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    North West Ranger Emerges As The 66/1 Laurels Champion
North West Ranger Emerges As The 66/1 Laurels Champion
ARC Greyhound Laurels. Source: greyhoundstar.co.uk

North West Ranger Emerges As The 66/1 Laurels Champion

Following Richard Wales' triumph at the Grand Prix in Sunderland, the independent greyhound racing community in the North West celebrated their own victory as Kilwest Ranger, owned by former Chester regular Tony Harmes, clinched the £12,500 ARC-sponsored Greyhound Laurels at Perry Barr.

Starting the year in D2 at the same track, Kilwest Ranger, son of Droopys Sydney and Ballymac Sanjose, entered the Laurels decider as a 9/2 contender and surged to an early lead from trap six, maintaining the position throughout the race. Despite intense competition, including a valiant effort from Jet Stream Angel, Kilwest Ranger secured the win, although the race was marked by a first bend incident involving Wicky Hiker.

Trainer Tony Harmes, along with joint owner John McGrath and Chris Stokes, played a pivotal role in acquiring Kilwest Ranger. Initially recommended by a friend in Ireland, Ranger faced registration delays upon arrival, followed by performance setbacks. However, with the assistance of experts like Tom Peppercorn and Mark Skeech, underlying issues were addressed, leading to significant improvements in Ranger's performance.

With a notable maiden victory and an impressive trial time at Perry Barr, the decision to enter Kilwest Ranger in the Laurels was made, despite initial odds of 66/1. As Ranger's form continued to improve, confidence grew among the team, culminating in a stunning victory in the semi-finals and a dominant performance in the final.

Looking ahead, the team considers Oxford as a potential venue for Kilwest Ranger's future races, reflecting on the dog's remarkable journey from initial challenges to becoming a Laurels champion.

Additionally, it was reassuring to learn that Wicky Hiker sustained no serious injuries following the first bend incident, with trainer Phil Barlow expressing optimism about the greyhound's recovery and potential for future success in Category One finals.

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