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JONATHAN HOBBS: It’s Friday night so Romford takes centre-stage and, while we’re now behind closed doors, top-class racing continues across Friday and Saturday until a suspension of open-racing kicks in.

A week on from a brilliant Coral Golden Sprint Final at Romford, the Essex track stages two more finals tonight before a Saturday big-race double-header at Sheffield and Monmore for the RPGTV Steel City Cup and the Ladbrokes Puppy Derby respectively.

But it’s Romford where the RPGTV cameras are trained on, along with Nottingham, and the focus tonight is very much on the open racing.


7.03: Chilli Rocco catches the eye and could supply the locals with success. Paul Young’s dog has scope for better after just two runs and did show pace on debut. A slick start could put his rivals under pressure. Nomadic Vista rates as a well-drawn danger.

Play: Chilli Rocco

7.17: A cracking 400m contest where Golden Sprint finalist Swift Sabbath will have his supporters given a win record of 24 successes. However Bubbly Buster could be another winner for Team Young – he’s had some tough draws of late but paces up to lead here?

Play: Bubbly Buster

7.33: Saffrons Xpress caught the eye in the heats of a puppy maiden a fortnight ago before being crowded out in the final. The Mark Wallis-trained runner is capable of a slick start and this middle draw now could help his cause. He certainly has first-run potential.

Play: Saffrons Xpress

7.49: Newinn Cracker looks one of the better bets on the card. Ernie Gaskin’s dog ran a stormer last week against Tiffield Maximus and, given she’s best when dominating matters, has scope for better. Respect to Goldies Symnsy with his all-round speed.

Play: Newinn Cracker

8.21: A real match-up between overpriced Goldies Linekar and Ballymac Micko. Both have solid recent lines, with preference just for the orange-jacketed runner given his lid-pinging attributes. But Linekar did run well behind the useful Playbook last week.

Play: Ballymac Micko
Alternative: Goldies Linekar

8.38: Playbook did us a favour last week – and can repeat the dose! She’s a cracking early pacer with a good strike-rate already, so a slick start might soon have these under pressure. Seaglass Shadow made the Golden Sprint Final so can be respected.

Play: Playbook
Alternative: Seaglass Shadow

8.53: Final time now and impressive heat winner Newinn Liz could take some holding. She has chunks in hand on the clock and another slick exit might soon have her rivals under pressure. Clearing fellow heat winner Chilli You Guys is the first port of call.

Play: Newinn Liz

9.08: Schooldays came from off the pace to win his heat well and the Mark Wallis-trained runner is shaping as above-average. A brother of Playbook, he goes to traps as the fastest heat winner and timewise has plenty in hand of his rivals. Just needs a clear run now!

Play: Schooldays

9.26: Sparta Master versus Droopys Aoife looks a crackerjack affair to sign off Romford’s open-race action for a while. Both are top-class performers and a back-to-form and lid-pinging Aoife might soon have this under wraps. That said Sparta Master runs his best races here and Sharon Thompson’s dog needs no second invitation from a plum draw.

Play: Sparta Master

Good luck all – and keep safe.

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