By Rob Abrey
The Greyhound Derby may be over for another year, but you won’t have to wait that long for open race action at Romford. The weekly open race treat from the Essex venue starts from race four at 7.18pm tonight. With nine opens on the card from thirteen there is plenty to enjoy. As ever there are several greyhounds making their Romford debuts tonight and true to form I’ve found out more about two of them.
Perry Barr trainer Ian Walker is braving the Friday night traffic from his Warwickshire base to race Ballyregan Peg at Romford for the first time. In a bitches only race over 400 metres at 7.51pm the November ’14 whelp will be looking to take Romford by storm and win first time up. The daughter of Tullymurry Act and Black Hopit is in fine form with a confidence boosting win last time up at home track Perry Barr. In a D2 graded race over the sprint trip of 275 metres she destroyed the field by five lengths. She has also won over that distance several times in open races so has the ability to hold her own in higher class races. The 480 metres trip at Perry Barr looks a tad too far for the Perry Barr raider and tonight’s distance of 400 metres could be ideal for the early paced sort.
Trainer Ian Walker on Ballyregan Peg said: “She’s a nice bitch like with a nice bit of early pace. It is her first look at Romford so is a bit of trial and error. The 400 metres distance won’t be a problem for her. The 480 metres at Perry Barr is a bit to far for her. She runs well for 460 metres then struggles with the other 20 metres and gets picked up.
“The trip on Friday will suit her and could be ideal for her. She ran well last time out at Perry Barr and is in good form and will see how she goes on Friday. She has a good trap draw in three but she may need a couple of looks around Romford but it is all about the break. She doesn’t always get it right at other tracks but hope she takes to Romford.”
She is 11/2 with Ladbrokes and Coral and that should be considered. If making one of her trade mark starts could put the others under a lot of pressure and spring a surprise.
Tromora Line for trainer Paul Dale is making her Romford debut in the first heat of the Romford Friday night 500 maidens over 400 metres at 8.06pm. The January ’16 whelp has had all her twelve races on these shores at Yarmouth in graded races over the 462 metres trip. Of those twelve races the January ’16 whelp has won four, a decent strike rate of 33.33%. The daughter of Ballymac Vic and Tromora Dixie has gone through the grades nicely winning in A4, A3, A2 and A1 graded races. Although winning an A1 the early paced bitch seems to have found it a bit hard as it appears the 462 metres trip look a bit to long for her and by the last bend looks vulnerable. That may not be the case over 400 metres and the trip tonight could be ideal for her.
Assistant trainer and brother to Paul, Roger Dale on Tromora Line said: “We thought we would take her to Romford and see what see can do. She is not really staying 462 metres at Yarmouth. It seems a bit too much for her.
“400 metres should suit her and hope it will and why we are trying her at Romford. She has early pace and leads almost every time at Yarmouth but struggles to get home.
“If she leads on Friday she could be alright. Trap four is good for her but it doesn’t make a massive difference to her as she has run from most traps in Ireland.”
Regular readers of this article may well of had a nice little 6/4 SP winner last week courtesy of Romeo Mandate. Trained by John Mullins he suggested that was his best chance of the night and so it proved when winning by three quarters of a length in a calculated time of 35.47. Those who took early prices may have got the 7/4 on offer with Corals.