This week's newsletter:
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The Star Sports Derby reaches the Quarter Final stage tomorrow night and we still have three remaining in the classic after a dramatic 3rd round on Saturday night. We failed to secure a winner on the night this time but both Bombers Bullet, Bruisers Bullet and Saleen Ash all made it safely through. Our Irish Derby runner up Black Farren unfortunately was eliminated as was our veteran Boylesports Duke but overall we still are in there with a fighting chance of making the £175,000 to the winner final on June 2nd.
Bombers Bullet kicked off the 3rd round in front of a very decent crowd on a warm Towcester evening. After a moderate break from a hazardous trap 4 slot he looked to be in trouble at the first bend but did manage to get round without too much trouble and set after the leaders. All we were worried about was qualifying which off the last bend he looked to have achieved when moving into 3rd place, in the end he finished like a train and just failed to catch early leader Bubbly Bluebirdgoing down by a head in a fine 28.94, the track was rated normal though I would personally say it was a touch faster, maybe + 10 or 20 fast, no matter what he was safely through.
Bruiser was up next and was another one with a tough draw. Last week he outgunned Matt Dartnall's impressive Rising Brandy but this week drawn on the inside of Bruiser he got first run and powered to the front. There was a little bit of crowding in behind but Bruiser turned 3rd though he had the pacy Bubbly Turbo between him and Rising Brandy and that acted as a goalkeeper to stop him getting a run at the leader. He eventually got past Bubbly Turbo and finished second albeit 3 1/2 lengths behind Rising Brandy in a good 28.89, I would say he lost nothing in defeat.
Black Farren was another with a tricky draw while Saleen Ash was helped by the fact the unfortunate Jaytee Taylor was withdrawn. This may not have actually helped Black Farren as it gave the early paces a chance to get away. King Elvis bolted out the boxes as did Droopys Dresden in trap 1 while Saleen Ash turned 3rd it was race on up front and Black Farren looked to have moved into a position at the 3rd bend to contest a qualifying spot but at a crucial moment he got tangled up with Greenwell Jet and once he did pass he had kennelmate Saleen Ash to try and get to, this wasn't happening and though both rapidly closed on the leaders on the run in it was Saleen Ash who booked his place for the quarter final for owner Mike Davis with Black Farren edged out by a small margin, that's the Derby for you sometimes.
Boylesports Duke never really threatened in his heat and his excellent campaign ended when well beaten by the majestic Dorotas Wildcat (28.79). There were some other great runs as well from the likes of Droopys Verve (28.76) and Crossfield Will (28.81) and the competition looks hot all round. Bruisers Bullet has now slightly gone out in price to 8/1 4th favourite while Bombers Bullet is in 5th place in the betting at around 14/1, Saleen Ash should not be under estimated and is 66/1 generally. So the draws for tomorrow quarter final, dare I say it, are slightly more appealing than Saturday's ones though as we well know the quick runs can play a major part in how they run. All three of ours seem in great order so hopefully they will cope with it all, they certainly are strong running types so leading isn't essential as is the case with many left in the event. Bruisers Bullet (2) and Saleen Ash(5) have been drawn together in the 3rd quarter final and face the impressive pup Droopys Verve but I'm hopeful that Bruisers Bullet can lead traps 1 and 3 to at least turn in a prominent position. This looks a heat that you do not want to be coming from off the pace as there are 3 or 4 dogs that will be extremely difficult to back run. For Saleen Ash only his best break will do and then maybe not cut in too much at the bend as he could find his route a difficult one, if he could just stay on the outside he has every chance of making it to the semi finals. The last heat sees a much better draw for Bombers Bullet in trap 2 where he will struggle to lead either trap 1 Noelles Phelpso and Rising Brandy while also there is terrific early pace from Salacres Vincent in trap 5 and Whoops Jack in trap 6. With no disrespect to Jelly Flood in trap 4 Bomber should turn in behind and while all the front runners jostle for the lead he should be able to pick them off and hopefully qualify safely.
Of course it's not always as simple as that as I've experienced many times over the years, sometimes they surprise you and occasionally it just goes wrong and ones you think can qualify don't. The excitement as well as nerves are there to see amongst the trainers and kennelhands and especially the owners. Derby glory is what we all dream of and what we all want to achieve. I feel privileged to have won the Derby twice and I won't lie a third Derby would give me immense satisfaction when I finally stop training but if it doesn't happen I will be equally as happy, it's just great to be involved and Towcester is a brilliant place to hold the Derby. Fingers crossed we are still involved when the semi finals take place on Saturday and hopefully in my next newsletter you will be reading about us having a Derby finalist!
Being such a busy kennel it's not just all about the Derby and on Friday at Romford we were delighted to have 5 winners (4 seconds) from our 10 runners including landing both the Friday Night finals. All Slick Now took the 400m Maiden final showing some brute early pace while Goldsmith Slick produced an excellent 35.47 win at a juicy 10/1 in the Maiden Stayers final. Both dogs are owned by Gary Hannon who supports our kennel wholeheartedly and we could be hearing plenty more from these two nice types in the coming months.
There are a few issues here and there in the sport that I would love to write a few paragraphs about but maybe another time as really it's all about concentrating on enjoying the Derby. We welcomed Julie Collier to the kennels on Monday to do a kennel shoot for RPGTV later that night and I hope it came across well, Julie is a huge asset to Greyhound racing and her enthusiasm for the dogs is a joy and her work on the welfare side through the job is essential to see the sport move forward, we are always happy to help with any promotion for the industry.
Again our only other open racing last week was at Romford on Friday and we kicked off with a winner as Baroness Bullet stepped up to 575m, probably earlier than we would have liked, but she did the job well taking a Maiden Stayers in a good 35.68. In a good 750m race Towstar Arry just got caught on the run in after blasting to a 23.68 split while Aayamza Breeze found traffic problems and was a fast finishing 4th. Cotton Pants again ran well just finding one too good in the heats of the Friday Night 500 Standard but was safely through to the final as was Plan Ahead who was also 2nd in his heat. All Slick Now slightly missed his break in the Friday Night 500 MaidenFinal but showed terrific pace to lead down the back straight and win by a neck in 24.34 and less than 20 minutes later Goldsmith Slick took the Friday Night Maiden Stayers final after breaking smartly and showing great early (13.63 split) and stay well enough to win by a length in a fine 35.47. Roswell Romanov chalked up win number 40 with a fine 35.24 performance while Rubys Razzle ran well when second in another division. Garryglass Teddy completed a great night when taking the last race comfortably by over 4 lengths in 35.47.
In form Energize Honey battled to another game victory in an A6 in 28.63 (+20) on Friday night. Towstar Billy took his heat of the Gain Greyhound Nutrition Kennel Stakes in 15.56 and Brinkleys Rosie won an A3 following her two grade uplift in 28.43.
On Saturday morning our Adageo Bob pup Come Home managed her first ever win in an A10 in 29.64 while we had plenty of seconds and thirds on the rest of the card. As well as the Derby 3rd round on Saturday night we had a few graded runners with the highlight being Shlowdown Sally who beat the in form Ashakiran in 15.44 in a top heat sprint.
Another fine win on Sunday night for Ribble Ghost who took an A7 in 28.81 while in a good top grade stayers Towstar Jess ran superb when holding off all rivals including kennelmate Union Pride by a neck in a very good 41.69.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - GOLDSMITH SLICK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Tomorrow night's Star Sports Greyhound Derby quarter finals are set to be crackers at Towcester and the semi finals follow quickly on Saturday, the supporting Derby Plate and Champion Hurdle also look to be great races.
We are also open racing at Monmore (Thursday) and Romford (Friday) where Cotton Pants and Plan Ahead go in the Friday Night 500 Standard final.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Sadly we saw the elimination of Black Farren from the Star Sports Greyhound Derby but we still have Bruisers Bullet and Bombers Bullet flying the flag for us though I'm still peed off we didn't recommend Saleen Ash at the start at 250/1 even though he is still available at around 66/1 now. It's difficult to find anything else as I'm not sure what we will be entering for definite later in the week.
ADVISED LAST WEEK
BRUISERS BULLET - 2.5 pts ew ante post 20/1 - Star Sports Greyhound Derby - Towcester - quarter finals Tuesday
BOMBERS BULLET - 1.5 pts ew ante post 80/1 - Star Sports Greyhound Derby - Towcester - quarter finals Tuesday
BLACK FARREN - 2 pts win ante post 40/1 - Star Sports Greyhound Derby - Towcester - lost