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


KEVIN BOON’S grand old campaigner Shaneboy Freddie, into this fifth year now but running as well as ever, landed the big-race trophy his talents fully deserved with a memorable success in the Coral Sussex Cup Final at Hove on Thursday.


In front of a bumper crowd, the biggest attendance for a ‘Sky’ night at the Sussex venue in seven years, the 2016 Derby semi-finalist at Wimbledon and quarter-finalist this year at Towcester, struck in the £10,000 contest with a terrific all-the-way success in 29.94sec (-20).


On a night when one of the all-time greats and former Sussex Cup winner Barnfield On Air was remembered with his name put to a supporting contest, it was Shaneboy Freddie whose own name was added to one of the sport’s great roll of honours dating back to the first running in 1972.


Following in the paw-prints of such luminaries as Yankee Express, Phantom Flash and Hit The Lid, not to mention BOA, Shaneboy Freddie out-trapped the equally evergreen and defending champion Barricane Tiger and put pressure on the rest of the field in behind.


“This is a fantastic achievement, and the result of a real team effort,” said owner-trainer Boon. “My wife Oonah and assistant Katherine (Tighe) work and care for the dogs every day and they take a lot of the credit, as does Kenneth Crossan and all the guys and girls in Lifford who support me.


“Freddie is running as well now as he was at two, and still loves his racing, so much so he turns out at Yarmouth on Wednesday. They’ve supported me over the years, so I said they could have Freddie - it’s a homecoming now in many ways!”


Boon, who also credited Michael Kiely for selling him the four-year-old in the first place, returned to his King’s Lynn base in Norfolk after Hove with his champion, before returning to Sussex the following day for the Glorious Goodwood festival the following day. “Plenty of time to celebrate with the boys - especially now!” he smiled.


Shaneboy Freddie has been a regular on the open-race scene for a few years now with wins from 400m to 575m at Romford, so the speed and stamina was certainly there, although it was key to trap in front and blaze a trail as he had one so successfully in heat and semi-final to now complete an unbeaten run through the 515m annual.


“He was up in weight slightly which I hoped would help his trapping - it did. But then I was looking behind and seeing Barricane Tiger and was hoping the weight wouldn’t cost him close home. Patrick [Janssens] is a good friend and I was hoping we could keep Tiger at bay - thankfully for us he did!”


Four finals were included on the card at Hove, with the aforementioned Janssens, responsible for the Sussex Cup runner-up, scoring in the Coral Sprint with fastest heat winner Walk The Talk as he led home off the second bend to lead home Lotstoliveupto and Brynoffa Jasmin in 16.28sec (-10).


There was success in the Coral Ladies Trophy for Inislosky Mull (30.32sec, -20) and veteran Hove trainer Doreen Walsh, whose history in greyhound racing stretches back to the 1950s. Her success was warmly received, as it was for Coral Puppy Trophy winner Sporting Dave (30.01sec,-20).


Trained by Seamus Cahill, Sussex Cup final night proved a great success for the local handler as he landed a five-timer including, appropriately, with Cork Falcon in the Team Cahill Derby Champions Trophy which saw the owners of Classic hero Astute Missile present the prize to winning connections.