SKYWALKER STAN set the standard in the semi-finals of the Arena Racing Company All England Cup at Newcastle on Tuesday.

Trained by local handler Ted Soppitt, the December 2019 son of Droopys Sydney and Newinn Boodles paced up well and rode a bump at the turn before going on to score readily from recent Arc Classic champion Narcos The Great (George Cunningham) by three and a half lengths in a fastest-of-the-night 28.59sec (-10).

Winning trainer Soppitt said: “I’m more than happy with the dog and the draw for the final. He’s got the red jacket which is okay and hopefully can just run his race – that’s what this dog is all about. He’s uncomplicated and straightforward and hopefully gets a chance to do it again in the final.

“Remember he’s still a young dog – just turned two years of age – and I think will be better over 500m which means he could be a Derby dog next year. He’s certainly progressing well and deserves his chance in a big final.

“The All England Cup is a very special race for us in the north east and I’d like to say good luck to all the finalists and that all come back safe and sound.”

Soppitt won the All England Cup in 2013 with Calzaghe Davy, while Angela Harrison has a brace of wins in the competition with back-to-back successes with Droopys Expert and Droopys Verve in 2017 and 2018 – and sends out both Moanteen Mikey and Hardy Rebel in Tuesday’s £8,000 decider.

The Harrison-trained pair finished first and second in the second semi. Line abreast in the dash to the turn, Moanteen Mikey led off the second bend and went on to land a one-and-a-quarter length success over Hardy Rebel in 28.64sec (-10). Incidentally, Brynoffa Lloyd finished third here for a Harrison one-two-three.

The third semi proved the closest of the trio with less than two lengths separating the field as the George Cunningham-trained Narcos Done finished the stronger for a three-quarter length success over Harry Burton’s Optic Jimmy in 28.68sec (-10). It means, like Angela Harrison, Cunningham will be doubly handed in the decider.


Trap draw for Tuesday’s final: 1 Skywalker Stan, 2 Optic Jimmy, 3 Narcos The Great (m), 4 Hardy Rebel (m), 5 Moanteen Mikey (w), 6 Narcos Dode (w).