23rd November 2015
(Opens to a third party website)
After the ups and downs of the previous week I am sitting here well satisfied with how everything has gone over the last few days. Firstly thank you for the many emails and texts I had in support of my position with regards to the Droopys Ford positive test. As always I will be as open as I can with everything we do at Imperial Kennels as we have absolutely nothing to hide, welfare and integrity is our highest priority.
A big week on the track started at Nottingham on Monday where an excellent win for Ballymac Shirley helped Towcester into a strong position going into next week's final leg at home in the Bags Championship. Only 14 points behind Nottingham we should score well given the fact we have two runners in each of the six races, that should ensure we make the finals which will be live on Sky Sports on December 23rd. Rumour has it that it's likely to be staged at Sheffield as it has to be at a neutral track so there is no home advantage for any of the six finalists. Again I say, wouldn't it be ironic if Towcester were to win the Championship given the fact they have now been dropped from the Bags service, with most of the main bookmakers now giving Towcester a wide birth in regards to taking any bets (bet365 still do) from the track and with currently no way of seeing any streaming of races I asked the management what the future is likely to be and was pleased to hear that ongoing talks are in full flow to rectify this situation and a major announcement will be forthcoming shortly. With so many of our owners spread far and wide across the UK it's imperative they can see their pride and joys run if they can't get to the track.
On a very windy and wet Tuesday night we travelled to Crayford for what turned out to be an excellent Sky meeting. We had high hopes with Swift Whirlwind in the Gold Collar final which was renewed after several years' absence but he had no answers to the strong running Corrin Bob who led off the second bend in front of Swift Whirlwind and held him right to the line. Overall we can be satisfied with Whirly finishing runner up, his time will surely come. On a good card Jimmy Nailed On ran well when also second over 714m to the in form Droopys Tamera and we did come away with a nice winner as Toosey Fern took the bitches race over 540m in 34.06.
The aptly named Mitch Millward Essex Vase began on Friday and our decision to keep Adageo Bob in training for this event paid dividends as the July 11 whelp rolled back the years to score by over 7 lengths in 35.21 calc the second fastest of the round. It was his first run over 575m since the Champion Stakes final and despite a really tough semi final coming up this Wednesday hopes are still high our legend can end his career on a high note. Earlier on Swift Whirlwind took his heat in good style in 35.42 and he cannot be discounted for outright honours.
The long trip to Belle Vue for the EEC Timber Oaks first round proved a successful one as our high class duo of Domino Storm and Evanta Evita made it a 1-2 for the kennel with Evanta Evita coming out on top. That actually surprised me as she came into the event under prepared as she recovered from a shoulder injury picked up in a messy Henlow Derby semi final just over a month ago. She loves it at Bell Vue and having made last year's final who would bet against her doing so again. Domino Storm didn't disgrace herself and is pure class on her day. Saffrons Anna gave the Markwallisgreyhounds Racing Club a massive thrill qualifying for the second round also when third in her heat from an awkward trap 4 draw while Aero Babooshka returned from a long lay off to win her heat in great style and she should come on big time for the run as it was her first since being short headed by our own Airforce Duchess in the Brighton Belle final back in early September.
I must admit to being very frustrated when the draws came out today to see three of our four bitches pitched in together. Of course I would never go down that conspiracy theory route but it does leave a sour taste in the mouth when draws for big competitions are done behind closed doors, in this modern age surely something better can be done, it's a real bugbear for owners and trainers.
Talking of Aero Babooshka or at least her owner Stuart Forsdyke, now Stuart is Chairman of the British Breeders Forum how exciting it was to hear of his plans to reignite British breeding with a series of competitions. Firstly we can't wait for the British Breeders Derby that starts a week Friday at Towcester over 480m. We have Calco Flyer (if he gets accepted!) Reel Shirty and a couple of others who would be ideal for this and if the likes of Eden The Kid are there it will be a brilliant event to get it all started, well done Stuart and his team! Now let's hope for a mild December as there is no place in the country colder than Towcester I'm sure!
We are now entering the final month of our 5 To Follow competition and 'Chomies Homies' have set a furious pace right from the off and hold a decent lead though two or three teams are roaring up the leaderboard and it could well go right to the wire. I've had many calls and texts from people who love this competition and have asked to see if we might do one for the whole year. It does take a lot of work to organise and seems to work well building it up for the last six months of the season so I'm inclined to leave it as it is but I might have another couple of ideas to keep people's interest in the kennel, watch this space!
Airforce Duchess ran well at Nottingham on Monday when second in a decent open over 500m supporting the Bags Championship races and on Tuesday as said above our three runners ran well at Crayford's big meeting.
Swift Whirlwind and Adageo Bob got our Mitch Millward Essex Vase off to a good start with wins but none of our other five entries qualified while up at Belle Vue on Saturday the EEC Timber Oaks saw wins for litter sisters Aero Babooshka and Evanta Evita while Domino Storm and Saffrons Anna both qualified.
In a couple of opens that went off before the meeting was abandoned on Saturday Farkland Jackal just held on to win a 480m Maiden in 28.62.
Swift Turbo started our Friday night off well when winning by over 5 lengths in 28.80 in an A4, Saffrons Champ also scored a long overdue success in an A6 getting up to score by 1/2 length in 28.90. Benkaat Dolly was just caught on the run in an S2.
On a bitterly cold Saturday the meeting was abandoned with four races to go as trap malfunctions caused by the cold and an ever worsening track made it impossible to race. Earlier in the evening we had plenty of winners. Airforce Karla won a D2 in 15.59, Aero Harrison did his usual coming from last to first in an S3 in a moderate 40.70. Swift Clare did what she has threatened to do for a few races and ran riot in a B7, our May 14 pup was impressive winning by 6 1/4 lengths in a very good 28.58. Penny Seabiscuit also scored in an A3 by 1/2 length in 28.54.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
We have a few runners on the supporting card for the Eclipse final at Nottinghamon Tuesday. Impressive youngster Roswell Iceman has a tough draw in trap 5 to overcome and both Jimmy Nailed On and Airforce Duchess should go well in Sky races while Famias Hope runs before the Sky starts in a Maiden Puppy race.
All eyes will be on Romford legend Adageo Bob in the Mitch Millward Essex Vase semi finals on Wednesday while Swift Whirlwind also has a live chance for outright honours.
On Friday its back to Belle Vue for the second round of the Bitches Classic the ECC Timber Oaks though it's most upsetting to see Aero Babooshka, Evanta Evita and Domino Storm all in the same heat.
Opens are planned for Towcester on Saturday.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
A great start to our Essex Vase and Oaks campaign as Aero Babooshka and Adageo Bob got off to winning starts while Swift Whirlwind showed us a small profit at Crayford when second in the Gold Collar. For a bet on the Sky card Tuesday night Airforce Duchess must gave a great chance of winning the Bitches race over 500m.
AIRFORCE DUCHESS - 4 pts win - 7.43 Nottingham - Tuesday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
SWIFT WHIRLWIND - 2 pts e.w ante post 8/1 - Gold Collar - Crayford - Tuesday - 2nd (2 pt profit)
ADAGEO BOB - 2 pt e.w ante post 12/1 - Mitch Millward Essex Vase - Romford - semi's Wednesday
AERO BABOOSHKA - 2 pts e.w ante post 25/1 - ECC Timber Oaks - Belle Vue - second round Friday