“That’s my first track record. I’ve mentioned it to Ernie who still hasn’t got one, though he’s promised to mention it to his dad.”
Yvonne Gaskin was thrilled by the 14.58 track record set by kennel star Chopchop Hope for the 238m course at Harlow on Wednesday night. It was her 14th open race win of the year and ‘the Queen of Romford’ is now back to her best. The time was one spot inside the previous best recorded by Jumeirah Maximus.
Yvonne said: “She damaged a shoulder and and was off for a while then wasn’t trapping as well as she can. But she looks back to her old self now.
“Hopefully she will do well in the final. Really she isn’t a true sprinter and the long term aim is the Oaks at Swindon. She stayed 525 yards in Ireland so hopefully she will get the 480m. We are also thinking about the National Sprint at Nottingham later in the year. Really though, Romford is her ideal track and distance and we will have her back there on Friday nights.”
On the subject of ‘ideal tracks’ Yvonne was delighted to see the major renovation work at Romford. As predicted by Jason Begg when he was relaying the new circuit, it will take a while for the new surface to bed in.
Yvonne said: “There haven’t been many winners from trap one so far but the track staff are absolutely drenching the track between races. It is simply being sucked in like a sponge. I think it needs a period of heavy rain.
“But I like the way the dogs feet are sinking in and it was a job that had to be done. Previously it was like quicksand on the inside because the water couldn’t drain away. The inside runners had even less chance than now. I think it will develop into an excellent surface given a little bit of time and great credit to Ian Smyth for making it a priority.”
Yvonne’s father in law Ernie Gaskin senior, the former open race trainer/breeder and keen coursing enthusiast, retains an interest in racing and is regularly updated on progress by his son.
Yvonne said: “Unfortunately, Ernie isn’t quite as well as we would hope. He is 83 now and struggles with his memory, but young Ernie pops in to see him every day. He’ll be chuffed to hear about the track record.”