A PACKED Abbey Stadium crowd saw Peacemaker land the Produce Stakes in style on Saturday night to scoop £17,000 in prizemoney, writes CHRIS WATTS.

Peacemaker, trained by John Millard at Coventry, got a good first run on his rivals, and after some slight crowding at the bend between the other greyhounds, he managed to get clear from the pack.

From there on it was a game over, and Peacemaker went on to win by three lengths in a very quick 28.77. Romeo Recruit, running for trainer Dave Firmager, ran a gallant race in second, showing great back straight pace. Unfortunately, Swindon greyhound Chilli Hot Sauce found all sorts of trouble at the bend, ending her chance to challenge for the win as she came home sixth.

The first open of the evening was landed by hot favourite Forest Ronaldo. Trained by Paul Foster, Ronaldo trapped superbly, showing his class round the first couple of bends, and kicking on to beat kennelmate Sharp Exit by one and a half lengths in a time of 28.85. Even though he is still a puppy, Ronaldo has a lot of class, and he will be a local dog to look out for in competitions in the coming year.

The 509m open race was won superbly by Nick Savva’s Westmead Adonis. Once favourite for The Produce Stakes, Adonis managed to get round in a rails position off the first bend to lead off the second bend. Crusty Crab, the local track record holder, tried to track down the Derby finalist, however Adonis pulled clear to score by four lengths in a time of 29.96.

In the 480m standard race, Kevin Hutton’s Barnish Booth held on gamely from Hernandez. Booth trapped out superbly, and looked to have the measure of his early by going clear early. However, Hernandez gave him a good run down the back straight, just failing by a head to win, Booth winning in a time of 28.95. This race was named The Bob Gilling Stakes after the former Swindon and Reading trainer, who is in head of the British Breeders Forum.

Gilling retired last year, and as a tribute Swindon Greyhounds held a race in his honour.

A stayers open race over 685m took place next, with a surprise winner coming from local greyhound Lemon Angel. Trained by Ray Evans, Angel trapped out well and missed some early crowding round the first bend. She was challenged all the way by Twisted Soul, but hung on well to win by half a length in a time of 42.47.