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William Hill All England Cup / Northern Puppy Derby -Newcastle 480m -£10,000/£8,000



DROOPYS EXPERT and Droopys Buick, a precocious talent next to the Greyhound of the Year, will line up side by side in Thursday’s William Hill All England Cup Final (480m) at Newcastle to give Angela Harrison a huge hand in the ‘North East Derby’ later this week - especially given the kennel also supply a third finalist in the shape of Caislean Fifi.


It has been the almost perfect campaign for Harrison at her home track, with Droopys Expert (28.23sec) powering to the front off the last bend to collar Kelly Macari’s Skywalker Manner in their semi-final on Saturday, before multiple big-race winner Droopys Buick stayed on well behind Charlie Lister’s Dorotas Vic (28.28sec) in their qualifier to join his younger kennelmate in the £10,000 decider.



Then, when Caislean Fifi also stuck on behind Julie Bateson’s all-the-way winner Farloe Thor in the third semi, it completed a terrific set of semi-finals for the team at Tommy Minty Cottage and they will send out half the field for the Sky Sports final, not to mention finalists in both the Northern Puppy Derby (Droopys Zephyr) and Great North Run (Shellam Delano).



“Overall it was a good night and we’ve got runners in three finals - now it’s about what happens on the night,” said Jimmy Wright, partner and assistant trainer to Harrison. “We don't know how Expert will break from the inside. He kept a pretty straight line into the bend from trap two on Saturday, so hopefully that’s the case again come the final.



“I was just delighted with the way he came to win his race. He’s still learning - and I know he’d been criticised after the Puppy Classic at Nottingham but you have to remember he was still raw then. He’s still very green, but he showed us something more on Saturday, as did the Fifi dog. He’s strong and still improving for us. It’s great he's in there, too.”



Of Droopys Buick, Wright and Harrison continue to be delighted with the way the near-senior is running and is showing no signs of slowing up - if anything he is better than ever. “I thought his run on Saturday was exceptional. He was cut off at the bend and was out of the qualifying positions before showing his class. They’re not in lanes on Thursday but he’s as good as ever, has come out of the race well and it looks a special final.”



Hayley Keightley’s Roxholme Nidge, who had beaten Droopys Expert into second in the Puppy Plate at Sunderland in the summer, duly landed the odds in the second semi-final of the William Hill Northern Puppy Derby (480m), although again moved off at the bend before riding a bump and stretching out well to win by two and a quarter lengths in 28.52sec.



Mark Wallis’s Ninja Fortune and Tom Heilbron’s Ballymac Dympna chased the winner home to make Thursday’s £8,000 final, while Andrew Wood’s Scottish raider Stole My Baby made all in the first semi-final to post 28.64sec, with Angela Harrison’s Droopys Zephyr just shading Gary Carmichael’s fellow local Gazilly Shay to take the remaining two qualifying places.



Two other competitions kicked off on Saturday with the heats of the William Hill Great North Run (670m) won by Charlie Lister’s Tyrur Blondie (41.04sec), Laurence Tuffin’s Heroic Miss (41.05sec) and Angela Harrison’s TV Trophy-bound Shellam Delano (41.00sec), while the heats of the William Hill Angel of the North (480m) headed the way of Jimmy Fenwick’s Invincible Lady (28.69sec), Craig Hopkins’ Thornwick Lass (28.77sec) and Carl Perry’s Geelo Zip (28.88sec)



Thursday’s live-on-Sky Sports finals: