LAUGHILL JESS raised the roof at Crayford on Saturday when extending her unbeaten run at Crayford to 16 with a hard-fought but ultra-game effort to deny Aayamza Sydney in the third semi-final of the Ladbrokes Gold Collar.

Dave Lee’s prolific-scoring runner was out-trapped by Aayamza Sydney (John Mullins) but was soon in top gear inside and joined issue with the leader rounding the first two turns, after which the pair had a cracking buckle for the remainder of the six-bend course before the Crayford-based bitch, a May 2021 daughter of Out Of Range ASB and Laughil Irene, nosed ahead for a short-head win in 33.55sec (normal).

The pair will line up again in Saturday’s £10,000 final and will be joined by the Mark Wallis-trained Minnie Bullet and King Ezra (Liz McNair) after they finished first and second in the first semi, with the former posting the fastest semi-final time.

Well away, the January 2021 daughter of Good News and Moanduff Daisy was always in command and, with form over further, was on her way to three and a quarter lengths win over King Ezra in 33.59sec (normal), who edged out the running-on Dapper Mac (John Mullins) for the qualifying position in the week’s GBGB Category One title.

Minnie Bullet’s performance delighted Mike Davis of the owning MWD Partnership (with Mark Wallis and Michelle Connolly) who is hoping his ultra-consistent performer and multiple big-race finalist lands the big-race success her efforts in 2023 have deserved.

Third in the Bet365 Empress Stakes (to kennelmate Crafty Shivoo) at Towcester, fourth in the Bet365 Hunt Cup (to Havana Lover) at Oxford, fourth in the Premier Greyhound Racing Golden Jacket (to Bellmore Sally) at Crayford and third in the Coral Essex Vase (to Aayamza Magic) at Romford, Saturday will be a fifth Category One final in 2023 for the 2022 Bet365 Puppy Oaks winner – and a sixth in total.

Davis said: “It’s a great record and just shows you how consistent she is. She took a while to settle and Mark gave her plenty of time – in fact I don’t think she won a race in the UK until her seventh start but stamina-wise was always top-notch and that saw her well in the Puppy Oaks, even though it was obvious her future was over further.

“I actually think she’s running as well as ever now. Remember, she arrived as a really young bitch, unraced in Ireland, and we’ve watch her grow for her previous owners and she’s done fantastic for us, too.

“Saturday’s race is one she can win but has to do things right. She’s drawn outside Laughill Jess which might not be ideal because she’s flying and is a real credit to her connections – that’s an unbelievable record at Crayford! But I’m delighted we’re back in another Crayford final. They do things well there and it promises to be a great morning’s racing.”

Incidentally, Davis is a guest on the next Gone To The Dogs podcast with Joe Andrews and Dani Jackson, to be recorded this week.

There was an upset in the second semi-final as Kevin Boon’s Gutsy Jet overhauled Moaning Rossi (Darren Whitton) on the run for home to score in 33.98sec (normal) – in a race in which odds-on favourite Havana Lover (Liz McNair) lost all chance of qualifying when missing the star, albeit stayed on well in third.

However, victory went to the strong-running Gutsy Jet as the February 2021 son of Lenson Bocko and Riverside Honey turned in a handy position into a winning to initiate a quickfire double for trainer Boon given kennelmate Bettys Jack (23.06) won the very next race, posting the fastest 380m time of the day in his heat of the Ladbrokes Kent Rose Bowl.

Trap draw for Saturday’s finals: