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MITCH MILLWARD ESSEX VASE - ROMFORD 575m (£10,000)

Adageo Bob is approaching four and half years of age and he is still searching for his first major Romford success. A traffic jam and bad luck have all played a part but it is remarkable the joint track-record holder can't boast of a big Romford win. He's arguably the greatest greyhound to have ever raced at the Essex venue over the 575m and deserves a place on the roll of honour. This is the first event the spotlight is not shining brightly on him and he delivered a spectacular first-round performance to win by 7.5L in 35.51 -30. Trainer Mark Wallis has said this will be the dog’s last major competition so can the veteran sign off in style? If he did it would be like a Hollywood movie script and tissue sales in the Romford area would go through the roof. 

 

It won't be easy and he will need that element that's so often deserted him; Luck! Fivestar Clipper made it an incredible six wins on the bounce when winning the first heat in 35.61 -30. Swift Whirlwind was next to shine winning in 35.72 -30. Vatican Ragnar made every post a winning one in heat four stopping the clock in 35.86 -30. Soviet Kenny the Coronation Cup champion took heat five in 35.51 -30. The best was saved for last when Bubbly Gold took heat six in the fastest of the night 35.49 -30. 

 

Full first-round results here http://www.gbgb.org.uk/resultsMeeting.aspx?id=134100

 

Semi-Finals 

 

We are left with 18 fantastic greyhounds all chasing that winner’s purse of £10,000. With so many greyhounds in top form it's the most open Essex Vase I can remember in recent years. The great Ballyregan Bob won this competition in 1985. could 2015 see another Bob on the podium in the form of Adageo Bob? The first task is getting past a tough semi-final that includes the Coronation Cup hero Soviet Kenny, the Grand Prix victor Bubbly Gold and a host of other highly rated greyhounds. 

 

I wanted to catch up with Dick Barfoot the owner of Adageo Bob and get the story on Bob;

“He'd been for sale for three or four weeks at £10,000 and I could not believe he'd not been snapped up. I bought him and it's turned out to be the best £10,000 I've ever spent. He won us the British Breeders' Stakes £8,000 to-the-winner straight away and he's taken me and my wife on an incredible journey. Last year he was stuck in traffic and turned up late but don't worry the same won't happen this year. We have had our fair share of bad luck but hopefully we can get some good luck now.

 

This will be his swan-song and I desperately want him to go out on a high. Whatever happens, he's our champion and we love him so much. He had a break after the Coronation Cup and at his age he needed it. The rest seems to have rejuvenated him and when I think of some of his amazing Romford performances in the past I'd give anything for two more now. If he keeps popping out the traps he really can sign off with a victory. If he managed it there would not be a dry eye in the house. It's important to us that he goes out at the top. Hopefully he will qualify for the final or if he was to be knocked out we would probably come back for one last race on finals night. 

He will stand at stud and I will have one or two little Bob's and the journey will hopefully start all over again”.

 

It's not just the Adageo Bob show, though, and there are a host of other big named greyhounds heading to the traps in the other two semi-finals. Swift Whirlwind is the sole heat winner in the first semi-final but faces tough opposition in the form of Deanridge Pennys the former Irish star. 

 

The third semi-final is a cracker and Fivestar Clipper is chasing a magnificent seventh race win on the bounce. Derek Knight's charge will have to be at his best because the five challengers are top class and this will be some race. Teejayspowerhawk and Kakantu are no strangers to big race finals, Knockbawn Caviar, Jaytee Berlin and Farneys Cookie all have a touch of class. It's all set up to be one of the best races we have seen away from a big final this year. 

 

Draw 

 

T1 Deanridge Pennys

T2 Outdoor Rumble

T3 Millwards Master

T4 Loughteen Pedro

T5 Uncle Paul (m)

T6 Swift Whirlwind (w)

 

T1 Bubbly Gold

T2 Noirs Allen

T3 Southern Henri

T4 Vatican Ragnar (m)

T5 Soviet Kenny (w)

T6 Adageo Bob (w)

 

T1 Knockbawn Caviar 

T2 Teejayspowerhawk 

T3 Jaytee Berlin

T4 Farneys Cookie (m)

T5 Fivestar Clipper (w)

T6 Kakantu (w)