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70th East Anglian Derby -Yarmouth 462m - £12,000

GREYHOUND fans have been denied a repeat of last year’s thrilling finish to the Betfred East Anglian Derby after both Do It For Twiggy and Southfield Jock, first and second respectively 12 months ago, were pulled out of Saturday’s semi-finals of the £12,000-to-the-winner Yarmouth feature.

Both dogs had qualified from the second round on Monday – in fact, Southfield Jock clocked a fastest-of-the-round 27.81sec – but in the hours that followed injuries were discovered in both greyhounds.

Defending champion Do It For Twiggy split a web when finishing third in the second heat, whilst the injury to Southfield Jock is a more serious nature. Seamus Cahill’s dog has fractured a metatarsal and could be side-lined for up to five months.

It’s a sad blow to connections of both and also robs the competition of two exciting performers. But let’s not forget the ten that will contest the two semi-finals – both of which are for five runners.

 

The Second Round – Monday, September 5 2016

Heat One

Southfield Jock made sure of this at the start with a sizzling break. Bar The Warrior (trap five) also broke well and turned the first bend in second place with California (trap six) on his outside in third. Favourite Jaytee Spartacus (trap one) was nicely placed on the rails in fourth place along the far side and for a moment, between the third and fourth bends, he moved into third position. First and second places stayed the same on the dash off the final bend with Southfield Jock powering home to score by three lengths from Bar The Warrior in second in 27.81sec (normal). It was a bit of a scramble for third with All About Class coming from a long way behind to snatch the final qualifying position. It was a dreadful start to the round for Paul Young, whose Jaytee Spartacus and Bubbly Hunter were both eliminated along with Mark Wallis’ California.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heat Two

Young wasn’t down on his luck for long though as Aljo Legalbeagle provide him with a smart victory here. I often think this May 2014 whelp is somewhat underrated but he showed what he is capable of by converting a first bend lead into a near four-length victory in 27.85sec (normal). Aljo Legalbeagle started well from trap six and crossed the path of early leader Shaneboy Style at the first bend before going on to score. Clondoty Alex took second place entering the back straight and stayed in that position for the rest of the journey. There was a bit of a battle developing for third place between favourite Stay Loose (trap one), Shaneboy Style (trap two) and defending champion Do It For Twiggy (trap four). And it was the latter, whose pace in the closing stages was superior, who came through to take the remaining qualifying position. Roxy Lass (trap five) was never a factor after a hefty first bend bump from Shaneboy Style.

 

Heat Three

Charlie Lister’s bid to make it a dozen wins in this competition is still intact after the success of Old Joe Golden (trap six). If I didn’t know better, I would have thought the winner and Burgess Tadgh (trap five) had colluded prior to the race after the latter moved acutely left from the starting traps battering into Bockos Alfie (trap four) who did the same to Shaneboy Freddie (trap three) who repeated the action on Bubbly Turbo (trap one). Whatugonnado (trap two) was slowly away and trailed the field as Old Joe Golden took the first bend about a length clear of Bockos Alfie, who checked off at the first bend. Bubbly Turbo moved into second moving onto the far side as Old Joe Golden set a strong pace up front. That was pretty much it as a race as Old Joe Golden stayed strongly to defeat Bubbly Turbo by four and quarter lengths in 27.95sec (normal). Bockos Alfie ran a cracker to qualify in third place.

Heat Four

The fact that I no longer worry too much about Holdem Rio running from the middle is a measure of how Heather Dimmock’s dog has matured over the last few months. Turn the clock back to the Gymcrack in April and Holdem Rio would make a mad-dash for the rails soon after the start. These days he still moves to the inside but only when the opportunity arises. That was the case here as he showed smart early pace to lead at the first bend and go on to score by two-and-a-quarter-lengths from Ballymac Cathal (trap six) in 27.92sec (normal). The latter enjoyed a smooth run on the outside after Kelva Den (trap five) moved to the left from trap-rise. The first and second were clear of the others but Ballinaclare Solo ran an absolute cracker after being last early on to finish in third and earned a place in the semi-final trap draw.

 

The First Semi-Final

Holdem Rio might just shade this in what could develop into a battle with Old Joe Golden. Heather Dimmock’s runner is becoming something of a force on the open race circuit and bagged his first big competition when landing the Peterborough Puppy Derby in June. That came after he was an odds-on third in the final of the Gymcrack at Kinsley. I think he can just make the bend in front to see off Charlie Lister’s runner, who is also in cracking form. I was really impressed with the determination shown by Ballinaclare Solo in the second round and Seamus Cahill’s dog can take third.

The Draw

1 Vacant

2 Clondoty Alex

3 Bubbly Turbo

4 Holdem Rio

5 Ballinaclare Solo (m)

6 Old Joe Golden (w)

 

 

The Second Semi-Final

Aljo Legalbeagle appears at the top of his form and that could be just enough for the Paul Young-trained dog to take this. As is likely to be the case in the first semi-final, early speed could be the final arbiter and in that regard it should pay to follow the Romford dog from trap six. The May 2014 whelp has enough early foot to clear this field and is most likely going to be followed home by Ballymac Cathal (trap five). I thought All About Class showed real resolution come from behind at the second round stage and he could be best of the rest.

The Draw

1 Bockos Alfie

2 Vacant

3 All About Class

4 Bar The Warrior (m)

5 Ballymac Cathal (w)

6 Ajlo Legalbeagle (w)