Dog Racing: Business as usual for Dunphys at Festival.
DISASTROUS though Racing Post Festival Grand Finals night was in the main for backers of favourites, the glittering occasion proved a triumph for Sean and Michael Dunphy, who topped the breeders' prize-money table and at whose Co. Waterford range no fewer than 22 of the 77 runners on the gala programme were conceived.
Five actual Dunphy-breds competed on the big night, first up being Annes Honcho, whose victory in the pounds 2,000 Veterans put matters well on course for the brothers, and when Calzaghe Frisby ended the calamitous run of defeated favourites by landing odds of 4-7 in the pounds 4,000 Stayers, the Dunphy prize-money tally moved up to pounds 6,275.
There it had to stay, as they had no runners in the remaining four races, but it was just enough to assure them of victory no matter what happened next.
David Mullins, breeder of the pounds 4,000 VCbet Marathon heroine En It, was their nearest challenger at that stage, having accrued pounds 4,200, but even if En It's litter-brother Gee Vee had scored for him in the pounds 2,000 Carlisle Brass British Bred Stakes, he would still have succumbed, albeit by a mere pounds 75. As it was, Gee Vee finished third.
The Category Two Stayers gave Calzaghe Frisby his first title and 14th open win, ten of which were gained as a puppy, at which stage of his career he contested most of the major juvenile competitions, finishing fourth in Monmore's Puppy Derby and third in Sheffield's Stones Silver Collar.
Stepped up in distance just prior to his second birthday, the October 2004 son of Droopys Kewell-Droopys Beauty broke Brough Park's 640m clock, kicking off a winning sequence of five six-bend races which included a record-breaking run over Belle Vue's 670m.
Although it is as a stayer that Ted Soppitt's charge has made his name, he is well-endowed with early and middle pace. Chris Brookes owns him in partnership with Carl and Keith Roberts.
Staplers Jo and Top Honcho, champion brood sire and stud dog respectively, are represented in his pedigree by their most prolific winner-producing sons Larkhill Jo and Droopys Vieri.
They in turn combine through Larkhill Jo's main heir Droopys Kewell and the unraced Droopys Beauty, a bitch from one of Pat Dalton's hugely successful families.
Droopys Beauty has figured here previously as the dam of Droopys Lomasi (by Knockeevan Major), heroine of the Wimbledon Puppy Derby and Juvenile Championship.
Her Droopys Kewell litter includes the recent Waterford Masters victor Si Senor, together with NGRC open winners Droopys Riquelme and Droopys Tobey, while Droopys Desire has a 28.84sec Waterford score on her card.
THE rout of the favourites, which began with Spiridon Louis (1-7) in the opening Puppy Stayers, continued unabated for a further seven races, with the 8-1 shot En It contributing to their downfall by catching the 7-4 joint 'jolly' Blackmagic Maisy as they ran for home in the 835m VCbet Marathon.
One of three winners on the card by Droopys Woods, the February 2004 bitch seems to get better the further she goes, and was posting her fifth open win for Romford owner Mr P Edmonds, all gained over six or eight bends.
David Mullins, her trainer and breeder, has enjoyed many a success with members of this family, having bred En It's dam Miss Charra Bang in a prolificwinning He Knows-Pottos Way litter headed by Potto Knows, with whom the Romford handler won the 2001 Midland Gold Cup at Monmore.
Miss Charra Bang won eight 575m Romford opens and one over 590m at Oxford. Not blessed with early pace, she liked the rails and had a good finishing kick, the latter quality being one in particular that En It appears to have taken on.
Miss Charra Bang's first litter, by Droopys Kewell, contained the open winners Alissandra and Pantone Gift. En It is from her second lot, which included Gee Vee, Gunner Star and Stylistic, all successful in opens, since when she has had produce by Honcho Classic in June 2005 and Knockabout Wok in March 2006.
En It's Irish-bred granddam Pottos Way was a litter-sister to Pottos Storm, the Mullins-trained 1999 Grand National winner, who finished fifth in Chart King's Derby.
Westdale Blue was the first of four British-bred winners on the card, springing an 8-1 upset in the pounds 4,000 Totesport London Scurry, beating 7-4 favourite Myella Honcho by half a length.
Martyn Wiley's charge completed a heat-and-final sweep of the Category Two 430m event, recording his fifth open win for owners R Crothers, P Cunningham, S Mynott and C Oleszko.
Bred by Mr A Johnson, of Great Sutton, Cheshire, he is by Toms The Best, better known as a stamina transmitter and sire of Confident Foe, who won the 640m Dual Distance final.
From a repeat litter originally productive of some minor open winners, Westdale Blue is the first offspring of dam Seomra Robin to gather any black type, the daughter of Phantom Flash-Island Miss having thrown three previous litters.
The Scurry hero's littermates include Westdale Star, winner of four-and six-bend Romford opens, and recently renamed Countrywideblues.
Although the July 1996 whelp Seomra Robin has only now made an impact on the breeding scene, she is well-enough connected. Her dam Island Miss was a litter-sister to the 1993 Irish St Leger victor Barefoot Marty, while their half-sister Seomra Cheeky (Westmead Merlin-Cheeky Carmaur) is the mother of Seomra Rock (by Trade Official), who counts the Pall Mall, Peterborough Derby and three other finals among his 30 open wins.
HAVING taken the Sittingbourne marathon scene by storm with three consecutive record-breaking 893m victories, Slaneyside Demon went off at 2-7 to win the pounds 1,000 Festival Maxi Marathon, and did not disappoint.
Taking charge at the ninth, the former modest 515m Hove grader met the wire over eight lengths clear, clocking 68.07sec for the 1,045m.
It was open win number six for Roy Towner's charge, who first gave notice of his ability over long distances when winning a 930m Hove open at the end of August.
He followed up with another success over Reading's 1,045m, after which came his three-timer at Sittingbourne, during the course of which he lowered the mark for the new trip by almost two seconds. He is owned by the Lindens Racing Syndicate, and was bred by Derek Kehoe, of New Birmingham, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.
A son of the American Derby winner Kiowa Sweet Joe, he is out of Slaneyside Tanya, who, being a Smooth Rumble bitch, could be expected to stay.
She raced over distances up to 840 yards, winning over 730 yards at Waterford and 525 yards at Kilkenny and Waterford. Three of her littermates won minor six-bend opens in Britain.
The Kiowa Sweet Joe litter was her first, after which she had a fruitless coupling with Droopys Kewell in 2005.
Granddam Slaneyside Miss came from a litter that contained top heat graders at Catford and Wimbledon and a pounds 100 Canterbury open winner. Nothing startling, but as a younger full-sister to Slaneyside Hare she had obvious attractions as a breeding proposition.
Racing Post MD Jeremy Reed presents the Stayers' trophy after Calzaghe Frisby win. (l-r) Billy Woodward, Sue and Ted Soppitt, Ian Bellamy, Keith Roberts and Chris Brookes