12th December 2016
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A tremendous week's action which was a bit of a rollercoaster ride. Starting on Monday our National Sprint winning aspirations began well at Nottingham with the prolific Ela Ela Genie winning his heat in 18.13 but controversially in Chubbys Oak's heat the traps opened prematurely with four dogs already loaded which resulted in them doing a lap without the hare in motion. The decision rightly or wrongly not to re run the race on the same night meant a hazardous journey back on Friday night in which Chubbys Oak then beat reigning champion Scolari Sound in 18.05. On Tuesday at Towcester a return to winning ways for Rubys Rascal in a six bend open.
Our big night of the week came on Wednesday with a magnificent card at Romford featuring both the Coral Essex Vase final over 575m and the Mitch Millward Memorial final over 750m. Our night didn't start well with defeats for the fancied Mashmad Eyebrows in the sprint and Evanta Fantasy went down narrowly in the bitches 400m. The night turned for the better as veteran Calco Flyer showed a touch of class winning a good 400m race in a fine 23.95, this was followed up by another great run from Rubys Razzle in the bitches 575m who won well in a very good 33.18.
There's no doubt adding this 750m heats and final to the card in memory of the hugely popular Mitch Millward who sadly passed away last year has been a magnificent gesture from Corals and he would have been proud of the line up that included three category 1 winners and our Regency winner Billys Bullet did us proud finishing a game runner up but it was Patrick Janssen's Slick Sebastion who took the honours when gaining a first bend lead that he wouldn't let go. The win caps off a magnificent season for Patrick my former Assistant Trainer and he has now established himself as a top class trainer in his own right.
It was good to have the Sky cameras down to the kennel on Monday morning and as well as interviewing myself on our own stellar 2016 they were there to see our Coral Essex Vase favourite Roswell Romanov. Of course the brilliant memories of Adageo Bob taking the title were still fresh in our memory and we really hoped Romanov could make it a 5th winning Essex Vase for the kennel in 10 years but again on the night we had to settle for second place behind the fast Bubbly Torpedo who pinged out the boxes. Romanov paced up well and just when it looked like he was going to turn just behind the leader he was chopped off at the first bend forcing him to check into the middle, this was the winning manoeuvre for Bubbly Torpedo and to Roswell Romanov's credit he battled back very well to take second place behind the Champagne Club's winner. Paul Young has had his best year in terms of big race wins and points scored in the Trainer of the Year battle so it's testament to our success that we are still some 300 points in front, I'm proud that we have had 20 category 1 finalists this year scoring 7 victories.
One more finalist graces the card this Wednesday at Belle Vue and that is of course none other than Domino Storm as she tries to bow out in style by defending her RPGTV Oaks title. Last week in the semi finals our little 'Meryl' and one of the other great bitches over the last two years Forest Twilight for Hayley Keightley produced an epic battle right from the off, the pair raced neck and neck with Meryl's famous overshot jaw making sure she nicked the tightest of tight finishes. The race gave both bitches the Performance of the Week on RPGTV and has been described as perhaps the race of the year. So now we go into this classic final and it doesn't just include Domino Storm and Forest Twilight but also four other good bitches, it will take some winning! and worse still we have a tough draw in trap 4, only a Betfred Select Stakes style break will suffice and even then our old girl will do well to clear the field on the long run up as there is plenty of pace in the race. We have had two proper fairytale stories in the last year with Adageo Bob's emotional Mitch Millward Essex Vase victory last December and Billys Bullets joyous return from serious injury in the Coral Regency in May. I genuinely think a win on Wednesday could top the lot, what a bitch she has been for Kieron King and his family and for our kennel, I will be reviewing her career next week.
Talking of emotional finishes we don't have to wait long for the next one as the following day Billys Bullet has his last race at Hove. They have kindly put on an invitational race in his honour and I'm sure the entry will be strong so again it will take some winning. Whatever his fate he has been another superstar for the sport and hopefully a successful stud career beckons. It's hard to imagine starting off the 2017 campaign without these two stars and amazingly they are kennelled together, of course they are dubbed by us 'the dream team'!
Next week we still have the Bags Championship to look forward to at Perry Bar as we wind down a touch for the Christmas period although we are still busy enough with Towcester and a couple of meetings at Romford. The race to win the 5 to Follow competition is getting close with the lead changing hands each week but and this week I have overtaken my daughter Emily at the top of our Staff Leaderboard !!
Our open racing was reviewed above with the exception of a win for Garryglass Teddy at Romford after the Sky cameras had finished by over 9 lengths in 35.74 over 575m. At Belle Vue on Thursday Domino Storm was victorious but Ballymac Shirley crashed out when 5th, Roswell Iceman also went out in the Laurels semi finals.
Shlowdown Sally made a speedy return from season on Tuesday when 2nd in a D2.
On Friday 2 winners graced the card - Blackstone Jovi won well on an A4 in 28.64 and Airfoce Cluxton took a sprint in 15.58.
We had a lot of runners Saturday but despite a few near misses we came away again with two winners. Giveabitback Sue won very well in a good 15.41 as did Adageo Gold in A4 company in a good 28.49.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
The National Sprint at Nottingham continues tonight and both Ela ela Genie and Chubbys Oak are well.
All roads lead to Belle Vue on Wednesday and can Domino Storm go out in style!
We will be at Hove Thursday for Billys Bullets final race and at Romford on Friday.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
No bets this week but hopefully a result from Domino Storm.