21st December 2015
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We are enjoying an excellent end to the year and it was a delight to see the updated Trainer Of The Year table in the Racing Post yesterday where we have increased our lead again. We currently have an incredible 1121 points some 422 points more than our nearest rival Paul Young. The fight for the top six places is quite interesting with Jimmy Wright now a clear 6th, he was looking assured of a first qualification in the Trainers Championship meeting which is a great achievement. However with the Category 1 Olympic final on next week Seamus Cahill has two fancied runners which could put a severe dent in Jimmy's top 6 aspirations. Two of the top 6 trainers, Liz McNair and Pat Rosney declined the invitation to run in the Championship last year and they look likely to do the same this year which is a shame as Sittingbourne prepared the track superbly back in March and despite us being on the losing end of an incredible climax it was a tremendous success with Len Ponder's magnificent sponsorship. If Pat and Liz decide not to take part then their places will be offered to the trainers in positions 7th and 8th. As it stands there is only 20 points separating Dean Childs in 7th and Hayleigh Keightley in 10th with Barrie Draper and Seamus Cahill wedged in between. With only 10 days of the season to go that certainly could all change.
Towcester's Sky meeting on Thursday was a tremendous success both on and off the track and there were some great finishes and performances in all the races,. The British Bred Derby final was won by Liz Mcnair's King Alley and the two invitation races produced stunning finishes with former kennel star Blackstone Marco again proving that it's been the month of the older dog (Adageo Bob) winning the 480m while Billys Bullet in his second race back from serious injury ran a stormer to be only beaten 1 1/2 lengths in 4th place behind the strong finishing Swansalona Diva in one of the hottest six bend races of 2015. The Premier League came to a conclusion with four legs and again the races were exceptional. We finished with a rattle winning the last two legs with Clondoty Alex and Black Francis. As always the prize money for the owners was tremendous but despite being announced as the Premier League winning trainer it now seems that a miscalculation of the scores means that might not be the case. That's a shame as I already promised to equally share the winning prize with all my staff (which I will honour whether we won or not). The Premier League hasn't quite gone to plan all year but looking at the positives all the legs each month have seen some tremendous action and provided the owners and trainers of all who were involved with some decent and welcome additional prize money.
Our last open race action of the year will be at Henlow next Sunday where we have both Aero Babooshka and Blue Moment Xmas Cracker Final and possibly some other runners in supporting races. Both have been great servants to the kennel and their owners and both deserve to land a decent prize. We also will have two busy Towcester graded meetings both on Boxing Day and next Sunday but before that Wednesday promises to be one of the best days in the greyhound calendar year as the Bags Championship Grand Finals take place at Perry Barr. A who's who of the industry will be present as Towcester looks to capture the first prize. Ten races make up the Championship and every point scored is vital. We have four of the team for Towcester who I hope will all go well. Oldfield Lynda has a difficult trap 3 slot in the sprint while Ferryforth Fran has trap 6 in the Stayers top division with the big danger from the Newcastle raider Shellom Delamo inside him in trap 5. Ribble Aon has been drafted into the side for Lord Hesketh in the second bitches division but has a tough draw in trap 6 and in the top division of the bitches our banker would have to be the flying Ballymac Shirley who is on a 6 timer but will have to be at her best to beat Jimmy Wright's Some Woman in trap 1. It probably won't go like it but I really think the Championship is a match between Towcester and Newcastle, the latter are slight favourites and I have a feeling it will go right to the wire. Towcester will bring plenty of supporters and it should be a fantastic atmosphere.
We are now pleased to announce officially that Adageo Bob, our brilliant and popular Mitch Millward Essex Vase winner has settled in at John Marriott's kennels near Rotherham where he is going to stand at stud. Already he has bitches lined up to come to him and his fee will be £400, John can be contacted on 07904089605. I think Bob could lead the way for British breeding over the next few years and John is very much looking forward to getting some of his pups on the ground in the near future, a big thank you to him for all his hard work.
Our Markwallisgreyhounds Racing Club has enjoyed some great times already since it began three years ago but we are really looking forward to the next year. Saffrons Anna has been a real star in 2015 and we are looking to build on her success, our new Hometown Honey pup is schooled and ready to start his qualifying trials at Towcester in the new year and we have recently purchased an excellent older dog in Ivyhill Boxer. He has an excellent Irish card (won Shelbourne 28.40) and he will be a dog that's aimed at all the big four bend races in 2016. Our Racing Club costs £500 to join and £30 per month to have an equal share in all the club runners. If you are looking for a late Christmas present to give to someone then membership to our club would be perfect. More information can be found on our Racing Club page.
A great night on Thursday at Towcester where we enjoyed four winners from eight runners. Roswell Iceman after a short break took a sprint open in good style by 2 1/4 lengths in 15.37, Clondoty Alex landed the wild card in the Premier League Standard leading all the way to win by 1 3/4 lengths in 28.18, Black Francis returned to his best form winning the Premier League Stayers by 2 lengths in an excellent 39.35 and Garryglass Pixie took the 680m by 3 lengths in 41.70 to complete an excellent night for the kennel.
On Sunday at Hove Droopys Achieve got no sort of run in the Coral Puppy Trophy Final when last but will bounce back I'm sure. At night Blue Moment beat the Laurels hero Millwards Whitey in the Henlow Christmas Cracker semi finals in a decent 28.41 with Aero Babooshka also qualifying for the final when 3rd though Swift Whirlwind crashed out the Henlow Cesarewitch when stumbling at the start.
A nice debut win for Tellhimjohn in an A7 on Friday by over 7 lengths in 28.80 with Famias Hope also catching the eye when 3rd in a warm A4. On Saturday Rubys Rascal ran on strong to win a heat of the Owners Bonus series with a powerful display, our July 14 whelp won by over 4 lgths in a very good 28.59, Lord Heskeths Rufford Atom made it 3 on the spin, this time landing an S1 in a superb 39.56 when leading all the way, Sligo Star made it 3 from 6 with a fine 28.58 win in an A5 and old stalwart Ilewin Frimley took a decent A2 by over 4 lgths in 28.38 to complete an excellent night for the kennel.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
A quiet week to start and then what should be a magnificent Wednesday as the Bags Championship Grand Finals take place at Perry Barr with all the action on Sky Sports.
The Boxing Day meeting at Towcester starting at 12.30 is likely to be popular and a huge crowd is expected and most likely on the Sunday where we will also head to Henlow with two runners Blue Moment and Aero Babooshka who are both in the Henlow Xmas Cracker final.
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Swift Whirlwind stumbled out the traps last night in the Henlow Cesarewitch and crashed out the event.
This week is the last chance to find a couple of winners to complete another excellent year for our followers and in two weeks' time we will look at how we have fared when I do our Website Review so let's see if we can't nick a winner or two before then. Looking at what might be a bet in the Bags Championship I think the in form Ballymac Shirley could be our best chance of glory and at what might be a decent price, Ribble Aon might escape a bad draw. We must as well have an interest in Towcester winning the overall title and at 5/2 that represents great value as they were only 3/1 at the very start of the event and it looks a match between Towcester and Newcastle (if there's any betting on the forecast a Newcastle to beat Towcester is worth a saver). At the weekend the exciting prospect Rubys Rascal might well land the Owners Bonus series final at Towcester.
BALLYMAC SHIRLEY - 5 pts win - Bags Championship - Perry Barr - Wednesday
RIBBLE AON - 2 pts win - Bags Championship - Perry Barr - Wednesday
TOWCESTER - 3 pts win - 5/2 - to win Bags Championship Grand Finals - Perry Barr - Wednesday
RUBYS RASCAL - 4 pts win - Towcester (Owners Bonus Series final) - Saturday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
SWIFT WHIRLWIND - 3 pts win ante post 5/1 - Henlow Cesarewitch- Sunday - lost