For years the Ladbrokes Guys And Dolls was a ‘three grand’ event. It was then bumped up to £5,000 for the winner, and much to the delight of Patrick Janssens, is now worth £7,500 for the first time.  (The 2008 final, staged as a special event for SKY was won by Me Buddy and was a actually worth £8,000 to the winner).

Janssens Kilmore Lemon will start favourite for next week’s decider after clocking 23.14 in both the opening round and semi final. The Dolls semi final went to Dave Lee’s British bred Special Story in 23.24.

Lemon, who is again drawn in five for the decider has won ten of his last twelve races, and but for the enhanced Crayford race, Jenssens would be scratching his head as to what to do with his ‘sprint/short middle distance’ star.

He said: “Lemon is the fastest dog over 300 metres that I have ever put a lead on. If you look at his record, a sprint track record at Yarmouth, a sub track record run in a trial at Sunderland, 17.52 on his first look at Nottingham, when he was still a puppy! He reminds me a little bit of Fear No One, but when he was running, there were more options.

“Lemon would have been perfect for the Peterborough Derby (420m), or somewhere like Milton Keynes (440m), but apart from Romford on a Friday night, there aren’t too many more options for this type of dog. So we were delighted when Crayford improved the prize money for the Guys And Dolls.

“He has run the track okay, considering he is a dog who really likes a long straight. Because unlike a dog like Walkthetalk who smashed the boxes, Lemon is a level breaker who relies on his early pace. His ideal sprint tracks are probably Hove and Nottingham where he can exploits his strengths. We might go for the sprint competition at Yarmouth next.

“Looking at the final, I am happy enough with the draw, on the outside of four railers. Dog racing being as it is, you can never be certain of anything, particularly if he is crowded at the boxes. But you would have to fancy him.”

SPECIAL STORY (t3) wins the Dolls semi final of the Ladbrokes Guys & Dolls from Courts Ad Lee (t1). Photo: © Steve Nash