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Ladbrokes Puppy Derby - Monmore 480m - £12,500

YOU didn’t have to see the time to realise that Droopys Bonuci had ‘done a run’ in heat six of the first round of the Ladbrokes Puppy Derby (480m) at Monmore on Thursday.

There was just something about the impression left by the precocious August ’15 heavyweight son of Droopys Cain that screamed class as he defeated a good field that included the highly-regarded Farloe Thor.

The dog trained by Dean Childs clocked easily the fastest sectional of the night (05.28sec) as he went about his business with a professionalism that marked him down as one of the main players in this year’s spring feature.

Having shaken off the attention of the odds-on favourite Farloe Thor, he was never troubled, even by a late charge by Bridgehouse Boy, and scored by three lengths in 27.91sec (0.20sec slow).

Carly Philpott, head girl to Dean Childs, has described Droopys Bonuci as the “complete package”. And she ought to be listened to given that when, as a trainer in her own right, Philpott landed the Ladbroke Puppy Derby three times with Ballymac Pires in2005, Ballymac Charley in 2006 and Ballymac William in 2010.

It was far and away the fastest time of the night. In fact, it prompted the stewards to reassess the going, which, until then, had been rated as 0.40sec slow.

Seamus Cahill trained the runner-up to Droopys Bonuci and the Hove trainer had a pretty good night having won the first two races with Forest Con and Crossfield Hugo respectively.

The former is from a Ballymac Vic – Droopys Danneel May ’15 litter that has been dominate in the build up to the start of the £12,500-to-the-winner competition.

Four from the batch were amongst the top seven in the ante-post betting for this competition, won last year by Castell Henry, and two of those were heat winners.

Forest Con, in my note book since a very impressive debut run at Wimbledon on November 8, took his strike rate to 50 per cent with a smart victory over the impressive Santas Son.

The Hove dog started even-money favourite but he was out-trapped by Santas Son, a 20-1 shot. He maintained the lead around the first and second bends but Forest Con went on as they entered the back straight and won by a length from Santas Son in 28.45sec (0.40sec slow).

Cahill had to wait 15 minutes for his next winner when Crossfield Hugo landed the second qualifier at the expense of odds-on favourite Dorotas Wildcat. The winner produced a smart front-running performance to score by a length and three-quarters in 28.67sec (0.40sec).

There was also a lot to like about the way Dorotas Wildcat went about his work. He took a hefty knock from Crossfield Hugo at the first bend which left him momentarily unbalanced. But the Kevin Hutton-trained dog kept on well and will no doubt improve for the outing.

Dorotas Woo Hoo, a litter comrade of Wildcat, tracked the early-paced Swift Melampe in the third qualifier before producing a power-packed finish to score by two lengths in 28.32sec (0.40sec slow).

Charlie Lister, the trainer of Dorotas Woo Hoo, has won the Ladbrokes Puppy Derby in the past, including with subsequent English Derby winner Bandicoot Tipoki, and he seems to have a genuine contender for the tile in Dorotas Woo Hoo.

Elaine Parker was unable to enter her very talented youngster Droopys Live in the competition after the daughter of Tullymurry Act had injured a shoulder, but the talented Sheffield trainer still got on the scoresheet with Oreo from trap six in the fourth heat.

April ’15 whelp Oreo got the better of a protracted battle with Azzuri Genesis by staying best and scoring by a length in 28.63sec (0.40sec slow). I think a word for Crossfield Giles is also necessary. Seamus Cahill’s dog battled on gamely after a couple of setbacks and could still make an impact.

Cuba Libre took up a midfield position on the run-up before being carted wide at the first turn in the fifth qualifier. The pace was set by Ballymac Dema, who was chased by Forest Natalie. These two looked set to playout the finish but Cuba Libre, despite being forced to check at the third turn, was too strong and went on to score by a length and a half in 28.61sec (0.40sec slow)




First Semi-Final

Dorotas Woo Hoo might be the answer. Farloe Thor failed to sparkle at the first round stage but merits the utmost respect on what he had shown prior to that. I also thought Crossfield Hugo looked a decent type at the opening stage. However, it is difficult to erase the memory of what was a smashing first round effort from Dorotas Woo Hoo

1 Drive On Charlie

2 Farloe Thor

3 Carn Brea

4 Crossfield Hugo

5 Bridgehouse Boy (m)

6 Dorotas Woo Hoo (w)


Second Semi-Final

Droopys Bonuci really shapes as the best in the event after the first round. The pace and power of a big dog who, because of his age and size, can only get better, is fabulous and he can score again. The only possible problem I can envisage is that Santas Son will travel well to the turn and then hold-up Droopys Bunuci. If that were to happen in would open up the race to the likes of Dorotas Hooligan.

1 Dorotas Hooligan

2 Azzuri Genesis

3 Cuba Libra

4 Santas Son (m)

5 Droopys Bonuci (w)

6 Oreo (w)

Third Semi-Final

The race has been reduced to five runners by the defection of Ballymac Dema, who was withdrawn lame by trainer Richard Devenish. I really liked the way Forest Con went to the first bend during his heat and then stayed on to score. That was a good enough run for him to score here. Dorotas Wildcat ran well in defeat on Thursday and looks the forecast link.

1 Swift Melampie

2 Crossfield Giles

3 Vacant

4 Droopys Martial (m)

5 Dorotas Wildcat (m)

6 Forest Con (w)