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Greyhounds: Snowey storms in; Local champion returns to form in Laurels second round heat.

SPOONBILL SNOWEY is back as Laurels favourite after a stunning performance in Saturday's second round at Belle Vue, which saw Michael Bacon's charge lead home Ceekay by a length and a half in the William Hill-sponsored Classic.

Easy to back at 7-4 as wary punters avoided the local champion after his disappointing display in the first round, he nevertheless showed dazzling early speed to take a two lengths lead at the bend.

Ceekay appeared to close at the third bend but the Peterborough Derby winner kicked on again as they turned for home to score comfortably in a fastest of the night 28.01sec for the 460 metres.

Winning trainer Bacon said afterwards: "There's no question he needed the run on Tuesday having been off the track for three weeks. He also suffered a bit of a track leg injury which we treated and I was fairly confident he'd show up much better tonight.

"He's drawn by far the tougher of the two semi-finals and we'd have preferred trap six but he has a tremendous record round here and we're quietly confident."

Ardant Jimmy landed his maiden open race victory in some style when taking heat two in a smart 28.19sec.

Sandra Ralph's two-year-old, sent off an 8-1 chance, led his field on the dash to the bend where Ratsatory moved off from his rails position causing havoc on the outside.

A two lengths lead was soon extended to five and, although visibly tiring on the run-in, Ardant Jimmy crossed the line over three lengths clear of nearest pursuer Tippins Garden.

A delighted owner Mike Bandurak said: "He was all over the course on his first look at the track but still finished a fairly close third to Velvet Return and we thought he had a great chance tonight. He has plenty of early but was struggling to see out the 480 metres at Monmore. This trip is about ideal."

A tremendous display of trackcraft saw Velvet Return come from last to first in the night's opening heat.

A market drifter from evens out to 13-8, she looked out of the event when trailing the field to the first turn. However, she was handed a lifeline as Top Blaze moved off taking out Glendon Quarry and Hold Position.

Up front, Shanmoyle Buddy was leading the way closely followed by Ballylin Comet. But the latter inexplicably checked off when challenging at the third, allowing Velvet Return into contention and she proved by far the stronger on the run-in to score by three parts of a length in 28.42sec.

Leading fancy Reactabond Gold was eliminated from the event after missing his break and finding trouble in heat four. Ballygalda Mike led early but was passed by Public Areesh at the halfway point.

However, the fastest first round winner had no answer to `Mike's' renewed challenge and succumbed by a length and a half to the 28.34sec winner.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:Meldrum, Peter
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Oct 12, 1998
Words:488
Previous Article:Greyhounds: Flash eyes second win in National.
Next Article:Greyhounds: 5-4 Hombre looks the Essex Vase value; Open Check.


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