Latest News

Ladbrokes Gold Collar - Crayford 540m - £8,000

DROOPYS JESTER, trained locally by Dean Childs, was narrowly quickest in the heats as the Ladbrokes Gold Collar took centre-stage at Crayford on Saturday - on a night the Kent track kick-started a busy open-race period with two supporting competitions also getting underway.


The Kent Cesarewitch and Guys & Dolls, both also backed by Ladbrokes, played chief supporting roles to the 540m Gold Collar, one of the sport’s oldest events with its history dating back to 1933 at Catford. Belle Vue staged the event between 2004 and 2009, with Crayford returning the race to the GBGB Calendar in 2015.


Droopys Jester, a three-year-old Crayford bitch, made all in heat six to score from Shaneboy Bowie in 33.46sec which set the standard in the heats - but only just -  Martyn Wiley’s Mayshighlandreel had been just as impressive in heat five as she made virtually all to win easily from Mayas Little Bro in 33.47sec.


Oakfield Caesar had kicked off the Gold Collar with a surprise but fully deserved victory in heat one, as the 6-1 chance trapped well and made all from the staying-on Starring Storm in 33.59sec for John Mullins whose late father Pat won the Gold Collar at Catford in 1980 with the brilliant Sport Promoter.


Jeff Rayner, who works for Mullins, said: “He’s a great dog for the kennel, but also for Lee [Calcutt] and Chris [Waters]. He always gives his best and has reached two Sussex Cup finals and an Essex Vase, and loves to go off the front. The lads also have My Mate Max, and he’s another real consistent dog for us - a real favourite.”


My Mate Max also qualified for Thursday’s semi-finals back at Crayford when finishing third to all-the-way 25-1 shot Whistling Mall and Rising Razor in heat three, the Nick Carter-trained winner stopping the clock in 33.65sec for the six-bend trip as one of three local winners of the six Gold Collar heats.


John French, part-owner of the winner along with Terry Killick and Frank Ferrari, was delighted afterwards: “I always knew he was capable of doing that with a middle draw. He’s a smash breaker who’s probably not handled the inside draws well, but has latched on to it tonight!


“I was a Catford regular back in the day, watched many Gold Collars, and I’d say one of the favourites was when Pure Patches won for Dinky Luckhurst back in 1998 - great memories. We see him here at Crayford on occasions because, of course, his daughter Julie trains here. Crayford have done great bringing the Gold Collar back in recent years.”


Like a number of trainers, Kevin Boon had runners spread around the UK on Saturday. Represented at Yarmouth where his four-bend stars Murrys Act and Knockard Spring qualified for Thursday’s final of the East Anglian Derby, the King’s Lynn-based handler struck at Crayford in the Gold Collar heats.


His assistant Katherine Tighe sent out Reality Train to score in heat two, as the two-year-old bitch came through strongly to deny Airmount Panther and Glenbeg Val in 34.28sec, while Jim Daly’s Droopys Fernanda made virtually all the running in heat four in 33.65sec from Bubbly McCoy and Yahoo Victor.


Yahoo Victor (pictured above in the red jacket trialling at Towcester earlier this year)  is the defending champion and thrilled trainer Barry O’Sullivan when making it through to the semis: “He’s had a few setbacks since last year, and hasn’t been trapping that well. But we’ve brought him along slowly and he’s improving with each run. Karl [Brazier, owner] is on a plane coming home from holiday at the moment - it’ll be a nice surprise for him and the family when he lands!”


Thursday’s trap draw:


The draw for the Ladbrokes Guys & Dolls semi-finals will take place after a run-off between Bubbas Bullet (Jim Daly) and Chopchop Hope (Yvonne Gaskin) on Tuesday afternoon. The pair dead-heated for third place in the opening heat.