RPGTV Derby Plate – Nottingham 500m – £3,000
WILDFIRE JIMMY has the Coral Sussex Cup as a next target – he trials at Hove on Thursday – after landing a deserved but surprise 25-1 victory for Romford trainer Paul Young in the RPGTV Derby Plate at Nottingham on Saturday.
A Category Two consolation event staged for those greyhounds knocked out of the Star Sports, Arc and LPS Greyhound Derby, Wildfire Jimmy made the quarter-finals of the £100,000 Classic – he was eliminated behind eventual winner Priceless Blake – but was still awaiting a first UK success ahead of the Derby Plate final.
Runner-up in his heat behind Quantum Leap, the stamina-laden March 2016 son of Vulture and Coolavanny AngeI never looked likely to relinquish the advantage after hitting the front off the second bend as his rivals crowded up front. Kicking clear, he kept up the pressure well to win by two and a quarter lengths from favourite Wolfe in 30.04sec.
Winning trainer Young said: “He took his chance well, didn’t he? He needed some luck in front of him, but it opened up nicely for him and, once he saw the rails, he was away. It’s great to win any race on Derby Final night, but to win a competition like the Derby Plate is great – and especially for his owner Jim Cooper and family.”
Cooper, well known for the ‘Wildfire’ prefix, added: “I bought him from Liam Dowling as a dog who might give us fun for the Derby – and he did! Then to win this is great – and I know Paul (Young) is looking at Hove and the Sussex Cup. You’d think his strong style of running will suit down there.”
Droopys Live (29.66sec), representing the kennels of Angela Harrison, gave the Newcastle trainer a real boost in the race after the Derby Final – her Droopys Expert finished fifth behind Priceless Blake – when the now-senior bitch won the English Derby Oaks Trophy over 500m. Harrison’s star stayer was never in danger once leading up.
The Star Sports British Bred Trophy resulted in a local success for the Barry Denby-trained Alfies Prince as he continued a terrific run of form with another strong-running performance. Finishing well to deny Pond Adonis and Salacres Flyer, the August 14 senior was making it 29 wins from 115 starts – a superb strike-rate.
The Star Sports Dorando Marathon was returning to its traditional last-race slot on the Derby Final night programme. Victory went the way of Micks Little Gem (Michelle Brown) who ran on strongest of all to capitalise on a coming together between leaders Riverside Honey and Savana Winner at the penultimate bend.
The July 17 daughter of Superior Product and Mays Maska, one of the youngest Dorando winners given her puppy status at the time of the 905m race, gave her young Henlow-based trainer, daughter of Hazel Kemp, a timely lift after kennel star Slippy Maggie had broken down in the previous 730m contest.