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Our long trips to Newcastle over the last couple of weeks paid dividends when Ninja Fortune, our only runner in The Northern Puppy Derby, qualified on Saturday for next Thursday's Category 1 event. Another excellent run from our promising pup chasing home the new superstar Roxholme Nidge, he gave him a real race only going down a little over 2 lengths in 28.52. Given that effort and a trap 1 draw I'm quite surprised he's been given dismissive quotes of 20/1 + and I'm expecting a big run from Terry Coveney's striking looking brindle.
Indeed we were unlucky not to make the All England Cup final when Cappoquin Al ran a gallant race in his semi final but just missed out when 3rd. We will take up to 4 or 5 to Newcastle with Ninja Fortune for the supporting races, with the Trainer of the Year title race between ourselves and Seamus Cahill hotting up every Category 1 finalist is huge as well as the supporting races on Sky. The RPGTV Henlow Derby kicked off on Sunday and Seamus has one or two good chances while our two entries crashed out of the event. Although both of our kennels are strong Seamus certainly seems to have a couple more genuine Category 1 contenders than we have at the moment though we are probably stronger in the second and third string type dogs but I've always said that it's the Category 1 points scored that really matter, one also ran finalist is the equivalent of 10 open race wins.
On that note the William Hill St Leger is crucial to the title race as we have a decent team for the £25,000 to the winner event that starts at Perry Barr this Sunday. Our team is headed by Rubys Rascal
who broke the Perry Barr track record last Saturday in great style and its good to have our star six bend performer in such excellent form. The only grumble I have is that the heats are on in the day time (Sunday Bags meeting) which is not only inconvenient but when we have been having the trial stakes in the evening it might throw the dogs a bit now having to race in daylight but it's the first round and we will be disappointed if the classy ones don't qualify. The trial stakes last Saturday were not only good for Rascal but there were good wins for both Cincinnati and at last a win for Rubys Razzle who showed us a glimpse of her best form when scoring by over 8 lgths. Sadly the night did have a down side as the talented Garryglass Champ broke his toe and will be out of action for the rest of the season. Our team as well as the three mentioned will be completed by Fire Height Josh, Not So Classical and possibly Kiltrea Mike and Saffrons Bonnie.
We also had the strong possibility of bringing our star four bend performer Bruisers Bullet back for the last couple of months of 2017 which could tip the scales big time in our favour and after a sensational 27.84 trial at Towcester last week we were thinking Eclipse here we come but for some reason a poor trial (30.35) by his standards at Nottingham last night certainly puts that in doubt, thankfully he seems sound so may be all might not be lost. The ECC Timber Puppy Derby at Towcester beginning in less than two weeks is another important Category 1 and we are looking at around 4 or 5 entries including a couple of new intakes. With PJ Fahey generously sponsoring a whopping £20,000 to the winner it's sure to be a tremendous entry and certainly Seamus will have some good pups for the event, we look set for an interesting last month in December!
At Towcester last Tuesday both Brinkleys Twirl (2nd) & Brinkleys Ranger (3rd) ran well in a ECC Puppy Derby Trial Stake while Bruisers Bullet clocked a sensational 27.84 in a trial before racing.
A busy weekend didn't start too well at Romford where we came away empty handed with our 5 runners with Ashakiran running well when 2nd in the Friday Night 500m Standard Final.
Better news on Saturday as said above with a treble at Perry Barr - Cincinnati (43.31) who beat kennel mate Fire Height Josh a sh hd, Rubys Razzle (43.31) and a brilliant track record 42.69 from Rubys Rascal, a full 3 lengths off the previous best. The night was soured though with Garryglass Champ breaking his toe.
Not too much luck at Henlow on Sunday though Brinkleys Rosie did break her maiden tag with a gutsy win in a messy race. Unfortunately both our runners in the RPGTV Derby were eliminated and worse still as the fast but erratic Parkers Dynamite was again marked awkward and has now gone for some hurdle schooling.
Plenty of seconds on Tuesday, Union Pride, Catunda Daisy and Sidarian Dino with another stunning win from Shlowdown Sally who beat a gallant Tread Lightly by 3/4 length in a fine 15.28.
No luck on Saturday morning and another stack of seconds in the evening but two very good wins from Kiltrea Mike who flew around the 686m in a very good 41.40 while Zammos Bullet took a D1 in 15.66.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - RUBYS RASCAL
GRADED - KILTREA MIKE
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Again a busy week and weekend. On Thursday we make the long trip to Newcastle where one of the two Featured finals the Northern Puppy Derby sees our Ninja Fortune in trap 1 and we should have a few in the supporting races.
On Friday we will be at Romford while the highlight of the weekend should be the William Hill St Leger heats at Perry Barr on Sunday afternoon.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
It seems every one of our value bets lately has been second and Ashakiran again filled that spot with many people on at decent early morning odds. I very nearly put Ninja Fortune up as a value each way bet in the Northern Puppy Derby semi finals at a huge 40/1 and I didn't, he was of course second which would have been a nice touch and we shouldn't make the same mistake again as this final is no less harder than that semi final and I think he has a sporting chance of victory and a reasonable squeak of making the first two and 20/1 looks too big.
The William Hilll St Leger kicks off at Perry Barr on Sunday and I suspect Rubys Rascal will be too short after his track record performance last week so looking for a bit of value let's try Fire Height Josh who is totally unexposed and likely to be a decent price
NINJA FORTUNE - 2 pts ew 20/1 - Northern Puppy Derby Final - Newcastle - Thursday
FIRE HEIGHT JOSH - 1.5 pts ew ante post - William Hill St Leger - Perry Barr - starts Sunday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
ASHAKIRAN - 4 pts win - Romford - Friday - lost