Eleven months after the heartbreak of going lame when leading in the Ladbrokes Puppy Derby semi final, Churchfield Syd finally landed his Monmore Cat One final with a 28.15 win in the Winter Derby. It was also sweet revenge over Links Maverick who beat him on three separate occasions in the 2023 Gold Cup.


We flagged up Clona Curly’s position as a 40/1 chance to land the Irish Derby but he still went off at 9/2 in the final of the ARC Northern Puppy Derby at Newcastle. Only Brookside Richie (28.18) went faster over the 480 course last year.


There were a string of good performances at Crayford on Saturday. They included the 22.91 for puppy Miss Syd and a 33.26 for Ritzy Empress, both fastest times of the year over the respective 380 and 540 metre trips. But the selection has to go to Ballymac Taylor for clocking the fastest semi in the Golden Jacket over a distance at least 200 metres short of her optimum.


Sprint record holder Kyprios was on the mark again at Suffolk Downs again on Thursday but the POW goes to youngster La Gitana. The Patrick Janssens’ Puppy Oaks third clocked easily the quickest middle distance run of the week with a 23.84 (-20) open race win.


Gitana had been given a couple of running lessons by Bettys Jack (23.32 EqTR, 23.45) in her previous two outings and Kevin Boon’s runner was made an 8/13f to stretch his winning sequence to five at Romford on Friday. But 4/1 shot Cunnigar Yousir, without a win since the start of December, made a mockery of his SP with a career best 23.63 run.


There was a similar turn up on the same night at Oxford. Open race stayer Coppice Warrior (4/1), KO’d in his previous race at Swindon, was back over four bends without a trial. Yet he was the quickest of the Hutton five middle distance winners on the night with a 26.65 run (Big Kev landed two stayers races too!).


It is almost a year and a half ago since Clairekeith Remy finished runner-up in the Kent Derby but with veteran status just weeks away, he remain one of Hove’s top middle distance runners. He was the most impressive of the Thursday night opens wins with a 30.11 (-20) run for the 515m.


On the subject of veterans, another fabulous exhibition by Quare Doll at Valley. The old girl got home by the narrowest of margins to extend her winning sequence to six.


Dashing Dude was only two spots outside the Swindon 262m record when landing an open in 15.12 on Thursday. That is his seventh win in eight outings over course and distance.


Inflation might always be in the shadow of brother Hollow Man, but Irene Barnard’s recent intake is quickly adapting to Yarmouth’s top heat and produced the best run of last week, a 27.71 run in A1.


Ballymac Frisby’s more famous litter brother is top Irish open racer Ballymac Marino. But not at Kinsley! On Sunday, Bev Heaton’s black had half a second to spare over the next quickest 462m winner with a career best 27.56, which is also the fastest run over course and distance this year.


Unusually, there were three sub26 runs at Pelaw this week. The slowest of the trio, but in the highest grade of the week was Blastoff Cassius. He led home the defending POW Tromora Supreme in what turned out to be a triumph for the grader: sh, sh, ½, ½, 8½.


The big Nottingham clash of the week was the A1 between the two hounds who have dominated the Performance of the Week recently, Bitumen (4/5f) and Sambar Kian (13/8). But nobody told Peter Holland’s puppy Velvet Madrid who was never headed on the way to a 29.93 run.


There was a similar type of clash between Asbo Lenny and Singalong Stacey at Central Park with Paul Donovan’s hound gaining revenge for his defeat last week. However, both are swerved to highlight the two bend exploits of Lenny’s kennelmate Emers Sammy who completed a five-timer on Sunday and clocked the quickest 277m run of the year to date.


Witton Supremo went to traps for only the third time in three months on Wednesday and showed a hint that she is somewhere near her best with an impressive 27.18 win in a Sunderland A1 (PB 26.98).


Times were irrelevant at Perry Barr where the POW was always going to be determined by a Saturday night A1 featuring serial POW winners Swift Prank, Good Spark and the defending champ, Darley Diglake. It proved a real humdinger with the Hall trained runner successfully defending his title by half a length.


On the subject of title defences, Keefill Goose had sneaked in to claim Acomb Felix’s ‘top dog’ mantle at Doncaster while Kevin Ferguson’s runner was raiding elsewhere. The locals made Felix a 4/6 chance to put the youngster in his place. . . but it didn’t work out that way! Goose stepped up with a 27.81 (-40) run. (Litter brother Maverick clocked 27.56 on similar going in a trial on the same night).


Staying with the puppy theme, Harlow’s Good Streak continues to live up to his name. Paul Vincent’s black completed a hat-trick with a 26.27 FOY run for the 415m. It was his seventh win in 12 races.


Patrick Janssens trained five 500m open race winners at Towcester on Sunday: 29.09-Edwards, 29.19-Miracle, 29.22 Droopys Doughnut, 29.27-Slick Sabo, and 29.38 Druids All Go. Romeo Command outshone them all, though his 29.02 was in a trial.


Not much between Sunday’s open winners at Sheffield with Links Weapon quickest over four bends. But using recent form as a tie-breaker, we’ve gone for Frankton Sal who completed a dual distance hat-trick with a 660m win over Ballymac Archer in 39.38. Only Maximum Security (39.28) has gone quicker this year.