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We are just easing our way into both the New Year and the new busy schedule at Towcester and there is certainly plenty been said on all aspects of the sport. I have had plenty to say already over the last few months but for this week I will concentrate on the positives on the track.
Despite the bitter blow that Romford’s regular Friday nights open race action is no longer on RPGTV the quality hasn’t suffered so far with last week's card being exceptional. Of course we had the semi finals of the Coronation Cup as well as the heats of the Mitch Millward Marathon and it remains to be seen if their future meetings can be as good as always. The fact we are having a lot more higher grade races at Towcester since the start of the year with decent levels of prize money means we probably won’t have the volume of runners in the ‘one off’ opens as in previous years. We will try and commit to the weekly competitions that especially last year we were lucky enough to win with regularity.
Our recent Olympic Champion Bruisers Bullet trialled well on Wednesday at Towcester clocking a fine 27.92 (-10) and we will keep him ticking over with trials until we see a suitable race or competition. I feel with him being so well and fit as well as being lightly raced last year the last thing he needs right now is a break where he could lose fitness and then easily pick up an injury trying to regain that fitness, with the Derby only really just around the corner any setbacks could be a disaster. Nearly every Derby winner over the last few years has had a race campaign in January/February/March and gone are those days where Derby dogs have the winter off! Our other big Derby hope Black Farren is looking in great form and will start his qualifying trials this week with a sprint at Towcester on Wednesday.
The Coronation Cup, the first big competition of the year, reaches its conclusion this Friday and it will be the first time in many years that we are not represented. Boylesports Duke just failed to make the bend in his semi final and was shuffled back to last and there was no way back from that position. Saleen Ash found himself in the hottest semi final and for a second or two looked like he could qualify but was just ran out of a place but ran well. Better news in the Mitch Millward Marathon heats as our St Leger hero Rubys Rascal got his 2018 campaign off to a good start with a near 5 length win in 47.89. Cotton Pants
also won well in the heats of the Friday Night 500 Standard in 23.89, Kilcree Diamond just failed to get up in his heat going down by a short head in 24.12 and is definitely in with a chance in this week's final.
At Henlow on Sunday afternoon the semi finals of the Maiden Derby saw Bombers Bullet make it two from two at the Bedfordshire track coming from off the pace to win in 27.63. Next Sunday’s final is a warm one and he will have to produce a career best effort to come from behind but it’s good to see him running well and he should be interesting when stepped up in trip. Roswell Romanov scored a debut victory for 2018 in a 550m but only by neck in 33.40 with all our other three runners coming second.
On Friday Saffrons Bonnie ran well when a good second in a warm S2 before the consistent Tiffield Lad
scored in a decent A4 in 28.63 (-20) and then Gully Foyle beat kennelmate Towstar Jess by 1 1/2 lengths in 28.90 (-20).
On Saturday morning Jazz Jake got the day off to a good start with a win in 28.80, Tread Lightly got back to winning ways taking a top grade sprint by in 15.46. In the evening our good run of form at our home track continued as in form Swift Bravo took a D2 sprint in 15.65 while Swift Cobra beat kennelmate Ninja Fortune in a fine 28.42 in a decent A3 and in another good S1 Bonzos Bullet beat Not So Classical in 41.77.
On Sunday night's card from just a few runners it was Fire Height Josh who took another decent S1 on the card winning well in 41.77 .
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - COTTON PANTS
GRADED - TIFFIELD LAD
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Everything now seems to be Friday to Sunday and starting with Friday at Romford we have Rubys Rascal as favourite in the Category 2 Mitch Millward Marathon Final and both Cotton Pants and Kilcree Diamond in the Friday Night 500 Standard Final.
On Sunday all eyes will be on the Henlow Maiden Derby Final, another Category 2 event and Bombers Bullet will, I’m sure, run a big race.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Let’s try and get a decent start to the year and as much as he’s a bit short for my liking Rubys Rascal can get a decent run and take the Mitch Millward Marathon Final at Romford on Friday.
RUBYS RASCAL - 5 pts win - Mitch Millward Marathon - Romford - Friday