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Betfred Gymcrack - Kinsley 462m - £8,000


BRINKLEYS POET (pictured at Monmore) underlined his position as ante-post favourite for the puppy event when winning his semi-final of the Betfred Gymcrack at Kinsley on Sunday - again posting the fastest time of the day.


The Matt Dartnall-trained flyer was again fluent from the boxes and was soon in command, racing away to a comfortable six-and-half-lengths victory over Lotties Rocket (Dave Lee) as he clocked 27.23sec (normal) for the 462m trip - three spots quicker than his heat time.


Next best was the 27.40sec clocked by Carl Perry’s Geelo Blissful in winning his qualifier of the £8,000-to-the-winner annual, as the Sheffield raider also blasted clear early and drew steadily away to win by five lengths from Oh Armani (John Mullins) in 27.40sec.


“She stayed on much more strongly this time and is improving with each look at a track. Sunday was only her second race,” said her trainer of the Geelo Racing syndicate-owned youngster, who is looking to help make it a good week for her main owner Nic Brereton.


Brereton’s company BresMed backs Tuesday’s Northern Sprint final at Sheffield and will be keen to end the week on a high with another good performance from the daughter of Laughil Blake and Ballyrobin Venus - one of two bitches in the final along with Kanturk Repeat.


“She’s a really nice bitch who went well in trials at Sheffield, and this event looked perfect for her once she trialled well here too,” added Perry, who revealed that her owner had bought her during the GBGB Awards in London at the turn of the year.


“It’s looks a good deal now over a few glasses at the awards!” he added. “Nic’s wife Becky used to be in a band called ‘Blissful’ - hence the name - and she’s really liked by us all here. She’s coming forward and we’re really excited about the rest of the year with her.


“She’ll be in all the bitches’ competitions with luck and we’re hopeful on Sunday at Kinsley in the final. It’s a cracking final, and Matt’s dog (Brinkleys Poet) is, of course, the one to beat. He’s been flying round there, so it’s good we’re drawn inside him.”


Itsur Mate continued his fine run as he stuck in the other semi-final, again powering through to repeat his heat win - perhaps even more impressively this time. At the line he had eight and a half lengths in hand of Kanturk Repeat (Heather Dimmock) in 27.49sec.


A track record for Hayley Keightley’s brilliant sprinter Roxholme Hat in a heat of the Sue Fradgley Memorial was the star performance on the supporting card as last year’s Scurry Cup champion roared to a 15.83sec success to smash the previous best by just under two lengths.


Draw for Sunday’s final:


1 Lotties Rocket

2 Geelo Blissful

3 Brinkleys Poet

4 Oh Armani

5 Kanturk Repeat (M)

6 Itsur Mate (W)