When No Rush crosses the line in Saturday night’s Oaks at Perry Barr, it may be for the final time according to trainer, Carol Weatherall.
“There’s a possibility this may be her final race unless she wins, in which case she may go for the Night Of Stars,” Carol told Greyhound Weekly.
No Rush will be in a Category 1 final for the fifth time in her career on Saturday, although she is yet to win one.
Whelped in June 2020, she is a blue bitch by King Elvis out of Vahsel Bay. After trialling at Monmore and Swindon, No Rush found herself debuting in an Open Race at Newcastle in the capable hands of trainer, Carol Weatherall, on 17th March 2022. She would go on to win 3 of her first 5 races.
In May 2022, she made the final of the British Bred Maiden Derby, finishing 4th behind Witton Razl, after making a slow start.
A good run in the BGBF Produce Stakes took No Rush through to her first Category 1 final where another slow start saw her crowded at the first bend and battling to get in contention. She managed a credible 4th behind Signet Denver, who went on to win the BGBF Greyhound Studbook Trophy Final at Towcester later that year.
2023 began well enough and in March, No Rush won the first of two trial stakes for the BGBF British Breeders Stakes at Nottingham before winning her heat in the first round and her semi-final in an impressive 29.57. She would go on to finish 4th behind Romeo Command, the runner-up of the 2023 English Derby Final.
Another promising run through the Brighton Belle at Hove took No Rush to a third Category 1 Final where she started as favourite in Trap 6. An indifferent start led to crowding at the first where she was baulked, resulting in her coming home last of the field. Belinda Green’s Betsy’s Bullet went on to win the race ahead of Lively Lauren and What’s Up Eva.
Making the final of the BGBF Truframe British Bred Champion Stakes meant that No Rush would line up against some of her old adversaries from previous finals. Again, she would find no room and was bumped at the first bend. She could only manage 6th behind John Mullins’ Signet Goofy.
A superb run to the final of the Coral Sussex Cup followed in July where she knocked out Drive On Lad on her way to the showpiece. She had no excuses at all in the final, running wide before finishing a strong 4th behind Derek Knight’s Candolim Monsoon in a strong field that included Fromposttopillar, Droopys Google, and Wasted Monday.
In mid-August, Carol Weatherall’s flying blue was beaten a short-head by Fabulous Azurra in the final of the Cat 2 British Bred Oaks at Oxford.
Her journey to Saturday’s final of the Oaks has not been without incident. The second round was messy, to say the least, and she found herself having to come from last to 2nd in order to qualify for the semi-finals, knocking the 2023 Produce Stakes victor, Queen Joni, out of the competition in the process.
Trainer, Carol Weatherall was upbeat about No Rush’s chances in the final. “We’re all very happy for her to be in the final and for her to be the only wide seed, so hoping she stands a good chance. She’s made it to a lot of finals but just never enjoyed the rewards so far.”
If No Rush fails to win the Oaks on Saturday, it is likely that she will be bred from in the future. Weatherall confirmed that “owners Callum and John Purdy would like to breed from her thereafter.”
Having made the final of so many category 1 races in her career, No Rush will have no shortage of supporters on Saturday and she is likely to go off favourite. Her semi-final time of 28.05 is the second fastest of the finalists behind Jet Stream Angel who has a rather difficult draw.
The 2022 Oaks was won by Slick Sakina for Patrick Janssens in 27.85 setting a new track record in the process.
Hopefully, we’ll have one more chance to see No Rush before she retires…at the Night of the Stars! Whatever happens, her career has been a glittering success and we’ll all be praying for one last big run before she is retired.
No Rush – Major Final Appearances
31 May 2022 BGBF Newcastle – British Bred Maiden Derby Final – 4th *Category 2
Sunday 25 September 2022 – Swindon – BGBF Produce Stakes Final – 4th
Monday 20 March 2023 – Nottingham – BGBF British Breeders Stakes Final – 4th
Saturday 29 April 2023 – Hove – Coral Brighton Belle Final – 6th
Saturday 1st July 2023 – Towcester – BGBF Truframe British Bred Champion Stakes Final – 6th *Category 2
Saturday 29 July 2023 – Hove – Coral Sussex Cup Final – 4th
Friday 18 August 2023 – Oxford – British Bred Oaks Final – 2nd *Category 2
Saturday 28th October – Perry Barr – Premier Greyhound Racing Oaks Final – ???