It's a brilliant weekend of top-class greyhound racing, and Timeform's Joe Nordoff is on hand to pick out the best bets.
Weekend dogs tips
- Surprising (Trap 3) in the Puppy Derby at Towcester on Friday
- Darth Vader (Trap 6) in the Olympic at Hove on Saturday
- Aayamza Royale (Trap 4) in the TV Trophy at Hove on Saturday
- Queen Jessiej (Trap 2) in the Oaks at Swindon on Sunday
- Loggies Lito (Trap 3) in the National Sprint at Nottingham on Monday
Nothing Surprising about it
Our first selection comes in an ultra-competitive Star Sports English Puppy Derby Final at Towcester on Friday and it may pay to look for a spot of value against favourite Cold As Ice (Trap 4, TF129) in the shape of SURPRISING (Trap 3, TF114). Progressive in high-end grades at home track Hove, the son of Droopys Sydney has followed a similar pattern at Towcester, seen to good effect latest but still proving most impressive in posting a career-best effort five days ago. That may well not prove his limit and he could well be difficult to peg back if getting loose once more.
The first-named is certainly a bright prospect himself but had no answers to Bockos Melody (Trap 6, TF 119) last time and he’ll need to be at his very best out of the boxes on this occasion. Ballydoyle Razor (Trap 1 TF117) left his trapping boots at home in his semi-final but kept on to grab a qualifying position and, have impressed when landing the puppy event on Nottingham’s Derby Final night, he’s one to include for forecast/tricast purposes given his strong-running style.
Join the dark side
The defection of Bockos Doomie has taken some of the gloss off the Coral Olympic Final at Hove (8.38) on Saturday, not least with Pat Janssens’ charge having been in search of a remarkable 15th consecutive success at the East Sussex venue. However, we have still been served up a tremendous final and DARTH VADER (Trap 6, TF123) is fancied to capitalise on what could develop in to an excellent make-up as the sole wide seed.
Strictly on his exploits on the clock in the semi-finals he has work to do, yet that was an effort undoubtedly worth marking up, not least due to the fact he was bumped on the run up and opening couple of bends. His strength at the finish was taking on that occasion, as he mastered the highly-admirable Seaglass Tiger (Trap 3, TF115) by three-quarters of a length. Darth Vader’s career is still in its infancy on these shores and there's a strong prospect of more to come moving forward. He’s fancied to turn handy, avoid the definite possibility of scrimmaging on the inside and announce himself as a potent threat from halfway.
Lenson Whelan (Trap 3, TF125) continues to churn out high-class performances and may well represent a spot of value in opposition, though he will have to bring his trapping boots to the table outside the improving Darbys Ranger (Trap 1, TF114) who proved ultra-game when defeating Newinn Jacko (Trap 4, TF116) in his respective semi-final heat seven days ago.
Royale with glee
They are as a rule in the minority but certain greyhounds have an uncanny knack of setting the pulse racing. Two capable of such, AAYAMZA ROYALE (Trap 4) and Roxholme Kristoff (Trap 2), teed up a mouth-watering TV Trophy final decider last week, reminiscent of a battle that ensued in the Oaks between Forest Twilight and Domino Storm back in 2016.
It is probably fair to say the pair having contrasting styles, highlighted with Aayamza Royale stalking the latter-named before picking him off late on for a one-and-three-quarter length success. The suggestion Roxholme Kristoff can improve for his first attempt over the eight-bend trip definitely bears weight and Sheffield’s 660-metre track record holder looks set to build up a sizeable advantage once more.
However, Aayamza Royale clearly relishes the extended 900-metre distances and with a repeat of how she trapped last week, looks likely to turn handy at the very least on the first lap. She can confirm the placings and land this historic competition. Redzer Renae (Trap 3) continued her theme of race-by-race progress and had little issue with the longest trip she’s faced to date when scoring herself seven days ago and she can provide a spot of value of the remainder, not least with potential for better still given her unexposed profile.
Jessiej to call the tune
The quality continues apace on Sunday with the Property 192 Oaks final taking place at Swindon at 8.27, and the narrow vote goes in favour of QUEEN JESSIEJ (Trap 2). Liz McNair’s charge boasts a tremendous strike-rate and never looked in any danger when seeing off Fantastical (Trap 5) by almost six lengths last week. The draw off the rails in blue will hold no fears, particularly with Lights Out (Trap 1) on her inner not so swift to gather momentum and we’re hopeful she can steal a march and hold the edge to the corner.
Newinn Liz (Trap 6) similarly arrives in red-hot form and interestingly posted an identical effort on the clock as the selection, the pair both earning a Timeform rating of 133. Ernest Gaskin’s bitch has a decent make-up in the striped jacket and they are expected to have this between them from lid rise.
The RPGTV National Sprint Final is the feature on Nottingham’s regular Monday evening fixture and whilst winless in the opening two rounds, LOGGIES LITO (Trap 3, TF130) is fancied to get it right when it matters and land the prize. The son of Droopys Jet has some very smart form to his name, not least when defeating Silver Salver winner Shrewd Call over C&D in October. Led up by Geelo Gold Dust (Trap 2, TF120) in last week’s semi-final, he showed excellent pace to be on the coat tails of that rival at the first bend only to find some crowding see him lose his position. However, he did gather himself up in eye-catching fashion to give vein pursuit and go down by half a length.
The pair look likely to put the pace to the race again and, granted a clear run, Loggies Lito may well have enough to reverse the placings here. Signature Callum (Trap 5, TF112) has the bit firmly between his teeth at present, having landed a hat-trick in his respective semi-final and he can do best of the others.
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