Taylors Sky covered the Henlow 460 metre course in 27.08, 27.16 and 27.21. Rio Quattro clocked 27.05. Westmead Lord had a best of 27.48. But Mark Keightley has no regrets about swerving the 2020 English Derby to land the 2020 Henlow Maiden Derby on Sunday evening.
The 29 kilo litter brother of Roxholme Kristof went to trap six at 4-5f. All About Taylor ran from T2.
The winning distance was two lengths as Olaf ran to within half a length of Forest Chunk’s track record.
Keightley said: “I am happy with the decision that we made. We trialled Olaf around Nottingham and he wasn’t seeing out the trip, which came as a bit of a disappointment. He was clearly getting the 525 on a faster Dublin track easier than the Nottingham 500 metres which was just too demanding of him at least at that stage.
“I am not a big fan of times, but I do like to compare dogs. I think the Henlow form will hold up and much as I didn’t want to see him behind, laying second to Carol’s (Grasso) dog, who I like the look of, and then going past him was very pleasing. He is now heading in the right direction though we know that there is still time in the dog. His coat isn’t quite right and he is still coming to himself.
“At this stage we are now considering the Birmingham Cup at Perry Barr where we also plan to enter Hiya Boyo but will be taking off his ‘rails’ seeding. We know that he lacks a yard to the bend in top company and I have tried to hide him on the rail hoping to get a clear run. But he is a big boy now and we’ll see how he goes from the middle.”
Keightley also confirmed that Roxholme Poppy’s third place and elimination from the Kent St.Leger will be the last race of her career.
He said: “There is nothing the matter with her. In fact, you would struggle to find a greyhound in better shape than she is right now; she looks an absolute picture. But she is getting on now, and I don’t think she is getting off her bed for racing with the same enthusiasm as she once was. At the back of my mind I would have loved to run her in a genuine 900 metre TV Trophy, and I am sure she would do herself no harm.
“But it would be a selfish thing to do, if she is falling out of love with racing. She has always been genuine but after hurting herself as a puppy, she learned to look after herself a bit, and that ended up costing her in her later career.”
The March ’16 daughter of Aero Majestic and Pookies Sophie first came to attention when coming from last to first to win a semi final of the ECC Timber Puppy Derby at Towcester but finished fifth behind Magical Bale in the final.
She contested a series of Cat 1 finals and was beaten at 1-2 in the 2018 Kent St.Leger final before landing the biggest of her career, the 2018 SIS Doncaster St.Leger Final. It was a fantastic line-up as she led home Slippy Maggie, Keplar Nine, Calico Ranger, Goldies Hotspur and Ela Juliet.
Beaten in the 2019 Regency decider, she bounced back to win the George Ing St.Leger at Yarmouth, twice setting a new 659m record, latterly off a 16.38 split. She failed to defend her Doncaster title when third behind Droopys Live as the 5-4f.
Ironically, he final outing over four bends was a 500m trial at Nottingham in August of this year when she beat Roxholme Olaf by three lengths in 29.85.