By Rob Abrey
It’s Friday the 13th and that could mean being unlucky for some. For those that are not superstitious there is as usual a great night of racing at Romford tonight including ten open races. There are two finals concluding tonight that should make great viewing. As usual there are greyhounds making their Romford debuts and those returning to more familiar ground. As it is Friday 13th I have endeavoured to find out more about some of them to help level out any bad luck and help turn the day into a potentially winning one.
Crayford trainer Mark Fenwick is testing his charge Phone Book at Romford for the first time tonight in a maiden race over 400 metres from trap two at 7.03pm. The April ’16 whelp has hit the ground running at Crayford winning five races from eight moving from A6 to A1 company along the way. He has had one race in top grade company but could only manage third on that occasion. The son of Confident Rankin and Racenight Lily is clearly running well and the move to open races at Romford was an obvious choice. If taking to Romford like he has at Crayford he could soon be losing his maiden tag.
Trainer Fenwick on Phone Book said: “I always knew he had a bit of foot about him. I was told about him in January and when I went to Ireland in March I saw him trial and was humming and harring whether to buy him or not. A friend and my mum convinced me and I got him over in April. He was badly cramping at first but that is sorted now and since then he has taken off.
“His Achilles heel is his trapping. He is a bad trapper. When he gets going he flies. His strength is from the first bend. I was told he would not get 480 metres but at Crayford he runs on very well. He might get it but I don’t know at this stage.
“He has been showing a great bit of pace but he badly needs the rails. He has been running from trap two at Crayford but he does need the rails. He will be looking to get over to the rails and will stick to it once there.
“I would not expect him to lead but if he gets a run he could be a big player at a decent price. He has plenty of ability and has been running on really well at Crayford.”
His trapping is a concern but he certainly motors once he gets going. He should be able to wrestle the rails off of Swabys Hope and if doing so has a good chance. Paddy Power make him a 9/2 shot and that feels a bit big and worth considering.
Tearaway Brae is back at Romford over four bends after dabbling over six bends. Trained by local handler Phil Simmonds, the April ’16 whelp was stepped up to 575 metres for two top graded races but is now back running in a 400 metres contest at 9.11pm tonight. The son of Kinloch Brae and Tyrur Annaleen struggled over six bends at Romford, coming last in both S1 graded races. Tonight though he is over more familiar territory where he has won over C&D in an A1 graded race. In that race he clocked a very impressive split time of 3.69 which shows he can live with the early paced sorts. He has won at Nottingham recently over 500 metres in an open race so if able to hold his own tonight in the early exchanges could have a big say in the outcome.
Phil said: “He didn’t get 575 metres really. He is probably more of a 480 metres dog. He won a race at Nottingham and came last in one as well. He was up against very good dogs in that race.
“We will race him at Romford over 400 metres for the next couple of weeks to keep him ticking over and take it from there.
“He is a bit of a funny dog. He has not come into his self. With the sun on his back we will see how he goes. He has a great draw on Friday and if he leads he has a very good chance.”
He appears more of a stiff four bend greyhound but the 5/1 being offered by Paddy Power is tempting. He does have a bit of early and can clearly stay 400 metres. If lying handy he could be a big player tonight.
As is becoming a regular part of this column trainer Phil Simmonds was asked the cheeky question of who he thinks could go best from all of his ten runners tonight. To that he replied: “Courts Ad Peter. He is running well at the moment and clocked a good time last week. I like him from traps two or three (trap two tonight). He would be my tip of the night from my runners”.
Courts Ad Peter runs at 8.23pm tonight in heat three of the Romford Friday night standard over 400 metres. He is currently best priced 2/1 with Coral and Paddy Power.
Regular readers of this column may have had a nice 6/1 winner last week courtesy of Fernisky Darkie. Trained by Jason Ray the July ‘15 whelp won first time up on these shores with an impressive display of early pace. He runs again tonight in the final of the Romford maidens at 8.38pm.