JONATHAN HOBBS Saturday: Eyes down for one of greyhound racing’s greatest races – the Golden Jacket Final.
Staged at Crayford this Saturday morning, the event is being run for the first time under the Premier Greyhound Racing Golden Jacket banner and offers a first prize of £20,000. As ever, the final is hugely competitive with a strong supporting card to boot.
There are ifs and buts aplenty in the main event and chances across the board.
Either way, those at the track or watching live on RPGTV/SportyStuff TV are in for a treat with four finals – the Golden Jacket, the Peter Bussey Memorial Trophy, the Chief Ramsbottom Hurdle and the Ladbrokes.com Winter One-Lap Trophy.
Let’s have a look at the major races.
11.24: The first of the finals and Icaals Rocco could be tough to hold in the Winter One-Lap Trophy Final. John Mullins’ dog has a good record at Crayford and this switch towards the inner could help matters in what might be a match with fellow heat winner Only Maloney.
Play: Icaals Rocco
11.39: The Golden Jacket consolation looks tricky. Things didn’t work out for Kishlawn Shakira in the heats, but she’s far better than that. However surely this is a chance for Burgess Elite to lead up outside and that can be the difference for John Mullins’ dog.
Play: Burgess Elite
11.54: The Peter Bussey Memorial Trophy Final now and Carol Weatherall’s Nipsey Hustle gets a confident vote to follow up his good turn for us last week! A strong-running sort over this trip and deserving of a title, he might reel in defending champion Woodcocks Akia.
Play: Nipsey Hustle
12.24: Warzone Tom aims to land a famous Gold Collar/Golden Jacket triumph and Liz McNair’s dog has another chance to dominate in this superb £20k showpiece. Nothing short of a slick exit will do, however, with the improving and impressive Bellmore Sally next door for Jimmy Fenwick, but the three-box might well need catching and the best place to be at the Kent track is in front. However, any semblance of a mis-timed start or crowding will see these powerhouses strike – Piercestown Dove or Antigua Lava. The former’s trainer Derek Knight has won five Golden Jackets so knows what is required and, like Warzone Tom and Bellmore Sally, is unbeaten in the event, while Lava is a marathon performer and looks to have a lovely draw inside for Mark Wallis. Fair play here to the other finalists Droopys Senorita (Claude Gardiner) and Burgess Hannah (Tony Gifkins) who have played blinders to get here – and have a chance. Don’t forget last year’s winner was 33-1 shot Punk Rock Mutley.
Play: Warzone Tom
12.54: The final of the dual distance Chief Ramsbottom Hurdle, named after a former favourite at the track, looks a match between the outside traps. Preference is just for Borna Rhythm, who stayed on well last week, and could soon be handy for Tony Collett – although Nomansland Flyer will need no second invitation should trap five falter.
Play: Borna Rhythm
1.09: A consolation for the Peter Bussey and Patrick Janssens’ Garryglass Abbie could repeat her impressive heat win. Fast up on that occasion, she could never get far enough in front in the semis – but might do here. A slick exit from the midfield is vital, however.
Play: Garryglass Abbie
Good luck all.