When is a graded card – more than just a graded card?
Although East Anglian Derby Final night will always be the centrepiece in the Yarmouth racing crown, this year’s Boxing Day meeting is a gem in its own right writes Floyd Amphlett.
Boasting a unique seasonal atmosphere with the emphasis firmly on the track’s home-finders and ex-racers, the feature event has always been the annual veterans race. This year though, the 11am card also includes the final of the hugely coveted 60th Yarmouth Championship.
Richard Clarke’s Gulleen Champ (Taylors Sky-Gulleen Rose, Jun 15) will start favourite for the £1,200 Championship decider which has been contested by the track’s top 36 middle distance runners.
The white and blue, unbeaten in his six races to date, boasts the fastest semi final form – 28.18 (-10) – and is plotted up in the red box.
However, there will be great sentimental support for one of the finest hounds ever to grace the Caister circuit – Do It For Twiggy.
Erica Samuels locally bred black would have been eligible for this – and last year’s – Veterans race, but goes into the Championship decider chasing his own six-timer.
Now five years old, the 2015 East Anglian Derby winner has 27.70 form as recently as August, and will be contesting the 104th race of a magnificent career. (His 40.40 for 659m in the summer is only a length slower than Ruby’s Rascal’s best of 2017)
Final draw: 1) Gulleen Champ, 2) Oh Yes Yes Yes 3) Do It For Twiggy, 4) Astra Vic, 5) Simple Task, 6) Mandeville Fly
(The elimination of Oh No No No in the semi finals has at least saved racegoers from the prospect of a ‘Vicar of Dibley style commentary’ with John Mullins’ runner potentially contesting a tight finish with litter brother Oh Yes Yes Yes – Ed)