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Maxine Plans To Time It Right With Star Droopys Reserve

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26 March 2024

A greyhound trainer whose career started at Central Park Stadium at the beginning of the millennium could land one of the venue’s feature competitions on Saturday evening. 

Maxine Locke first trained greyhounds professionally as a teenager and now cares for 87 dogs at her kennels near Wickford, Essex, with the support of a team of full and part-time staff. 

The 42-year-old qualified kennel star Droopys Reserve for Saturday’s Arena Racing Company Kent Plate Grand Final – worth £12,500 to the winner – after he finished second in the weekend’s opening semi final behind competition favourite King Memphis. 

Category One success isn’t new to the Locke kennel, who scooped the prestigious Golden Sprint with Lough Messi in 2014. And Saturday has the potential to be the team’s most successful day on record with Maxine also running Droopys Eunice in the Premier Greyhound Racing Puppy Derby final at Monmore in Wolverhampton. 

Speaking ahead of the Kent Plate final, Maxine spoke highly of her sole runner who has been drawn in trap three and is keeping her fingers crossed for a positive run. 

“We think a lot of him (Droopys Reserve),” said Maxine. “This is his first competition in a few months and he’s improving nicely week by week. 

“Central Park seems to suit his running style, and his trapping has been consistent too which I think could be helped by the curved boxes. 

“It’s a very hot race though, and credit to the McNair team for qualifying four for the final – that’s a great achievement in itself with a very talented litter of dogs.

“We would’ve liked to have been drawn closer to the rail, but it’s another Category One final for the team and we hope it can round off a big day for the kennel.” 

Kent will be represented by four greyhounds in Saturday’s final, with littermates Queen Shakira, King Memphis and King Capaldi drawn in traps one, four and five for trainer Elizabeth McNair.

Produce Stakes and British Bred Breeders Forum Derby champion Queen Joni – also from the McNair kennel – will run from trap two while Whyaye Man represents champion trainer Mark Wallis. 

Racing on Saturday night begins at 6.38pm with the £12,500 Arena Racing Company Kent Plate due off at 9.02pm. Tickets, trackside packages and restaurant bookings are available to make by clicking here.

Arena Racing Company Kent Plate: Queen Shakira, Queen Joni, Droopys Reserve, King Memphis, King Capaldi, Whyaye Man.

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