The fireworks may have finished this week for another year but your favourite column is back with a bang. After a little hiatus it is back covering Romford every Friday as before and what a night to return with the start of the Romford Puppy Cup.
Starting from 6.44pm the puppy cup over 400 metres has had some fantastic winners in the past and this year looks no different with many looking like really good prospects. As before for your enjoyment I have endeavoured to find out more about one greyhound from five of the six heats.
Romford handler Paul Young knows what it takes to win the puppy cup, with Droopys Survivor probably the most memorable as a winning 50/1 shot back in 2001. Tonight he has five charges in the £10,000-to-winner puppy event but it is Bubbly Bonanza in the opening heat at 6.44pm that is the main focus of this column. The February ’17 whelp is making his race debut after five trials at Nottingham and Romford. The son of Tullymurry Act and Droopys Posh has had two trials over C&D and has shown improvement. That improvement needs to continue and he will be expected to as well. His last calculated trial time of 24.47 shows he is heading in the right direction and being the sole ‘railer’ in the race has a great chance to qualify.
Paul said: “We qualified him at Nottingham with a view to enter him in a race there but it never filled and that put us back a bit. We trialled him at Romford but we’re not sure he is a Romford dog. He has plenty of pace but being un-raced can go against you.
“He is a natural railer and the only railer in the race and only one of six in the whole competition. I will be well pleased if he gets to the final. I think a lot of him. He is a nice little dog and one for the future.”
William Hill have taken a stance against Bubbly Bonanza and are top Price 9/2 to win his heat and 33/1 to win outright.
On his other runners in the competition Paul said: “The Chilli dogs are coming along nicely but Glynalan Lad (heat 6) looks the most Romford type of them. He is coming forward all the time and is a nice dog. He has plenty of pace and could be the surprise dog in the comp at a big price.”
Several firms are offering 50/1 for Glynalan Lad to take the £10,000 winners prize.
Liz McNair does not attend Romford a great deal but when she does the bookies run for cover. She certainly doesn’t travel all the way to Romford just to pick up points on her loyalty petrol cards. Last year she was extremely unlucky not to take the spoils with King Elvis. I can’t remember any dog clocking 23.80 in a final and coming second!
Tonight she brings a team of three down to Essex and they certainly have eye catching form to them. Although all three have trialled over C&D they are all making their race debuts at Romford tonight.
First up for team McNair is King Nelson in heat two at 7.03pm. The February ’17 whelp has already shown his potential when winning the Eden the Kid at Stud competition over 480 metres at Central Park. The son of Eden The Kid and Skate On has had two trials over C&D and knocked twelve spots off his second trial when clocking 24.13. Both his sectionals were 3.84 which shows consistency and if improving again could be a player.
Assistant trainer Rab McNair said: “Nelson is a good wee dog. He is maybe lacking a bit of trapping ability. In the final at Central Park he flew from the boxes though. All three are strong dogs and will be hard to beat if they lead. I would prefer if he was out a wee bit more (trap two tonight) but we can’t do anything about it now.
“He ran the track well in trials and has been running in all age races so it’s nice to run him against puppies. He is not blessed with great early and you do need that at Romford.”
Ladbrokes are top price 15/8 to take his heat and 8/1 to win the competition.
Next up for team McNair is King Cash in heat three at 7.17pm. The son of Eden The Kid and Skate On has taken to Romford well in his two trials. The February ’17 whelp knocked off eighteen spots from his first trial clocking 24.01 and importantly improved his sectional by seven spots to 3.81. If improving on that once again King Cash could be making the latter for anyone getting involved on him.
Rab said: “He’s a wee dog that has not shown himself but has just started to show. He is coming and coming all the time now. He’s focusing a lot more and is growing up. We can see him starting to learn. He is educating himself. We have seen changes and is going the right way.
“He is definitely a wide runner and prefer him in six to be honest but five will be okay. He looked a great dog at Romford in his trials. He didn’t seem to break his stride, gliding around the bends staying middle to wide.”
King Cash is best priced 13/8 with Skybet to take his heat and is generally 8/1 to win outright.
Last up for team McNair is Queen Beyonce in heat four at 7.33pm. The February ’17 whelp is already making a name for herself winning six from nine. She won five on the bounce at Central Park over 480 metres and reached the final of the British Bred Oaks at Doncaster over 483 metres where she came third. She has trialled at Romford once and clocked a calculated time of 24.30. She will be expected to improve on that time and with nine races already to her name is the second most experienced in her heat.
Rab osaid: “She has been running against all age greyhounds and won a minor final at Central Park. She has been running well but is not blessed with phenomenal early. She did a great trial and all three have great back straight pace. She has ability and if she gets room she can show it. She is fast and has got good track craft, she’s got brains.”
William Hills make her best price evens to win her heat and Bet365 and Coral make her 12/1 to take the outright spoils.
Rab was asked the cheeky question as to who he thinks could go best of his three and he diplomatically replied: “All three are capable. They are all much and much. All three are capable on there day if they get a run. They all have a chance. We all need a little luck and see how it goes. There will be no prouder man in this country if one of them do it.
“I have never won a category one comp at Romford and would love to do it with Peter O’Dowd as racing manager.”
Nottingham trainer Chris Akers and already attended Romford more times than the recently retired Charlie Lister did in the last five years. The journey’s have paid off though with several winners at Romford. Last week he brought Pennys Baby down to Essex and the February ’17 whelp duly obliged first time up winning in a calculated time of 24.19.
The daughter of Deanridge Viking and So Said Sarah showed great early last week and if replicating that this week could be a player. Tonight she tackles Romford again in heat six at 8.06pm.
Trainer Chris said: “She still has a bit to prove but last week will give her experience. She has good early and prefers trap six which she has on Friday. She ran really well first time at Romford last week and was really pleased.
“She has won an open at Sheffield over 500 metres but 480 metres is as far as she wants right now. She struggles with anything further. We thought we would take a chance with her at Romford and she took to the track well.
“Her brothers and sisters in Ireland are a good class so she has potential. The owner of her is Mark Bates and he owned Farloe Verdict. If she is anything like her we will be happy!”
Bet365 and Ladbrokes make her a top price 9/2 for the heat and Ladbrokes are top price 33/1 for the outright market.