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Home Dartford Sport Article
There is nothing quite like the Ladbrokes Golden Jacket, the 2014 final of which was run on Saturday.
What makes this race unique is that it is the only major final to be run on a morning card. It is always pleasing to hear from dog owners, trainers and the public just what a great morning this is.
It has a special atmosphere, and with both the semis and final in the morning, the shop punters are able to watch where their money is going.
The illustrious list of previous winners includes El Onda, Bobs Regan, Greenacre Lin, Blue Bee and Lorrys Options.
Sponsors Ladbrokes added a further £2,500 to the first prize this year, taking the winner’s money up to £17,500, which attracted an excellent entry list.
Unfortunately, the now well-established statistic, which reads “ante-post favourites do not win the Jacket” proved once again to be relevant with the shock elimination of Fear Emoski in the first round heats when Charlie Lister’s star could only manage fourth.
Crayford’s sole representative, Pony Bride, failed to get into the last six reminding us of how difficult it is to land a home win.
Just four Crayford-trained dogs have won in the last 39 events and that is testament to the quality of greyhound which arrive to compete.
Shanless Becky was sent over from Ireland accompanied by trainer Brendan Cullen. As expected, she made the final without any luck in her heat or semi-final races.
As is usual, the event always produces some surprise performances and Boltatwelldigger, who won his heat at 16-1, also secured his place in the final line-up.
The other finalists were Hometown Honey, Midway Nick and Sidarian Jaguar making up a five-dog race after the unfortunate late withdrawal of Lenson Pele.
My tip before the start of this event was Hometown Honey, trained by Mark Wallis. You could have had ante-post odds of 14-1.
She went off as the 4-5 odds-on favourite running from her favourite trap six and, after a smart exit, took up the lead at the first bend followed by Shanless Becky. The pair produced a quality race over 714m, with Honey just holding off the challenge to win by a neck.
It is always nice to pick winners for column readers but even more pleasing and, of course, more difficult in big races. Hope you were on.
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