It was a case of third time lucky for Richard Rees’ Churchfield Syd who won his first Category One competition at Central Park on Sunday in the Premier Greyhound Racing Kent Derby.
The two-year-old brindle dog had reached the final of the Gold Cup and Birmingham Cup already this year, but placed second and sixth respectively in each of those finals.
After winning his Round One qualifying heat and Semi Final, Churchfield Syd backed up both performances with a faultless start-to-finish victory in 29.15 seconds from Romeo Command in second and Asbo Lenny third.
It marked a fourth victory on the spin – and a tenth career win – for Richard Rees’ talented greyhound who took the £20,000 prize. And son Charlie was delighted with the performance.
“That was amazing, we’ve been hunting a Category One race win for a few months,” said Charlie. “We didn’t have luck on our side in the Oaks (at Perry Barr on Saturday night) so when he made the start we were thrilled.
“Like any sport, there are naturally more lows than highs – and you have to put long hours in to stand a chance of reward.
“To win just one Category One competition is amazing. When we saw him hit the front, we were all buzzing. Our eyes were fixed on him, so we didn’t take too much notice of what was happening behind.
“He tries his heart out, and you can’t ask for more than that.”
Seamus Cahill’s Droopys Clue, recent winner of the Premier Greyhound Racing St Leger, ended the race fourth after breaking slowly while Elizabeth McNair pair Havana Lover and King Ezra placed fifth and sixth respectively.
Other Open Race winners on the day included Rydons Ranger who landed the Premier Greyhound Racing Novice Stayers’ Trophy while PawPaw Sean was first past the post in the Premier Greyhound Racing Sprint Trophy.
Newmarket-based trainer Patrick Janssens then landed a late double with Edwards and Slick Sabo, who took both Premier Greyhound Racing Standard races.
Greyhound racing returns to Central Park on Tuesday morning with racing also scheduled on Wednesday evening, Friday morning and Sunday afternoon.
Tickets are on sale and can be purchased via Central Park Greyhounds (centralpark-greyhounds.co.uk).