12th March 2019
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A busy weekend's open race action where we had some good performances but way too many seconds for my liking. One of those runner up finishes was excellent as Droopys Cruiser ran another stormer at Monmore in the Ladbrokes Puppy Derby semi finals behind Seaglass Tiger beaten just a length and our youngster for the Multifruit Syndicate now lines up in next Saturday’s prestigious £12,500 to the winner final. We can count ourselves unlucky that we never made it two through to the final as our big outsider Flip The Tyre looked like he was flying through the field to qualify before he was blocked around the last two bends forcing him check and despite getting going again he just failed to qualify.
On Sunday at Henlow a high class Greyhound Star Marathon Final saw Aayamza Breeze find all the trouble going for six bends before she got free but it was all too late as Goldies Hotspur had made its way home after passing our early leader No Can Boogie. Aayamza Breeze made big inroads into Goldies Hotspur's lead but finished 2 lengths away at the line in 55.94. This was the first of a series of competitions throughout the year at Henlow and we hope that next week we can go one better in the Maiden Gold Cup as we had a 1-2 in the first semi final but not with the expected Glory Snake who got involved in an early melee with the other inside runners leaving our veteran Razldazl Valerie to race clear to beat kennelmate Nothing But Love by 2 lengths in 34.19 (-40) the fastest of the three semi finals. Nothing But Love only came into the competition as a reserve and has run well for the Markwallisgreyhounds Racing Club stepped up in trip and class, it’s a good final but rule her out your peril!
We are only a couple of weeks away from the GTA Trainers Championship at Sheffield and Matt Dartnall comes in for Liz Mcnair which is a shame as their team of high class dogs would have been a joy to see. With no stayers and having to tie a few of their stars up I can understand their decision, we ourselves are struggling a bit in the four bend department but have enough strength to at least try and be competitive. Our stayers with Brigadier Bullet and Antigua Fire (formerly Towcester Story) will be our real strength, I’m sure most of the other trainers taking part will be stronger in some of the races than others so it should level itself out. Patrick Janssens' Kennel is flying and at this stage will be a clear favourite to continue his excellent start to the year but this is an event that hardly ever goes the way you might think, we won last year when not many predicted that we would come out on top. With excellent prize money on offer it should still be a great event despite Liz Mcnair’s absence.
I wrote a long piece in the Monday Racing Post Column, which I do every six weeks now, and gave my thoughts on the new Star Sports Derby criteria where it will be, for the first time in many years, a restricted event. Nottingham’s decision to start with 192 entries is, in my opinion, the right one as over the years I’ve got totally sick with the ridiculous way in the past that some first round heats ended up with only two qualifying, it’s just not right, yes owners are entitled to enter their A9 dog just to say they had a dog in the Derby and it’s hard to kill that dream but it has to happen. It will be interesting to see what route Nottingham take, are they going to say it’s the fastest 192 entries that have either trialled or raced at the track in 2019 or is the going to be a panel that sifts through the form etc if the entries pass the 192 mark, good luck on that one! either way I look forward to a balanced first round where owners and trainers know that if they get in the first three they are in the hat for the next round.
A great sporting week coming up as Cheltenham jumps off from today, some excellent football all week and my favourite other passion golf sees the 5th major with the Players Championship at Sawgrass and the all the drama of the 17th Island green hole. I know nothing about horses so it's a pin job for me at Chelthenham and my football bets are more luck than judgement but I do like my golf punting and have started the season ok. Hideki Matsuyama is bubbling under at the moment and I've already took some bigger prices early in the year for him to win the Masters and at 40/1 for this Players Championship he must have a decent shout of a top 7 place or better.
A busy weekend where we were at Sheffield and Monmore on Saturday. As said we qualified Droopys Cruiser for the Ladbrokes Puppy Derby final at Monmore while at Sheffield our three runners all ran well. Silva Hill found the flying Coolavanny Dylan too hot in a sprint when he was beaten 4 1/4 lengths in a fast 15.86, a superb 660m race went the way of Droopys Live who just beat our in form Brigadier Bullet by 3/4 length in 39.49 but with some excellent rivals behind him I was pleased enough with his performance. Busters Bullet pitched in at the deep end in a maiden 500m ran well also when second beaten 1 1/2 lengths in 29.36.
On Sunday at Henlow as well as the Marathon final and the Maiden Gold Cup semi finals there were a few one off opens. Kilcree Diamond having his last race for the kennel signed off with an excellent 27.53 win over 460m while Avastorm ran well trying to follow up last week's impressive win when second over 692m.
On Monday Towstar Del Boy continued his good form taking an A4 in 28.19, Savana Matt ran well when second and Not So Hot opened his account winning an A9 in 28.34 (+10).
On Tuesday an excellent return from season from Chubbys Turkana as she bolted in by 6 lengths in an A3 in a good 27.74, Adageo Zoomer also won well in an A7 in 28.51.
Just a couple of runners on Thursday with Shazzas Bullet 2nd. On Friday Roswell Martian was impressive taking an A4 in 28.11 (-20), Towstar Evita and Jazz Jake both ran well when second.
On Saturday no luck from our four runners and in a couple of graded races on Sunday's open card Bobs Boy was closest when 3rd in an S4.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - RAZLDAZL VALERIE
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Two big finals this weekend will be our centre of attention as Droopys Cruiser bids to win us our first ever Ladbrokes Puppy Derby at Monmore.
On Sunday we have two in the Maiden Gold Cup final at Henlow with Razldazl Valerie and Nothing But Love.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
A great recommendation with Droopys Cruiser at 25/1 ante post for the Ladbrokes Puppy Derby though he is still around 7/1 in this Saturday's final, I'm sure at some point he will make his presence felt though it will be tough to win I like his draw in trap 2.
Not too much else this week so hopefully Cruiser can make it a happy weekend for all our supporters.
ADVISED LAST WEEK
DROOPYS CRUISER - 2 pts each way ante post 25/1 - Ladbrokes Puppy Derby - Monmore - final Saturday