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Ladbrokes Golden Jacket - Crayford 714m - £17,500

ShotgunBullet_JacketHts

SHOTGUN BULLET (above) roared into the semi-finals of the £17,500 Ladbrokes Golden Jacket at Crayford on Saturday as the defending champion continued his love affair with the Kent venue with a fastest-of-the-night heat win. 

The victory of Derek Knight’s runner - achieved in heat three in trap-to-line style as he made all in 45.53sec (normal) - will have his legion of supporters dreaming of something very special given only two greyhounds have ever successfully defended the title. 

“Bobs Regan and Wexford Minx are the only two to do it and, of course, Derek trained Wexford Minx so there’s a real link here,” said Danny Rayment, Crayford’s racing manager, of the Hove handler who has five Golden Jacket titles to his name. 

“I thought Shotgun Bullet’s was the performance of the round. He was flawless and the time said it all - it’s great to see him in the semis. However, I’m disappointed not to see the ante-post favourite Brigadier Bullet in there, but we knew something had to give in that incredible heat four. 

“So well done to Heather (Dimmock, Stardom) and Patrick (Janssens, Affleck Bolt and Goldies Hotspur) for coming through that heat.” 

Rayment singled out Irish entry Boylesportstwink and Droopys Gina as two greyhounds unfortunate not to reach the semis after both were narrowly eliminated after troubled runs, although was delighted to see three locals through. 

“I was quite surprised to see Droopys Edge (Dean Childs) to come from behind first time over the trip, but I think it shows she’s at the top of her game. 

“As for the training performance of the round, that’s probably between Patrick (Janssens) and Kevin (Boon), who qualified all three of his runners through.” 

On the effort of TV Trophy champion Savana Winner, Rayment added: “She lost her concentration a little close home. If it was a graded race, I’d have marked her awkward so if I’m consistent I’ve got to do the same here.” 

The competition kicked off with victory for Gabriel (45.94sec) in heat one, landing a first open-race success for Michelle Brown having taken over the trainer’s licence from her mother Hazel Kemp. 

Spencer Mavrias weighed in with victory for Courts Ad Georgy (45.89sec) in heat two, before Shotgun Bullet and Stardom (45.54sec) struck, the latter coming through a high-quality heat four when reeling in Affleck Bolt in a cracking duel. 

Savana Winner’s last-to-first finish for Diane Henry in heat five was achieved in 45.82sec, while Droopys Edge (46.06sec) ran on well to deny Irish raider Towcester Story (Brendan Matthews) in a close finish to heat six. 

Results: www.gbgb.org.uk/resultsMeeting.aspx?id=169922  

Trap draw for Saturday morning’s semi-finals:- 

First semi: 1 Droopys Essie, 2 Snowdon Jay, 3 Goldies Hotspur (m), 4 Affleck Bolt (m), 5 Shotgun Bullet (m), 6 Swift Danielle (w). 

Second semi: 1 Stardom, 2 Cibulkova, 3 Courts Ad Georgy (m), 4 Sheldan (m), 5 Headford Maurice (m), 6 Glenbeg Val (w). 

Third semi: 1 Swift Tarquin, 2 Gabriel, 3 Droopys Edge (m), 4 Savana Winner (m), 5 Towcester Story (m), 6 Piper Arthur (w).