JAGUAR MACIE completed a fantastic GBGB Category One double when landing the Arena Racing Company Northern Puppy Derby Final at Newcastle on Wednesday.

Already winner of the Ladbrokes Puppy Derby at Monmore in February, the Graham Rankin-trained April 2019 daughter of Droopys Jet and Droopys Breeze signed off her puppy career in the best possible style by lifting the £6,500 prize at the Byker venue with a superb performance in a cracking race.

Breaking well but just led from the boxes by fast-trapping Garys Diamond (Stuart Tighe) and Rockmount Dizzee (Andrew Wood), it was the latter who showed the best speed into the bend to take up the running and, for much of the 480m contest, it was very much a family affair – as winning trainer Rankin explained.

“Andrew is my son-in-law being married to my daughter Charlene. He certainly has a very fast greyhound on his hands in Dizzy and there’s not many quicker for 400m or so, but once Macie turned where she did off the second bend I knew she’d win and she’s just a very special bitch who just loves to run.”

Rankin revealed that a shoulder issue almost cost Jaguar Macie a place in the final. “She wasn’t right after the semis and great credit goes to Tom Peppercorn who worked on her and told us what to do for the rest of the week. So there was plenty of ultrasound and Stuart Brown, who works with me on the dogs, played a blinder.

“We weren’t sure she’d make it, but I gave her a gallop on Tuesday and she was right as rain the next morning – and I was pretty confident she’d go well afterwards. She’s good this morning, tired but okay, so we’ll get her checked out again and then look for a trial at Towcester and then aim for the RPGTV Juvenile.”

A winner now of ten of her 20 starts, Jaguar Macie completed an unbeaten run through the Newcastle event and has proved one of the sport’s early season stars with two major competition wins for her Airdrie-based trainer and part-owner Rankin, who shares the now two-year-old with his great friend Tony Armstrong.

“I’m delighted for Tony, although it’s just a shame he’s not been able to be at the track for both Monmore and Newcastle – hopefully that changes soon. But I’d like to praise both tracks for how they’ve handle this situation – and thanks to Arc for the sponsorship at Newcastle. The Northern Puppy Derby has a great history and it’s great to win it.

“Of course, Andrew has already won it with Droopys Trawler a few years back – and I know his daughter Millie was cheering on the Dizzee dog at home. But I also know his older daughter Macie was cheering on Macie, of course! We named both Jaguar Macie and her sister Jaguar Millie after the girls.

“We actually always felt Millie was faster. She’s not come on as much, but I’m going to put her over six bends once she’s out of season. That might bring her on, but in the meantime we’re going to enjoy this. Macie has proved herself a very good bitch again. To win two of the biggest puppy competitions is fantastic.”

For the record, Jaguar Macie posted 28.52sec in winning the Arena Racing Company Northern Puppy Derby Final, catching long-time leader Rockmount Dizzee at the fourth bend and then crossing the line two and a quarter lengths clear of Dannid (Matt Dartnall), who ran on really well to grab second on the run for home.

Newcastle general manager Ian Walton said: “Overall it was a fantastic night’s racing with a brilliant winner in Jaguar Macie, who is now a dual Category One winner. Thanks to all connections who supported the competition, especially those travelling a long way, which helped make it the best Puppy Derby competition ever held at Newcastle.

“Roll on the Northern Flat here next month!”