14th December 2015
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How on earth were we supposed to better Adageo Bob's brilliant and dramatic Mitch Millward Essex Vase victory which was captured so well live on Sky Sports last Tuesday? well we did! A stunning and historic 1-2 in the EEC Timber Oaks final on Wednesday at a blustery Belle Vue led by our super little pocket rocket Domino Storm who cracked out the traps in her best style to lead all the way in a superb 27.59. She was chased gallantly by the formidable and game Evanta Evita who closed right up on Domino Storm at the 3rd bend but had no answers to her kennelmate's extra stamina who pulled clear to win by 3 1/2 lengths to land the £15,000 first prize. In doing so that means not only have we had a magnificent end to the year but we have had back to back Oaks wins after Cashen Maureen captured last year's bitches classic, the last time any trainer achieved that feat was some 50 years ago when Phil Rees Snr won the classic in 1963 and 1964.
Domino Storm has been mostly brilliant all year for owners Kieron King and his family. After a couple of runs from a short winter break she broke the track record at Towcester back in February, she was unluckily knocked out of the Arc semi final at Swindon in April but returned for an emphatic win on the Sky supporting card over 480m in a flying 28.34. Another fast Sky win at Brighton was followed by another slightly unlucky elimination in the opening round of the Derby but she brilliantly returned to Wimbledon to win the Derby Plate on finals night in a flying 28.23. This prompted an invite into the Select Stakes at Nottingham where she was a game 3rd behind litter brother Swift Hoffman. She was unbeaten going into the £10,000 Lowther Stakes final at Towcester but a poor draw in trap 4 saw her get bumped out of contention behind Forest Twilight and Evanta Evita. We tried her over 575m in the Champion Stakes at Romford but she drew a tough semi final where she was 2nd most of the way round behind the electric Jet Stream Sound but was picked up for the qualifying spot by our own Patchys Kerry who, of course, went on to win the event. We decided to drop her back to four bends and was probably not at her best when only 3rd in the Angel Of The North Oaks final at Newcastle but came to Belle Vue in good heart and the rest is history. So far this year she has won 17 of her 31 opens which is an incredible record and is now the leading greyhound on Sky with five wins.
After this classic victory she has a great chance of landing the 'Bitch Of The Year' title at the GBGB Awards bash in January though Forest Twilight is still a big danger. On this subject, I am honoured to have been invited as a special guest to the Greyhound Writers Association Luncheon in London today and will be putting up a strong case for any of our candidates like Domino Storm and Adageo Bob for their various categories. I am very much looking forward to the day.
Again I was inundated with texts and tweets after our famous 1-2 and I would like to thank everyone for their kind words. I would like to thank all my team at Imperial Kennels especially Kevin Ulla who has been doing the long drives to Belle Vue for the event. After a desperately unlucky elimination from the Olympic at Hove yesterday she will now have a few weeks off and early next year she will definitely lead our team at Sittingbourne for the Trainers Championship meeting and I won't make the tactical error of this year by leaving her out of my squad! I feel like she has another big race in her but would say her career will come to an end in the summer when she will go off to the breeding paddocks to Gary Goulden in Sligo.
On Friday Ribble Atom takes her place in the Bookmakers Marathon (formerly the Ted Hegarty) at Harolds Cross. It is a fantastic race with six great runners and a tough draw from trap five is not ideal and it is hard to be upbeat about her chances but I am sure given any sort of run she won't be far away. Karol Ramsbottom has done a great job training her to get her to the final for us and Lord Hesketh and if there is any chance that we can get there on Friday we shall enjoy the night and cheer her on.
The week has been one of ups and downs and didn't start well when top open racer Jimmy Nailed On broke his hock in a trial at Romford on Tuesday, he will be retired , Wednesday was of course special but a weekend of mixed results and a few kod in races have made it a difficult week for sure, Billys Bullet fitness trial of 28.75 at Towcester was only moderate and he will need checking over before he takes on some top class performers in the Sky card at Towcester on Thursday, that card should be really special with the Anglo Irish races as well as the finals of the Premier League and British Bred Derby.
Today we trial our team for the Bags Championship at Perry Barr. Oldfield Lynda has been the no 1 choice for the sprint and in three legs and has done quite well without winning yet, Ballymac Shirley has won both her bitches legs at Nottingham and Towcester and goes into the event on a five timer. There is another bitches leg and Saffrons Anna who has also won both her legs at Yarmouth and Peterborough has been left out as the galloping 480 m won't suit her, however she will trial today and standby as a reserve, instead Ribble Aon comes into the team and she should go well. Ferryforth Fran, a St Leger finalist, adds real strength to the six bend team. With Towcester losing the valuable services of El Mondeo (sold) we are under real pressure for our runners to perform on the day, it's all building up to a hugely exciting December 23rd.
A brief look at last week and on the supporting card at Belle Vue Aayamzamodel and Sosaidhs Blue all ran well when second and after the stunning 1-2 in the Oaks final Blonde Razor took a senior's race in good style to cap off a brilliant night.
We were out of luck with our five runners at Romford on Friday and we had mixed fortunes on a busy Sunday. At Hove in the morning Droopys Achieve won well in the Coral Puppy heats in a fastest time (30.26) and the decision to enter Oaks heroine Domino Storm in the Olympic looked the right one as she smashed out the traps to lead up but dramatically her brother My Real Muttley paced up her inside and pushed her out at the first bend where she was then struck into by Ballymac Brogan, she tried hard to get back into the race but to no avail and more importantly she is OK afterwards.
At Henlow in the Christmas Cracker heats Ilewin Allot rolled back the years to defeat Laurels hero Millwards Whitey in 27.84 and Blue Moment survived a few scary bends to come through and win in 27.86. Aero Babooshka looked in need of the run when qualifying in 3rd. In The Christmas Cesarewitch Aayamzamodel was knocked over and Blonde Razor got no sort of run when eliminated while Swift Whirlwind should improve for the look at the track when qualifying in 3rd. Aero Harrison also fell in the 692m race but all seem OK afterwards.
Briefly there was a debut win for GIveabitbacksue (28.76) on Friday while Oldfield Lynda was best of the others when 2nd and on Saturday. Ela Ela Genie won again by 6 1/4 lengths in a D2 in an excellent 15.39. Another to follow up last week's success was Rufford Atom who took an A4 in 28.33 where we had a kennel 1-2-3. Toosey Fern also scored in an A4 in 28.45 and Vandiva made it an excellent hat trick on the spin taking a good A3 in 28.38 to complete a good night.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN - DOMINO STORM
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
We are looking forward to the Sky meeting at Towcester on Thursday and on Sunday Droopys Achieve looks to have a great chance in the Coral Puppy Trophy at Hove. We also have the semi finals of the Xmas Cracker and Cesarewitch at Henlow.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Swift Whirlwind should come on for the run at Henlow and could be value to get into the Final.
SWIFT WHIRLWIND - 3 pts win
ADVISED LAST WEEK
SWIFT WHIRLWIND - 3 pts win - Belle Vue - lost