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

IF you were set the task of coming up with the dog perfectly equipped to be the best over 450 metres at Sunderland I don’t think the finished article would differ that much from what we have in Toolmaker Scot.

The dog trained by Robert Gleeson at Rathangan in County Kildare seems to be the perfect fit for the Wearside track – a point he hammered home on Saturday with an emphatic win in the second semi-final of the William Hill Classic.

The decision by Gleeson and Scotland-based owner Willie Hyslop to challenge the best of the home-trained runners for the £25,000 first prize advanced another step when he made all from trap three to win by seven lengths in 26.79sec – by some way the fastest of the night.

Once again the October 2013 son of Boherna On Air proved that at this present time he is trapping better and displaying superior early pace to any other greyhound in the competition – he’s not staying too bad either.

Baran Jack outran a tiring Bubbly Turbo to take second and the only remaining place – only two qualify - for the final on Wednesday, which is the feature of a gala card live on SKY Sports 3 from 7pm.

Paul Young, the trainer of Bubbly Turbo, had better luck in the first semi-final 15 minutes or so earlier when his talented Jaytee Spartacus made all to take the first semi-final of the Classic.

The February 2014 son of Scolari Me Daddy trapped just about in front and went into a clear lead as Clondoty Alex, who had also started well, stumbled soon after leaving the boxes.

Jaytee Spartacus continued to set a rapid pace and ultimately had two and a half lengths to spare over Roxholme Scolari in 27.26sec (0.10sec slow).

Southfield Jock was the warm fancy for the third and concluding qualifier but he had to work probably a little harder than was anticipated before he claimed the scalp of that tidy early-pacer Coolavanny Rebel.

Aljo Legalbeagle and Coolavanny Rebel had both had a share of the early lead before the Seamus Cahill-trained Southfield Jock took over at the second turn.

There must have been a moment when those that had taken the odds-on about the Derby semi-finalist, Southfield Jock, thought he would go one for a comfortable victory but Coolavanny Rebel was having none of it.

The pair were as one for most of the journey before Southfield Jock put his head on the line when it mattered most to win by a short-head in 27.14asec (0.10sec slow).


Robert Gleeson (Toolmaker Scot): “I’m really pleased with the way he is running the track and particularly by the way he is staying. The draw in the final (trap one) could be tricky in as much as it can get a little tight on the inside at the bends. But if he keeps trapping well that ought not to be a problem, if he can either be level on in front at the first turn. He is handling the travelling well. We have our fingers crossed for the final.”


The William Hill Classic Final (450m) £25,000, Wednesday, July 13 2016

TOOLMAKER SCOT can become the first Irish-trained greyhound to land the William Hill Classic Final for County Kildare-based trainer Robert Gleeson and owner Willie Hyslop, from Scotland.

The early-paced blue runs from trap one for the first time in this competition but his record elsewhere in the red jacket is good and currently runs at a 50 per cent strike rate.

His sectional suggest he can lead early on and, as his trainer Robert Gleeson says, he only needs to be level with the field to turn in front at the first bend.

Make no mistake, however, this is a good quality field consisting of runners that are more than capable to pulling a big run out of the bag or capitalising on any slip-ups from Toolmakers Scot.

We haven’t seen the best from Southfield Jock thus far and Jaytee Spartacus hinted at a return to his best at the weekend and both could come on.

Coolavanny Rebel and Roxholme Scolari both have big runs in them, whilst Baran Jack is the outsider but has reached the final on merit.

But on preliminary round form Toolmaker Scot only needs to get to the first bend in front or level with the field to score.


Draw for Wednesday’s Classic Final, Live on Sky


  • Toolmaker Scot
  • Southfield Jock
  • Roxholme Scolari
  • Jaytee Spartacus
  • Baran Jack(M)
  • Coolavanny Rebel (M)