The Property 192 Oaks 2020 – Swindon 476m – £15,000
BALLYMAC TREND became a rare puppy winner of The Oaks as Angie Kibble’s youngest defied her inexperience and a starting price of 25-1 – the biggest in the long history of the bitches’ Classic – to win The Property192 Oaks 2020 Final at Swindon.
The local hope only made her debut in A5 in August so Sunday’s success completed a rapid rise to the top, with her third win in just 14 starts coming in the £15,000-to-the-winner Classic. Winning trainer Kibble also took home an additional £5,000, with the sponsors putting up £1,000 for the kennelstaff of each finalist.
Owned by Christine Trinder and her husband Bill, who paraded the April 2019 daughter of Ballymac Best and Motorbar Abigail, Ballymac Trend saved her best start for when it mattered most as, racing to a 3.96sec split, she was soon bossing proceedings from Produce Stakes winner Queen Jessiej (Liz McNair).
The latter’s market rival Newinn Liz (Ernie Gaskin), unbeaten heading into the final, was moderately away outside and failed to get round Fantastical (John Mullins). So it was left to Ballymac Trend to attempt to make all, which the precocious talent did by one and three-quarter lengths in 28.41sec (normal).
Queen JessieJ finished second, with fellow Produce Stakes finalist Lights Out (Kevin Hutton) in third ahead of Baggios Gem (Frank Bryce) in fourth.
Winning trainer Angie Kibble was delighted to have landed her most prestigious win as a trainer, albeit alongside her success with Wiki Waki Woo in the £17,500 Ladbrokes Golden Jacket at Crayford in 2015. Other major wins for the trainer include with Let Me Tell You in the British Breeders Stakes and Spencers Lad in the Trafalgar Cup.
Of Ballymac Trend, Kibble said: “She’s done great and we’re so proud of her. I knew she’d improve with each run and hoped she’d trap well on the night and give herself every chance. I’m just delighted for Bill and Christine (Trinder). It’s their first major win and they are such fantastic supporters of mine and the kennel.
“It’s been a good night all round because we had a couple of runners in the British Bred St Leger at Central Park with dogs we bred – and Emotional won her heat and Zaha finished second to qualify for Sunday’s final.”
Wrapping up the event, the third time the Blunsdon venue has staged the Oaks, Swindon’s social media manager and photographer Josh Sealey said: “It was certainly a rollercoaster!
“At one point we were told the Oaks wouldn’t be run this year because of a lack of a sponsor – and despite efforts to find one. Then a few weeks later Colin Davey (Property192) appeared from absolutely nowhere to save the competition.
“We then had to contend with nearly every type of weather being thrown at us during each round. Even come the final, we had heavy rainfall during the previous night and day to deal with on the track which meant a few extra hours work for myself and head groundsman – my dad!
“In fact even on Thursday morning we re-cambered the track to allow for the rain to run off more easily and again came in early Sunday to add new sand and get the track packed back down after the rainfall. Thankfully the track ran well with normal going and we witnessed another great night’s racing.
“In a final that was predicted to be a two-dog race between Queen Jessiej and Newinn Liz, there was another twist in this year’s Oaks with a 25-1 shot pinging the lids and leading all the way. It just shows how unpredictable and exciting greyhound racing is and that nothing is ever a certainty.
“I just thought it was great that, after the silence we’ve all become used to after running these meetings behind closed doors for what seems like forever, all the trainers, kennelhands and staff clapped Angie Kibble back in with Ballymac Trend and congratulated her on a tremendous achievement. It was fantastic to see.
“From a personal point of view, the Oaks has certainly kept me busy and it’s been really enjoyable to try and give a competition so prestigious as the Oaks as much coverage as possible. Thank you again to Colin and Harry Davey for saving the Oaks this year. Hopefully we managed to put on a good show in difficult times.”