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Colossus Bets TV Trophy - Towcester 906m - £8,000


ROXHOLME MAGIC (above) will aim to complete a remarkable comeback by winning next week’s Colossus Bets TV Trophy at Towcester after Hayley’s Keightley’s pride and joy defied a long absence and what many considered a dislike of the track itself when winning heat three of the marathon showpiece on Saturday.


“She ran atrocious when last here and I personally wouldn’t have run her here - there was a €10,000 race in Ireland - but I was out-voted, thankfully,” said Keightley after the multiple track-record breaker and queen of the eight-bend scene for three seasons now roared back to winning form by catching St Leger winner Rubys Rascal close home.


Mark Wallis’s six-bend champion was stepping up to eight bends for the first time since a 750m match race with Roxholme Magic at Romford earlier this year in which he was well beaten. An improved and stronger performer since, he ran a stormer when leading until the run-in after not leading until the third bend.


However, Rubys Rascal unsurprisingly had no answer to the surge up the home straight of Roxholme Magic who had to battle to get past the game Inch Forward, before readying herself for a late challenge to collar the leader come home. Incredibly the 55.57sec winner had managed to pull two and a quarter lengths clear by the line.


“It’s great to see her back, it really is,” added Keightley. “She found trouble when deciding to take the inside route, but that’s her in many ways - although when she gets clear we know what she can do. That said, I thought when she dropped herself out off the second bend that she wasn’t going here again.


“Thankfully she got going and we’re delighted to be involved. The TV Trophy is the only thing missing off her CV and we’ve now got a chance to correct that on Wednesday week,” said Keightley, who with husband, Mark, last won the TV Trophy with the exceptional multi-distance bitch Roxholme Girl at Belle Vue in 2006.


Owned by the Hayley and the Dream Boys syndicate, part-owner Paul Lawrence was a delighted man afterwards given he was principally involved in the decision to give the December 2012 whelp the chance of TV Trophy glory - a race famously won by his partner Lorraine Sams with the Gail May-owned Spiridon Louis at Yarmouth in 2007.


“We know she’s a champion, but you couldn’t really bet her,” said Lawrence. “You needed to see her win here, but the more I looked at her only race here the more I thought, why not? It was back in 2015 and she finished third behind a champion in Liam’s [Dowling] Ballymac Bonnie. Maybe it wasn't that bad. It’s not her favourite track, for sure, but there is only one TV Trophy - we had to have a crack.”


Each of the TV Trophy heats threw up exciting finishes with Stuart Buckland’s Millroad Smokey (55.91sec) swooping late to collar long-time leader Shellam Delano (Angela Harrison), before in another tight tussle the Patrick Janssens-trained Goldies Hotspur (56.25sec) came again on the run for home to edge out Clares Kyletaun (June Harvey).


Janssens was delighted with the win afterwards, commenting: “She was great and never gives up. I thought she ran a great St Leger to reach the final at Perry Barr and always looked special since winning a 750m race at Romford by 19 lengths. These races are tougher of course, but she’s still improving.


“Tonight has also cheered up Andy (Pelley, owner). He’s recovering after Spurs got beat!”


Draw for the £8,000 final on Wednesday, November 29: 1 Millroad Smokey, 2 Rubys Rascal, 3 Clares Kyletaun (m), 4 Shellam Delano (m), 5 Goldies Hotspur (m), 6 Roxholme Magic (m).