JONATHAN HOBBS SUNDAY: After last night’s gala card at Hove, a huge weekend for greyhound racing continues with a double-header of Category One events tonight – the RPGTV Puppy Derby Final at Towcester and the Arc Champion Hurdle at Central Park. Two cracking deciders – both on SportyStuff TV.
As expected ‘King of the Hurdlers’ Ricky Holloway holds a strong hand in the Champion Hurdle decider with four of the finalists after an original nine entries at the outset, while at Towcester the Seamus Cahill camp eye a Puppy Derby double having sent out last year’s champion in Surprising.
Here’s the pick of the races at both venues.
1.57: A cracking sprint kicks off a good Towcester card with Into The Void getting the vote. The Laurence Tuffin-trained runner ran well to win at Romford last week in a good time and, once clearing four-bender Goulane Power, might be away. Russian Blake is capable.
Play: Into The Void
2.52: A competitive 712m contest. Sweet Leaf impressed at Romford and, on that form, looks a player, although might be taken on early by Frostys Ten outside early doors. Could that let in well-drawn Night Time Baby for Stephen Rayner, stepping back up in trip?
Play: Night Time Baby
3.11: Romeo De Niro gets the vote in this trial stakes for the Blue Riband next month. Patrick Janssens’ runner has won 5 of his 8 starts and boasts a 29.54 best. That gives the youngster the edge in this all-aged contest. Amazing Wink will be finishing fast.
Play: Romeo De Niro
3.48: Aussie Captain was collared in the semi-finals of the Olympic at Hove but had shown superb early zip in a prep race and in the heats. With every chance to lead again here Patrick Janssens’ dog might get away from the likes of Balterio, a strong-running sort.
Play: Aussie Captain
4.08: Time for the RPGTV Puppy Derby Final and plenty of chances now, especially after hot favourite Havana Bale Out was crowded out of the competition last week. It has certainly opened things up, as has the draw. With the unbeaten Signet Denver now finding himself in the four-box, an electric start is vital to clear the likes of Make Noise and the improving Skywalker Forte. A fast start for either paves the way for success potentially – and the percentage call might just be Seamus Cahill’s Make Noise who showed good early zip last week in the semis and in the heats, before coming through strongly in the second round. That all-round speed could work the oracle in the £10,000 showpiece.
Play: Make Noise
8.17 Chasing Turkey looked a touch unlucky in the heats of the Champion Hurdle when stumbling down the far side on landing after the fourth hurdle. Dave Lee’s dog looked to have the race in safe control then and might always hold sway with a start outside here.
Play: Chasing Turkey
8.54: The main event at Central Park is the Arc Champion Hurdle where Ricky Holloway holds the aces. He has four of the finalists, but it’s Lenson Doolin who gets the vote. He’s a comparative novice against prolific-scoring kennelmates Nomansland Flyer, Roxholme Biscuit and Toolmaker Daddy but was fast enough to finish third in the Kent Derby on the flat and therefore should soon be in the mix with his jumping improving each time.
Play: Lenson Doolin
9.28: Letter Pat looks well drawn in the Central Park finale. The red-boxed runner was just edged out last week on slower ground but quicker conditions sets up a winning lead for Matt Dartnall’s dog against the fence? Clearing Ballynabee Lucky is crucial, however.
Play: Letter Pat
Good luck all.