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JONATHAN HOBBS: A fantastic 48 hours for open-race fans kicks off with the SIS Yorkshire St Leger Final at Doncaster tonight followed by the Alconex All England Cup Final, live on RPGTV, Thursday.


The kennels of Angela Harrison and Hayley Keightley are represented at both venues and success for either will enhance their ‘top six’ chances in Trainer of the Year race. Both kennels have superb strike-rates anyway but their greyhounds will certainly be placed to win as many points as possible.

The Keightleys have the favourite in the Doncaster showpiece courtesy of defending champion Roxholme Poppy and a fast start from the favourite surely seals the deal, but could there be value elsewhere? Similarly, Jimmy Fenwick’s red-hot Ice On Fire has a favourite’s chance at Newcastle, but needs to break from the inside box.

Eyes down for some of the best plays.


Doncaster Wednesday

7.49 Patrick Janssens sends up Goldies Hotspur for the Yorkshire St Leger final, but could be on the mark on the supporting card with Affleck Lady. She has the benefit of a trial, a plum pitch inside, and every chance to lead up inside. Headford Maurice for the forecast?

Play: Affleck Lady

8.06 The Angela Harrison kennel have plenty of chances on the card and Droopys Tune should make no mistake. He ran well over 450m last week, finishing strongly, and the extra metres should help. The longer run to the bend aids his early pace.

Play: Droopys Tune

8.53 Roxholme Poppy (Hayley Keightley) is a real star and could win back-to-back Yorkshire St Legers if things fall into place – and she breaks. Either way clearing unbeaten Sonic Spur will not be easy given Chris Akers’ young bitch is flying to the bend. Droopys Live ran in the worst of the conditions last week and impressed – might the veteran have the last laugh? She’s must negotiate a path round Good Champ, however.

Play: Droopys Live

9.08 Ballymac Conte (Colin Handford) reached the final of the Scurry Cup last week and is clearly a player in the sprint. However, Parsnip Gerry has two recent C&D wins here on the card and looks well pitched outside for Team Harrison.

Play: Parsnip Gerry

9.26 Droopys Nadal (Angela Harrison) could be completing a great night of the Newcastle trainer – especially if trapping smartly. A missed break proved costly in the All England Cup on home soil but he remains a cracking sort off the front end.

Play: Droopys Nadal


Newcastle Thursday

6.22 Droopys Back Up (Angela Harrison) could kick off the night for the home guard with victory in the opening puppy contest. He missed the up in the heats of a comp last week but looks well pitched here – note a 28.52sec already on the card.

Play: Droopys Back Up

6.55 Pond Adonis failed to get home at Doncaster in soft conditions in the Yorkshire St Leger but quicker going could help him really dominate this 670m contest, although a decent lead for Harry Williams’ dog over Sheldan (Kevin Boon) might be needed.

Play: Pond Adonis

7.57 Great race in store for this 480m contest. It’s effectively a consolation for the All England Cup and Bramble Reggie (Steve Anderson) might get first run on his rivals, led by Drooopys Verve. He tangled with Ice On Fire in the semis, but could get clear here.

Play: Bramble Reggie

Other fancies on the card at Newcastle include Kevin Hutton’s Magical Vera (8.13) in the bitches’ final, Scurry winner Droopys Reel (8.29) in a top sprint, while the brilliant Ice On Fire (8.44) is the percentage call in the Alconex All England Cup Final.

A saver on Kevin Boon’s big-priced Grogeen Country might not go amiss, however!



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