GREYHOUND PREVIEW: Our greyhound expert previews the ARC Final from Sunderland on Thursday Night, the Gain Greyhound Nutrition Gold Cup from Oxford on Friday and Saturday’s semi-finals of both the Grand National and Gold Collar from Crayford.


Arc Classic Final at Sunderland

A high-quality card from Sunderland will feature on Sky Sports Racing on Thursday evening with the main event due off at 20:46, the Arc Classic Final. Moanteen Mikey has been installed as the red hot 8/11 favourite but its not as straightforward as it may seem. Obviously, Mikey has the best of the draw out in six, but he will need to do everything right to score. Move Over Cha impressed in round one when winning in 27:06 and on that run he doesn’t have much to find to push the favourite all the way. The issue for supporters of Cha is the presence of Gartcloss Pat on his inside. Pat is a rapid starter and may leave Cha short of room on the run to the corner. Gartcloss Pat is no slouch and looks a very likely leader so any trouble in behind will aid his cause. Tell Boy in one could have the race run to suit, he picked up Gartcloss Pat last week and will be looking to secure first run on him down the back straight. Breaghmore Patch has a big engine but needs to brush up on his starting. It promises to be a thrilling final, but I’ll take a chance on big outsider Gartcloss Pat to cause a shock and make all at around about 14/1.

On the undercard we also have the final of the Arc 261m Sprint over two bends. Coolavanny Galiv was an impressive winner of his semi-final and should take plenty of stopping from a decent draw in trap two. He has now won his last three starts and has some smart winning form around this venue in the past. His biggest threat may come from youngster Witton Survivor in trap three. The son of Laughill Blake is quite lightly raced over sprint distances, was a good winner of his semi-final last week and has more scope for improvement than his rivals. The old man of the party Stefans Tornado was the fastest of these last time out and will always give you a run for your money. I’ll side with Coolavanny Galiv to make it four on the bounce. Earlier on the card the classy Coolavanny Aunty should prove too strong for her rivals in the 19:26 contest over six bends.


Gain Gold Cup Oxford Friday

The Gain Greyhound Nutrition Gold Cup semi-finals will be live from Oxford on Friday evening on RPGTV. Two top class heats with the first three progressing from each heat to next weeks final. Master Ten Ten has an ace draw in the first heat and will be finishing at speed. He ran a cracker last week and if he can get a decent pitch at halfway, he could go well at a price. Swift Iconic and Mustang Sam should be to the fore early but I’m hoping Master Ten Ten can turn within striking distance and pick up the running close home. The second heat is wide open but again preference is for the well-drawn Coppice Josie in one. She just beat Master Ten Ten last week and looks a very likely leader in the second semi-final.


Champion Hurdle at Crayford

Crayford have something for everyone on Saturday morning when they feature the semi-finals of the Grand National and the Gold Collar over the sharp 540m six bends. Two semi-finals of the Grand National where three will qualify from each into next weekend’s final are first up. In the first of the semis, outright favourite Lenson Doolin will be a warm order to score. A smart sort on the flat as well as over hurdles, with a fast start he is expected to come through and score with Magical Oscar expected to follow him home in second. In the second semi-final Native Style, Borna Rhythm and Brodies Sydney meet for the second week running and I expect the trio to dominate this once again. Only a half-length separated them last week but Borna Rhythm was undoubtedly the unlucky runner. He found all sorts of traffic and performed minor miracles to almost come and snatch the prize. With a bit of luck Borna Rhythm can take the second semi, Bang On Sonia is very capable on her day and can’t be ruled out from a good draw in box two.

Next up on the Crayford card is the Gold Collar semi-finals. Run over a sharp six bends, two will qualify from each of the three semi-finals. In the first semi a case can genuinely be made for all six runners. Bombardier is classy on his day, but much depends on his trapping. The early pace looks likely to come from the outside boxes with Peejays Forever in five running as well as ever at the moment, she has the sectionals to lead early and having won over further would be tough to peg back. In the second semi we see the ever-green Warzone Tom line up in another big race semi-final, he ran a cracker to win last week when coming from off the pace, but he can come away smartly on occasions and if he were to lead, he simply would not be caught. Savana Ruinart caught the eye in a recent trial over this trip and is another who would be a real handful if able to dictate. She has won over a variety of trips and is one to keep onside. The last of the three heats can go the way of the ex-Irish trained runner Iso Fantastic. He mixed it with the best around Shelbourne Park on many an occasion and has taken to Crayford extremely well having won his three-dog trial and only race around the venue thus far. He is ideally drawn out wide in six and looks sure to go well.

Best Bets:
Oxford Friday:
Coppice Josie. One unit win (20:45)
Crayford Saturday:
Lenson Doolin. One unit win (11:09)


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