of a good class field, staying on strongly right to the line.

Romford trainer Paul Young had a double with Bubbly Turbo and Ajlo Legalbeagle in heats one and four respectively.

Bubbly Turbo moved middle from the starting traps and led on the run-up to beat Southfield Jock by a length in 27.24sec. The latter seemingly had every chance after slotting in on the rails behind the leader at the first bend. Charity Buster broke well but faded out of contention along the farside as Be Up Front ran on to take third.

Aljo Legalbeagle benefitted from crowding, involving the four inside runners, to make all from trap six in the fourth heat. Save The Don moved off from trap one and Calzaghi George, from trap four, moved in, causing the trouble. Aljo Legalbeagle and reserve runner Ballymac Cathal took advantage to the extent that they finished first and second. The winner clocked 27.02sec.

Baran Jack, the outsider of the sextet, caught the front-running Roxholme Scolari to score by a neck in 27.18sec – whilst Master Lego brought his record to an incredible six wins from seven starts since joining Colin Handiford with a textbook front-running display in heat three.

There is so much to like about Master Lego who cut across at the first bend and went on to defeat a good field that included Clondoty Alice and William Hill Derby third Hiya Butt in 27.56sec.

Shaneboy Freddie gave the much-travelled Kevin Boon a well-deserved success in the sixth and final heat when outpointing Jaytee Spartacus by two lengths in 27.21sec.

 

WHAT CONNECTIONS HAD TO SAY

 

Robert Gleeson (Toolmaker Scot): “I was really pleased with his performance on Saturday. He ran the track really well and I was delighted by the way he stayed. He was even in front at the pick-up. He seems to have come out of the race well but he will be checked by the physio tomorrow as a matter of course. The semi-final draw is tough enough and the dogs on his inside (Bubbly Turbo and Hiya Butt) have great pace to the bend and, to be honest, I could have done without being draw outside them. But my fella will run straight to the turn, whereas Hiya Butt has a tendency to move in and Bubbly Turbo moves out so there is a chance of the crowding on the inside, which will benefit my runner.”

 

Colin Handiford (Master Lego): “I couldn’t be happier. He was little tired the day after the run but is fine now. Every time we ask him he seems to be capable of pulling out a little bit more. To be honest I really don’t think we have got to the bottom of him yet. I was also pleased by the way he stayed on. His semi-final on Saturday is a decent one but I think he has a leader’s chance.”

 

 

William Hill Classic Semi-Finals – Saturday, June 9

 

1st Semi-Final

1 No But

2 Jaytee Spartacus

3 Roxholme Scolari

4 Clondoty Alex

5 Master Lego (w)

6 Bramble Bruno (w)

JAYTEE SPARTACUS could just have the edge here, although the race will take plenty of winning with Roxholme Scolari and Clondoty Alex expected to be competitive and Master Lego fancied to display his cracking early pace on the outside. It’s likely that this contest will only begin to take shape around the third bend by which time the Paul Young-trained Jaytee Spartacus could well be in the driving seat.

 

 

 

2nd Semi-Final

1 Bubbly Turbo

2 Hiya Butt

3 Toolmaker Scott

4 Baran Jack (m)

5 Ballymac Cathal (w)

6 Stay Lucky (w)

 

THIS has the look of an absolute cracker with Toolmaker Scot getting a tentative vote with the likelihood of trouble on the inside between Bubbly Turbo and Hiya Butt, who would probably benefit from their starting positions being swapped over. Toolmaker Scot looked smart on Saturday, going up with crack sprinter Coolavanny Rebel and showing smashing pace home. That sort of performance, if replicated, could be enough.

 

3rd Semi-Final

1 Southfield Jock

2 Shaneboy Freddie

3 Calzaghe George

4 Coolavanny Rebel (m)

5 Ajlo Legalbeagle (w)

6 Be Up Front (w)

 

SOUTHFIELD JOCK has the pace and the draw to make the difference in another hugely competitive semi-final. Shaneboy Freddie rarely runs a bad race and must enter calculations whilst both Ajlo Legalbeagle and Be Up Front have the ability to enter the mix. But on weighing up all the evidence it would appear that if running up to his best form Southfield Jock is the one they must beat.