This week's newsletter:
A magnificent weekend for the kennel has seen us be well represented in Hove’s big night of the year this Saturday that features both the finals of the Sussex Cup and the Regency. Incredibly we have no less than three finalists in the Sussex Cup over 515m with Drumcrow Brent, Ivy Hill Skyhigh and Antigua Storm flying the flag in an event we have never won before but all three will have to be at their very best if they are to be victorious. Without doubt the Regency final over 695m looks an absolute cracking final and we were delighted to see both Bo Shine Bullet and Aayamza Royal win their semi finals and get decent draws in this event that we have won three times before with Blonde Fletch (2011), Billys Bullet (2016) and Aayamza Breeze (2019).
There were plenty of talking points last Saturday at Hove, not just for the great racing but plenty of trainers and owners were not happy about the track being very slow after Hove reacted to a couple of injuries on their Thursday card where the track was running normal - fast by slowing up the going for Saturday's big meeting. I can certainly see their reasons for this as welfare always comes first but the overwhelming factor is the lack of communication that exists between tracks and the trainers and owners that supply the greyhounds to race. This doesn’t just involve Hove as the same happens nearly every week at various tracks and we basically have to like it or lump it! Going allowances seem to be a matter of opinion and quite often we are left dumbfounded by the going given at the end of trial sessions and meetings. I’m not quite sure what the answers are and to be honest I’m definitely no expert but all we really ask is that the track is prepared as safe as it can be and we hope the track staff are on the same wavelength. I do tend to find that our runners that race on anything -40 or worse are extremely tight in the muscles for a few days afterwards mainly because they are going into the surface deeper (we all know how hard it is to run across sand dunes and it’s a bit like that) and if they are not massaged and treated it wouldn’t take long before more serious injuries developed. Equally if the going is more than 30 fast it means the track they running on has their sand very compacted and can be the equivalent to the dogs running on a road which potentially could put enormous pressure on bones especially on hocks and wrists. My worst nightmare is seeing parts of the track being softer or harder in places as dogs going from one surface to another in a lap of the track as being downright dangerous, it’s essential that the track is the same consistency for all of the circuit whether it’s normal, slow or fast going. Of course the unpredictable weather we have in this country can change the conditions of the track surface but as a very respected trainer told me recently that he was totally dismayed that after a huge downpour at a meeting nobody from the racing office bothered to come and inspect the track and ordered the races to go off on time as they didn’t want to lose their scheduled off times and sadly unnecessary injuries occurred before they eventually abandoned the meeting. This is certainly not acceptable and tracks should be held accountable for actions like this.
Hove is without doubt one of my favourite tracks ever since I’ve been in the sport and the racing office are incredibly helpful whenever we want trials and entries, we have had some great moments there and hopefully that will continue (especially this Saturday please!) but I am worried about the Entain/Arc policy of limiting open racing at the track in recent times, yes we are still slowly coming out of a worldwide pandemic and there is a lot of change in the media rights etc but the sport would be a poorer place without a regular open race programme at the South coast track.
Looking at the Trainer of the Year standings we have done well to keep tabs on my good friend Patrick Janssens after his brilliant Derby 1-2 where he raced past our slim lead with a 175 point haul and it’s going to be no easy task this year to rescue the title we lost in 2020 for the first time in many years as Patrick has a very powerful team of top class greyhounds. We ourselves are enjoying a successful 2021 with three Category 1 victories in the bag and a number of big race finalists which score heavily, hopefully this could get better this Saturday if we had a bit of luck, incredibly we will pass last year's total points (667) by Saturday and we are only in July! Once this week's Hove finals have finished we quickly move on to Monmore where their double header of the Gold Cup and Summer Stayers start a week Saturday and we are looking to have a number of entries. Coolavanny Kyser had lost his form slightly but hopefully a short rest has done the trick and he will head our Gold Cup team with the likes of Ballymac Gaybo, Billis Tudor, Hopes Bullet and maybe a couple more while we are looking stronandg in the stayers department with Aayamza Lexie, Antigua Mememe, Blueberry Bullet and Fatboyz Exile definitely take their chance and we might have Fatboyz Trixie back who was out recently with the cough while we will wait and see on the likes of Bo Shine Bullet Ivy Hill Skyhigh on how they come out of their Hove races on Saturday.
A busy night on Friday at Romford with quite a few runners. Antigua Mememe beat kennel mate Antigua Lava in a Maiden 750m by 3 lengths in 47.45, star of the night was Rail Mccoy who won the final of the 400m Maiden but he was made to work hard as Knight Vixen led everywhere but the line before Rail Mccoy nailed him close home to win by a shortea hd in 24.30, Sweet Pear and Aayamza Lexie could only finish 4th and 5th respectively in the 575m stayers final. In the Doug Tyler Summer Cup heats both Agincourt Xena and Aayamza Baron qualified for the final when 2nd and 3rd behind Droopys Aoife.
On Saturday a terrific card at Hove featuring the semi finals of the Sussex Cup and Regency turned into a good night for the kennel. Aayamza Royale got the ball rolling in a hot Regency semi final as she turned handy to the classy pair of Blue Tick George and Kishlawn Shakira and her power packed finish saw her magnificently sweep into the lead on the run in to score by 2 1/2 lengths in 41.82, good news in the second semi final as Bo Shine Bullet trapped well and led all the way to win by over 4 lengths in 41.92. In the Sussex Cup semi finals there was drama in the first semi final as the three ante post favourites clashed literally with Roxholme Sheik, Tenpin and Bockos Belly colliding on the run up and all were unable to recover as Troy Firebird raced clear to beat Pilgrim Hill by over 9 lengths in 30.12. In the second semi it was good news as both our Ivy Hill Skyhigh and Drumcrow Brent fought out a great battle with the latter getting up to score by a head in 30.22. In the third semi final the favourite Droopys Addition was made to work hard by our Antigua Storm before asserting on the run in to score by 3 3/4 lengths in 30.03. To complete a good night Baby Bullet went down narrowly in the bitches heats but qualified safely for the minor final.
We were also at Monmore on Saturday with four runners as we prepare for the Gold Cup and Summer Stayers. Ballymac Gaybo ran well when a close up second in a 480m and Hopes Bullet made sure we didn’t come home empty handed as he won well in a good 28.34.
HENLOW & TOWCESTER REVIEW
A couple of wins at Henlow on Monday as Civils Jasmine took an A4 in a good 28.04 (-20) and Harrys Hexbug got up late to win an A6 in 28.85 (-20).
On Tuesday at Towcester as well as our two runners in the Juvenile Classic final we had a couple of nice graded wins. Hopes Bullet won well in an A3 by 3 1/4 lengths in 29.63 and Bower Jet opened his account when taking an A4 by nearly 3 lengths in 29.68.
On Saturday at Henlow Ring The Bells returned to the podium winning an A7 in 28.50 while on Sunday we just had the one winner with Longacres Mikey beating kennel mate Run Free Snowy by 1 3/4 lengths in 33.88 (-30).
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - AAYAMZA ROYALE
WHAT’S ON NEXT WEEK
On Friday at Romford Agincourt Xena and Aayamza Baron go in the final of the Doug Tyler Summer Cup.
Saturday could be a huge night for the kennel as Bo Shine Bullet and Aayamza Royale bid for glory in the Regency final at Hove while we have no less than three runners in the Sussex Cup Final with Antigua Storm, Drumcrow Brent and Ivy Hill Skyhigh lining up in the 515m final. We also have a few runners at Monmore as we prepare for competitions there and on Sunday we will send a small team to Towcester to support the opens there.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
It could be a massive night for our followers as we are mob handed at Hove on Saturday for the Category 1 Regency and Sussex Cup finals. Both our selections in the Regency Bo Shine Bullet and superstar Aayamza Royale have decent draws and are a lot shorter now than their ante post odds at the beginning of the event while in the Sussex Cup we did well to add Ivy Hil Skyhigh to our portfolio at 20/1 and we have Drumcrow Brent at the same price. Of course we don’t have Antigua Storm in our recommended bets and though it can all go pear shaped it would be silly not to just have a saver on him at around 10/1. I can’t see too many other bets so we will stick with our interests at Hove.
ADVISED LAST WEEK
IVY HILL SKYHIGH - 1 pt each way 20/1 - Sussex Cup - Hove - final Saturday
BO SHINE BULLET - 2.5 pts each way ante post 4/1 - Regency - Hove - final Saturday
AAYAMZA ROYALE - 2 pts each way ante post 10/1 - Regency - Hove - final Saturday
DRUMCROW BRENT - 2 pts each way ante post 20/1 - Sussex Cup - Hove - final Saturday