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Awards Countdown - GBGB Hurdler of the Year


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 Hurdler of the Year award. The nominees are Ballymac Manix, Razldazl Radio and Yassoo Martin - three superb jumpers and big-race winners. 



Ballymac Manix


dkbd d Ballymac Vic - Moyar Kite, May 2013


Trainer: Seamus Cahill


Owners: Con Boles, Dan Catchpole, Matt Sharp, Dave Lawrence, Vinnie Walsh


2017 UK Race record: 14 races, 6 wins


Claims to fame: The reigning Hurdler of the Year produced one of the great runs on Derby final night when winning the Star Sports Champion Hurdle. Kick-starting what was to prove a glorious night for his Hove-based trainer - later to win the main event with Astute Missile - Ballymac Manix came from an impossible position to grab gold in a race featuring his old rival Razldazl Raidio.


Trainer says: “He’d won the Grand National and Springbok the year before so to win the Champion Hurdle gave him the full set. Of course, 2017 was more difficult with him. He had a few spells off, but that Champion Hurdle win was one of the most exciting races we’ve ever seen - he had no chance at halfway! He’s now retired and lives with the GBGB’s Tom and Hayley Huntley.”



Razldazl Raidio (pictured)


bk d Razldazl Rioga - Razldazl Marilyn, April 2014


Trainer: Ricky Holloway


Owners: Stella Wilson, David Jensen, Ricky Holloway  


2017 Race record: 31 races, 22 wins


Claims to fame: One of the most prolific-winning racers in recent years, the 2016 Champion Hurdle winner dominated the hurdling scene in 2017 with another huge haul and track records. Won his trainer a third Grand National title at Central Park, leading home half-brother Razldazl Star for a one-two for Holloway, exacting revenge over the older Ballymac Manix in the process.


Trainer says: “He’s the fastest hurdler there’s been in a decade, I’ve no doubt about that - just look at the track records he’s set. He won races throughout 2017, but of course Central Park on Grand National night was extra special. It was great for the kennel to win a third Grand National, but especially with this dog - he’s the best I’ve had. One of the best ever probably.”



Yassoo Martin


be d Blackstone Gene  - Droopys Quinta, Nov 2013


Trainer: George Andreas


Owners: George Andreas, Martin Davis, Terry Crowther  


2017 Race record: 7 races, 3 wins


Claims to fame: Landed the novice hurdlers’ championship, the Cearsport Springbok for local handler George Andreas. Ricky Holloway’s Sober Call, the new track record holder, went off 1-3 favourite but found trouble as Yassoo Martin, a fast dog on the flat, skipped clear of his field to grab gold, although had to withstand a challenge from Barry O’Sullivan’s Dranoel off the last bend. 


Trainer says: “It was a great feeling to have finally won the Springbok. We’d been close a few times, but this was the right dog for that year. He had the early pace which is so important. He’d actually been retired before the Springbok but one of the owners in particular was keen for him to race again, so I eventually agreed to give him a try. He was brilliant on the night.”




Last year’s winner: Ballymac Manix, owned by Con Boles, Dan Catchpole, Matt Sharp, Dave Lawrence, Vinnie Walsh. Trained by Seamus Cahill.