After a messy start to the competition, the Arc Classic at Sunderland found itself a worthy winner in Jonny Whiskers. Harry Burton’s white and black wide runner, by Skywalker Logan out of Cudkevinbewrong, showed his class in the semi finals and made it count last night in the £12,500 showstopper.
There was a great crowd at Sunderland for the final card. Packed inside and out, it’s easy to see why many are making a case for the popularity of greyhound racing in the north.
The Classic was won last year by Move Over Cha, trained by Angela Harrison, in a time of 26.76
The main event and the race everyone was looking forward to at Sunderland was the Arc classic final, and it did not disappoint.
Pre race betting gave the nod to the John Mullins runner Swift Iconic who had an SP of 6/5 shortly followed by Harry Burton’s Jonny Whiskers at 13/8, the rest were all outside punts.
As the lids rose it was the 3 dog Pape Di Oro that led the way heading towards the first bend. Swift Iconic and Jonny Whiskers did not start the race as they had hoped and as they approached the first turn Jonny Whiskers shook off the challenge of the 5 dog and kennel mate March On Larry, which gave him the chance to sneak into 2nd spot behind Pape Di Oro going around the 2nd bend.
Plenty of bumps and knocks in behind meant that Pape Di Oro and Jonny Whiskers were able to pull away from the chasing pack. On the 3rd bend Jonny Whiskers overtook Pape Di Oro on the inside rail and stormed into the lead and he never looked back, Pape Di Oro did manage to close the gap towards the winning line but the race was over.
Jonny Whiskers won by 1 ¼ lengths giving him the Trophy and the £12,500 cash prize back to take back to Newcastle. March on Larry finished 3rd 4 ½ lengths behind the winner.
Swift Iconic very rarely featured after a disappointing start which would have frustrated favourite backers; he finished back in 4th.
Keefil George who had done so well for Sheffield trainer Phil Milner giving him his first category 1 runner finished back in 5th and could never get into the race.
Links dasher for Tom Heilbron rounded off the pack in 6th place who again struggled to get any foothold in the race due to the bumps on the first two bends.
Well done to all connections!
1st: Trap 6, Jonny Whiskers (26.82)
Owned by Anthony Thompson, Trained by Harry Burton (Pelaw/Newcastle)
2nd: Trap 3, Pape Di Oro (26.92)
Owned and Trained by Savva Roberts (Newcastle)
3rd: Trap 5, March On Larry (27.19)
Owned by Hammer Foot Syndicate, Trained by Harry Burton (Pelaw/Newcastle)