A quieter Saturday night

With most of the major players on show on Friday, a slightly more low key evening with Boylesports Bob the highest placed runner in the ante post betting (5th).

The feature race of the night is arguably heat ten where Graham Holland’s High Trend renews rivalry with Ballinabola Bob and Patrick Janssens’ impressive first round winner, Barntick Bear.

An intruiging clash between the Boothby/Henry pairing of Unreal Bruiser and Clona Curly. Bruiser has five wins in eight races over course and distance with the quickest being in last week’s qualifier where he never put a paw wrong.

Clona Curly is probably the quicker of the pair though his pace tend to be concentrated in the second half of the race as he showed in last week’s heat. When he does get it right – as he showed in the Northern Puppy Derby Final – he is a very fast greyhound. If Bruiser breaks as last week, he can secure a place on the rail. On last week’s evidence Clona Kody will probably lead up on the outside.

So how much traffic will Curly have to negotiate? The punt is – ‘not too much’. 5-2-6

Betting guide: 5/2 Clona Curly, 11/4 Unreal Bruiser, 7/2 Mr Chelm, 5/1 Clona Kody, 6/1 Coss Tokyo, 10/1 Azurite


High Trend had won eight of his last ten races including the Irish Laurels Final before making his Towcester debut in late April. He was hugely impressive in last week’s heats.

However – Barntick Bear was equally impressive in the very next heat and his progress since looking an incredibly fast but green pup at Monmore is high encouraging. Could he be the real Derby deal?

Now Trend will probably lead and undoubtedly find time – but ‘five lengths is five lengths’ and but for the ‘Holland (Irish)’ tag, would the layers be making him favourite for this?

But this is far from a two-runner field (or an Ireland v Belgium intertrack). The Buckley pair are both worthy of note while Team Matthews are not just turning up for a spot of sightseeing with their Kirby runner-up Merits Inclusion. 3-2-6

Betting guide: 2/1 High Trend, 9/4 Barntick Bear, 4/1 Ballinabola Ed, 5/1 Merits Inclusion, 13/2 Singalong Dolly, 14/1 Droopys Supply


Only one heat winner here and an impressive one too in Antigua Hawk.

But it is unlikely that he was find this one such a walkover. Juvenile winner Faypoint Harvey missed his kick slightly in the first round and then found himself behind a wall of dogs. If he misses it for a second time, it could get messy. But he is the only one of the field with a sub4.00 sectional and his 28.85 may well not remain his PB for long.

This really is a genuinely competitive heat and even outsider Keefill Goose is no forlorn hope. 4-5-2

Betting guide: 9/4 Antigua Hawk, 3/1 Faypoint Harvey, 3/1 Jaytee Craze, 5/1 Droopys Doughnut, 11/2 Ballymac Gizmo, 12/1 Keefill Goose


Not the toughest of the heats and one that should be well within the scope of Crafty Shivoo. The Empress Stakes winner was not her fluent best in the first round though her sheer desire to win got her home. Hopefully the real Shivoo steps it up this time around.

If there is going to be a shock, could it be Rioja Joey‘s night? His Sheffield and Perry Barr form prior to injury would make him a real player in here. It is his third race back and if he traps on terms, he faces an interesting battle with Faypoint Sean. In terms of ability, there is very little between the first five in the betting and so much will depend on who gets clear of the field. 2-3-1

Betting guide: 2/1 Crafty Shivoo, 11/4 Romeo Steel, 4/1 Ballymac Slick, 9/2 Faypoint Sean, 5/1 Rioja Joey, 14/1 Coppice Ella


Boylesports Bob has tons of quality and would almost certainly be the quickest in the field if they all ran solo trials. He won’t lead early but should be a major player in the second half of the race as he was in his last outing.

Ballymac Dapper will have his share of supporters though he is still without a win in 10 races so the slightly enigmatic El Tornillo looks an interesting option. He has on occasion produced glimpses of exceptional form – he clocked 27.30 for Doncaster’s 450m at 19 months old and he already has 29.10 over course and distance.

Edwards is no world beater but a repeat of his first round run should see him qualify.  6-1-3

Betting guide: 10/11 Boylesports Bob, 2/1 Ballymac Dapper, 11/2 Edwards, 12/1 Aero Convey, 14/1 El Tornillo, 16/1 Droopys Suprstar


Possibly the weakest heat of the round, without a first round winner, and totally at the mercy of Ballymac Finn. He reached the semis last year without ever winning a heat, but all were tougher contests than this.

Glorious Tom didn’t quite get home last week but will three get past him if he produces another quick break? Queen Leona can pick up the pieces later on. 2-4-5

Betting guide: 6/4 Ballymac Finn, 11/2 Hawkfield Abbie, 11/2 Queen Leona, 11/2 Savana Jackpot, 10/1 Glorious Tom, 10/1 Jim By Two


No heat winners in here either. Of the Irish entries, Antigua Kestrel probably boasts the best line of form – 28.03 at Limerick. Grouchos Duke has a 28.19 at Shelbourne though it was last September. Newinn Port would be some way down the pecking order in the Holland kennel. Whyaye Man and Wasted Monday are both seasoned open racers.

Puppy Droopys Pivotel falls into the category of young dogs whose reputation should grow during this compeition. He has 28.91 winning form for 500m at Hove which would probably be good enough to win this.  4-3-2

Betting guide: 2/1 Droopys Pivotel, 4/1 Antigua Kestrel, 4/1 Grouchos Duke, 4/1 Newinn Port, 13/2 Wasted Monday, 13/2 Whyaye Man


On the basis that Miracle ran Barntick Bear to half a length and a short head, combined with an impressive display of early pace, Patrick Janssens’ brindle looks a decent bet in here. (What price would Barntick Bear be?)

Last year’s finalist Cochise was never blessed with great early, and at almost four, he isn’t about to find any. But he can’t be left out of the tricast. A fully fit Never Say No would also be nailed on to make it through. A returning-to-form Never Say No, will probably get through. 5-4-3

Betting guide: 5/4 Miracle, 3/1 Cochise, 10/3 Never Say No, 5/1 Bramble Elvis, 12/1 Foggy Bottom, 20/1 Makeit Flo

The Silver Salver ready to deliver

The Silver Salver – with its origins in Essex – was one of several poor relations in the sprint calendar, despite a long and worthy history.

However, last year, ARC chose to elevate the competition from a Cat 2 event worth £5,000 to the winner to a Cat 1 worth £12,500 and they were immediately rewarded by the appearance of Irish raider Flashing Willow who beat Gougane Jet and Quarteira in a top class final.

This year’s race was oversubscribed and should offer some good competitive racing.

Three locals take on three raiders – though Time To Talk was originally a local. There is little between the locals with Merrymeetings Lil having beaten Kevinsfort Duke on the last occasion that they met. Though Tony Collett’s orange jacketed runner has since stepped up on that form. A switch to Crayford should see him (and Lil) sharper than ever though he just gets the vote. 5-4-6


Romeo Crusade and Broadway Murty met in the Northamptonshire Sprint final with Murty coming out in front. The pair also met again at Hove where sean White’s dog came out on top. But this is Central Park where Crusade recently clocked 16.37 and a repeat of that run should be good enough here. Last year’s finalist Ballyard Shawny, now with Jason Bloomfield, continues in fine form and should be thereabout 3-2-1


If you were to compile a list of the six fastest sprinters in training, Bombout Bullet would probably be on it. He picked up the National Sprint title at Nottingham in December as a 4/7f. You can onluy assume that connections will have targeted this event and he should be too good for this opposition.

Cappaneale Rocky has been off the track but would be a danger if returning to his form of last autumn. Without Justice is possibly the best hope among the locals. 2-3-4


Another three raiders v three locals contest here and on this occasion, it could be Billy Russell’s Magical Bluebear who stands out after very quick wins at Towcester and Monmore. The locals seem to show a lot of faith in Tullymurry Oncue, judging from his starting prices. He also has four wins in his last six. 5-2-1


When pure sprinters take on early paced middle distance runners, the specialists normally come out in front. On that basis, the seasoned Salthil Sniper is a ‘proper’ sprinter with plenty of good open race form. There was only half a length between him and Guzzler when they met at Hove which probably reflects their very comparable abilities. 3-6-1


Hopes Hurricane recently ran third in the Supersprint at Cork and was runner-up in the Islandbridge Sprint though he previously raced in the UK for Nathan Hunt as an absolute baby. Should be good enough here. The tricast may be Romford based with little to choose between Cairo King and Romeo Cypher who is returning following a lay-off. 6-3-2

Fourmidable Wallis views Destiny of the Coronation

Mark Wallis looks to be in a strong position to add to his four Coronation Cup wins after MWD Partnership runner picked up a four timer at Romford on Friday.

Going into the first heat, ante post favourite New Destiny had won just once in her previous ten outings, with two of those (expensive) losses coming from trap one at Romford. But looking very much like the best version of herself, Destiny simply blew them away with a 13.36 sectional (the year’s fastest sprint open was won in 13.49) and an 11 length win in (a FOY) 34.82. She will run from the same box in the semis.

Next quickest of the quartet was Ballymac Diana who turned over the event’s second favourite Miami Bullet in an emphatic 35.18. Minnie Bullet took a step closer to her EIGHTH Category One final with a 35.41 run/ Fabulous Sonique showed she is returning to her best Romford form (35.12) with a 35.75 run.

The only downside on the night was the disqualification of the kennel’s Ranchers Wolf. So the fifth Suffolk based winner was John Mullins’ Tromora Rex with a 35.45 run.

The meeting concluded with a 10/1 outsider in the shape of Seamus Cahill’s Swift Radiantly, followed by Cooladerry Dust, and the inevitable fifth qualifier for the MWD team, Ballymac Johnjo.

The night ended with a bizarre twist in the trap draw with four of the kennel’s qualifiers being drawn together.


Tonight:   Central Park  ♦  Doncaster   ♦  Monmore  ♦   Oxford   ♦   Towcester

Sunday:   Crayford   ♦   Sheffield   ♦   Towcester

Monday: Nottingham