Champion greyhound Bellmore Sally could reach a fifth career Category One final at Central Park Stadium on Saturday night in the semi finals of the Arena Racing Company Cesarewitch.
Trained by James Fenwick, the four-year-old bitch is already one of greyhound racing’s most decorated stars having won the Golden Jacket at Crayford twice and the most recent renewal of the historic TV Trophy.
A chance of winning one of Kent’s premier competitions is now less than 46 seconds away with Bellmore Sally declared to run in the first of two Cesarewitch semi finals at the Sittingbourne venue this weekend.
The race features Round One winners Ballymac Taylor, Ela Maestro and Gutsy Jet with Capel Rose and Alright Gordy drawn in the inside and outside traps respectively. Newcastle-based Fenwick is hopeful the 12-hour round trip will be worth it and believes the trap four draw Bellmore Sally has been handed will suit her running style perfectly.
“The track and distance are ideal for her,” said Fenwick. “Saturday’s opening round was all about qualifying and she’ll be much better for that run this weekend for the semi-finals.
“She didn’t start as well as we know she can in her Round One heat, but the ground she made up towards the end of the race caught our eyes and overall it was a positive performance.
“We’ve got a great draw and with a good early position, she’ll have a great chance of qualifying for the final.”
Saturday’s opening round produced several eye-catching performances with Gutsy Jet (45.57), Ela Maestro (44.98) and Garfiney Blaze (44.94) all breaking the track record in their respective runs.
Ballymac Taylor was another to shine when clocking 45.10 in Heat Four despite missing the break and holding fourth entering the first of six bends over the 731-metre trip.
Fenwick accepts his kennel star must be at her best if she’s continue the positive start to her fourth and final calendar year campaign before retirement.
“There are some really proven staying greyhounds in the competition who will be tough to beat,” said Fenwick. “The track record went three times back-to-back which tells its own story and the performances of Ela Maestro, Ballymac Taylor and Garfiney Blaze really impressed me.
“These greyhounds are the next generation, and we’ll have to have Sally performing back to her best to stand a chance. Beyond this we’re targeting the Golden Jacket at Crayford and then the TV Trophy before retirement.
“She’s been a great greyhound for us and is always very relaxed on the journey down so fingers crossed for more of the same.”
Tickets for the semi finals of the Arena Racing Company Cesarewitch are available to make online via the Central Park website or can be purchased on the gate. Doors open at 5.30pm with the first race off at 6.38pm.
2024 Arena Racing Company Cesarewitch Semi Finals:
Semi Final One: Capel Rose, Ballymac Taylor, Ela Maestro, Bellmore Sally, Gutsy Jet, Alright Gordy.
Semi Final Two: Bradys Bullet, Garfiney Blaze, Bubbly Scorcher, Bubbly Inferno, Mad For Sterling, Jacktavern Magic.