Jonathan Hobbs: ‘Bockos Jon Jo is a potential Golden Sprint champion.’
Greyhound journalist and Coral ambassador previews Golden Sprint semis
Hobbsy here again – looking forward to the Coral Golden Sprint semi-finals which headline a fantastic card at Romford on Friday.
With heats of supporting competitions – the Steve Simmons Sprint (225m), the Tony Byerley Mercury (750m) and Steve Roberts Quicksilver (575m) – there’s something for everyone with variety the spice of life at the Essex venue.
As for the Golden Sprint, our three against the field – Bockos Jon Jo, Geelo Gold Dust and Malton Manor – all made it through to the semi-finals and hopes are high they can make it through to next Friday’s £10,000 final.
Of course, the Coral Golden Sprint Final comes after Cheltenham Gold Cup day – so let me take this opportunity to wish Coral punters all the best ahead of the four-day national hunt extravaganza. Stay tuned here for all the latest news and advice.
So to the Romford semis and it could be Bockos Jon Jo at 10/11 in the first semi (19.56).
Champion trainer Patrick Janssens suffered the disappointment of seeing defending champion Goldies Hoddle bow out of the competition and into retirement last week after a tremendous career. He’s been an absolute star for owner Andy Pelley.
However, in Bockos Jon Jo the Janssens team have potentially a Golden Sprint champion – if he gets it right on the night. He showed huge pace when second to Signet Mafia last week and takes some holding if making the most of a red-jacket draw.
He clocked 23.67sec from the inside when winning in December and that sort of time does the business here, with Bubbly Spark’s early pace perhaps securing the forecast slot. Paul Young’s dog could be the one to catch with one of his smash breaks.
The second semi features a cracking duel between two of last week’s heat winners Shrewd Call (20.17) and Signet Mafia (Kevin Hutton). Both were impressive and the better trapper takes a serious advantage – and perhaps the draw favours Shrewd Call at 6/5.
The David Mullins-trained star was named Sprinter of the Year for 2020 at last month’s GBGB Awards and remains a serious dog – and, if anything, could be reaching his prime over the coming months. He was a precocious talent.
Don’t absolutely rule out outsider Malton Manor here at 8/1. John Mullins’s dog showed superb early gears last week after not quite timing the start. What might he do with a ping-gone exit?
The third semi (20.38) could also see one our leading lights ante-post flourish in the shape of Geelo Gold Dust for Sheffield trainer Carl Perry.
She came through a real tussle with the re-opposing Mr Roo (Lee Field) last week but has scope for more improvement potentially given a recent short spell on the sidelines. You could go with the powerful-running Adamant Taurus for the forecast here.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication.