Monday 9th February 2015
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(Owned by The Lil Risky Fan Club)
HURDLER OF THE YEAR 2014
GREYHOUND OF THE YEAR 2014
Our triple crown winner has become the first hurdler ever
to win the Greyhound of the Year Award.
VIDEO OF CORNAMADDY JUMBO AND
TRAINER OF THE YEAR PRESENTATIONS
After a mad couple of weeks climaxing in a trip to Clonmel for the coursing festival last weekend it was nice to have a relatively quiet week though the three meetings format at Towcester on Friday/Saturday/Sunday keeps us busy enough and along with opens at Romford Friday and the start of the Bunny Bookmakers Gold Cup at Henlow last night it meant a long weekend. It all turned out pretty successful especially yesterday as we came away from both Towcester and Henlow with eight open race winners, two of which in Billys Bullet and Vanrooney set new figures at Towcester.
The big talking point in our sport came on Friday when it was announced that the GTA Trainers Championship meeting scheduled for March 25th will be held at Sittingbourne after the GTA's leader Rick Holloway agreed a sponsorship deal with owner Len Ponder and his firm Chelsea Glass. This came as quite a surprise as everyone had thought the prestigious meeting live on Sky was going to be at Towcester but before Len stepped in on Thursday there was no sponsor. Straight away three trainers Pat Rosney, Charlie Lister and Liz McNair, who had all fought hard to get in the top six to qualify for the Championship, declined the offer to race at Sittingbourne prompting an invite to the three trainers who finished 7th, 8th and 9th in the final Trainer of the Year standings. Seamus Cahill, John Mullins and Dean Childs all accepted the offer to join ourselves, Kevin Hutton and Paul Young and it promises to be another great night of greyhound racing. We must thank Rick and Len Ponder for his generous sponsorship. I do understand the reasons for why the three trainers mentioned dropped out especially Pat and Liz who have found Sittingbourne an unlucky track in the past and we wish them well in 2015. For ourselves Sittingbourne has proved a fruitful source for our kennel and we won plenty of races at the Kent track in 2014 and created history when Cornamaddy Jumbo won the Grand National in October. Yes I would have liked our new home track, Towcester, to have staged it but the decision is made and we will always support and take part in the Championship whereever it might be. If I have one gripe it would be that the Championship meeting creates huge betting turnover for the bookmakers and is always very popular with viewers when on Sky so you would have thought one of the bookmakers would fallen over themselves to headline the event. Sadly their silence was deafening which is disappointing but again well done to Len for stepping in. Many would disagree, but to me, one thing the sport has to do and that is look after the top end of our sport as I believe that if we let that slip it will have massive consequences on the rest of the sport. Towcester was I know disappointed not to have the Championship meeting but have some great plans of their own including a Premier League that would involve the leading twelve trainers in the Trainer of the Year standings. This would not take anything away from the Trainers Championship meeting which stands out on its own as a regular event each year but a new Premier League would enhance the open race aspirations of many more trainers that can't possibly make the top six. A twelfth place finish at the end of the year would qualify a trainer for a new Premier League thus bringing into play up to 30 or 40 trainers who, given a good year, could qualify for the event. Nothing is sorted yet but watch this space.
It has been a bitterly cold last three months, particularly at Towcester which is very much exposed to the elements but I can see light at the end of the tunnel as to me it always seems to get a touch warmer when the Ladbrokes Golden Jacket gets underway. This year's event looks another cracker at Crayford and last year it proved one of the highlights of our super season when Hometown Honey landed the spoils. This year we are relying on one dog in Black Francis to try and retain the title. He has been in good form this year and trials at Crayford tomorrow and I'm sure he will give a good account of himself when the heats get underway this Saturday.
Our first action of the week came at Romford on Friday and we had a touch of seconditis as Aero Gerry, Aayamzaone and Evanta Fantasy, who was seeking a five timer, all found one too good for them but Huggies Buck returned to the winners podium with a solid win in 24.46.
A good day at Towcester yesterday starting with Cloudbursting who followed up an impressive debut last week by winning again in a better class race by 1/2 length in a fine 15.20. Calco Flyer ran well when 2nd in a 480m Standard and then last week's new track record holder Domino Storm put a bitches field to the sword winning by over 9 lengths in 28.07. Vanrooney had to work a little harder over 686m when led up by the useful Rearguard Bond but went past his rival at the third bend and kicked on to score well by over 4 lengths in a new track record of 40.97. Not to be outdone our Prestige winner Billys Bullet won very well over 655m by 9 lengths in a brilliant new clock of 38.90 and to cap an excellent afternoon Blue Moment made it three wins out of four this year with a good win over 480m in a fine 27.91.
Over at Henlow and Aero Babooshka got her season off to a good start taking a sprint in 16.86. In the Bunny Bookmakers Gold Cup heats Blonde Razor ran very well when beating kennel mate Vanfrenchie by over 4 lengths in a fastest of the round 33.15 and Blackstone Marco got his campaign off to a good start with a 33.29 win. Ilewin Allot was just beaten in a 428m contest.
On Friday freezing conditions forced the abandonment of the meeting after race 5 just after a debut win for Swift Whirlwind in 28.55.
On Saturday youngster Dehavillands Boy scored narrowly in his 2nd ever race beating kennemate Nimrod Son in 29.06. Airforce Venus won an 8 dog race in good style in a fine 28.37 and another very young bitch Ribble Ayon for Lord Hesketh also scored well in a very good 28.44. Reel Shirty who was very unlucky the week before when fought showed no ill effects when winning well in 28.56 after Saffrons Anna led for 4 bends.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Our usual Towcester on Friday/Saturday and opens on Sunday.
We will be at Romford Friday and on Saturday the heats of the Ladbrokes Golden Jacket kick off.
On Sunday the semi finals of the Bunny Gold Cup take centre stage.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
No good on Friday with Aclamon Josie but hopefully our selection Black Francis in the Ladrokes Golden Jacket can make the final at least and is worth supporting with a small interest.
BLACK FRANCIS - 1.5 e.w ante post - Ladrokes Golden Jacket - Crayford - starts Saturday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
ACLAMON JOSIE - 2 pts win - Romford - Friday - lost