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Lowther Stakes - Towcester 500M - £10,000

THEY say first impressions are lasting. If that is truly the case, then Seamus Cahill will always be extremely fond of Mark Lowther.

The Hove trainer and the Buckinghamshire-based businessman were introduced for the first time on Saturday when Lowther handed over a cheque for £10,000 to Cahill and the owners of Crossfield Molly after their bitch had landed Lowther Stakes (500m) at Towcester.

Lowther said: “Seamus and I haven’t met before and it turns out we have a special friend in common, Grant Firmager, who is now sadly no longer with us.”

Firmager, who was in his mid-forties when he passed away in 2009, was a leading owner and well known character on the greyhound scene in the south east through the nineties and for the best part of the noughties.

He was perhaps best known for his association with 1994 Derby finalist Up The Junction, whom, being born and bred in Battersea, south west London, Firmager named after the Sixties cult-film set in the area. Not, as some suggested at the time, after the 1979 single by Squeeze.

I think it is accurate to say that Crossfield Molly would have been right up Firmager’s street. He loved early pace, something this daughter of Blackstone Gene has in spades, and a dog with determination.

Domino Storm, who finished last behind Forest Twilight in the inaugural Lowther Stakes last year, was the odds on favourite to make amends this time around, but Mark Wallis’ bitch was always on the back foot after Crossfield Molly got away to a slick start.

Crossfield Molly led to the turn followed by Carol Weatherall’s Greenhill Gem. Domino Storm, the only non-seeded runner in the decider, tracked along the rails in third and went into second place around the bends.

Those who had backed Domino Storm may for a moment at the second bend felt that it was going to be their night as she began to close on Crossfield Molly.

However, the leader moved well along the far side and by the time they reached the third bend Crossfield Molly was beginning to pull away. Domino Storm had seemingly given it her best shot and was now being hunted down by Air Force Duchess, her kennelmate, for the minor honours.

Crossfield Molly drew clear close home to score by two lengths from Airforce Duchess, with Domino Storm a further length back in third. The winning time was 29.45sec (0.20sec slow).

There had been plenty of support for Droopys Two before the race after Dean Childs’ bitch recorded the fastest time in both the heats and semi-finals.

Her Achilles’ Heel has always been poor trapping and her failure to sprint from the boxes again played into the hands of her opposition as she broke in fourth place.

Droopys Two was crowded at the first bend but ran on well to take fourth, ahead of Live Annie, who is also trained by Cahill and was also in trouble at the opening turn, and early-pacers Greenhill Gem.

WHAT THEY SAID AFTERWARDS

Seamus Cahill (trainer of Crossfield Molly and Live Annie): “She (Crossfield Molly) blew the lid tonight and once she led out of the second bend that was it. Her two previous races had been really impressive and I was a little surprised at her price (7-1) - considering she had run Domino Storm to a length in the semi-finals. But Mark’s (Wallis) bitch is wonderful and deserved to be favourite, if, perhaps, not as short as she was (4-5). Our bitch has run a cracker tonight but ultimately it could have gone the other way - It’s the luck of the draw on the night. I’d like to thank Mark (Lowther, the sponsor) and the boys for putting on the race. It’s a beautiful stadium and they do a marvellous job here.”

Scott Goodsir (part owner of Crossfield Molly): “She has run a wonderful race tonight. It was great to beat a bitch of Domino Storm’s quality. Our bitch has had that run in her for a while, and she has produced it on the right night.”

Mark Lowther (race sponsor): “Derek (Law) and I have sponsored this race for a couple of years but there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes. The management here work hard to put this on and the all the trainers here, the likes of Matt Dartnall and Kevin Hutton, work hard to get winners. It’s a great place to be.”