GREYHOUND PREVIEW: Main action this weekend comes from Monmore where they have the final of the Winter Derby on Saturday afternoon. Also on Saturday at Crayford it’s the semi-finals of the Premier Greyhound Racing Golden Jacket over eight bends. BARRY CAUL previews the action ….

Crayford and Monmore to the Fore on Super Saturday of Action

The Final of the Winter Derby at Monmore is undoubtedly the highlight of this weekend’s action on the Betdaq Exchange but Crayford also have a cracking card on Saturday afternoon with the Golden Jacket, Peter Bussey Memorial Trophy and the Chief Ramsbottom’s Hurdle all featuring on an action-packed card.

Winter Derby at Monmore:

1️⃣ Aero Sucandai
2️⃣ Links Maverick
3️⃣ King Sydney
4️⃣ Bogger Rambo
5️⃣ King Capaldi
6️⃣ Churchtown Syd

King Capaldi posted the fastest time in the event when flying from traps to make all last weekend in a mighty impressive 28:01. This run came after he posted 28:00 in a trial at the venue prior to the event. If Capaldi can post a similar effort on the clock he’ll be almost impossible to beat. The issue this Saturday is the trap draw, as an inside seed Capaldi has a nightmare draw in five and must produce a flying start if he is the get across to the rails on the run to the all important first bend. His 4:27 sectional from last weeks victory is also the quickest of the competition matched only by Aero Sucandai in trap one.

So how will Capaldi fare from the orange jacket? We have zero previous form to go on, he has over thirty lines of form on his card and has yet to race or trial from traps five or six. He is two from four from trap four including when winning the opening round from the black jacket. Capaldi will edge inwards on the run to the corner and only his best exit will suffice.

Links Maverick has been installed as favourite. Tom Heilbron’s charge has recently returned from a break and seems to be progressing with each start. He improved significantly from his first run when making all to win his semi-final in 28:09. Maverick has a cracking record around here having won five of his last six at the venue including when winning around here last September in 27:80 off a 4:26 sectional (has also posted 4:22).

For me Maverick looks the one to beat. Of the others Churchfield Syd couldn’t have a better draw with King Capaldi certain to move inwards on the run up but he need to improve a little on his last couple of runs. King Sydney lacks a yard of early pace, and you would have to fear for Bogger Rambo from his draw. Aero Sucandai went up well last time but has a few lengths to find on the clock with the principles.

I’ll side with Links Maverick; he seems to be running into form and looks about ready to peak when it matters.  The final is due off at 13:33 this Saturday, the very best of luck to all connections.

Crayford Action

Three semi-finals of the Premier Greyhound Racing Golden Jacket highlight a quality card from Crayford on Saturday afternoon. The top two from each semi will progress to the final a week on Saturday. In the first semi four of the opening first round heat winner’s clash. Haka Carlo has a good drawn in red but may have to concede first run to Coonough Crow. The selection has been very lightly raced in 2024 winning three of her four starts. She goes up well and stays strongly. Havana Lover will be thundering home late in the day but may have too much to do while I find it hard to fancy Bubbly Scorcher from his draw.

The second semi looks to be the weakest of the three. Tuono Bella led for much of the journey last week before being caught late on by Ballymac Taylor. Bella has some smart form around here over six and eight bends including a slick trial over the distance prior to the start of the event. I fancy her to make all in the second heat.

The last of the semis is a real cracker. New Destiny will be my selection here. She is much better than the form of her latest run would suggest and will improve significantly if able to dictate. She has a great chance to lead this weekend with Ballymac Taylor drawn on her inside. Although Taylor will be running on late, she doesn’t have the early pace to trouble New Destiny early. Queen Pink will be looking to make all but I just feel New Destiny will have too much power for her granted a clear run. Dazl Rolex is a frustrating sort, he has undoubted ability but does tend to find the trouble spots.

The Tote Gold Cup is at the semi-final stage at Shelbourne Park this weekend. The final will be live on Greyhound TV next Saturday evening where we will bring you a detailed preview of what promises to be a cracking card from the Dublin venue.

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