...Monmore heats off, it's now Tuesday afternoon...
MONMORE called off Saturday evening’s card which was due to feature the heats of the Ladbrokes Puppy Derby and Winter Derby just around the scheduled first race time, writes Jonathan Kay of the Racing Post..
Having passed initial inspections earlier in the day, a sudden and unexpected drop in temperatures after 5pm left conditions unraceable.
Ian Smyth, director of racing for stadium owners Entain Group, explained: “Sincere apologies to those inconvenienced by the late cancellation of Monmore.
“The track was fit to race on when we looked today at both 12 noon and 2pm and at 5pm was in perfect racing condition when we walked the track with a number of trainers represented at the meeting and the vet.
“Unfortunately between 5 and 6pm temperatures dropped markedly which was not in any of the forecasts we had been monitoring through the day.
“We were forecast temperatures at zero degrees with a minimum of -1C but by 6pm the temperature was already -3C and continuing to drop which caused the surface to start to freeze with clumps beginning to form.
“The welfare of the greyhounds is our absolute priority and once the track started to freeze it was an easy decision to make with prospects of completing the meeting remote.
“We will look to rearrange the heats of both competitions for our Tuesday afternoon meeting where we are forecast a wet and warm 10C.
“We will make £40 payments to all trainers for each runner entered to ensure they and owners do not lose out financially and look forward to seeing them back on Tuesday.”
Sister venue Romford called a halt after four races at its evening meeting but the Golden Jacket semi-final fixture at Crayford went ahead.
...Monmore's semis continue on RPGTV this Saturday evening...
MAGICAL ARROW, 40-1 in the pre-racing ante-post market, put up an impressive fastest of the night 28.35sec run for Kevin Hutton in heat two of the Ladbrokes Winter Derby over 480m at Monmore on Tuesday.
Returned at a 6-1 SP, he produced a sparkling 4.29sec sectional to lead up Bitch of the Year Queen Jessiej - despite her having come away running. Keeping middle to wide, the leader maintained his gallop to score by over a length.
The meeting, also featuring the Ladbrokes Puppy Derby heats, had been carried over from Saturday due to frost. The going proved 0.40sec slow, all traps won and the racing was good.
Tenpin, the ante-post favourite, was forced to work to land 4-7 odds in the opening Winter Derby heat.
An unusually modest break put David Mullins’ Newcomer of the Year under pressure, but he proved up to the task and gamely recovered to push past fast up Great Eastern at half-way, then held a late flourish from Velvet Juliet by a neck in 28.76sec.
Other Winter Derby winners were Mark Wallis’s Coolavanny Kyser (blasted clear, made all in 28.42sec), Newinn Jacko (last year’s Puppy Derby winner here underlining his liking for the track by gallantly weaving through the field for Ernie Gaskin in 28.74sec).
Then local star Jazzers Man (28.69sec) got the run of heat five for Brian Thompson to beat hot-pot Gymstar Elusive by a short-head - the latter will be the better for the run after getting baulked twice; then finally King Louis took the finale, he clocked 28.56sec in getting up by a length near the line for Team McNair after Signet Mafia took them along.
Everyone also keenly looks forward to the Puppy Derby here and fastest in those heats was Graham Rankin’s Jaguar Macie. She broke well, then pulled clear at the second turn to score by three lengths in 28.46sec.
Next fastest of the pups was Angie Kibble’s Westway Blake (28.58sec in heat six). He was soon clear.
Other winners were Seamus Cahill’s Blastoff Mason, two wins from two starts after breaking ahead in the opener (28.63sec); Jimmy Fenwick’s Cold As Ice, who swooped in a bunched finish to take heat two (28.91sec). Bockos Belly kept on nicely here.
Kevin Boon’s Bettys Book led on heat four's run-in (28.72sec), while August 19 baby Longrange Dick opened his account for Tom Heilbron in heat five (29.27sec). He battled through by a short-head over Hungry Horace in a messy race after the two main fancies, Freedom Editor and Hard to Call, collided at the first bend
*Ladbrokes and Coral are refunding ante post bets on Winetavern Curly and Frankies Jet for the Winter Derby after Gary Ferguson’s pair were unfortunately withdrawn due to getting caught up in traffic after an accident on the M6.
**The draws for the semi finals (Saturday night on RPGTV) will be made at the Greyhound Board at 10am on Wednesday morning. The finals are then the following Saturday night. The puppy champion picks up £12,500, the Winter Derby winner £10,000.