ADELES DUKE posted the fastest time of six heats of the M Lambe Construction  Birmingham Cup at Perry Barr, an event which has been upgraded to GBGB Category One status in 2021.

Sponsored by the family in memory of Michael Lambe senior, father of trainer John, the 480m competition once again shared centre-stage with six heats of the Arena Racing Company St Leger on a superb night’s racing at the West Midlands venue.

Lining up in heat three, the Lee Field-trained Adeles Duke made all to clock 28.23sec as he ran out a three and three-quarter length winner from Burgess Dalo (Julie Bateson) as the Derby quarter-finalist continued his fine run of form.

Kevin Hutton and Gary Ferguson both scored Birmingham Cup heat doubles.

Hutton weighed in with Headford Flash (28.36sec), who led home Liz McNair’s Laurels champion Havana Class in heat five, and the gutsy and consistent Forest Gold (28.44sec) in heat six, while Falkirk-based handler made another successful trip south as Duke De Janerio (28.48sec) and Frankies Jet (28.57sec) landed heats one and four respectively.

Heat two went to Angie Kibble’s Ballymac Conti, who rode a bump at the first bend on his way to edging out Candy Man (Carol Weatherall), who kept on well before being denied by a neck. The winning time was 28.75sec.

Perry Barr racing manager Martin Seal said: “It was great to get the Birmingham Cup back on the Calendar last year and absolutely thanks go to John Lambe and the family – who were keen on making it a Category One competition this year.

“Gary Ferguson had a great night with his two entries winning. Duke De Janerio confirmed himself a class act in the opener and has drawn red again in the semi-finals, which looks a bonus. Frankies Jet showed superb all-round display speed in his heat.

“Timewise Adeles Duke set the standard with another impressive display – he’s in rude health for Lee Field and it will take a good one to lead him up. I actually thought Burgess Dalo ran well in second and he could come forward for Julie (Bateson).

“Ballymac Conti took his chance well in heat two, although fair play to Candy Man who made a real race of him after taking a bump at the first bend, while Headford Flash timed the start to perfection with a rapid 3.45sec sectional in heat five.

“On paper it always looked a tough heat with the Laurels winner Havana Class also in there. But once Kevin’s dog trapped as he did then it was a case of catch-me-if-you-can, although Havana Class battled hard to qualify and is capable of going a fair bit quicker.

“There was a taking performance from the likeable Forest Gold in the final heat, a victory which gave Kevin Hutton a treble on the night given two Birmingham Cup heat wins and Southfield Code’s St Leger heat win.

“Forest Gold barged his way to the front at the first turn and was always holding runner-up Moanteen Mikey (Angela Harrison) from that point. However the latter is clearly talented and definitely one for the notebook.

“We’re now looking forward to another high-quality meeting here on Thursday with the semi-finals of not just the Birmingham Cup but the Arc St Leger – and competitions starting over the sprint trip and for pups.”


Trap draw for Thursday’s M Lambe Construction Birmingham Cup semi-finals:-

First semi: 1 Duke De Janerio, 2 Ballymac Conti, 3 Adeles Duke (m), 4 Cascade King (m), 5 Headford Flash (w), 6 Troy Firebird (w).

Second semi: 1 Coolavanny Kyser, 2 Havana Class, 3 Frankies Jet (m), 4 Potent Touch (m), 5 Hardy Rebel (w), 6 Moanteen Mikey (w).

Third semi: 1 Ballynabee Lucky, 2 Forest Gold, 3 Burgess Dalo (m), 4 Look Out (m), 5 Coney Krakatoa (m), 6 Candy Man (w).