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Coral Coronation Cup - Romford 575m - £5,000


MURRYS ACT set the standard in the heats of the Coronation Cup at Romford on Friday as the Kevin Boon-trained flyer returned to the scene of his Champion Stakes victory with a brilliant 34.99sec (normal) as the 575m event kicked off with six heats at the Essex venue.


Last year’s Derby fourth stole the show as he made a bullet break from the boxes and was always holding away up front, tearing away to win by seven and three-quarter lengths from Welloiledmachine to dip under the magical 35 seconds barrier at the Coral venue.


In doing so, Boon’s Juvenile Championship winner, a finalist in this event last year, raced to the top of the betting for the first major event of 2018 - won last year by Roswell Romanov, who exited the six-bend competition when managing only fourth in heat four to Oakfield Caesar (35.48sec).


That proved to be the middle leg of a superb treble for John Mullins, which was completed by Romeo Mandate (35.65sec) and Romeo Desperado (35.82sec) in heats one and six respectively, both producing strong-running efforts to oblige.


Hove raider Shotgun Bullet impressed for the Derek Knight camp as he came through a tough clash in heat two to score in impressive fashion, winning by seven and a half lengths in a rapid 35.14sec, while Boylesports Duke (35.75sec) struck for Mark Wallis in heat three.


Mark Arkell, deputy racing manager, said: "It was a good night's racing, with Murrys Act the undoubted star. To clock the time he did in the first week of January was something special and Kevin's dog runs this track so well.


"John Mullins has always supported Romford so to win three of the six Coronation Cup heats is something special for the kennel, and Oakfield Caesar has something of. following here. He's a very popular dog.


"Favourites overall did pretty well, although Roswell Romanov failed to get a run in his heat. It wasn't his day, but earlier it was good to see Shotgun Bullet win for Derek Knight. He's had some good wins here in the past with dogs such as Solid Money and, more recently, Fivestar Clipper."