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Dog Racing: Air smashes Hove clock in stunning Sussex win.

Byline: Patrick Kelly Reports on a record-breaking night at Hove

BARNFIELD ON AIR (2-5F), producing one of the all-time great four-bend displays at Hove, emerged as a true champion with a stunning eclipse of his rivals in the final of the pounds 10,000 Coral Sussex Cup over 515 metres at the Sussex track on Tuesday.

Sam Poots's ace, now seemingly beginning to master the art of trapping, dashed into an early lead and there was only ever going to be one result as Barnfield On Air turned the first corner with daylight between himself and the hapless opposition.

Quickening the tempo down the far side, it was now purely a race for the places and Barnfield On Air was visually awesome as he set off in hot pursuit of his first major open-race title.

To a crescendo of cheers, Barnfield On Air was full of running as he levelled up for home and, at the line, he was six-and-a-half lengths clear of Fear Me (7-1) in a new track record of 29.20sec. (+10).

The style of the performance was reminiscent of Hit The Lid's record-breaking Sussex Cup success almost twenty years earlier and, suffice to say, Barnfield On Air will take all the beating in the premier competitions over middle-distances later this season.

Barnfield On Air, eliminated in the second round of this year's Blue Square Greyhound Derby, is now quoted at 20-1 with the sponsors for the 2008 renewal of the sport's blue riband, whilst connections are looking at several options for the dog.

Darran Keefe, assistant to trainer Poots, said: "We will definitely be looking to run him in the Select Stakes at Nottingham. The track and trip will suit him fine and he will be heading there for a trial, possibly on Monday.

"The Kent Derby is another possible target. I will be going to Sittingbourne to have a look at the track, I've not been there for about four years, and will see if it looks his sort of circuit."

The highlight of the supporting opens was the comprehensive victory of Blonde Jet (7-2) in the final of the pounds 2,500 Carlsberg Sprint over 285 metres.

The Maria Dennis-trained star, who again failed to get it right at the boxes, showed phenomenal early foot to lead at the first bend and Blonde Jet was excellent value for a two-and-a-quarter lengths defeat of Kanes Blue (6-1) in a fast 16.15sec. (+5).

In a hotly-contested 695m open, Westmead Aoifa (6-4F) scored by a length-and-three-quarters from an unlucky-in-running Spiridon Louis, who raced clear into the drop, in 41.20sec. (+15).

Pricewise hits the target in Sussex Cup

4-1 Barnfield can have Hove backers walking On air

PETER MELDRUM, Racing Post Greyhound's Pricewise expert, was in the money once again with his ante-post tip Barnfield On Air storming home in Tuesday's Sussex Cup final at Hove

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Barnfield On Air after routing his field en route to Sussex Cup success at Hove on Tuesday
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Aug 2, 2007
Words:499
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