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Greyhound Media Group Oaks - Belle Vue 470m - £10,000

WUHEIDA (pictured above at Towcester last month) edged out Irish entry Jumeirah Lolls to record the fastest time in the Greyhound Media Group Oaks semi-finals at Belle Vue on Friday as the bitches’ Classic again produced the goods with a quality field now assembled for Wednesday’s £10,000-to-the-winner final, live on Sky Sports.


Philip Simmonds’ bitch will line up in the decider as the youngest of the sextet. Still a puppy, the January 2016 daughter of Head Bound and Droopys Thrill was winning for the eighth time in just 12 starts as she came home the stronger to reel in Gerry Holian’s longtime leader Jumeirah Lolls by a short-head in 28.06sec (-50), with Richard Baker’s Sylvias Chloe qualifying in third.


The draw for Wednesday’s final will see Wuheida, a railer, wearing the orange jacket of trap five for the first time, with Donation, the sole seed and also unbeaten in the 470m competition, on her outside. Heather Dimmock’s runner won the first semi-final in typically strong-running style to lead home Hayley Keightley’s Ballydoyle Maura and Tony Harmes’s local Swift Lucious.


The winner’s time was 28.13sec (-50), less than a length slower than Wuheida, but achieved from off the pace and trainer Dimmock continues to be delighted with the form of the Yorkshire Oaks winner - and especially with a trap six draw in the final. “She really is draw-dependent, so we’re certainly happy to have ended up with six on Wednesday,” she said.


Donation arrived at the Manchester venue for the heats fresh after a short break after sustaining a cut foot at Hove in September. “She recovered quite quickly, but we always had the Oaks in mind for her so left her off, and gave her two trials at Towcester and one at Belle Vue - and that set her up nicely for the Oaks and she’s fine after the semis.


“We hopeful of a good run. She was unlucky with the draw in the Sussex Cup final, and didn’t really handle trap five that well - although did well to finish third. We might have looked at the Olympic but it starts just after the Oaks, so that might be it for the year. Fingers crossed for Wednesday, and she did trap better in the semis which was good to see.”


Donation is owned by the Jabber Crew, of which Dimmock’s father Steve plus Adam Duncan and  Geoffrey Wills are members. Duncan and Wills have enjoyed success with the Dimmock team with greyhounds such as Kildallon Bolt - and now have their eyes on another major prize with ‘Amber’, Donation’s kennel name.


Incidentally, Dimmock reports that former kennel star Blackstone Marco’s first litter, out of Ballymac Pixie, have started schooling. “They are doing very well, chasing keenly, and should be ready for their first races in February,” she added.


Trap draw for Wednesday’s Greyhound Media Group Oaks Final: 1 Ballydoyle Maura, 2 Jumeirah Lolls, 3 Sylvias Chloe, 4 Swift Lucious, 5 Wuheida, 6 Donation (w).