TOWCESTER racing manager Andy Lisemore is looking forward to another major final at the Northamptonshire track on Sunday when the Stadium Bookmakers Juvenile Classic is down for decision.

A first prize of £10,000 awaits the winner of the 500m contest and, the first GBGB Category One decider at Towcester since the Star Sports & TRC English Greyhound Derby Final, Lisemore feels it is appropriate the youngsters now take centre-stage this weekend.

He said: “It just seems right that, just a few weeks after the 2022 English Greyhound Derby, we now look forward to the Derby class of 2023 with the Juvenile Classic. These are the future stars of the sport and it’s pretty clear we’ve got a great race to look forward to judged on Sunday’s semi-finals.”

Havana Lover produced a top-class performance in winning the first semi for Liz McNair as the August 2020 daughter of Laughil Blake and Love Honey was soon in command after a better exit than usual and never looked in danger as she drew four and a half lengths clear  by the winning line in 29.25sec (+10).

Runner-up here was Antigua Sugar (Mark Wallis) with Droopys Optimal (Eric Cantillon) qualifying in third.

The second semi-final saw the Matt Dartnall-trained Ivanexile maintain his unbeaten record in the event as the August 2020 son of Laughil Blake and Trusted Exile edged out market rival Kaluki (Vicki Lea) in a thriller.

The eventual winner was quickly away on his way to a speedy 4.12sec split and held the always-handy and rallying Kaluki by three-quarters of a length in 29.50sec (+10), with Drive On Lad (Richard Rees) back in third.

Overseeing the action on Sunday and looking ahead to this weekend’s decider, Towcester RM Lisemore added: “It’s a fantastic final and it’s great to see some of the winners from Derby final night back here gunning for more Towcester glory.

“Havana Lover won SportyStuff TV Puppy Cup and Antigua Sugar won the Stakes, so something will have to give come Sunday’s final! Ivanexile was third in the puppy final but has improved and matured since and his form in the Juvenile Classic has been flawless up to now.

“Vicki Lea used to be based here before her switch to Monmore so it’s great to see her represented in the final with Kaluki, while Drive On Lad and Droopys Optimal are the least experienced youngsters in the final and both look ready to step up.

“This is the second time we’ve staged the Juvenile Classic and, in last year’s winner Brookside Richie, we had an inaugural winner of the highest class. I’m sure whoever wins on Sunday will also prove to be top class – if they aren’t already!

“Good luck to the owners and trainers of Sunday’s finalists and many thanks to our bookmakers here for sponsoring another great competition here at Towcester.”

Form and draw for Sunday’s final: