17th February 2021
A great week for the kennel was capped off on Sunday night as Aayamza Royale scooped the top accolade of ‘Greyhound of the Year 2020’ at the excellently organised GBGB virtual awards ceremony. The Ayamzaboys Syndicate have in the past come close to winning awards with the likes of Aayamza Breeze but just missed out but at last their luck was in. Already achieving a massive ambition of theirs when landing the TV Trophy, which she did in style, in December at Hove to add to her other Category 1 victory in the Cesarewitch at Romford in September she looked a ‘shoe in’ for the ‘Marathon of the Year’ which she picked up but it looked like she would miss out on the top award when she didn’t win ‘Bitch of the Year’ which went to Queen Jessiej for Liz McNair, so it came as a nice surprise when she was announced as ‘Greyhound of the Year’. Without doubt her exciting style of running captured the hearts of the GWA members who’s votes decided the outcome. I don’t think there were too many complaints who received the various accolades during the night and in what as been an incredibly difficult year for the whole world, greyhound racing has done its best to brighten so many lives up and our industry can be proud of what it has achieved.
On the track our excellent start to the year can get even better this Saturday morning as both Bo Shine Bullet and Anhid News bid for Golden Jacket glory at Crayford. Bo Shine Bullet marched into the final with a stunning semi final success beating Sweet Leaf by 6 lengths in the fastest time 45.00 (+30) and now is around 4/7 with the sponsors Ladbrokes to grab the glory. In the second semi final Antigua Rum just missed out when finding plenty of trouble in running but Anhid News gave us a second finalist when she was involved in an exciting 3 way photo just being denied the victory by the ultra strong Redzer Renae a short head but thankfully 1/2 length in front of long time pace setter Jet Set Teddy. It’s certainly a stunning rise to the top for Anhid News who was competing in A4’s at Towcester a couple of months ago and though she’s likely to be one of the outsiders she is not without a chance of spoiling the party!
We also have three runners in the supporting Peter Bussey Memorial final. Antigua Boy took his heat by 2 1/2 lengths in 33.90 while Hopes Doggy qualified when second to Greenhill Jack beaten 3 1/2 lengths in 33.62. There’s a lot being said about Aayamza Lexie in recent weeks but there was no denying how quick she is. A stunning victory in her heat by over 9 lengths in a flying 33.37 will make her a short priced favourite though her draw in trap 4 is far from ideal. We also saw Innfield Kaci qualify for the Welcome To Hope Jeal Trophy final when she was 3rd in her heat. We don’t have too many on the supporting card, Avastorm, slightly unlucky when eliminated from her Jacket semi final, will have her final race in the 714m consolation race while Elms Bee takes in a 540m Ladies race.
Thankfully the bitterly cold snap has relented and temperatures are rising quite remarkably this week so the disruptions to racing seem over for the time being. We were all looking forward to a great Monmore card but despite travelling and kennelling the meeting was sensibly called off just before racing began. It was good to see Ian Smyth, head of the Ladbrokes/Coral operation, offer £40 per runner to the trainers who travelled on the night and the meeting was rescheduled for last night. Our only entry in the Puppy Derby Sweet Pear qualified when 3rd in her heat despite being a big outsider but only one of our three entries in the Winter Derby made it through to the semi finals. That was Coolavanny Kyser who majestically took his heat in style by nearly 6 lengths in a fast 28.42 (-40) but he faces the stiffest of tests in his semi final from trap 2 where he is flanked by Queen Jessiej and the formidable Tenpin, only his best break will suffice if he is to make his second consecutive Category 1 final.
I had plenty of messages to ask how Sober Express is after suffering a nasty looking injury in a 575m race at Romford on Friday. He fractured his central tarsal bone and received the usual excellent medical care by the track vets (GSM) and returned on Monday to their practice where Stefano Malegori successfully operated on his injury and all seems fine. We will know in a couple of months' time if it’s possible to race again but he certainly will make a full recovery in time.
On Friday we just had a few runners and as said the night was marred by the injury to Sober Express. Elms Bee made sure we had a winner on the night when deservedly landing a 575m maiden in 35.95.
We covered Crayford above and Monmore was cancelled on Saturday night. We had a rare trip to Nottingham on Monday night and were pleased that Drumcrow Brent made sure we didn’t come home empty handed landing a 500m by 2 3/4 lengths in a good 29.83.
Our fine form at Henlow continued on Monday 8th as Go Wild Turbo landed a hat trick of sprints winning a D1 by 2 lengths in a good 16.67. In form Energize Bingo took an A4 in 28.16, improving Sheriff Master won well in an A3 clocking a fine 27.82 and Sligo Lilly took an A4 in 28.29 to complete an excellent day.
On Tuesday on RPGTV Ice Cool Ellis won an A7 well in 28.49, Onyx Penny completed an excellent hat trick winning an A3 in a fine 27.83 and Yahoo Jennifer completed a double winning an A5 in 28.12.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - AAYAMZA LEXIE
WHAT’S ON NEXT WEEK
A massive weekend ahead with the final of the Ladbrokes Golden Jacket the feature at Crayford on Saturday morning. Both Bo Shine Bullet and Anhid News bid for glory and on a gala open race card we also have three runners in the Peter Bussey Memorial Trophy which we have been very successful in over the years, Innfield Kaci als goes in the Welcome To Hope Jeal Trophy final over 380m.
Before Saturday we have plenty of runners at Romford with the forthcoming Golden Sprint in mind and on Saturday evening we go back to Monmore for the semi finals of the Puppy Derby (Sweet Pear) and the Winter Derby (Coolavanny Kyser) and a few runners in the supporting competitions.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Plenty of excitement ahead as Bo Shine Bullet was one of our selections in the Ladbrokes Golden Jacket and goes into the final a 4/7 chance. Anhid News has made the final and I didn’t put her up and is certainly worth a little interest if you wanted to add her at around 8/1. Hopes Doggy was our selection in the Peter Bussey and is still around the same price he started on before the event got underway, he’s not without a chance.
At Monmore Coolavanny Kyser was strongly recommended for the Winter Derby and didn’t disappoint in his heat last night but faces a tricky semi final on Saturday.
Fingers crossed for a good weekend
ADVISED LAST WEEK
BO SHINE BULLET - 2.5 pts ew ante post 5/1 - Ladbrokes Golden Jacket - Crayford - final Saturday
ANTIGUA RUM - 1.5 pts ew ante post 14/1 - Ladbrokes Golden Jacket - Crayford - lost
AVASTORM - 1 pt ew ante post 50/1 - Ladbrokes Golden Jacket - Crayford - lost
HOPES DOGGY - 2 pts ew ante post 10/1 - Peter Bussey Memorial Trophy - Crayford - final Saturday
COOLAVANNY KYSER - 2.5 pts ew ante post 20/1 - Ladbrokes Winter Derby - Monmore - semi finals Saturday