After weeks of preparation and two rounds we are down to the final six of the Coral Maiden Trophy and Coral Essex Vase. The competitions over 400 and 575 metres have not disappointed and the finals at 8.38pm and 8.54pm will surely also be full of high drama and excitement. Worth £5,000 and £10,000 to the winners, the ones who get their names on the trophy will have deserved it.
Away from the competitions, Romford have put on supporting opens along with starting and concluding category two and three competitions for us to enjoy. As ever there are greyhounds making their Romford debuts and stepping up in trip for the first time. Yours truly has endeavoured to find out more about two of them.
Pelaw Grange trainer Colin Watson is braving the Friday traffic to race his charge Marinas Poniente ‘down sarf’ for the first time. After only one race at home track Pelaw Grange where he finished second in an A1 graded affair over 435 metres is taking on Romford. In a maidens only race at 9.12pm over 400 metres the son of Ballymac Bolger and Bellmore Lucy will be looking to shed his maiden tag at the first time of asking.
He has had a recent look around the track with a spin over 225 metres in a trial. In that trial he clocked a good calculated time of 13.78. 400 metres could suit him down to the ground right now as over in Ireland he has won three times over 306 metres at Drumbo Park in both graded and open races. To win over a short trip several times bodes well going into tonight’s race.
Colin on him said: “He is a two year old out of Ballymac Bolger. I’ve had him five to six weeks and decided to enter him in a maiden open. It’s a tough race. He will be a good price as I think red and blue will be ahead of him in the market.
“With me, he has only had one race at Pelaw Grange but have high hopes for the future with him.
“We gave him a sprint trial and he went well. In his trial he beat a sprinter with winning open race form. We were pleased with his 13.78 time around the track for his first look.
“He has early and in time will be best suited to 500 metres. He is a little way off that yet and need to build him up. He does have early and if he makes the first bend in front will hopefully see it home. He has got to get out the traps.
“He has trap three and that is good for him while he is learning the track. Fingers crossed he does well.”
Ladbrokes are offering 9/2 for the Pelaw Grange raider to win a open race at the very first attempt.
Guinness claim “good things come to those who wait”. Unattached trainer Shaun Moore will be hoping that slogan applies to him. Based in Derbyshire he is trying his charge Coyote Bear for the first time at Romford in the ‘lucky last’ at 9.42pm in a maiden stayers race over 575 metres. The November ‘19 whelp although attempting 575 metres and Romford for the first time does have some experience over six bends.
He has had two races at Monmore and Sheffield in open affairs over 630 and 660 metres. On those occasions he finished second and fifth. Over four bends the son of Ballymac Eske and Aniseed Twist has won four times over 500 metres at Nottingham with one an open race victory. 575 metres could be ideal for him and if taking to Romford the wait to the last race may be worth it for trainer and connections.
Shaun on him said: “I think 575 metres will be perfect for him. I have no doubt he will stay the trip. He always stayed on strong at Nottingham over 500 metres. He doesn’t quite get 660 metres at Sheffield but 575 metres is right up his street.
“We gave him a trial at Nottingham over 480 metres and he impressed me. He is showing good form and pace. He is a big dog and took a long time to come on. He has had his problems in the past but is over them now. If he transfers that trial to Romford he has a chance.
“Romford should not be a problem for him although he is a big dog. He is experienced and has been at several tracks. He is going to Romford blind but if he gets out has a chance.
“He has trap two and that’s where he wants to be. It’s ideal for him to be honest.”
Ladbrokes make him an 8/1 shot to win at Romford at the first time of asking.