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

IT WAS a result that will have thrilled the neutrals. Clondoty Alex, a dog who has had his fair share of bad luck operating at the top level this year, finally bagged the big one in the final of the 70th East Anglian Derby (462m) at Yarmouth on Wednesday.

 

The memory of a William Hill Derby, during which the son of Razldazl Jayfkay was eliminated at the third round stage after he was hampered when almost certain qualify by a dog who was subsequently disqualified, and his defeat by no more than a fag paper in the final of the Derby Plate, has finally been consigned to the past. And how!

 

Punters came down in favour of Bubbly Turbo, one of two in final trained by Paul Young, in a race which looked one of the most open deciders of the year. Clondoty Alex was a 9-2 chance and those who took those odds were joining the queue to collect long before Clondoty Alex had crossed the winning line.

 

Trainer Mark Wallis’ uncanny ability to produce the big run on the night was again spot on as Clondoty Alex broke clear from trap three and was never head. In fact, if anything, the further they went, the further the Towcester dog stretched clear until he had four and a quarter lengths to spare over Bubbly Turbo in 27.79sec (0.20sec). It was the first time Clondoty Alex had won in this year’s competition.

 

The latter moved into second place when yet again Bockos Alfie ran-off wide at the second bend. Bubbly Turbo then shoulder charged the challenge from Ballinclare Solo at the third bend to hold onto second.

 

The Seamus Cahill-trained Ballinclare Solo stayed on for third, a length ahead of Ballymac Cathal, who completely mistimed the start and ran well under the circumstances.

Ajlo Legalbeagle had a troubled-passage and never got a looking, whilst Bockos Alfie trailed the field after failing to come to terms with the Yarmouth bends.

 

It was the second success in the competition for Champion Trainer Mark Wallis following on for Fear No One who was successful in 2005.

 

Incidentally, Wallis wasn’t at the track on Wednesday. He had left earlier in the day for the annual Calco Cup golf challenge in Portugal but watched the action unfold from a local sports bar.

 

 

WHAT THE CONNECTIONS HAD TO SAY

 

Sid Huett (representing Mark Wallis): “He did exactly what he had to do. He had to trap as well as he did and when he got it right at the start he gave himself the best possible chance. What a fantastic run.”

 

Daniel Wallis (son of the trainer): “So pleased for the dog. You know I had a good feeling about this. I knew he had it in him from the first round.”

 

Paul Carpenter (part-owner): “For the first time in my life I’m speechless. If ever a dog deserved to win a Category One race it is this little dog. He’s brilliant. These are the moment you do it for. It’s so special.”

 

Kevin Dear (part-owner): “We knew there is no better man to get a dog out in a final than Mark Wallis. If he got him out we knew he would have a great chance and that’s what happened. We ran Bubbly Turbo close in the semi-final but I really fancied our chances when we led him early. It’s a marvellous effort from everybody at Imperial Kennels.”