Major squad rotation for tonight’s meeting Betfred Gymcrack meeting with three of the four teams drafting in fresh pen chewers.
The sole survivors of Hove’s night of the long odds were Star Sports’ chalk monkeys Sam and Martin who made an unprecedented £325 profit on the night and have been chomping on foot long Havanas, courtesy of guvnor Ben Keith, for the last ten days.
Replacing ‘Trixie’ Rosney and representing the hound handlers is the brilliant Belgian Patrick Janssens, whose incredible rise through the trainers charts sees him currently at number six. Patrick is well represented tonight and his observations make for particularly thoughtful reading.
For the owners, we have a man who won tonight’s featured race some 17 years ago, Paul Ephremsen. Paul is of course the new owners representative on the GBGB board of directors – so he had better get used to facing big odds.
Finally – Mr Smooth himself – the man who recently verbally savaged TV pundit Matt Chapman, and who will soon be in receipt of a baseball bat, should such an opportunity arise again – Mr Jonathan Hobbs aka ‘Hobbsy’.
The rules remain unchanged – the placing of a fictional £100 on the SKY card, singles or multiples.
Full form is below tips
SAM & MARTIN (Star Sports – bookmakers)
7:11 – Bubbly Turbo. A lightly raced 2016 Derby semi-finalist. I really like the dogs early pace, it doesn’t appear he can win any other way. He must ping and I think there could be a clash between one and two. Three runs straight and it’ll be over at the first bend…we hope!
PUNTING: £25 win Trixie 7:11 Bubbly Turbo (betting 9-4), 8:16 Dower For Gold (betting 9-4), 9:08 The Other Billy (betting 3-1)
PAUL EPHREMSEN (Owner)
I’m going to divide my £100 into a £25 treble and a £75 win.
7:11 – Bubbly Turbo I’ve followed him for the past year since he came on the scene at Tralee and he has some great form lines including going off joint fav in the Derby semi final last summer. He has great early pace and his recent trial at Towcester is good. I take him to lead all the way.
7:43 – Slick Strauss in the marathon will need to avoid crowding early in but his four bend trial was okay and he definitely stays the trip. Good luck with this one Patrick.
8:51 – Calzaghe Costa is the third leg of my treble. He has a fair win to runs ratio and is best on the clock. He’s a good breaker and is all about early pace and I like the look of him.
9:08 – Cometwopass My £75 single is being saved for the Betfred Gymcrack final. I was lucky enough to win this race in 2000 with Droopys Woods. I like the look of Cometwopass, trained by Peter Cronin. He needs to be smart away and get inside trap 3 on the run up but he’s been fancied on his previous two Gymcrack rounds and he will take all the catching.
PUNTING: £25 treble: 7:11 Bubbly Turbo (betting 9-4), 7:43 Slick Strauss (betting 13-8) 8.51 Calzaghe Costa (betting 5-1) £75 win: 9.08 Cometwopass (betting 5-4)
JONATHAN HOBBS (Media)
8:33 Calzaghe Jan Ted Soppitt has big claims in two of the supporting finals to the Betfred Gymcrack, and might land both! I’m certainly with Jan in the stayers’ final. She ducked to the inside as Blackstone Lyric drifted off in the heats, so therefore T1 surely suits. Impressed also by the way she pulled clear up the home straight.
8:51 Wirehead Team Soppitt could go close with Calzaghe Costa in the sprint decider but Wirehead might use the inside draw to smash and grab. The local, handled by Jacqui Zivkovic, ran a stormer in the heats and was only narrowly denied by Daytime Flyer. The latter is a danger of course again, but the red jacket is a better price for a short-head reverse, so . . .
9:08 Ballymac Healy Now for the Betfred Gymcrack final and, again, a red jacketed winner is a possibly. The one to beat is undoubtedly Peter Cronin’s Irish raider Cometwopass and a smash break might just seal the deal, but Julie Bateson’s Ballymac Healy showed good pace behind the unlucky Sylvias Chloe in the semis, and now gets a draw to trouble the favourite with his cracking early speed.
So, while you all know that blue is the colour (!), Greyhound Star boss and lifelong Arsenal fan Floyd Amphlett will be happy I’m seeing red at Kinsley on Tuesday. As long as we are back to blue come Wembley on May 27! Oh, and the bet to beat the bookies? A £25 Trixie. Let’s have it . . . .
PATRICK JANSSENS (Trainer)
My dogs have all been well prepared for this meeting, they have all trialled and for the bet I am going for three of my own
7:43 Slick Strauss – I have always fancied this dog as a marathon runner. He has good early pace, lacks middle and finishes well. He was slightly outclassed at Hove over the shorter distance but was first to the pick-up. He trialled well and will be my biggest bet
8:51 Walkthetalk – If this dog was consistent, I don’t think there would be many in the country to touch him. He has trap six which won’t inconvenience him too much. We have given him a ten day break and I genuinely think he is well capable of winning this.
9:08 Barricane Jack – I can’t believe that they were offering 12-1 about this dog this week, it will be slightly shorter now following the withdrawal of the six. I think he is the only dog who comfortably gets this trip and was only beaten a length behind the fastest qualifier having not had the clearest of runs. He will go in a straight line to the bend and if he gets any sort of run, I think he will win. Whether he does or not, the betting does not reflect his chances
PUNTING: 7.43 £50 Win Slick Strauss (betting 13-8), £30 double to add in 8.51 Walkthetalk (betting 9-4), £20 win 9:08 Barricane Jack (betting 10-1)