19th February 2020
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A stunning weekend for the kennel that saw us win races at four different tracks and of course most importantly one that saw us qualify three runners through to next week's £17,500 Ladbrokes Golden Jacket final at Crayford while we also came close to winning the first Category 1 event of 2020 when Antigua Romeo was a close up 3rd in the Coral Winter Derby Final at Hove.
On Friday we rattled off a quick treble at Romford to get the open race week off to a good start. Towstar Billy and Tiffield Blueboy both won their respective heats of the Friday Night 500 Standard and then we witnessed a superb debut win from Aayamza Royale making her staying debut over 575m. After a sluggish start she showed tremendous pace to come from last to first in a decent maiden and in fine style drew clear from the useful and highly regarded Roxholme Socks, what made it even more of a great run that had many people talking was the fact she clocked a magnificent 34.99. Unfortunately the night didn’t get any better with a few runners though Antigua Sands was just denied in a tight finish in the Maiden 575m final.
On Saturday morning we not only faced some tough rivals in the Ladbrokes Golden Jacket semi finals at Crayford but storm Ciara that was drawing in. No doubt that this year's renewal of the Golden Jacket is as good as anyone can remember. In the first semi final Antigua Fire crashed into trap 5 Bubbly Bonita out of the traps but it didn’t stop his momentum too much and rounding the first two bends he turned handy behind the early paced Sizzling Diva, with a lap to go Antigua Fire stepped on the gas and hit the front and galloped to victory to beat serial finalist Sheldan by over 5 lengths in a fine 45.02. Sadly the race was slightly marred with the injury to Sizzling Diva but thankfully not a total disaster. In the second semi final a back to form Skilful Sandie took the race by the scruff of the neck when blasting out the boxes and that was race over, Aayamza Express turning handy, after driving the bends much better, gave a creditable chase but overall did well to hang on to that vital second spot albeit some 6 lengths behind the winner in 45.30. The last semi final looked a tough one with pace galore from all angles, Antigua Rum got no sort of run and was bundled out of contention around the first two bends and try as he might there was no coming back, Roxholme Poppy bowled along in front from the dogmatic Desperado Dan and our little Avastorm trying to get in a qualifying position. Showing excellent pace Avastorm finally got into second place and reduced the deficit to 2 lengths at the finish with Roxholme Poppy clocking a good 45.24.
On paper it’s a brilliant final and hopefully the weather will be kind as we are in the traditional Saturday morning slot for the Golden Jacket, it promises to be a classic. Antigua Fire will need to avoid clashing with Roxholme Poppy out the traps while both Avastorm and Aayamza Express from traps 2 and 3 respectively will be trying to grab that rails slot from Sheldan in trap 1 and Skilful Sandie in trap 4. Antigua Fire is around the 6/4 mark and has clocked the fastest time in both the heats and semi finals but will need all his immense skills to go one better than last year. Avastorm is running out of her skin and is possibly the best value alternative while Aayamza Express is a class act and discount her at your peril.
After battling through the weather Kevin (Ulla) arrived at a windswept Hove with our runners including Antigua Romeo in the Coral Winter Derby final. It was a proper final with some stunning top class four bend performers. The traps opened and it was trap 3 Volcanic Reef who blasted out to lead up, Antigua Romeo turned handy and showed awesome pace to challenge at the third bend but he just couldn’t get round Heather Dimmock’s charge and was pressed close home by King Dylan finishing a creditable 3rd beaten just over a length in 29.25 (-30). Antigua Romeo has been much improved in the last few months and I’m sure his chance to win a big competition will come this season. We did have a great night as all three of our supporting runners won, Glassmoss Sis, Silva Hill and Longacres Mikey took their chances well.
To add to the stress and strains of racing in these big races and organising staff to cover meetings in diabolical weather conditions I’ve had to cope with a problem that cropped up that really shouldn’t have done. I had a number of calls, texts and emails about an ex dog of ours, Brinkleys Blaze who came to us in March 2018 from Seamus Cahill’s kennel in excellent condition it came to light that he was being advertised at stud in China via the Greyhound Data website. After only having the dog for a short while he sadly broke his stopper bone in a trial at Towcester in 2018, he was retired and placed on the excellent Hall Green Greyhound Trust waiting list and they took him in at the start of August, as usual they informed us a short while later that he had found a loving owner and home which we were all pleased about. So obviously this dog being advertised on Greyhound Data could not be Brinkleys Blaze and despite ourselves and Tracey Parberry (HGGT) making statements that it was false information it didn’t stop the anti’s and a number of social media outlets crucifying us both. I won’t go on but thanks to the help of the GBGB and the Greyhound Trust it was quickly proved the dog advertised on Greyhound Data was not Brinkleys Blaze and that the documents shown by Greyhound Data were falsified. Sadly the poor dog over in China masquerading as Brinkleys Blaze was a dog called Dees Big Fella, a low grade performer, not his fault of course, who had only raced in Ireland. Hopefully this poor fella can be rescued and it goes without saying ourselves or anybody we deal with would never knowingly have anything to do with the export of greyhounds to countries like China who have such poor animal welfare issues. This whole matter is now in the hands of the IGB who as a matter of urgency should get to the bottom of this problem and find out how Dees Big Fella found himself to be in China and apparently sold for a huge sum. Ourselves and especially Tracey Parbery deserve some unreserved apologies for the stress they have caused, Hall Green Greyhound Trust have took a lot of unnecessary grief which has affected much needed funding and I will go out of my way to try and rectify this, we will fully support them in any future fund raising efforts and would ask any of our owners and friends whenever they want to make a donation to the retired greyhounds to put it their way, the work Tracey and her team do is incredible.
As said a fine treble at Romford on Friday with Towstar Billy (23.97) and Tiffield Blueboy (23.91) winning their heats of the Friday Night 500 Standard over 400m and a lovely staying debut from Aayamza Royal beating Roxholme Socks in 34.99 in a warm maiden 575m coming from last to first was the highlight of the night. Tiffield Maximus and Saleen Again both made the final of the Friday Night 500 Stayers when 3rd in their heats, Have A Brandy was 3rd in the Friday Night 500 Standard final and Antigua Sands was beaten a neck in the Friday Night 500 Maiden final. Chubbys Turkana back from seasonal rest ran well when 2nd in a 400m bitches event.
At Hove on Saturday night Antigua Romeo was a close up 3rd in the Coral Winter Derby Final and we had an excellent treble on the supporting card - Glassmoss Sis well supported to win a 740m scored well in 44.92 while Longacres Mikey took another division of the 740m by a short head in 45.00, Silva Hill pops up regularly and took a sprint in 16.35.
We also made the trip to Monmore with Coolavanny Messi just missing out on a six timer at the track when 2nd an our only other runner Busters Bullet won well in a 630m in a very good 37.60. Antigua Breeze trialled before racing and was beaten a length by Bockos Doomie in a flying 15.05.
Monday’s meeting was cancelled due to weather conditions and on Tuesday evening we came closest to a winner when Glassmoss Sis and Muxton Teddy were both second.
On Thursday Come Home was our only winner scoring in a career best 28.29 in an A8. We had no runners Friday/Saturday and Sunday.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - AAYAMZA ROYALE
WHAT’S ON NEXT WEEK
A big day on Saturday morning with three runners in the Ladbrokes Golden Jacket final at Crayford, before that we have plenty of open race runners at Romford on Friday night and also we travel to Sheffield on Saturday night.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Antigua Romeo showed us a small profit when 3rd in the Coral Winter Derby final and our supporters have a massive chance of glory this Saturday morning at Crayford as we have 3 chances with Antigua Fire, Avastorm and though we only put her up last week Aayamza Express of landing the Ladbrokes Golden Jacket, we will stick with those this week.
ADVISED LAST WEEK
ANTIGUA ROMEO - 2 pts ew ante post 6/1 - Coral Winter Derby - Hove - Saturday - 3RD (2 pts profit)
ANTIGUA FIRE - 2.5 pts ew ante post 7/1 - Ladbrokes Golden Jacket - Crayford - final Saturday am
AVASTORM - 1 pt ew ante post 16/1 - Ladbrokes Golden Jacket - Crayford - final Saturday am
AAYAMZA EXPRESS - 2 pts ew ante post 16/1 - Ladbrokes Golden Jacket - Crayford - final Saturday am
ANTIGUA RUM - 2 pts ew ante post 8/1 - Ladbrokes Golden Jacket - Crayford - lost