The semi-finals of the 74th Swindon Two Year Old Produce Stakes takes centre-stage at the track on Monday. First run in 1946 at Eastville Stadium in Bristol, the competition switched to Swindon in 1997 and has never looked back. The competition is only open to British Bred greyhounds only and boasts an illustrious roll of honour. In recent years, the competition has been won by the likes of Take The Crown (2014), King Elvis (2017) and King Sheeran (2019), with the latter being a semi-finalist in last year’s Greyhound Derby.
We have previewed the semi-finals with our selections ahead of what promises to be another fantastic renewal of an event with a rich heritage.
The first semi-final can go to Liz and Rab McNair. Queen Franklin bolted up in her second round with an emphatic four and a half-length victory. She showed plenty of early pace on that occasion and the draw in a trap six again is a major positive. If she breaks nicely, she is all but guaranteed a clear run to the bend and looks the one to be on here. Her main market rival could Amka Rofe who bolted up in his opening heat and then was quite disappointing when only third in the second-round. He therefore needs to take another step forward here. Deeteedee Merlin has finished second in his two heats, but cannot be written off whilst Queen Lilly has filled the placings in her two heats, but is another who could take a step forward. However, Queen Franklin looks perfectly drawn in a trap six and can make her class tell here.
Long live the Queen. One of the most remarkable dogs in training, Queen Jessiej can add another success to her glittering CV. She has looked impressive in both of her starts, overcoming trap three in her opening heat and trap two in the second round. She was particularly impressive in the second round and posted one of the fastest times of the competition so far. She shows tremendous early from the traps and a reproduction of her last two runs will make her very hard to beat. Kevin Hutton’s Denmark looks to be the main danger as he returned to winning ways with a front-running success in the second round. However, that came in quite an average time and he will need to step up on that to challenge Queen Jessiej, whilst he is not ideally drawn in trap three. Acomb Winston met trouble in running and was slow away in the second round when failing to justify odds-on favouritism. However, he had previously bolted up five lengths in his opening round so is another to consider in an excellent semi-final. However, there are very few chinks in Queen Jessiej’s armour. She is in the form of her life and is bound to be suited by her draw in trap one. If she shows good early, she wins.
The trappiest of the three semi-finals in which a case can be made for all six runners. Deeteedee Viper gets the vote given the fact he is unbeaten in the competition thus far and has looked impressive. He has so far trapped very poorly, but has shown a phenomenal turn of foot to take the lead in the home straight in both rounds. He can’t afford to keep being tardy from the boxes and but he seems to be learning all the time and can progress again here. Houston Main is a serious player in trap four however. He is also unbeaten in the competition and his odds of 12/1 and 9/1 in both rounds highlight the surprising manner of his wins. However, he posted a good time in the second round and is clearly a dog in the form of his life. He defeated Liberty Belle on that occasion who has run two fine races in defeat in both rounds and is another to consider along with Acomb Lillian who won her second round heat with a gutsy performance in a quick time. However, despite worries about his trapping ability. Deeteedee Viper gets the vote.
NAP: 12:28: Swindon: Queen Jessiej (Trap One)