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Harlow September Standard Trophy - Harlow 415m - £1,000


HARLOW completed the first in a series of Category Two events with the September Standard being won by the David Lewis-trained Ballyoak Badger.


In winning, the July 2015 daughter of Slip The Lark and Ballyoak Alice - mother of a litter of ten by Dorotas Wildcat - continued her love affair with the Essex venue where she boasts a fine record. It was also a sixth victory in a row for the Poole-based runner.


Owned and bred by Lewis’s friend Keith Elliot, Ballyoak Badger comes from a successful litter which includes Ballyoak Petal - herself a big-race winner at Harlow having won the BGBF Sprint Final at Harlow in June.


Like Ballyoak Badger, Ballyoak Petal has proved a successful racer after having a litter and, as trainer Lewis explained, four of the batch are now mothers. Ballyoak Badger had seven bitches and three dogs by the Derby champion.


“She’s stronger since,” said trainer Lewis. “She seems to be staying on better and ran another great race at Harlow on Wednesday. The draw was wider than she’s used to but she’s pacing up well and managed to get clear.”


Bumped on the approach to the turn, the three-year-old edged across the field and stole a march to register another victory at Harlow - and her trainer’s eighth in a row there - winning by two and a half lengths from Glasheen Master (Mark Fenwick) in 26.28sec.


“‘We’re enjoying our visits to Harlow,” added the winning Poole-based trainer. “Poole dogs seem to run Harlow well and this bitch has just continued to improve. She started out in A7 and now we’re thinking about the Brighton Belle at Hove.


“I’m not sure she’ll stay 515m, so we’ll give her a race over 475m there and see how she handles things. Then there’s also the Oaks at Swindon as well - at least the travel will be easier there - but wins like this make the journeys on the M25 to Harlow worth it.”


Kennelmate Eskes Blackmagic has played here part with recent Harlow wins for Lewis, but it is Ballyoak Badger whose star is in the ascendancy and the Wimborne-based handler is happy with his lot just now,


“I’ve got 15 dogs in the kennel, and we get our fair share of winners at Poole and Badger’s record there is pretty good, too. But the whole litter have proved really decent - and they’re British-bred which is great, and the litters should help the story continue.”