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BGBF British Bred Derby - Sheffield 500m - £7,500

GEELO MONTY has his sights set on another British-bred title after landing a local success in the first semi-final of the BGBF British Bred Derby at Sheffield on Tuesday.  

Trained by Carl Perry for Nic Brereton’s Geelo Racing, Geelo Monty won the inaugural BGBF Puppy Cup over C&D last year and progressed to reach the semi-finals of the Produce Stakes behind eventual winner and subsequent Greyhound of the Year King Elvis. 

Later second in the Summer Stayers Classic behind Buckos Lass when upped in trip - he was beaten by just a neck in the Monmore showpiece - wins over four and six bends meant ‘Monty’ was one of the leading lights at Perry’s Lincolnshire kennels. 

However, a few setbacks has seen him lightly-raced in 2018 with Tuesday’s success just his third this term. Nevertheless a strong-running effort which saw the May 2015 son of Ballymac Eske and Macys Perfect lead home Viking Jerry (Jim Hayton) delighted Perry.

He said: “I’m very proud of the dog. He’s had so many setbacks this year, so to reach a Category One final is amazing and hopefully can play a big part in how the race pans out next Tuesday. 

“Massive thanks has to go to our physio Darryl Hopper. He has a great connection with the dog and without his help we wouldn’t have got him back racing, let alone winning a semi-final of the British Bred Derby. 

“Being a home-bred makes it even more special, as I’m sure it is for all of the finalists and all the dogs who have taken part. We can now look forward to the final and it’s great that his owners - Nic and Becky Brereton - will be here to enjoy it as well.” 

  

Geelo Monty after winning 2017's BGBF Puppy Cup, also at Sheffield

In what proved a crowded affair, hot favourite King Turbo (Liz McNair) was crowded out of contention when challenging for the lead, and then fell as he renewed his challenge, leaving kennelmates Viking Jerry and Lowgate Rudy to chase the winner home. 

Disappointment for the McNair camp was compounded in the second semi-final as their King Elvis also found trouble before finishing last behind another Sheffield runner in the shape of the Barrie Draper-trained Lostrigg Zeus, who made all to score in 29.30sec. 

The outsider of the field led home fellow big-priced runner Sharpys Rocket (John Sharp) and the Heather Dimmock-trained Down To The Felt, giving the local contingent half the field in Tuesday’s £7,500-to-the-winner final. 

Rose Draper, daughter of the winning trainer, said: “Zeus was a finalist in the BGRF Puppy Cup at Sheffield last year behind Geelo Monty and has always been a good dog for us. He’s won lots of races, but this is his biggest challenge by far. 

“He’s just coming back to form after a few minor issues, so it’ll be a great night for the owners who rear the majority of their dogs theirselves. He ran his best race on Tuesday and I hope he again shows his best in the final, which I’m sure he will round his local track.” 

Trap draw for Tuesday’s BGBF British Bred Derby Final: 1 Sharpys Rocket, 2 Viking Jerry, 3 Lowgate Rudy (m), 4 Geelo Monty (m), 5 Lostrigg Zeus (m), 6 Down To The Felt (w).