12th April 2016
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A bit late with the newsletter as from about 9 pm Sunday night I was relaxing after a busy week glued to my telly watching the epic drama unfold in the Masters, one of my favourite sporting events of the year, absolutely incredible viewing. Speith, my ante post nap for nine holes was in a different league and then for some incredible reason he transformed into a 20 handicapper (like me) for three holes turning a five shot lead into a three shot deficit. Danny Willet, my favourite European player who I hadn't backed, needed no second invite to land his first major. To make matters worse, two of my each way selections Matsuyama (40/1) and Kjeldsen (400/1!!) finished tied 7th just one shot away from a 5th place finish! thankfully I traded a little bit before the final round to finish up with a small profit, most enjoyable.
Also enjoyable was seeing Patchys Kerry land her 2nd Category 1 title this year adding the Pinpoint Recruitment Three Steps To Victory Final to the Golden Jacket title she won in February. If you just looked at the result saying 1st 5 1/4 lengths you would automatically think she won easily but far from it. From an awkward trap 4 slot Kerry broke well and just cleared traps two and three to the bend and avoided trap 5 who cuts in. Even then she found herself behind trap 1 Satin Mark who had taken a flyer, Kerry showing that lovely burst of pace that has made her the hottest property in our sport at the moment joined Satin Mark as they rounded bends 3 and 4. Worryingly the two came very close together but a disaster was avoided as she cut across her rival off the 4th bend and galloped clear, the race was as good as over but to his credit the grand old servant Viking Jack emerged from the chasing pack and though never looking like he was going to catch Kerry he kept her honest. As Kerry crossed the line in a very decent 38.77 it was a relief that she had overcome the draw to win the generous £10,000 first prize and we would like to thank Alan Findlay for his sponsorship.
We sent up to Sheffield a strong supporting team and after the first four got beat with news from Towcester that we had a couple of reverses there I was beginning to fear the worst. Occasionally we can have the odd off night, Sittingbourne last month springs to mind, and as long as the dogs come home safe and sound you dust yourself down and move on quickly, it was beginning to look that way. Ela Ela Genie was a good second in a puppy sprint and Rubys Rascal looked all over the winner as they approached the home straight but ran right up the back of the leaders to lose his chance, Ribble Atom odds on never really got going in the marathon and could only finish 3rd while Ribble Aon smashed out the boxes in a 660m stayers but to be fair was totally destroyed by Glenpadden Ace before finishing 4th. Step up our little 'Pocket Rocket' Domino Storm and she again put her rivals to the sword in a 480m Standard clocking a superb 27.52 in a facile 3 1/4 length victory, the fastest time at the track this year, that's her 3rd Sky victory and she could be well on course to win the Top Sky winner for the second year running. Airforce Duchess has surprisingly not won for quite a while but showed lovely early pace to land the 500m Bitches race by 1 1/2 legths in a good 28.87 and again Calco Flyer showed his liking for the track with a fourth career success in the British Bred race scoring by 3 lengths in an excellent 28.6. Patchys Kerry's win and news that Ferryforth Fran had bolted in at Towcester of course made it a terrific night for the kennel.
Our bitches over the last couple of years seem to have been outstanding and Patchys Kerry and Domino Storm have received the highest praise from nearly everyone in the sport. We do seem to have had an array of female talent over the last few years and I was wondering what our fantasy line up would look like over 4, 6 and 8 bends since I took over the reins in 2005
1- Domino Storm
2- Evanta Evita
3- Ballymac Shirley
4- Bridge Ruth
5- Casheen Maureen
6- Fear Mykeo
Sharp 6 bends
1- Aero Joker
2- Bridge Ruth
3- Stride On Babe
4- Questhouse Ellie
5- Jazz Tilly
6- Genesis Dream
1- Star Of Dromin
3- Patchys Kerry
4- Daisyfield Seanie
6- Hometown Honey
1- Star Of Dromin
2- Genesis Alix
4- Ribble Atom
6- Snappy Girl
This list is straight off my memory so forgive me if I've left anyone out. I certainly know I've left out competition winners like Airforce Duchess, Evanta Fantasy, Aero Babooshka, Questhouse Sash, Darian Star as well as good class girls like Sofem, Africa, Treacle Rose, Courts Ad Be, Darling Slaney, Scintillas Ruby, Genesis Sister, Ribble Aon, Saffrons Anna and probably many more. The last couple of years have certainly been stellar with us bagging consecutive Oaks titles and with the likes of current star Ballymac Shirley making my top 6 who would bet against a third straight win in the bitches classic.
Talking of bitches still, what a tremendous win for Evanta Fantasy at Romford on Friday night in one of their weekly heats and finals, a superb line up all did their best to get to her but she kept pulling out more. If the line up above was for Romford only she would be an odds on shot to be in the fantasy race. Friday was the third bitch of ours in six days to win a competition following Ballymac Shirley's win at Henlow and the small matter of Patchys Kerry's third Category 1 victory.
It's a big week again as we start our preparation for both the Derby and the Regency. At Wimbledon we have around 10 of our hopefuls on display in their day time session and on Thursday we have three runners in trial stakes headed by Domino Storm in the first one. We have some unfamiliar names on the Wednesday session and I will talk more about them if they turn out to be definite entries. At Hove on Thursday many eyes will be on the mouth watering clash of our Patchys Kerry and the bang in form Romany Rouge. If ever there was a case for appearance money being paid then these two superstars would be worth it, we may well see these clash again in the final if it all works out. I still think the 695m at Hove takes some getting and this will stretch Patchys Kerry stamina to the limit but now is a good time to try, at the moment we have no intention of entering her for the Derby.
Speaking of stretched to the limit we are currently looking for full time staff as we seem to be getting busier than ever and I will be advertising for a full time kennel hand position this week. I won't lie, it's a tough job with long hours and you can see why many trainers are struggling to get people to work in this industry and I will of course do the usual moan about a seriously underfunded sport which is one of the main reasons it's so difficult to find staff.
As said a brilliant night at Sheffield on Tuesday with eight runners, the first four runners were beaten and then we rattled off a magnificent four timer including a superb win for Patchys Kerry in the final of the Pinpoint Recruitment Three Steps To Victory final.
At Towcester one of the races of the year was Clondoty Alex and Blackstone Marco over 480m. Both owned by Paul Carpenter, Nick Cheeseman and Kevin Dear they served up a cracker with the evergreen Blackstone Marco just getting up to deny Clondoty Alex in the last stride. Ferryforth Fran was at his very best making it five wins from six races at Towcester in a fine 39.54. Mass Megan ran very well when second in the Puppy 480m heats with the final tomorrow night.
At Romford on Friday not the best of luck with most of our seven runners except Evanta Fantasy who ran a blinder to beat a high class field to land the Friday Night Standard Final in 23.93. Saffrons Anna qualified for next weeks bitches final when second in her heat.
At Henlow on Sunday a rare defeat in a final when Black Francis finished a close up 3rd in the Bookmakers Stayers Final .
A handful of runners on Friday with two winners in P7's - Ninja Frankie (28.96) and Swift Bravo (28.75) showed fine early pace to score by over 4 and 5 lengths respectively.
On Saturday we had a nice treble - Rubys Rascal unlucky at Sheffield on Tuesday again came from off the pace to beat kennelmate Sligo Star in 28.51 calc, Cisberry Geo seems to be winning plenty again scoring in an A4 in 28.56 calc and Macs On Storm after a few away runs returned to win a good A2 in a fine 28.25 calc.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Mass Megan runs in the Towcester Racecourse Puppy Final tonight and a busy Derby trial session at Wimbledon on Wednesday follows.
We are back to Wimbledon on Thursday for Derby Trial Stakes and plenty of interest will be on the Patchys Kerry Regency Trial Stake at Hove as well.
Saffrons Anna is in a Friday Night 500 Bitches Final at Romford and we hope to have a few other runners.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Patchys Kerry again shows us a tidy ante post profit as she took the Three Steps To Victory Final and Airforce Duchess was a good winner on the card. This week we are at a few places in some difficult races. At Romford on Friday Saffrons Anna deserves to win a little competition and will be fair value to do so, given our record in finals for our fairer sex she is worth a wager.
SAFFRONS ANNA - 3 pts win - Romford - Friday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
PATCHYS KERRY - 5 pts win ante post 7/2 - Pinpoint Three Steps To Victory - Sheffield - WON 17.5 pts profit
AIRFORCE DUCHESS - 3 pts win - Sheffield - Tuesday - WON 7/4
RIBBLE ATOM - 5 pts win - Sheffield - Tuesday - lost