The Essex Vase concluded last week with the well deserved Aayamza Magic taking the spoils for the Aayamzaboys syndicate and trainer Mark Wallis. Regular readers of this column may remember reading about him last year when he made his debut on these shores last year at Monmore over 480 metres. The plan even then was to step him up as in the words of Mark he “is definitely a stayer”. He wasn’t wrong.
Although the showpiece final finished last week the top quality open action continues tonight with eight opens amongst their thirteen race card. With the semi-finals of the Romford Friday Night Bonanza Standard over 400 metres taking place there is plenty to enjoy. As ever there are several greyhounds making their Romford debuts and trying different trips for the first time. True to form your favourite scribe has endeavoured to find out more about four of them.
Bennys Chancer trained by Yarmouth’s Mark Newbury is making her Romford debut in a Coral Golden Sprint trial stakes over 400 metres at 7.18pm. The December ’20 whelp has had five races on these shores winning three. Interestingly those three wins have come over two and four bends. Over four bends the daughter of Magical Bale and Avongate Class won an A3 graded affair at home track Yarmouth. Over two bends she has won a D1 graded race at Yarmouth over 277 metres and last time out won an open race at Nottingham over 305 metres. She clearly has bundles of early which bodes well going into his first race at Romford. 400 metres could be ideal for her and it may not be long before she is adding a Romford win to her tally.
Karen Newberry, wife and kennel hand to Mark on her said: “She was bought from the sales at Doncaster. She trialled in well at Yarmouth. Ran well in her first race and won next time out. She then chipped her stopper bone and we were told by our vet she may not get back on the track.
“We have space and really took our time with her and after six months has come back and won an open at Nottingham. We were over the moon she got back and to win an open was something else.
“We always knew she had promise and are excited for every race. She has determination and gives it her all. We will take it one trial and race at a time with her. She has early and are trying her over shorter trips to start with and 400 metres could be ideal for her.
“She has got something about her. She has trap five and would have preferred her in traps three or four and from there needs to be on her toes early which she is capable of.”
Corals are offering 11/4 for her to continue her remarkable comeback and win at Romford first time up.
Brown Eyed Boy after eight races at home track Towcester for trainer John Mullins is making his Romford and six bend debut in a stayers race over 575 metres at 7.36pm. The April ’21 whelp has won one of those eight attempts in an A5 graded affair over 500 metres. The step up to 575 metres could be ideal right now for the son of Pestana and Swift Joan. He has had two sprint races over 270 metres so does appear to have some early. That will be needed in his race with having to prove his stamina.
John on him said: “He ran on at Towcester after getting stopped out of the boxes. He gave an indication he will get the trip. Do I think he will stay? Yeah is the answer.
“We did enter him for a maiden but that didn’t fill so thought we would give him a run anyway so that’s why he is in a standard race.
“He has trap five and that is fine. I can’t change the draw but he will be fine from there.”
Corals and Ladbrokes are 14/1 for the Towcester raider to win at Romford and over six bends at the first time of asking.
Swabys Sonny trained by local handler David Mullins and owned by Roy Swaby although has had nineteen runs around the Essex track is attempting 225 metres for the first time at 9.28pm. All those races have been over 400 metres where the April ’21 whelp has won five times. The son of King Elvis and Swabys Luciejane is moving up the grades nicely with his first win coming in an A10 graded affair and his last in an A7. He has bundles of early and the 400 metres trip looks a bit of a stretch for him right now so the drop to 225 metres could prove beneficial for the pacey sort.
Owner Roy on him said: “Looking at it; he has early and is hitting the mark every time. He is very consistent from the traps. Whether he is good enough for 225 metres at open level we will see.
“He is well bred. He is out of King Elvis and Swabys Luciejane who is the half-sister to Ice On Fire. 225 metres might suit him. He has been picked up over 400 metres in a few of his recent races.
“He is named after my grandson and fingers crossed he goes well. He has trap six and in all fairness that is his trap.
“I also joint own Think Again in the same race. Between the two who I think could go best is a hard call. Based on his last race, Think Again did a 3.60 sectional so he is the quickest but he’s a middle runner from trap five. Sonny is more consistent, regularly posting split times around 3.75 and he has his trap.
“I would like Sonny to win but feel Think Again may get the better of the two.”
Corals are 20/1 for the early paced sort to spring a surprise and take the spoils.
All good things come to an end as they say. After over six years of doing ‘Robs Romford Round Up’ this will be the last one. If those who have read it have enjoyed it only half as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it I’ll still be a happy man. A massive thank you must go to everyone who has contributed over the years. Without the contribution from trainers, kennel hands, owners and even a Swindon bookmaker this would not have worked. It needed their support and boy I got it. Everyone who I phoned embraced the idea and never once turned me away.
There was never a better feeling to first cover a greyhound and then see it do the business at a later stage and then able to say ‘you read about it here first’.
A few of my favourite moments has to be when I phoned then Romford trainer Phil Simmonds between matches at Wimbledon lawn tennis club and he was at Ascot races. There was the time I rang owner Jim Parker who had to ring me back as he was at a Britain’s Got Talent audition. Unfortunately, he was not in front of the judges but in the crowd! I still remember getting told off by David Pruhs for mispronouncing his Greyhounds name!
It’s been a privilege to be involved in this but fear not as there is a talented and enthusiastic young man called Callum Mullins who I’m trying to talk into to taking over the mantle – watch this space.