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produced a stunning display of power and stamina to capture a third William Hill Grand Prix title for us at Sunderland last Wednesday. After all the controversy and debates of the earlier rounds Sunderland put on a fine show and for ourselves it came at a great time to land another big Category 1 title, the last couple of months have been a difficult for the kennel having had a few of our top class dogs off with various injuries as we are deep into a long hot summer which for some reason has a huge adverse effect on the injury rate.
Going into the final I was only hopeful that Bombers Bullet could escape a tricky trap 4 draw and when Swift Hansel burst out the traps coming straight across him I thought we were in trouble but one thing Bomber has in abundance is track craft and he cleverly negotiated the first two bends to turn in pursuit of the leaders Donation and Swift Hansel. He was always travelling sweetly and though held up a bit on the tight bends straightening up for home he unleashed a powerful burst of speed to pass the early leaders and give his syndicate led by Billy Boyle a huge cheer as he won a shade cozily by a head in a very good 39.10. A magnificent trophy was just reward for all connections who are great supporters of our kennel and the £15,000 first prize from William Hill very generous considering we don’t have any Sky coverage anymore. It was our kennel's third Category 1 victory of the year after the Northern Sprint and Grand National victories and as well as having two Derby finalists, Bombers Bullet being one of them, we are now well over 300 points clear in the Trainer of the Year standings, considering we are almost 50% down on the amount of open race runners we have had in previous years it’s a remarkable effort from all our team.
Bombers Bullet reappears quickly as he travels to Monmore this Thursday for the Ladbrokes Summer Stayers Classic over 630m, which we have been successful in before most recently Ferryforth Fran (2016) and though not having been round the Midlands track Bombers Bullet has been installed the 7/2 favourite for the event. Roswell Romanov, Garryglass Champ and Kiltrea Mike join him and hopefully we can have a good and safe start.
On Thursday we also travel to Hove for the Sussex Cup semi finals where Ninja Fortune takes his chance in the third semi which is hot but he has a decent trap 1 draw to work from. We will have two bitches Baroness Bullet and Ninja Penny in the supporting bitches competition and hopefully both with Hove and Monmore travelling conditions will be ok as the weather is predicted to be in excess of 30 degrees!
Towcester’s regular opens on Saturday nights have been mostly successful and it was going that way last week as Shlowdown Sally and Saleen Ash produced great efforts to win and Towstar Arry was looking good to add to those victories when leading off the second bend, just as I said to my wife Sarah ‘this fella is going to go close to the clock’ he dramatically broke down. After recent weeks it wasn’t the first time I had that sick feeling in my stomach, thankfully he was caught at the pick up and Garryglass Champ went on to win the race which was small consolation. An X-ray yesterday revealed a broken central tarsal bone and Stefano Malegori did his usual excellent job of repairing the damage, his chances of racing again would be 50/50 and we will give him all the time he needs. Towstar Arry was beginning to really get his act together and open wins at Romford and the week before a top class 41.19 run at Towcester showed us that he was ready to take that step up into contending for Category 1 titles so it’s another bitter blow, not just for us, but his Towstar Syndicate led by Jonathan Newman, their classy Towstar Jess, a litter sister to Arry had also suffered a broken hock in a trial at Sunderland only three weeks before, it can be a tough game sometimes! Thankfully Mark Bird and the GBGB are making giant strides to help solve a few problems on our well used racing surfaces as they are bringing in STRI (Sports Turf Research Institute) who are specialists in track preparation and maintenance. This of course will take a fair amount of money so bookmakers take note! While you are doing so well out of Greyhound racing don’t forget to put your hand in your pocket to help finance this kind of service that in the long run will help you maintain and increase your profits!
News that the Oaks and St Leger are happening this year is one less worry for the sport but the fact the Oaks is moving to Towcester at the end of the year has everybody saying ‘how long does Belle Vue have left?’ A lack of a sponsor is the GRA excuse, maybe they could have written in the deeds from the recent sales of Wimbledon and Hall Green that ‘x’ amount of money from this has to go into the development of Belle Vue making it into a stadium that we could be proud of thus bringing a lot of potential sponsors in, anybody with half a brain can see that a decent Greyhound Stadium in Manchester would be a huge success and very profitable but this is the GRA we are talking about and they alone stand out as the biggest culprit to the demise of our industry over the last 30 or so years!
Great news hot off the press and that is that Domino Storm has just had a litter of eight pups to Aero Majestic and so far mother and pups are doing well. Jim Hayden is giving me up to the minute posts and we wish her well, her previous litter produced just one pup (looking great). Our prolific winning bitch brilliantly won the Oaks and Select Stakes and was a legend in the sport, I’m looking forward to a visit to Jim’s Kennels in a few weeks' time.
So my sporting tipping that I rarely post on here has enhanced my reputation as a good sports judge! Having tipped up France @ 8/1 to win the World Cup I moved on to the British Open at ‘Carnasty’ and what a brilliant four days entertainment we were treated to. My main tip Justin Rose (16/1) only qualified for the weekend by holing a 20 ft putt at the last hole on Friday and then shot two stunning rounds to finish tied 2nd while my big outsider Van Rooyen gave us a great run for three days being in the top 8 but slipped away to tied 17th (I had a decent wager on him for a top 20 place @ 10/1). The Ryder Cup in Paris looms large (September) and what a spectacle that will be, incredibly we have the football season starting in less than two weeks' time and I’m looking at a team in the lower divisions for glory, I will inform next week! and we are only just over a month away from my other sporting passion the NFL and having backed last year’s winners the ‘Eagles’ @ 66/1 I’m studying hard to find a bit of value this season.
Just the one runner at Sunderland last Wednesday with Bombers Bullet bringing back the bacon when landing the £15,000 To the winner Grand Prix.
On Thursday at Hove Ninja Fortune qualified for the semi finals of the Sussex Cup when a very close up 3rd in his heat.
On Friday we had 3 runners at Romford and all ran well with Kilcree Diamond (2nd), All Slick Now (2nd) and Roswell Romanov (3rd).
At last some regular opens are gracing the card at Towcester and Saturday saw the continued return to form for Shlowdown Sally who won in a good 16.39 while the returning Saleen Ash beat kennelmate Newinn Trump (ran well) by 4 lengths in an excellent 28.01. As said a disaster loomed in the last race over 686m as Towstar Arry broke down when set for a huge run, Garryglass Champ took advantage and won in 41.76.
On Friday the highlight of the card was our four runners in the S1 race and Saffrons Tina proved her victory last week was no fluke as she again took the honours beating Garryglass Bambi by 2 1/4 lengths in 41.89 calc.
On Saturday morning we had a good day with four winners. Towstar Evita got off the mark winning an A8 in 29.32, Come Home did just that winning an A7 by a short head in 29.31 while Cousin Dupree took an A6 in 29.02 and Ribble Ghost won very well in an A5 in a career best 28.78.
As well as the opens on Saturday night we had success in the grades. Ping Be Slick opened her account with a great run in an A5 leading all the way to score 1 3/4 lengths in 28.61 while Tiffield Lady was impressive in an A3 winning by 5 lengths in 28.30.
On Sunday just a handful of runners with Nothing But Love running well when 2nd beaten a head and our only winner being Ballyfinn Jade who improved again to win an A6 in 28.75.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - BOMBERS BULLET
GRADED - TIFFIELD LADY
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Thursday is a busy day as we go to Hove for the semi finals of the Sussex Cup with Ninja Fortune and we travel to the Midlands as the Ladbrokes Summer Stayers Classic kicks off with four first round heats at Monmore and Grand Prix hero Bombers Bullet is the ante post favourite
On Friday we are at Romford but no racing Saturday night at Towcester as the Paloma Faith concert takes over.
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Bombers Bullet duly obliged at Sunderland giving us another big race winner and keeping our supporters in pocket at the same time. Ninja Fortune a small each way selection for the Sussex Cup goes in a warm semi on Thursday night.
The Ladbrokes Summer Stayers Classic kicks off on Thursday at Monmore and Bombers Bullet put in at 7/2 is no real value but I think he can still win so we must take that price. Garryglass Champ is still a force to be reckoned with and hasn’t had the luck he’s needed to land a big one as yet, he is fast enough to be worth an each way bet at 20/1.
BOMBERS BULLET - 4 pts win ante post 7/2 - Ladbrokes Summer Stayers Classic - Monmore - starts Thursday
GARRYGLASS CHAMP - 2 pts ew ante post 20/1 - Ladbrokes Summer Stayers Classic- Monmore - starts Thursday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
BOMBERS BULLET - 2 pts win ante post 4/1 - William Hill Grand Prix- Sunderland - WON (8pt profit)
NINJA FORTUNE - 2 pts win ante post 33/1 - Coral Sussex Cup - Hove - semi finals Thursday