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Ladbrokes Gold Cup - Monmore 480M - £10,000

TWO of greyhound racing’s best middle distance stars get the chance to end a so far frustrating 2016 in the Ladbrokes Gold Cup (480m) at Monmore on Thursday.

It is hard to believe the last time Droopys Buick and Jaytee Spartacus enjoyed a major success was at the very same Wolverhampton venue during the Lawrence Jones Memorial meeting at the backend of last year.

Then Droopys Buick was a five-length winner of the Lawrence Jones Memorial Dogs Stakes and Jaytee Spartacus landed the Lawrence Jones Memorial Puppies. Both races were over Thursday’s four-bend trip.

The fortunes of Droopys Buick and Jaytee Spartacus since then haven’t quite gone to plan, although both have continued to perform to a high level but have perhaps been out of luck when it mattered most.

The Jimmy Wright-trained Droopys Buick has been beaten in the Racing Post Juvenile, Scottish Derby final and Wilf Husband Memorial decider, whilst Jaytee Spartacus also went down in the Juvenile before suffering an early exit from the William Hill Derby and finishing last in the Classic final at Sunderland in June.

But both have shown something of their best on the way to this £10,000-to-the-winner decider, which has the makings of a fabulous contest.

Droopys Buick is the only unbeaten runner in the final. He is classified as a rails seed but seems to operate well from the middle and ought not to have any problems from trap four in the decider.

Jaytee Spartacus is also a rails seed and goes from trap two. He ran well when second to Making Paper at the first round stage given that he had endured a trip to and from Dublin’s Shelbourne Park for a trial only days before.

The Paul Young-trained runner looked fresher, which was reflected him his performance at the semi-final stage, and he is a dog going the right way as we approached the final.

Jimmy Wright, the trainer of Droopys Buick, is also represented by Droopys Country in trap six. He is the youngest in the decider but has performed like an old hand and defeated Making Paper at the semi-final stage. He is well drawn in trap six.

Diane Henry, still on cloud nine following the success of her Borna Mindy in the TV Trophy, is also doubly represented by Thirteen Bags, in trap one, and Making Paper, in trap five.

Both are similar in as much as they like to come from off the pace. Neither scored at the semi-final stage but Making Paper, a William Hill Derby finalist in 2015, has the ability to beat the best, he runs the track particularly well and won’t be far away here.

All of which brings us to Oscar Junior who represents Charlie Lister OBE, the only trainer in the line-up to have previously won the Gold Cup having secured in in 2011 with Derby winner Taylors Sky and in 2003 with Farloe Brazil.

Oscar Junior reached the semi-finals of the Ladbrokes Midland Puppy Derby over track and trip in the spring before having his first race for his current trainer in May.

It is a fabulous line-up for a prestigious race which will take plenty of winning but preference is form Droopys Buick to make it six wins from six starts over course and distance from a favourable draw and emulate the great Swift Hoffman, last year’s winner.

 

TRAINER QUOTES

Jimmy Wright (Droopys Buick and Droopys Country): “I’m really pleased with both dogs. Droopys Buick is unbeaten at Monmore (five from five) and runs well from trap four. In fact, he broke the track record at Shawfield (480m) from there in the spring. I’ve always seen him as a railer but I’m happy enough with him from the middle. He goes into the final in cracking form and I think he will run well. Droopys Country has done really well to reach a Category One final given that he is just out of his puppyhood. I threw him in at the deep end in this competition but he really has done me proud.”

 

Ladbrokes Gold Cup Final – Thursday, August 18 2016

1 Thirteen Bags

2 Jaytee Spartacus

3 Oscar Whisky

4 Droopys Buick

5 Making Paper (m)

6 Droopys Country (w)