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Magical Bluebear wins £12,500 Arena Racing Company Kent Silver Salver at Central Park

Hopes of a local winner were dashed at Saturday’s Arena Racing Company Kent Silver Salver final.

Walderslade’s Dan Brabon was chasing his first Category One success in the £12,500 showdown at Sittingbourne’s Central Park but his runner, Killuran Bella, finished last.

Magical Bluebear came out on top in Saturday's finale. Picture: Fortitude Communications
Magical Bluebear came out on top in Saturday's finale. Picture: Fortitude Communications

Instead there was another first-time Category One winner in the Russell family from Telford, courtesy of Magical Bluebear.

The Russells have more than 50 years’ experience training greyhounds but had never celebrated a major victory - until the weekend.

Grandfather William watched the action at home while son Mark and his daughter Emily, plus her cousin Lee - who paraded the greyhound in front of a busy grandstand - made the 400-mile round trip.

It broke new ground for the Russells, who train 20 dogs and are attached to Perry Barr Stadium in Birmingham.

“It’s crazy - and it hasn’t sunk in,” Mark said. “We’re thrilled for Karen and Gary (Phillips, owners) - they couldn’t be there in person but were watching from afar.

“He ran a great race, he’s not usually the quickest greyhound out from the boxes. But he’s quick into stride and can take a few lengths out of dogs into the first bend, which is what he did on Saturday.

“It’s a dream - I watched the race from the far side of the track and he got the better of My Lennie [in trap six] by holding the inside. It was a good night all round as Westwell Dora won earlier on the card so we went home very happy.”

Sent off as 2/1 second favourite, Magical Bluebear stopped the clock at the end of the 277m trip at 16.24sec - only 0.13 outside the Central Park track record held by Rossa Rise.

Adam Sear’s My Lennie finished second while David Mullins’ Droopys Standard was third. Guzzler for Belinda Green was fourth and Romeo Crusade, also from the Mullins kennel, was fifth.

Greyhound racing continues at Central Park Stadium on Saturday nights through 2024, with 12 races scheduled from 6.37pm each weekend. For more information and ticket details, visit centralpark-greyhounds.co.uk

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