Semi-finals of the All England Cup and Northern Puppy Derby headline an all Open race card from Newcastle live on RPGTV tonight. Darrell Williams assesses the best bets...
"Best bet of the night could come in the first semi-final in the Northern Puppy Derby (19:54) where Gazilly Shay looks ideally drawn outside Droopys Zephyr with the latter likely to make an early move to his left"
Droopys Expert continues to get better almost on a race by race basis and is hard to oppose in the first semi-final of the All England Cup (20:26) having clocked a rapid 2800 in last week's heats - just 10 spots off the 480m track record. Despite seriously tough opposition - well drawn Murrys Act was particularly brave in overcoming first bend trouble last week - Angela Harrison's charge is strongly expected to oblige albeit at odds unlikely to exceed 1.75/7. While Murrys Act is clearly the most likely other qualifier I'd just favour former Irish Laurels winner Skywalker Manner who appears to have been undervalued by the layers and should be backed speculatively outright at 23.022/1 with a view to trading if he qualifies.
The meeting of the old and new guard from the Harrison camp in next week's final is a race that many of us are eagerly awaiting and reigning GOY Droopys Buick if anything faces an easier task in the second semi-final (20:44) where he can poach an early lead en route to taking his record to seven wins in nine over CD.
The third semi-final (20:58) has a more open look about it but despite pace on his inside I'd take Farloe Thor to confirm the promise of his comeback run in last week's heats with the switch to a middle draw unlikely to prove a hinderance.
Best bet of the night could come in the first semi-final in the Northern Puppy Derby (19:54) where Gazilly Shay looks ideally drawn outside Droopys Zephyr with the latter likely to make an early move to his left. Gary Carmichael's charge could hardly have won any easier in his heat and should also be backed outright 8.415/2.
Opposing Roxholme Nidge now he's had the benefit of a run over CD- his heat performance was something to behold given his lack of track knowledge - is not something worth entertaining and while Ballymac Dympna is likely to prove an early hazard in the second semi-final (20:10) it is hard to envisage defeat for the Puppy Cup champion.
Course specialist Shellam Delano will be short enough in his Great North Run heat (21:48) at around 1.51/2 but is another that is hard to oppose but far better value could come in the preceding heat (21:32) where trap one specialist Heroic Miss appears to have been hugely under-estimated 11.010/1 although I would also suggest a saver on Coolavanny Bear in the same heat.
Skywalker Manner AEC Outright
Gazilly Shay 19:54
Gazilly Shay NPD Outright
Farloe Thor 20:58
Heroic Miss 21:32