Affane Party – one of the initial three ‘mystery sprinters’ (with Droopys Steel and Kilmore Lemon) rediscovered his devastating early pace to land the 72nd RPGTV East Anglian Derby.
John Lambe’s black went to traps with 10 wins in his last 11 (UK) outings – the sole defeat a close fourth in the Bresmed Sprint Final – and gave an overdue reminder of why he is one of the top two-benders in training.
Having clocked sectionals of 5.44 twice and “led 1/2” twice in the first two rounds, he partially rediscovered his trapping boots in the semi finals (5.23 ‘al led’).
In the final though, the real Affane Party simply blew them away. After blasting away in a new 81m sectional record of 5.18, the powerful black held off Seaglass Phantom by three and a half lengths in 27.32 on going conservatively rated as ‘normal’.
It was a remarkable training feat by John Lambe with a dog who started out in A6 at Perry Barr and has 22 wins and 4 seconds in 28 races, despite a string of tendon problems.
The Perry Barr trainer said: “I was confident that he would get the 462m from last year at Peterborough (where he won the Fengate Collar), when decent dogs like Kooga Klammer weren’t catching him over 420m.
“He was a bit unlucky at Sheffield when he developed sickness in the week of the final of the Bresmed, but still ran pretty well.
“We kept him over the sprints because we fancied going for the Dundalk race (the Irish Sprint Cup). He clocked 21.05 (400yds) first time round, which is an aeroplane time, but he came off with a niggle to a tendon above the wrist.
“I took advice from George Drake and withdrew him. He had already had two flexor tendons removed earlier in his career by vet Mick Guilford, who did a brilliant job, but we knew we were risking major problems if we’d run him.
“He trialled him around Yamouth last year and he ran right off the track. Ideally we wanted a bit more time to give him a handslip this year, then a trial, but the competition was right on us.
“I was delighted with the run in the final, but great credit too to Patrick Janssens pup. He has a big future ahead of him.
“Looking ahead, we have our sights on the All England Cup. I think he will get the distance and even though we will be taking on a superstar like Droopys Verve, I think the track really suits railers. So we will take our chance.
“It is also great to get a monkey off our back with Cat One finals. It was our fourth finalist. This year Party was beaten at Sheffield and I thought Queen Adele was a bit unlucky in the Lowther Stakes, but we got one at last.”