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JONATHAN HOBBS: After a few weekends bereft of top-class racing, it’s great to see both Crayford and Towcester rise to the challenge tonight with superb cards.


The Crayford action takes centre-stage along with Sheffield on RPGTV and features trial stakes for next month’s Ladbrokes Golden Jacket, while one of the great competitions is revived at Towcester with the heats of the Blue Riband. Towcester TV is the only way to see the latter via a one-off subscription.

So to the Crayford action first and a card full of variety given races over 714m for those Golden Jacket trials, plus a maxi-marathon over 874m and a hurdles contest.

Eyes down then . . .

Crayford Saturday

6.44: A 380m contest kicks off proceedings at the Kent venue where Signet Hawk catches the eye. Luke Morrison’s dog ran well in the British Bred Derby at Sheffield at the back-end of the year, but this trip suits more. In-form Moanteen Sweep rates the danger.

Play: Signet Hawk

7.17: Patrick Janssens’ View King is interesting upped in trip for this. He ran better in the Essex Vase than the form suggests and, if handy early doors, might always be pressing for the victory. That said Anhid News herself looked impressive at Romford recently.

Play: View King

7.31: This look a shoo-in for marathon star Micks Little Gem. Michelle Brown’s bitch is a star of the track and has a particularly good record at Crayford so is tough to look beyond, with Rockmount Mint the forecast play. The Hove bitch is in-form and stays all day!

Play: Micks Little Gem/Rockmount Mint

7.48: A solid hurdles contest where local support could come for Foxrock Brae against the fence – he’s running well. However, Nomansland Flyer competed in all the major hurdles races in 2020 and should run fresh and fast on his return to Crayford for Rick Holloway.

Play: Nomansland Flyer

8.04: The first Ladbrokes Golden Jacket trial stakes and John Mullins’ Smallmead gets the vote in a tidy contest. She ran well without luck in the Essex Vase semis at Romford, but has run well here before and could cut loose early. Redzer Renae for the forecast?

Play: Smallmead

8.19: A trappy maiden stayers stakes now over 540m where Stoneyholmeblitz will have her supporters after a runaway Central Park win recently, although the up-in-trip Blue Tick Jenny (8.19) trialled well and looks well pitched inside for the Dan Brabon team.

Play: Blue Tick Jenny

8.53: Ballymac Fearnot is interesting making her debut for John Mullins in this maiden 540m. Her trials at Yarmouth have been decent enough and she’s generally been keeping better company than this behind the likes of Aayamza Lexie and Ballydoyle Razor.

Play: Ballymac Fearnot

9.40: A fantastic duel could be on the cards between Aayamza Lexie and Doolin Princess in the Crayford finale should both produce their best. Perhaps a flashier start from the red-jacket might just secure the all-important first run for Mark Wallis’s team?

Play: Aayamza Lexie

Towcester Saturday

The Towcester Blue Riband heats ooze class with a top-class entry going for gold in the three-round event. Outright favourite is Patrick Janssens’ Sussex Cup champion Bockos Doomie (7.53) who gets the vote in heat three – albeit in a quality affair against Newinn Jacko and Faughan Rebel, among others.

The other Towcester heats can go the way of Ernie Gaskin’s Droopys Addition (7.37), Mark Wallis’s pair of Black Eyed Molly (8.09) and Drumcrow Brent (8.24), another Janssens runner in Kilara Lion (8.40) and Jimmy Fenwick’s Lightfoot Ripley (8.56) – with the first three in tonight’s heats making it through to next week’s semis.

Good luck all.

@Hobbsy 67