JONATHAN HOBBS Sunday: Towcester continues its open race-rich series of events with the heats of the Stadium Bookmakers Northamptonshire Sprint today – live on SportyStuff TV/RPGTV.
The card sees no less than eight heats of the 270m competition grace the screens and track, with a £10,000 prize awaiting the winner. Last year’s champion was the brilliant Patrick Janssens-trained Bockos Jon Jo.
Top-class sprinters fill the top end of the ante-post market and have generally managed to avoid each other in the heats. However, the very nature of sprints means fine margins at the traps can be the difference between winning and losing.
Let’s have a look at the eight heats.
1.57: Havana Class has run well here in the past and can strike in the opening Northamptonshire Sprint heat for Liz McNair. A best of 15.64sec over C&D gives him the edge over Icaals Rocco, although the latter is top-notch himself and makes the market.
Play: Havana Class
2.12 Kevin Hutton’s Signet Mafia brings some solid form to the table and gets the vote in this heat two. The six-box was impressive at Monmore last time and has run well at Towcester in the past – notably when pushing Salacres Lee close last month.
Play: Signet Mafia
2.32: David Mullins’ Shrewd Call is tough to look beyond. He boasts a superb 28-from-58 record and has been running well at Towcester with a recent success, although needs to trap better than last time. Mr Roo ran well in this event 12 months ago.
Play: Shrewd Call
2.52: Ante-post favourite Crossfield Dusty sets his sights on another major title in this heat four. The Scurry Gold Cup and National Sprint hero was an outstanding puppy and further gains are expected this year – he has trialled back well for Patrick Janssens.
Play: Crossfield Dusty
3.11: Peter Harnden’s Salacres Lee is tough to look beyond in this heat five despite not occupying his favourite box. Nevertheless, the blue-boxed runner has a good recent record over C&D – admittedly from the inside – and might always be in the vanguard.
Play: Salacres Lee
3.28: Mark Wallis has a strong hand in this heat six. He sends out Antigua Bigun and Early Knight here and the latter could shine again in the outside box – he impressed last week with a verdict over Salacres Lee. A 15.83sec return was also none too shabby.
Play: Early Knight
3.48: The penultimate Northamptonshire Sprint heat and Millhouse Turbo looks to reverse form with Knocknaseed Gem. The latter will be favourite and his improving strong-running style inside is a danger to all, but might the orange jacket ping-start and get first run?
Play: Millhouse Turbo
4.08: The final heat and another potential battle outside. Russian Blake gets the nod for John Mullins after some decent efforts at Romford and, with C&D wins also on the card, looks the percentage call ahead of the consistent Droopys Guru next door.
Play: Russian Blake
Good luck all.