Ladbrokes Trafalgar Cup – Monmore 480m – £2,500
DROOPYS ADDITION added his name to a famous roll of honour as he bridged an incredible 33-year gap with a sensational performance to win the Ladbrokes Trafalgar Cup Final at Monmore on Saturday.
In landing the £2,500 Category Two prize for owner Peter Claxson and trainer Ernie Gaskin, Droopys Addition helped a second member of the Gaskin family win the former pups-only Wembley competition, which was first run in 1929.
Ernie Gaskin snr landed the Trafalgar Cup with Trans Brandy at Wembley in 1986 and the Essex-based handler is a very proud man to have emulated his father’s achievement in the prestigious event with this exciting youngster, who looks a Derby dog for 2020.
“When I was growing up winning The Trafalgar Cup meant you had a Derby-class runner. It meant something and still does, certainly to me. It’s part of greyhound racing’s tradition and it’s fantastic we still have these great competitions, so well done Monmore.
“I actually remember Trans Brandy winning at Wembley 33 years ago as if it was yesterday!” added Gaskin. “He was a fawn dog which I paraded for dad on the night.”
Droopys Addition, fastest in the heats the previous week, paced up well and edged Tasty Treat (Julie Bateson) and favourite Antigua Breeze (Mark Wallis) to the turn, using the shorter route against the fence to steal a winning advantage which he impressively extended as the race unfolded.
Crossing the line four and a half lengths clear of Antigua Breeze, Gaskin’s runner stopped the clock in 28.05sec (-20) for the 480m and, just a May 18 son of Droopys Jet and Droopys Hilda, underlined the fact he is a precocious talent.
“He’s a very nice dog indeed,” said Gaskin. “I was lucky enough to secure him from the Dunphys, although intentionally went for another of Droopys Hilda’s. In my opinion she’s the best brood out there and consistently throws good-class runners.
“We’ve been lucky to have both Droopys Aoife, who’s in the Essex Vase final, and Roman Empire from her. She’s also thrown dogs like Droopys Buick, so it’s a productive breeding line and we’re excited about Droopys Addition.
“We went for the Trafalgar Cup so he could gain experience of Monmore for next year’s Puppy Derby there, so we can return full of confidence. I’ll be keeping him in training, perhaps looking for one-offs, but with one eye firmly on the weather!
“He’s very young and clearly very fast, but importantly is learning with each run. Saturday was only his fourth run so we’ve got to be delighted. I travelled up to Monmore myself with my daughter Gemma (Evans), but we had one eye on Shelbourne Park for Lambeth Way.
“He just missed his break and then struggled to get a run, but it was good for the boys to be part of a major night at Shelbourne for the Night Of Stars. He’s back now and we’ll be building up to the National Sprint at Nottingham.”
Tony Williamson, racing manager at Monmore, said of Droopys Addition’s success at the Wolverhampton venue: “It was a great run from a really impressive youngster to lead the field at the first bend and clock a really good time on slow going. Well done to Ernie Gaskin and his team.
“The Ladbrokes Trafalgar Cup was the highlight of another great card here. I thought Mark Wallis’s Antigua Rum, who drew away from the fifth bend over 630m, was also impressive on the supporting card. He too clocked a fast time (38.01sec -40).
“Generally the open-race action we’ve had this year is up with the very best staged here. The festivals we’ve been hosting here have been really successful – thank you to all the owners and trainers who’ve supported them.
“We’ve attracted runners from all the top kennels from all of the country. We aim to continue that in 2020.”