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Baby Georgie in shock Pepsi win.

Byline: TONY BULLEN

THE Pepsi Cola Marathon has produced some thrilling action in recent years, and Caroline Gomersall's Baby Georgie maintained that trend when causing an upset in the pounds 2,500 final over the 840m trip at Walthamstow on Saturday.

Sexy Delight, Xamax Xylograph and Kegans Flyer headed the betting market in a contest the trio had dominated from the first round.

As expected Linda Jones's Kegans Flyer showed his superior early and middle pace to kick away from his rivals on the first lap, and with Sexy Delight and Xamax Xylograph unable to cut loose from the pack, it appeared as though the brindle had stolen the race after holding on to his healthy advantage.

However, the pursuing Baby Georgie proved that staying is the name of the game, and in the very windy conditions, it was she who found a second wind to reduce the deficit approaching the seventh bend, eating up the ground on the rails, she whizzed past the brave Kegans Flyer on the run for home to score by just over a length in 53.64sec. Sexy Delight was a further five lengths adrift in third.

A delighted Caroline Gomersall said. "We had always had this race in mind for Baby Georgie and I am still taking it all in. She ran a cracker. This was her eighth race back from seasonal rest and she has struck form at the right time. I must thank the management at Swindon for giving me the night off tonight so I could make the trip down. It has been well worth it.

"I have looked through the Calendar to see what the next move will be and we will probably head to Wimbledon for a one-off open supporting the Springbok final."

Owner Roy Goodall said: "I purchased Baby Georgie's litter-brothers as pups, but one of the dogs passed away and Baby Georgie was a replacement-she was the only remaining bitch left. This is my biggest ever win as an owner and I would like to thank Walthamstow Stadium and the sponsors Pepsi Cola for their hospitality."

The supporting card had attracted a decent class of dog and racegoers witnessed some superb performances, with Linda Jones and Charlie Lister enjoying better luck.

Governors Boy started the ball rolling for the Jones camp by landing the Pepsi Cola Sprint, while it was a clean sweep for the local handler in the 640m stayers' contests, with Little Vintage, Rapid Best and Kinda Sleepy all bolting up to the delight of favourite backers. The last-named is still unbeaten since stepped up in distance and it will take a decent sort to end that run judged on this effort, despite her only clocking 40.46sec

With the UK Packaging Arc looming large, Ernie Gaskin's Piercestown View and Lister's Droopys Prowler both enhanced their claims with authoritative victories in two trial stakes.

The former showed plenty of determination to reel in early leader Loyal Decision for a two-and-three-quarter-length success in division two, while the top division went to Racing Post Puppy final winner Droopys Prowler, who underlined his liking for this venue with similar battling qualities by overhauling Vancouver Jet close home by half a length in 29.38sec.

Bossy Pallashell boosted his claims in the Springbok at Wimbledon with an impressive success over more experienced rivals in the Pepsi Cola Hurdle. John Mullins' dog was nearer last than first to halfway, but showed superb middle pace to weave his way into second spot and, sustaining the run, powered up the run-in to collar long-time leader Group Tycoon.

CAPTION(S):

Kegans Flyer (T6) races clear (above) but Baby Georgie (T4, rails) eventually wears him down for victory, delighting her connections (right), Caroline Gomersall and joint owner Ray Goodall and his son Scott (left)
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Feb 4, 2002
Words:630
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