Paul's £175,000 derby dream dashed
No joy for Derry's Paul Ellis in the £175,000 English Greyhound Derby at Towcester on Saturday night.
His Hiya Butt, back in the final for a second successive year, led for a good part of the way after winning the vital race to the first bend. However, he could not sustain it and the big prize went to 28/1 outsider Astute Millie who had previously failed to win a heat of the competition.
Favourite Clares Rocket missed the kick and was soon the victim of bumping in the run-up as Astute cut across him. The other major fancy Tyrur Shay had every chance down the far side in third place but his finishing power was not sufficient once Astute came inside Butt at the third bend and stayed on to beat Tyrur three-quarters of a length in 28.92. Rocket took third, four and a half lengths further back.
Meanwhile the withdrawal of the favourite Vigorous Becca took much away from Drumbo's final of the Skywalker Farloe & DTSC bitches stake final (A4) and left if open for Mahon Accord who had beaten Becca in the first round.
Like then, Mahon burst the lids down and the black bitch owned by Joy Haydon, soon had them all on the stretch. Once in front, Mahon is difficult to peg back but Lisogarbh Norie who got the better of Accord in the previous week's semi-final, stuck to her task well and cut the lee-way to a length at the finish in a reputable 28.91 secs and picking up the winning prize of £700.
However, the best run of the night was a brilliant 28.53 clocked in the following race by Vinent Toner's Newry brindle Braexit Attack.
Owned by Dundalk's Daniel Kerr, he hit the ground running to lead round the first bend and move clear with the help of crowding in behind. Attack was gone and came home seven and a half-lengths ahead of Jimmys Sham.