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A rare time for me this week where most of my action was centred away from Imperial Kennels. On Tuesday myself and our kennelhand Kevin Ulla travelled to Portugal for our annual Calco Cup golf trip, most of the lads we met up with are involved in the legend Calco Flyer and Calco Swift (narrowly beaten at Towcester on Tuesday) and it was great to catch up with them on a well organised event. I won't talk about my golf as it was not very good but the beautiful Val De Lobo courses were magnificent and we had a great time in Vilamoura at night time including a really funny fancy dress night where half of the 40 strong group dressed as Elvis and the other half as Adam Ant (I don't think too many people in the harbour knew who Adam Ant was!).
On Saturday we had finished the golf and it was time for myself and my friend Paul Ephremsen ( better known these days as the GBGB's owners representative) who is also part of the Calco syndicate, to find a bar in Vilamoura where we could watch the semi finals of the Irish Derby on RTE. We where joined by another of our Lionheart syndicate Martin Johnstone (Jem Racing and also part of the World Syndicate) who was also out in Vilamoura on a separate golfing trip. Thankfully 'O Sheas' bar had said earlier they would show the coverage from Shelbourne and we had special reason to watch it. A few weeks ago Paul did a deal to buy Black Farren who at the time was a lively outsider in the event. Paul formed the Lionheart syndicate which included most of our 'World Syndicate' plus people like Terry Coveney, Nick Cheeseman, James Wright, Scott Fraser, Brian Usher and Dave Lawrence. Trained by Graham Holland Black Farren has done nothing but improve throughout the Derby and on Saturday he used his trap 1 slot to track the early paced Buckos Dream before unleashing a powerful finish to win by 1 1/2 lengths in 29.63, just under a couple of lengths behind Good News' winning time in the second semi final. As many might have seen through various social media groups the celebrations in 'O Sheas' bar during and after the race were captured on Martin's phone and shared. It's most pleasing for Paul who totally spearheaded the operation to buy and syndicate Black Farren and now we will all enjoy having an Irish Derby finalist whether we win or lose next Saturday. I'm also delighted to say that Black Farren is destined for our kennel at some point after the Derby.
There was plenty going on back home last week whilst I was away and we had mixed fortunes on our travels. At Romford on Friday it was a bit doom and gloom as all four of our youngsters in the Puppy Cup were eliminated though the old warrior Clondoty Alex racked up another game victory over 400m. He and Calco Flyer as well as Ribble Aon now head for Henlow on Sunday in the heats of the RPGTV sponsored seniors comp which will be their final swan song.
On Saturday Cotton Pants
won his heat of the Guys & Dolls in great style and Ribble Atom qualified in her Cesarewitch heat when second but in the main event the Ladbrokes Gold Collar Rubys Razzle doesn't seem to be getting the luck. After a good break she was taken out of the race by the pacy My Mate Max who has a tendency to move off when drawn in trap 1 and at the first bend she was wiped out and try as she did she just missed out on a place in the semi's when 4th. Over at Yarmouth her brother Rubys Rascal hit every bit of traffic in the heats of the Derby Purse and was very unluckily eliminated in 4th while Scolari Sound ran a great race behind the track record breaking Broadstone Kiwi in the heats of the Greene King IPA Sprint and his defence of the title he won last year is still possible.
We are now only a couple of weeks away for our 5 To Follow competition changes and a full list of what's available to chose from will be up later this week. There have been regular changes to our leaderboard and as in the past it's possible to come from way off the pace to win so take the time to change your team before 1st October if you need to.
A couple of open runners on Tuesday at Towcester with Kiltrea Mike a well beaten second. As said above our Romford (Friday), Crayford and Yarmouth (Saturday) open racing had mixed results.
On Tuesday a rejuvenated Cincinnati won a very good S1 in a decent 41.78 calc whilst Tread Lightly got back on the score sheet with an authoritative 5 length win in top grade in an excellent 15.23.
On Saturday morning Jazz Jade got back to winning ways beating her brother Jazz Jake by a head in 28.79. At night there were no winners but there were good debuts for Kenz Blue Belle (3rd) and Fleetwood Royal (2nd) while Fire Height Josh was also unlucky when 2nd.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - COTTON PANTS
GRADED - JAZZ JADE
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
A busy day Thursday as we travel to Crayford (Guys & Dolls semi's) and supporting races at Yarmouth for the East Anglian Derby which also includes the Greene King IPA Sprint final with our defending champion Scolari Sound.
We will also be at Romford Friday and on Sunday at Henlow the RPGTV Seniors heats are the feature.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
I knew we could be in trouble after seeing the draw with Rubys Razzle on Saturday and sure enough she was taken out at the first bend in the Gold Collar heats at Crayford. Though our dogs are running well we don't seem to be having a lot of luck at the moment so any bets will be small. If there is a small fancy then it has to be Scolari Sound who could be a bit of a price to overturn heat form in the Greene King IPA Sprint final at Yarmouth on Thursday
SCOLARI SOUND - 2 pts win - Green King IPA Sprint Final - Yarmouth - Thursday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
RUBYS RAZZLE - 3 pts win ante post - Ladbrokes Gold Collar - Crayford - lost