TOWCESTER-BASED Frank Gray would have been thrilled when his two-year-old MakeIt God made a winning start to life at Oxford Stadium in the Wolvercote Maiden Trophy last week.
And he has every chance to repeat that form this evening when lining up in the Botley Standard at 9.15pm this evening.
It’s by no means an easy contest, with previous Oxford winners Chelms Champ, Jet Stream Vic and Droopys Ambush all in the same race. What catches the eye is MakeIt God had never seen the Sandy Lane circuit before last week and was returning fresh from a six-week break.
Despite this, he took to the track like a duck to water and rarely looked like being caught over the 450-metre trip. Don’t discount Droopys Ambush from trap six in the same race.
Matt Dartnell’s runner is typically slow away at the start but might benefit if any of his five rivals on the inside hit traffic in the first turn as was the case last week when he beat Forest Yuri by one-and-three-quarter lengths.
Elsewhere, in the Botley Maiden Stakes at 9pm, five greyhounds will be making their Oxford Stadium debut with only Stone of Life in trap one heading to post with previous track form.
Kevin Hutton trained Taylors Gord in trap three is perhaps the pick of the bunch. He was steady on September 20 when finishing second in a three-dog trial in 27.98. Six days later, he improved on that time by 0.32 seconds – a noticeable step up.
A similar improvement from Monday’s trail will certainly see him make the frame.
Mapledurham-based Chris Hamblin meanwhile travels with a strong selection of runners from the south of the county. Kid Haaland in the Botley Stayers at 8.45pm looks to be a solid selection, especially after his last Oxford appearance where he beat two-times track winner GetWithTheTimes.
Racing begins at 7.30pm this evening and tickets are on sale via the Oxford Stadium website for just £9. We hope to see as many of you trackside as possible!
NAP – MakeIt God, 9.15pm
NB – Taylors Gord, 9pm