Another weekend of top-class sporting action takes place in the world of greyhounds with the opening heats of the Ladbrokes Gold Cup forming part of an excellent 12-race card at Monmore on Saturday evening.
Two winners of the Gold Cup, Toms The Best (1998) and Taylors Sky (2011) both also won the sport’s most coveted prize, the English Greyhound Derby.
After trialled heats last weekend, this is where the competition gets serious with the first three finishers in the six respective heats going through to next weekend’s trio of semi-finals, before the grand final on August 29.
Dogs to watch tonight include the 2019 defending champion Seaglass Tiger who had a nightmare passage last week and Bockos Doomie who is unbeaten at the track.
Everything went wrong for the reigning Gold Cup champion last week. Having broken poorly, he met all sorts of trouble at the first bend and could never recover from thereafter. The draw in a trap two is much more to Seaglass Tiger’s liking and if he can show good early, he is a danger to all, including Sussex Cup semi-finalist King Sheeran in trap six.
One of the stand-out races of the evening. Hiya Boyo started 2/7 favourite for the semi-finals of the All England Cup, but met all sorts of trouble to only finish third. However, he shaped with immense promise when seeing off Seaglass Tiger in an Open Race at Monmore earlier this month. Based on that performance, he gets preference over Newinn Jacko who won the Puppy Derby at the track earlier this year.
Another fantastic heat. The selection was unlucky last time having met trouble in running and probably would have won with an easier passage. She takes on Amka Rofe who beat her on that occasion and he is also handily drawn in trap one. However, despite concerns over Queen Jessiej being drawn in trap three he still looks the class act in this field and can reverse the form.
This is all about Bockos Doomie. One of the best dogs in training, he has only been beaten six times in 27 races and also boasts an unbeaten record at the track with two wins. He was a sensational winner of the Sussex Cup at Hove last time out, taking his record to 12 wins from 12 starts at that track and he can continue his fine form here.
Toughest heat of the night. Billies Tea let us down last week when only third but deserves another chance after a tardy start. He is better than he showed on that occasion and is a danger with a clearer run.
Another tight contest in which the son of Droopys Jet edges the verdict. He stayed on strongly to score at the track last week despite breaking poorly. It was testament to his ability that he managed to squeeze through on the outside and register a game victory. Lenson Whelan was going away from the field on that occasion and can win again.
One of the best bets of the night. Third in the Regency Final at Hove earlier this month, Southfield Code was an emphatic winner at Monmore last week. Having shown plenty of early zip, he powered away from his rivals in devastating fashion. A production of that effort will make him very tough to beat.
Waltham Magic captured the Angel Of The North Final at Newcastle last month and ran a trial full of promise at Monmore last time out. This daughter of Kinloch Brae is clearly very talented and looks the one to be with.
An absolute belter of a heat in which Mark Wallis’ superstar can let his class tell. Antigua Fire disappointed when a hot favourite for the Coral Regency Final earlier this month and whilst this is his first start at Monmore, he is quite clearly the class dog in the field and earns our vote.
Been running with real credit of late. He was chinned late on in a thrilling contest last week, but then performance came in a good time and whilst Bubbly Dave in trap three is a serious danger, his form in Open Races at the track earns Kingsbrook Glyn the verdict here.
Another vote for the wide-runner. Kevin Boon’s charge landed the Coral Regency Final last month and warmed up for this assignment with a lovely trial time last week. The draw should suit and Zascandil can continue his fine form.
Pure and simple, he looks the best dog in the race. He has impressed with two smart victories at Monmore this season, particularly on the latest occasion when he made a terrible start, but still managed to win in convincing fashion. That was a scintillating performance and Droopys Catch is a confident selection in the finale.
Tips for Gold Cup action at Monmore today
18:09: Seaglass Tiger (Trap Two)
18:28 Hiya Boyo (Trap Three)
18:43 Queen Jessiej (Trap Three)
18:58 Bockos Doomie (NAP) (Trap Two)
19:18 Billies Tea (Trap Four)
19:36 Lenson Whelan (Trap One)
19:56 Southfield Code (NB) (Trap Six)
20:17 Waltham Magic (Trap Five)
20:38 Antigua Fire (Trap Six)
20:54 Kingsbrook Glyn (Trap Six)
21:12 Zascandil (Trap Six)
21:28 Droopys Catch (Trap Three)
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