18th January 2016
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Patchys Kerry tried her very hardest to pass Millwards Master but she just couldn't find that little extra and had to settle for the runners up spot in the Coronation Cup Final on Wednesday at Romford. The initial disappointment of getting beaten in the first showcase event of 2016 live on Sky was somewhat calmed by the fact Millwards Master clocked an Adageo Bob like time in a flying 34.79, also of course, being owned by our late friend Mitch Millward you couldn't help thinking he would be smiling from up above. Certainly a great training performance from Paul Young getting the 2014 Champion Stakes winner to beat our 2015 Champion Stakes winner, talk about class course form working out!
It was an excellent night's racing on Wednesday though we only had two winners overall our team seems in good form. Vandiva (2nd) Famias Hope (2nd) and in a great race over 400m Clondoty Alex was a close up 3rd were the pick of our runners and a welcome return to form from Calco Flyer who landed the British Bred race over 400m in 24.16. All eyes were perhaps on the outside runners as the hare approached in the Coronation Cup Final but the fancied Jet Stream Sound and our Swift Whirlwind both trapped averagely with Millwards Master in trap 3 blasting out closely followed by Patchys Kerry. As they turned the first two corners in that order it was Patchys Kerry who was trying desperately hard to get inside Paul Young's dog but was blocked at least twice and as they turned for home she had no more to offer going down by just over a length. Considering it was only Patchys Kerry's third run out of season it was a magnificent effort and we look forward to having a fantastic year with her.
Despite Wednesday's defeat I feel that we have started the year well and it was pleasing to see us land our first competition of the year when Oldfield Lynda took the Friday Night 500 Maiden Final at Romford on Friday. Considering she missed her break it was a tremendous performance to show some great pace up to lead and then stay the 400m well to hold on comfortably in 24.45. It was great to see our veteran Blonde Razor rewarded for some solid efforts of late with a fine 4 length win in the last giving Dick and Ann Barfoot a fine double as Adageo Djongo scored earlier in the night.
Our open race action this week very much centres on the Prestige at Hall Green which gets underway on Wednesday. Billys Bullet bids to retain the title he so fabulously won last year. A lot has happened in the time since he won the event right up to this day, some brilliant wins around the country including victories in the Trainers Championship meeting at Sittingbourne and a track record at Sheffield amongst others but a serious injury in May in the heats of the Regency curtailed his career. Thankfully he looks back now as good as new and the two races back before Christmas were solid efforts especially as they were straight over six bends. He trialled well over course and distance on Friday (39.45) beating kennelmate Ferryforth Fran by just over a length and the pair re-oppose again in the heats. Billy has a tough trap 4 draw to work from but hopefully the pair can book their place in the following week's final.
Before the Prestige we have the matter of Towcester's first meeting on RPGTV on Tuesday. They have produced an excellent card with two minor competitions over 480m, one for 18 Puppies and we have the exciting talents of Famias Hope, Droopys Achieve and Rubys Rascal entered and a Standard event where Roswell Iceman and Blue Moment should go well. Towcester has been very much the subject of Greyhound Derby talk of late. With Wimbledon sadly only holding on to a glimmer of hope of staying open after this years classic, a new venue will be sought and let's be honest the GRA do not have a track left worthy of holding one of the greatest sporting events in our sporting calendar year. Yes they have the trophies and the rights to the classics but it's time our whole industry demanded that they hand these over to the people that still have an interest in greyhound racing. The GRA's owners are without doubt just waiting to pull the plug on greyhound racing so any attempt by them to move the Derby to say Belle Vue should be thwarted at every opportunity. Now don't get me wrong I have nothing against Belle Vue but it just shouldn't be where our Derby should be held for many reasons. If the leading owners and trainers made it clear that they would not support a Derby at a GRA track in the future that would force their hand and it should be the end of that. Me personally I would love to see the Derby switched to Towcester, the track can be adjusted slightly to make it 500m which in my opinion should be the perfect distance for a true test of a Derby dog and it goes without saying the facilities at Towcester are what the sport's future is all about. Like most things in our industry the most important matters are either put to one side or forgotten about but with the 2017 Derby we should get a campaign started now and make this happen!
I do try and steer clear of the politics of the sport these days but I have to agree with Charlie Lister's letter up on the GTA website (read here). He makes many valid points especially the ones about the various industry reports where little has been done from what they actually reported!
On Wednesday at Romford a decent night as said above with Patchys Kerry a fine second in the Coronation Cup Final. Calco Flyer took the British Bred race leading at the third bend and there was an excellent win for Sosaidhs Blue in a Maiden Marathon scoring by over 6 lengths in a very fast 46.75.
No luck at Hove with our three runners on Thursday with Ballymac Shirley 3rd in a Ladies race on a bitterly cold night. Same again at Romford on Friday but our dogs were a bit warmer than the weather. Parkers Poison was a fast finishing 2nd in the heats of the 575m Maiden and Oldfield Lynda name it two from two this year when landing the Friday Night 500 Maiden Final in 24.45. Adageo Djongo was a surprise winner in a 400m Standard and Blonde Razor completed a good night when taking the last race leading all the way to win by 4 lengths in 35.40.
Just one open at Towcester on Saturday and that was taken nicely by Aayamzamodel in good style winning by 2 1/2 lengths in 39.48
Just 4 runners on Friday with Farkland Jackal taking an A4 in 28.41. On Saturday we had an excellent night with many members of my Markwallisgreyhounds Racing Club enjoying Lord Hesketh's hospitality box. Aero Harrison won well from a mile off the pace in an S2 and one of the loudest roars was saved for the Racing Club's own Saffrons Anna who won an A4 by 2 lengths in 28.49. Giveabitback Sue completed a good night when she beat kennelmate Airforce Joe by 1/2 length in 28.89 (-20).
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Tomorrow sees Towcester on RPGTV and two minor competitions are the highlight of a good card.
The Category 2 Prestige kicks off on Wednesday with three hot heats and Billys Bullet defends his title he won so narrowly last year.
Back to Romford on Friday with Parkers Poison running in the Maiden Stayers Final.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Patchys Kerry nearly landed us a nice touch on Wednesday at Romford but still a nice little profit. This week I get the feeling a few bookmakers might want to take Billys Bullet on in the Prestige but I'm quietly confident he won't be far away and is worth an interest
BILLYS BULLET - 2 pts e.w ante post - Prestige - Hall Green - Wednesday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
PATCHYS KERRY - 1.5 pts e.w ante post 25/1 - Coral Coronation Cup - Romford - 2ND (7 1/2 pt profit)