13th July 2015
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I'm back from my family holidays this afternoon and there's certainly a lot to catch up on. Sid and my staff have coped well over the last two weeks whilst I've been away and we are entering a busy period over the next couple of months with plenty of action up and down the country. Unfortunately we didn't qualify any for the finals at Sunderland in the William Hill festival this Wednesday as Jimmy Nailed On was eliminated on Saturday when missing his break in the Grand Prix.
We have though a strong entry in the Sussex Cup at Hove that starts this Thursday with up to six runners entered headed by Calco Flyer and Derby quarter finalist Blonde Nipper who hasn't quite got to grips with the galloping circuit yet. One of the likely favourites Domino Storm has however been re-routed to Nottingham as her nomination for the prestigious Select Stakes has been accepted and unfortunately the races clash. She has been in scintillating form of late since her first round Derby elimination including winning twice around Hove and of course the Derby Plate. It looks a high quality event but our little 'pocket rocket' should go well, she trials at Nottingham tonight in preparation for next Tuesday's race.
Towcester is preparing for its first big competition this week where trial stakes of the TV Trophy are scheduled. The top marathon competition of the year, always one of the highlights of the greyhound calendar, starts next month and the 906m distance is an ideal TV Trophy trip. I'm very excited about Ribble Atom who could well be one of our leading hopes. Owned by Towcester's Lord Hesketh she looks like she has been crying out for this distance and will be entered on Saturday, also Ferryforth Fran was brought with this in mind and although he has only won twice in nine starts he has yet to be out the first three and was flying to the drop in races over 655m at Towcester, he should go well. Also I'm excited about our new intake Sosaidhs Blue, a recent fast winner at Shelbourne, she stays well and is due to make her debut this week over six bends.
Advertised in the calendar for August as well at Towcester is the £10,000 Lowther Stakes for bitches only. We will keep our Derby heroines Evanta Evita and Evanta Fantasy fresh for this important event and both should be suited to the venue. Of course we mustn't forget Domino Storm who is still the current track record holder at the track. Another contender from our old guard will be Aero Babooshka who warmed up nicely with a win over track and trip in the July leg of the Premier League on Saturday. Millroad Rodger was our only other points scorer when second in the sprint. Kevin Hutton and ourselves have pulled a few points clear in the overall standings and Kevin had a good night winning the leg and we are two points behind him going into the August leg. The Premier League is a fabulous idea and the prize money on offer is decent for both owner and trainer, why other leading open race trainers didn't support this is beyond me and Paul Young who dropped out after one leg without giving the track any explanation is very strange. Let's hope if it's renewed, and I sincerely hope it is, it gains some more support from other leading trainers! August certainly promises to be a major month in the short history of Towcester who seem to have a fair few knockers which is typical of our industry, for me it's still our only fresh hope for our sport in the long term.
I will cover the racing a bit more in depth next week but our highlights of the week were a double at Hove on Thursday in Sussex Cup Trial Stakes with Reel Shirty (29.90) and Domino Storm (29.79) and Aeto Babooshka's Premier League win at Towcester on Saturday in 28.31. Not much luck on the graded front but we did see wins for Jeff Craft's Nimrod Son and Come On Pilgrim.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Hove on Thursday as the Sussex Cup kicks off with six heats of the £10,000 to the winner event. We will be at Romford on Friday and Towcester should have a decent night of opens on Saturday with the final of the Puppy 480m the feature race.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Jimmy Nailed On was our last hope at Sunderland but failed to qualify for Wednesday's finals. It's on to Hove and the Sussex Cup to try and regain our losses from the North East and I think the time is right for Calco Flyer to go one step further and land a decent event. Surprisingly caught last week when leading a trial stake his overall C.V makes him an appealing e.w bet, finalist in the Eclipse at Nottingham and also the Arc at Swindon he was desperately unlucky in the first round of the Derby in an ultra tough heat, he put that performance behind him on finals night with a lovely 28.38 win in the British Bred race and has won over track and trip in a very good 29.60, he has to be a play. We've not seen the best of Blonde Nipper yet and he also is worth including in ante post bets. Also worth a bet will be the unexposed Ribble Atom at Towcester on Saturday in a TV Trophy trial stake.
CALCO FLYER - 2.5 pts e.w ante post - Coral Sussex Cup - Hove - starts Thursday
BLONDE NIPPER - 1.5 pts e.w ante post -Coral Sussex Cup - Hove - starts Thursday
RIBBLE ATOM - 4 pts win - Towcester - Saturday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
JIMMY NAILED ON - 1 pt e.w ante post 20/1 - William Hill Grand Prix - Sunderland - lost