Cearnsport Springbok Preview – Central Park 480mH – £5,000
RICKY HOLLOWAY aims to become the first trainer to land three Springbok titles in a row when his seven-strong team line up in Sunday’s heats of the 2020 Cearnsport Springbok at Central Park on Sunday.
Following victories for Lenson Wilson (2018) and Burgess Brandy (2019), Holloway is again looking to rewrite the record books and believes Droopys Cruiser is his best chance of success in the £5,000-to-the-winner novice hurdlers’ competition.
“If I had to pick one, then Cruiser would be it,” he said. “I’m pretty sure the others will improve – look at Turnhouse Jet last year – but at this stage Cruiser is top of the pile in the qualifying standings and is showing all his flat pace.”
A finalist in a high-class Monmore Puppy Derby last year for Mark Wallis, Droopys Cruiser runs in heat four on Sunday after winning his last two races at the track.
“He’s a good jumper and is obviously quick, but Bockos Tiger has come back from injury well and, remember, holds the sprint hurdles clock at Central Park and I’m just delighted Cain Hill is back after a really long spell off.
“He’s a veteran now, but came from Charlie Lister no less and it’s such a lovely dog. I’m also happy with how Nomansland Flyer and Droopys Shark are progressing. I think Shark has a great draw in his heat on Sunday.”
Holloway, looking for a fourth Springbok title as a trainer given Westmead Meteor’s win in 2013, started his love affair with the race when owning previous Springbok champions Rossa Ranger (2001) and Kaysers Hill (2006).
“It’s special to me, as are all the hurdles comps,” he added. “I’ve won the last three GBGB Hurdler of the Year titles – Razldazl Raidio, Lenson Wilson and Turnhouse Jet – and won both the Springbok and Champion Hurdle in the last two years.
“That’s again the plan and I’m currently schooling two more top flat dogs for the hurdles in Roxholme Biscuit, who’s come from Hayley Keightley, and Westmead Ronnie, who’s arrived from Nick Savva and Andy Ioannou. I’m excited about both.”
Meanwhile, Central Park promoter Roger Cearns is looking forward to staging the fourth running of the Cearnsport Springbok at the Kent venue.
Cearns, owner of 2018 champion Lenson Wilson, is a great supporter of hurdles racing and is delighted the Cearnsport Springbok will be followed by the Grand National and RPGTV Champion Hurdle.
“We are now firmly established as the home of hurdling and are proud to be,” said Cearns. “As an industry, we should do all we can to ensure that hurdles racing remains part of this great sport of ours.
“This will be the fourth Cearnsport Springbok here I’m hoping that many of this year’s entries return for the Grand National and RPGTV Champion Hurdle – but I also know there are a few potential hurdling stars being schooled now.”
Ricky Holloway is numerically strongest with seven of the 24-strong field who line up in four heats of the 480m competition on Sunday, although fellow local trainer Barry O’Sullivan is also well represented with five entries.
The first three in Sunday’s heats, live on RPGTV, qualify for the semi-finals on Sunday, February 22, with the £5,000 final on Sunday, February 29.