Express & Star

Monmore plays host to the best of British

British greyhound racing’s very best are vying for glory as both the Ladbrokes Gold Cup and Ladbrokes Summer Stayers Classic begin at Monmore Green tonight.

Churchfield Syd

The Gold Cup and Summer Stayers, which have taken place annually at the Wolverhampton track since 1994 and 2002 respectively, will each see the winner take home a £10,000 prize.

The two events boast superb quality, with Churchfield Syd (trained by Hove’s Richard Rees) the ante-post favourite for the 480m Gold Cup and Fromposttopillar (of Central Park’s Elizabeth McNair) the bookmakers’ pick for the 630m Stayers.

Droopys Clue, trained by Hove’s Seamus Cahill, is also much-fancied for the latter trophy having ran a solo trial over six bends in an excellent 37.39secs last weekend.

Monmore deputy racing manager Steve Rollinson said: “We had a fantastic number of entries across the two competitions, with the Summer Stayers inundated.

“It meant a fair number of dogs did not make the final cut, which is always difficult as we were spoilt for choice in terms of quality.

“As a racing office, we’d like to thank everyone who made entries as we look forward to what should be a great night of racing to kick off the two competitions.

“There are so many top performers to look out for, and we hope everyone enjoys two real top-drawer events.”

This evening will consist of six heats in each event, with three dogs from each heat advancing to next weekend’s semi-finals – ahead of a bumper finals night on Saturday, August 26.

Gold Cup favourite Churchfield Syd has been on top form as of late for Richard Rees but Links Maverick, trained by Newcastle’s Tom Heilbron, is another contender and has previous at Monmore having reached the Puppy Derby final in March. They will face off in race three at 6.48pm.

The track’s Puppy Derby winner from earlier this year, Belinda Green’s Bradys Bullet is among a strong field in the Summer Stayers that also includes English Greyhound Derby finalist Cochise, trained by Towcester’s Patrick Janssens. Both of those dogs are in race four at 7.07pm.

Several Monmore-based trainers have entries across the two competitions as Nathan Hunt and Richie Taberner have six and five dogs respectively.

Patricia Cowdrill and Vicki Lea have two each while Kim Billingham, Pat Doocey, Gary Griffiths and Ian Langford are pinning their hopes on one greyhound apiece.

Hunt’s Droopys Google is also in race four while kennelmate Antigua Big Syd could be a decent outside pick in the Gold Cup and is involved in tonight’s card opener.