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

THE 70th final of the East Anglian Derby can genuinely be described as one of the most competitive in the race’s rich history.

Connections of all six finalists are entitled to approach the race with optimism and from an observer’s viewpoint there isn’t an outcome that would come as a complete surprise. The bookmakers clearly feel the same way and offer 3-1 the field.

If the draw was different I think we would have a warmish favourite in the shape of Bubbly Turbo. The July 2014 son of Razldazl Jayfkay clearly hated being drawn in trap one in the first and second rounds. But we saw a different dog from trap three in the semi-finals when he clocked a fastest-of-the-night 27.65sec (0.20sec fast) in beating Clondoty Alex by half a length.

Unfortunately, for those connection and those that have backed Bubbly Turbo in the long-odds market, he has been allocated the red jacket again for the £12,000-to-the-winner final, won in 2015 by the Erica Samuels-trained Do It For Twiggy.

Bockos Alfie is drawn in trap two but would probably be better suited to either traps three or four, whilst Clondoty Alex might have problems getting a run with both Bubbly Turbo and Bockos Alfie likely to move middle of the track on the run to the first bend.

Ballinclare Solo has a very decent 16.17sec win over 285 metres at home track Hove to his credit but he doesn’t seem to have the early speed to get round the first bend ahead of those on his inside.

Ballymac Cathal stays wide and sees out the trip well. He might be one to get a clear run and, on the evidence provided by the semi-finals, he can back-run Aljo Legalbeagle.

I fancied Aljo Legalbeagle to win at the penultimate stage but I thought he looked a wee bit flat along the far side. He will, however, probably have benefitted from a bit of a break before the decider.

It really is a head-scratcher. But with the likelihood that Bockos Alfie will move off at the first turn, it might just play into the hands of Bubbly Turbo. There is little doubt in my mind that the draw and not inability has been the reason he was beaten in the first and second round and an under difference circumstances he could be going into the final with an unbeaten record in the heats. So Bubbly Turbo might just be the answer.


70th East Anglian Derby Final – Wednesday, September 15 2016

1 Bubbly Turbo (Trainer Paul Young)

2 Bockos Alfie (Trainer Patrick Janssens)

3 Clondoty Alex (Trainer Mark Wallis)

4 Ballinclare Solo (m) (Trainer Seamus Cahill)

5 Ballymac Cathal (w) (Trainer Alex Stone)

6 Ajlo Legalbeagle (w) (Trainer Paul Young)



The Semi-finals – Saturday, September 10 2016


First Semi-Final

Bubbly Turbo took advantage of what appears to be his best draw when scoring from trap three in a thrilling contest. Connections of the winner may have feared he would take a knock from Holdem Rio (trap four), who has a propensity to trap quickly and move to the rails on the run-up. That was never likely after Bubbly Turbo broke like a coiled-spring and opened up a clear lead on the field going to the first turn. Clondoty Alex (trap two) turned in second place and set about wresting the lead from Bubbly Turbo. It was a smashing duel as they raced along the back straight. Clondoty Alex headed Bubbly Turbo at one stage but the latter proved his stomach for the fight and outstayed that rival to score by a half-length in 27.65sec (0.20sec fast). It was nip and tuck for third place also. Having trapped more leisurely than is usually the case, Holdem Rio tracked across to the fence from the middle and took third place along the far-side. Both he and Ballinclare Solo (trap five) race as one off the final turn with the latter securing the final qualifying position.

Second Semi-Final

Bockos Alfie was the favourite from trap one but would have clearly been happier from the middle. However, it was probably the fact that he was wearing the red jacket that led to the two-year-old son of Droopys Scolari landing this. He didn’t break particularly well and a similar scenario from the middle wouldn’t, I’m sure, have ended so happily. As it was he was able to exploit space on the rail to lead at the first bend. Bockos Alfie spent the rest of the race taking a middle to wide course and had three lengths to spare over Ballymac Cathal (trap five) in 27.85sec (0.20sec fast). The latter had been third as Aljo Legalbeagle (trap six) took second along the back straight, but he was unable to make any significant impression on the leader. Ballymac Cathal, meanwhile, kept plugging away and he passed Aljo Legalbeagle on the run-in to snatch second place by a length.