Tyrap Dragi

TYRAP DRAGI (8-1), supplying his trainer Jason Heath with the most important success of flourishing career, covered himself in glory before his home crowd when landing a particularly eventful final of the £10,000 Coral Regency (695m) at Hove in 2017.

Slick Strauss moved up fast to take the field along until the fourth bend where Tyrap Dragi, who had quickly secured a prominent position from the outside berth, nipped inside the pacesetter and stormed into the lead.

Halfway down the far side on the final lap Tyrap Dragi was a length ahead of Slick Strauss with Kentish Fame and Aayamza Breeze, who were both now on the heels of the leaders, close enough if good enough in third and fourth, while there was a gap back to Fearsome Phantom and Rubys Rascal was detached from the group at the rear.

TYRAP DRAGI: He provided local handler Jason Heath with the most important success of his career when landing the 2017 Coral Regency (695 metres) at Hove.

The long run for home between the fifth and sixth bends proved key in the destiny of the title and disaster struck the fortunes of the favourite - Aayamza Breeze (5-4F), who was sandwiched between Slick Strauss and Kentish Fame when attempting to make a forward move, took a crashing fall – and Tyrap Dragi extended his advantage following the melee to become the fourth locally-trained winner since the competition reverted back to 695m in 2006.

Tyrap Dragi (41.94sec), who maintained a strong gallop after forcing his way to the front, passed the winning post with more than three lengths to spare over Slick Strauss and the staying-on Rubys Rascal a further length-and-quarter in third.

Fearsome Phantom, twice badly baulked during the race, occupied fourth spot ahead of Kentish Fame and Aayamza Breeze, who happily picked herself up off the floor to complete the course, was beaten a distance in sixth.

Heath, who originally learned his craft as a kennelhand with Graham Holland at Hove sixteen years ago before becoming assistant trainer to Tony Lucas, secured a training appointment in 2011 and enjoyed his most successful season on the domestic scene to date last year with 458 graded winners from 2753 runners.

“It’s rewarding when you have put the work in and it pays off,” said Heath on the podium afterwards. “We started with nothing, we had only 14 dogs in the kennel when I first got the job at Hove - we’ve built it up and built it up since.”

Heath now plans to give Tyrap Dragi, who is co-owned by Mark Charman and night-club owner Leroy Zarghani, a couple of weeks off and the intention is to eventually enter him in a six-bend open on Greyhound Derby final night at Towcester.

“He showed awesome middle pace to get to the front and, when I looked to see where Mark Wallis’s dogs were during the race, I knew then that he could win it,” said Heath. “And when Tyrap Dragi went over the line in front I couldn’t believe it – it was fantastic!”

2017 CORAL REGENCY FINAL (695 metres) RESULT – May 3

1 TYRAP DRAGI (6) 8-1 J. Heath

2 SLICK STRAUSS (1) 8-1 P. Janssens

3 RUBYS RASCAL (4) 9-4 M. Wallis

4 FEARSOME PHANTOM (3) 7-1 P. Rosney

5 KENTISH FAME (2) 14-1 A. Collett

6 AAYAMZA BREEZE (5) 5-4F M. Wallis

41.94 3 ¼, 1 ¼, 1, 2 ½, dis

Written by Patrick Kelly