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


ROXHOLME TIGER (pictured above) set the standard in the heats of the Ladbrokes Gold Collar at Crayford on Tuesday as Hayley Keightley’s runner clocked the fastest time of six heats of the 540m annual - which threw up a few surprises for punters and form students as favourites suffered a mix ride.


Shotgun Bullet, the Romford Coronation Cup and Crayford Golden Jacket winner, was looking to kick-start his campaign for another major success at the Kent track, but after a missed break and crowding qualified in third behind Roxholme Tiger.


The Keightleys’ runner was always in front in heat two and skipped clear to win by six and three-quarter lengths in 33.54sec for the Kent track’s six bends, with Old Fort Comet (Kevin Boon) just edging out Derek Knight’s staying-on Shotgun Bullet for second.


The event kicked off with the first of a brace of local victories as the Dean Childs-trained Mustang Thrill (33.76sec) made virtually all to score from Jackeen Flyer in a heat which saw the elimination of Peter Bussey Memorial winner Saleen Ash in fifth.


The Nick Carter-trained Whistling Mall, another local, was also a pillar-to-post scorer in heat three as he stopped the clock in 34.02sec, while Philip Simmonds’ Droopys Dresden (33.81sec) scored an impressive victory over staying-on Kent St Leger winner Maireads Ivy in heat four.


The final two heats went to Kevin Boon’s Cloncunny Major (34.03sec), who was always prominent before coming away to score from Swift Danielle in heat five, while the sixth and final heat saw a fluent all-the-way success from Matt Dartnall’s Droopys Polly in 33.82sec.


Crayford racing manager Danny Rayment is now looking forward to next Tuesday’s three semi-finals (draw below) with the £8,000 final on Tuesday, June 26, which will be supported by nine £500-to-the-winner opens and £300 maidens. The details will appear in the next GBGB Calendar.


“We had a few surprises in the heats, but it was great to see two of the locals win - and at big prices, too, for their supporters - with Dean’s Mustang Thrill (12-1) and Nick’s Whistling Mall (7-1), but I thought performance of the round was Roxholme Tiger (5-1).


“He was another decent price, but I thought Hayley’s runner, who’s quite lightly-raced, ran the track well. He pinged the lids and was soon clear, and that was the case for both Droopys Dresden and Droopys Polly, two other impressive heat winners.


“Phil Simmonds’ Droopys Dresden has also taken to the track well and was soon in command and comfortably held long-distance specialist Maireads Ivy, and it was good to see Matt (Dartnall) back with Droopys Polly this time doing the business for him.


“Matt clearly knows the type of dog needed to win round Crayford following on from Brinkleys Poet’s track record effort a few weeks ago! And that looks a decent match-up in the semi-finals between Jackeen Flyer and Droopys Polly in their semi-final.


“We’ve also a rematch between Roxholme Tiger and Shotgun Bullet, which should be good. Roll on next Tuesday,” added Rayment.


Draw for Tuesday’s semi-finals:-


First semi: 1 Old Fort Comet, 2 Droopys Who, 3 Cloncunny Major, 4 Swift Danielle, 5 Roxholme Tiger (m), 6 Shotgun Bullet (m).


Second semi: 1 Maireads Ivy, 2 Kentish Ranger, 3 Droopys Dresden, 4 Newlawn Scout, 5 Toss The Coin (m), 6 Droopys Edge (m).


Third semi: 1 Garryglass Teddy, 2 Droopys Polly, 3 Courts Ad Darcey, 4 Jackeen Flyer (m), 5 Whistling Mall (m), 6 Mustang Thrill (w).