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    Russell Family Celebrates Historic Victory in Kent Silver Salver
Russell Family Celebrates Historic Victory in Kent Silver Salver
Russell family. Source: greyhoundstar.co.uk

Russell Family Celebrates Historic Victory in Kent Silver Salver

The Russell family, with over 50 years of experience in greyhound training, achieved their first major victory on Saturday night by winning the prestigious Arena Racing Company Kent Silver Salver—reports Shaun Reynolds.

The Russells were present at Central Park Stadium in Sittingbourne to witness their kennel star, Magical Bluebear, secure the £12,500 prize in the 70th edition of the Kent Silver Salver. Grandfather William watched from home, while his son Mark, daughter Emily, and her cousin Lee, who paraded the greyhound before a lively grandstand, made the 400-mile round trip from their base near Telford.

This victory marked a significant milestone for the Russell family, who train 20 dogs and are associated with Perry Barr Stadium in Birmingham. Until this weekend, they had never reached a Category One final, the highest level of UK greyhound racing. Returning home as champions, Mark expressed immense pride in his family’s achievement.

“It’s surreal—it hasn’t sunk in yet,” he said. “We’re thrilled for Karen and Gary (Phillips, owners), who couldn’t be there in person but were watching from afar.

“Magical Bluebear ran a fantastic race. He’s not usually the fastest out of the boxes, but he’s quick into stride and can gain a few lengths into the first bend, which he did on Saturday.

“It’s a dream come true. I watched the race from the far side of the track and saw him hold the inside against My Lennie (trap six). It was a great night overall as Westwell Dora also won earlier on the card, so we went home very happy.”

Sent off as the 2/1 second favourite, Magical Bluebear completed the 277m trip in 16.24 seconds—only 0.13 seconds shy of the Central Park track record held by Rossa Rise.

Adam Sear’s My Lennie finished second, while David Mullins’ Droopys Standard secured third place. Guzzler for Belinda Green, Romeo Crusade from the Mullins kennel, and local runner Killuran Bella for Daniel Brabon finished fourth, fifth, and sixth respectively.

The race concluded a bumper night of open racing, with highlights including a win for David Lee’s All Along in the Category Three Arena Racing Company Ladies. Additionally, Paul Donovan’s Tintreach Guns claimed the Arena Racing Company Maiden Trophy final, worth £1,000 to the winner. Donovan completed a treble later on the card when Asbo Lenny landed the Arena Racing Company Standard Trophy, following Fastlane Bex’s earlier win in the Maiden Sprint.

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