A paw-perfect performance by Garfiney Blaze landed champion trainer Mark Wallis his first Category One success of the year on Saturday in the Arena Racing Company Cesarewitch.
The September ’21 dog trapped fastest and never looked back to win the £12,500 first prize in a record time of 44.05 seconds at Central Park Stadium – half-a-second faster than his semi-final performance at an average speed of 37.12mph.
It marked Garfiney Blaze’s first Category One success – the highest grade of UK greyhound racing – and completed a faultless Cesarewitch campaign which saw him set a new track record on three occasions.
Wallis’ second runner Ballymac Taylor finished runner-up while Dorset-based David Lewis finished third in his first Category One final as a trainer – more than two decades after starting out – with Alright Gordy.
Bradys Bullet, Ela Maestro and Mad For Sterling finished fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.
Assistant trainer Daniel Wallis was delighted with Garfiney Blaze’s performance.
He said after the race: “He trapped a lot better than he did in the semi-finals. When he led around the first two bends it was always going to be hard for any of the finalists to catch him.
“It was a superb run – we’re really pleased.
“He seems to really like the Central Park track. Every time he’s visited, he’s improved three or four lengths and he needed to do that in the final because it was a very competitive race.
“The draw was a concern, but he started well which is what we were all hoping for. There are no plans for the immediate future, but looking ahead the Regency and St Leger are likely to be the competitions we’ll target.
“This was only his third race since he joined the kennel, and he’s won all three races so we can’t ask for more than that.”
Saturday night greyhound racing continues at Central Park Stadium next weekend, January 27, and for the remainder of 2024 with the first race due off at 6.38pm. Tickets, trackside packages and restaurant bookings are all available via www.centralpark-greyhounds.co.uk.