17th May 2016
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The William Hill Greyhound Derby is in full swing and after the excellent first round for our team it was a case of mixed fortunes in the second round last Thursday and Saturday at Wimbledon, this was inevitable as the greatest greyhound competition starts to warm up. In all we qualified five of our thirteen runners for the last 48 this coming Saturday but it could have easily been 8 or 9 but for some misfortune.
We made a superb start on Thursday when the well drawn Domino Storm glided round Plough Lane to beat a determined kennel mate Deanridge Madbye by 3 3/4 lengths in a fine 28.31. Indeed the race has seen her ante post price coming crashing down to 14/1 with the sponsors and the dream of being the first bitch ever to win a Derby/Oaks is very much alive. California was backed all day long (not by us or connections I might add) as if defeat was out the question but a missed break saw him behind the strong duo of Droopys Roddick and Stay Loose but to his credit he stuck to his task gamely and comfortably held onto his qualifying position but going down by nearly 5 lengths in 28.55. This was a better run than at first thought as clearly there was a bias to the inside runners and given the fact wides are likely to get their boxes then his dream of going all the way is not over yet.
One of our unsung heroes Clondoty Alex showed that he is a player in the Derby when smashing out in heat 5 (4.74 split) and easily leading a good field. Peregrine Falcon showed excellent middle pace to challenge Alex at the third bend but Alex was having none of that and firmly shut the door in his face and kicked on to score by 2 3/4 lengths in a very good 28.37, a career best performance. If Alex gets his draws next to the fence he will take some beating in his current mood. Macs On Storm bowed out of the event when 5th in heat 7 while in heat 8 both Swift Whirlwind and Tellhimjohn were eliminated after sluggish starts, no excuses but their day will come.
On Saturday we held high hopes of qualifying some of our six runners but luck wasn't on our side. In the second race of the night heat 10 Ballymac Shirley failed to lead up but turned in a handy pitch and when challenging Blue Cafu for second place the big dog moved off severely hampering Shirley and that was her out of the event when only 5th. Worse was to follow in the next heat as both Shutthe Backdoor and Calco Flyer turned right behind expected leader Hiya Butt and going into the 4th bend and both looked a safe bet to at least qualify and maybe even nick the heat but just as they were about to pounce Calco Flyer clipped the heels of his kennelmate causing him to stumble into the rails, the momentum of Calco Flyer carried on and he struck into the back of Shutthe Backdoor virtually knocking him over and badly impeding himself and both their promising campaigns were over.
Saffrons Boxer was in a very tough heat and never broke well, in the end he was only just under a couple of lengths from qualifying but knows you can't give dogs like Ballymac Matt a start and a beating especially when they clock 28.05!! Deanridge Angel smashed out in heat 14 but couldn't live with that raw early pace of the inside runners and was shoved aside at the first bend, she tried her hardest but was again only 5th. Our last runner was Ginas Lad and he again showed some excellent pace to turn second behind the flying Lenson Panda but sadly that dog broke down as they approached the last bend and in a tussle to the line Ginas Lad went down a head in 28.60.
So there's the story of our second round and now it's time to build up to the third round on Saturday where all the heats are on the same night and live on Sky Sports. The draw has been put back to Wednesday so we wait with baited breath to see what unfolds. Sadly there has been a few injury concerns which is worrying but overall it still looks wide open. I have a good feeling we can get some through to next week's quarter finals and then hopefully the semi finals. The three runs in a week really tests the skills of not only the greyhound but the trainer as well and we can say we have been there before and in a successful way!
In other news it was great to see John Clark's Rubys Rascal land a little puppy final last week at Towcester and despite it being reduced to a three runner affair it was an exciting race with Rascal coming through late to score, he looks an exciting prospect as does his sister Rubys Razzle and Blastoff Bonnie who both scored very well in the grades at Towcester on Friday & Saturday, our Regency hero Billys Bullet had a spin at Wimbledon last Saturday clocking a more than respectable 28.78 and will have another spin this week in readiness for a Sky race next Tuesday.
Great news now as well is that Towcester have their live stream sorted for all meetings, and as you would expect the quality of the pictures is first class, go to www.towcester.tv
Rubys Rascal landed the RPGTV Puppy Final in 28.63 (-20) on Tuesday while Ferryforth Fran was just touched off over 655m. Airforce Duchess took 480m Standard in 28.48(-20). Ela Ela Genie ran well in the heats of the 480m Maiden when just caught on the run in.
The Derby took centre stage on Thursday and Saturday and on Friday no luck with our four runners at Romford with Saffrons Anna and Evanta Fantasy both 3rd.
Airforce Galaxy won at the first time of asking after a long injury lay off taking an A5 in 28.73 calc on Tuesday.
On Friday Saltimbanco scored a debut win in an A8 in 29.31. Rubys Razzle was most impressive in an A4 winning by 7 lengths in a good 28.35 while incredibly Catunda Daisy scored in an A7 coming from way off the back (4.82 split!) to get up in a moderate 29.50.
On Saturday Blastoff Bonnie was impressive taking an A5 by 5 lgenths in a smart 28.40, Roswell Red Kite was just touched off in an A6 but Farran Evans scored well in a D2 in 15.46. A rare A1 was won by Ballymac Sinbad who is on the comeback trail after a long absence through injury, clocking a sensational 4.02 split he won by just under 2 lengths in a good 28.34.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Ela Ela Genie runs in the 480m Maiden final at Towcester tonight. We are at Hove on Thursday and Romford on Friday,
All eyes will be on Wimbledon on Saturday as the 3rd round of the William Hill Greyhound Derby continues.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
It was a tough week for our Derby portfolio as we unluckily lost a few of our fancied hopes. We still have Domino Storm and California in our bets and the way Clondoty Alex is running it would be rude to not include him.
CLONDOTY ALEX - 1 pt e.w 66/1 - William Hill Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon - 3rd round Saturday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
BALLYMAC SHIRLEY - 5 pts win heat 10 - Wimbledon - Saturday - lost
CALIFORNIA - 1 pt e.w ante post 100/1 - William Hill Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon - 3rd round Saturday
DOMINO STORM - 2.5 pts e.w ante post - William Hill Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon - 3rd round Saturday
SHUTTHE BACKDOOR - 2 pts e.w ante post 150/1 - William Hill Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon - lost
CALCO FLYER - 1.5 pts e.w ante post 150/1 - William Hill Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon - lost
TELLHIMJOHN - 0.5 pts e.w ante post 200/1 - William Hill Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon - lost