A popular local winner in the Brighton Belle, and a scintillating ‘trap-to-tape’ triumph for Hawkfield Ozark in the Laurels, were arguably the pick of last week’s greyhound racing action. Elsewhere, Thursday’s Greyhound Trader.com sales at Yarmouth saw 49/52 lots sold. Paul Blake reviews last week’s action and looks ahead to what’s on the cards for this week.
Betsys Bullet sprang out of the traps to spring a surprise in the Brighton Belle at Hove on Saturday night. Belinda Green’s black beauty made all to claim the £10,000 prize at a starting price of 11/1. Few could have foreseen the race unfolding as it did, with Mark Wallis’ Newinn Touch (10/1) joining Betsy’s Bullet to challenge for the lead into the first bend. Of the others, only last year’s winner, Whats Up Eva had a clear run. 13/8 fav, No Rush failed to figure after being denied a run and being baulked at the third bend by the orange jacket. Lively Lauren ran another great race to make up ground on the back straight before running on well to claim the runner-up spot ahead of Whats Up Eva. It was not to be for Seamus Cahill and My Girl Mia, whose best chance might have been to grab the lead from the start, as she did in her semi-final. As it transpired, she was crowded at the first and never fully recovered.
With Coolavanny Shado out of the Laurels Final at Perry Barr on Saturday, Hawkfield Ozark made all to win by a head from Paul Foster’s consistent Goldies Perryman. Patrick Janssens was full of praise for his illustrious 3-year-old who has been in the frame in 15/16 races, winning eleven times for the Towcester based trainer.
Back down at Hove, Ballymac John won an intriguing Seasons Scaffolding Puppy Cup Final. Going into the race, both of Seamus Cahill’s Hove runners, Maree Champion and Droopys Clue, were well fancied. However, it was Mark Wallis’ exciting youngster who made all to win by 4 3/4 from kennel mate Jacktavern Magic who ran on well for second. The two favourites were hampered in running, although Maree Champion was able to make headway through the race to finish third. Droopys Clue, on the other hand, dwelt in the boxes and never featured, bringing his four race unbeaten streak to a blunt end.
Gougane Jet demolished the field to win the Coral Sprint Trophy Final for Mark Wallis. This win may go some way to reducing the disappointment of finishing fourth in the Cat1 Coral Golden Sprint at Romford in March. Handed the inside trap on this occasion, the black dog by Droopys Jet made no mistake and returned at a price of 8/15.
The top lot of 49 greyhounds sold at Thursday’s Greyhound Trader.com Yarmouth auction went to December 2021 whelp Easy Alpha. The son of Droopys Noah out of Julies Chloe was eventually bought for £6000 and will be trained by Belinda Green at Hove.
With sales on the day amounting to £77,400, notables included fastest on the day, Johnnie Three, who sold to Colin Finch in the room for £5100, and Droopys Cobbler, who went for £4400.
The next sale is on the 18th May at Oxford, which is already full.
Coppice Elmo knocked .58 off his personal best to break the 450m track record at Oxford, previously held by Fromposttopillar. The time of 26.81 was a spot faster than Liz McNair’s white and black current ‘Olympic’ champion.
On the cards
The final of the Bresbet Gymcrack is the only Category 1 final on the cards this weekend, and it looks wide open. Michael Hurst’s Stormy News, ran the fastest of the heats at Kinsley, finishing ahead of the highly fancied Watchall Sid, who may still go off favourite for Sunday’s race. Savana Shay crashed out in Heat 2. The 1/2 favourite was crowded at the first and forced to check badly. Meanwhile, Laurence Tuffin’s Onthegravytrain held on to fend off a late charge by Betsys Minnie. The first heat was the slowest by some margin. Wrighty (J Mullins) and Ballymac Pria (B Heaton) secured their place in the final from the two inside boxes.