JONATHAN HOBBS: A good night of racing lies ahead at Romford as the journey to the Coral Champion Stakes begins.

ROMFORD begins the countdown to the Coral Champion Stakes in earnest tonight with a superb Friday evening open-race card – live on RPGTV.

The London Road track is a real bright light within the industry just now given it’s currently undergoing a real transformation and refurbishment.

The works will ultimately see the winning line switched and a brand new grandstand will be officially opened the night of the Coral Champion Stakes final.

The track is closed from Monday to Thursday next week to allow the winning line to be relocated and the graded strength will be trialled over the ‘new’ trip over the coming weeks.

Tonight, the traditional 400m, 575m and 750m trips are used and a series of Champion Stakes trial stakes effectively take place – with a host of familiar names ready to strut their stuff.

Four plays stand out tonight

The first is Seaglass Phantom (7.49) in a cracking clash with Roxholme Glory which should produce the race of the night.

It’s the Racing Post Juvenile winner against the Derby semi-finalist. Both are up in trip and in decent form – with Roxholme Glory a runaway winner at Sheffield recently. However, a rails draw makes a real difference to Patrick Janssens’ dog.

Next up is Geelo Brezza (8.06) in a 400m contest for Sheffield trainer Carl Perry.

He lacks a look, but remains a top sprinter and a strong-running one at that so if trapping well enough can use his early pace to edge some speedy types inside – including Golden Sprint champion Union Jack.

Native Cobbler (8.21) is one of a decent batch of open-racers in Monmore trainer Lee Field’s care and he could also make his first visit to Romford a winning one.

He took off at Crayford recently in 23.05sec and that would be a benchmark performance there. The draw suits and a likely middle move from Have A Brandy could clear the way.

Savana Winner (8.38) raised an eyebrow or two last week but the way she closed on Aayamza Breeze looks good given the latter’s brilliant effort at Yarmouth last night.

Diane Henry’s bitch is warming up for her TV Trophy defence over ten bends at the Essex venue next month and is in good enough order to edge the likes of Stardom and Burgess Honey, both top-class sorts.

Catch all the action on RPGTV tonight – including two finals for puppies and maiden stayers – but especially a cracking finale where a host of regular winners Desperado Dan, Chubbys Caviar, Itsur Mate and Quantum Leap do battle.

It’s a great race and builds up nicely to the Coral Champion Stakes – starting on Friday, August 23, with the semis on Friday, August 30 and the final – a gala night for the official re-opening – on Friday, September 6.

Good luck all.

Romford form:

For further information:

Did you know that as well as checking the realtime prices on BETDAQ below – you can also log into your account and place your bets directly into BETDAQ from BETDAQ TIPS.

Bet via BETDAQ mobile below