Racecard Friday 18th

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Towcester Puppy Derby 2020 Final Night Race Card

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Race 1

Trap 1

Trap 2

Trap 3

Trap 4

Trap 5

Trap 6

Lightly raced bitch for the champion trainer, good draw to work from

Talented local youngster, has improved at a rate of knots, big early pace

In with a shout on the clock, but is a big ask for her to clear Trap 2

Will need to come from off the pace, can power through late on

Rocketed from the boxes last week, more of the same required here

Yet to see the best of him, will need to brush up on his trapping

Clarky’s Choice:

Trap 4 - Savana Prosecco

Race 2

Trap 1

Trap 2

Trap 3

Trap 4

Trap 5

Trap 6

Making his debut, well drawn on the fence with improvement inevitable

Has failed to beat a rival home in three starts here, more to come

Has the speed to assert early on, will he be able to hold on close home?

Still finding her feet at Towcester, a bit to find on the clock but is scopey

Was unfancied last time out in this grade, must drive first bend better

Has experience on her side, but only her very best will do

Clarky’s Choice:

Trap 3 - Unlikely Rocket


Race 3

Trap 1

Trap 2

Trap 3

Trap 4

Trap 5

Trap 6

First round casualty in the Oaks at Swindon, will need to be alert early on

An impressive winner when here last, boasts a healthy strike-rate

Versatile performer, but tricky draw with a speed either side

Local in great form, not the tightest of railers draw is manageable

This represents a drop in class, has the speed to make all the running

No stranger to the winner’s enclosure here, good draw to work from

Clarky’s Choice:

Trap 5 - Hardy Rebel (M)

Race 4

Trap 1

Trap 2

Trap 3

Trap 4

Trap 5

Trap 6

Has been showing plenty of pace at Romford, the draw has been kind

Tardy exits have proved costly, zero margin for error tonight

Making Towcester debut after encouraging trials, faced with tricky draw

Got the better of Trap 2 last week, but draw could be a leveller

First visit to Towcester and is dropping back in trip, outside chance

Foreign territory out in stripes, but some lively trials and in with a shout

Clarky’s Choice:

Trap 1 - Ardera Nidge

Race 5

Trap 1

Trap 2

Trap 3

Trap 4

Trap 5

Trap 6

A very game winner last time out, more on her plate here though

Interesting runner, has been knocking on the door at Henlow over 550m

Oaks quarter finalist open to improvement, 17 weeks out of season

Henlow raider, a fine effort to strike gold on his last appearance

Has been a magnet for trouble at Henlow, change of scenery may suit

Two recent silver medals, may have to settle for minor honours again

Clarky’s Choice:

Trap 3 - Black Eyed Molly

Covid-19 Protection

Race 6

Trap 1

Trap 2

Trap 3

Trap 4

Trap 5

Trap 6

Has shaped as though this step up in trip will suit, will she stay?

Not raced since September, questions to answer on reappearance

Went in the notebook last week as an eye catcher, stepping up in trip

No stranger to six bends, but this is the furthest he has ever been

Without a win in 11 races, has been running over six bends at Henlow

Ran riot last week when leading, great chance from a great draw

Clarky’s Choice:

Trap 6 - Herecomesdanny (W)

Race 7

Trap 1

Trap 2

Trap 3

Trap 4

Trap 5

Trap 6

One of the top locals over two bends, can handle this inside draw

Blessed with enormous pace, but favours a middle course

One of the tightest railers in training, avoiding Trap 2 is a priority

Sensational performance at Sheffield on Tuesday night, the one to beat

Has been rocketing from the traps at Henlow, more of the same required

One of the best drawn dogs on the card tonight, could go well at a price

Clarky’s Choice:

Trap 4 - Sams Elle

Race 8

Trap 1

Trap 2

Trap 3

Trap 4

Trap 5

Trap 6

Flew home last weekend, an interesting runner now back up in trip

Has been switching between two and four bends, an unknown quantity

Smart trial last week, bred to be a star stayer and will take some beating

Kept good company at Central Park, no stranger to success at Towcester

Held a strong runner at bay last week, will need to assert early to feature

Led them home in her latest effort, but this is a much warmer contest

Clarky’s Choice:

Trap 3 - Savana Volcano (M)

Race 9

Trap 1

Trap 2

Trap 3

Trap 4

Trap 5

Trap 6

Puppy Derby semi-finalist, will need to boss the inside to compete

Showed what he is capable of when last sighted, smart all-round speed

Has won on his travels at Monmore and Central Park, fancied to make all

Produce Stakes and British Breeders finalist, drawn wider than ideal

Classy Essex Vase finalist, has smart form in the book at Towcester

In-form local who has found his trapping boots, big runner well drawn

Clarky’s Choice:

Trap 3 - Coolavanny Kyser

Race 10

Trap 1

Trap 2

Trap 3

Trap 4

Trap 5

Trap 6

Landed the money last time when well supported, great draw on the rail

Has been expensive to follow for punters, this is a step up in class

Early casualty in the Oaks at Swindon, previously a winner here

A winner on Derby final night at Notts, blessed with smart early speed

Strong running bitch, fancied to pounce late and land the spoils

Champion Stakes and Gold Collar finalist, may need luck in-running

Clarky’s Choice:

Trap 5 - Jaxx Purple (M)

Race 11

Trap 1

Trap 2

Trap 3

Trap 4

Trap 5

Trap 6

Very impressive winner in the first round, great draw on the fence

Talented Irish raider, speedy but still getting to grips with Towcester

Undefeated here, well-bred sort with smart all-round speed, big chance

Fastest on the clock, if timing the start right will take all the beating

Caused an upset in heat and semi-final, will be craving an early lead

Lowered the colours of Trap 4 in semi-final, speedy lady in with a chance

Clarky’s Choice:

Trap 4 - Cold As Ice (M)

Race 12

Trap 1

Trap 2

Trap 3

Trap 4

Trap 5

Trap 6

Has been staying on powerfully over four bends, suited to step up in trip

Ran riot at Henlow last time out, this is tougher and will need to trap

Has smart form in the book, will need to tread carefully from this draw

Capable sort, but would prefer a draw much closer to the inside rail

Dorando Marathon winner, can bounce back to winning ways here

Will be staying on from halfway, blessed with an abundance of stamina

Clarky’s Choice:

Trap 5 - Affirmed (M)


Puppy Derby Finalists

Puppy Derby Finalists

Trap 1 Ballydoyle Razor

Owner: Close Shave Syndicate

Trainer: Phil Barlow, Sheffield

Already a big-race winner having won the RPGTV Puppy Trophy which supported the

Derby final at Nottingham in October, Ballydoyle Razor cut a dash in the first round

here when beating Bockos Melody, who re-opposes tonight. A son of the brilliant

former stayer Fear Emoski, he is therefore a half-brother of Ireland’s Ballydoyle Valor,

an English Derby finalist. Ballydoyle Razor is owned by the Close Shave Syndicate, a

group of 11 enthusiasts put together by Richard Parkin, who will be hoping the red

jacket can work the oracle for the Yorkshire-based runner, as it did at Nottingham.

Puppy Derby Finalists

Trap 2 De Machine

Owner: Brendan Matthews

Trainer: Brendan Matthews, Ireland

The sole Irish entry has made the final, but then Brendan Matthews has previous

in this event having sent out Innocent Times to finish second to Magical Bale in the

2017 Puppy Derby final here at Towcester - he also reached the Derby semis when

the race was staged here in 2018. De Machine is a half-brother of top stayer Antigua

Fire, himself originally brought to England to run for the Matthews team in the Golden

Jacket when known as, appropriately, Towcester Story! A Shelbourne winner on debut,

De Machine aims to be a third Irish-trained Puppy Derby winner after Lenson Sanchez

(2014) and Droopys Roddick (2015).

Puppy Derby Finalists

Trap 3 Surprising

Owner: Seamus Cahill

Trainer: Seamus Cahill, Hove

The sole British-bred finalist, Surprising lines up as the youngest finalist being a

precocious June 19 whelp. He is a son of 2016 Brighton Belle champion Banabane and

related to a host of winners through grandam Ballymac Razl, who has thrown the likes

of Smallmead, Ballymac Tas, Anopheles and Ballymac Inspeed. Second on debut in A3

at Hove in October, Surprising opened his account next time out in the same grade

before winning an A2 in preparation for the Puppy Derby. A winner of both heat and

semi-final, he represents the trainer who won the Star Sports English Derby here in

2017 with Astute Missile.

Puppy Derby Finalists

Trap 4 Cold As Ice (m)

Owner: Dave Spraggon

Trainer: Jimmy Fenwick, Newcastle

Like Ballydoyle Razor a winner of his rearranged heat of the Puppy Derby after fog

claimed the last two heats two weeks ago, Cold As Ice represents the successful

Newcastle owner and trainer combination of Dave Spraggon and Jimmy Fenwick. The

pair enjoyed a momentous 2019 with Ice On Fire, the Greyhound of the Year, and

Cold As Ice is a half-brother of the now-retired champion. He made his debut in a heat

of the RPGTV Puppy Trophy at Nottingham on semi-final night of the Derby before

beating debutant Puff The Tiger in a trial stakes for this event over C&D last month. He

aims to strike an early blow here.

Puppy Derby Finalists

Trap 5 Puff The Tiger (m)

Owner: Evan Herbert

Trainer: Patrick Janssens, Central Park

Like Surprising, Puff The Tiger lines up tonight as an unbeaten finalist and one of two

representatives of champion trainer-elect Patrick Janssens. Behind Cold As Ice on

debut in a Puppy Derby trial stakes, he has progressed with all-the-way victories in

heat and semi-final and again wears the orange jacket. Patrick sent out the brilliant

Bockos Doomie to win last year’s Puppy Derby at Henlow so, along with Bockos

Melody, Puff The Tiger aims to keep the trophy at his Norfolk base. Owner Evan

Herbert has owned a number of top-class winners including Desperado Dan, Roswell

Romanov, Barricane Tiger and Seaglass Tiger.

Puppy Derby Finalists

Trap 6 Bockos Melody (m)

Owner: Bev Lochead

Trainer: Patrick Janssens, Central Park

The second Janssens-trained runner produced an impressive effort in the semis last

week when accounting for Cold As Ice. Owned by Bev Lochead, part-owner of last

year’s champion Bockos Doomie, Bockos Melody is related to Surprising through

Ballymac Razl. A daughter of Liam Dowling’s outstanding brood, the sole bitch in

tonight’s final aims to be latest in a long line of major race winners from the same

family, having made her debut at Central Park in October. Second then, she opened

her account next time and connections were eyeing an Oaks tilt - but ultimately the

Star Sports English Puppy Derby called!

Puppy Derby History

TOWCESTER is honoured once again to host the Star Sports English Puppy

Derby Final - one of greyhound racing’s most historic races.

It was back in 2017 when Magical Bale won the first and only time the Puppy

Derby was staged here and Kevin Hutton’s dog went on to reach the finals of

both the Irish and English Derbys.

However, the race has a long and distinguished history stretching back over 90


First run in 1929, the Puppy Derby enjoyed the longest association with one

track of any major event in the sport’s long history with Wimbledon Stadium

very much its home until the famous Plough Lane track closed - it was even

staged during the war years.

The last Puppy Derby in south-west London took place in 2016 before Towcester

took over in 2017 and then Henlow in both 2018 (Argentina) and 2019 (Bockos


The Puppy Derby has always been a stepping stone to the Derby and, in recent

years, the likes of Droopys Roddick (2015) for Ireland’s Pat Buckley and the

aforementioned Magical Bale have gone close to winning both. Roddick finished

runner-up in 2016, while Bale finished second in the 2018 Irish Derby and made

the final of the 2019 English Derby.

Bitch winners of the Puppy Derby have also included a host of champions and,

in Paddy Fortune’s 1952 heroine Lizette the event boasts a dual winner (1953 &

1955) of the Oaks, the bitches’ Classic. Sarah Dee also went on to win the Oaks

at Wimbledon in 1998 having landed the Puppy Derby earlier that year.

Puppy Derby History

Since 1990 bitch winners of the Puppy Derby have been Corpo Election (1995),

Sarah Dee (1998), Bringinthemoney (2001), Olybean (2004), Droopys Lomasi

(2005) and Bubbly Beauty (2013) - so Bockos Melody will continue a tremendous

modern-day record for the fairer sex in the competition should she triumph


The most successful Puppy Derby-winning trainer is Wembley trainer Jack

Harvey with four wins from 1949 to 1954, while Joe Harmon, Stanley Biss,

Paddy Fortune, Dennis Hannafin and former Greyhound Trainers’ Association

chairman Paddy Milligan have three apiece - Milligan emulated Harvey’s record

of three-in-a-row from 1972-1974.

Mention must be made of Nick and Natalie Savva.

The husband and wife team of the famed Westmead Kennels in Dunstable, have

four Puppy Derby wins between them with Natalie Savva credited with 1981

winner Special Account and her husband weighing in with Right Move (1991),

Sarah Dee (1998) and Westmead Logan (2009).

Ireland have two Puppy Derby wins courtesy of the Pat Buckley-trained pair of

Lenson Sanchez (2014) and Droopys Roddick (2015), so tonight the Brendan

Matthews-owned and trained De Machine aims to make it three victories in

seven years for the Emerald Isle.

Incidentally, Brendan sent out Innocent Times to finish second to Magical Bale

here in 2017 - the winner being the first of back-to-back Puppy Derby wins for

Kevin Hutton given Argentina’s success a year later at Henlow.

Patrick Janssens will shortly be crowned the new champion trainer and has two

chances tonight - Puff The Tiger and Bockos Melody - to repeat his victory 12

months ago with Bockos Doomie, while welcome back to Seamus Cahill.

Seamus, who fields youngest finalist Surprising, created history here at

Towcester in 2017 when his Astute Missile famously won the Star Sports English

Derby, the first of two Derbys staged here

Yorkshire is represented tonight by Phil Barlow’s Ballydoyle Razor, while Cold As

Ice is a half-brother of Greyhound of the Year Ice On Fire for the same trainer

and owner combination of Jimmy Fenwick and Dave Spraggon.

Good luck to connections of all tonight’s finalists and our sincere thanks to Ben

Keith and Star Sports for their support and sponsorship.


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