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LADBROKES GOLDEN JACKET - CRAYFORD 714m (£17,500)

Saturday night sees the first really big competition of 2015 come under starters orders at Crayford. The Ladbrokes Golden Jacket is worth an amazing £17,500 to-the-winner for this Category One event over 714 metres.

 

The one statistic that jumps out of the pages of history is this race is yet to produce an ante-post favourite winner. Can Roxholme Dream buck that trend? She was the 2014 Bitch and Stayer Of The Year and was simply breathtaking at Wimbledon in the St Leger. It would be a major shock if she did not go close. 

 

Her trials have really set the pulse racing and it looks very much like Crayford is a track she is relishing. Preparation is everything and you must be impressed with the attention to detail from Hayley Keightley. Not one but three trials have given this superstar every chance to be the first ante-post favourite to go on and lift the trophy. Roxholme Dream was 5/2 before the draw and literally within minutes of the draw the money came for her and she was cut to 6/4 with the sponsors.

 

It's a high class competition and there is a host of big names set to battle it out in what could prove to be the most exciting Ladbrokes Golden Jacket to date. I've caught up with trainers to get their thoughts before the competition starts. It became apparent that there is definitely excitement in the air never mind love this Valentine's Day.

 

 

TRAINERS VIEW

 

Mark Keightley on Roxholme Dream

 

'We finished runner-up in this great race with Roxholme Girl ten years ago and I know if you make a mistake your punished. Roxholme Dream must get it right in the heats, semi-final and final but if she does then we think she is the one they've to beat. Her preparation is going really well, she is running the track well and we arrive full of hope. A lots been made of the voodoo of being ante-post favourite and there never being a winner but that voodoo must be broken one day, why can't it be broken by Dream'.

 

Lee Giftkins on Bubbly Time

 

'Hand on my heart I'm not sure we can live with Roxholme Dream for me she is the best stayer in England or Ireland. Our aim is to reach the final and have a great night with all the Champagne Club members. We are happy with her first-round draw and are confident of qualifying. Her main targets are the TV Trophy and Marathons on Sky-Sports, I think we will have a very exciting 2015'.

 

Dean Childs on Droopys Bear

 

'He's a nice compact dog and the type to do well on the tighter circuits. The 714 metres looks ideal and if he can start breaking consistently then he's the pace to go well in the competition. I was very pleased with his run in the trial-stake and think he's got each-way potential and once you make a final you never know. We are hopeful of good showing from him'.

 

Seamus Cahill on Chicago and Newinn Echo

 

'Chicago seemed to handle the track well in trials let's hope it's the same in six dog races. I think it's imperative he's out in front but he is more than capable. The 714m is a shot in the dark but if he was out in front I would have no worries and be confident he could kick on from there. No quibbles about the draw and I'm looking forward to this competition with him.

 

Every year this competition throws up a long shot this year I'm hoping its Newinn Echo. I was very pleased with her trial-stake win and with a bit of luck she's the type who can keep qualifying'.

 

Mark Wallis on Black Francis

 

'We won the race last year with Hometown Honey and it would be great to go well in it again this year. I've only one runner; Black Francis. He is still improving and arrives on the back of winning a small competition at Towcester. He must improve if he is to win it but I think he's got a squeak of making the frame due to his early-pace. We have to see how he goes it is a big step up in class but I'm hopeful he will run well'.

 

Mark can I ask about the brilliant Prestige winner Billys Bullet, what are your plans?

'He will head to Monmore for the Ladbrokes Spring Festival 630m race and then be in my team for the Trainer's Championship at Sittingbourne. He is really well and just ran a fantastic race for us at Towcester, it's a really exciting time for the dog and his connections'.