“We’ve only had the licence 15 months so to get to a Cat One final with a home-bred is special” – trainer Phil Milner
Sheffield owner, trainer and breeder Phil Milner goes in search of his first Cat One success in the final of tonight’s Arc Classic at Sunderland since taking out a licence 15 months ago.
Keefil George landed the spoils in the first semi-final last week for Phil, setting a fastest-of-the-night 3.78sec sectional on his way to a one and three-quarter lengths success over local hope Pape Di Oro (Savva Roberts) in 27.01sec (normal).
It means the winner, a March 2021 son of Skywalker Logan and Tarsna Atalanta, will line up as the sole British-bred runner.
Said Phil: “George is from a very nice litter we bred out of a Geoff Parnaby-bred bitch in Tarsna Atalanta – Geoff also has a nice bitch in Ireland out of the litter.
“Keeley, my partner and head kennelhand, has always believed George had a big run in him because his will-to-win and drive is unreal. He may not be flashy on the clock but his win percentage is brilliant.
“As for the final, basically he has to come out like he’s been doing, hopefully gets round in front, and then it’s catch-me-if-you-can, but he has been staying the 450m Sunderland well.
“Keeley does all the open-racing because I’m flat out working and she’ll be with George again tonight – hopefully she’ll have a few more tears as she did in the semi!
“We’ve only had the licence 15 months so to get to a Cat One final with a home-bred and reared is special after a very difficult year getting set up.”
Milner is also standing former track star Droopys Addition at stud and is advertising his services to breeders.
“He’s just started out with us and hopefully gets supported,” he said. “He had a fantastic record on the track as an ultra-consistent and big-race winner from the Droopys line. George’s mum (Tarsna Atalanta) has a litter by him which have been trialing at Sheffield and a couple look very exciting prospects – they were schooled at Bicester.
“He’s actually got five litters on the ground but he desperately needs supporting.”
Jonny Whiskers heads into tonight’s decider as the fastest winner after a runaway success in the third semi-final.
Harry Burton’s runner, a May 2021 son of Skywalker Logan and Cudkevinbewrong, was soon in charge on his way to a 4.79sec sectional and was never headed as he crossed the line four lengths clear of favourite Swift Iconic (John Mullins), clocking a fast 26.67sec (normal) for the 450m trip – the first two qualifying for the £12,500 final.
The winner had impressed in winning his heat the week before and will be one of two Harry Burton-trained finalists after March On Larry finished second behind all Links Dasher in the second semi – albeit only after battling hard to qualify off the back of a moderate start and crowding early, which saw favourite Stormy News also involved.
The latter then lost all chance after being caught up in second-bend scrimmaging as the fast-starting Tom Heilbron-trained Links Dasher, a September 2021 son of Droopys Buick and Newinn Simona, set the tempo up front before coming home three lengths clear of Burton’s March On Larry in 27.11sec (normal).
Trap draw for tonight’s Arc Classic Final: 1 Swift Iconic, 2 Links Dasher, 3 Pape Di Oro, 4 Keefill George (m), 5 March On Larry (m), 6 Jonny Whiskers (m).