Ladbrokes Kent Derby 2020 – Central Park 480m – £7,500
TENPIN landed a magnificent seventh consecutive success when justifying short odds in the second semi-final of the Ladbrokes Kent Derby 2020 at Central Park on Sunday.
In doing so, the December 2018 son of Romeo Recruit and Droopys Sarafina again posted the fastest time of the night at the Kent venue as the David Mullins-trained star made all in producing another exceptional performance.
Quickly away inside on his way to a 3.17sec split, the Romford Puppy Cup and Brinkleys Poet At Stud Young Guns champion was never headed as he crossed the line three and a quarter lengths clear of Lenson Whelan (Patrick Janssens) in 28.72sec (-20).
It was a victory that drew comparison with 2016 Kent Derby champion Bubbly Bluebird, a young dog who arrived at Central Park for his first all-aged test having won major puppy competitions and set up a long winning sequence in doing so.
“To be fair, I think Bubbly Bluebird made it ten wins in a row when he won the Kent Derby, but Tenpin isn’t far behind that – and is still a puppy. Bluebird had just turned two when the event started, but was a very precocious talent – as is Tenpin.
“In fact we said exactly that in the stewards’ box last night. There’s definitely something about Bluebird in the way Tenpin is dominating his races with fantastic early speed, although I suppose trap five in the final could be an issue. It’s a cracking race nevertheless.”
Swift Lettuce was also quickly away (3.15sec split) on his way to winning the first semi-final as John Mullins joined his brother with a finalist – the two-year-old son of Farloe Blitz making all to score by half-a-length from the rallying Kilara Lion (Patrick Janssens) in 29.01sec (-20).
John Mullins said: “You always feel when this dog leads he’s got every chance – and it’s only been when the track’s been very wet that he’s been caught. There was surface water when he broke in front in the Monmore Puppy Derby final – and for the heats last week.
“He moved off both times to avoid the water, so the drier conditions on Sunday certainly helped! He’s in the final which is great, but it’s going to be tough to beat my brother’s dog, of course. He’s a proper, proper greyhound and a joy to watch.”
Patrick Janssens was delighted to have qualified two more Category One finalists as the GBGB Trainer of the Year standings leader saw both Lenson Whelan and Kilara Lion make Sunday’s £7,500-to-the-winner decider.
He said: “Look Tenpin is a worthy favourite, he’s a great dog, but it’s good to be involved in a major final at our track. Bockos Alfie won it for us three years ago and we’ve finished second with Headford Johnny and Bockos Doomie in the last two years.
“Both Lenson Whelan and Kilara Lion are really competitive and consistent dogs so always give you a chance in comps because they can keep qualifying. Lion won the Yarmouth Derby for us and Lenson Whelan has been in so many finals. He has a brilliant record.”
The third semi-final also produced a trap-to-line winner as the Samantha West-trained Ballynabee Lucky paced up well (3.23sec split) and was never headed as he crossed the line a length and a quarter clear of Darth Vader in 29.00sec (-20).
Ballynabee Lucky made the Colossus Bets Kent Silver Salver Final earlier this year at Central Park so lines up in another major decider at the Kent venue and deserves his place, feels the track’s RM Homewood.
He added: “He’s a regular here and won a sprint before the Kent Derby started. His early pace has never been in question but he’s staying on better too now. Along with Swift Lettuce and, of course Tenpin and we’re in for a real race to the bend on Sunday!”
Trap draw for Sunday’s final: www.centralparkstadium.co.uk/assets/uploaded/files/documents/kent-derby-adv.pdf