The Essex Vase, the final category one competition at Romford this year starts on Friday 22nd of this month. With only two Friday’s left before the historic event over 575 metres starts, several greyhounds are making their six bend debuts in preparation for it for a possible tilt at it. 

With a maiden stayers competition starting tonight over 575 metres what better way to test for stamina. As ever yours truly has endeavoured to find out more about one from each of the three heats along with one other.

Followers of the open scene will not need to be introduced to Brinkleys Poet. Trained by Mark Wallis, the winner of the Gymcrack at Kinsley last year tonight attempts the longest distance of his career so far. Entered in a standard stayersaffair over 575 metres at 7.17pm, the son of Scolari Me Daddy and Kilara Lizzie has already won two races over six bends after being stepped up. Those wins were at Crayford over 540 metres. Winning over that distance suggests the trip tonight is achievable for the May ’16 whelp. He has had a look around Romford before with a 400 metres trial back in September clocking a calculated time of 24.24, so does go into tonight with some track experience.

Mark on him said: “We will find out tomorrow if he gets the trip. He stays over 540 metres okay at Crayford when he led. He seems okay over six bends when he leads. He wont come from behind. He is all about leading up from the start.

“We have made the successful transformation from four bends to six before and if he does it will open a few doors and give us options. If he doesn’t we will drop him back to four bends.

“Romford should suit him. Hopefully he goes well. If he does then the Essex Vase is the target for him in a few weeks.”

Skybet are top price 10/11 for him win over the furthest distance of his race career to date.


Piemans Star makes his six bend race debut tonight in heat one of the Romford Friday night 500 maiden stayers at 9.26pm. Trained by David Mullins the son of Scolari Me Daddy and Noelles Chiquito has won open races at Central Park and Nottingham over 480 and 500 metres but is yet to attempt six bends in race conditions. That changes tonight for the May’17 whelp. He certainly has early and has proved that when winning over 400 metres at Romford in an open race. He has had a recent trial over C&D at Romford clocking a calculated time of 35.84 along with a very fast split time of 13.49. He would be expected to improve on that.

Jim Parker, head of the Piemans racing club on him said: “It’s a real doubt whether he stays. We are not sure he does. He has not been getting on the bunny over four bends and would like to give him a chance to get on it.

“If it was over 400 metres he would be a short price but it’s not. Apparently after his trial he was out on his feet coming home. It’s just a try really. He has some real good form and has a good chance to get on the bunny.

“I wouldn’t be over confident about it. He wouldn’t be a banker. He’s not an old dog and only time will tell. It is worth trying.

“We didn’t buy him as a stayer and nothing in the litter is running over further. The greyhound on his inside [Market Member] is actually his litter sister and look like they are doing the same as us.”

He is evens with Skybet to win over six bends at the first attempt.


Henlow handler Danny Riordan knows what it takes to win around Romford. Tonight he tries his Burgess Paradise over six bends for the first time. In heat two at 9.41pm, the son of Cashen Legend and Paradise Siesta will be looking to shed his maiden tag at the first time of asking. Although racing at Romford for the first time, the July ’17 whelp does have track experience with trials over 400 and 225 metres. On his travels he has won over 480 and 500 metres at Central Park which indicates he could get the distance tonight.

Danny said: “We don’t know if he stays. I wouldn’t be favouring him too much yet. It’s wait and see with him. We thought we would be give him a spin and see how he gets on. “He has been running on at Central Park but not sure what he was up against in terms of other stayers.

“He started off well at Central Park but hasn’t been at his best in his last two there.

“I’m not sure if Romford will suit him but it’s my local track and and wanted to try him. The hope is he qualifies but Friday is more of a watching brief.”

Skybet make him a 3/1 shot to win over six bends at the first time of asking.


Antigua Sky is making her Romford race and six bend debut tonight for trainer Mark Wallis in heat three at 9.56pm. The daughter of Droopys Jet and Basket Of Trumps has only had one previous race on these shores which was at Monmore over 480 metres finishing fifth. In Ireland she has won over 549 metres at Shelbourne Park which bodes well going in tonight’s race over 575 metres. The September ’17 whelp has had one trial over 400 metres recently clocking a solid calculated time of 24.38.

Mark said: “She will definitely stay, no question there. Over in Ireland she was not doing any running until half way through her race.

“She is only 13/14 weeks out of season and is probably not forward enough out of season yet. She will do well to get in the Essex Vase and not sure we will enter her as she is not quite forward enough from season yet.

“She is one for next year.”

Skybet make her 11/4 to win around the Essex venue first time up.


Regular followers of this column may have had a nice little winner last week curtesy of Fabulous Mila and John Mullins. John on her last week before her maiden stayers race said “….100% she will get it.” She did indeed and returned a very welcome 7/1 SP.
It pays to follow this column.