This week's newsletter:
Last Saturday proved a huge disappointment for the connections and the kennel as the Ladbrokes Golden Jacket final turned into a bit of a nightmare. Our odds on favourite Bo Shine Bullet’s luck deserted her as she ended up on the floor at the first bend while Anhid News was a mere fraction away from going round in front before being baulked out of contention, it wasn’t to be for us but thankfully both of our stars seem fine afterwards and will surely be getting other chances later in the year. Well done to trainer Stuart Maplesden and his Punk Rock Mutley who took the honours in landing the big prize.
It was one of those mornings as we also missed out winning the Peter Bussey Memorial by the narrowest of margins. The meeting had already seen the middle and wide runners dominate with conditions favouring them and it was Woodcocks Kia from trap 6 who dominated from the off. All three of our finalists were involved in first bend crowding before Aayamza Lexie gave chase but never seeming like she was going to get there along the rails and in the end had to settle for second place.
We had no luck with our other runners except a fantastic farewell performance from Avastorm in the consolation 714m. One of the few inside runners to pace up she turned second to the high class Blue Tick George, with the field finding trouble behind she had a clear run at the leader and crucially passed him on the outside with two bends to go before streaking away to win by over 6 lengths in a good 45.42, some 4 lengths faster than the Golden Jacket final. A great way to end a very good career that just lacked a Category 1 victory for owner Craig Mucklow.
We will get another chance of Category 1 glory this Saturday as Coolavanny Kyser qualified from a tough Winter Derby semi final when second to Queen Jessiej. He has drawn trap 1 for the big final which is a real plus and hopefully he can go one better than his recent Blue Riband final at Towcester. It should be an interesting card to watch on Saturday night with the Puppy Derby final and other supporting finals and races. Ivy Hill Skyhigh was most impressive winning his heat of a minor 630m event but has a horrible draw in trap 5 for the final, recent Greyhound of the Year Aayamza Royale is on the card in the marathon which we need to praise both Monmore and the GBGB for getting it on, Monmore made a big effort to get the six runners and then had big issues with the little used 835m traps and hastily sorted it out with the GBGB to be able to use the other marathon distance 900m from the 480m starting traps in order to get the race on. It’s good to see a bit of common sense and flexibility in these challenging times giving greyhound racing fans a chance to watch the likes of Aayamza Royale and Micks Little Gem amongst others.
Boris Johnson’s announcement that we are coming out of the pandemic in stages and by June we could be back to a new normal, crowds will be allowed back at sporting venues and that will be a lifesaver first some tracks. The Derby is in June/July and that’s welcome news, with so many people staying at home for nearly a year now hopefully it could be boom time for sporting occasions like greyhound racing and horse racing where there are plenty of safe open spaces to enjoy the day. I can see why there might be a certain sense of caution at things like football stadiums etc where the thought of being packed in with thousands of others may not be so appealing.
On Friday at Romford we just had the one winner as Aero Madrid took a Golden Sprint trial stake in 24.14. Playbook ran well when second in another trial stake and both Drumcrow Brent and Alien Sea qualified for the Friday Night 500 Stayers final.
As said only Avastorm brightened up a difficult Saturday morning at Crayford and Coolavanny Kyser qualified for the Winter Derby final at Monmore and Ivy Hill Skyhigh won his heat of the 630m stayers in a decent 37.68.
On Monday at Henlow a rare day without any winners but came close as Bobs Duke, Bobs Queen and Rail McCoy were all second.
On Tuesday's RPGTV’s card Far Froman Angel won well in an A3 clocking a good 27.87, Glassmoss Queen took a good S2 in 33.76. Civils Jasmine found a nice bit of improvement winning well in an A4 in a good 27.97 to complete a decent night.
A rare visit on a a Sunday night to Henlow saw Lost Without You take an A6 in 28.44, Yahoo Jennifer was also impressive winning an A4 in 27.94.
Just three runners at Towcester on Sunday where all three were 3rd.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - AVASTORM
WHAT’S ON NEXT WEEK
A good card at Romford on Friday featuring Golden Sprint trial stakes and a 575m Stayers final with Drumcrow Brent and Alien Sea.
A gala open race card at Monmore features the Puppy Derby final and the Winter Derby final where Coolavanny Kyser goes from trap 1. Ivy Hill Skyhigh is in the supporting 630m final and Aayamza Royale takes on some top rivals in a 900m marathon.
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We can only sigh, brush ourselves down and move on as our odds on favourite Bo Shine Bullet hit the deck at the first bend in the Golden Jacket final, thankfully she’s ok. Our Peter Bussey selection Hopes Doggy may not have won but also was just out of the each way place to rub it in. We do have hope of drawing well as Coolavanny Kyser goes from trap 1 in the Winter Derby final at Monmore and is as short as 3/1 to land the final, hopefully supporters are on at around 20/1.
I have a feeling layers might be keen to get Aayamza Royale in the supporting marathon race but she’s special and could go off a backable price.
AAYAMZA ROYALE - 4 pts win - Monmore - Saturday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
BO SHINE BULLET - 2.5 pts each way ante post - Ladbrokes Golden Jacket - Crayford - lost
HOPES DOGGY - 2 pts each way ante post 10/1 - Peter Bussey Memorial - Crayford - lost
COOLAVANNY KYSER - 2.5 pts each way ante post 20/1 - Ladbrokes Winter Derby - Monmore - final Saturday