DEANRIDGE AWESOM landed connections their biggest success when winning the inaugural Property 192 Graded Derby Final at Towcester on Sunday.

The 500m decider was the richest race on an outstanding card at the Northamptonshire venue, which included three heats of the 1st Containers Marathon Trophy and the semi-finals of the BGBF Puppy Cup, and victory went to the Crayford raider trained by Allison Kelly-Pilgrim for owners Ray Dean and Paul Surridge.

The May 2018 son of Sh Avatar and Deanridge Angel had slipped down to S4 on home soil but the switch to Towcester for the regional heat and final – and then Sunday’s Grand Final – has seen the three-year-old rediscover his best form and a first bend lead set up victory in the £10,000 decider.

Sent off favourite, Deanridge Awesom broke well along with Burgess Vivato (Vicki Lea) but showing just the better early pace made the turn ahead of that rival and Swift Chastity (Lisa Stephenson) – and thereafter never looked likely to be reeled in as he went on to score by three and a half lengths from Burgess Vivato in 29.57sec (normal).

Third place went to another Vicki Lea-trained runner in Millhouse Alan, giving the Towcester handler second and third on home soil and a combined £4,500 in prize-money. However, the biggest cheque was presented to Kelly-Pilgrim and part-owner Dean – and the latter was delighted to have claimed the prize.

He said: “It’s great to have won what is a new event – with a great prize, too. It’s becoming really hard to find good young dogs so it was good to win something like this – and great for Allison who has put in a lot of miles without much success. So for all of us this helps, makes it feel worthwhile, and gives us the confidence to carry on.

“Also, what this experience has shown us is that sometimes graders are running round tracks which don’t get the best out of them – as is the case with Awesom at Crayford. But because as an owner you have dogs with a trainer you like, and moving them to a different track means you couldn’t see them race or visit them at a kennel, makes it tricky sometimes.

“There’a also the expense of re-trialling and settling in the dog elsewhere, and even then they might not improve, so a Graded Derby gives these dogs an opportunity to run somewhere new that might suit them better.”

The Property 192 Graders Derby was conceived and backed by leading owner Colin Davey. For greyhounds graded A4 or below, Towcester and Doncaster staged heats and regional finals before Sunday’s Grand Final at the home of the Derby.

Davey told RPGTV: “We want this to be even bigger next year – and for many years to come. We’ve learned plenty from this year and will be meeting to discuss one or two changes – but I’m keen on making this a £50,000 event in the future.”