To mark his appearance on RPGTV later today – our regular Romford columnist Rob Abrey has penned a one-off Nottingham Round Up, working to the same formula. A reminder of the card
Reading this column today does not mean it’s the end of the working week already. There are still four working days until the weekend arrives but to help you to enjoy the Bank holiday even more I’m covering Nottingham. I’m making my Racing Post TV debut tonight and thought I would get involved into tonight’s open action. With a puppy competition starting and several greyhounds making their Nottingham debuts, as usual I have endeavoured to find out more about some of them.
Sunderland trainer Yvonne Bell is tackling Nottingham tonight with a trio of greyhounds. Two are in tonight’s greyhound Media Group puppy trophy competition over 480 metres while the other one is in a standard open race affair.
First up for team Bell is Fairholme Posh in heat one at 8.22pm. The September ’16 whelp is coming on nicely at home track Sunderland. The daughter of Taylors Sky and Posh Pawn has moved up the grades winning in A4, A3 and A2 races. That A1 win remains elusive at the moment with two failed attempts despite going off as Evens and 5/4 favourite. She has had one previous attempt at open race level when managing fourth at Kinsley in the first round of the Gymcrack. She is heading in the right direction and it won’t be long before until she wins an open race.
Trainer Bell on Fairholme Posh, the first of her runners said: “We seeded her middle as she moved off to the middle but doesn’t want to be as far out as trap five.
“We threw her in at the deep end at Kinsley for the Gymcrack but she never got a run.
“She stays better than Fairholme Sky and looks a stronger stayer. We don’t know how she will get on as it is her first time at the track. We hope she takes to Nottingham”.
In the following heat at 8.37pm sees Fairholme Posh’s brother Fairholme Sky run for team Bell. Like his sister the September ’16 whelp will be trying to make it a family affair in next week’s final. Like his sister he has gone through the grades with ease. In January he started a five race winning streak in an A5 graded race, winning an A4, A3, A2 and A1 afterwards. In each of those races he won as favourite. At his home track he will be a punters pal and disliked by the layers. Like his sister he went to the Gymcrack but did better by managing to reach the semi-finals before being eliminated. He is currently in fine fettle with another top grade win at Sunderland over 450 metres recently.
Trainer Bell on Fairholme Sky said: “We took him to Kinsley but he struggled with the traps and never mastered them. He failed to come away and had to do it the hard way. After he was eliminated we took him back again for a one off open and again he struggled at the traps. We couldn’t fault him as he was virtually last at the first bend and ran on and came second.
“We hope he can stay 480 metres. He runs on strong to the pick up at Sunderland over 450 metres. He has bounced through the grades and has been running against mature dogs in top heats. Both of them have great back straight pace. They are only September ’16 pups and are coming along nicely”.
Affane Buck is making his four bend open race debut for Perry Barr trainer Ken Humphreys in heat three at 8.51pm. The August ’16 whelp has had only three races so far winning one. That win came at Perry Barr over 480 metres in A2 graded company. The other two races were over 305 metres at Nottingham in open races. On both occasions the son of Vans Escalade and Affane Katie cam e second showing he does process early. In those races he clocked calculated times of 18.21 and 18.04 seconds. With track experience, consistency and early pace he may pose a threat to the others in the race and the competition itself.
Trainer Ken Humphrys on Affane Buck said: “He looks a great dog. He has the same mother as Affane Party who is very good. I put him in sprints to get him used to the track and gain experience. Without adding the going in one of the sprints he went under 18 seconds which is very good.
“He’s definitely a four bend dog. He will get 480 metres easy. He did 28.75 seconds at Perry Barr in his first appearance which is a fair run. He is not two until August.
“I’m happy with trap one. That is a great draw for him. I’m hoping he will lead and win on Monday.”
The last runner for team Bell tonight is Onedin Paradise in a standard one off open race over 480 metres at 9.22pm. The May ’16 whelp has only had five races so far on these shores but has won three of them, an impressive strike rate of 60%. The son of Paradise Madison and Energise has hit the ground running with two top graded wins at home track Sunderland and an open win at Newcastle. That Newcastle win was encouraging as he did it without a trial, winning first time up. Something he needs to do again tonight. He has bundles of early and looks like he gets 480 metres. If taking to Nottingham like he did at Newcastle, trainer Yvonne Bell could be going home with at least one win tonight.
Trainer Bell on Onedin Paradise said: “I know he stays 480 metres, he gets the trip. He has early pace but it depends how much early is around him as well. At Newcastle he cracked out and led all the way. In his second race there he never got a run.
“If he shows his early pace on Monday he won’t run a bad race. Trap four is not too bad for him as he moved off a bit at Newcastle after he led.”
On all three of her charges I posed the cheeky question on who she thinks could go best tonight. To that Bell replied: “I would say Onedin Paradise from the three. He has the best chance. None of them are out of their depth and all have a bit of a chance.”
In a potentially scrappy race the 14/1 being offered by William Hills looks far too big. He has done it before at a big price and could spring another surprise tonight.
In the lucky last but not on Racing Post TV, James Boy for trainer Alan Bellis is making his race debut on these shores in a sprint race over 305 metres at 10.00pm. The July ’15 whelp although making his debut in England is no novice with over twenty races in Ireland. The son of Kinloch Brae and Gurteen Maldini in Ireland seemed to be more comfortable over sprint trips with wins at Longford over 302 metres. He has won over 480 metres at Lingford and Mullingar but looks more at home over two bends. Trainer Alan Bellis clearly knows this and has kept him to sprint trials at Doncaster and Nottingham. At Nottingham his two calculated sprint times in trials of 17.85 and 18.09 are impressive and it shouldn’t be long until he opens his account with a win.
On James Boy, trainer Alan Bellis said: “I fancy him a bit. He has done some flying clocks around the track. 17.85 seconds is a flying time over 305 metres. When I took him back a week later he clocked 18.09 which is still very good. On the same trial card Honour Turbo also trialled over 305 metres and he clocked 18.12. He went on and won a heat in the derby on Friday.
“The gentleman in Ireland I got him off said he had been running him over 480 metres as there was not many sprint options about but he does not get 480 metres.
“I will keep him to sprints for now and think about taking him to Romford as he looks ideal for the track.
“He has nice early and proved that at Longford. Don’t be surprised if he flashes out the traps and wins.”