18th May 2015
(Opens to a third party website)
I'm sure, like many, the announcement this week that Tom Kelly was the new Chairman of the GBGB came as quite a surprise. Tom, who recently retired from the Chairman of the Bookmakers Afternoon Greyhound Service, takes over from Maurice Watkins whose disastrous six year reign has put greyhound racing back 10 years in my opinion. Tom certainly can't do any worse for a start. The appointment has brought mixed feelings from many parts of the industry, some see Tom as a friend of the powerful bookmakers and along with his CEO at the GBGB, Barry Faulkner, who also used to work alongside Tom for the bookmakers, will look to keep them sweet and might be the men who streamline the industry which will suit everybody apart from the owners and trainers who are at bookmaker owned stadiums and other tracks that are on the BAGS circuit. Others see Tom as the right person to bring in much needed funding to help all aspects of our industry from grass roots level to the top end of our sport. He himself has said we are an industry in crisis and he will do his best to sort out so many problems. Firstly a new Board of Directors has to be chosen as many of the old regime have now gone, that has to be good news as they simply weren't getting anywhere and a fresh look is needed. Yes, amazingly there is a place on the board for the GTA Chairman Rick Holloway but some huge differences have to be put aside for Tom and Rick to actually have any resemblance of a working relationship. I think there is more chance of England's cricket team winning the Ashes this summer than seeing these two agreeing on anything but that doesn't mean they can't work together, diplomacy is required with a bit of give and take, let's see what happens. Personally I've always found Tom to be a straight talking man and one who doesn't suffer fools gladly and as I said he can't do any worse than those before!
Tomorrow sees the closing date for this years eagerly awaited William Hill Greyhound Derby worth a massive £250,000 to the winner. The most entries our kennel has put in is around 12 if my memory serves me right but this year we have an incredible 20 entries. It looks certain that we could have a record overall entry for two reasons, firstly the huge carrot of that first prize will see the Irish come over in force and also many of the Northern trainers make the long journey to Plough Lane, secondly the 'Salad Dodger' factor will add at least fifty entries from owners who think their minor open top graded dog type dogs can repeat that amazing feat from last year, and why not! The question is have we got that third Derby winner in our kennel? again who knows, if your not in it you can't win it, as they say, and here's our full list in alphabetical order :-
ADAGEO BOB - Dick & Ann Barfoot
Brilliant race dog who is on the way to winning that magical 50 opens, virtually unbeatable at Romford over 575m and has legend like status. Fast approaching the veteran stage but would easily clock sub 28.50 runs if given a clear run. Been kept fresh for a crack at this and my only concern is that it will be too sharp for him when we get to the nitty gritty end.
AERO BABOOSHKA - The Forsdike Syndicate
Top open race bitch who has a lovely turn of foot. Difficult for the fairer sex in the hustle and bustle of a Derby but she could be value in the 'which bitch goes furthest' category as she has a big heart.
AERO NEMESIS - The Forsdike Syndicate
Came oh so close last year when eliminated at the semi final stage, started at 125/1 and was down to 7/2 favourite at that point. Despite some massive problems with injuries and loss of form since then here and in Ireland, a sensational 23.59 open win at a Romford two weeks ago has given us renewed hope and no such big odds about him this year. A big ask to repeat 2014 efforts but we did do the impossible with Blonde Snapper in 2012 so you never know.
BALLYMAC SINBAD - Emma James, Scott Fraser & Paul Ephremsen
Three wins from four races since arriving from Tralee and only had six races in total. Won a decent maiden puppy event at Towcester and looks like he could be special. Wimbledon should suit this youngster and looks a realistic prospect if coping with the demands of a Derby.
BLACKSTONE MARCO - Kevin Dear, Nick Cheeseman & Paul Carpenter
Fabulous 2014 and a very popular dog, drew an ultra tough heat last year and fell by the wayside at the first stage. Prepared differently this year and well capable of going a few rounds if trapping in his best style, will need to ride his luck if he doesn't.
BLONDE NIPPER - Mark Currell
Not seen the best of him yet despite some nice wins at Towcester but hoping he starts to peak in the Derby. Superb middle pace but just lacks a touch of real early, if that comes then owner/trainer been there and wore the t-shirt, major player in my opinion.
BLONDE RAZOR - Dick & Ann Barfoot
Been laid off with this event in mind despite a tall ask, does tend to look after himself a bit these days but went very well last year before he was unluckily eliminated. Likes Wimbledon and still a force on his day.
BLUE MOMENT - Sarah Wallis
Much talked about after Sittingbourne exploits but very fast dog, not much experience of Wimbledon but should suit and certainly capable of getting to the later stages. Sub 28.00 dog at Towcester and Laurels finalist and fancied to go well last year before injury ruled him out!
CALCO FLYER - Calco Cup Syndicate
Eclipse 3rd and Arc finalist who has improved to be a decent dog, has good all round pace and looks the right type of dog to go a few rounds. A Sheffield Sky win sparked the immortal words ' Ferrari dog for Mondeo money' . The fancy prices have been hoovered up and if he makes the final expect the coaches to be pouring down the M1 from Leeds to Plough Lane for his enthusiastic owners and supporters, chance to be top 'British Bred'.
DO IT FOR TWIGGY - K Cooper, J Glen, R Cooper & C Pope
Had his fair share of problems but capable of matching the top dogs on his day. 480m a bit sharp for him and will need luck but always tries his hardest.
DOMINO STORM - Kieron King
Classy little bitch who deserves her chance in the big one. Current track record holder at Towcester and a stunning 28.34 win at Swindon recently shows how fast our little pocket rocket is. Remains to be seen if she can cope with fast early pace Derby types but very worthy of an entry.
EVANTA EVITA - Evan Herbert
Another classy lady who not only has early pace to burn she loves Wimbledon having won the Ladies race on Derby final night last year. Weighing around 30 kilos she won't be intimidated by the bigger dogs, very lightly raced and set to go a long way.
EVANTA FANTASY - Evan Herbert
Prolific winner at Romford and one of the best open race bitches in training. Will just about get the 480m as getting stronger all the time. Will certainly be feared in any heat with her electric early pace.
REEL SHIRTY - Chris Richards
Only very lightly raced and could be a massive improver which he will need to be to progress. Plenty of early pace and one that could easily surprise.
ROSWELL DE NIRO - Evan Herbert
Good class Towcester dog who has plenty of early pace and knows how to win. Maybe flying high but might be the type to flourish as Wimbledon will suit his style.
SWIFT TURBO - The Virtual Syndicate
Maybe one for the future as he's only had a handful of races. Good early pace and he will learn quickly so you never know. Syndicate includes top horse trainer Jonjo O'Neill who is no stranger to success himself.
SWIFT WHIRLWIND - Evan Herbert
Brilliant last few months which has seen Whirlwind win seven of his last nine opens and been in with some of the best puppies around. Many tipping this fella to go a long way, only a small dog but loads of early pace.
VANBASTEN - K Doherty & P O Toole
Pulled out of first round of Arc with an injury so not ideal preparation for the Derby but a nice type of dog who could go a couple of rounds + if he can strip fit. Another who possesses good early pace.
VANMAESTRO - John Clarke & William Jackson
A couple of fast wins at Towcester and though he looks an optimistic entry could well spring a surprise or two. Bit hit or miss out the boxes but fine early pace.
VAN FRANKIE - K Doherty, P O Toole & Nigel Smith
Strong running type who is just starting to get his act together with recent wins at Hove, Nottingham and Romford. Might be the type that will be hard to keep out the frame, stunning looking 37 kilo dog.
So there are our entries for this year's Derby, next week I will do a full review of the heats they draw and what our fancies are both for the first round and our overall chances of winning a prestigious third Derby,
The week started well as Calco Flyer bolted up in his heat of the Truframe Stud Book Trophy at Nottingham on Monday night, his time of 29.53 was the fastest of the three heats by a long way.
The Coral Regency at Hove has been a bit of a disaster for the kennel with the serious injury to Billys Bullet in the first round and in the semi finals last Thursday any hopes we had of winning the event ended as both Black Francis and Aayamzamodel crashed out of the semi finals. We did find a couple of nice winners on the supporting card as Evanta Evita showed her class to win a 475m contest in 27.65 while Van Frankie deservedly took a 515m in good style in 29.93. Domino Storm was just touched off in another 515m race.
At Romford on Friday Clondoty Alex got the night off to a good start when landing a 400m Maiden in 24.54 a time he will no doubt vastly improve on in the future. Both Roswell De Niro and Aero Nemesis ran well when runners up in 400m races and Evanta Fantasy simply destroyed some useful bitches also over 400m in 24.06 on a slowish track.
Saturday proved to be a disappointing night for the kennel as we came away empty handed at Nottingham with Calco Flyer not getting much of a run in the £2,500 to the winner Truframe Stud Book Trophy final over 500m, eventually finishing a close up 4th, Toosey Fern was second on the supporting card. Over at Towcester the feature of the night was the PCS Legal Puppy Oaks final and Parkers Poison was made favourite and after breaking well looked ready to win but both traps 1 and 2 showed good early pace and rounding the first two bends none of the three did each other any favours and the race was set up for the fast finishing Ballydoyle Time for Stuart Buckland in a moderate 28.83 with both Parkers Poison and Ribble Rush back in 4th and 5th. It wasn't our night in the supporting opens as Cloudbursting checked when hitting the front in a sprint and ended up back in 5th while Aero Babooshka was wiped out at the first bend when well fancied in the Bitches 480m. Ferryforth Fran tried his hardest in the Novice 655m race but had to settle for second to the highly regarded Ilseeyouagain but only beaten 1/2 length and well clear at the drop.
On Friday Cisberry Geo scored his first victory with a fine 4 1/4 length win in 28.99. It was a good night for our pups with Garryglass Lexus making a rare winning debut in a D4 showing fine early to score by over 2 lengths in 15.98. Freedom Rebel also got his head in front winning an A8 by 2 lengths in 29.54 with debutant Garryglass Merc also running well on his debut when third.
Though out of luck in the opens on Saturday night we had two nice graded winners with Ilewin Frimley blitzing A4 rivals away by over 4 lengths in 28.43. In a very good A1 Ballymac Sinbad had to battle hard to get to the front but once he did the race was put to bed quickly as he won by 3 lengths in 28.35
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
A quiet week apart from Wednesday as we build up to the Derby, 16 of our team trial at Wimbledon that morning while we send three of our team Evanta Evita, Domino Storm and Van Frankie for Sky races at Hove supporting the Regency final along with Black Francis.
We will just be at Towcester on Friday and Saturday this weekend.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
The Coral Regency spoilt a good run we were having as both Black Francis and Aayamzamodel crashed out the event. Next week we will do a full review of our William Hill Greyhound Derby selections and after successfully tipping Kinda Ready (100/1) and Blonde Snapper (80/1) to win outright honours and coming so close last year with Aero Nemesis (125/1) it's a column you can't afford to miss, I have something special for our supporters to get stuck into.
For a bit of stake money I will suggest we double up Evanta Evita and Domino Storm at Hove on Wednesday, both have tough races but can underline their Derby credentials with wins on the supporting card.
EVANTA EVITA - 5 pts win - Hove - Wednesday
DOMINO STORM - 5 pts win - Hove - Wednesday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
BLACK FRANCIS - 2 pt e.w ante post 33/1 - Coral Regency - Hove - lost
AAYAMZAMODEL- 2 pts e.w ante post 25/1 - Coral Regency - Hove - lost