The big meeting of the week was the ARC Laurels Final from Perry Barr where Liz McNair landed her second title with Havana Class, the first was with Full Cigar in 2002. While acknowledging a fine performance, the nomination doesn’t go to the pup, or even the excellent 28.41 runner Jumeirah Sprite. No, it has to go to the new track record holder Savana Volcano following her fourth length win over Aayamza Royale. The previous best of 56.75 was held by the Head Iton Jordan recorded in 2007. The distance has also been tackled by some seriously talented individuals over the years including Bumblebee Bullet (57.75) Supreme Rossie (57.27) and Savana Volcano’s grand dam, Flying Winner (57.56).

Sticking with the track record breaking theme, the Newcastle selection is the new 640m record holder, Cold As Ice. Ice On Fire’s half brother, who ran third in the English Puppy Derby was five spots inside Calzaghe Frisby’s previous best for course and distance in making his staying debut.

Staying with the stayers, Coolavanny Bani gave a thoroughly professional performance to land the ARC Grand Prix at Sunderland by reversing first round form over Blue Tick George by a couple of lengths.

On the same night at Towcester, Ballymac Trend was faultless in winning the RP Juvenile and gets the vote for the quality of opposition that she turned over. A mention too through for Drumcrow Brent who was a length quicker over the Derby course. As anyone who watched him at Perry Barr will testify, this is a very very good greyhound who continues to improve with virtually every run. (Wide runners can’t win at Towcester BTW).

Beaten Juvenile runner Tenpin looked a good thing to get the Central Park nomination with a 29.40 (-60) win at Central Park. Toolmaker Daddy clocked 29.59 on similar going – and over the sticks!

Romford’s Friday night opens have tailed off a little in recent weeks but the 35.37 run of Perrysblueyedboy was recorded in a field that included Antigua Romeo, Antigua Boy and Doolin Princess. Note – he is bred for further!

Nottingham’s Monday opens have also taken a dip, but take nothing away from the amazing veteran Ballymac Alfonse with a 17.69 win over the sprint course. It was only his ninth race in 14 months. Top effort from trainer Peter Dugmore!

Hove staged a full open race card on Saturday and while there were decent performances over all distances, the stand-out was Hilight Arkle (one of Mark Pierrepont’s 2021 Dogs To Follow) with the fastest 500 run of the year to date.

Sheffield’s Holdem Japan had mixed success on his open race travels (1:6) but returned in good form to clock the joint fastest sprint of the year at his home course. There was also a notable sprint from Hollyoak Cody at Henlow, a 16.57 run being joint fastest of the year.

In general, open races trump graded events, but not in the case of Rodrick Rules, winner of a genuine top A1 at home track Swindon.

It is three weeks today until the start of Yarmouth’s Cat 1 staying event, the George Ing St.Leger. Until then we are left to consider 24 middle distance races. No sign of a sub 28.00 runner this week, but almost! Welcoming to the ring with a run of 28.00, Onthego Blu. Only two hounds have broken 28.00 for Kinsley’s 462m in April to date and the quickest of them was Leinster Flare. Elite Force’s last race win was in A3 at Yarmouth last October, until Friday that was, when she clocked the fastest time of the week at Harlow. Pelaw staged three A1s in their ‘meeting and a half’ with Derrytagh Razzy, the quickest of the bunch.

Antonella has already appeared twice on the list in 2021 and now completes the hat-trick following a PB 23.10 win at Crayford on Saturday. While in the ‘Battle of the Ballymacs’ at Doncaster, Johnsie v Sirocco, it was Sue Watson’s Ballymac Johnsie, made his first appearance on the chart since December.

Kevin Hutton had his last Saturday night graded runners at Monmore and won two of the three A1s with Signet Mafia the fastest on the night, with the track’s top six-bender Daddys Prince in second.

CENTRAL PARK 29.59 480mH TOOLMAKER DADDY (Scolari Me Daddy-Droopys Isabella, Jul 17)
CRAYFORD 23.10 380m ANTONELLA (Ballymac Best-Strawberry Amy, Aug 18)
DONCASTER 29.66 483m BALLYMAC JOHNSIE (Ballymac Best-Ballymac Hostess, Sep 18)
HARLOW 26.28 415m ELITE FORCE (Tyrur Big Mike-Coppeen Maeve, May 17)
HENLOW 16.57 277m HOLLYOAK CODY (Lemon Jamesy-Dreams Of Silver, Oct 18)
HOVE 29.28 500m HILIGHT ARKLE (Good News-Fiftyshadesnifty, Jan 19)
KINSLEY 27.95 462m LEINSTER FLARE (Lenson Bolt-Eyeoweuzilch, Sep 18)
MONMORE 28.35 480m SIGNET MAFIA (Laughil Blake-Forest Natalee, Sep 18)
NEWCASTLE 38.56 640m COLD AS ICE (Holdem Spy-Bigmans Grainne, May 19)
NOTTINGHAM 17.69 305m BALLYMAC ALFONSE (Ballymac Best-Coolavanny Angie, Nov 16)
PELAW GRANGE 26.08 435m DERRYTAGH RAZZY (Droopys Sydney-Shale Sally, Aug 18)
PERRY BARR 56.50 915m SAVANA VOLCANO (Confident Rankin-Volcano, May 18)
ROMFORD 35.37 575m PERRYSBLUEYEDBOY (Superior Product-Global Liberty, Feb19)
SHEFFIELD 16.02 280m HOLDEM JAPAN (Hiya Butt-Mickeys Eye, Jul 18)
SUNDERLAND 39.21 640m COOLAVANNY BANI (Droopys Sydney-Toms Delight, May 18)
SWINDON 28.61 476m RODRICK RULES (Ballymac Vic-Black Eyed Magic, Jul 18)
TOWCESTER 29.62 500m BALLYMAC TREND (Ballymac Best-Motorbar Abigail, Apr 19)
YARMOUTH 28.00 462m ONTHEGO BLU (Lenson Panda-Swift Starlet, May 18)