Latest News

ECC Timber Puppy Derby - Towcester 480m - £20,000


SPORTING DAVE set the standard in the heats of the ECC Timber Puppy Derby at Towcester on Saturday as the UK’s richest puppy competition kicked off with some cracking performances - not least by Seamus Cahill’s dog who bounced back from a trial stakes defeat last week to win heat six by four and a half lengths in 29.37sec.


The Cahill camp won the English Derby with Astute Missile earlier this year and, as their only entry in the £20,000 event, rely on the December 2015 son of Ballymac Vic and Sporting Dame to complete a famous double. The Hove dog is already a competition winner this year, having won a 515m puppy competition at his home track on Sussex Cup final night in the summer.


Training honours on the night went to Kevin Hutton’s kennel, who sensationally landed four of the eight 500m heats on the night with Romford Puppy Cup third Headford Kev (29.48sec) joined in the winner’s enclosure by kennelmates Forest Mike (29.45sec), Prize Fighter (29.79sec) and Magical Bale (29.46sec), the latter winning impressively on debut.


The night had begun with success for the Phillip Simmonds-trained Wuheida (29.52sec), suitably a half-sister of last year’s Towcester Lowther Stakes winner Crossfield Molly, while Russanda Ripley (29.61sec) continued a fine week for Sheffield trainer Elaine Parker after her midweek success with Candlelight Fire in the Nottingham British Breeders Stakes by landing heat five. 


Towcester trainer Patrick Janssens sent out Affleck Bolt (29.49sec) to win heat eight and make it a fifth home-trained winner on the night in a hotly-contested affair which saw ante-post favourite Roxholme Poppy and leading contender Jovial Monk involved in first-bend bumping with the winner, although both safely qualified for Saturday’s second round.


Mick Livesey, Towcester’s greyhound racing operations manager, summed up the evening by commenting: “It was a very special night here on Saturday. There is something magical about seeing the top pups in action - and we had the opportunity of doing so through the amazing support of people like PJ Fahy and ECC Timber.


“Their generosity in supporting what is the UK’s richest puppy events means we stage these exciting events and continue what has been a fantastic 2017 for Towcester after our first English Greyhound Derby. The Puppy Derby, along with the upcoming TV Trophy, the £5,000 Shootout and British Bred Derby will ensure open-race fans, owners and trainers are well catered for here!


“There were some big performances on the track. Sporting Dave’s victory for a Derby-winning trainer in Seamus Cahill was the pick of them. He was the talk of the track afterwards - but so too was Kevin Hutton after what was a fabulous four-timer for one of Towcester’s own trainers. He had a fantastic night - keeping in touch with things from Cardiff where he was at the AJ fight!


“We have Irish sponsors, and it was fantastic to receive Irish entries and Brendan Matthews is flying the flag for Ireland. You could not help but be impressed with his Pennys Koopa, who ran a fine second to Magical Bale, while Brendan’s Mid Term Break and Innocent Times both ran well to finish third in their heats - on their first look at Towcester.


“To qualify all three was some achievement and they all look open to further improvement. But congratulations to all 24 who have qualified for the second round - it’s going to be exciting to see them back in action on Saturday, November 4. We have three Puppy Derby Saturdays in a row before the Sky Sports final on Wednesday, November 15.”


The draw for Saturday’s second round will be made at the GBGB offices on Monday.