JONNY WHISKERS completed a notable Sunderland double for dual Newcastle and Pelaw Grange trainer Harry Burton when landing Friday’s Arc Classic Final at the Wearside track.

Having already landed the Arc Puppy Trophy at the Boldon venue in June with Ballybough Mags, it was the turn of kennelmate Jonny Whiskers to star with an unbeaten run through the £12,500-to-the-winner GBGB Category One competition.

Led from the boxes by the fast-starting Pape Di Oro (Savva Roberts), Johnny Whiskers soon paced up into contention and launched a challenge for the lead down the back-straight and was not to be denied in the 450m decider.

Striking the front before the third turn, Burton’s May 2021 son of Skywalker Logan and Cudkevinbewrong was away and on his way to success, crossing the line a length and a quarter in front of Pape Di Oro and another Burton-trained finalist March On Larry.

The victory for the Anthony Thompson-owned runner delighted Burton, who told the Racing Post: “He had a couple of good times on his card at Galway and we like to source them from there. It’s a good track for Newcastle, you can compare the times. But he’s clearly taken to Sunderland, and he’s not one of those who’s lead-dependent.

“Big credit to Glenn Foot for handling him – and Billy Jo Duncan. She’s a veterinary nurse by trade and is a great help here . . . the All England Cup will be next.”

Joanne Wilson, Sunderland’s general manager, was also full of praise for the winning trainer and his team, and was delighted with how this year’s Classic unfolded and thrilled to see a packed presentation podium on top of a best-of-year attendance.

“Friday for the Arc Classic Final really was a special night here,” said Wilson. “The North East was represented by four greyhounds in the main event and many more in the supporting opens which is great for the area and resulted in a very memorable evening.

“We saw the biggest crowd of the year attend and the atmosphere and roar from the spectators was incredible. I’ve never seen as many people on our presentation stand as we had for Jonny Whiskers – so well done to Harry (Burton) and his team.

“Nights like Friday is what’s great about our sport and my team put on a superb event – I’m very proud of them all.

“We had some very positive feedback from trainers and owners whether it be about the racing surface, paddock staff, food in our restaurant or the commemorative rosettes and pictures they received as finalists – it was all lovely to hear.

“It was great to see trainers travelling and supporting the competition and we look forward to 2024.”