Ladbrokes Golden Jacket Heats – Saturday, February 4
THE blossoming Slippy Maska made it four wins on the bounce – three over course and distance - with the fastest run of the first round of the Ladbrokes Golden Jacket (714m) at Crayford on Saturday.
Hazel Kemp’s April ’15 produced a smart front-running effort that stopped the clock at 45.29sec (+ 0.30sec) and defeated a good field – including the likes of Romany Rogue – by more than three lengths.
Ireland enjoyed a rapid double courtesy of Boylesport Star and Jaytee Patriot in the heats four and five respectively. The former trapped slowly and ran off at the second turn. He quickly regained his composure, however, and picked up nicely to work his way through the field to score in 45.81sec.
Jaytee Patriot produced a delightful display of power-running to score. Paul Hennessy’s son of Godsend didn’t hit the front until the eighth bend but went on to win by three and a quarter lengths in 45.87sec.
Rubys Razzle brought her record to eight wins from her last 10 races with a length and quarter success over the progressive Russelena Reggie in 45.41sec (+ 0.30sec).
Ladbrokes Golden Jacket Semi-Finals preview – February 11
AN Irish-based greyhound has only once won the Ladbrokes Golden Jacket. That was back in 2004 when Group Skater secured the 714-metre Category One for Paul Hennessy, whose County Kilkenny kennels overlook Gowran Park racecourse.
This year, however, could well be the best chance Ireland has had for a while to bridge the gap with two leading contenders – Jaytee Patriot and Boylesport Star – the latter was formerly known as Razldazl Allstar before being purchased for an undisclosed amount by bookmaker John Boyle.
Jaytee Patriot, the ante-post favourite, is trained by Hennessy, who continues to be a big supporter of racing on this side of the Irish Sea – and who can blame him after the success of his Jaytee Jet in the English Derby final last year.
Boylesport Star is in the care of Dolores Ruth, who, like Hennessy, is always prepared to travel in pursuit of the sport’s big prizes.
Jaytee Patriot is drawn on the outside in the first semi-final, whilst Boylesport Star is a starter in the third semi-final. Given that only the first two go through to the final, which is live on Sky Sports on Tuesday week, there is no margin for error.
Here is how the semi-finals might unfold.
First Semi-Final: Jaytee Patriot and Rubys Razzle clash in what could be an absolute cracker. Both were impressive winners of their qualifiers with Rubys Razzle the quicker by a couple of lengths. There was, however, a lot to like about Jaytee Patriot, particularly in the stamina he showed in the latter stages. It looks like a contest that is between the two big guns with Jaytee Patriot getting a marginal vote.
2 Rubys Razzle
3 Trapper Kate
4 Trapper Kerry
5 Droopys Dart (m)
6 Jaytee Patriot (w)
Second Semi-Final: Kent St Leger winner Jimbobjoe is now back at full strength following a short break and looks the one to beat. The way he opened up to win by more than three lengths despite not leading until the latter stages in the heats was particularly eye-catching. Office Flirt is in good form and must enter equations as must Russelena Reggie, who ran well to be a close-up second to Rubys Razzle despite struggling to secure a clear path.
1 Forest Luck
2 Razldazl Star
3 Russelena Reggie
5 Office Flirt (m)
6 Romany Rouge (w)
Third Semi-Final: This is a smashing race with Slippy Maska, the fastest first round winner and easily the youngest runner in the competition, taking on Boylesport Star, with Ferryforth Fran, last year’s St Leger winner, thrown in for good measure. Whilst I am full of admiration for the way Boylesport Star came from last to first in the heats, there is little doubt Slippy Maska is the leading young stayer on the block and she gets the vote over the Irish raider.
1 Newlawn Simon
2 Rubys Rascal
3 Slippy Maska
4 Boylesport Star (m)
5 Lightfoot Sari (m)
6 Ferryforth Fran (w)