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All the latest from Crayford Greyhound Track

15 January 2014

Saturday evening’s card will feature the first round of trial stakes races for this year’s Ladbrokes Golden Jacket.

This is the 40th anniversary of the race at Crayford which carries a winner’s prize of £17,500 in the final on Saturday, February 22.

Given the prestige of this race, the initial stages are for greyhounds hoping to gain entry into the event proper. These dogs therefore hope to impress the racing office who will select the 36 to start in the heats stage here on February 8.

The big, established stars will be here from all over the country and they will take up a high percentage of starters’ places, but the remainder come from these trial races.

There are two further trial nights scheduled for Saturday, January 25 and Saturday, February 1 and they are worth watching as they often produce some surprise dogs for the event over the two-circuit 714m distance.

We have had some top-quality performances in our top grade races over both 380m and 540m.

While we always have top-grade runners, on occasion you look at the dogs and feel they are top class as a group and to my mind that is what we have at the moment.

Over 380m, Zenas Skymoment can do little wrong. He has won a series of races and is a dog that I featured here recently.

However, there are always pretenders to the crown and in Amazing Josie he has a serious contender.

She is trained by Patsy Cusack and is still a puppy having been whelped in October 2011. As such, she has done exceptionally well to reach top grade already.

She has only had seven career races to date – all here – and has won in A5, A4, A3 and A2 to join the elite next time at A1 level.

Make no mistake, she has shown that she has the early pace needed to win at this level and has consistently been producing faster win times so she could triumph at a decent price.

Over 540m, owner Chris Sliney has seen his Zenas Bobby winning in top-grade S1 races in impressive style.

The dog looks destined to be a big player as a previous winner of top-flight races at Tralee in Ireland and it has taken him no time to establish himself having won his last two S1-graded races. There is more to come.

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