The Coral Golden Sprint over 400 metre starts in three weeks’ time. Before then there are two open race cards at Romford for greyhounds to show their potential before a tilt at the £10,000 to the winner competition. In preparation for it the Essex venue have put on a bevvy of trial stakes for us to enjoy and learn from – writes Rob Abrey.
They have also put on a maiden competition over C&D starting tonight and finishing next week, in time for the Golden Sprint the following week. As ever there are greyhounds making their Romford debuts and true to form I have endeavoured to find out more about one from each of the three heats.
Yarmouth trainer Paul Burr knows what it takes to win around Romford and showed it last week with two wins with Swift Cope and Roxys Mohawk over 400 and 285 metres. This week he tries Shelone Milo around the Essex venue for the first time in heat one of the Romford Friday night 500 maidens at 6.09pm. The April ’19 whelp has had all of his seven races at home track Yarmouth winning three. Those wins came in A3, A2 and A1 graded races over 462 metres. Tonight, the son of Droopys Jet and Shelone Gem drops down in trip and that could prove beneficial for the early paced sort. If taking to Romford he may not be a maiden for very long.
Paul on him said: “He went through the high grades at Yarmouth well. He has a nice lot of early and I think a lot of the dog. He has won an A1 at Yarmouth and although there are grades within grades that race would be considered the top couple in terms of quality.
“I think Romford will suit him. He has trap three and that should not be a problem first time up at Romford. He has enough early pace, at Yarmouth he has done a 5.34 split which is very good. If he breaks level, he could pace up. He is still only a puppy and we are looking for a good run from him.
“The plan is to enter him for the Golden Sprint. That obviously depends on how he takes to the track. With his early pace he should.”
Skybet are 6/1 top price for the Yarmouth raider to win first time up at Romford.
Henlow trainer Derrick Atkins travels ‘dahn sarf’ from his Mansfield base to try his charge, Savana Sunlight at Romford for the first time. The June ‘19 whelp goes in heat two at 6.28pm and will be looking to claim the spoils first time up.
The daughter of Ballybough Mike and Droopys Cuckoo has won three from eight races so far. All those wins were at Henlow over 460 metres in A7, A6 and A4 graded affairs. Her last two races have been at Nottingham over 480 metres where she finished fourth and third. Tonight, the pacey sort drops down to 400 metres and that could prove ideal. She clearly has early pace and needs to utilise that tonight.
Derrick on her said: “She has got early pace. If she comes out she has every chance I would have thought. We haven’t trialled her before Friday but think she will take to the track. If she is going to come out, she is going to come out.
“I think she will trap. She trapped first time at Nottingham. She ran well both times there. If she was inside the other dog the other day she may of gone closer.
“She has trap three and that is okay for her. She is better on the inside but she will go up straight and then cut in.
“She is a nice bitch with nice early pace. It will be nice to see her in the first two. If not we will run her again in another maiden. We hope to have some fun with her.
“We are not aiming her for the Golden Sprint. She is a bit too young for that.”
The youngster has split opinion with the bookies with Ladbrokes and Corals offering 6/1 while Skybet are short as 7/2.
Ballymac Burcan not only makes his Romford debut tonight but also his race debut for Crayford trainer Allison Kelly-Pilgrim. The August ’18 whelp has only had one race on these shores at Newcastle under Stuart Tighe which he won in an A1 graded affair. Since being with Allison the son of Ballymac Vic and Droopys Casey has had two trials at Monmore over 264 and 400 metres. To win at Newcastle in his first race in top grade shows he has some talent and why he was bought. The 480 metres trip looked a tad on the long side for him and tonight’s 400 metre trip could be right up his street.
Allison on him said: “He has come from Newcastle. We gave him a four bend trial at Monmore but it proved messy and we didn’t get to see what he could do. He has early pace and thought we would go to Romford with him. He hasn’t had a look around there but is good enough to run without a trial.
“We are hoping he runs well. Getting to the final will be a ‘Brucey bonus’. Win, lose or draw he will be back at Romford. He will be staying for the Golden Sprint, that’s the plan all being well.
“He showed nice early at Newcastle. He has trap two and that should be okay. He is more rails than middle. He has had enough races in Ireland to know where he wants to be.”
Ladbrokes are top price 4/1 for the former Newcastle raider to make it two from two on these shores.