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Bresmed Northern Sprint - Sheffield 280m - £8,000


AFFANE PARTY (pictured) stamped his authority again on the BresMed Northern Sprint at Sheffield on Tuesday, producing another authoritative display to claim gold in the first semi-final of the UK’s richest sprint competition.


John Lambe’s powerhouse two-bender was led from traps-rise by Cotton Pants (Mark Wallis), but was soon on terms inside and swept to the front rounding the first two turns to kick clear and grab gold by two and a half lengths from Fridays Zeus (Corren Price) in 15.83sec (-10).


Colin Handford’s Sherlock was on the mark in the second semi-final as he, too, maintained his unbeaten run through the £8,000-to-the-winner competition as, after a fast start, he held off Blakes Flyer (Jim Hayton) to win by three-quarters of a length in 16.13sec. Allen Lumb’s Elegant Denis was third here.


There was no luck for the local challenge of last year’s third Worsboro Spectre and Coney Sabella, who were eliminated from the first semi-final, but big-race sponsor Nick Brereton is anticipating strong local support for the supporting opens on final night on Tuesday.


“Sheffield always do the big nights well - as do their trainers - and Tuesday will be no different am sure,” said the BresMed CEO, who has been away from the UK since the start of the competition but is looking forward to returning for the final.


“We have an office in Las Vegas, and I’ve been busy there,” he said, “but being a big greyhound fan, I was desperately disappointed to miss the heats and semis. Having said that, I was delighted with the original entry and the final is really good quality.


“I think the draw has made for an exciting final and, however it pans out on Tuesday night, I’m delighted the event is now ingrained in the GBGB Calendar as the premium and only Category One sprint event.


“I hear owners are buying dogs specifically to race in the competition, so seeing it grow over the last few years has been really satisfying, and our commitment to fair prize-money remains. This year again all finalists will get at least £1,000.


“In fact, I hope that one day all Category One events have this policy,” added Brereton, who confirmed his company’s continued support of the event. “We’re looking to continue to commit to the sponsorship for the foreseeable future.


“Indeed, BresMed will be holding a company event all day at Sheffield on Tuesday again, so the staff are all excited about the evening racing, and the track always looks after us. I just hope one day I can get another Geelo Vegas - so have a chance of winning BresMed Northern Sprint!”


Tuesday’s BresMed Northern Sprint final: 1 Blakes Flyer, 2 Affane Party, 3 Fridays Zeus, 4 Sherlock (m), 5 Cotton Pants (m), 6 Elegant Denis (m).