The Heilbron surname could be etched onto the Premier Greyhound Racing All England Cup trophy for a second time on Thursday when Bogger Rambo goes for the £20,000 first prize.
Trained by Tom Heilbron, Bogger Rambo hopes to follow in the footsteps of 2014 champion Newinn Yolo – who was owned by Tom’s father Kevin.
The two-year-old black dog only arrived on UK shores last month and is unbeaten from three starts at Newcastle having won an additional nine races in Ireland before switching to Tom’s kennels in Trimdon.
Making it four from four at the Fossway venue on Thursday would not only gift Tom a perfect late Christmas present, but also mark a fourth Category One triumph of the year for his team.
And it would be a family occasion too with Tom’s father Kevin planning a trip trackside to watch the race he proudly won as an owner exactly nine years ago.
“He (Bogger Rambo) has taken to the Newcastle track really well and led every yard of his three races with us,” said Tom. “His strength is getting out in front early, and that’s what we’ll need to see again in Thursday’s final.
“We’ve been fortunate to have trap one in our races to date, so the draw in trap three isn’t ideal. But that’s the nature of racing at this level. Without discrediting the other finalists, we certainly wouldn’t swap him.
“This has been his target since he joined the kennel so to win would be a great achievement, and I still believe there’s more to come from him. My father is coming along to watch as well so it would mean a lot to everyone to win.”
Bogger Rambo is one of one of four local hopes contesting the northeast’s most prestigious competition with Savva Roberts’ Pape Di Oro, Raymond Hale’s Swift Silly and Witton Venus from the Jill Sutherst kennel also lining up.
Sunderland-based Harry Burton runs recent Arena Racing Company Classic champion Jonny Whiskers while Cambridgeshire’s Nathan Hunt is represented by Antigua Eclipse.
Ahead of the race, Tom said the final represents one of the strongest Category One finals of the year and paid tribute to Premier Greyhound Racing for their backing of the competition.
“The quality of the race is so good,” said Tom. “It’s good enough to be a Derby final, in my opinion.
“Premier Greyhound Racing deserve a lot of credit for putting this fixture on. The prize money they are committing to the sport is the reason why trainers and owners are so enthusiastic to travel.
“Best of luck to all connections who deserve to be there.”
The 2023 Premier Greyhound Racing All England Cup Grand Final will take place at Newcastle Stadium on Thursday, December 28, at 8.46pm. The supporting card features 12 races with the first race due off at 6.19pm.
Tickets are on sale from the Newcastle Stadium website from £7.
2023 Premier Greyhound Racing All England Cup Final:
Trap One – Antigua Eclipse
Trap Two – Pape Di Oro
Trap Three – Bogger Rambo
Trap Four – Swift Silly
Trap Five – Jonny Whiskers
Trap Six – Witton Venus