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Ladbrokes Gold Collar -Crayford 540m- £8,000. Semi final review and Final Night Preview

Ladbrokes Gold Collar -Crayford 540m- £8,000. Semi final review and Final Night Preview


IT really is marvellous that Ladbrokes last year resurrected the Gold Collar. The six-bend late-summer showpiece was one of the most popular events in the Calendar when staged at Catford, until the south east London track closured on Guy Fawkes’ Night in 2003.

Belle Vue became host between 2004 and 2009 – during which time Roxholme Girl sprinkled a little stardust on the event by winning it twice. However, after Southwind Harry scored for Kim Billingham in 2009, the event was discontinued.

The Ernie Gaskin-trained Corrin Bob was successful in the inaugural Crayford Gold Collar last year. He defeated Swift Whirlwind by two and a half lengths in 33.67sec. Swabys Millward was back in fifth place in that race but on Tuesday Paul Young’s dog gets a second chance to give his trainer his first success in the six-bend Category One over 540 metres.

Swabys Millward runs from trap four – just as he did last year. He also starts favourite in the decider after winning his semi-final, as was the case in 2015.Young will be hoping that the similarities to last year end there – the last thing he wants is a repeat of the finishing position.

It is a cracking renewal of the Gold Collar and the cameras from SKY Sports 1 will be there to convey the action live from 7pm.

Swabys Millward, on the back of a sizzling four-length semi-final success, will be favourite. Much, though, will depend on him getting away to a slick start because of the potential for an early challenge from either Ribble Aon (trap one) and/or Best Boy Ethan (trap six), the only finalist who is unbeaten in the two preliminary rounds.

If getting away to another decent start – his first and second sectionals suggest he should be able to lead – then it is difficult to argue a case for Swabys Millward not holding on to land the £8,000 first prize for connections.

Mark Wallis was second with Swift Whirlwind last year and he will be eager that history doesn’t repeat itself on Tuesday. The Champion Trainer, who at the weekend announced he is going all out for a record number of points in this year’s Trainer of the Year table, is represented by Ribble Aon, owned by his Towcester boss Lord Hesketh.

Ribble Aon’s record from trap one is not good, though. The daughter of Kinloch Brae has won just one from seven. That’s something that might concern connections.

Best Boy Ethan comes into the final in cracking form. His early pace has seen him win both qualifying rounds and he is well positioned in stripes to launch a strong challenge for the title.

Of the others, the Barry O’Sullivan-trained Yahoo Victor (trap two) knows every nook and cranny at Crayford and merits the utmost respect; Gubu ((trap three) boasts a victory over Swabys Millward at the first round stage and Coolavanny Bisto completely deserves his place in the final, although it is difficult to construct a strong case for him proving successful.

Trap draw for the final

1 Ribble Aon

2 Yahoo Victor

3 Gubu

4 Swabys Millward (m)

5 Coolavanny Bistro (w)

6 Best Boy Ethan (w)


The Ladbrokes Guys And Dolls (380m)


THE Ladbrokes Guys and Dolls is a competition with a rich history which stretches back to the golden days at Harringay in the eighties. The concept is that the sexes compete in their very own micro qualifying competition before the best three from each go into the draw for the final.

Yet again we have a cracking decider, with the dogs seeming to hold the upper hand. But the 380-metre competition is worth £5,000 first prize to winner connections and those that own the John Campbell-trained Swift Merlot are the favourites to bank the cheque.

However, there is a strong field in opposition, which includes the talented Stonepark Mo, who has won 16 of her 28 races, and the local open race Blakes Turbo. But, on the evidence of the preliminary rounds, during which he has twice registered convincing successes, Swift Merlot will take all the beating. 

 The draw for the final

1 Swift Merlot

2 Swift Thruston

3 Stonepark Mo

4 Blakes Turbo

5 Special Trixi (w)

6 Brick Mansions (w).


 The Ladbrokes Kent Cesarewitch (874m)

JUST four runners go to traps for this stamina-sapping contest which offers £3,000 to connections of the winning greyhound, who might well prove to be yet again Dashing Star for the inform John Mullins.

The choicely bred son of Ace Hi Rumble out of the that fabulous stayer Flying Winner, landed this event last year with a thrilling late charge to defeat Market Heights by three-parts of a lengths.

The three-year-old displayed his versatility with an all-the-way victory in the heats of this event 10 days ago and will most likely start favourite to defend his title.

The chief danger is the evergreen Racenight Jenny. There is something very special about this December 2011 daughter of Duke Special, particularly at Crayford where she has reached two Ladbrokes Golden jacket finals (fourth this year and second in 2015).

The June Harvey-trained bitch was a seven and a half winner in the heats – more than four lengths quicker than Dashing Star – and represents a serious threat.


Trap draw for the final

1 Racenight Jenny

2 Mowem Down

3 Vacant

4 Dashing Star (m)

5 Mays Shantalla (w)

6 Vacant


The Semi-finals of the Ladbrokes Gold Collar – September 22, 2016


The first semi-final

A tale simply told; Best Boy Ethan trapped well from the outside (12.85sec sectional) and made all. At best the advantage held by Dean Childs’ runner must have been in the region of four to five lengths ahead before winning by a shade over a length from a fast finishing Coolavanny Bisto in 33.82sec (normal). Yahoo Victor trapped well but was forced to check at the first bend. He moved into third at the third bend and stayed there to claim a place in the final.


The second semi-final

This was a commanding performance from Swabys Millward. He just made the bend in front (12.78sec sectional) but once ahead there was never going to be any other winner. The Romford dog stayed on well to score by four lengths from the talented Ribble Aon in 33.50sec (0.20sec fast). Ribble Aon turned the first bend in second place but was unable to make any impression on the winner. The Mark Wallis-trained dog finished second – ahead of Gubu who was never better than third.