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Awards Countdown - Press Association Stayer of the Year


Keplar Nine wins the Yorkshire St Leger at Doncaster


WE continue the countdown to greyhound racing’s night of the year - the GBGB Greyhound of the Year Awards at the Park Plaza, London, on Sunday, January 28 - by looking at those stars of the track who have made the list of nominations for the various award categories.


Next is the Press Association Stayer of the Year nominees - Keplar Nine, Rubys Rascal and Russelena Reggie - three outstanding racers and big-race winners looking to succeed last year’s champion Ferryforth Fran.



Keplar Nine


bk d Kinloch Brae - Any Time Again, Sept 2014


Trainers: Charlie Lister OBE


Owner: Larry O’Rourke


2017 Race record: 21 races, 7 wins


Claims to fame: Won his trainer a fifth Yorkshire St Leger title in the SIS-sponsored showpiece at Doncaster, showing the four-bend speed which won him competitons in Ireland. He arrived at the Yorkshire track with just a handful of six-bend runs but stayed well to grab gold before heading to Perry Barr when he led in the William Hill St Leger final, only to be outstayed and caught by Rubys Rascal.


Trainer says: “I trained the likes of Knocktoosh Queen and Canimar for Larry O’Rourke, and it was great when he got back in touch asking me to take this dog. He had a good Irish card, winning the Derby Plate at Shelbourne, and has lots of speed for a stayer. He was superb at Doncaster and ran well for a long way in the Leger final - the longer trip there for a Leger just found him out.”



Rubys Rascal


bk d Razldazl George - Swift Eva, July 2014


Trainer: Mark Wallis


Owner: John Clarke


2017 Race record: 44 races, 18 wins


Claims to fame: A litter brother of Prestige and Harlow Gold Cup winner Rubys Razzle, Rubys Rascal is the reigning William Hill St Leger champion and earns a second nomination in the Stayer of the Year nominations having joined the group won by Ferryforth Fran last year. Also starred in the TV Trophy, running second to Goldies Hotspur in the Towcester showpiece.


Trainer says: “He came close to winning this last year, and has just been a tremendous dog for us. To win us a fifth St Leger title was fantastic and he had an excellent 2017. He ran in all the major staying competitions and clocked some sensational times, including track records at Perry Barr and Towcester. He’ll likely be targeted at the Golden Jacket.”



Russelena Reggie


bk d Kinloch Brae - Russelena Reggie, July 2014


Trainer: Jason Bloomfield


Owner: Jack Newland   


2017 Race record: 27 races, 10 wins


Claims to fame: The ex-Sheffield racer landed the Ladbrokes Summer Stayers at Crayford, the Betfred Select Stayers at Nottingham and the Star Sports Derby Stayers final - on Derby Final night - in a red-hot summer for his Henlow-based trainer. Also reached the final of the Yorkshire St Leger at Doncaster and the quarter-finals of the St Leger.


Trainer says: “He’s been a real star for us, and had a terrific 2017. Around the summer he was at the top of his game, and beating all the leading stayers. He was unlucky in the St Leger at Perry Barr but when he’s got a chance to dominate his races is difficult to beat. It’s been a great ride for his young owner Jack, who has now taken his own licence out.”




Last year’s winner: Ferryforth Fran, owned by Alan Morton. Trained by Mark Wallis.