15th June 2015
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Evanta Evita lit up our William Hill Greyhound Derby on Saturday night with a stunning trap to line victory to march into the quarter finals. The win was made even better as kennelmate Evanta Fantasy also qualified in the same heat and to complete an excellent night for the kennel Blonde Nipper came through his heat when a close up third.
Saturday's third round is always a great night in the greyhound calendar year as all 48 remaining runners perform on the same night and it's where the competition really hots up. As usual the night didn't disappoint and the eight heats had everything - great action, thrills and spills and its usual amount of surprises and shocks. For us the night didn't start well as my son Daniel and I set out on the hazardous journey to Wimbledon. After going just a few miles from our base and turning onto the first main road the gear box on our van decided to go crunch. Struggling into a lay-by, a quick call to Sid at the kennels and our spare van was quickly despatched so we could carry on with our journey. As we swapped the three dogs over we were now running very late, thankfully after fighting some heavy London traffic we did arrive at Plough Lane well over an hour late and our excuses were made and we were allowed to kennel. It certainly could only get better from there and it did.
The tension was building up and after watching the first two heats we saw the eliminations of the well fancied Riverside Pat and Coolavanny Jap amongst others and then it was our girls' turn. The early pace in our heat was nothing short of ferocious and I thought only the best efforts of Evanta Fantasy and Evanta Evita would do and that's exactly what we got. Both flew the boxes and though slightly crowding each other on the run up they led their rivals up. As they reached the first corner it was the brave Evanta Evita who threw herself into the turn and came out in front. Despite a good effort from Wotnofizz there was no stopping our heroine and she galloped home by nearly 3 lengths in a fine 28.32. Evanta Fantasy turned third and a bit of trouble behind helped her to a clear third position down the back straight. I was pleased to see her easily stay in and both our bitches went into the hat for the quarter finals.
Lenson Sanchez, Farloe Blitz and surprise package Millwards Davy were all impressive in the next three heats and sadly we lost English contender Newinn Yolo who appeared to go slightly lame and then it was our turn with Blonde Nipper in heat 7. As expected he was led up and turning the second bend he found himself only 4th. Nipper's back straight pace was superb and he was soon on Lenson Twiggy's case in third place. He did get held up slightly as he rounded Lenson Twiggy and the length or two he lost cost him the race won by Rio Quatro. Nipper galloped up the home straight and was a comfortable third.
The draws for tomorrow's quarter finals for our three are ok, at least this time they have all been kept apart. Fantasy is first up and at this stage of the Derby there is no easy race. She has trap 1, which in many people's eyes is not the best trap but I'm happy as she is a bang railer. It's a tough one and no doubt it will be Owen McKenna who will have had a sleepless night or two seeing Fantasy on the inside of his Derby favourite Farloe Blitz. Millwards Davy and Clare's Wonder all have massive early and both Diego Flight and Romany Rouge will be there to pick the pieces up if the front runners tangle at the first bend. Fantasy has been a revelation and her best chance if she doesn't smash out would be to follow Farloe Blitz round and try and hang on to qualify.
Evanta Evita in the next heat also has trap 1 which I'm pleased with. She doesn't have as much early to clear as Fantasy and if she breaks well I can see her leading up Rio Quatro on her outside. The two middle runners Making Paper and dare I say it, Eden The Kid are vulnerable in this heat and may have to come from behind while the two outside traps Wotnofizz and Boyneside Fun might not do each other any favours on the run to the turn. Evita could well be the first bitch to line up in a Derby semi final for a long time.
Blonde Nipper runs from trap 2 in arguably the most competitive heat of the quarter finals and will need a huge slice of luck to qualify from this far from ideal draw. He has the speed to do this and is progressing nicely. Lenson Sanchez and Droopys Nidge will dominate the betting and it might be a case of Nipper chasing that third spot and then hoping for a better draw in the semi final.
Tomorrow should be a fantastic night as the Derby coverage begins on Sky and we have done well to have three through to this stage. Our physio Ron Mills has gone over our runners with a fine tooth comb and I'm happy with their preparation which has kept us busy the last couple of days, hence the lateness of the newsletter. If we can qualify any for Saturday's semi finals we will also have runners in both the Derby Plate (Ballymac SInbad and Domino Storm) while Cornamaddy Jumbo is set for his first race of the year which will be defending his Champion Hurdle crown.
Away from Wimbledon it was great to see Blonde Razor win the Rose Bowl at Romford on Friday night for owners Dick and Ann Barfoot. Certainly conditions were in Blonde Razor's favour as the outside runners all night long were struggling and Jimmy Nailed On in trap 6 couldn't get competitive. Adageo Bob was about the only wide runner to win on his return to Romford proving what a legend he is.
The Premier League June leg at Towcester proved a mixed bag for us as we had to with draw Cloudbursting from the sprint and scored no points and Black Francis didn't get much of a run in the 655m when out of the frame but we bounced back when Domino Storm despite a defeat scored double points being 2nd and our wild card
selection then Ballymac Sinbad stepped up to the plate when scoring maximum points in the last race making it five wins from seven starts when taking the 480m in a fine 28.18,. With all the races shared out between the trainers the overall points remarkably see us at the top of the table on 12, one point ahead of Eric Cantillon and Kevin Hutton.
Entries are pouring in for our popular 5 To Follow competition which is free to enter. There are plenty of new dogs to choose from but I'm sure the likes of Adageo Bob will still prove to be popular. Also for those interested in buying a nice puppy we will have a couple of potential young stars up on our For Sale page. Maytown Gringo is a Feb 14 pup that has been schooling really fast for an Irish breeder friend of mine and he thinks he could make good open class with the Romford Puppy Cup being a target later in the year, his full details will be up shortly.
On Monday our week kicked off with a disappointing trip to Monmore where both Aayamzamodel and Black Francis were eliminated from the Ladbrokes Summer Stayers Classic with the going on the inside playing a big part in their downfall. Better news at night as both Blonde Razor (35.27) and the returning Jimmy Nailed On (35.29) took their heats of the Rose Bowl in style.
On Thursday at Hove our three runners ran well. Van Frankie was a narrowly beaten 3rd over 515m and Ferryforth Fran was an unlucky runner up over 695m. Aero Babooshka ran a blinder to rake a 475m in 27.76 and she is getting stronger with age.
At Romford on Friday Clondoty Alex was 4th in a hot heat of the Friday Night 500 over 400m but Ilewin Allot made the final when a game runner up to Dower Matt. Aero Twizzle missed his break in the final of the sprint event and could only finish 4th while Garryglass Pixie tried hard over 750m but didn't get any sort of run from trap 5 and her day will come. As said Blonde Razor took the feature race of the night when landing the Rose Bowl by over 2 lengths in 35.30 while Adageo Bob was back to his accustomed winning podium position when skating up over 575m in 35.16.
On Saturday a great night at Wimbledon with all three of our Derby runners qualifying and Evanta Evita earning the RPGTV 'Performance of the Round' with a scintillating 28.38 victory. At Towcester Ballymac Sinbad was the star of the show winning his race in the June leg of the Premier League.
Another difficult week for our graders who seem to be being treated harshly of late. Ribble Rush, Reel Shirty and Dehavillands Boy were all close up seconds on Friday with Come On Pilgrim our only winner coming from behind to score in 29.66.
On Saturday the Premier League took centre stage with our three graded runners all down the field and on Sunday our luck was right out with Garryglass Lexus closest when second.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Tomorrow night is William Hill Greyhound Derby Quarter Final time and our three remaining runners bid for a place in Saturday's semis.
We will be at Hove on Thursday and back to Romford on Friday.
Saturday could be a huge night if our Derby runners are still in the Classic while the Champion Hurdle sees a return for our Greyhound Of The Year Cornamaddy Jumbo. the Derby Plate also kicks off with three heats.
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Well our Derby dream is still alive and both Evanta Evita and Blonde Nipper are giving us a great run in this year's classic. Evanta Fantasy is still there as well and we have the only two bitches left in the event. I hope when I do next week's newsletter we are enjoying the traditional Derby Lunch because we will have one or more in the final!
ADVISED LAST WEEK
BLONDE NIPPER - 2.5 pts e.w ante post 100/1 - William Hill Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon - continues Tuesday
EVANTA EVITA - 1 pt e.w ante post 200/1 - William Hill Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon - continues Tuesday
EVANTA EVITA - 5 pts win 5/1 - Bitch to go furthest in Derby - Wimbledon- continues Tuesday
AERO TWIZZLE - 2 pts win - Romford - Friday - lost