John Smiths Grand National and Cearnsport Kent Derby - Finalist low-down

Written by Johnathan Hobbs on 29th September 2017

The Cearnsport Kent Derby Final 480m Flat (OR) 20:51 

1. BARRICANE TIGER. Owner. Mr E Herbert | Trainer. Mr P Janssens (Towc).

Tuesday will see Barricane Tiger compete in a seventh Category One final, a fantastic achievement by the 2016 Sussex Cup champion. He ran-up in the same Hove event this year behind another evergreen sort in Shaneboy Freddie, and now bids to go two better than twelve months ago when third to Bubbly Bluebird in the 2016 running of the Kent Derby. He heads into the decider in tip-top form after clocking the fastest time in the semi-finals and connections are delighted with the draw.

2. DOROTAS DEL MAR. Owner. Mr K Hutton, Mr D Usher | Trainer. Mr K Hutton (Towc).

Member of a fantastic Derby-winning litter, Dorotas Del Mar is bidding to plunder another Category One prize for the May 2015 batch by Ballymac Vic and Droopys Daneel after Dorotas Woo Hoo won the Scottish Derby and Forest Con the Midland Puppy Derby - littermate Dorotas Wildcat also added the Derby Plate and Select Stakes titles. Blessed with superb early pace, Swindon Arc finalist Dorotas Del Mar will look to lead his rivals a merry dance from traps-rise.

3. BOCKOS ALFIE. Owner. Mrs B Lochead | Trainer. Mr P Janssens (Towc).

All tracks seem to come alike to this Hove, Romford, Towcester, Wimbledon and Yarmouth winner, who has run two terrific races here to make tonight’s final. This is his second Category One decider having reached last year’s East Anglian Derby Final and he lines up as a second finalist tonight for the Patrick Janssens kennel. Outstayed by his kennelmate Barricane Tiger last week, he will again look to cut and run in tonight’s final and has the speed to do it as a 400m Romford winner.

4. DROOPYS GOLD (M). Owner. Schilly Money Racing | Trainer Mr. S Cahill (Hove).

Ante-post favourite for the competition, Droopys Gold brings a similar profile to last year’s Kent Derby winner Bubbly Bluebird. Just out of puppy status having reached the Puppy Classic Final at Nottingham where he was a creditable third after crowding, the youngster has a cracking 13 wins from 19 starts strike-rate, having won eight of his last nine races. Caught on the line in a high-class puppy race on Derby final night at Towcester, he represents the Derby-winning kennel here given Seamus Cahill trained the Classic champion Astute Missile.

5. SILVERHILL CONOR (W). Owner. Hovex Racing | Trainer Mr. S Cahill (Hove).

Runner-up to Irish Derby second Black Farren in the Irish Champion Stakes Consolation Final at Shelbourne Park in the summer, Silverhill Conor is the second of the Cahill runners here. He first came over to the UK as part of Graham Holland’s Derby team before picking up his Irish campaign again. Making his debut for Cahill at Hove in August, the Kent Derby is his first big-race campaign and his powerful finish as a six-bend Shelbourne winner saw him strike late in the semis last week. Improving.

6. KING KID (W). Owner. K.S.S Syndicate | Trainer Mrs. E McNair (Unatt).

Runner-up to his brother King Eden in last year’s Puppy Derby at Wimbledon, King Kid is one of a number of talented and race-winning home-breds at the McNairs’ Ashford, Kent, base. Already this year a Sussex Cup finalist at Hove and runner-up to Dorotas Wildcat in the Derby Plate Final at Towcester, as well as reaching the Scottish Derby semis, King Kid never runs a bad race and will be keeping up the pressure on the leaders - although can break well on his day.


The John Smiths Greyhound Grand National Final 480m Hurdle (OR) 21:08

1. JULIUS GEORGE. Owner. Catford Tote Board | Trainer. Mr A Taylor (Hove).

The oldest runner in the final, Julius George was second in the 2015 Grand National to Rick Holloway’s Mo’s Bullet - so his appearance in the decider two years later is a great credit to connections and particularly trainer Tony Taylor. He also finished third to Reculver Ozzie in the 2015 Springbok at Wimbledon. He went off 100-1 in the semis, and will be another big price tonight given his last success was back in July 2016 - but it was here! 

2. RAZLDAZL STAR. Owner. Mr D Jensen, Ms S Wilson | Trainer. Mr R Holloway.

An open-race stayer on the flat for Team Holloway, this 35.43sec winner for Romford’s 575m has been doing his best work late in his hurdles races - just three of them! Therefore he is very much a novice hurdler, but his jumping is good and improving. Holloway has won the Grand National twice with Jos Cigar at Wimbledon in 2007 and Mo’s Bullet at Central Park in 2015, and has two chances chances tonight to make it three as he also trains red-hot favourite Razldazl Raidio.

3. MYSTICAL CHARLIE. Owner. Mr S Lemar | Trainer. Mr B Sullivan (Cryfd).

Made all in great style in the semis, and will again look to dominate proceedings tonight. His trainer Barry O’Sullivan trained the Grand National winner at Hall Green back in 1996 with Dynamic Display, and plenty of finalists since, and the Crayford handler and his father Terry are renowned for their work with hurdlers, having schooled many a big-race winner over the jumps. Fourth in the Springbok final for novices here early this year, he has won races from 305m to 540m.

4. BALLYMAC MANIX (M) Owner. Boles Catchpole Lawrence Sharp Walsh | Trainer. Mr S Cahill (Hove).

The reigning GBGB Hurdler of the Year, Ballymac Manix is the defending champion having beaten Razldazl Raidio into second in last year’s final here. Winner of the Springbok the same year, Manix added this year’s Champion Hurdle at Towcester to his titles - producing a miraculous off-the-pace win. Beaten by Raidio in the semis, he will improve after a recent break but will need to be at his best to add to trainer Cahill’s three Grand National wins after Hotdog Jack (2009), Mash Mad Snowy (2013) and his own victory twelve months ago.

5. BALLYMAC LEO (M) Owner. Mr D Sullivan (Jnr) | Trainer. Mr D Mullins (Rom).

Impressive all-the-way winner in the heats, Ballymac Leo remains at the top of his form just now having already this year won the Kent National Hurdle, a final where favourite Razldazl Raidio took a tumble. He also defeated the latter in a race over C&D here in June, although has been beaten by Raidio on a good few occasions. Fans of the Romford raider will hope he pings to lead tonight. Trainer Mullins dead-heated in the Grand National with Pottos Storm in 1999, ironically with Hello Buttons, trained by his mother Linda.

6. RAZLDAZL RAIDIO (W) Owner. Mr D Jensen, Ms S Wilson | Trainer. Mr R Holloway.

Hailed as the fastest hurdler he has ever trained, Razldazl Raidio aims to land Ricky Holloway a third Grand National title - and seal his position as one of the best hurdlers ever by winning the jumpers’ Classic. Winner of 37 of his 54 starts, he has set track records at Sheffield, Wimbledon (twice), Crayford (380m and 540m - a few times!) and here at Central Park (twice) before kennelmate Sober Call took it off him. He boasts superb early and will look to complete an unbeaten run in this year’s Classic.

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