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JONATHAN HOBBS: Open-race fans are in for a treat tonight – albeit they need to divide their viewing between SportyStuffTV/RPGTV and Sky Sports Racing.

It’s the semi-finals of the TRC Health & Hygiene Northamptonshire Sprint at Towcester on RPGTV and some of the best two-bend performers – in some cases four bends too – do battle for a place in next week’s final.

There’s also GBGB Category One action at Sunderland with four heats of the Arena Racing Company Grand Prix – and it’s great to see this competition back on the schedule. Those Grand Prix and Classic nights of a few years back were superb!

Sky Sports Racing have those pictures, so eyes down for a good night’s racing – albeit with the remote control very much close by.

A busy week for open-race fans also sees the start of the Arena Racing Company Laurels at Perry Barr on Thursday – and a classy field has been assembled.


6.43: What a race to kick off proceedings at the Northamptonshire venue. Four heat winners doing battle but timewise it’s tough to look beyond Bockos Jon Jo. The Golden Sprint champion (400m) at Romford has the all-round gears to make hay.

Play: Bockos Jon Jo

7.18: Given the way she trapped last week it’s tough to ignore the claims of Queen Lilly here. A repeat soon puts these under pressure and, with four-bend form on her card, her strength surely carries her home. Geelo Gold Dust pounces if Lilly fluffs her lines.

Play: Queen Lilly

7.56: This third semi-final gives Shrewd Call a chance to crack on – if he breaks. The Sprinter of the Year almost went out last week but looks to have a good make-up if holding Feather Breeze to the turn. Ballymac Trend won the Oaks so will certainly be picking up.

Play: Shrewd Call


6.41: Heat one of the Arc Grand Prix and Velvet Juliet back up in trip catches the eye. She had no joy over 450m recently at the track but this trip suits better and recent Newcastle and Monmore runs caught the eye. She could get first run on kennelmate Roaming Mystery.

Play: Velvet Juliet

7.16: A cracking heat now with Coolavanny Bani and Blue Tick George both top-drawer performers, more than capable of cutting loose. However Lightfoot Gigi made an impression on the step up in trip at Newcastle and goes well if handling kennelmate Nice As Ice outside.

Play: Lightfoot Gigi

7.51: Heat three of the Grand Prix now and Fight The Power might get first run on Ballydoyle Bee in a race which has cut up badly with non-runners. However the latter stays more strongly and will be tough to hold despite this being her first run back for a while.

Play: Ballydoyle Bee

8.21: Heat four is far more competitive and Waikiki Bullet gets a narrow vote here. He stayed on with purpose in a good race at Newcastle last week and, back up in trip here, should soon be handy and could shine in the middle pace department.

Play: Waikiki Bullet

Good luck all.


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