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Paddy's quick on the draw to take Golden Jacket glory; Don't beat around the Bush with 16-1 Paddy.

Byline: Paul Brown; Jonathan Hobbs

BUSH PADDY utilised his trap one slot to decisive effect to land yesterday's pounds 15,000-to-the-winner Ladbrokes Golden Jacket, the showpiece of the Bags year, over 714m at Crayford.

Defending champion Group Skater had a tough draw in five to cope with, but the Irish raider took a flier and began to tack across on the run-up as he looked to get to his favoured rails position, effectively ending the challenges of Lottes Girl and Lorrys Options almost before they got started.

However, there was one rival in his way to prevent him from getting right across and that was Bush Paddy, who had also made a slick start.

Kelly Findlay's dog held his position as Group Skater tried t o come a c ro s s a n d t h e n shouldered his rival aside on the turn. Rancey Beauty was right on the premises as well but had to check wide, and in the scrimmaging Bush Paddy was gone. Mercury Peter ducked from out wide through a gap on the inside to take second out of the second bend, but was outpaced by Rancey Beauty down to the third. His stamina wore down that rival by the fifth, but they were all chasing shadows as Bush Paddy stormed to glory by over five lengths from Mercury Peter in 47.39sec, with Lottes Girl shading Group Skater for third.

The winner is owned by a syndicate of Wolves and Reading footballers headed by former Wimbledon player and now West Ham assistant manager Wally Downes.

John Gardner, representing Downes, said afterwards: "Obviously football committments meant they couldn't be here but the boys will be delighted. Wally especially loves his dogs - he had a share in [East Anglian Derby winner] Caseys Shadow a few years back and to win this fantastic trophy will be special to him.

"When he was playing for Wimbledon I had Market Mover who was the TV Trophy favourite. Wally took an interest and it all went from there."

Barnfield Rocky maintained his love affair with Crayford, notching the hat-trick with victory in the pounds 2,000 Peter Bussey Memorial over 540m. However, on this occasion Carly Philpott's dog really had to battle for the win.

His main rival, though, proved not to be Westmead Melanie as expected but rather 14-1 outside Eye Onthe Tempo. A lightning start saw Mark Wallis's dog take charge at the turn, whereas oddson Barnfield Rocky was hard pressed to clear Westmead Melanie on his inside after a moderate break, and had to ride his luck.

However, he just managed to shut the door on Kelly Findlay's bitch - who was forced to ease and lost all chance - at the first bend, and then set about catching the leader.

It was slow but sure stuff, and once he avoided his tiring rival off the penultimate turn, Barnfield Rocky was always going to win.

The other Wallis runner in the field, Goldies Destiny, was tapped for early and came with a late charge to grab second from his kennelmate but still was three-parts of length adrift of the 34.93sec winner at the line.

Winning owner Steve Murphy said afterwards: "He's running fantatically well, this 540m trip seem to be tailor-made for him, but to win from where he was at the first bend in the going and conditions shows what a great dog he is. It's amazing to think that in his early days people wondered if he'd stay four bends let alone six, albeit a soft six.

"Crayford hasn't been that lucky a track for me in the past but this has more than made up for it. Carly tells me he deserves a short rest then we'll see where to go."

Bridge Diamond bounced back to winning ways in emphatic style with an all-the-way success in the Ladbrokes Golden Jacket Invitation over the 714m trip.

Quickly into his stride, John Mullins' dog was in charge at the first bend, and although challenged initially by Bubbly Blues, kept up a relentless gallop that saw Frank Taylor's bitch a spent force by the seventh bend.

It was left to gallant Thank Will to lay down a flying late challenge after early trouble and again at the fourth turn, but he was never in danger of getting there, with Bridge Diamond crossing the line a length-and-three quarters to the good in 47.00sec.

Nebuchadnezzar grabbed the verdict in the first open of the day, the Chief Ramsbottom Hurdle final, to go one better than his effort last year, and match his success in the decider in 2009. However, even his most ardent fans would conceded that Lorraine Sams' veteran was more than a touch fortunate to take the spoils.

First to show were Bigstrongpup and Sizzlers Spirit, but they were hampered as Kauri Blue rushed up to take control. Bigstrongpup shrugged aside the early bother to set off after the leader, and by the fifth bend loomed inside as the local dog tired.

However, instead of going by and on to what looked the inevitable win, Jason Foster's dog took more of an interest in his rival, checking off to fight him and leaving a huge gap up rails.

Nebuchadnezzar needed no second invitation and scooted up the inside for a three-quarters of a length score in 35.89sec, w h i l e B i g s t rongpup was disqualified for his antics, a second red card thus ending his career.

The open action ended as it began with a disqualification, but this time it was winner Ayamzagirl who was marked in the 874m marathon.

MarkWallis's bitch caught longtime leader Capel Yankee on the line, but turned her head in doing so.

PHIL DONALDSONpinpointed yesterday's Golden Jacket hero ante-post to round off a very profitable competion for followers after having advised first round heat winners Group Skater (3-1) and Thank Will (7-1) as well.

CAPTION(S):

Home alone: Bush Paddy romps to victory from Mercury Peter (T6) with the rest of the field in the distance Kelly Findlay with the star of the show yesterday
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Feb 27, 2011
Words:1020
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