Best still to come for brilliant Boherna?
BOHERNA BEST has rocketed right into the Greyhound of the Year equation following his third Category One success of 2008, and fourth title in total, when he saw off Dotland Hit Man in a thrilling William Hill All England Cup final over 480m at Newcastle on Wednesday.
Victory looked a formality when the heavily-supported 4-7 favourite flashed out of trap two, but Dotland Hit Man had reserved his best start of the competition for when it mattered most and going into the third bend, it looked a tough one to call.
However, after what was a tremendous buckle, Boherna Best shaded the local dog by three-parts-of-a-length in 28.32sec (+10) to add the All England crown to his earlier major successes in the Ladbrokes Gold Cup at Monmore and Betfred Laurels at Belle Vue.
Reported in great shape yesterday, he is likely to be kept on the go with Debra Draper, wife of trainer Barrie, saying of the Anthony Rhodes-owned dog: "He's just such a professional and absolutely loves his racing, he really thrives on it in fact.
"We're not ones to over-race our greyhounds, but he'll want to be kept ticking over so we'll probably look for another competition for him, perhaps the Harry Holmes at Sheffield."
Andrew Bell, trainer of runnerup Dotland Hit Man, was magnanimous in defeat, saying yesterday: "We were obviously a little disappointed, but that was tempered by the fact that we were beaten by a better dog and one who will surely be Greyhound of the Year.
"I thought we had it won at the third bend, but you have to hand it to Boherna Best who just kept finding more. Long-term, our plan will be to go for the Irish Derby next year when he should be at his best, but there's a competition for him at Monmore next month there and I'll take him down for a trial beforehand."
Bell's view that Dotland Hit Man was the likely winner in running was clearly shared by some exchange players as he traded at 1.35 (just slightly bigger than 1-3) in running, although Boherna Best never drifted to bigger than his pre-race peak of 2.26 (5-4).
Feature of the meeting at the north-east track on Betfair was the massive plunge on Flying Winner before and during her track record run over the rarely-used 895m marathon distance, with more than pounds 240,000 traded on the Chris Lund-trained bitch.
Backed from 1-2 into 1-3 on course after contracting markedly on the exchange in the minutes leading up to the off, Flying Winner weaved her way through the field to collar long-time leader Genesis Alix close home. However, her record-breaking victory was in enough doubt at one point for one shrewd punter to snaffle just over 2-1 to the princely sum of pounds 15!
Boherna Best leads home Dotland Hit Man to win the William All England Cup final