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Colosuss Bets TV Trophy - Towcester 906M - £8,000

IT was impossible to watch defending champion Ballymac Bonnie come from last to first to win the third heat of the Colossus Bets TV Trophy over 906 metres without experiencing even the most modest mixed emotions.

It was great to marvel at Liam Dowling’s bitch as she played to the grandstand by passing all four opponents to score by five and a half lengths win in 56.55sec (0.40sec slow).

But disappointing is the only way to describe the fact that Roxholme Magic, because of the intervention of nature, is not amongst those standing in the way of Ballymac Bonnie and a place in history as only the third greyhound to successfully defend her TV Trophy titles.

If successful Ballymac Bonnie would join Scurlogue Champ (1985-86) and Midway Skipper (2009-10) – exalted company indeed, which was a point not lost on Liam Dowling, the owner and trainer of Ballymac Bonnie.

“It is quite flattering to mentioned in the same breath as Scurlogue Champ. I remember watching him as a youngster and he was some dog. To be honest Ballymac Bonnie and Scurlogue Champ have similar styles in as much she drops herself out early and comes with a late run just as he did.”

In a race reduced to five runners caused by the non-arrival of Wizardofsozz, Ballymac Bonnie was at the back of the field and well adrift of Droopys Cottage before upping the tempo on the second circuit. She led rounding the seventh and eighth bends to defeat Kilfane King, who ran on well late on.

It was impressive to the eye but in reality only three hundredths of a second faster than the 56.58sec (0.40sec slow) clocked by Ribble Atom in the second heat.

The dog trained by Mark Wallis and owned by Towcester supremo Lord Hesketh put in a worryingly lack-lustre performance over track and trip last week but got some of the brownie points back with a smart effort.

Ribble Atom, after breaking in front, settled in third place for the first circuit behind Spa Road Piper and Office Hazard before staying on strongly to pass the tiring leader off the final turn to score by a shade over four lengths.

Borna Mindy’s 57.20sec (0.30sec slow) when winning the first heat is a good deal slower that those times clocked by Ballymac Bonnie and Ribble Atom but in mitigation Diane Henry’s progressive bitch encountered plenty of problems along the way.

In a race during which the lead changed hands four times, Borna Mindy got her head in front for literally a second but it was where it matters most as she picked up Lemon Lyric right on the wire to score by a neck.

That was after Borna Mindy had been forced to check at the third bend, jumped the hind-quarters of the leader at the fourth bend and had again been help-up at the seventh bend. During that time the leaders were Mays Shantalla (on two occasions), Diesel Flo, Lemon Lyric and ultimately the winner.

It was messy but provided us with a thrilling finish as Borna Mindy proved just how game she is with one lung-bursting challenge on the line to earn a place in the final with runner-up Lemon Lyric.


The Colossus Bets TV Trophy (906m) – Towcester, Wednesday August 3

1 Lemon Lyric

2 Borna Mindy

3 Spa Road Piper

4 Ribble Atom

5 Ballymac Bonnie

6 Kilfane King (w)

IT takes a greyhound of exceptional ability to win a TV Trophy. To win greyhound racing’s leading marathon competition twice is something out of the ordinary. And there is no doubting Ballymac Bonnie is that.

The bitch trained in Co Kerry by Liam Dowling can become only the third to win the competition in consecutive years in the 906-metre final on Wednesday week.

Spa Road Piper was easily the quickest for the first circuit in the heats and looks set to play the pacemaker role in the decider. The Kevin Boon-trained runner, however, fails to see out this trip well enough to make all and the winner will be one of those that comes from off the pace.

Step forward Ballymac Bonnie who has these days perfected a last-to-first performance and, assuming she can find a path through, the daughter of Head Bound can pounce late on to score.

Borna Mindy was in all sorts of trouble in the heats but still got up to win. Her time was slower than the other two qualifiers but much of that can be attributed to the trouble in-running that she encountered. She could be closer on this occasion.

Ribble Atom bounced back to form for Mark Wallis at the weekend and having finished third in this competition last year, merits the utmost respect, as does Lemon Lyric and Kilfane King. The latter is the probable outside but stays really well and could prove a big-price forecast link.