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William Hill Grand Prix - Sunderland 640M (15,000)

GREYHOUND racing history is littered with top class middle-distance dogs who promised to be even better stayers but flattered to deceive when that potential was put to the test.

Thankfully, for connections and those of us that have really enjoyed his performances in the first two rounds of the William Hill Grand Prix, Pinpoint Boom is not among them.

Kerry Macari, his trainer, said the winner of last year’s Nottingham Eclipse over 500 metres always looked a stayer but even she must have had the odd moment of doubt until Pinpoint Boom vindicated her confidence in the first round of the £15,000 Sunderland 640-metre competition the weekend before last.

Pinpoint Boom again showed that he is a match from the best over this extended trip when landing the third semi-final by three lengths from Zulu Baran in 39.59sec (0.20sec slow) – easily the fastest of the round.

The July 2013 whelp had to work for his early lead on this occasion, unlike in the first round when he had an uncontested advantage from the outset. And he was kept-up to his work throughout before completing the job in style.

The first two only go through to the final which is part of a gala card on Sky Sports 3 on Wednesday from 7pm.

Earlier Farley Rio rewarded those many members of his fan club with a win at odds on 16-1 in the second semi-final.

Kevin Boon’s dog has a quite incredible affinity with this competition. He was the winner back in 2014, finished third to Bubbly Gold last year and now makes his third appearance in the final on Wednesday after getting home a length and quarter in front of Mustang Golden in 40.05sec (0.20sec slow).

Shellam Delano, the odds-on favourite, failed to qualify by a short-head in third semi-final. The Jimmy Wright-trained stayer trapped slowly and lost ground at the first bend before weaving his way through the field late on.

We almost had a “boil-over” in the first semi-final when Swift Leonard just got the better of 33-1 chance Fearsome Code by a head in 40.00sec (0.20sec slow).




Kelly Macari (Pinpoint Boom): “In a way Saturday was the real test. How would he run the second time over the trip, and against a stronger field? I must say I was delighted with the way he handled it. I was particularly pleased with the courage he showed at the first turn and the way he kept up to his work. I’m a little disappointed with the draw. It can get a little tight against the fence along the far side at Sunderland and I would have preferred trap two but it is what it is and we go into the final with a dog who is at the top of his game. I must say congratulations to Kevin Boon for getting Farley Rio through to his third Grand Prix final. It’s an incredible achievement.”


The William Hill Grand Prix Final (640m) £15,000 Wednesday, July 13 2016

1 Pinpoint Boom

2 Swift Leonard

3 Mustang Golden

4 Zulu Baran (m)

5 Farley Rio (m)

6 Fearsome Code (w)


PINPOINT BOOM is going to start a short-priced favourite but it is difficult to construct a strong case for any of his five opponents causing what would very definitely be an upset.

You could perhaps argue that Farley Rio has something of a special relationship with this race having won it in 2014 and by finishing third last year but nothing Kevin Boon’s dog has done so far would suggest he can defeat Pinpoint Boom.

Kelly Macari, his trainer, says she would be happier if Pinpoint Boom was drawn just off the fence – in trap two or even trap three. Her concern is noted but Pinpoint Boom has proven his ability to lead and can repel and challenge to his early authority.

So it looks like a straight forward assignment for Pinpoint Boom who should score if running up to the level he has achieved in the two preliminary rounds.

It would be great for Farley Rio to make an impact in what has pretty much been his signature race over the years and given the merit of his semi-final performance that is not beyond the realms of possibility.