By Rob Abrey

There have been delays and postponements but the final of the Essex Vase is finally here along with the Golden Sprint final. Both finals are top quality and will make excellent viewing.

Sadly, the Coral Golden Sprint will be for just five runners following the withdrawal of fastest qualifier Kilmore Lemon. Here is a review of the semi final. . .

Away from the finals, there are twelve open races on show and yours truly has found out more about some of tonight’s entrants. There is also an update about one of the Essex Vase finalists for your benefit.

Yarmouth trainer Kevin Boon knows what it takes to win around Romford and tonight tries his Cloncunny Major for the first time around the Essex venue. In a maiden race over 400 metres at 6.47pm, the April ’16 whelp will be looking to win around Romford at the first time of asking. The son of Taylor’s Sky and Eyepad has had one previous race on these shores and that was at Monmore in the first round of the puppy cup where he could only manage fourth place. He showed in his trial at Monmore over 480 metres when clocking 28.84 seconds there is talent there and it shouldn’t be long before he sheds his maiden tag.

Trainer Kevin Boon on Cloncunny Major said: “He is a young dog. I bought him with the Monmore puppy cup in mind but couldn’t get him ready in time.

“I spotted him in Ireland during the unraced stakes at Clonmel and decided to take a chance with him. I bought him for his early pace but he hasn’t shown any yet. He done the quickest split time in the whole unraced competition and may have needed the time to settle in.

“If he can get out he will be hard to beat. He hasn’t been around Romford before but won’t disgrace himself. We will see what he does and see how he goes.

“I don’t know how good he is but going to the derby with him is the plan, if he makes the grade.”


Always A King is not only making his Romford debut tonight but is also making his eight bend debut as well at 8.22pm over 750 metres. Trained by Henlow’s Grant Carney, the September ’14 is no youngster but is in great form presently winning two from his last three at home track Henlow. Those wins came in graded affairs over 460 and 550 metres in A2 and S1 races. The son of Kingo and Ranchers Star is a strong sort and is more than used to picking his way through a race. The step up to eight bends could be ideal for him and if taking to Romford could raise a few eyebrows during his maiden Romford race.

Trainer Grant Carney on Always A King said: “I’ve always been a fan of Romford. It’s a fantastic night out and I’ve always had a good time. I’m really, really looking forward to it. It is definitely a fact finding mission.

“I like to think he stays. He is always first to the pick up. He is absolutely running out of his skin at the moment. He came second recently and was desperate not to win. He was last to second. He almost got up.

“I’ve been waiting to step him up and thought I would try him at Romford over 750 metres. I have been told by someone who studied his stats he has never been beaten once in front. That is not my fact but what I’ve been told.

“He will be a big price and if he qualifies hope he will improve from his first look around Romford. His track craft is amazing and fingers crossed for Friday.”


Murrys Act needs no introduction to anyone who follows the open scene. Trained by Kevin Boon, the Derby finalist and Champion Stakes winner contests another category one final tonight. The Essex Vase final is at 8.54pm and the March ’15 whelp will be looking to add the Essex Vase to his Champion Stakes trophy. The last greyhound to win the Champion Stakes and Essex Vase in the same cycle was Eye Onthe Veto in 2007 for trainer Mark Wallis.

Murrys Act could well achieve that feat. In a very good final he will not have it his own way and is up against Roswell Romanov. Tonight’s final is splitting people in two camps. The Murrys Act camp and Roswell Romanov camp. Racing Post Journalists Dave Clark and Jonathan Hobbs have both done an enhanced double for Ladbrokes and Coral. Both have chosen Forest Chunk to win the Golden Sprint final but Dave Clark has chosen Roswell Romanov while Jonathan Hobbs has chosen Murrys Act.

Trainer Kevin Boon on Murrys Act said: “What can you say about Murrys Act that hasn’t already been said. He has been tremendous for us. The last couple of weeks he hasn’t been hitting the lids. He is nice and fresh and is vey well in himself. Ron Mills has checked him through and is very happy with him.

“If he leads on Friday he wins but if he doesn’t he will have to do it the hard way and he is against some top dogs who will make it very difficult for him.”

Ladbrokes are top price of 5/2 for Murrys Act to take the spoils.

A reminder of the semi finals: