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Coral Essex Vase - Romford 575M - £10,000

ROSWELL ROMANOV can continue to play a starring role in the Coral Essex Vase when the 575-metre competition reaches its semi-final stage at Romford on Friday.

The Mark Wallis-trained runner stood out during a high quality first round when breaking quickly and making all to score in the fastest time of the night and he has drawn a favourable trap one in the first semi-final.

There are two other Wallis-trained runners in opposition on Friday. Roswell Roxanne, owned, like Romanov, by Evan Herbert, and Ferryforth Fran, twice a Category One winner during 2016, most recently in the William Hill St Leger at Wimbledon.

But neither is like to prove too much of a problem for Roswell Romanov who is positioned perfectly on the inside to reproduce his trap-to-line first round victory.

If Roswell Romanov is to be beaten, Newlawn Peter is the one most likely to do it. There was only a neck between them over this course and distance on November 4, when next Friday’s draw was transposed, and Roswell Romanov had to come from behind to win.

Peregrine Falcon and Oakfield Caesar, both trained by John Mullins and winners at the first round stage, are expected to be leading contenders in the second semi-final.

The dual Derby finalist Peregrine Falcon looks the most likely winner on the back of his impressive first round success.

That was achieved from a middle draw and there is a school of thought that Peregrine Falcon is not as effective from the traps when drawn against the fence. That aside, he might still have the edge in which Rubys Razzle is another to keep an eye on.

Swabys Millward is the only runner in the third semi-final to have won at the first round stage and the Paul Young-trained runner will undoubtedly play a major role again. However, the presence of the likes of Thirteen Bags and Bubbly Torpedo will make this a most competitive qualifier.



First Semi-Final

1 Roswell Romanov

2 Newlawn Peter

3 Farneys Cookie

4 Alfies Diamond (m)

5 Roswell Roxanne (w)

6 Ferryfront Fran (w)


Second Semi-Final

1 Peregrine Falcon

2 Johns Present

3 Rubys Razzle

4 Swift Hansel (m)

5 Oakfield Caesar (w)

6 Illseeyouagain (w)


Third Semi-Final

1 Rio San Marino

2 Thirteen Bags

3 Ribble Aon

4 Swabys Millward (m)

5 Bubbly Torpedo (m)

6 Kranky Damo (w)



Heat One

Roswell Roxanne got home to give Mark Wallis the best possible start to the competition. The daughter of Kinloch Brae ran in snatches. She led early, before surrendering the advantage to Millwards Master between the third and fifth bends, and then producing a renewed challenge to score by a length and a quarter from Alfies Diamond in 35.96sec (0.20sec slow). Rio San Marino was third.


Heat Two

Swabys Millward picked up early leader Ribble Aon rounding the third bend and then held on at the expense of strong finish from St Leger winner Ferryforth Fran. The winner tracked determinedly in the early part of the race and was very game once hitting the front. Ferryforth Fran stayed on well as you would expect over this trip. The winning time was 35.80sec (0.20sec slow) and the distance was a length and a half. Ribble Aon stayed best of the rest for third.


Heat Three

Oakfield Caesar went off at a rapid rate of knots and must have been five lengths clear at one stage. But, in the end, the John Mullins-trained runner was all out to hold a powerful late charge from Swift Hansel by a head in 35.80sec (0.20sec slow). Bernie Doyle has made a smashing start to his career as a Romford trainer and his Illseeyouagain finished the best of the rest to take third, almost three lengths behind the winner.


Heat Four

Peregrine Falcon gave John Mullins a quick-fire double with a good early paced display which ended up with the dual Derby finalist defeating Rubys Razzle by a shade over two lengths in 35.46sec (0.20sec slow). He was pursued for most of the trip by the very talented Thirteen Bags but Diane Henry’s runner faded in the closing stages as Rubys Rascal came through to take second. Thirteen Bags filled third, a length behind the runner-up.


Heat Five

Newlawn Peter earned first run on the favourite Bubbly Torpedo around the first and second bends and then nursed his advantage for the rest of the 575-metre trip. It got a bit fraught in the closing stages for supporters of the leader as he was forced to fend off a powerful late challenge from Farneys Cookie. Kevin Boon’s dog had been six lengths adrift at one stage but he produced a powerful surge to force the issue right to the wire. In the end, there was a short-head in it as Newlawn Peter clocked 35.92sec (0.20sec slow).

Heat Six

It was definitely a case of saving the best to last as Roswell Romanov broke like a scalded cat and had stretched his advantage to seven lengths after he had completed a lap and a half of the London Road track. He stopped the clock at 35.23sec (0.20sec slow) and is clearly the runner the others must beat to land this Category One competition. Johns Present was second from early on and he held on to the position, almost three lengths ahead of Kranky Damo.