After an exciting first round in the Winter Derby, we return to Hove this Saturday night for the Semi-Finals. King Sheeran, Killeacle Gus and Make No Apologie were all impressive in the first round, but who can progress to the final and ultimately land the £10,000 prize.


Semi-Final 1


The first semi-final of the night should be straightforward enough for antepost favourite King Sheeran. He will no doubt start the race as the odds on favourite and should have no trouble dispatching these opponents. The race behind for the second spot in the final will realistically be between Sidaz Jet in trap 1 and Romeo Rumble in Trap 6. Sidaz Jet posted a decent time in the first round, where he led the race but was ultimately beaten on the run in by the fast finishing Queen Dolly. Romeo Rumble on the other hand, had a shocker of a first round race. He challenged for the lead approaching the first bend, but found trouble, bumping with numerous other dogs and losing around 7 lengths in the process. He did stay on well to claim 3rd and it was his only his second time around Hove, so he may well improve for the experience.


Semi-Final 2


Another race with will most likely see a short priced favourite in the shape of Antigua Romeo. But this will not be as straightforward as it first looks. Antigua Romeo was soundly beaten by King Sheeran in the first round and only just held on to second from Volcanic Reef, who he meets again here. Forest Alan will also be in the mix if he can produce a similar performance to his first round race. King Louis still looks unexposed, he was forced wide onto the grass approaching the third bend in his first round race and he will need to clear Drahbeg Dash before the first bend, but with a clear run he could be very dangerous.


Semi-Final 3


The last Semi-Final of the night is more difficult as a case can be made for each dog. Killeacle Gus actually set the fastest time of the night in the first round and is likely to start the race as favourite. Make No Apologie was impressive in the first round, never seeing another rival from the moment the traps opened. If he can launch himself into the lead from the boxes again, he will be very difficult to chase down. One that will be looking to chase him down is Sonic Spur. She ran into trouble in her first round heat but still managed to stay on strongly to finish second (behind Killeacle Gus). The other bitch in the race is Queen Dolly, she will need to trap better than she did in her heat, but if doing so will have every chance. King Lennon didn’t really want trap 1 here, especially with fast starting Killeacle Gus in trap 2. King Lennon found trouble in the first round but still managed to overcome the weaker opposition, this will be harder. Finally Shoot The Bolt in trap 6 posted a respectable time in the first round, but was beaten by 4 lengths by Killeacle Gus. He will need to hope for some trouble on the inside to be I with a chance of seeing the final.


The Semi-Finals are at Hove on Saturday 8th February at 8.38, 8.53 and 9.08, with the final a week later on Saturday 15th February.


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