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    Bet365 Challenge Cup Final Showdown: Havana Lover vs. Lively Lauren
Bet365 Challenge Cup Final Showdown: Havana Lover vs. Lively Lauren

Bet365 Challenge Cup Final Showdown: Havana Lover vs. Lively Lauren

The Bet365 Challenge Cup at Oxford is gearing up for a thrilling final this Friday, featuring a lively clash between Havana Lover and Lively Lauren. Both greyhounds have showcased excellent form, setting the stage for an intense battle with the coveted £10,000 prize hanging in the balance.

Lively Lauren kicked off the semi-finals impressively, securing her place in the final with a stellar performance. Clocking a 15.00sec sectional time, she claimed victory with a three-and-a-quarter length lead over competitors Mad For Sterling and track record holder Havana Top Note. The February 2021 daughter of Ballymac Anton and Art Of Illusion demonstrated her prowess, earning her a spot in a remarkable fourth Category One final with a winning time of 39.53sec (normal) over the 650m distance.

In the second semi-final, Havana Lover, an August 2020 daughter of Laughil Blake and Love Honey, showcased her affection for the Oxford track. Having previously won April’s Bet365 Hunt Cup over C&D, she delivered another impressive performance. Taking command early on, Havana Lover dominated the race, securing a commanding seven lengths-plus victory over Gutsy Jet and Minnie Bullet. The winning time of 39.48sec (normal) set the stage for an exciting final against Lively Lauren.

Simon Pearson, Oxford racing manager, expressed anticipation for the upcoming GBGB Category One final on RPGTV. He commended trainers Liz McNair and Mark Wallis for securing two finalists each, emphasizing the strong hand they bring to the competition.

While Havana Top Note holds the track record, Havana Lover is a Classic winner, making McNair and Wallis formidable contenders. Pearson acknowledged the quality of Mark's Minnie Bullet and Lively Lauren from Matt Dartnall's team, anticipating a fiercely competitive final.

He extended good wishes to all connections and expressed holiday greetings, looking forward to a prosperous year ahead at Oxford. Pearson highlighted the New Year's Day race card, promising a brilliant start to the year with all-open races across various distances and greyhound categories, including a maxi-marathon and standard marathon race. Entries for these races close on Thursday, December 28, at noon.

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