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


ROSWELL ROMANOV and Murrys Act (pictured at Yarmouth last year), both with major Romford successes under their belt, go head to head once again in Friday’s final of the Coral Essex Vase - the ‘2017’ running which was switched to a March date this year after December’s cancellation.


Winner of last year’s Coronation Cup, Roswell Romanov again impressed in a red-hot first semi-final as he came through strongly to head early leader Oh Yesyesyes before running away to win from the staying-on Murrys Act, who recovered well from early crowding.


The latter edged out Droopys Giorgio to claim a spot in Friday’s final for Kevin Boon and give himself the chance of a famous Romford double after winning last year’s Champion Stakes. The winning time for Roswell Romanov was 36.08sec (-45).


On a busy night for the Mark Wallis kennel, which also daw him qualify Ninja Penny for the £10,000 Essex Vase decider but also represented at Shawfield with trials for his Scottish Derby-bound team, plus at home track Towcester, the champion trainer was a delighted man.


He said: “It was a busy night for us Friday, but a good one. The kennel was at three tracks including a long trip to Scotland where we were very pleased with Bruisers Bullet who took to the track well, likewise Bombers Bullet. Black Farren went okay, although remains a work in progress!


“At Romford Roswell Romanov is back running at the top of his game and, although he has definitely lost a yard of early pace, he tracked cleverly to win his semi-final. Hopefully he’ll have a reasonable chance of improving on his runners-up spot in the last Vase - in 2016!


“Ninja Penny has done fantastically well to reach her first Category One final. She made the Peter Bussey Memorial final at Crayford and has only had a dozen races. Improvement is highly likely, but she’ll move off from trap two which might help her kennelmate Romanov.


“We also pitched in with a first open win for Newinn Trump at Romford, plus Towstar Jess in the last race there, and had a couple of nice winners at Towcester to complete a good night for the kennel. It helps getting the wins when you’re battling on a few fronts!”


Roswell Romanov’s owner Evan Herbert will be doubly-represented in the Essex Vase final after Barricane Carina (35.98sec -45) led home Ninja Penny in the second semi, while the evergreen Oakfield Caesar paved the way for another final slot in winning heat three from Ridgedale Lass.


In clocking 36.11sec (-45), John Mullins’ dog was continuing a cracking record in major competitions. He has now made two Essex Vase finals at Romford, two Sussex Cup deciders at Hove, plus two Peter Bussey finals and a Gold Collar final at Crayford.


Friday’s Coral Essex Vase final: 1 Roswell Romanov, 2 Ninja Penny (m), 3 Ridgedale Max (m), 4 Barricane Carina (m), 5 Murrys Act (w), 6 Oakfield Caesar (w).