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Coral Puppy Cup - Romford 400m - £10,000



ROXHOLME NIDGE, who set a new track record in the heats, duly landed the second semi-final of the Coral Puppy Cup at Romford on Friday - but was forced to work harder for the spoils this week and will have learned from the experience believe connections.


Mark Keightley, husband and assistant to Roxholme Nidge’s trainer Hayley, said: “Last week’s track record was a great run, of course it was. But he got away to a freakish break almost and never broke stride. This was completely different - he had to battle back to win and show his class.”


Headford Kev trapped in front and led round, but Roxholme Nidge was soon handy and challenged off the second bend before moving on into the third turn and coming clear to win by two lengths in 23.64sec, comfortably the fastest of the three semi-final winning times clocked.


Keightley, speaking from Dublin where he is attending the BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby Final, added: “He’d have learnt from Friday night, no question. He wasn’t able to dominate this time, and it showed you that Romford really isn’t his cup of tea. He’ll be better elsewhere.”


Keightley explained: “He’s coming up against some real dashers, some real speed dogs and just got caught out between the first and second bends. But it showed you he’s not a one-trick-pony, but he’d run riot at a Monmore, Nottingham or Newcastle - he could be the best we’ve ever put a collar and lead on.”


Keightley also had news of Hiya Butt, who ran a gallant third behind Newinn Shadow in Thursday’s East Anglian Derby Final at Yarmouth. “For one reason or another he’d just couldn’t get away from them, having done the hard bit by overcoming the draw,” he said.


“He ran such a honest race, just typical of the dog - he’s a champion - but we’ll give him four or five weeks off now. The Laurels defence is a possibility, but either way we will find a race for him in England or Ireland to sign off in the best possible way. Two Derby finals, a Laurels and Peterborough Derby. He’s a star.”


Back to Romford and the first semi-final of the Puppy Cup went to 16-1 chance Sneezys Flo for the local David Mullins camp as he led home hot favourite King Elvis. The latter had been held up in a first-bend melee which the winner missed and was able to win by almost nine lengths in 23.97sec.


There was another local success in the third semi as Miss Boley was quick away and always led to score by half-a-length from the staying-on Foxwood Boom in 24.01sec. Favourite here was Headford Octane who failed to get around market rival Prize Fighter next door into the bend and onwards.


Friday’s Romford finals: