By Rob Abrey
The Greyhound Derby may have started and the Regency at Hove is now at the final stage but there is still plenty of top quality action at Romford tonight. With fourteen open races at the Essex venue from 6.27pm there are lots to enjoy. As ever there are greyhounds making their Romford debuts and stepping up in trip for the first time. True to form, yours truly has found out more about some of those greyhounds.
Like Towcester trainer Patrick Janssens, Yarmouth trainer John Mullins is such a regular Friday night visitor that he is becoming an unofficial Romford handler. Tonight he has seven runners tackling Romford over various trips. Of those seven runners the main focus is on Swift Tarquin who is making his Romford debut over 575 metres at 7.03pm. Although the August ’16 whelp is making his Romford debut tonight he is not making his six bend debut. He made that over a week ago at Monmore over 630 metres where he came second by a head after leading the majority of the way.
Coming second over 630 metres bodes well when trying 575 metres for the first time as the distance should not be an issue. The son of Superior Product and Swift Tequilla almost won at Monmore first time up and tonight tackles Romford without a trial. If taking to Romford like he did at Monmore then it may not be long before he sheds his maiden stayers tag.
Trainer John Mullins on Swift Tarquin said: “He ran at Monmore over 630 metres and got picked up on the run in. He will stay 575 metres at Romford no problem. Trap two should be okay for him. I’m hoping he will take to Romford and gets a run behind the favourite and takes his chance. I intend to keep him at Romford for a while if he takes to the track.”
As John Mullins has six other runners tonight as covered, he was pitched the cheeky question on who he thinks will go best tonight from all his charges.
To that question Mullins said: “Oh Armani. He should have won last week but the going was against him. If the going is even, there is no reason why he couldn’t win on Friday. He had no excuse last week when coming second but I’m giving him one. He will be giving it a go.”
Oh Armani runs in the final of Romford Friday night 500 maidens final over 400 metres at 8.54pm from trap one.
A famous beer company once stated “good things come to those who wait”. That quote could well be the case for trainer Irene Barnard and connections. The Yarmouth handler has only one greyhound running tonight and that is Droopys Eager in the lucky last at 9.44pm. Entered in a maiden marathon over 750 metres the October ’15 whelp will be looking to justify the wait with a first win over eight bends.
The son of Greenwell Hawk and Droopys Orleans is making his eight bend debut and the signs look good he can get the 750 metres tonight. He has shown at home track Yarmouth he is a force over six bends with several top graded wins. He has also won over 462 metres in top grade over a distance that appears far too short for him. He has been running against four bend types at Yarmouth recently and finding trouble when picking his way through. That may not be the case tonight with a good trap draw and a more likely trouble free race. He has Romford experience with a run over 575 metres back in November. On that occasion he only managed fifth place but the winner in that race was none other than the ultra-impressive Shotgun Bullet.
Trainer Irene Barnard on Droopys Eager said: “He will definitely stay. We all think he will get 750 metres. At Yarmouth over 659 metres he runs on strong to the pickup which is a good sign.
“He hasn’t really got early and has to do it the hard way over four bends. He has a tenacity to run into the back of dogs when trying to overtake.
“Trap one will definitely suit him. He is a railer and prefers to overtake dogs on the inside. It is not often he passes a dog on their outside.
“The draw is good and he will get the trip so we are half way there. Whether he is good enough at this level we will find out. He has been to Romford before over 575 metres so has some track experience.”
Regular readers of this column may have had two winners last week courtesy of Willmount Daisy and Seaglass Sparky at SP returns of 4/1 and 9/4. Those who took early prices may have had a bit of 9/2 for Willmount Daisy as suggested by yours truly.
Keep reading folks.