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Coral Regency - Hove 695m - £10,000 - Final report

THERE is clearly something about the Coral Regency at Hove that brings out the best in greyhounds trained at host track Hove. Perhaps it is something to do with the air down on there on the south coast.

Whatever the explanation, Tyrap Dragi became the 26th home-based winner of the 695-metre Category One competition that has been part and parcel of the greyhound racing scene at Hove since it was first staged there in 1948, when won by Gunner Smith with Bunnys Hoard.

The consensus was that if 8-1 chance Tyrap Dragi was going to scoop the £10,000 first prize it would be courtesy of a quick break from trap six and an uncontested lead. But that was far from the case.

Tyrap Dragi broke well enough from trap six but was beaten to the first bend by the trap-one-drawn Slick Strauss, trained by Patrick Janssen, who led past the winning line with a circuit to travel.

At the third and fourth bends, Tyrap Dragi tracked cleverly and positioned himself on the rails, on inside of Slick Strauss. At this stage, Kentish Fame was in close attendance and Aayamza Breeze, the 5-4 favourite, was ominously picking up the pace.

Entering the back straight for the second time, Tyrap Dragi began to stretch his field. He went the best part of two lengths ahead but connections would have been alive to the menace presented by Slick Strauss, Kentish Fame and, perhaps most of all, Aayamza Breeze in behind.

The latter appeared to be making headway around the last couple of turns. But she attempted a run between Slick Strauss and Kentish Fame and then seemed to have been struck into from behind, possibly by Fearsome Phantom, at the crown of the fifth and sixth turn, and she took a tumble.

To the cheers of a partisan crowd, Tyrap Dragi crossed the line three and a quarter lengths clear of Slick Strauss to give Heath his first Category One contest and to join some of the biggest six-bend names in the sport on the Roll of Honour. The winning time was 41.94sec (normal).

Third place went to Rubys Rascal, never really a factor, although he was a length clear of Fearsome Phantom. Kentish Fame was fifth and, thankfully, Aayamza Breeze got up and completed the course. She seemed none the worse for her tumble.



Jason Heath (trainer of Tyrap Dragi): “When we started at Hove we had nothing. Just 14 dogs which Matt (business partner) and I owned. We had no owners but through planet of hard work we have got here. This is a real milestone, a Category One competition. I thought he (Tyrap Dragi) had to get round the first bend in front and I was slightly deflated when that didn’t happen. He then showed fabulous middle pace to get to the front, after which I was looking of Mark’s (Wallis) two (Rubys Rascal and Aayamza Breeze). When I realised they were at the back, I started to believe we would win. I really couldn’t believe it when he went over the line in front. It was a dream come true. The next target will be a staying race at Towcester on Derby final night but we will enjoy this occasion for now.”

Mark Charman (part-owner of Tyrap Dragi): “Jason was offered the dog for a reasonable price and suggested we buy him. He has worked out a cheap dog, ultimately. He has gone from strength to strength in this competition. It’s a massive result for everybody involved and a great boost for the kennel.”

Leeroy Zarghani (part-owner of Tyrap Dragi): “Jason and his team has done so well with him (Tyrap Dragi) that I cannot thank them enough. The best thing about it is that we have done Hove proud. We were the only Hove dog in the final and we have won it for the track.