By Rob Abrey

The wait may be finally over to find out the Royal baby name but the wait for the weekly open race feast at Romford is worth it with the first race kicking off proceedings at 6.27pm. With several maidens on the card including a minor competition there are several dogs making their Romford debuts and as ever I’ve found out more about some of them.


Yarmouth trainer Erica Samuels knows what it takes to win an open race and tonight travels to Romford with two of her charges for a tilt at the Romford Friday night 500 maidens competition over 400 metres. With only two qualifying from each of the three heats, the Samuels kennels have had a bit of luck with her two greyhounds contesting in separate heats.

First up for the Yarmouth handler is Willmount Daisy in the opening heat at 7.03pm. The May ’15 whelp looks a little but in between distances and the 400 metres trip could be ideal for her. She is clearly a very good greyhound at her home track with a hat-trick of top grade wins over 462 metres in late February and early March. The daughter of Zero Ten and Vintage Kewell has had two recent sprint open races at Nottingham over 305 and 255 metres but failed to notch a win. She is in fine fettle with a top grade win last time out and her early pace could be very handy in tonight’s heat.

Trainer Erica Samuels on Willmount Daisy said: “She has early pace and Romford should suit her well. She has won in top grade at Yarmouth and has been to Nottingham. She has never been to Romford before but you don’t know until you try. You always need a bit of luck first time up. She should do well at Romford but won’t know until Friday.”

Willmount Daisy has bundles of early and if utilising that to her advantage the 9/2 on offer with Bet365 looks a bit big.


Cavendish in heat three at 7.34pm for team Samuels is almost a carbon copy of Willmount Daisy. The November ’15 whelp has early pace and also appears a little bit in between distances with the 462 metres trip at Yarmouth looking a tad too far. The son of Kinloch Brae and Naïve Gypsy has had all of his ten races on these shores at Yarmouth winning four including one top grade win. The 400 metres trip tonight at Romford could be ideal for him. If taking to the track first time up he could be a player.

Trainer Samuels on Cavendish said: “He doesn’t quite get 462 metres at Yarmouth. My son Craig thinks the shorter distance will suit him. He does have lots of early pace. He normally runs from trap four and sometimes five but trap three will be fine for him.

“We did enter him for a sprint race at Nottingham but he wasn’t accepted. Like Willmount Daisy he has never been around Romford but you never know until you try.”



Towcester trainer Patrick Janssens is becoming an unofficial Romford trainer with his regular attendance at Romford on a Friday night. Tonight he is back once again with six runners. Two of those six are making their Romford debuts tonight and it is those two that I have endeavoured to find out more about.

Gypsy Yolo is not only making his Romford debut but his race debut as well. The September ’16 whelp is making his race debut tonight in heat two of the Romford Friday night maidens over 400 metres at 7.18pm. The son of Newinn Yolo and Swift Stranraer has only had five trials and looks one to keep an eye on going forward. His last two trials at Towcester over 480 metres were eye catching and it should not be long before he sheds his maiden tag.

Trainer Patrick Janssens on Gypsy Yolo said: “He is a really nice dog and I already think the world of him. I took him to Towcester and he caught my eye. I put him in a good trial against Seaglass Sparky and he won fair and square.

“I’m not sure where he wants to be at the moment, rails or middle but the draw on Friday in trap three looks good for him. If he comes away normally he will go close. I have not trialled him but I would expect him to do around 24.20 if I had. His split times at Towcester are quite impressive. He has averaged around 4.15 seconds on slow going.

“We had to start him somewhere and thought we would start him at Romford. He has great temperament and want to try him in puppy competitions if he good enough.”

Bet365 make Gyspy Yolo a 5/2 shot and that should be considered. He could be anything and if taking to Romford won’t be 5/2 next week.


Seaglass Sparky, the other one of Patrick Janssens six runners to make his Romford debut is more advanced than Kennel mate Gypsy Yolo. The April ’16 whelp has already had seven races with open race wins at Hove and Sheffield over 475 and 480 metres. The son of Laughill Blake and Gorgeous Gla is clearly suited to open race level and if taking to Romford could soon be adding the Essex venue to his wins at Hove and Sheffield. He is contesting in a standard affair tonight at 9.11pm over 400 metres.

Trainer Janssens on Seaglass Sparky said: “He is a great dog. He ran well in the trainers championship on Saturday. He is not quite getting 480 metres at the moment. It is just too far for him. He could be a good Romford dog. He is definitely quick enough for Romford. He may not take to Romford straight away but could do after a few races. I think in up to five races time he is capable of breaking 24 seconds over 400 metres.”

Coral make Seaglass Sparky a 7/4 poke and that should be taken. He hasn’t had a run at Romford before but has the feel of a Romford dog. If managing to lead he will be very hard to beat.


Since Janssens has six runners tonight I asked the cheeky question who he thinks has the best chance tonight at Romford. On his runners tonight Janssens said: “Slick Sphinx. He loves Romford. Of all my runners I have four good chances tonight of getting wins. Move Over Eliza is another running well and is well drawn.”

Slick Sphinx is currently best price at 4/6 with Corals.


Regular readers of this column may have had a nice 8/11 winner last week courtesy of Dinnington Lady. Trainer Derek Ogden said she would stay 750 metres, runs new tracks well and has the perfect draw. He was spot on and she duly obliged by winning the one off £1,000 to the winner, BGRF British bred marathon by 4 ¾ lengths in a time of 47.66 seconds.