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Ladbrokes Guys & Dolls - Crayford 380m - £7,500


KILMORE LEMON (pictured) and Late Hyena were joint-quickest in the heats of the Ladbrokes Guys & Dolls at Crayford on Tuesday.


The Category One event is unique in the GBGB Calendar in that dogs and bitches are kept apart until the final - and on the evidence of Tuesday’s heats the 380m feature looks as competitive as ever.


The Jim Daly-trained Late Hyena came through a fantastic finish to heat three of the ‘Dolls’ as she edged out Sleepy Genie (Gemma Davidson), winning by a neck in posting 23.14sec - a time matched by Kilmore Lemon in the third ‘Guys’ heat.


The Patrick Janssens-trained runner started ante-post favourite for the £7,500 annual and consolidated that position with a terrific effort when overcoming a missed break before unleashing a tremendous turn of foot to lead off the bend.


In winning by four and a three-quarter lengths from Savana Starman (Jason Bloomfield), the Central Park-based runner thrilled his trainer who has always rated the recent Yarmouth track record-breaker as one of the best he has trained.


“Kilmore Lemon is awesome when his feet hit the ground, said Janssens. “He’s not the greatest trapper but has awesome early and middle pace. I was really pleased with his run - his first competitive race for about a month. He runs the track well.


“We had bad luck around Golden Sprint time. He reached the final and was even-money favourite to win but broke his toe in the paddock. He was off but has come back just as brilliant given the Yarmouth clock - and when he was inside the Sunderland clock in a trial.”


The other ‘Guys’ heats were won by Barry O’Sullivan’s Teddybear Pops (23.15sec) and Yvonne Gaskin’s Madabout Finn (23.26sec), while the ‘Dolls’ heats went to Dave Lee’s Special Story (23.54sec) and the Dave Mullins-trained outsider Pro Penny (23.25sec).


Crayford racing manager Danny Rayment paid particular tribute to the efforts of local stars Teddybear Pops, Late Hyena and Special Story as the locals landed a treble in the six qualifiers, although rated Kilmore Lemon’s effort as the performance of the night.


“He strengthened his grip on favouritism with a powerful display after slightly mistiming the start,” said Rayment. “He’s a flying machine and looks to have all the necessary tools to win this competition and he’ll prove very difficult to beat even with a semi-final draw in five.


“Queen Adele was the top bitch in the betting but sadly was unable to recover from a moderate start and found herself squeezed up at the turn, putting paid to her chances - but well done to 20-1 chance Pro Penny here for Dave Mullins. 


“She very nearly didn’t make the cut for the race! But she led early and held on gamely from trackmate Courts Ad Lee, and generally the Romford runners did well given Yvonne Gaskin’s Madabout Finn also won well on the night.


“I was nice to see Teddybear Pops win for Barry O’Sullivan and owner Karl Brazier - in such a fast time, too. Karl will be sponsoring next month’s Jay & Kay Coach Tours Kent St Leger, and Barry would love to win a final Crayford competition before departing for pastures new at the end of the month.


“There were some great performances on the night, but a particularly sad moment for us all was the bad injury suffered by Hit The Roaduk. He was unbeaten at the track before breaking down at the second bend. Our thoughts go out to his connections.”


Trap draw for Tuesday’s Ladbrokes Guys & Dolls semi-finals:


Dolls semi: 1 Courts Ad Lee, 2 Late Hyena, 3 Special Story, 4 Pro Penny (m), 5 Sue Said Yes (m), 6 Sleepy Genie (w).


Guys semi:  1 Teddybear Pops, 2 Billis Tyson, 3 Madabout Finn, 4 Art Of Magic, 5 Kilmore Lemon (m), 6 Savana Starman (w).