David Mullins is no stranger to Romford Puppy Cup success having already landed the prestigious competition on no fewer than five occasions before last night. Living Jewel set the ball rolling back in 2003 with a 14/1 success and that was quickly followed just a year later with another double figure victory as Vamoose landed the spoils at odds of 10/1. Surprisingly there was then a 16 year gap until the next victory came along in 2020 with Tenpin at odds of 9/4 whilst that victory was quickly followed in 2021 by Brookside Richie at odds of 1/3 and then Romeo Hotshot in 2022 at odds of 11/4. Heading into Friday nights final David and the team were doubly represented by David Firmager bred and owned litter brothers Romeo Cypher (7/2) and Romeo Crusade (20/1). The February 2022 litter by Droopys Sydney out of Fabulous Skylar (also trained by David Mullins) have shown potential from a very early stage and though sent off at huge odds for this years final the victory didn’t come as a total surprise to the Mullins team. David said “We knew we had to get a break from them and particularly so in the case of Crusade. When the pair have both came away I’ve thought immediately well we’ve a chance now but they’ve so nearly come together at the first turn and so easily could have ruined each others chances. Thankfully it was a just a small brush alongside each other and Crusade has kicked on. It was then a case of holding on from Angela and Jimmy’s dog who has run a great race in defeat. What pleased me though was that we were still in front heading to the pick up so there shouldn’t be any trouble him getting a bit further than the 400m at Romford”.
The victory for Crusade was his first career victory having finished third in the first round of the competition followed by finishing runner up in the semi final. Asked on plans going forward for the pair David said “Though they’ve only had a few races each I’m considering giving them just a little bit of a break to take things in. I’ll speak to David Firmager about it as there is the option of the Puppy Collar starting at Oxford next week but they’d have to go without a trial due to the four day rule which obviously wouldn’t be ideal. As a matter of course we’ll have them both checked over by George Drake and after talks we’ll make a decision. I’ve got to thank David and Nicola for sending us these dogs. They’re great with what they do from start to finish and generally make the right decisions by their pups so I’ve huge respect for whichever route they’ll want to take”.
There was also big race success on the night for another kennel in flying form as Nathan Hunt’s Teds Dexter landed the Mitch Millward Marathon Final over 750m. The race has now been run for eight years in memory of the much missed Mitch and many of his friends and family were in attendance for a race which has become a staple on the Romford calendar. Dexter owned by the Trinity Greyhounds syndicate took an early lead and though having to fend off a strong late challenge from Bubbly Inferno held on by a comfortable enough 1 1/2 lengths in 4652. A delighted Nathan Hunt said “We’re all delighted to have won a race which means so much to so many people at Romford. Mitch is much missed by all here at Romford and beyond. Many thanks to all that make the race happen and congratulations to all involved in Ted’s syndicate of owners. He’s done what he had to do and that was lead and make all which he did in superb style”.