A ten-race card at Towcester tonight which incorporates six heats of the TRC Health & Hygiene Blue Riband supported by four good class graded events.  When we lost Towcester in 2018 we didn’t just lose a track we lost a flag ship venue that the sport can rightly be proud of.  Thankfully under the guidance of Kevin Boothby the track is on the way back writes Mark Pierrepont. 

Towcester TV returns to our online screens under the production of Steve Katz with access to the evening’s top class racing costing just £5.  Kevin Boothby is attempting to give the greyhound racing public what they want despite the lack of TV coverage and despite an outside sponsor. This is a first major test to determine if greyhound fans are prepared to pay to watch top class racing.  You can watch the racing and purchase your access pass through the following link towcester.tv
The evenings racing starts at 705pm with an A3 over 500m and Frank Gray’s Makeit Posh looks well drawn to complete a four timer having won a D2 sprint followed by two wins in this grade.  Posh looks lucky not to have been upgraded to A2 and given that she faces rivals who in the main are recently up in class from A4 and even A5 she would appear to need just a level break to prove too good.  She did trial over 540m at Crayford last time so there is a slight concern she could miss the up first time back but that would appear to be the only negative to her obvious chances.
Kevin Boon’s Farneys Lark is selected to get his career off to the best possible start by winning on career debut in A4 at 7.21pm.  He’s improved significantly for each trial he’s had so far both on his sectionals and his overall timings.  He can come forward once again and if hitting the front at any stage he’s likely to be very difficult to beat from that position.  He is from a family that Kevin Boon knows very well being out of the dam Body Clock who provided him with his open class stayers Sheldan and Three Ems.  Regardless of tonight’s result Lark looks a greyhound to keep onside this year.
The TRC Health & Hygiene Blue Riband gets underway with heat one at 7.37pm and what a high-class affair to get us started.  In a race where stakes should be kept to a minimum a chance is taken with the Peter Harnden trained Gary Hicks owned Kilara Icon.  He arrived in the UK after finishing an impressive fourth in the final of the Boylesports Irish Derby Final in September and though running well after such a long campaign to reach the quarter final of the English equivalent he latterly looked in need of a well-earned break after elimination from the M Lambe Construction Birmingham Cup in the first round.
Icon has trialled well over the sprint course at Nottingham and went extremely well for what was his first look around Towcester when recording 29.77 calculated last time out.  His main danger looks to be the Dave Mullins trained and Mick Gollogly owned Troy Firebird who stays very well , has excellent early pace and looks well drawn on the wide outside.
Heat two at 7.53pm is sure to see one of the sport’s biggest superstars in the shape of the Patrick Janssens’ trained Bockos Doomie sent off a short-priced favourite.  He could well smash out from trap 3 gaining the rails pitch he craves and make all but given the early pace drawn inside him of Volcanic Reef and King Axle that is far from a given.  A chance therefore is taken on Richard Yeates Faughan Rebel who looks sure to get his run on the outside and can win for owners Mr M Gregori , Mrs S O’Sullivan and Mr M W Warr.
Mark Wallis looks to have a big hand in heat 3 at 8.09pm with his inside duo of Black Eyed Molly owned by The Last Dance Syndicate and Hopes Bullet owned by the Jeal-Bruiser Syndicate.  I’m siding with Hopes Bullet who gave the impression of being a very classy sort in the making during his debut season in 2020.  He looks sure to have a big year ahead.
The supremely well-bred Signet Ace comes from a litter that have really been finding their feet in recent weeks and is taken to land heat four for Kevin himself and co-owner Mark Gilbert.  Ace can smash out from trap 2 make the bend in front and from that position shouldn’t be for beating.
Mark Wallis can land himself a double with the Mr A P Curtis , Mr E F Johnston and Mr S P Oliver owned Coolavanny Kyser taken to land heat five.  Brood bitch Toms Delight needs no introduction having whelped a catalogue of superstar greyhounds.
Kyser hasn’t reached the heights of some of those just yet but he’s still got some excellent form in the book and his last time out trial over course and distance of 2980 calculated off the back of a superb 420 sectional really takes the eye.  His sectional was fastest of the session and with it also being recorded on going rated 40 slow highlights perfectly the early pace this greyhound possesses.  Kyser can ping out and make every post a winning one.
Last but by no means least Kevin Hutton’s Great Eastern can take heat six for owners Mr J B Lanney and Mr S Townsley.  This greyhound had mountains of high-class winning form in AA0 company around Shelbourne and Dundalk and it was far from surprising to see him get his UK career off to a winning start when landing a Monmore A1 at the beginning of the month despite a missed break.  His last time out trial here when stopping the clock in 2979 calculated off the back of a sensational 4.14 split will see he takes a lot of leading up if trapping in similar style and if leading he would want some pegging back.
Back to graded company at 9.12pm with a 712m S3.  Most of these will undoubtedly appreciate the step up in trip but the majority are a little shy of the winner’s podium to say the least.  Stakes should be kept small but I’m taking Fabulous Amity for the training team of Anthony and Laurence Tuffin to take the spoils.  Amity is one of just two in the field to have won over six bends with the other being her litter sister Fabulous Sasha.  Amity’s winning record of 6 from 65 starts is hardly inspiring but it is still a fair bit better than some in the field.  This aligned with her maiden open company victory over 660m at Perry Barr back in June 2019 swing the balance in her favour from a selection viewpoint but from betting purposes this is likely a race best watched.

The final race on the card is an S2 over 712m and can send track promoter Kevin Boothby home smiling as his Savana Volcano trained by Diane Henry can take the spoils.  This bitch is very lightly raced for a May 2018 whelp with just the 4 career starts under her belt with one victory which came in an A6 around this venue in November 2020.  Bred to appreciate extreme tests of stamina she can take this before embarking on an open race campaign over six bends and maybe further.