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Lowther Stakes - Towcester 500M - £10,000


DOMINO STORM is the warm favourite for the final of the Lowther Stakes (500m) at Towcester on Saturday but Droopys Two will command her share of attention after impressive performances in the preliminary rounds.

The Dean Childs-trained runner seems to have really found her form during this “bitches-only” competition and goes into the £10,000 final with a live chance of defeating Mark Wallis’ ever popular darling of the punters.

Droopys Two is drawn in trap four, a box she won from in an open at Hove in June, and she could shape as a major player with a clear run. Her sire is Loughteen Blanco who Seamus Cahill trained to win a Sussex Cup and Henlow Derby.

Domino Storm, who finished in sixth place last year, is the first string of a powerful two-strong hand held by Wallis, and she is the only non-seeded runner in the race.

Last year’s Oaks winner has been faultless at the two qualifying stages and is a worthy favourite for the event won last year by Forest Twilight. She has been beaten in just three of her last 16 races and seems to have rediscovered her best following a spell of sickness and a minor ailment.

Airforce Duchess is Wallis’ second string. The daughter of Definate Opinion is remarkably consistent and has not been out of the frame in her last 17 races – half a dozen of which have been wins.

She looks up against it here but given her record I wouldn’t bet on her being out of the first three. Wallis, incidentally, is currently with his family on a cruise around the Mediterranean but hopes to be home for Saturday’s big race.

Seamus Cahill, like the champion trainer, also has two runners in the final in the shape of Crossfield Molly and Live Annie.

Both have huge scope, in particular Live Annie who clocked 29.66sec (normal) over 515 metres at Hove on the same night as Barricane Tiger won the Sussex Cup over the same course and distance in 29.79sec.

Crossfield Molly matched Domino Storm stride for stride going to the first bend during the semi-finals and despite taking a wider course was beaten only a length. That is cracking form to go into the final with.

The sextet is made up by the Carol Weatherall-trained Greenhill Gem. She had Crossfield Molly behind when winning at the first round stage but was beaten by Airforce Duchess in behind at the semi-final stage and is held on that form.


Dean Childs (Droopys Two): “She has really taken very well to Towcester and I’m extremely hopeful of a big run in the final. I’ve been delighted with her early pace, and her speed between the second and third bends is fabulous. She has clocked the fastest times at the first round stage and semi-final stage and let’s hope that is the case in the final.”

The Lowther Stakes Final – Saturday, August 27 2016

1 Domino Storm

2 Airforce Duchess (m)

3 Greenhill Gem (m)

4 Droopys Two (m)

5 Crossfield Molly (w)

6 Live Annie (w)

THE SEMI-FINALS – Saturday, August 20 2016

First Semi-Final

This is a contest that will be remembered for a fabulous finish and the elimination of Forest Twilight, last year’s winner. It was an extremely competitive race from the start with Airforce Duchess breaking best before being passed on the way to the first bend by Greenhill Gem who moved off at the opening turn to gift Forest Twilight an advantage off the second bend. Hayley Keightley’s bitch kept ahead but she was an unconvincing leader and as they fanned off the final turn both Airforce Duchess and Greenhill Gem stayed on best to relegate Forest Twilight into third and out of the final. The Mark Wallis-trained Airforce Duchess scored by head in 29.86sec (0.40sec slow).


Second Semi-Final

Domino Storm reached her second Lowther Stakes final with just the type of blue-chip performance we have come to expect. Crossfield Molly broke well and took the race to Domino Storm on the dash to the bend but the latter seized an opportunity when Crossfield Molly stayed wide at the first and second bends and quickly took the race by the scruff of the neck. Once in front Domino Storm is extremely difficult to pass but Crossfield Molly lost nothing in defeat when reducing the deficit to a length as Domino Strom stopped the clock in 29.57sec (0.30sec slow). Queen Asia, who finished ahead of Domino Storm in last year’s Lowther final, failed to qualify when only fourth.


Third Semi-Final

Droopys Two caught the eye with a smashing burst of pace between the second and third bends when defeating Queen Asia in the heats and the Dean Childs-trained runner showed fantastic early on this occasion to easily win this by five and a half lengths in 29.44sec (0.30sec slow). The two-year-old daughter of Loughteen Blanco literally barged her way ahead at the first bend and made a very good bitch in the shape of Live Annie look very ordinary. The latter, who has a slick 29.66sec (515m) at Hove on her card, came away well and might still be learning to run the track.