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Ladbrokes Gold Cup and Summer Stayers - Monmore 480m/630m - £10,000/£7,500

DROOPYS BUICK, the reigning Greyhound of the Year, will aim to add yet another chapter to his brilliant career when he lines up as favourite for next week’s Ladbrokes Gold Cup at Monmore after a quite scintillating performance to win the third semi-final of the £10,000 annual on Thursday - on a night of high-quality action across the board.


Three competitions will be down for decision on Thursday, August 17, and Sky Sports will capture two Category Ones and a Category Two prize, with the Gold Cup supported by the Ladbrokes Summer Stayers Final and the Gentleman George Curtis Trafalgar Cup Final, the puppy competition named by the sponsors in honour of the man who trained the great Ballyregan Bob.


Droopys Buick tops the host of star names on show after Angela Harrison’s dog blitzed his rivals to win the third semi-final of the Gold Cup on Thursday with his 27.77sec return not just the fastest of the competition but the fastest of the year round the Wolverhampton venue’s 480m trip, as he led home Forest Chunk, himself fastest in the first round, by three and three-quarter lengths.


Jimmy Wright, partner and assistant of Angela Harrison, said yesterday of the Conlon Family-owned runner: “This is his third season and the dog's been a revelation for the kennel. He turns four in November but is still at the top of his game.


"He hadn't been to Monmore for a year, but I thought he'd be alright but he missed the break. How he qualified from where he was off the second bend was amazing - again he showed his class and courage.


"He had trap four in last year's Gold Cup final at Monmore so, while we'd have preferred red, trap three in the final is okay and better than last year. It's great to be going for another major prize, but you always need luck.


"Myself and Angela are away just now on a short family holiday in Spain - there are 14 of us! - so when we saw the race last night it was superb. "Unfortunately the news on Droopys Country wasn't so great - he tore a gracilis in his semi. He's been scanned and is comfortable but will be off for a good while.


"We're back soon but I'd like to say a huge thankyou to our staff who are doing a great job - Annie, Ellie, Chris and Dave."


The first semi-final was won by Pat Rosney’s The Other Reg as the son of Razldazl Jayfkay, just out of puppy status, led at the fourth bend to score by a length from Maglass Razzle, while the second qualifier saw Jason Bloomfield’s Savana Donie hold The Other Ben, Reg’s brother, by a length in 28.17sec. It means two of the same litter will compete in Thursday’s decider.


The Carl Perry-trained Geelo Monty was quickest in the semi-finals of the Ladbrokes Summer Stayers over 630m as the Geelo Racing-owned runner made all from Spa Road Piper in 37.30sec. Next quickest was Charlie Lister’s Swift Hansel (37.44sec) as he beat Jetstream Lynx, while Newinn Blitz made it a good evening for Pat Rosney winning his semi in 37.72sec from Buckos Lass.


The three heats of the Gentleman George Curtis Trafalgar Cup Final were won by Produce Stakes champion King Elvis (28.06sec) for Liz McNair, Julie Bateson’s Ashbank Christy (28.18sec) and local trainer Sandra Ralph’s Droopys Aussie (28.51sec). Incidentally, Ralph also trained the runner-up Droopys Rob here, giving her two in the final.


Form for Thursday’s finals: