PETER BROADBRIDGE, stadium manager at Crayford, is delighted to welcome a Who’s Who of staying talent to Crayford this weekend for the 2020 Ladbrokes Golden Jacket – the traditional betting shop showpiece over 714m which begins with six heats on Saturday night.

“We returned to a schedule of heats on Saturday night and the semis and final on the following Saturday mornings – and it worked out well. When I was growing up, the Ladbrokes Golden Jacket was the main open-race event in the shops and it was always a great showcase for the sport.

“Our intention is for that to be the case again this year and, looking at the field, it’s certainly star-studded. It’s an excellent entry and Danny (Rayment, racing manager) and his team had a tough task to get to a final 36 runners for the six heats – and the draw has certainly thrown up some fantastic races.

“It’s great to see Ireland’s Redzer Ardfert in the line-up. He’s the reigning St Leger winner after trialling well last Saturday and I’m delighted that Brendan (Maunsell) has chosen the Golden Jacket as his dog’s first major competition of the year. He was over for the GBGB Awards and told us he was entering and was over for the trial.

“Tom Levers has high hopes for Beechgrove Bell and she’s the big local hope and made the Kent St Leger Final last year. I’ve been impressed with her lately, but also Patrick Janssens’ Skilful Sandie. She might lack half a yard of early pace, but her staying power will hopefully see her qualify.

“As ever Mark Wallis has a strong entry and I’m sure will also have something lined up in his attempt to regain the main supporting race to the Jacket, the Peter Bussey Memorial Trophy. Mark has an incredible record in the event, but hopefully our local star Droopys Noodle will be lined up to defend his title.

“It’s a busy three weeks coming up, and follows on from our first Hall of Fame night last month. These have been really popular across all the LadbrokesCoral tracks and we’ll be putting together another Hall of Fame night here in a few months time – the first night went really well,” said Broadbridge.

Danny Rayment, Crayford RM, is also delighted with the entry for the £17,500-to-the-winner – and is especially happy to welcome a host of big-race winners at the track back to the Kent venue.

“I can’t remember a time when we’ve welcomed back the last six winners of Crayford’s staying competitions going back two seasons. We’ve got the winners of the last two Golden Jackets (Stardom, Shotgun Bullet), plus four of last year’s finalists in total – including the first three home.

“You’d have to say we have the best four stayers in training – and they are co-favourites – while fans of Stardom can get double those odds for her to retain her title. She’s top class, so it shows just what a fantastic entry we have – and heat five has already been singled out as a race that would befit the final!”