TONIGHT at Romford there are two maiden stayers races and as ever I’ve endeavoured to find out more about one from each race as well as others and some from the Tony Bryerley Mercury Trophy Marathon heats.
Central Park trainer Patrick Janssens is a regular to the Essex venue and certainly knows what it takes to win there. Tonight he brings a team of three to Romford with two making their debuts. One is running around Romford for the first time while the other is attempting six bends for the first time.
First up is Seaglass Tiger in the opening race at 6.27pm over 400 metres for greyhounds yet to win an open race. The May ’17 whelp is making his Romford debut after only two races at Henlow. Those two races were in the Henlow puppy cup and was very unlucky not to make the final after missing out by a head. Those two races for the son of Drumcrow Obama and Abrakebabra were over 460 metres and the drop down to 400 metres tonight could be just what he needs to shed his maiden tag.
Trainer Patrick Janssens on Seaglass Tiger said: “He’s a nice dog. We ran him at Henlow in the puppy cup and was beaten in a photo finish for a qualifying place to the final.
“He has a bit of early zip and lots of middle pace. 400 metres is ideal for him. He is still a very young dog. In time he could turn out to be a very good dog between 400 and 450 metres.
“At Henlow he showed a lot of back straight pace and looks a really nice dog. He has only had two races for me but has had races at Shelbourne Park and did some good times there. Trap two on Friday is fine for him.”
Skybet make Seaglass Tiger a 13/8 shot to win on his Romford debut.
Those with sharp memories will remember Desperado Dan running at Romford over 400 metres back in October. That was the one and only race the January ’17 whelp had at Romford. In that attempt the son of Iso Octane and Slaneyside Mandy came last after finding a lot of trouble at the first bend. Tonight he is back but over six bends for the very first time at 7.03pm in a maiden stayers race. In a trial before that race over 400 metres in October he clocked a calculated time of 24.29. He clearly can run Romford and the step up to six bends may be just what he needs.
Trainer Janssens on Desperado Dan said: “He has very good form at Central Park. He has won both top grade and open races there. I took him to Henlow for the puppy Derby but 460 metres is too short for him.
“I definitely think he will stay the 575 metres at Romford. I think he is capable of getting 35.50. In my opinion I think he could go better than Barricane Carina in time who is around 35.20. That may take a few races first.
“I ran him at Romford with a view to the Puppy cup but 400 metres is too short for him and he got in trouble so I abandoned that plan. He did 24.29 first time around Romford in a trial and that is good for a first look.
“He is a nice genuine dog and if all going to plan will be aimed at the Coronation Cup next month.”
To win on his six bend debut, Skybet make him a 7/4 shot.
Bubbly Cougar trained by local handler Paul Young and owned by the Bubbly syndicate will be another eying up the Coronation Cup next month. The January ’17 whelp makes his six bend debut tonight at 7.49pm over 575 metres. Last week at Henlow the son of Romeo Recruit and Droopys Keisha won over 550 metres by seven lengths so the transition to six bends should not be a difficult one. Like Desperado Dan he has experience at Romford over four bends but appears to find the short distance a bit troublesome. The step up to six bends looks like where his future lies.
Head of the Champagne Cub, Steve Fluin on Bubbly Cougar said: “He is making his six bend debut but won at Henlow last week over 550 metres. In that race you couldn’t help but be impressed. He showed early pace and good middle gears. The extra twenty five metres shouldn’t be a problem for him.
“Providing he gets away as he can he could land it comfortably. He is one of our better chances tonight.”
Bubbly Cougar is best priced 4/9 with Skybet to win over six bends at the first time of asking.
The Tony Byerley Mercury Trophy Marathon over 750 metres starts tonight with two heats from 8.06pm. There are greyhounds stepping up in trip and those going back over eight bends after a hiatus and yours truly has found out more about one from each heat.
Bubbly Madison trained by Paul Young and owned by the Bubbly syndicate is attempting eight bends for the first time tonight in heat one. The March ’16 whelp has only recently been stepped up to six bends from four bends. From four races at Romford over 575 metres he has won two showing he has taken to the longer trips. Those two wins came in S1 graded races and goes into tonight’s race in fine form after winning his last race by three lengths.
Head of the Champagne Club syndicate Steve Fluin on Bubbly Madison said: “He is making his eight bend debut. He was a proper prospect but has had injury problems. We gave him time and he is looking near his old self. Write off his career history and use the last few weeks as a guide.
“He could surprise tonight. He has got stamina. He does lack a bit of confidence and a bit of early pace but could go well in a reasonable heat. If all goes well we are aiming him for the Golden Jacket at Crayford next year.”
Bubbly Madison is 7/2 with Skybet to win over eight bends at the first time of asking.
When asked about all his runners tonight Fluin said: “We have seven runners and four good chances. In order I would put them as Bubbly Joe, Cougar, Bonanza and Bonita.”
For your interest the four fold with Skybet works out as just over 20/1.
Essex Vase finalist Millroad Susie needs no introduction to Romford regulars after her recent exploits in the category one competition for trainer Phil Simmonds. The June ’15 whelp is back over eight bends for the first time since February in heat two at 8.21pm. She certainly showed during the Essex Vase that she needed further and stepping her back up is an obvious call.
Trainer Phil Simmonds on Millroad Susie said: “She has been with us for two months now. If she gets a run and gets out she could get 750 metres. She is fit and well and is in good form. She hasn’t been over the distance since January but should get it. The Golden Jacket over 714 metres at Crayford is what we will aim her for, all being well.”
On all of his runners tonight Simmonds said: “Grays Cup Winner is our best chance. He is in great form and it’s good to see him back at the track.”
Millroad Susie is 3/1 with Skybet to claim heat two of the marathon competition while Grays Cup Winner is top price 9/4 with William Hills to win his heat of the Friday night standard at 7.33pm.
Regular readers of this column may have had a very handy 100/1 ante post winner courtesy of Prime Time claiming the Essex Vase last week. Trained by local handler Phil Simmonds she took the spoils by 3 ¼ lengths in a calculated time of 35.49. Regular readers would have known all about her going into the competition and may have had a little dabble on her.