Hazel Kemp rates Slippy Maggie’s trap six draw in the final of next Sunday’s Maiden Gold Cup Final is “horrendous” though she has enough on her plate to present the unbeaten runner to the track in perfect condition.

The fastest heat winner was hampered at the first bend in her semi, was in fourth place with a circuit to run but still got home by nearly six lengths in 33.17 (N). The other qualifiers went to Bombers Bullet (33.35) and Inky Holdem (33.53).

Draw for the final: 1) Merry Miss, 2) Cu Sith Alsh, 3) Slaneyside Twirl, 4) Bombers Bullet, 5) Inky Holdem , 6) Slippy Maggie

Hazel said: “The draw is a nightmare. Someone has to get six in a field of railers, but it isn’t what we were hoping for. We probably need her to miss her break and then follow them around on the inside.

“But we can only hope. I thought she was so impressive again. The Henlow locals have really taken to her and when she hit the front there was an enormous roar; it was lovely to hear.”

Of more immediate concern are Maggie’s feeding habits. .

Hazel said: “She is an absolute nightmare. She will just about to agree to eat a bit of chicken from Morrisons, or steak, but only the best, 100% lean beef. You try and sneak a bit of biscuit in there are she pushes it out of the way.

“On Sunday morning we tried to tempt her with some scrambled egg and cheese. She just looked the other way. What dog turns down scrambled egg with cheese? Out of desperation, we offered her a sausage roll and she tucked straight in. There cannot be a worse food to give her, but we weren’t left with a choice.”

And if she refuses her scrambled egg again on Sunday?

“Oh don’t ask!”


Racing manager Paul Mellor said: “What a cracking little puppy. The draw isn’t ideal for her, but six isn’t the worst. In my opinion, the five will definitely head to the inside.

“I thought Slippy Maggie looked capable of doing the clock with a clear run but I don’t expect the track to be fast. Given all the cold weather about, we will have to keep it salted. Thankfully, the new covers are superb, but you can’t expect fast going.”

Despite missing the glue that holds the Henlow racing office together with Lorraine King on the sick list (and badly missed), Paul Mellor conjured to grade a tight finish to the last race on Sunday. The A4 contest went to 7-1 chance Mays Diva with the distances: sh, hd, sh, hd, hd. All six runners were convered by nine spots.

Paul Mellor said: “I’ve had a lot of new dogs to learn about since we started with SIS but we are getting there at last. It is nice to get them so close but I have had a ‘five spot’ and a ‘six spot’ race previously.”