It’s Friday and certainly what is good about it is open racing at Romford writes Rob Abrey.
As usual the Essex track have put on a twelve race card, ten of which are opens. Amongst the two finals over 400 and 575 metres there is a maiden competition starting over 400 metres and one-off maidens over 575 and 750 metres. As ever there are several greyhounds making their Romford debuts and stepping up in trip and in some cases both. True to form yours truly has endeavoured to find out more about some of them.
The first of three heats of the Romford Friday night 500 maidens competition over 400 metres starts at 6.43pm and I’ve found out more about one from each of them. First up in the opening heat is Pro Melody trained by local handler Michelle Brown. The May ’19 whelp races at Romford for the first time tonight and for Michelle. The daughter of Tyrur Big Mike and Headford Fantasy was in the care of Monmore trainer Lee Field where she had fourteen races all over 480 metres, failing to win any. The switch to Romford and 400 metres could prove beneficial for her. She showed in recent trials over C&D that all is well and it may not be long before she opens her win account.
Michelle on her said: “It is her first race with us. We don’t know much about her yet. She got a bit lost at Monmore and went a bit wide. The tighter track at Romford should help her and give her confidence.
“Her first trial was a solo and was really good. She did a nice break and ran wide. She has a good draw in six. She seems to be wide at Romford from her two trials. We are still learning about her and will see what she can do.”
6/1 is generally available for her to win her first race.
Central Park trainer Barry O’Sullivan tackles Romford tonight with three of his charges, two of which are in heats two and two of the maiden competition. First up in heat two at 6.58pm is Peckham Boy. The August ’18 whelp runs away from home track Central Park for the first time tonight after eighteen races there. At the Kent track the son of Tarsna Havana and Coolree Nadene has won five races and interestingly one of those wins was over 265 metres in D1 company. That bodes well going in tonight’s race. The other four wins were over 480 metres so getting the trip tonight will not be a problem.
Barry on him said: “He doesn’t see 480 metres out very well and 285 metres is a bit short for him. Short four bend trips will suit him. 400 metres at Romford looks ideal for him.
“He tends not to start that well but paces up quick. He has bundles of pace. He doesn’t break but roars up to the bend. Romford should suit him, we like to think it will.
“Trap five shouldn’t be a problem for him, he has run from trap five at Central Park.”
Most ‘bookies’ are offering 4/1 for the Central Park raider to win at Romford first time up.
In heat three at 7.18pm, Cals Liberty steps up for ‘Team O’Sullivan’. The September ’18 whelp is not only making his Romford race debut but also his four bend one as well.
The son of Laughill Blake and Express Picnic has had all his nine races over 265 metres at Central Park winning six, an impressive strike rate of 66%. All those wins came in D1 graded affairs. He clearly has bundles of early to win six sprint races and that could prove very useful at Romford tonight. He has had one recent trial over C&D clocking a calculated time of 24.27 along with a 3.79 split showing the distance is well within his capabilities.
Barry on him said: “480 metres is too far for him and is why we kept him to sprints. 400 metres could be ideal for him. He did a nice trial and we expect him to come on from that.
“He doesn’t start that well but paces up really well. He did a 3.79 split in his trial which is pretty good. We gave him the trial and he ran Romford well, he has terrific pace up to the bend.
“He has trap four, he is a middle runner and that is okay for him.”
On all his three runners tonight who he thinks could go best, Barry said: “Cals Liberty. He’s the one who has had a trial and took to the track well.”
Corals are top price 3/1 for the pacey sort to win over four bends at the first time of asking.
Vinegarhill John for Henlow trainer Jason Bloomfoeld makes his Romford and six bend debut tonight in a one off maiden stayers race over 575 metres at 7.36pm.
Although attempting six bends for the first time tonight the August ’18 whelp has winning form over 550 metres at home track Henlow. He has won three times over that distance in S2 and S1 graded affairs. The son of Droopys Jet and Minister Hill has also won four times over the four bend trip of 460 metres with his best win in A3 graded company. On paper it looks like he should get the distance and with his form over four bends it makes him an interesting entry.
Kelli Windebank, assistant trainer to Jason on him said: “We are giving him a go and see how he gets on. He will stay the trip no problem.
“We were struggling to get a race at Henlow for him so thought we would try him; see how he goes and take it from there.
“It is his first look around the track and anything can happen but hopefully he goes well. If he doesn’t win, we will bring him back next week for a maiden stayers comp. If he does win which we hope he does he will be back for a standard race all being well.
“He is a nice dog and has gone through the grades lovely. S1 at Henlow is as good as some open races.
“He has trap five, but if I had a pick I would of chose trap three for him. Saying that, trap five is not the end of the world for him.”
Skybet are top price 9/1 for him to win at Romford and over six bends at the first time of asking.
Bodell Maska goes over 750 metres in a maiden affair in the ‘lucky last’ at 9.28pm. Trained by Michelle Brown the June ’19 whelp races at Romford for the first time. The daughter of Droopys Sydney and Slippy Maska has won once from four attempts.
That one win was at Henlow last October over 460 metres in an A7 graded affair. Interestingly she has had one race away from Henlow and 460 metres and that was at Nottingham over 905 metres. In that race she came second by only two lengths showing the distance tonight should not cause a problem. She does have track experience with a recent spin over 400 metres. In that solo trial she clocked an impressive time of 24.30.
Michelle on her said: “She’s super-fast. In her last race at Henlow last year she may have had a look so we took our time with her and re-schooled her.
“She can definitely run. We need to keep her interested as she’s too clever. We are switching tracks to keep her keen.
“In her four bend trial at Romford she showed she can definitely run. We are hoping we can get her in front and lead all the way. Her trial times show that she could do that. Romford should suit and 750 metres will be no problem for her. She will get that.
“I would have preferred trap six but you can’t pick these things. Five is fine for her, she has won from five at Henlow.”
Of her ten runners who she thinks could go best Michelle said: “Signature Dancer in the first graded race. Whether that is hope or not, but he has been downgraded and hopefully can take advantage of that. Hopefully, he can break and get clear.”
Bodell Maska is generally available at 5/2 to win at Romford over 750 metres tonight. Signature Dancer goes in the opening race over 400 metres at 6.09pm and is 7/2 across the board to take the spoils.