For anyone who has ever worked with greyhounds, the performance of Ice On Fire in even going to traps some 15 months after his last race and having suffered an apparent career ending gracilis injury, and then winning his Northern Flat heat (!!!!) is perhaps the ultimate Performance of the Week. It really was that special.

There was a similar story of faith and perseverance at Nottingham on Monday when Cronody Zero landed a Nottingham sprint in 17.63. The time was decent enough, just four spots off the fastest run of the year. The bigger story is that the dog who began his UK career in 2018 and was the fastest sprinter at Perry Barr in 2019, has been nursed through a career of only 20 races.

Tuesday night featured the KAB Maiden Derby though Paul Burr’s Swift Cope clocked the fastest time over the 500m course this year in a Derby trialstake.

On the same night, veteran Sharpys Pluto was the quickest winner in the British bred dual distance event at Sheffield. He and brother Sharpys Rocket go into tomorrow’s final with 203 races between them.

A track record is always likely to be a major contender for a nomination and Aayamza Royale earned hers by taking four spots off her own course clock at Monmore. And she (T6) clearly left several lengths on the track.

The Romford Friday cards have dipped a bit in recent weeks, as evidence by a 35.50 run by Doolin Princess being the best of the meeting.

Last week’s Yarmouth selection Abigails Canary was out to defend her title on Wednesday but found one too good, and the week’s only sub 28.00 winner in Montrose. Ross Magic was the sole hound to break 28.00 at the only other track to race over 462m, Kinsley. Pelaw’s Gartcloss Pamer was another to let a title slip when fourth to Glasheen Duke in the week’s top four bend event at Pelaw. Sunderland’s defending top dog Mr Know All didn’t reappear this week. In his absence, Mirrens Magic landed the top A1 though Tempus was even quicker on the same card in A2.

Thursday night saw Ballynabee Jet record the second fastest 500 of the year at Hove, though we have to edge it to hat-trick hero Tommys Pluto whose 16.12 for the sprint was identical to Shrewd Call’s best run when he clocked the fastest 285m time of 2020.

Crayford’s Dians Jazzer clocked 24.02 when winning an A10 on debut last November. He has progressed roughly 11 lengths in six months as demonstrated with a 23.16 run last week.

Pat Rosney’s Moyar Valley won the fastest A2 at Perry Barr last week in 28.82, though he was still slower than kennelmate Takemyhand in the A3. Henow wasn’t an obvious choice either. Quickest of the week was Savana Victor in an A2, albeit he was then turned over in a much slower A1 by Jaxx Purple.

If there is one track where the relationship between winning times and grades is regularly more random than Harlow, we are yet to find it. Quickest time of the week was a 26.64 in A5 by Salems Vermont. Other A5 winning times: 27.00, 27.05, 27.59.

Doncaster’s top dog decider has become a regular Sunday morning event with the tracks best 483m runners all on display. This week there were four A2s with Sue Watson (Kilara Bugle) edging out grandson Jimmy Gaskin’s Waikiki Dancer. Have to say this is becoming a bit of a habit Jimmy 🙂

Sunday night invariably throws up the top performances of the week at Swindon and Central Park and both produced nailed-on selections. At Blunsdon, Forest Gold turned over a whole string of previous POW selections, including the incumbent, Loggies Wanted, in the fastest time of the week.

Meanwhile at Central Park, Meenagh Maverick made it up to his supporters with a merited win in the Cearnsport Grand National Final. The blue mixed it with some of top open racers before escaping a yellow card in his final race in Dublin (he had previously been marked awkward).

But since joining Ricky Holloway, the once wayward Maverick has been a revelation and was desperately unlucky not to fulfill his potential when beaten a head as the 4-7 Springbok favourite.

He reached the senior hurdle decider without a victory but once again showing his tremendous stamina, the 3-1 chance reeled in kennelmate Toolmaker Daddy in a flying 29.53 (-40).


CENTRAL PARK 29.50 480mH MEENAGH MAVERICK (Droopys Roddick-Slippery Cinders, Apr 18)
CRAYFORD 23.16 380m DIANS JAZZER (Ballymac Vic-Hot Set, Jan 19)
DONCASTER 30.93 483m KILARA BUGLE (Kinloch Brae-Tyrur Fergie, Apr 17)
HARLOW 26.64 415m SALEMS VERMONT (Droopys Cain-Billis Squealer, Jul 18)
HENLOW 27.61 460m SAVANA VICTOR (Ballymac Vic-Monroe Beag, Aug 18)
HOVE 16.12 285m TOMMYS PLUTO (Pat C Sabbath-Holycross Jewel, Aug 18)
KINSLEY 27.83 462m ROSS MAGIC (Mileheight Alba-Soul Diver, May 18)
MONMORE 55.91 900m AAYAMZA ROYALE (Ballymac Eske-Ascot Lydia, Nov 17)
NEWCASTLE 28.66 480m ICE ON FIRE (Crash-Bigmans Grainne, Oct 17)
NOTTINGHAM 17.63 305m CRONODY ZERO (Zero Ten-Cronody Sophie, Aug 16)
PELAW GRANGE 26.13 435m GLASHEEN DUKE (Droopys Jet-Glasheen Queen, Aug 18)
PERRY BARR 28.63 480m TAKEMYHAND (Laughil Blake-Droopys Eiffel, Aug 18)
ROMFORD 35.50 575m DOOLIN PRINCESS (Barcia Bale-Droopys Smaher, Jul 18)
SHEFFIELD 40.32 660m SHARPYS PLUTO (Viking Jack-Malls Pet, Apr 17)
SUNDERLAND 27.39 450m TEMPUS (Quietly-Turbos Tornado, Jun 18)
SWINDON 28.09 476m FOREST GOLD (Dorotas Wildcat-Forest Dot, Sep 18)
TOWCESTER 29.33 500m SWIFT COPE (Eden The Kid-Zaras Fantasy, Jun 18)
YARMOUTH 27.95 462m MONTROSE (Pat C Sabbath-Auntie, Jul 18)

RPGTV Grand National winner Meenagh Maverick with Ricky Holloway. Central Park 9th May 2021. Photo: © Steve Nash