Peterborough RM James Chalkley is already planning for next year’s Alan Speechley Fengate Collar before the 2019 version even gets underway writes Floyd Amphlett.

The 18 runner event received just short of 50 entries when only 18 were required.

He said: “Naturally there will be some disappointed connections for those who did not get in, but on a positive note there is perhaps potential to hold a bigger version of the event next year.

“The sponsors have been fantastic as always and maybe it is something they will want to consider. It also bodes well for other opens and competitions that we have big plans for in 2020.”

Needless to say there is no shortage of quality on show for Wednesday’s first round including defending champion Fernhill Rex and the Wisbech born ‘Signature’ runners Dancer and Callum.

Chalkey has his own views stating, “Rob Roy caught the eye when clocking 25.98 (N) in an intro trial last Wednesday and the East Anglian Challenge winner could be the one to beat here in the Collar. Local veteran Cracker Joke has been in fine form for Georgina Creckendon.”

Those of slightly older vintage will suspect a double bluff with the name ‘Pruhs’ appearing three times in the advanced runners list.

The man from Spalding first won the event in 1996 with Spring Gamble. Then again in 2000 with Catunda Lord, and again in 2004 with Ballydaniel Bozz.

Overdue another one surely?

Supporting the big race are the heats of the 620 metre Stayers Trophy and the 250 metres Sprint Trophy – both sponsored by S&D Bookmakers.

For the stayers event Chalkley says: “Peterborough’s track Record holder Sensual is included in the line-up. The bitch is perhaps not the force of old but will enjoy the home advantage and step back up in trip. Brighton Belle finalist Baran Spitfire has drawn in a heat against Richard Devenish’s Twit Twoo who is currently fastest of the year over C&D – 38.02 calc.”

For the sprint, the RM suggests: “I imagine Lemon Jetson, locally trained by David Pruhs will be one of the shorter anti-poste favourites for the sprint event. It has a very handy strike rate of 12 wins from 27 open races, but interestingly has failed to score in any of it’s graded races at Peterborough.”

He adds: “I would like to place on record my thanks to the Sponsors, Alan Speechley and S&D Bookmakers for their generous support with this event. For anyone joining us on Saturday 16th November the sponsoring on-course bookmakers will also have a pitch upstairs in the grandstand as well as the main betting ring outside which I’m sure will prove popular with punters once again.

“We have advertised a wide range of supporting opens for final night which will make it a great card! In additional we are pulling together an 805m A.J.Speechley Electrical Marathon Invitational with enhanced prize money which is £500 + trophy to the winner, £100 for 2nd and £50 others.”

Entries for finals night close at noon on Thursday and can be made to the racing office on 01733 296930.