Ladbrokes Kent Derby – Central Park 480m – £7,500
FOREST ALAN edged out favourite Bockos Doomie to win the Ladbrokes Kent Derby Final at Central Park on Sunday to land trainer Seamus Cahill a second victory in the Category One feature.
The Hove trainer struck with Sparklee Bernie in 2010 and had fielded several finalists since, but it was two-year-old Forest Alan who added the Hove trainer’s name to the roll of honour again with a strong-running effort in the £7,500 decider.
Owned by the New Forest Lads – Mark Gilbert, Dave Lawrence, Scott Goodsir, Peter Reed, Matt Sharp, Damien Teevan and Kevin Wilks – Forest Alan paced up well outside to turn behind Bockos Doomie, who had edged market rival Fayes Jet (Stuart Maplesden) into the turn.
Patrick Janssens’ dog tore down the back straight, setting a furious tempo, but Forest Alan, a March 2017 of Ballymac Vic and Forest Mollie, was not going away and challenged into the third bend and then again on the run for home, winning by half a length in 29.00sec.
Paraded by Teresa Cahill, wife of the winning trainer, Forest Alan could now be targeted at the RPGTV Eclipse at Nottingham next month, although another option is the Ladbrokes Gold Collar over 540m – a short six-bend trip he has won over before.
“He did okay at Crayford, but his style of running suits Nottingham more you feel, so maybe that’s where we’ll go. Either way, I’ll have a chat with the owners and see what they think. But we’ll enjoy this – and a big thanks to sponsors Ladbrokes and to Central Park.”
Dave Lawrence, RPGTV producer and part-owner of Forest Alan, said: “I thought he might be overpriced come the final. It looked a good draw outside and he’d run well in the semi-final, and he just gave himself every chance – but it was close!
“Him and Bockos Doomie were wide apart on the track as they came to the line, but he just took the advantage as they straightened up off the last bend. But take nothing away from Patrick’s (Janssens) dog. He ran a stormer.
“I’m just delighted for Alan himself. He was bought as a good dog but hasn’t had a lot of luck. He’s tended to find the troublespots, but you could see he was a fast dog and Seamus has always had faith in him – and tonight he rewarded our patience.
“I was lucky enough to be at Shelbourne for the Irish Derby Final with Peter Reed a fortnight ago and it was great to see Bev (Lochead) and Graham (Box) take home the Irish Derby trophy. Their dog ran a cracker, but we’re happy for it to be us tonight!”
Peter Miller, Central Park racing manager, said: “Sunday night showed what Central Park is all about. Top-class racing on this wonderful circuit with thrilling finishes and outstanding performances.
“Forest Alan was a gallant winner of the main event for connections who deserved a big-race win and, on the undercard, Turnhouse Jet and the unlucky Droopys Trawler confirmed they are currently the best hurdlers in the country.
“I thought Headford Ranger was awesome in the step up to six bends and Fitenwell showed how unlucky his Kent Derby semi-final elimination was with a professional performance in the invitation. A top night all-round.”