Derby Winning Trainer Has High Hopes For Kent Plate


22 March 2024

English Greyhound Derby winning trainer Patrick Janssens had a night to remember when five of his six Arena Racing Company Kent Plate entries qualified for Saturday’s semi finals. 

The Newmarket handler watched on as kennel stars Bet Shop Boy, Slick Sabo, Edwards, Druids All Go and Miracle all finished in the top three of their respective heats at Central Park Stadium in Sittingbourne. 

Now less than 30 seconds from qualifying for next Saturday’s Grand Final – which is worth £12,500 to the winner – Janssens’s quintet must place in the top two of their respective semi finals to progress. 

But with English Puppy Derby champion King Memphis, Derby Plate champion Whyaye Man, Winter Derby winner King Capaldi plus a host of other star names still in the competition, Janssens knows qualifying won’t come easy. 

“It’s a very tough competition – and the semi finals won’t be easy to qualify from,” said Patrick. “But to reach this stage with five of our six entries is really pleasing and Round One was a good night for the kennel. 

“Having first, second and third in Heat Three was the highlight. Slick Sabo hit the front quickly and Edwards is a strong runner down the back straight while Druids All Go did well to finish in the top three. 

“For Miracle this is only his second competition. He cramped a bit on the run in, so we’d like to think there’s more to come from him. 

“Bet Shop Boy would be better suited by a longer trip. But he missed the break on Saturday and still ran on well enough to qualify. His staying ability is his best asset in this competition.”

Hopes of Kent winner remain high with Elizabeth McNair winning five of Saturday’s six Round One heats with Queen Shakira, Queen Joni, King Capaldi, Queen Georgia and King Memphis. 

Meanwhile Paul Donovan’s Asbo Lenny sprung a surprise when finishing third in Heat Four at 28/1 to keep hopes of a second Category One final appearance at Central Park on track. 

With three runners drawn in Semi Final One and two in Semi Final Two, qualifying all runners is a mathematical impossibility for Janssens. But he stands every chance of being represented by at least one greyhound in the final. 

“It’s great to have a competition on this quality,” added Patrick. “Central Park is a super track and is a favourite among trainers since the improvements were made to the running surface.

“If Slick Sabo can repeat his break from last weekend, he has every chance of reaching the final. Miracle is a very good dog too and Edwards will have to come out running to stand a chance. 

“Druids All Go doesn’t have the best draw. But he’s a better breaker than what he’s been showing. With a good start, he can run the track in 29.20 seconds – that’s what we’d be hoping for.” 

Tickets for Saturday’s Arena Racing Company Kent Plate semi finals are available to purchase online via the Central Park website or on the door. Doors open at 5.30pm with the first race due off at 6.38pm. 

Arena Racing Company Kent Plate Semi Final draw: 

Semi Final One: King Memphis, Slick Sabo, Drive On Lad, Droopys Reserve, Druids All Go, Miracle. 

Semi Final Two: Whyaye Man, Queen Joni, Ballymac John, Edwards, Asbo Lenny, Bet Shop Boy.

Semi Final Three: Singalong Stacey, King Capaldi, Queen Georgia, Queen Shakira, Newinn Deejay, Uncle Freddie.

Central Park Greyhound Stadium

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