Coral Champion Stakes – Romford 575m – £10,000
NIGHT TIME DANNY upheld the St Leger form – and some – when coming from last to first to win the Coral Champion Stakes Final at Romford on Friday.
Landing owner and trainer Stephen Rayner his first GBGB Category One title in the £10,000 decider at the Essex venue, Night Time Danny had led everywhere except the line in the recent stayers’ Classic at Perry Barr, succumbing only to the powerful Space Jet. This time, however, he had the last laugh.
Slowly away, the November 2018 son of Sh Avatar and Nom De Plume was soon playing catch-up to the likes of fast-starting Gymstar Elusive (John Mullins), who cut out the early running, ahead of Droopys Addition (Gemma Evans) – and that order remained until down the far side second time when Bombardier (Mark Wallis) and then Night Time Danny wound up their challenges.
And it was Rayner’s charge who was not for stopping as he came through powerfully to hit the front off the last bend and race away quickly to win by three and a quarter lengths from the gallant Gymstar Elusive in a fast 34.94sec (+20) for the 575m.
A delighted Rayner said afterwards: “He’s a fantastic dog to have in the kennel and I’d like to thank Donal Brennan for sending him over to me. He had plenty to do right from the start, but has come through really well.”
The upcoming Stadium Bookmakers Hunt Cup at Towcester is Night Time Danny’s next target and he lines up there as a worthy Coral Champion Stakes winner.
Romford stadium manager Karen McMillan: “Danny was brilliant on the night and to clock the time he has from off the pace shows the quality not just of him, but the entire Champion Stakes final field this year. It was a great event and a fantastic final to round it off – well done to Stephen (Rayner) and his team.
“Overall it was a superb night here given we had our usual batch of Friday night opens and events, but were also able to stage the Mitch Millward Marathon final won, again in a tremendous finish, by Bumblebee Bullet for Mark Wallis and the Bruiser Boyz.
“We had Mitch’s friends and family here and were able to pay tribute to Mitch, who was such a popular owner not just at Romford but throughout the sport. He owned and part-owned such amazing greyhounds as Millwards Teddy, Millwards Davy and Millwards Master.
“Millwards Master actually won the Coral Champion Stakes here in 2014 and then incredibly also won the Coronation Cup here early in 2016, which came after Mitch’s sad passing.
“He was a regular here at Romford and loved his greyhounds and greyhound racing. He owned some fantastic dogs and enjoyed so many amazing nights here – many with his great friend Paul Young. The race is our way of remembering Mitch.”