GREYHOUND PREVIEW: This weekend’s main action comes from Romford on Friday night where they have three semi-finals of the Coral Golden Sprint. Central Park have a high-quality card on Saturday evening with English Derby favourite King Memphis the star of the show. BARRY CAUL previews the action.

No Room for Error in Golden Sprint Semis

After a terrific opening round session to the 2024 Golden Sprint at Romford last Friday night, places in next weekend’s final will be at a premium this Friday as only the top two will qualify from each of the three semi-finals. Central Park hosts a top-quality card on Saturday evening featuring recently crowned sprinter of the year Quarteira as well as current Derby favorite King Memphis. Let’s look at the best of the action starting at Romford on Friday.

Golden Sprint Semi-finals at Romford

The trap draw was always going to play a significant part in this event with fourteen of the remaining eighteen runners seeded inside. Five inside seeds will line up in the opening semi with last weeks smart winner Romeo Cypher looking to have a tricky draw out in five. Despite being the quickest of this line up on last weeks running I can see him struggling from the orange jacket. There are some speedy types on his inner and he would need to do everything right to secure a clear run. Bombay Zero did plenty wrong last week and almost managed to claim victory over Rapido Lady but was just denied on the line. He can go up much better and has the best of the draw. Last years Irish Oaks winner Crafty Shivoo returned to action following her win in the Empress Stakes at Towcester last September and she is certain to improve for the run.

The one I was most impressed with last week is Bombout Bullet. He certainly didn’t have things go his own way and yet showed great pace and determination to get the better of Shirleys Boy going into the third bend before staying on well to secure a comfortable victory. Have no doubt, Bullet can go up much quicker and he could just leave a good field standing in the opening semi. Front Alice may have acres of room to operate on the run to the corner but has never raced from trap six while Kila Detail is certainly fast enough but is another with a nightmare draw.

The fastest opening round heat winner and current outright favorite Druids Say Go runs in the second semi-final where her main danger looks to be Romeo Cypher drawn on her inside in one. There is very little to separate the pair on their last couple of outings at the venue and the draw could prove crucial. Druids Say Go has won her last five at the track and is very dependable, but she will need to do everything right if she is to clear Romeo Cypher on the run to the corner. There is a possibility of a bit of trouble on the inside early on and at a likely big price a small chance can be taken on Supa Nova in six. The only wide seed left in the event Nova is running well around here of late and is sure to finish fast. Currently available at 25s for outright glory you could do worst than have a few quid each way on Supa Nova. If he were to qualify, he will be guaranteed trap six in the final and could have a rail mad runner drawn inside him.

Shirleys Boy almost caused a big upset last week when leading for much of the journey and he will try to make all again here in the last of the semi-finals. It does look to be the weakest of the three on paper and I will side with Cunnigar Yousir to take this. He had no luck in running last week when well supported in the betting. His 23:63 winning effort around here last month really catches the eye and he would win this easily with a repeat. March On Mini can rocket to the turn but does need to lead while Aero Convey could go well from trap five.

Central Park- Saturday

The Kent Plate is just around the corner and a couple of Trial Stakes will be run at Central Park this Saturday evening. King Memphis should continue his impressive form and keep marching towards his early summer target of the English Greyhound Derby. He goes in the 19:49 on the card and should prove too strong for the “topical” Churchfield Syd. Hopefully that matter can be sorted out ASAP. It does the sport no favours one way or the other!

Ballymac John finally got it right last weekend and hopefully this promising type can now go on to show a little more consistency this season. He will need to be at his sharpest to see of King Capaldi at 20:26. 2023 Sprinter of the year Quarteira will be hard to beat in the sprint contest at 20:44. He was excellent at Hove last Saturday when comfortably beating Broadway Murty and should go in again.

A mention for the inform Emers Sammy in trap one who is now looking for his eighth straight victory. Coonough Crow will be hard to beat in the stayer’s race at 21:21 and Queen Shakira can get the better of Whyaye Man in the 21:36.

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