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JONATHAN HOBBS: Newcastle hosts one of its major events tonight with the Arena Racing Company Northern Puppy Derby Final – live on Sky Sports Racing.

Not run last year because of Covid, the event has a fantastic history with a host of top-class winners on its roll of honour including Dairyland Sue (2003), Farloe Reason (2007), Westmead Maldini (2009) and Droopys Buick (2015). It was last run in 2019 when Angela Harrison’s local star Levante Beach struck gold.

Two Newcastle-based hopefuls eye the £6,500 prize tonight in the shape of Steve Anderson’s Bramble Ontheup and Stuart Tighe’s Garys Diamond, although both had to give best in the semis last week to Rockmount Dizzee (Andrew Wood) and Bockos Melody (Patrick Janssens) respectively. The other semi-final went to Graham Rankin’s Jaguar Macie who edged out Dannid from the Matt Dartnall camp.

There was nothing between the three semi-finals winners so tonight’s decider looks hugely competitive – and the break looks crucial.

The supporting card is top notch also. Enjoy.

Newcastle Wednesday

6.19: The Newcastle action kicks off in appropriate style with a puppy contest where Paul Young’s Bubbly Rascal catches the eye. He showed pace in the Northern Puppy Derby and looks well drawn inside to get first run on the more-than-capable Lenson Doolin.

Play: Bubbly Rascal

6.51: A bitches event next where Acomb Jenny can continue her recent smart form. The British Breeders Stakes runner-up at Notts, Kevin Ferguson’s won a maiden competition over C&D last year so this return to the north-east should suit to beat Freedom Reporter.

Play: Acomb Jenny

7.09: This looks a match between Denmark and Droopys Carat. Preference is for the latter just on his leadability claims – he’s always been top class for Angela Harrison – although a decent lead is needed to keep the strong blue-jacketed British-bred at bay.

Play: Droopys Carat

7.41: Greenwell Jean could have the race run to suit in this bitches’ final. A lead for Skywalker Bonnie threatens, but a clear run in behind for Pat Flaherty’s runner makes her rousing finish something to fear for all despite her veteran status. She’s in great form.

Play: Greenwell Jean

7.58: A maiden six-bend contest now and Lightfoot Gigi is the interesting runner. Up in trip for Jimmy Fenwick’s kennel, she came through strongly to win her heat of the Northern Puppy Derby before again staying on well in the semis in third. The trip could suit.

Play: Lightfoot Gigi

8.12: The Arena Racing Company Northern Puppy Derby Final now and Jaguar Macie gets the vote, although don’t be surprised to see outsider Garys Diamond run a decent race. Preference is for the blue jacket given she should get first run Bramble Ontheup inside and was certainly value for a more comfortable semi-final success after being hampered early in her quest to lead. That said she could be taken on by Garys Diamond from the boxes, although hits top gear off the second bend. Bockos Melody, Dannid and Rockmount Dizzee are all more than capable in a competitive decider, but another major success looks on the cards for Monmore Puppy Derby winner Jaguar Macie – if she clears her lines early.

Play: Jaguar Macie
Alternative: Garys Diamond

8.27: Pennys Fuinseog showed good pace behind Little Emir in the Standard comp last week and, but for a smoother run rounding the last two bends, would have bustled up the principals. Gary Ferguson’s dog has a great make-up tonight to go very well.

Play: Pennys Fuinseog

8.46: A cracking final now with plenty of chances. The vote goes the way of Angela Harrison’s Droopys Dazzler to smash break and get the all-important first run – he might need pegging back thereafter. However any mistakes and Little Emir or Pacemaker Ted easily pounce!

Play: Droopys Dazzler

9.01: Sprint action now and Coal Butler will have his supporters given a great strike-rate and trapping ability. However if Acomb Fatima is able to hold her position against the fence Kevin Ferguson’s British-bred bitch could slip clear. She’s been running well at Notts in defeat.

Play: Acomb Fatima

Good luck all.


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