In his pre-race assessment, assistant trainer Mark Keightley stated “I expect her to win. But in the early stages of the race, she is vulnerable. . “

Laying in her kennel just a few yards away, Roxholme Poppy was seething.


It probably didn’t happen quite like that, though anybody witnessing the Hayley Keightley trained black come out of the boxes on elastic might have thought this was a girl with a point to prove. Although Swift Tarquin attempted to stay with her, in this form, there aren’t many that can.

Sure enough the Doncaster Leger winner ran the bends on rails and won both the sprint section (16.47) and then pulled away to take the semi in the best performance of her career to date. Her 40.18 winning time was seven spots inside Centurion Henry’s nine year old track record.

The first heat saw an equally impressive performance from Slippy Maggie. The pre-race selection of Racing Manager Marcus Westgate looked anything but a good thing when dropping herself out of early contention and crossing the 277 metre split in last place. But an awesome burst of pace between the fourth and fifth bends suggested Michelle Brown’s marathon star has fully returned to her best as she clocked a very decent 40.37.

In his preview on this site yesterday, Mark Keightley was hoping Roxholme Butt could dominate the early pace in the second semi, and on the basis of a 16.56 sectional, he might have expected to do so. But nobody told Seaglass Celine who equalled the fastest sprint recorded at the track this year, 16.35, in the second semi final. Meanwhile, Golden Jacket winner Stardom was way too close for comfort and Heather Dimmock’s runner produced a devastating burst to hit the front late on and win in 40.60.

Last week, RM Marcus Westgate suggested we were three races away from the best staying event ever staged at Yarmouth. Next SATURDAY (incorrectly stated as Monday previously), his prophesy will be realised.

Trainers are reminded supporting opens for Saturday’s card close at 2pm today

To view videos, clock on the individual results