Punters tackling Wednesday night’s William Hill Festival card might be tempted to file their fingernails – there could be a lot of head scratching going on following Saturday night’s Classic and Grand Prix qualifiers at SUNDERLAND.

At one level, you could say that the Classic went to form. Two of the three semi finals went to favourites, though the times were far from exceptional and were outshone by the Puppy Plate runners.

Footage courtesy RPGTV

Heat 1 went to the orange jacketed 10-1 outsider Viking Jimmy (Ballymac Vic-Starwood Bound, Jul 14) from Barricane Jack (T1 4-1). The winner’s time was 27.33, distance a length and a quarter. 4-5 favourite and fastest qualifier Corrin Boyshane ran from six.

Heat 2 went to Droopys Country (Aero Majestic-Droopys Coast, Aug 14) who ran his usual style of flying away on the outside and then veering across to rails at the first bend. Chopped off was Azzurri Genesis (T3 4-1) and it was left to 10-1 shot Russelena Planet (T5) to follow home some nine plus lengths in arrears. The winner clocked 27.02.

Heat 3 was won in identical time by a fast breaking, wide running favourite in Newinn Shadow (Kinloch Brae-Newinn Expert, Dec 14). Despite giving away ground with first bend steering issues, Charlie Lister’s runner came home just under three clear of Toolmaker Obama (T3 5-2).


The Grand Prix final will prove equally tricky to unravel with the three semi finals all being clocked to within five spots of each other.

Heat 1 saw the emergence of a new star in Geela Jenga (Kingsmill Messi-Tyrur Ayda, Dec 14) who gave a start and beating to her more celebrated kennelmsate Geelo Bullet (T2 4-1). The Carl Perry trained red jacketed brindle, who only recently switched to six bends, lost several lengths in running after Bullet led from the boxes and Rubys Rascal (T3 1-1f) dozed off in them. The winner’s time was 39.70

Heat 2 saw the reappearance of the impressive first round winner Swift Hansel (Godsend-Swift Approach, Aug 14). Wearing red, the 5-4f produced another flawless performance for Annellesse Thompson, though his 39.67 winning time was surprisingly four lengths back on his first outing. Droopys Tee (T4 6-4) finished second.

Heat 3 appeared to be at the mercy of Charlie Lister’s Cloran Paddy (T1 1-5f) who just may not be suited to the course. He encountered a whole world of pain before finishing second to Glamorous Sharif (Cashen Legend-Coolough Dawn, May 14). Paul Young’s 10-1 chance left the black box in front and was never troubled. The winner’s time was 39.65 and the distance, four and a half lengths

The performance of the night belonged to Roxholme Nidge (Droopys Nidge-Silver Dolaar, Nov 15) in the Puppy Plate heats. The 28.48 Nottingham (480) winner clocked 26.74 (TR 26.59) when beating Ashbank Christy by three and a half.

The other qualifiers went to Droopys Expert (26.90) and Prize Fighter (27.26).

Nidge’s kennelmate Roxholme Hat (Ballymac Vic-Emma Honey, May 15) went quickest in the ‘Flyer’ with a half length 15.73 (T 15.30) win over Walk The Talk. Precisely (15.80) and Make The News (15.84) won the other two qualifiers.