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No bullseye for Withernsea as BBC arrows in on Doncaster

Tony Hamilton in the dartboard silks of Tiffin Sandwiches
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When The One Show turns up at the races, you know something unusual must be going on.

This is a programme that is renowned for inviting Theresa May or Mel Brooks to sit on the sofa and have them watch clips of the modern-day equivalent of the skateboarding duck.

The BBC camera crew and veteran DJ-turned middle-brow mic wielder Andy Kershaw weren't at Doncaster to assess the effect of the draw in the Lincoln.

Nor were they particularly interested in the winner after the big race. They seemed only to have eyes for the jockey on the horse who finished 17th.

Withernsea failed to hit the target in the Lincoln

But then, if you'd seen Tony Hamilton, before, during or after the one minute and 50 seconds it took for him to complete the course on the Richard Fahey-trained Withernsea you'd know exactly why.

Nobody could miss Hartlepool's finest as he was resplendent in striking yellow and black dartboard colours, which were making their first appearance on a British racecourse.

They were offered at the BHA auction of new and rare colours at Sotheby's last November and snapped up for £8,500 by Bradford-based catering suppliers Tiffin Sandwiches.

Bullseye! Darts silks spark bidding war but Eclipse skin fails to meet reserve

"We've got a colleague who plays darts for Yorkshire and we saw the dartboard colours," explained the firm's racing manager Michael Ryan.

"He's a very good player, Derek Lumley – 'the double decker', they call him – and we're trying to get to the Lakeside and the BBC tournament there so that's why we chose them."

Whether or not Lumley gets to trade arrows with the top guns on the oche, Tiffin Sandwiches are certainly aiming for double-top on the course this summer, with stalwart handicapper Cullingworth joined by 100,000gns buy Escobar.

Escobar: Listed winner will also run in the striking silks this season

And there should be other days for Withernsea when the ground dries up this summer.

"He ran all right but the weather was against him," Ryan said. "But there's the whole season to come."

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He's a very good player, Derek Lumley - 'the double decker', they call him - and we're trying to get to the Lakeside and the BBC tournament there
E.W. Terms
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