JONATHAN HOBBS: A cracking start to the day – and not a bad end to it! Greyhound fans have another Super Saturday to look forward to with the Ladbrokes Golden Jacket Final and strong supporting card at Crayford this morning followed by the Ladbrokes Puppy Derby and Ladbrokes Winter Derby semi-finals at Monmore tonight.
All the action is on SportyStuff TV/RPGTV (Channel 437), starting at 10am today. Those who followed our ante-post advice are sitting rather pretty!
Four finalists at Crayford and a semi-finalist at Monmore make things interesting from a long-odds view – so good luck to Redzer Renae (Ladbrokes Golden Jacket), Antigua Boy (Peter Bussey Memorial Trophy), Nomansland Flyer (Chief Ramsbottom Hurdle), Ballynabee Lucky (Welcome to Hope Jeal Trophy) and Queen Jessiej (Ladbrokes Winter Derby).
But let’s look at some of the individual fancies . . .
10.37: He’s no spring chicken now, but Desperado Dan looks to have an ace draw in this 540m one-off and should take advantage. It’s a weaker contest than he’s used to and Patrick Janssens’ evergreen runner can show his class.
Play: Desperado Dan
10.53: Savana Prosecco steps up in trip for this 874m marathon but Frank Gray’s runner won going away at Towcester recently and was running on well enough when last here over 714m. The draw outside also looks good for his chances.
Play: Savana Prosecco
11.39: The first of the finals (Welcome to Hope Jeal Trophy) and Ballynabee Lucky carries the ante-post cash but needs to do it right at the traps from the four-box. For that reason, Dave Lee’s Antonella gets the vote to trap in front and escape the pack.
11.54: Superb to see a 1,048m maxi-marathon on the card and even better to see a £1,048 first prize for this one-off. Micks Little Gem won this last year and it’s difficult to look beyond, but Savana Volcano (Diane Henry) looks an unexposed sort and improving.
Play: Savana Volcano
12.09: The Peter Bussey Memorial Trophy Final looks good for the Mark Wallis camp with three finalists from the kennel. Preference is for Aayamza Lexie (12.09) over our each-way ante-post choice kennelmate Antigua Boy, but the break will be crucial over this 540m.
Play: Aayamza Lexie
12.39: Now for the Ladbrokes Golden Jacket Final and Redzer Renae is certainly our best result – and a clear run gives the Gifkins runner every chance. She’s an absolute powerhouse. However, the draw and her performances in the event thus far make the Mark Wallis-trained Bo Shine Bullet a warm order to boss proceedings from pillar-to-post. On paper it looks a match. However, the Golden Jacket has thrown up a few shocks over the years, so well done to the connections of Sweet Leaf (Emma Richards), Ragtime Storm (Dan Brabon), Anhid News (Mark Wallis) and Punk Rock Mutley (Stuart Maplesden), all of whom have a shot at the title.
Plays: Bo Shine Bullet/Redzer Renae
12.54: Salacres Pippy didn’t enjoy much luck in running in the Golden Jacket semis but having made all in the heats is tough to look beyond in this consolation final. Peter Harnden’s bitch starts well down the middle in a race where the up-in-trip Blue Tick George makes the market possibly.
Play: Salacres Pippy
1.09: The Ricky Holloway-trained Nomansland Flyer won his heat well enough to suggest he takes the beating in the Chief Ramsbottom Hurdle Final. It’s the 540m trip now, which suits Toolmaker Daddy potentially, but stripes could escape – if clearing Toughest Test early doors.
Play: Nomansland Flyer
Monmore matches Crayford for quality tonight with the semi-finals of the Ladbrokes Puppy Derby and Ladbrokes Winter Derby plus supporting competitions over four and six bends.
There’s some cracking action right from the get-go with Strategic Lenson (6.17) earning the vote for Paul Sallis to shine in the first semi-final of the Puppy Derby – clearing Westway Blake will be key here, however.
Other Puppy Derby votes go the way of Kevin Boon’s Bettys Book (6.33) providing she gets a run past Bockos Belly next door, while the Graham Rankin Jaguar Macie (6.48) might just be the one to beat outright after her first-round romp.
In the Winter Derby heats – three extremely competitive contests – value selection Bubbly Bollinger (8.43) catches the eye for Paul Young in the third semi-final.
It’s take-your-pick between Great Eastern and Gymstar Elusive in the first semi and, as for the second semi-final, any of Queen Jessie, Coolavanny Kyser, Tenpin and Magical Arrow can win in a red-hot affair. What an outstanding race that is – one to enjoy!
Elsewhere on the Monmore card, Essex Vase third Antigua Rum (7.07) might have the all-round speed to win his heat of the 630m competition for the Wallis kennel, as might up-in-trip Coolavanny Bani (7.44) for Angela Harrison.
Good luck all.