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All the latest from Crayford Greyhound Track

05 March 2014

This Saturday evening’s card will feature the final of the Owners’ Bonus Series for grade S8 greyhounds over 540m.

The semi-finals were run last Saturday and the winners of those races were Denwill June and Shelbourne Kish, trained by Jean Liles and Ian Stevens respectively.

These events give our bread-and-butter dogs the chance to win higher than normal prize money thanks to added funds from the British Greyhound Racing Board.

This weekend’s winner will receive £500, as opposed to the usual amount of just over £100 for this level of dog.

Denwill June put in a tremendous effort to win her semi-final in 35.19sec at 7-1.

Having been third for most of the race, she powered home off the last bend to win by a margin of two-and-a-quarter lengths in a decent time for an S8 grader.

She is experienced, with 61 career races and, while this time is good, if you go back to early December, she went under the 35-second barrier when finishing second in an S7 race.

That starting price at the weekend looked to be too generous to me. A dog that can do 35sec would, more often than not, win an S8 race.

Shelbourne Kish led away from the traps in her semi-final but was passed at the second bend until late on for a two-length win.

In contrast to Denwill June, her time of 35.52 is more in keeping with this grade but allowance must also be made for trouble in the race and there was plenty of crowding.

With the first three in each semi-final qualifying the other finalists are Garrison Cheeta, Avalon Magic, Ballyhill Nutter and Auntie Otis.

Despite Denwill June’s time, this could be a close-run final given the best recent times for each of these six, which read: Denwill June (34.96), Garrison Cheeta (35.19),

Avalon Magic (35.04), Shelbourne Kish (35.39), Ballyhill Nutter (35.25) and Auntie Otis (35.41).

You would have to think the winner is likely to come from one of the first three as listed on their best times, so the question is can Denwill June repeat that fast time or can Garrison Cheeta or Avalon Magic – both known for fading – put in that little extra?

It will be close but I am going to take a chance on Avalon Magic getting an early lead and holding on.

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