Juvenile heads cracking 14 race card at Towcester

The Time Greyhound Nutrition Juvenile Championship has its roots in a puppy event sponsored by the Greyhound Express Newspaper. It was designed as a January invitation event for the previous season’s major puppy stake winners which usually included the Midland, Northern, Manchester and Wimbledon Puppy Derbys, the Dagenham Puppy Cup, and possibly the Puppy Oaks.

Later taken on by The Sporting Life, Racing Post and then RPGTV, it remained without a sponsor and set to be cancelled until Willie Rigney of Time Greyhound Nutrition generously agreed to support the event.

Staying with the basic ethos of the event, the 2024 Juvenile features: Romeo Crusade (Romford Puppy Cup), King Memphis (English Puppy Derby), Slick Sabo (Puppy Classic – as Glenvale Bill), Newinn Syd (Eclipse-3rd Puppy Clasic – withdrawn), Clona Curly (Northern Puppy Derby) and Irish raider Faypoint Harvey (Munster Juvenile).

Given all known form, it is impossible to look past the Star Sports English Derby favourite King Memphis to land this. He has actually only raced on five occasions over course and distance for three wins and two seconds. The defeats include running New Destiny to half a length in his first ever race, and one defeat by Queen Shakira during the English Puppy Derby. He went on to break the track record (28.66) and then win the final.

Clona Curly, with an empty trap on his inside would appear the greatest danger. His big win at Newcastle was followed by a decent run in the PGR Puppy Derby at Monmore though given his running style, Towcester’s 500 metres should suit him even more.

Of the remainder, Slick Sabo is still to run into form, but would be a serious contender if he were to do so. Romeo Crusade looks certain to find this trip on the testing side while Irish entry Faypoint Harvey arrives without a trial and may be using this outing as a sighter.

The card also features six heats of the KAB Maiden Derby where none will be attracting more interest than the £41,500 purchase Greyhoundtrader on-line purchase Scaglietti. A dog with 29.26 (x2) and 29.27 form over Shelbourne’s 550 yards, the Ricky Holloway trained runner has not raced in seven months.

The event is also being used to gain experience for seven Irish raiders from the Holland, Hennessy and McGee kennels. The 14 race card also features for Derby trialstakes including an appearance from Greyhound of the Year, Droopys Clue.

Full card

Gymcrack at the semi final stage

The Bresbet Gymcrack reaches the semi final stages this afternoon at Sheffield.

Here is a reminder of last week’s first round including the thoughts of RM Andrew Mascarenhas about this afternoon’s semi finals.

ANTE POST: 11/8 Wicky Ned, 7/1 Greenwell Coe, 8/1 Droopys Supply, 12/1 Ellanne Run, 16/1 Ballymac Wylder, Coppice Leger, Droopys Extragud, No Better Feeling, 18/1 Ballymac Lawless, 20/1 Miss Syd 25/1 Headford Tadgh, Not So Slow, 33/1 Bramble Tango, Coppice Sapphire, Toddys Thunder

Betting: 1/1 Greenwell Coe, 4/1 Ellane Run, 9/2 Ballymac Wylder, 11/2 Ballymac Lawless, 13/2 Coppice Leger, 12/1 Bramble Tango

Sel 5-3-4


Betting: 4/11 Wicky Ned, 3/1 Droopys Supply, 8/1 Coppice Sapphire, Miss Syd,25/1 Sleepy Millie 

Sel Sel: 1-5-2


Betting: 1/1 Droopys Extragud, 11/4 Not So Slow, 5/1 Headford Tadgh, 13/2 No Better Feelin, 8/1 Toddys Thunder, 16/1 Aikins Gift

Sel: 2-3-5

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Irene quickest, Capaldi out of Laurels

Only 22 spots separated all six heats winners in the first round of the ARC Laurels at Perry Barr on Saturday with British Breeders Stakes runner-up Acomb Irene recording the fastest time of the night with a 28.24 run. The big shock of the night was the defeat of 2/13f King Capaldi who stumbled when leaving the boxes in the same heat.

This followed an incident whereby there had been an issue getting runners one of the runners into the traps, followed by the removal of the runners from the traps and the resulting re-inspection of the runners from the track vet.

But it was a particularly good night for owner/breeder/trainer Kevin Ferguson when British Breeders Stakes winner Acomb Felix completed a double in heat 5.

Links Maverick seems to be a stronger runner in his second season and came from behind Bettys Jack in the opening heat. Eze, who finished runner-up to Maverick in last year’s Pall Mall, was only a length slower on the clock when winning his heat in 28.43. The unfortunate Aero Sacundai had looked set to qualify until cramping.

Phil Barlow’s Wicky Hiker was quicker than both Maverick and Eze with a 28.32 run as local favourite Darley Diglake exited the event. Hiker will get a chance to challenge both Irene and Maverick in a particularly tough semi.

Kevin Hutton’s Jet Stream Angel showed her love of Perry Barr when following No Rush home in last year’s Oaks Final (reversed by the stewards) and she was back on the mark in heat four.

Shivoo got a shift on in Belle heats

Crafty Shivoo is back. The old adage that it took 16 weeks for a bitch to return to peak form following a seasonal break was played out in fine style by the Empress Stakes winner at Hove in the opening round of the Coral Brighton Belle.

The Mark Wallis trained black was nine lengths quicker than any other winner with a FOY run for the Hove 515m course when seeing off Havana Bale Out by five lengths in 29.80, on going rated -20.

For the KSS Syndicate, the night could barely have gone more badly. Or maybe it could. The first race, featuring treble Cat One winner was void with the hare stopped at the third bend because the starrting traps could not be moved. Joni, Montana Angel and Selsey Bullet came through the ballot. Particularly unfortunate was Shivoo’s kennelmate Fabulous Sonique who had dominated the void race.

Paul Young pulled off a 48/1 double beating two KSS hotpots. Droopys Auntie slipped the trouble to clock 30.60, while Bubbly Bombay held on by a determined short head in 30.64. Defending champ Betsys Bullet retained one paw on her crown after taking heat 4 while Allowdale Cazoo stamped the Bussey Memorial form with a win over Minnie Bullet.