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Greyhound Star Marathon - Henlow 870m - £2,000

GOLDIES HOTSPUR celebrated her recently awarded GWA/RPGTV Greyhound of the Month title for January by landing a high-class Greyhound Star Marathon at Henlow on Sunday.

The Patrick Janssens-trained, Andy Pelley-owned runner took advantage of favourite Aayamza Breeze (Mark Wallis) being crowded early after a slow start to race handily for much of the 870m trip behind Swift Danielle and No Can Boogie, hitting the front past halfway and holding the rallying Aayamza Breeze by two lengths in 55.94sec (-80).

In winning the £2,000 prize, the 2017 TV Trophy winner consolidated her handler’s position at the top of the Trainer of the Year standings and also gained some sort of revenge over Savana Winner, the Henlow bitch having won last year’s TV Trophy at Crayford, in which Goldies Hotspur finished second.

“What a bitch she is!” said a delighted and in-form Janssens after the victory. “She has great trackcraft and used that to come from behind Swift Danielle and then No Can Boogie. She always gives 100 per cent, might be a veteran now but shows no signs of slowing down.

“I’d like to thank Henlow and the Greyhound Star for putting the race on,” he added. “She won the TV Trophy in 2017, was third in the St Leger the same year and won the Mitch Millward Marathon. She’s been in two Golden Jacket finals, has won at eight different tracks - and now this win. She’s a absolute star.

“As for targets, she’ll run for us in the Trainers’ Championship at Sheffield and we might go for the Regency - if there’s no suitable marathon races around. The main aims would be the Dorando Marathon and the TV Trophy at Romford later in the year - after that she’ll be retired to the breeding paddocks.”

Owner Andy Pelley was also a delighted man as the January 2015 daughter of Aero Majestic and Slick Sapphire added to her impressive CV.

“I thought it was a fantastic final,” he said. “Any of the runners would have been worthy winners, it was that sort of a classy marathon. However, it’s an even better feeling when you win against a top-quality field including bitches of the like of Aayamza Breeze and Savana Winner.

“Both are such strong finishing sorts, I felt if we were to win we’d need to build a good lead to do so - and she managed that brilliantly. Lily is a phenomenal bitch, an absolute star, and a real pleasure to own. She’s a veteran too, of course, and yet continues to go from strength to strength.

“Her record is so impressive and she just keeps on producing the goods. The credit for that has to go to Patrick and the team - Cheryl, Ria, Marcus, Pete and, of course, Ron Mills. It’s a great team who fully deserve the successes they've enjoyed this year and in recent years, and is one I’ll always be grateful too.”