Colossus Bets Grand National - History & Pen Pics

Written by Jonathan Hobbs on 06th November 2020

Colossus Bets Grand National - History

WITH a brand new sponsor for a longstanding and historic greyhound racing event, the 2020 Colossus Bets Grand National Final could signal a new era for hurdles racing at Central Park.

First staged at White City in 1927, the Grand National is a race with a fantastic backstory and was first staged at Central Park in 2012, the track becoming the fourth to stage the jumpers’ Classic after White City, Hall Green and Wimbledon.

Last year, courtesy of Caislean Fifi, Seamus Cahill joined Colin West of three-time champion Sherrys Prince fame as winningmost trainers in the event with four victories. However, that number could be matched this year by Central Park trainer Ricky Holloway who fields four finalists in the shape of Roxholme Butt, Roxholme Biscuit, Lenson Wilson and Nomansland Flyer.

Holloway was successful with Jos Cigar at Wimbledon in 2007 and here at Central Park with Mo’s Bullet (2015) and Razldazl Raidio (2017). Raidio reached no less than three Grand National finals, running-up in both 2016 and 2018, and will go down as one of the best ever given his prolific-scoring record and track records notched.

However, in terms of longevity, his kennelmate Lenson Wilson arrives with a comparable CV having made three Champion Hurdle finals, winning that event in 2018 in the year he also won the Springbok for novice hurdlers and was named GBGB Hurdler of the Year. Incredibly, even at the age of five, he is still mixing it with the best.

Holloway has a great history with hurdlers, but so, too, does Jim Reynolds. He numbers victories in most of the major jumps events, notably in the 2004 Grand National with Four Handed and had a finalist in this competition last year with Emiles Eske. He sends out Toughest Test, a Champion Hurdle finalist, in this year’s decider.

James Turner has qualified Subterfuge which means the Crayford handler has a chance - admittedly with the outsider - to land a famous double after his Swift Loki won the Champion Hurdle in August, plus it means four Central Park-based runners take on two Crayford-based finalists for a real battle of Kent! 

Central Park is the home of hurdling given it stages all three major competitions which make up the ‘triple crown’ of jumps races - the Springbok, the Champion Hurdle and Grand National. Few greyhounds have won all three, although the Mark Wallis-trained Cornamaddy Jumbo won the lot in 2014 and was named Greyhound of the Year.

Track promoter Roger Cearns welcomes Colossus Bets as the 2020 Grand National sponsor which has extended a relationship between the two given the jackpot pool operator backed a hugely successful Kent Silver Salver competition earlier this year - the first major event to take place following the March lockdown.

“It’s been a difficult year for everyone, of course, but our commitment to major open-race competitions continues with the Colossus Bets Grand National - and we thank them for their support. We know how well their Kent Silver Salver sponsorship went down in greyhound racing circles - and jumps racing has been boosted with their backing.

“We will soon be looking at our schedule for 2021 and once again the key jumps races will take place here - the Springbok, the Champion Hurdle and Grand National. Seeing a top-class hurdler in action is always great, it’s a hugely exciting code of the sport, and we’re looking forward to another great race tonight.

“Two of the three trainers involved have won Grand Nationals, the other a Champion Hurdle, so these are real experts in their field - but from a greyhound point of view we will definitely have a new name on a very famous roll of honour - a list of winners and a famous trophy dating back to the 1920s. We’re looking forward to it.”




Trap 1 Roxholme Butt

Owners: Hayley Keightley and Duncan Lambie

Trainer: Ricky Holloway, Central Park

Lines up as the least experienced hurdler bidding to provide trainer Ricky Holloway with a fourth Grand National title - in just his third hurdles race! A top-class performer on the flat for the Keightleys having won last year’s Maiden Gold Cup at Henlow as well as reaching the finals of the Northern Puppy Derby (2018) and Yarmouth Derby (2019), Roxholme Butt comes from a superb litter - last week’s Derby finalist Ballydoyle Valor is a litter brother - and dam Fear Emoski was a top-class stayer. He will be finishing well inside.


Trap 2 Roxholme Biscuit (m)

Owners: Hayley Keightley and Simon Trubshaw

Trainer: Ricky Holloway, Central Park

The second of Ricky Holloway’s four finalists, Roxholme Biscuit lines up as favourite to add to the trainer’s Grand National wins with Jos Cigar at Wimbledon in 2007 and here at Central Park with Mo’s Bullet (2015) and Razldazl Raidio (2017). Another runner out of a top-class stayer/marathon performer in Roxholme Magic, Roxholme Biscuit won the recent Kent National Hurdle at Crayford to improve a solid strike-rate still further. Boasts wins on the flat at Doncaster and at Romford where he won a maiden stayers event over 575m.


Trap 3 Lenson Wilson (m)

Owners: Ricky Holloway and Roger Cearns

Trainer: Ricky Holloway, Central Park

The oldest and most experienced runner, this former Hurdler of the Year, Springbok and Champion Hurdle winner lines up in another major final tonight - incredibly his first Grand National final at the age of five! Back in 2018 he won two of the three major jumps titles so aims to complete the set tonight. Numbers no less than 32 wins from 73 starts including victory in the Kent County Hurdle here in December. A firm favourite at Central Park, being part owned by track promoter Roger Cearns, he was back to his best in the heats.


Trap 4 Subterfuge (m)

Owners: Gemma Evans, Peter and Tom Mumford 

Trainer: James Turner, Crayford

The first of two Crayford-based finalists, Subterfuge is another veteran performer still running well enough to take his chance in a Grand National final. From the same kennel which sent out Champion Hurdle winner Swift Loki, Subterfuge aims to land a notable jumps big-race double for James Turner. Top-grade at home track Crayford over hurdles with a recent H1 victory on the card, Subterfuge starts an outsider tonight but will look to lay down an early challenge in this £7,500-to-the-winner final.


Trap 5 Toughest Test (m)

Owner: Mike Lee 

Trainer: Jim Reynolds, Crayford

A Champion Hurdle finalist behind Swift Loki in July, Toughest Test is back for another major jumps final here at Central Park. A strong-running sort with six-bend wins on the card, he finished fourth in the recent Kent National Hurdle at home track Crayford behind two of tonight’s finalists Roxholme Biscuit and Nomansland Flyer. Toughest Test’s trainer Jim Reynolds won the 2004 Grand National with Four Handed - and Emiles Eske made the final here for the same kennel last year behind Caislean Fifi.


Trap 6 Nomansland Flyer (w)

Owner: Simon Trubshaw

Trainer: Ricky Holloway, Central Park

This former Monmore-based hurdler started his career in puppy races and A3 on the flat there, moving up to A1 and into open class. A good novice, Nomansland Flyer reached the Springbok final here behind Burgess Doc and arrived for his Grand National campaign having finished second to Roxholme Biscuit in the Kent National Hurdle. Has clearly loved his return to Central Park given he is the fourth Holloway finalist - and lines up as the only unbeaten runner in this showpiece after superb wins in both the heats and semi-finals.


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