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November and December are always an exciting time in Greyhound racing with a plethora of big Category 1 competitions at various tracks for trainers, owners and punters to get stuck into. Tomorrow night is one of those special finals where you might struggle to ever see a better line up of canine talent. The Betfred Eclipse looked a quality event right from the off and the final, despite losing the likes of 2016 Greyhound of the Year Droopys Buick, will surely have the crowds flocking to Nottingham to watch six stunning stars go into battle. One of those is our very own Bruisers Bullet and he certainly hasn't had an easy path to the final having awkward draws in both his heat and semi final but he has come through with flying colours and was more than eye catching behind Bubbly Bluebird last Monday going down by a neck in a flying 29.38. Now drawn in trap 1 inside three immense talents, Bubbly Bluebird, Droopys Expert and Dorotas Wildcat, a decent break could see him boss the rails position. I've no doubt the Carol Wetherall pair of Calico Blackjack and Calico Ranger on the outside are set for huge runs and both will have their supporters but I'm confident our fella can trap well when it matters most. Winning last week's William Hill St Leger has given us all plenty of confidence and what a couple of weeks it would be if we could land the Eclipse as well!
Two other huge events kick off this week. On Friday the Coral Essex Vase starts with six heats though the recent cancelled meetings at Romford due to fire safety issues is a growing concern, last week the regular Friday night open racing virtually took place with less than 300 people tucked by the Pavillion restaurant which was strange to say the least. Droopys Dresden
joined the sub 35.00 club when making it five from five at the Essex venue scoring well in 34.90 and is on most people's lips as a potential winner while Garryglass Teddy also won in a very good 35.04 and if he could get trap 1 all the way through the event he would go close. Defeats for Rubys Razzle (just couldn't get a run) and Roswell Romanov (did 34.88 but got beat 2 lengths) can be best forgotten as both are class acts and are capable of beating anything on their day. We will also be entering Bonzos Bullet, Razldazl Valiant and Boylesports Duke and maybe a couple of others so we should have a strong hand.
On Saturday the Greyhound Media Group Oaks gets underway and we have a fabulous record in the event since it moved up to Belle Vue winning it twice in brilliant style with Casheen Maure. Whilst we might not have anything of that calibre this year both Brinkleys Rosie and Forest Melanie can raise their games to at least make the final with a bit of luck, they both trial over track and trip tomorrow morning.
Whilst these events are on we can't forget about the ongoing Colossus Bets TV Trophy at Towcester which had three terrific heats on Saturday. It was a brave decision to put our St Leger hero Rubys Rascal in the event and then seeing he had drawn the toughest one of the three heats we weren't sure if it had been the right one. When he didn't lead until the fourth bend it looked as though our gamble was going to come unstuck but he showed some scintillating pace to have a 6 length lead going into unknown territory off the last two bends. Step in superstar Roxholme Magic who dispelled thoughts that she couldn't win at Towcester as she came from out of the clouds to pinch the race from a tiring Rascal with Ribble Atom only 4th. Initially I was disappointed but when the winner's time of 55.57 came up I realised what a good run it was and I see no reason why we can't overturn the 2 length deficit in next Wednesday's final. It's a strange one where there is a 10 day break to the final but I think Rascal will benefit more than most with this format. As well as the TV Trophy final we have the much awaited 'Shootout' race for four greyhounds over 500m for a first prize of £5,000, if all goes well tomorrow Bruisers Bullet will be entered.
As well as Bruisers Bullet's qualification for the Eclipse final at Nottingham on Monday, Bonzos Bullet qualified for the minor 500m final when second in his heat though clearly he needs further now.
On Wednesday at Towcester's Sky meeting the ECC Timber Puppy Final went the way of Kevin Hutton's brilliant Magical Bale. On the supporting card Pennys Ryan (3rd), Razldazl Valliant (2nd) & Saleen Ash (3rd) all ran well.
A busy night for us at Romford on Friday and as said there were good wins for Droopys Dresden and Garryglass Teddy while Cotton Pants made the final of the Friday Night 500 Standard when second in his heat.
It was a case of saving the best to last on Tuesday as Tangled Upinblue took off to win the Owners Bonus Series final by 4 1/2 lengths in a superb 28.07 (+10). Not to be outdone Bombers Bullet clocked a great 28.08 (+10) when beating in form kennelmate Boylesports Duke by 2 1/4 lengths. Tiffield Lad took an A5 on Wednesday before the opens started winning by a head in 28.57.
On Saturday morning Union Pride got back on the scoresheet winning an S4 in 42.46 while Cousin Dupree ran well when 2nd. At night the TV Trophy heats took centre stage whilst on the graded card Brinkleys Rosie was most impressive taking a good A5 in a fine 28.33 (4.05 sec) by 3 lengths.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - DROOPYS DRESDEN
GRADED - TANGLED UPINBLUE
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
A recap on above see us at Nottingham tomorrow for the Betfred Eclipse Final.
On Friday the Coral Essex Vase begins at Romford while the GMG Oaks kicks off.
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I certainly wouldn't put anybody off taking any 4/1 about Bruisers Bullet tomorrow night in the Eclipse final, it's worth an interest.
Well that was a mixed bag in the TV Trophy heats with Ribble Atom out at the first stage but Rubys Rascal qualifying for the final and could still have a big chance.
The Essex Vase kicks off on Friday at Romford and the two obvious choices for us are Roswell Romanov and Droopys Dresden but neither will be any reasonable price. Romanov looked something like his best last week so he's my tip for the even.
BRUISERS BULLET - 4 pts win 4/1 - Betfred Eclipse - Nottingham - Final Tuesday
ROSWELL ROMANOV - 2.5 pts ew ante post - Coral Essex Vase - Romford - starts Friday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
RUBYS RASCAL - 5 pts win ante post 10/1 - Colossus TV Trophy - Towcester - final Wednesday week
RIBBLE ATOM - 2 pts ew ante post 50/1 - Colossus TV Trophy - Towcester - lost