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Express punters stung as Bee buzzes back in Jacket.

Byline: Jim Cremin

CRAYFORD's hoodoo on clear ante-post Ladbrokes Golden Jacket favourites goes on for another year after Express Trend, 6-4 best outright yesterday morning, found a further tricky draw too much to handle in the third semi-final at 12.39 yesterday.

Liz McNair's bitch lost her pitch from trap five going into the first turn, then was unluckily stopped in her tracks several times once she did get on to the rails.

Tommys Inluck took them along, but Blue Bee, having her second race back from season, gradually weaved through to lead at the seventh (46.13sec), with slowstarting Blackrose Monach finishing well for second.

Alan Haines, kennelhand to Matt Dartnall, said: "She's back! I wasn't too hopeful at the bend, but she ran a great race and should improve again."

Wise Signal made it an unbeaten six outings over course and distance in the opener, clocking 46.53sec, but yet again came away flat-footed from the boxes.

Mountjoy Orion took them along early, with Springwood Bob getting a position on the rails despite his trap six draw to challenge on the second circuit.

Wise Signal showed good pace to go third, and took over when Mountjoy Orion and Springwood Bob bunched at the seventh. Pennys Option was stopped in his tracks here and was unlucky not to qualify as he closed again on Springwood Bob on the runin, missing out by a short-head. Frank Gray, trainer of Wise Signal, who won by nearly six lengths, said: "He's again proved how much he loves it here, but our problem is that he's had a sore neck, that's why he's not trapping.

"We now have another week, with plenty of massage ahead. We'd normally swim a dog with something like that, but it's far too cold - we'll see what we can do."

Race of the event so far came in the second semi with a tussle between Lottes Girl, Farley Zach and the unlucky Bubbly Swallow.

Lottes Girl, as she had in Tuesday's re-run, came away in front, but Farley Zach showed the better early and used his rails slot to edge into the lead at the turn, pushing Lottes Girl out of the way and pinching up Bubbly Swallow.

Farley Zach kicked on, but Lottes Girl made steady progress and came to challenge off the last bend. Farley Zach, as he normally does at the last, moved off, crowding Lottes Girl slightly, but Heather Dimmock's bitch pushed on to win by a neck in 46.16sec, reaching the final for the second year, with Bubbly Swallow a further neck back in third.

Mike Pacey, partner to the winnng trainer, was breathless afterwards: "That was a race and-a-half between all three of them. We changed a few things around before the re-run for Lottes, it worked, so we did the same the rest of the week. Let's hope she traps again in the final."

Chris Akers, partner of Farley Zach's trainer Kim Billingham, said: "He didn't come away again, but his pace got him to the front. Maybe next week he'll be more in tune with early morning racing and ping when it matters."

Champagne Club chairman Steve Fluin (owners of Bubbly Swallow) rued: "I'm gutted, we've run so well and gone out. I'm wondering if we'll ever win this after being disqualified in 1998 [with Bubbly Princess]. I feel they owe us one! At least we have Ebony in the Peter Bussey."

Barry Stanton, Crayford's general manager, was pleased with the way the track coped with the weather: "Our trackstaff played a blinder, it was minus ten overnight, arctic conditions to say the least, but the track's held up well, as have the staff!" Ministry Missile pinged and was fastest in the heats of the Peter Bussey Memorial (34.08sec). Other winners were Aero Joker (34.40sec) and 14-1 surprise Boca Grande (34.26sec). Draw for Saturday morning's finals (Ladbrokes betting) Ladbrokes Golden Jacket: T1 Blackrose Monarch (9-2) T2 Blue Bee (7-2) T3 Lottes Girl (7-2) T4 Farley Zach (11-4) T5 Springwood Bob (20) T6 Wise Signal (5-2).

Peter Bussey Memorial: T1 Ministry Millie (6-4) T2 Brave The Times (10) T3 Hats My Lady (5-2) T4 Boca Grande (10) T5 Bubbly Ebony (7) T6 Aero Joker (7-2).


Blue Bee (T6) holds the challenge of Blackrose Monach to win the third Golden Jacket semi-final at Crayford yesterday
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Feb 12, 2012
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