Any thoughts that the 2019 Carling Eclipse was a gimme for 10-3 ante post favourite Ice On Fire after a fascinating first round.
Unusually for an event of this calibre, the winning times were all ‘all over the place’ with almost a second between quickest and slowest and widely spaced in between.
Hayley Keightley’s Roxholme Jim setting the standard with the night’s fastest sectional. His 29.21 (+40) run was the fifth fastest time of the year, just two lengths outside Skywalker Logan’s track record. There was also an exceptional run from the dog who made his reputation in A1 at Belle Vue, Ballymac Ambrose.
Ice On Fire made it 12 wins from 15 races, though it was a lower octane performance than his Puppy Classic and All England Cup wins.
Interestingly, he takes on Roxholme Jim in the second semi final with the draw seemingly favouring the Keightley runner.
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