Charlie Lister OBE expects to be back in harness to write yet another chapter in greyhound history in next week’s RPGTV Scottish Derby final.
The living legend, with seven Shawfield deciders already banked, wasn’t in Glasgow to see Dorotas Vic win the fastest semi final; he and partner Pat were spending a few nights away to get over losing a family pet.
Charlie said: “She was a little 13 year old Jack Russell bitch who died in the night. We have had her since she was a puppy and she used to sleep in the same room as us. It hit us both quite hard so we decided to get a break for a few days.”
The perfect tonic was delivered by RPGTV leaving Dorotas Vic with a realistic chance of emulating brother Dorotas Woo Woo who cut a web open when attempting to defend his crown.
Charlie said: “I’m really pleased for the owners. Vic was always in the shadow of his brother earlier in their careers because he was big and a bit awkward. We ran his at Nottingham a few times and it didn’t go well, but we switched him to Sheffield and he never looked back.
“He is a very genuine sort of dog and he has had two very tough races to get to the final. That’s a good dog of Pat Rosney’s (The Other Reg), and to come from behind him takes some doing.”
The Other Reg let to the third bend before he was passed by Dorotas Vic (3.74 sect) who won by three quarters of a length in 29.28 (-20).
Final draw: 1) Lightfoot King, 2) Black Farren, 3) Borna Account, 4) The Other Reg (M), 5) Dropzone (M), 6) Dorotas Vic (W)
The Other Reg’s handler Pat Rosney said: “We are just happy to be there. Dogs often disappoint in their second race back after a lay-off but thankfully Reg didn’t. At one stage I was worried that Reg and Vic would ruin each other changes at the third bend, but thankfully it didn’t happen.
“I am delighted with trap four in the final. We certainly didn’t want to be drawn on the outside of Dropzone. We were drawn the other way round in the final of the Northern Flat and I think it cost us. Reg will need to come away well to stand any chance. He has trapped okay so far (3.69, 3.72 sects), but he is capable of better.
“One final point I would like to add. I understand that Barrie’s bitch (Bull Run Button) may have been hurt in the race. I wasn’t aware of it at the time, I was watching my own dog, though I did ask about her afterwards. There is a suggestion of social media that people were celebrating despite a dog getting hurt. It certainly wasn’t me, and Charlie wasn’t there, so I have no idea what that is about.”
Mark Wallis, who had seen Bombers Bullet and Bruisers Bullet both eliminated, was well rewarded when Black Farren won the third semi.
The Irish Derby runner-up was a head down to Ashbank Christy (3.76 sect) but had seized the inside rail at the first bend and then held off Lightfoot King by a length and a half in 29.38 (-20).
Mark said: “We really fancied him after the traps were reversed from the heats with the three (Barefoot Painter) and the lads in the syndicate took the 6-1 and 11-2.
“He has been a while coming for form but he finished lame at Waterford last year and Graham (Holland) sorted him out before he sent him over. It was a tough time to work a dog in January and it has taken a while to get him fit.
“I would have preferred to be on the inside of Lightfoot King in the draw and he looks as though he might veer to the middle. But we bought the dog as a syndicate for a bit of fun and he hasn’t let us down, starting in Ireland and hopefully then to go on to Towcester.
“We’ll enjoy the night whatever the result and if we can get him spot on, then who knows?”
Elaine Parker is double represented in the final after Dropzone was beaten a length by Pat Buckley’s 29.41 winner Borna Account, followed by Lightfoot King finishing second to Black Farren.
She said: “It looks as good a Scottish Derby Final as they’ve had in many a year and to get two through is a great thrill after having five winners at Doncaster earlier in the day.
“Both dogs surprised me, particularly Dropzone who was only having his second race back after an injury he picked up at Nottingham. He is an idle dog to train and it has taken a while to get him fit. He can only get better.
“Lightfoot King is just as happy in one or two in the final. So far he hasn’t trapped as well as he did in the Puppy Derby at Towcester, but if he does, you’d think he wouldn’t be far away.”