The final of this year’s Ladbrokes Golden Jacket takes place at Crayford this Saturday 18th February. Considering last week this event was looking a bit one sided, it is now a really wide open contest. Farley Zach heads the betting with William Hill at the 11/4 mark but the bookies are really struggling to make a clear favourite from the first four in the market.
Last weekend’s three semi finals threw up a couple of shocks, with the two most fancied runners to win the competition outright getting beat, and one of them didn’t even manage to qualify for the final! In the first semi, the Frank Gray trained Wise Signal was a big drifter on course,going off at an incredible price of 9/4. He completely missed the break but showed what a classy stayer he is by finding an extra gear to fly round the last bend and win by five and three quarter lengths in a time of 45.53. Mark Wallis’s Mountjoy Orion was back down to favouritism for the race but faded after staring well, and could only finish fourth. Trap 6 Springwood Bob finished second to join Wise Signal in the final.
The second semi final threw up a real upset as the very well fancied 1/2f Farley Zac was beaten a neck by 5/1 shot Lottes Girl. The four dog clocked a time of 46.16s and put herself in with a massive chance of winning the competition. Bubbly Swallow was only a further neck back in third and is arguably unlucky not to have made the final considering the time of 46.21s he put up. Arguably the biggest shock of the day came in the third and final semi final as hot favourite for the 2012 Golden Jacket Express Trend crashed out of the competition. Elizabeth McNair’s runner found plenty of trouble in running but did not look like the same dog from a week previous and in 4th place. 7/1 chance Blue Bee showed great acceleration after missing the break to win by half a length in a time of 46.13s. Blackrose Monarch was just half a length back in second spot and makes up the six finalists.
Before Saturday, I was keen on the chances of Wise Signal and I was impressed with the manner in which he won after a bad start but unfortunately, his time doesn’t stack up against the other fancied runners in the final. He did run a 46.27s in his first race of the competition and has run 46 dead here on the same sort of going. The reason I’m going to stick with Frank Gray’s dog is the fact he has the ability to win from any position. If Wise Signal does trap well, he should win the race. At the same time if he doesn’t get out the boxes quickly, this dog has shown that he has the turn of foot in the latter stages to recover. The 3/1 on offer with William Hill looks decent value.
Back Trap 6 Wise Signal @ 3/1 with William Hill
Ladbrokes Golden Jacket Final Draw
Trap 1 Blackrose Monarch
Trap 2 Blue Bee
Trap 3 Lottes Girl
Trap 4 Farley Zach
Trap 5 Springwood Bob
Trap 6 Wise Signal
Ladbrokes Golden Jacket Final Betting
(Prices from William Hill)
Farley Zach 11/4
Wise Signal 3/1
Blue Bee 3/1
Lottes Girl 7/2
Blackrose Monarch 5/1
Springwood Bob 20/1
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