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A bitterly cold week that’s been hard work to say the least. As always in this kind of weather we have not only had a few dogs go off colour but myself and our staff have been savaged by various bugs floating about resulting in Sid being laid up most of the week and myself spending most of Saturday night and all day Sunday in bed while Daniel, Kiera and Kevin feeling not so great either, it’s been a tough one for sure!
The weather also put paid to a brilliant Monmore card on Wednesday which was called off while we were en route with 10 high class runners. It wasn’t great but always better to be safe than sorry and hopefully this Lawrence Jones Memorial festival can be re-scheduled for another time but where and when I’m not so sure. With no runners at Romford our open race team was down to just two runners at Central Park on Friday in the final batch of Springbok Trial Stakes. Parkers Dynamite in only his second race over the hurdles ran well when second beaten 1/2 length in 30.82 and in a decent top division Swift Dartmoor
showed that he could be a major player in the event when winning narrowly in 30.83 both on a track rated 70 slow. I’m still seething though by our intended 3rd runner Ninja Storm who ended up being double entered as Towcester forgot to take him off the advance card on Friday after being informed by myself that he was an entry at Central Park on the same night. This meant that he couldn’t run in either race and now there is no time to get him qualified for this Friday’s first round, he probably wouldn’t have won the event but nonetheless frustrating for the connections.
Quite where we are going to run all our open racers at the moment is anybody’s guess. The open races at Romford again struggled to fill last Friday, I entered about six runners but with several races not filling I declined the offer to go there with just two runners. Without doubt the current state of the stadium's capacity to only allow limited access to the public and the fact that the normal vibrant regular Friday night open race card is no longer on RPGTV has a significant bearing on ‘away’ trainers entering. It’s a shame as Romford on Fridays was always one of the best night's racing of the week and Corals had agreed to pay a £15 bonus to ‘away’ trainers as well. We will continue to enter each week and with the re-scheduled Essex Vase and forthcoming Golden Sprint on the horizon hopefully things will pick up.
Bruisers Bullet was one dog to miss out on a run at Monmore on Wednesday but we intend to return to the Midlands venue on Saturday to run in the Joyce Lloyd Memorial Trophy over 480m though the lack of a recent run or trial is a slight concern. Bruisers Bullet will obviously be one of our leading hopes in the 2018 Derby and it’s hard to imagine we are less than three months away from the start of showpiece event of the year. Another of our leading lights Black Farren has now qualified to race and has steadily progressed with a pleasing 28.38 trial at Towcester on Saturday. We may give him a graded run to give him a race before he ventures into opens so a nice soft A4 would be handy!
Let’s hope the weather doesn’t affect the first major Category 1 event of the year as the Ladbrokes Golden Jacket kicks off tomorrow night at Crayford. In all we have six entries including one of the favourites in Rubys Rascal, he may just be a race short of full fitness after being sidelined since the Mitch Millward final last month but a pleasing 28.33 trial at Towcester on Saturday will have blown some cobwebs away. Garryglass Champ also returns from a lengthy spell on the sidelines and will undoubtedly be short of full fitness and is another one who could come on a ton if able to qualify. Roswell Romanov (45.60) trialled reasonably well last week and if he can lead up early he would be a major player while Cincinnati, Kiltrea Mike and Saffrons Bonnie are all capable of qualifying tomorrow at least, we have an excellent record in the Golden Jacket so let’s hope that continues.
As said above just two runners on Friday at Central Park with Parker’s Dynamite second and Swift Dartmoor winning in Springbok Trial Stakes.
After a fantastic amount of winners in January this month has seen many much higher in the grades than normally and winners were tough to come by this weekend. On Friday Ballyfinn Jade showed that the promise of her first ever race the week before helped her win narrowly in 29.63. Ashakiran in her second race back from season showed tremendous pace to land a top grade sprint in a fine 15.23 and she looks set for a big year.
No luck on Saturday morning where the wide runners seemed to be at a distinct disadvantage and we had quite a few wides of our ten runners. In the evening it wasn’t easy either and in a messy top class A1 Boylesports Duke managed to escape some severe trouble to land his 6th win from 7 starts with Saleen Ash chasing him home. Sunday was very hard again for our runners though both Jazz Jake and Saltimbanco ran well when second in their respective races.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - SWIFT DARTMOOR
GRADED - ASHAKIRAN
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
As said the Ladbrokes Golden Jacket kicks off tomorrow night at Crayford and we have six runners. On Friday we see the start of the Springbok at Central Park and we should be at Romford as well with a bit of luck.
On Saturday we travel to Monmore with a few open race runners and on Sunday we hope to have one or two in the Henlow Maiden Gold Cup over 550m.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
With Monmore called off on Wednesday our intended bet was cancelled. This week there is only one proper bet for me and though we might need a slice of luck in the first round Rubys Rascal is well capable of going all the way in the Ladbrokes Golden Jacket. I see no reason why we can’t include both our hurdlers in our ante post bets for the Springbok starting this Friday.
RUBYS RASCAL - 2.5 pts ew ante post 14/1 - Ladbrokes Golden Jacket - Crayford - starts tomorrow
SWIFT DARTMOOR - 1.5 pts ew ante post - Springbok - Central Park - starts Friday
PARKERS DYNAMITE- 1 pt ew ante post - Springbok - Central Park - starts Friday