Droopys Polly became the fastest bitch over the 500m Derby course in the opening round of the Lowther Stakes at Towcester. On a good night for punters, five of the six heats went to the market leaders.

Heat 1 – saw the sole favourite failure as Ballinakil Biddy failed by a short head to qualify. Copeland Betty led from traps but couldn’t negotiate the first bend allowing local runner Office Flirt (Kinloch Brae-Wendy La La, Jan 14) to take up the running. The favourite who stumbled on the run-up, soon found herself in third place. However, she lost ground when attempting to pass Copeland Betty at the last bend and was run out of the last spot.

Heat 2 -produced better fortune for the Cahill Kennel with a bloodless victory for Crossfield Molly (Blackstone Gene-Droopys Thrill, Nov 13). She bolted clear on the outside as the remaining five formed a big ruck. She was never seen with a challenger and the defending champion crossed the line in 29.44

Heat 3 –Droopys Polly (Romeo Recruit-Exiles Pride, May 14) had been beaten in her last four runs over course and distance, but had won the previous four at Hove. She was nevertheless made the 6-4f and was absolutely majestic with a trap to line performance.

Heat 4 -The Dartnall double came courtesy of Away Shelly (Droopys Jet-Danielles Shelly, Feb 15) in probably the most competitive of the qualifiers. The complexion of the race could have been so different had Image Carranna trapped on terms. Instead Pat Cowdrill’s runner burst past the fast breaking favourite on the run-up but overshot the bend allowing Shelly to take up the running. Carranna made a brief challenge off the second bend but checked and then laboured as the winner stayed on strongly to win in 29.20.

Heat 5 – The brilliant Donation (Droopys Cain-Delightful Flyer, Jul 15), many punter’s favourite to land the title, was made to dig deep to deny Matt Dartnall a third winner. Fast away, Heather Dimmock’s runner clocked the night’s fastest sectional but gave herself plenty of room on the rail and was unable to dominate Cu Sith Alsh. The latter made a move to come through on the rail but the leader cut across causing the Datrnall runner to check. They crossed the line within just three quarters of a length between them in a fast 29.12.

Heat 6 – ‘Three Steps’ winner Geelo Sapphire (Ace Hi Rumble-Droopys Raeh, Jul 14) looked the classiest in the field on paper, and proved the best in the line-up on sand. Carl Perry’s blue was a length clear at the sectional and given her stamina CV, she was never going to be caught.

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