DROOPYS AOIFE has her sights set on a famous Romford double after landing the second semi-final of the Coral Coronation Cup at Romford on Friday.

Completing an Ernie Gaskin double in the semi-finals of the 575m event – her brother Roman Empire (34.78sec) won the first semi impressively from strong-running Antigua Rum – Droopys Aoife’s early pace again took her clear as she crossed the line three lengths clear of Our Lucky Fool (Paul Young) in 35.00sec.

Wins for the littermates, both securing places in Friday’s £5,000 final in the process, delighted trainer Gaskin, who will be looking for his first Coronation Cup win.

“I thought they both ran really well and we can now look forward to another really good Romford final,” he said. “Aoife just runs Romford beautifully and it could be some feat should she win the Coronation Cup as well. She’s in great form – I’m just concerned my pair might want the same ground on the night.

“They have similar styles of running. Roman Empire is more draw-dependent so we’re happy with the red jacket and Aoife will be fine from trap three. If they both are able to get into the race, it might be that Aoife chops Roman Empire off when he makes his move. He’s the faster dog, but Romford suits Aoife more.

“Roman Empire wants longer straights, so win or lose on Friday, it’ll be a case of looking for those type of tracks with him – 630m at Monmore could be ideal. We don’t know what his stamina limitations are – I’m not sure he’d stay Hove’s 695m for the Regency, for instance, but we’ll find out soon.

“Either way, it’s great to be involved in a great final. Sparta Master is a fantastic dog, but any suggestion that it’s a three-dog race is wrong. Antigua Rum is a very strong sort who could get the run of the race and Our Lucky Fool and Maysthistlecrack are more than useful around Romford especially, so we’re take nothing for granted.

“I’m just delighted for our owners – Peter Stevens, Jesse Gaskin, Sid Nunns, Doug Norton and Tom Mumford (Gaskin Greyhound Partners) for Aoife and Paul Carpenter and Kevin for Roman Empire. I share both greyhounds with them and know how much they all enjoy the big nights when we’re fortunate enough to be involved.”

Sparta Master, the track record holder for the trip, again showed his talent with a fastest-of-the-night effort in the third semi-final and looks to right a wrong in Friday’s decider.

Sharon Thompson’s dog was always bossing proceedings in the third semi-final before running out a seven-and-a-half length winner at the expense of Maysthistlecrack (Pam Dolby) in 34.74sec. He now looks to erase the memories of Essex Vase Final night when a non-arrival due to horrendous traffic issues caused by a motorway closure.

Mark Arkell, Romford’s racing manager, said: “It really is a great final – another cracking one here at Romford.

“Ernie Gaskin has two of his stars in the final in Roman Empire and Droopys Aoife, while Sharon Thompson has her track record holder in Sparta Master. Champion trainer Mark Wallis is represented with Antigua Rum and has a great record in Romford finals, while local trainer Paul Young also knows how to win big finals here and fields Our Lucky Fool.

“Add in Pam Dolby’s bitch Maysthistlecrack, who has the talent and the ideal draw to run a big race, and we have a great final in store. Whoever wins will be a worthy winner.”

Trap draw and form for Friday’s final: www.romfordgreyhoundstadium.co.uk/result/racecardform/2020/01/17racecardform1.pdf