KAB Maiden Derby – Towcester 500m – £7,500
THORN FALCON completed an unbeaten run through the event when maintaining champion trainer Patrick Janssens’ stunning run of success in major events at Towcester this year with an impressive victory in the KAB Maiden Derby Final at the Northamptonshire track on Tuesday.
Already winners with Kilara Lion in the Blue Riband and Bockos Jon Jo in the Northamptonshire Sprint, Team Janssens made it a GBGB Category One treble at Towcester courtesy of the February 2019 son of Dorotas Wildcat and Hey Delilah, trained by Janssens for owners Mark Harrison and Keith Allsop.
In Tuesday’s final, it was Lee Field’s youngest-in-the-line-up Tommys Ranger who paced up to lead and looked to steal a march, although when Thorn Falcon moved upsides into the turn from his outside slot the pair came together and crowding meant it was race-on for both – especially for the odds-on favourite in stripes.
Regaining his momentum, Thorn Falcon caught Tommys Ranger at the third bend and was now in full flow, drawing some four-and-a-half lengths clear of the running-on Amazing Wink (Richard Rees), with Buttsys Blackie (Allison Kelly-Pilgrim) a further length back in third. The winning time was a fast 29.24sec (+10) for the 500m.
Winner of his only race in Enniscorthy, Thorn Falcon delighted trainer Janssens who was always confident the two-year-old would handle the track – irrespective of his sire happening to be the 2018 English Derby champion at Towcester!
“I think Enniscorthy can be a tough track to handle in some ways, so I was confident he could therefore handle Towcester – and he’s impressed me from day one at the kennels. He has a great attitude, is a very good-looking greyhound, very happy and friendly. When he arrived he seemed to have the lot, except experience.
“He only had the one race at Enniscorthy so along with Tommys Ranger was the least experienced in the final. But he showed me plenty in the semis when he didn’t lead and still won and it was the same tonight – and this time he took a bump, too. He’s now shown he can go off the front or win from behind and that’ll help him in the Derby – we hope!
“We’ve had some good wins at Towcester already this year and hopefully we’ll have a decent team going into the Derby. It’s an exciting time for us and great for the team at the kennels. It’s also great to see the owners and the general public back. It makes it more special – and hopefully we can go well in the Derby with this dog for Keith and Mark.”
Allsop, the former trainer and well-known as an owner of the Slick-prefixed runners, said he was delighted to be back involved in the sport.
“It’s down to Patrick (Janssens) who’s got me involved again – and it’s great. He sourced the dog for myself and Mark and he looks a proper dog.”
Towcester spokesman Nathan Corden congratulated winning connections, commenting: “It was a great run from Thorn Falcon. He didn’t come away that well but once he managed to draw level was away. Being a son of Dorotas Wildcat makes it special being here at Towcester – and for myself, too, given I’ve got eight pups by him!
“But seriously, it’s been great to see the crowds back here and plenty of smiles on faces – and the crowd were treated to some classy racing from start to finish.
“Once again we had a batch of trial stakes for the [Star Sports and TRC Events & Leisure English] Greyhound Derby and a new track record for the McNairs’ Warzone Tom, who ran great on his way to clocking 29.08sec (+20), just shading Priceless Jet’s time from last week. We’re building up nicely!”