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Ladbbrokes Kent Derby - Central Park 480m - £7,500

 

OWER BOY BULLET (pictured in action at Romford last month) confirmed the form of the previous week when leading home ante-post favourite King Turbo to win heat four of the Ladbrokes Kent Derby at Central Park on Sunday.

 

June Harvey’s dog, a finalist in the recent Champion Stakes at Romford, showed speed and strength in equal measure as he paced up handily before catching leader Shaneboy Tolly off the second bend before drawing clear.

 

It was therefore to King Turbo’s credit that the winning deficit was kept to a length at the line, with Liz McNair’s runner overcoming crowding between the first and second bends to finish second behind the 29.03sec (-20) winner. 

 

Castlehill Wally (Philip Simmonds) was the other qualifier here in the £7,500-to-the-winner event, and connections of the trio can now look forward to Sunday’s semi-finals, with Matt Redman, son of Ower Boy Bullet’s trainer June Harvey, delighted with the effort.

 

He said: “We gave him a solo 285m sprint at Hove a week after the Champion Stakes final and he was great. He did a 16.17sec, so we knew he was in good shape. Central Park suits him and the Kent Derby was always the plan after Romford.

 

“He loves to gallop and is running the bends brilliantly,” added Redman. “Of course, he’s had two massive tests so far taking on the superb King Turbo twice and, last week, Sporting Dave, but he’s passed them both to underline is quality.

 

“It’s seems incredible, but we’re up against King Turbo again in the semis, and we’ve got trap five now which is not ideal, but you get what you get - and we go again! It’s a tough ask, but he’s in great form and the team at the kennels are doing a great job.”

 

The Harvey team had three winners from three runners at Hove on Thursday with victories for puppy Ower Boy Storm in an A6, Dodgers Spur in an open sprint maiden and kennel stalwart Clash over 515m - which delighted the Hampshire-based set-up.

 

“They all ran great, and it was particularly good to send out Dodgers Spur to win his first race for us - he’s part-owned by Bruno Berwick - so it’s been a busy month for the kennel with no less than six new recruits all with quality.”

 

Those new intakes include Swindon Produce Stakes runner-up Shoot the Bolt. “We’re now settled at Hove now,” added Redman, “and we’re very much enjoying it there. Mum goes in for a hip operation in the coming weeks so let’s hope Bullet can keep her spirits up!”

 

The aforementioned Sporting Dave kicked off the Kent Derby heats with victory in heat one for Seamus Cahill as the Sussex Cup champion made all in 29.14sec (-20), before Richard Rees’s Black Zack (29.38sec -20) led at halfway on his way to winning heat two.

 

The locals were on the mark in heat three courtesy of the Tony Collett-trained Serenity Spice (29.11sec -20) leading home last year’s returning Kent Derby third Droopys Gold, while another fast-starting local Trade Fudge finished well clear in a crowded heat five.

 

The Dan Brabon-trained runner, second to Sporting Dave in the Sussex Cup, paced up handily and drew clear as the rest of the field badly crowded behind, eventually coming over almost 16 lengths clear in a fast 29.12sec (-20).

 

The final heat saw the Cahill team land a double with their Towcester Derby Plate champion Crossfield Giles scooting clear to cross the line two and a half lengths clear of Exiles Gift (John Mullins) in 29.61sec.

 

Trap draw for Sunday’s semi-finals:-

 

First semi: 1 Headway Turbo, 2 King Turbo, 3 Karlow Scolar, 4 Headford Johnny, 5 Ower Boy Bullet (w), 6 Barricane Carina  (w).

 

Second semi: 1 Droopys Gold, 2 Move Over Padre, 3 Castlehill Wally, 4 Kilcree Diamond, 5 Crossfield Giles (m), 6 Trade Fudge (w).

 

Third semi: 1 Sporting Dave, 2 Glory Snake, 3 Serenity Spice, 4 Black Zack (m), 5 Cookie Crossan (w), 6 Exiles Gift (w).