10th February 2021
It certainly was Super Saturday for Greyhound racing fans with a brilliant day's action that highlighted all that is good about our sport. In the morning we were treated to a fantastic open race card at Crayford covered by the new RPGTV show hosted by Jason Barrasford and Tony Bullen. The odd glitch didn’t spoil what was a very entertaining few hours and if both Jason and Tony became regular presenters for this slot nobody would mind I’m pretty sure. Of course the main feature was the six heats of the Ladbrokes Golden Jacket and to say our morning didn’t get off to a good start is an understatement! Aayamza Lexie, favourite for the first heat, looked in total control and was clear by 3 or 4 lengths with just half a lap to go when, not for the first time, she stopped at the sough thinking the race was over, it wasn’t, and by the time she started to race again it was over for her as she had no chance to get back in the mix. Quite why she has done this occasionally is anybody’s guess especially as on her day she has a great strike rate winning more than 50% of the races she has contested. We quickly got over that when Antigua Rum, a semi finalist last year, did well to miss first bend trouble and led at the third bend to score comfortably by nearly 4 lengths in 45.90. Then our ante post favourite Bo Shine Bullet made light work of a very competitive heat, leading from the first bend she never looked in danger winning by nearly 6 lengths in a very good 45.37. That time was bettered by 2 spots when Pete Harnden’s Salacres Pippy beat both our Avastorm and Anhid News in an excellent 45.35 . We were delighted our two runners qualified with Avastorm now having the chance to make the final for the second year running.
We also had the chance to see some competitive trial stakes for the forthcoming Peter Bussey Memorial Trophy which up until two years ago we amazingly won six consecutive times. Antigua Boy was most impressive winning by over 6 lengths in a very decent 33.50 while our Essex Vase hero Antigua Romeo could only finish 4th in a very tough race won well by Blue Tick George in 33.84.
We didn’t have to wait long for more top class action when we tuned in to Towcester TV for the afternoon with the Category 1 Blue Riband Final the feature race. On a lovely sunny but chilly day we started the afternoon well as we landed the first three races and then struck again with our 4th runner in race 5. Pennys Plumber battled hard to score a narrow victory in 29.74, Saffrons Xpress showed top class pace to take a good sprint and Drumcrow Brent shrugged off the disappointment of being knocked out of the semi finals of the Blue Riband when taking a 500m in fine style recording an excellent 29.48. After a race off we continued the great work when Ivy Hill Skyhigh took the notable scalp of track specialist Sparta Master holding him by 1/2 length to win in a very good 29.50. Ardera Nidge nearly made it a five-timer for us when just beaten 1/2 length in 15.90. Now for the big final and with our team firing on all cylinders it was no surprise to see Coolavanny Kyser blast out the traps to lead up and for a brief couple of seconds he looked like he was going to stride away but the only dog he didn’t want to see in his slipstream was favourite Kilara Lion and that was the case. Kyser still had a slender lead at the third but crucially didn’t slam the door shut at the third bend allowing Kilara Lion to nip inside and take the lead he would never relinquish. As they drove to the line Patrick Janssens' dual Category 1 winner made it success number three beating our game Coolavanny Kyser by 2 1/2 lengths in a fast 29.43. We were all looking forward to our last runner of the day Aayamza Royale in a gruelling 940m marathon, her first race of the year, she ran really well but just couldn’t get past the in form Affirmed who ran a blinder to hold Royale to a length in a brilliant 59.10.
We only had three runners for Monmore on Saturday evening as we prepared for next week's Puppy Derby. Sweet Pear ran well when 4th in a trial stake and will be our only one in next week's heats. Agincourt Xena also ran well when second in a Winter Derby trial stake and we were more than pleased with Black Eyed Molly who made sure we didn't came home empty handed when she won well in 28.51.
It’s Awards Night on Sunday and we will certainly be signing up to watch the virtual awards live. Aayamza Royale is in both the Marathon category and the Bitch of the Year one as well, if she can win one or even both then we would have a realistic chance to win the prestigious Greyhound of the Year award. Talking of awards Antigua Romeo was voted GWA Greyhound of the Month for January which is fantastic for all connections and two on the trot for the kennel with Aayamza Royale winning December's title.
Another notable retiree this week from the kennel is Coolavanny Messi who had a blistering last 6 months in 2019 and started 2020 off really well. The prolific open race winner was so unlucky when fracturing his skull at the pick up when we came back from lockdown last July and just hasn’t come back to his best form since the injury and the right decision has been made to retire him.
We covered our busy Saturday above while our other open race action was at Romford on Friday where we just had four runners. Elms Bee ran a blinder in the Maiden Stayers final getting caught on the final stride, Alien Sea was second behind Droopys Aoife in a 575m where Sobers Express was a touch unlucky and it was great to see Playbook win well in a bitches open winning in 24.04.
HENLOW & TOWCESTER REVIEW
Our good form at Henlow continued. On Monday youngster Scrahane Boss ran well to win an A7 in 24.20 and we had five 2nds on the card who all ran well.
Tuesday Henlow returned to the RPGTV schedule in HD! and we win 6 of the 12 races on the card. Go Wild Turbo won a good D1 in 16.72, Onyx Penny has really found her feet and won well in a A5 in a fine 28.04, Run Free Snowy showed good all round speed to win an S2 in 33.96, Saffrons Smash was backed as if defeat was out of the question, and it wasn’t as he beat Far Froman Angel by 3 lengths in 27.94 in an A4, Yahoo Jennifer took an A7 in 28.21 and to complete a great night Garryglass Charm won an A9 in 28.46.
We also grabbed a couple of winners from a handful of runners on Thursday with Bobs Duke surprising in an A6 winning well in 28.37 and Saffrons Tiger scoring in a career best 27.89 in an A3.
At Towcester on Sunday we just had the one winner when Towstar Diamond took an A6 in 30.48.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - BO SHINE BULLET
WHAT’S ON NEXT WEEK
On Friday we have just a few on at Romford. Saturday we have an exciting evening's action at Crayford featuring the Golden Jacket semi finals and at Monmore we have a few in the Winter Derby heats and just the one runner in the Puppy Derby heats.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
A great start for all three of our selections in the Golden Jacket heats and I see no reason why we can’t qualify at least one through to the final when the semi finals take place on Saturday night. It’s well known what a fantastic record we have in the Peter Bussey Memorial Trophy, the obvious selection would be Antigua Romeo but he faces a real tough heat and better value might be Hopes Doggy and is worth an interest. In the Winter Derby at Monmore I think Coolavanny Kyser is worth a reasonable ante post bet when the prices come out.
HOPES DOGGY - 2 pts ew ante post - Peter Bussey Memorial Trophy - Crayford - starts Saturday
COOLAVANNY KYSER - 2.5 pts ew ante post - Winter Derby - Monmore - starts Saturday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
BO SHINE BULLET - 2.5 pts ew ante post 5/1 - Ladbrokes Golden Jacket - Crayford - semi finals Saturday
ANTIGUA RUM - 1.5 pts ew ante post 14/1 - Ladbrokes Golden Jacket - Crayford - semi finals Saturday
AVASTORM - 1 pt ew ante post 50/1 - Ladbrokes Golden Jacket - Crayford - semi finals Saturday