Wallis secures trio of Championships
Mark Wallis highlighted the strength and depth he possesses among his ranks this year after landing a third Gain GTA Trainers’ Championship at Towcester on Saturday.
After being agonisingly denied by Kevin Hutton in a final race decided at the Northamptonshire track 12 months ago, the Lakenheath handler inflicted his revenge to secure the £5,000 first prize for the first time since 2010 with a contest to spare.
“It has been a long time coming since our last one in 2010. These events are always fabulous occasions,” said Wallis.
“We’ve been on the wrong end of a couple of leads and getting caught but that was not the case tonight.
“The dogs have all run fantastic especially after the draws didn’t work out very well.
“Nobody was tipping us up or talking about us winning but I had confidence in the dogs that they could run well.
“A massive thanks go out to all the staff as although it is my name above Imperial Kennels it’s a team effort.”
Having trailed early pace setter Liz McNair by 10 points after the first two races Wallis surged to into the lead thanks to wins from Brinkleys Twirl and Garryglass Champ,
Victories for Madabout Maggie and Magical Bale moved defending champion Hutton to within two points of the top, but Rubys Rascal ensured the title was to go the way of Wallis when taking victory in race seven, with Hutton’s representative Jovial Monk coming last.
Irish Derby runner-up Black Farren ensured the night ended on a high for the nine times champion trainer with victory in the finale.
“We had some tactical runners in there with Saleen Ash and Bombers Bullet whose second places were just as important as the four winners we had,” said Wallis.
“The highlight without a shadow of a doubt was Rubys Rascal.
“He is the oldest member of our team and he has been around for two and a half years.
“He looked out with the washing but to come from where he did to nab the race on the line was sensational. What a way to bring the trophy home.”
Wallis will field a team of eight in the opening round of the Coral Regency at Hove tonight before unleashing Parkers Dynamite and Swift Dartmoor in the final of the John Smith’s Grand National at Central Park tomorrow night.
“We’ve got a strong team in the Regency with the likes of Rubys Rascal and Kiltrea Mike,” said Wallis.
“Aayama Breeze won well in a trial last week and it would be a great story if she won it this year after being knocked over in last year’s final.
“Razldazl Radio is the defending champion in the Grand National but our two are very much up and coming hurdlers.”
Meanwhile, Hockwold-based Patrick Janssens, who finished fifth behind Wallis on Saturday, will send out six runners in the Regency tonight spearheaded by last year’s runner-up Slick Strauss.