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JONATHAN HOBBS: Three fantastic semi-finals of the Coral Coronation Cup make RPGTV a must-watch for greyhound fans tonight.

All the recent 575m champions do battle again over the Essex track’s six bends with the last two winners of the event – Desperado Dan and Shotgun Bullet – joined by the winners of the Essex Vase (Droopys Aoife) and Aayamza Express (Champion Stakes).

Throw in the appearance of the new track record in Sparta Master, the class and consistency of Roxholme Jim, the progressive Kentish Prince and the exciting talent that is Roman Empire and there are still a host of potential outright winners.

Let’s take a look at the semi-finals:


8.21: A cracking semi-final kicks off the main action and strong cases can be made for Roman Empire and Roxholme Jim. The former has a cracking turn of middle pace and is still coming forward after injury and a long spell off – don’t forget his recent 35.01 win. However, might Roxholme Jim keep him at bay? The latter ran well despite missing the break last week and the switch to the blue jacket can help his trapping. Desperado Dan never gives up and is strong-running, edging out the re-opposing Tiffield Maximus last week. Shotgun Bullet is a grand campaigner capable of a flyer. However, might the value be Antigua Rum? Mark Wallis’s dog is coming forward nicely, is strong-running and looks to have a fantastic make-up as the only wide runner.

Play: Antigua Rum

8.38: Droopys Aoife is bang-in-form just now. Ernie Gaskin’s bitch landed a brilliant victory in the Essex Vase and has since followed up with three bloodless victories over C&D including another superb front-running effort in the heats last week. She beat Aayamza Express then and that formline looks rock-solid. Droopys Aoife has drawn arguably the weakest semi-final, although the same applies to the consistent Sheldan. She rarely runs a bad race and it looks a straightforward forecast given the latter is strong as an ox and will be picking up when others have cried enough.

Play: Droopys Aoife

8.53: Another cracking semi-final now. Kentish Prince came from another parish to win last week and, given that was his first taste of 575m, improvement is more likely than not and a handier position makes him a player. Sparta Master is another top-drawer performer who ran amok in the heats last week and, if breaking as well, takes some holding too – he’s the track-record holder after all. However, the eye is drawn to Aayamza Express. It doesn’t look the ideal draw but Mark Wallis’s bitch is a class act and looks to coming to the boil nicely. She can trap well, too, and could just hold up Sparta Master.

Play: Aayamza Express

There’s a strong supporting card at Romford as ever and others to catch the eye are last week’s impressive winner Ballydorgan Des (6.44), better-class-at-best Have A Brandy (7.49) and in-form speedster Seaglass Shadow (9.41)

Good luck everyone.

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