THE GREYHOUND WEEK BLOG: Julie Collier with all the latest news from the world of greyhound racing – including the final of the TV Trophy at Romford on Friday night.

➡️ The Irish Derby semi-finals are this weekend and Lenson Bocko is pretty solid at the head of the ante post betting, 6/4 with Star Sports. For the second week in a row he clocked the fastest time for trainer Graham Holland as he took his quarter final in 29.27sec, eight spots faster than the next best time clocked by Magical Bale. Bocko gets trap 5 in his semi-final which Holland is pleased with, as he is a middle-wide runner, orange should suit him down to the ground. Holland has three semi-finalists, with Murts Boher taking on Lenson Bocko in the first semi and Ballydoyle Valor lining up in the second semi-final. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS

➡️ It’s now no secret that Magical Bale (pictured), second in the ante post betting for the Irish Greyhound Derby with Star Sports, has an injury worry. The star greyhound who was runner-up in last years Irish Derby and favourite for this years Star Sports Derby final, has recruited many fans along the way in his career. He also has an extremely enthusiastic set of owners. This week, one of the syndicate told me that Bale actually had a problem after his quarter final at Nottingham. There were prayer groups held in Ireland and within two days, the injury had miraculously healed. Connections have had many messages of support this week and they have been humbled to see how popular Bale is. Trainer Pat Guilfoyle says he ‘is hopeful he will be ok to race’ and that he has ‘reacted well to treatment before’ and he is ‘hopeful it will be the same in this case.’ Well, the candles are lit and the prayers are being said. Good luck Bale, we all hope you make it. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS

➡️ What a night it was at Romford last Friday for their Gala night. The Mayor or Havering, Michael Deon Burton and local MP Andrew Rosindell, officially opened the new stand which was a massive hit with the Romford regulars. The £10 million redevelopment was prompted two years ago with the discovery of asbestos in the old main stand. Friday night is definitely Romford night again! LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS

➡️ The racing certainly didn’t disappoint either as the fast-improving Aayamza Express won the Champions Stakes in style for trainer Mark Wallis. She made the most of her trap 1 draw pacing up nicely after a moderate break with the rest of the field bunching at the first bend. The June 2016 bitch has had her share of injury problems, but in the space of a month has gone from winning a maiden open to a £10,000 category 1 final. She will now head to Doncaster where you would have to think she would be near the top of the betting for the St Leger which kicks off on the 9th of October. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS

➡️ Mark Wallis victory in the Champion Stakes also tightens the gap between himself and his former assistant trainer Patrick Janssens in the Trainers Championship standings. I’m enjoying the banter between the two good friends but make no mistake, it does mean an awful lot to both camps to win it, despite the fact they are playing it down. Wallis in particular will not relinquish his title lightly, reminding Patrick this week that there is still a third of the year to go. Wallis has a strong hand in the staying division, which could make things very interesting in the later part of the year. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS

➡️ The heats of the TV Trophy helped to make up a fantastic supporting card at Romford and tonight, we have a final to relish. Irish raider Riverside Honey came to Romford without a trial but pinged the lids and made all for Graham and Nicky Holland, the later being a part-owner, was absolutely delighted with the track record breaking run exclaiming ‘I’ve never owned a track record holder before!’ The heat run was pretty spectacular and broke a seven year old record. Honey clocked 58.87sec and never saw another dog in the two and a half lap race. She was 41 sports quicker than Aayamza Breeze who was second fastest on the clock. I am struggling to see how Riverside Honey gets beat if she repeats that performance. That said, in the third heat, defending champion Savana Winner and Aayamza Breeze did remarkably well to qualify after both got caught up in first bend trouble leaving them at the back of the field. Diane Henry was on her knees in the middle of the track, looking at the ground praying for Savanna Winner to qualify. She would dearly love to retain the trophy and will have her bitch in tip top shape for tonights final. It really could be a ‘heart in the mouth’ final to savour. Have a listen to this weeks interview with Diane – she is so emotional and passionate about her dogs and would dearly love to see Winner retain the trophy tonight. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS

➡️ It feels like it’s all happening at Romford at the moment – it almost all is! The £10,000 Romford Puppy Cup also starts tonight. Badminton Donal goes in trap 4 in heat one for trainer Kevin Hutton and is the Star Sports 7/2 ante post favourite, after his two impressive runs so far at Romford. Keep an eye on Blue Tick George (pictured below) as well, racing from trap 1 in heat two. His connections rate him very highly and they’re excited for his future. Tonight will be just his second race after he found plenty of trouble in his first look around Romford, there could be a big improvement. He’s currently a 16/1 chance with Star Sports. Unfortunately, Puppy Classic winner Ice On Fire will miss the competition after suffering a setback whilst at home is a paddock. A nick in his shoulder has had to be stapled meaning he won’t be able to take his place in what would have been his last puppy competition. Thankfully it doesn’t look too serious and he should be back racing soon. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS

➡️ When I was presenting RPGTV this week, some viewers were emailing in touting Roxholme Nidge as the best dog they had ever seen! Quite a statement and given the problems this dogs has had, we can only imagine what would have been, had he remained injury free. That said, he still has an impressive CV and looks very much to be the one to beat in the East Anglian Derby. Assistant trainer Mark Keightley thinks Nidge’s quarter-final win might just have been his best yet when he broke fast and raced clear in a matter of strides, eventually scoring by 10 lengths in 27.61sec (-20). The semi-finals are on Saturday night. Nidge is 11/8 with Star Sports for the competition outright. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS

➡️ Another great dog, Droopy’s Expert, has been retired due to a gracilis muscle injury sustained in a sprint trial at Doncaster on Monday. Expert’s last race was in the Star Sports Derby final at Nottingham, prior to which, he had already won the 2017 All England Cup. He will now stand at stud in the North-East with Ron Grey. There was better news for the Harrison kennel in other sprint trials at Doncaster with top-class duo Droopys Verve and Velvet Juliet both moving well. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS

➡️ Agile Dorotas set the standard in the first round of the inaugural running of the BGBF British Bred Northern Plate last night at Newcastle. Trained by Pelaw Grange-attached Paul Lithgow, she took the lead early winning by 3/4 of a length in 28.49sec. King Turbo (pictured) overcame a minor scare to win heat one. Liz and Rab Mcnair saw four fo their six runners progress, King Sheeran also overcoming a slow start and trouble in running to score. Harry William’s in-form Pond Natalya was also on the winners rostrum. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS