GREYHOUND PREVIEW: We again feature Oxford and Romford on Friday evening live on RPGTV. Both tracks feature big race competition semi-finals. Towcester on Sunday will be the best action on the weekend, again live on RPGTV. They host the semifinals of The Blue Riband.
Semi Finals The theme of the weekend
With cup competitions in full swing in the soccer world, semi-finals are the name of the game this weekend in greyhound racing circles. On Friday evening Oxford will host two semi-finals of the BGBF British Bred Puppy Cup. On the same evening Romford are at the semi-final stage of two events, The Maiden Trophy and The Essex Vase, and on Sunday afternoon at Towcester, it is the semi-finals of the Blue Riband from the Derby venue.
The first semi-final of the Puppy Cup at Oxford is due off at 19:24 and Romeo Atomic has almost ten lengths in hand on the clock over nearest rival Shooter McGavin. Romeo Atomic was sent to traps last week as the 1/7 favorite and as you would expect, he made no mistake when running out a facile winner over the reopposing Shooter McGavin. He will be long odds on again this Friday and should make all.
The second heat is a more open affair with Jaffa (T1) Banthams Dennis (T2) and Watchall Syd (T6) the ones to focus on. Banthams Dennis was the slowest of the trio on last week’s running but can improve on that effort. He went up well in a trial prior to the start of this competition and can improve on last weeks run. Jaffa will be strongly fancied by many from an ideal draw in red, however the best drawn dog in the race may be Watchall Syd. Syd showed fine early pace to lead after a moderate start last weekend and should have plenty of room to operate out wide, he just gets the vote to take the second semi.
Later on the Oxford card we see the incredible Space Jet looking to make it ten wins from her last eleven starts. Her running style has really caught the publics imagination over the past few months. Expect Space Jet to be detached at halfway but her massive finishing kick is spinetingling. She will be odds on again this weekend, and she will need the gaps to appear, but all going to plan she is expected to storm through late and take the final of the WKH Developments Services Diamond Stakes, Antigua Lava is her obvious danger.
Essex Vase and Maiden Trophy at Romford
Romford will headline the action on RPGTV this Friday evening. Just like the Essex Vase, the Maiden Trophy will have three semi-finals with the top two progressing into next week’s final. In the first semi of the Maiden Trophy Loco Sharky ran well from off the pace to finish second in his opening round heat but lacks a yard of early pace for me. Droopys Chaser ran well to win last weekend but is another who just lacks that initial acceleration to the first bend. Youngster Rapido Sabbath has some nice early pace and is still improving; He should lead up Loco Sharky and Droopys Chaser and will look to make all once again. Del Shannon who he beat last week reopposes from a better draw in one, but more can be expected from Rapido Sabbath.
The second heat is packed with early paced performers and the early yards will be crucial. Despite making all last week I still feel there is better to come from Quagos Peggy drawn in trap six. She has some fine form around Yarmouth over two and four bends and would take a world of beating if she hit the front early on Friday evening.
In the final heat at 19:56 Old Fort Crystal looks a likely leader although stamina is not her forte, she led early on last week only to be picked up turning for home. She is still a puppy so more improvement may be forthcoming. I will give her a chance to make all from Droopys Hustler.
Towcester’s Sunday Action
The Blue Riband semi-finals are the feature events on Sundays RPGTV afternoon slot accompanied by Mullingar. I will once again be joining the team on Sunday for these two meetings as the remote guest so no pressure!
The first semi is due off at 14:32. We gave Fabulous Azzurra a good chance last week after her stunning win at Shelbourne Park during the Winter Racing Festival, she ran out an emphatic winner last weekend but will she break as well from the inside box? If she does, she will take the world of beating. Of her rivals Mr Chelm looks likely to go up fast after his all the way success last week but he does have to improve on the clock. He beat Deelish Frankie last week, Frankie can go up much better but will need to lead the inside duo for win purposes. Romeo Top Cat is the youngest in the line up and he too can go up better than last week, but he will need a P.B to take this. Frostys Ten will be finishing best of all in six while last years Derby semi finalist Coppice Fox may tempt the value seekers. It is a very tricky race to have a strong opinion in but I’ll just side with Deelish Frankie to rediscover his trapping boots and go well at decent odds.
The second semi is schedule for 15:11 and here the inside four runners are all capable of flying starts. The most natural early paced of the four in my opinion would be Signet Otis, he made all for a fine victory last time when beating the reopposing Hopes Paddington. Paddington may lack a yard of early pace, and running from trap one this weekend, he will need to do everything right. Lautaro always seems to save his best for Towcester and rates the main danger. If he can deliver one of his smash breaks, he is the one to side with. Lautaro has flown from traps on may occasions in the past around here and hopefully he can do so again on Sunday.
Barry Caul’s Weekend Best Bets
19:56 Old Fort Crystal. One Unit Win
19:36 Quagos Peggy. One Unit Win