RPGTV Grand National – Central Park 480mH – £7,500
RICKY HOLLOWAY is looking forward to the semi-finals of the RPGTV Grand National at Central Park on Sunday having won three of the four heats last weekend.
The four-time Grand National-winning trainer sent out Toolmaker Daddy (29.59sec), defending champion Roxholme Biscuit (30.08sec) and last year’s second Nomansland Flyer (29.97sec) to win their heats.
The Jim Reynolds-trained Four Fifty Max (30.30sec) won the other qualifier.
The victories delighted the local handler who has continued where he left off in last year’s Grand National run in October where he had the first three home, following up with Nomansland Flyer winning the Kent County Hurdle over the same C&D.
Holloway’s run of success was ended by Droopys Rex’s win in the Cearnsport Springbok – and David Mullins’s runner also made Sunday’s Grand National semis having finished second behind all-the-way winner Nomansland Flyer.
However, after his treble on Sunday, Holloway is delighted with how his team of hurdlers are shaping up in the jumpers’ Classic, under new sponsorship this year.
He said: “There’s no doubt this is the best competition of the year for hurdlers with all the top players in action.
“Toolmaker Daddy winning the opening heat showed all his power and strength by producing one of the fastest times at the track for many a year, while Roxholme Biscuit definitely blew the cobwebs away.
“I thought he delivered in real style with a blistering sectional and all-round strength. I was also delighted with Nomandsland Flyer in his heat which showed last year’s second in a very good light again this year with a quick start and slick jumping.
“And while Meenagh Maverick was beaten by Four Fifty Max in his heat for the clean sweep for us, he also ran a really solid race. He was closing the winner down fast after a stumbled start.
“There’s obviously a long way to go but it’s a good start with all four through, but you take nothing for granted in greyhound racing – especially in hurdles racing. You always need luck, which probably deserted us in the Springbok!
“But we’re going for another Grand National win. All the dogs are fine and will again be checked over by Ron Mills ahead of Sunday’s semis.”
Trap draw for Sunday’s semi-finals of the RPGTV Grand National:-
First semi: 1 Meenagh Maverick, 2 Billericay Blue, 3 Westmead Ronnie (m), 4 Droopys Rex (m), 5 Seaglass Smokey (m), 6 Nomansland Flyer (w).
Second semi: 1 Bang On Sonia, 2 Coolavanny Archy, 3 Roxholme Biscuit (m), 4 Ardrath Albert (m), 5 Four Fifty Max (m), 6 Toolmaker Daddy (w).