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Coral Sussex Cup - Hove 515m - £10,000

BARRICANE TIGER will bid to create history when he lines up in the Coral Sussex Cup final at Hove next week after the Patrick Janssens-trained, Evan Herbert-owned runner continued his defence of the title he won 12 months ago with victory in his semi-final on Thursday.

 

No greyhound has ever won back-to-back Sussex Cups since the event was first staged in 1972 and, with a a roll of honour littered with huge names such as Yankee Express, Phantom Flash, Hit The Lid, Toms The Best and Barnfield On Air, Barricane Tiger is already in great company.

 

“To win it again would be something special of course,” said trainer Janssens, “but he owes us and Evan nothing. He’s approaching four now, but is a dog with great heart and, like Shaneboy Freddie, is a dog who’s still running at the highest level.

 

“Thursday will be his sixth Category One final - three at Hove, and one each at Central Park, Swindon and Nottingham, he just loves a gallop! - and if he can hold his position from trap one into the bend, you just never know. He took his chance well on Thursday.”

 

Janssens feels Donation is the one to beat - “she’s a great bitch for Heather [Dimmock]” - but also pays tribute to the work of Kevin Boon with Shaneboy Freddie, another multiple finalist and still running at the top of his game into this fifth year.

 

“I know there were lots of hard-luck stories on Thursday, and you feel for connections - we’ve all been there - but it’s a good final. All these runners have done something, won big races and made big finals, so Tiger will have to do everything right on the night.”

 

Janssens, busy preparing runners for Mildenhall and Romford when contacted before his weekend commitments at Towcester, also has litters on the ground and pups having their early races and is particularly sweet on Night Bomber, a litter brother of Roxholme Nidge.

 

“He won his first race at Towcester last week and we’ll probably look at the Trafalgar Cup with him at Monmore,” he added. “We’ve got some nice youngsters on the ground at the moment. They keep us busy, but the older runners are still doing us proud!”

 

His Walk The Talk won a heat of the supporting Coral Sprint at Hove on Thursday and posted a rapid 16.18sec in the process. “I thought he was unlucky at Sunderland, but we all know what he can do when he gets things right at the boxes. He’s right up there with the best, as his time showed,” he added.

 

Janssens said he would likely have a few runners on the Hove card on Thursday - a night where eight races will be broadcast live on Sky Sports with four major finals including the Coral Sussex Cup (£10,000), the Coral Ladies Trophy, Coral Sprint and Coral Puppy Trophy.

 

Heather Dimmock’s Donation will line up as favourite for the Sussex Cup after kicking clear in the first semi to win in a standard-setting 29.58sec for the 515m - the fastest in the competition - in the second semi as he led home Liz McNair’s King Kid.

 

Kevin Boon’s Shaneboy Freddie had made all from John Mullins’s Oakfield Caesar in 29.96sec in the first semi, while Barricane Tiger completed the set when holding Starring Storm by a neck in 29.95sec to make his second Sussex Cup final.

 

Thursday, August 3: Coral Sussex Cup final -

 

Yorkshire Oaks winner Donation is the youngest runner in the decider, and lines up as the fastest qualifier. She has drawn trap five in a race full of major players. Barricane Tiger (trap one) is the defending champion, drawn inside multiple big-race campaigner and finalist Shaneboy Freddie (trap two). Last year’s Romford Champion Stakes runner-up Starring Storm lines up from trap three, with Oakfield Caesar, a Sussex Cup finalist in trap four. The field is completed by Puppy Derby runner-up King Kid (trap five).