23rd January 2017
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The current cold snap at the moment is making it hard work and we are all wishing the summer will come some sooner but it doesn't seem to be affecting our dogs after another reasonably successful week. After landing the first Sky competition at Romford last week we move on to the next one and I see no reason why we can't continue our fantastic start to 2017 when Rubys Razzle goes to Hall Green on Wednesday for the Prestige final. We have a good record in the event recently, Ferryforth Fran was 3rd last year and Billys Bullet won the event in 2015 and we were only narrowly beaten in 2014 with Blonde Razor. Rubys Razzle has a tough draw in trap 5 to overcome but if she could trap like she did in the heats (14.12 sectional) last Wednesday she will chop her rivals off at the short run to the first bend and hopefully she will set sail for home. There are some strong runners in the field including Dolores Ruth's Razldazl Allstar who came from way off the pace to only get beat 1/2 length by Razzle in 39.12, the fastest time of the three heats.
We will have a few runners on the Sky card at Hall Green on Wednesday and we also travel to Central Park for the heats of four competitions with the feature being the Cearns Memorial over 500m. Garryglass Champ warmed up with a nice trial (30.11) last Tuesday, East Anglian Derby winner Clondoty Alex goes in the Silver Salver over 450m while Airforce Duchess and Swift Bravo go in supporting competitions with the finals all on the Sky slot the following week vacated by the Trainers Championship meeting which has now been moved back to March 31st. This will be at Towcester so I'm hoping to have a strong team to try and win an event we haven't won since 2010.
I've made it common knowledge that I'm going to target Romford in an attempt to break the most open race winners in a single year. This record stands at 355 (this is to be confirmed) by Walthamstow trainer Linda Mullins which was set back in the nineties. We've never really chased that total but got in to the 330's once or twice in the past. With Towcester not really having opens for at least a few weeks and with the fact they have way too many dogs on the strength at the moment it's an ideal opportunity to give some of the better graded dogs a run in some open races. Romford is a place we like and support though the earlier starting times are problematic but already we have racked up plenty of winners there in the first three week. The fact a dog like Cappoquin Jack who struggles to cope with A4 's at Towcester can win a competition at Romford, albeit over further and only maiden racing, does give an indication as to the strength of dog needed for Towcester. Anyway I think achieving 355+ open race winners and of course a Category 1 or 2 along the way is as tough a task I can set the kennel this year, we may not get anywhere near that mark but it doesn't hurt to have a target or two to focus on. We would need just over 7 open winners per week or 30 in a month if I broke it down, we would also need to have plenty of luck in the injury department as this always plays a part in what we can achieve. On a plus side we are inundated with requests for us to train decent dogs and if we can keep strengthening the team we will be prolific. Having good staff who can do the miles is essential and I'm very lucky in that department as well as keeping Towcester happy which is a fine balancing act. Battling against an element of jealousy within our sport is a minus would you believe, and I could jump off a cliff sometimes with racing managers telling me that other trainers are complaining about us, mainly because we are winning! Next week at the awards bash I will be proud to pick up the GBGB Trainer of the Year award for a record eight time on behalf of all other Professional and Greyhound Trainers.
The topic of the Greyhound Derby at Towcester seems like it's in the press and on everyone's lips every day and watching both Kevin Ackerman and Chris Page on RPGTV last night you can sense that this will be an extraordinary Derby one way or another, if the enthusiasm shown by both is anything to go by we are in for a treat. I'm lucky enough to be sitting on one of the working groups to help make it special and again it's brilliant to see so many good greyhound people give up their free time to offer their advice and knowledge. Now we have established that Towcester is the new venue, which is not everyone's cup of tea as in fact neither was Wimbledon for that matter, the vast majority are right behind the Derby being held there and the level of interest being shown now with Towcester inundated with enquiries about executive boxes, restaurant spaces etc is incredible, all we need now is a dog to win it!!!
The facilities at Towcester are second to none in our sport and will be a huge factor in making the Derby a success. My Markwallisgreyhounds Racing Club enjoyed another great evening on Saturday as guests's entertainment even though our two Racing Club dogs didn't win but both ran well. I'm always keen to promote our Racing Club as it is an excellent way to enjoy ownership at an affordable price. We are currently waiting on two pups to finish their schooling to add to the string and if the right dog comes along we will be buying a Derby prospect, please feel free to contact us if you are interested in joining.
On Wednesday at Hall Green in the heats of the Prestige Rubys Razzle bombed out the traps and led all the way to win in a fine 39.14, with a slight bias to the inside Ferryforth Fran struggled to get competitive in his heat and was eliminated.
Another excellent night at Romford on Friday. Mashmad Eyebrows got the ball rolling with a win in the Bitches race (24.22) and Ilewin Brickwall having showed plenty of promise the previous two weeks won a Maiden 575m in 35.89. Airforce Galaxy went faster in another Maiden 575m but was second and Blackstone Jovi was a touch unlucky in the Friday Night 500 Maiden final when 3rd. In the Friday Night 500 Maiden Stayers final favourite Cappoquin Jack made no mistake winning well in 35.64. In the heats of the Friday Night 500 Standard Swift Dartmoor ran a storming race to catch the useful Toolmaker Rambo in a fine 24.00 and in the last heat veteran and fast becoming a legend Calco Flyer kept many punters happy with a fine run leading all the way in a fastest 23.91. In the last race a messy 575m both Garryglass Teddy and Roswell Roxanne were unlucky but a good night for the kennel overall.
After having a mass of winners in the first three weeks of 2017 it was a tougher week. on Tuesday we did have two nice winners in improving puppy Tiffield Lad (29.00) and the consistent Sovereign King who won well in A4 in a fine 28.53.
On Saturday morning only four runners with Lord Hesketh's Ribble Ghost winning again in an A7 though the time of 30.00 may have had something to do with the thick fog. No winners at night but both Swift Kaylee and Tread Lightly were both nabbed on the post and ran well as did Saffrons Tina and Sovereign King when 2nd and 3rd respectively in a decent A3.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Some all important trials tomorrow at Crayford as Golden Jacket hopefuls Rubys Rascal and Stella's Vekayee have a look at the track for the first time.
A big night on Wednesday as we travel to Hall Green for the Prestige final with Rubys Razzle and we have a few on the supporting card. Also we go to Central Park for their series of competitions for the following week's Sky night,
We will be back to Romford on Friday.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
I was kicking myself tipping Ferryforth Fran in the Prestige and not including our only other runner Rubys Razzle who now is trading around the 2/1 mark for the final. For a bet in the Sky races I'm hoping Ela Ela Genie can get his season going with a win in a warmish sprint.
ELA ELA GENIE - 2 pts win - Hall Green - Wednesday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
FERRYFORTH FRAN - 2 pts ew ante post - Prestige - Hall Green - Wednesday - lost