Long term Wallis followers will know that it is a characteristic of Mark’s runners, that unlike, Micah Richards, they seldom ‘burst onto the scene’.

(Many of his Cat One winners have come through the grades. Rail McCoy started out in A3 at Henlow, Domino Storm was A3 at Yarmouth)

Now while no one could ever claim that Newinn Syd had disappointed, as the trainer himself pointed out this week, the Shari-Anne O’Donnell bred dog was a little bit in the shade of kennelmate Ballymac John in his early races. He started as a 100-30 shot in the Puppy Classic Final.

But the slow burner has really come alight at Nottingham and produced another sensational run to lane the quickest PGR Eclipse semi final on Monday night.


While the track general manager ususally determines the type of trophy you receive – don’t underestimate the part played by Vladimir Putin.

Trophy supplier Mark Burridge explains: “Most of our glass comes from either Poland or the cut crystal from the Czech Republic. When we were going through the global energy crisis, the Czech’s couldn’t afford to keep the furnaces operating.

“When they finally did get back to work, they basically doubled the cost of all their products and it is very difficult to pass that onto the customer. As a result we have been supplying more traditional metal trophies in recent week.”

Of course the calibre of trophies varies tremendously, though even Mark can get excited about some more than others.

He said: “ARC have really been pushing the boat out recently and the trophy for the PGR Eclipse is really quite special. I was able to buy some ‘one-offs’ and that was one of the best of them. I would be delighted to own that one.”

But contrary to the current norm, Mark has been asked to supply a crystal piece for the winners of Saturday’s Ladbrokes Gold Collar Final.

Here is a pic, along with the supporting opens trophies, prior to engraving.