ANTE-POST favourite Wicky Ned heads into Sunday’s final of the BresBet Gymcrack at Sheffield a warm order after returning to winning ways with a brilliant display in the semi-finals at the weekend.

Jimmy Fenwick’s runner had been beaten by Droopys Supply in the heats but reversed the form with Patrick Janssens’ dog, matching that rival this time into the turn and then going on for a three and three-quarter lengths victory in 28.62sec (normal) for the 500m distance, the pair qualifying for Sunday’s £17,500 decider.

Bought by Fenwick and Bellmore Sally’s owner Neil McGregor off the back of a fast Cork win, the August 2022 son of Droopys Sydney and Ballycowen Lucy impressed in trials, getting close to Sheffield’s sprint clock before winning a maiden contest over the big-race trip before his run in the Gymcrack heats.

Fenwick said: “We were delighted with him on Sunday. He just made a hash of the start in the heats, stumbling slightly, but did recover well to finish behind a good sort of Patrick’s (Droopys Supply). It was good to reverse the form, of course, but hopefully it’s now about getting it right in the final on Sunday.

“The draw looks decent enough. He’d never been out of trap one in Ireland or here until the heats and we wondered how he’d handled it and, to be honest, he made a mistake in the heats but handled it better in the semis. He’s a 36 kilo-plus pup who’s still maturing and we’ve high hopes for him. Being in trap two is okay to be fair.

“It’s a big weekend for us given we’ve also got Coppice Kaiser running in the (Arc) Grand Prix final at Sunderland on Friday. Either way, well done to the sponsors for a very good prize and to Sheffield for taking the competition on.”

Last year’s Gimcrack was held at Kinsley and Ellanne Run ensured Sheffield will have a representative gunning for the Category One event for puppies at the Owlerton Stadium with all-the-way success for Barrie Draper’s team in the first semi-final.

The July 2022 daughter of Ballymac Bolger and Bull Run Banter, who was one of three heat winners for the local handler in the heats, was quickly away on her way to a three and a quarter lengths win over the running-on Bramble Tango (Steve Anderson) in 28.87sec (normal), the latter giving Newcastle two chances of success in the decider.

The final two places for the one-lap shootout were secured by No Better Feelin and Droopys Extragud, with the former landing the spoils for Monmore trainer Chris Fereday with a powerful run to hit the front off the last bend, impressively and quickly racing clear thereafter for a four-length success over Heather Dimmock’s dog.

The winner, a September 2022 son of Ballymac Cashout and Art Of Illusion, clocked 29.11sec (normal).

Trap draw for Sunday’s final: 1 Droopys Extragud, 2 Wicky Ned, 3 No Better Feeling, 4 Droopys Supply (m), 5 Ellanne Run (m), 6 Bramble Tango (w).