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Crayford confusion over missing Letter.

Byline: Jonathan Kay and Barrie Bolton

MYSTERY surrounds the withdrawal and subsequent non-appearance of Letter Slippy (pictured) from the semi-finals of the Countrywide Steel & Tubes Guys & Dolls at Crayford on Monday, with the track sending a report to the NGRC on the matter, but a spokesman for trainer Patsy Byrne saying the dog had been pulled out in the "middle of last week".

Officially listed as a non-arrival on the Crayford result sheet, Letter Slippy is reported to have sustained a wrist injury in the first round. "He's jarred a wrist and will be off for six to eight weeks," said Kieran O'Dwyer of the Byrne kennel yesterday. "As far as I'm aware, Crayford racing office was told in the middle of last week, on Wednesday I'd say."

But Crayford racing manager Harry Bull said the track had no record of the call. "I've asked everyone and no-one was notified of a withdrawal," he said.

"We were still waiting for them to turn up as late as we could on Monday night so as far as we are concerned Letter Slippy was a non-arrival. I've emailed the NGRC to let them know of the circumstances."

Meanwhile, Wallington Bexta is now 11-10 favourite with Ladbrokes for Saturday's pounds 3,000 final after drawing trap one following his 23.49sec success in the dogs' semi. Defending champion Lavender Prince and early leader Appletown Blaze, the other two qualifiers, came together with Seamus Cahill's dog here and a bumping match ensued round the opening bends, but Wallington Bexta then shook off his two adversaries to pull clear for a near four lengths success.

Knockevan Hollie and her kennel companion Betty Bolognese gave a replica performance of their first round display in the bitches' semi, with the last-named setting a furious pace to halfway.

Storming past the leader at that point, Paul Young's bitch gradually pulled away to score by almost six lengths in 23.46sec with Young remarking: "Hollie has been off with a hock ligament injury and, although she's in good order, she will be better still for this run. Let's hope a final comes her way as she's been so unlucky in the past."

nFINAL draw (with Ladbrokes' betting): 1 Wallington Bexta (11-10), 2 Toumpane Misty (7-1), 3 Appleton Blaze (m) (20-1), 4 Betty Bolognese (m) (20-1), 5 Lavender Prince (m) (6-1), 6 Knockevan Hollie (w) (7-4)

nROSSA RANGER was mistakenly credited by the track on Monday as breaking his own track record, which remains at 23.36sec.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Sep 25, 2002
Words:417
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