JONATHAN HOBBS: Cheltenham is over for another year but greyhound fans will be dusting themselves down for another top-class night of open racing at Romford with the Coral Golden Sprint Final the undoubted highlight.
Crossfield Dusty will line up favourite for the big race having mopped up the major sprint titles in the last six months. A precocious sort, Patrick Janssens’ star looks to add to his Scurry Gold, National Sprint and Northamptonshire Sprint victories. However, the margins are fine and nothing but his best will do in a hot final.
The Golden Sprint final is supported by the Steve Simmons Sprint and Stuart Roberts Quicksilver deciders – plus a host of supporting opens. As ever, it makes it a must-watch live on SportyStuff TV/RPGTV tonight.
Let’s have a look at the major picks.
6.43: Swift Cope is not getting any younger but Paul Burr’s runner came through well last week to beat the useful Icaals Rocco and same again surely does the trick in this 400m one-off. A middle move from Banksy Stevie could clear the way early for the orange jacket.
Play: Swift Cope
7.18: Dapper Dinnen looks an interesting runner for Nathan Hunt. He’s been stepped up to six bends for the first time and, given a chance to dominate, could get back on the winning trail. Still a pup, he’s been racing in some top-class company at Monmore lately.
Play: Dapper Dinnen
8.17: The first of the open-race finals sees Lylas Boy, another Hunt runner, get the vote for the Steve Simmons Sprint. The white-box runner doesn’t win many but handled the drop back in distance in the heats and might just break better from the midfield this time around.
Play: Lylas Boy
8.38: The Stuart Roberts Quicksilver Final now and Balterio is given another chance. Only third in his heat after a poor start, a return to his March 4 form could do the trick here for the Wallis camp, although clearing Ritzy Flyer is the first port of call. Fight The Power is always respected.
8.54: The Coral Golden Sprint Final looks a cracker, even with the withdrawal today of the unfortunate Russian Blake. It’s a final which still takes some winning and Crossfield Dusty might need another 3.50sec-odd sectional to soon put these under pressure. If not, Rail McCoy one side and Havana Class the other could make things tough for the white jacket. That said, in full flow, he’s a joy to watch and gets the vote to do it again.
Play: Crossfield Dusty
9.12: Ritzy Lady was superb in winning last week off the back of a smart sprint trial and might go in again here. The orange jacket posted 24.19sec then and another slick exit, providing he clears Mon Amie, could seal the double for the Jim Reynolds team.
Play: Ritzy Lady
9.28: A cracking race sees the the likes of regular Romford winners Zari Rosie, Scala O’Meara and Droopys Flight go for gold again and all are capable sorts with fast starts and clear runs. However John Mullins’ Icaals Rocco has first run potential towards the inner.
Play: Icaals Rocco
9.42: Gymstar Elusive might get away in the finale. He’s been caught in better company of late – and many will be willing to take on John Mullins’ runner because of that – but a decent advantage in this 575m contest looks on the cards tonight.
Play: Gymstar Elusive
Good luck all.