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I must admit I was looking to have a good week but overall it was a touch disappointing but as they say as long as the dogs come off safe and sound there's always tomorrow. Our week started with huge expectations at Nottingham where our Derby Invitation (consolation) winner Bruisers Bullet was having a trial over 500m in preparation for the forthcoming Eclipse. Right from the off he was never going well and his 30.35 time, though not disastrous, wasn't what we were expecting. Thankfully he wasn't lame and our physio Ron Mills has had to work hard on him this week as he was very sore in a few places, hopefully these niggles have been ironed out and he seems fine now and the Eclipse is still on the agenda. He will go back to Towcester tonight for a 480m spin.
Our long trips to Newcastle the last couple of weeks haven't really paid dividends and as any Southern trainer knows travelling up there to try and beat some of our Northern professionals and their top class dogs is not an easy task. Ninja Fortune had performed really well to just make the Northern Puppy Final. Although a big price I still expected a good run but a slight miscue coming out the boxes put paid to any chance he had, he still showed good pace in the race and a 5th place was promising but you can't be giving starts away in that class. A near 6 1/2 hour journey up to Newcastle highlights what open trainers face these days, the roads in the UK cannot take the amount of traffic using them and these days every journey is hazardous. It won't stop us searching out events that we have not won before and putting the miles in but it certainly puts us under constant pressure, earlier kennel times and the amount of extra racing that we are likely to face in the future is all part of the growing frustrations of trainers and their staff.
On Friday at Romford again I thought our four runners all ran well including a very decent performance from Droopys Dresden
as any dog that breaks 35.00 for 575m first look has to be encouraging and hopefully he can come forward and win his Maiden Stayers final this Friday. I must admit that a couple of defeats for Roswell Romanov is a touch worrying and again he had to settle for second place to the very useful My Mate Max but I'm also positive he will bounce back to his best when it matters. Another 575m legend Adageo Bob didn't win every race he went in and he was nearly 4 1/2 when he bagged his first big competition at Romford, Romanov has won the Coronation Cup already this year and is young enough to be around for all the top races in 2018.
Our team of seven went into the William Hill St Leger full of hopes on Sunday at Perry Barr and though some of our team ran really well we ended up with only one qualifier in Rubys Rascal. He ran a game race to get beaten just over a length by the underrated Russelena Reggie in a good 42.98. The St Leger is a tough four round event and the next round on Saturday won't be easy for Rascal but a draw in trap 1 will help, he has the strength and class to go all the way.
My Twitter account was going mad yesterday after I posted a farewell picture of Clondoty Alex
who went to his new home yesterday with Gus and Michelle and their family. Our little 'pocket rocket' was surely one of the most popular greyhounds in training and it was a both sad and happy day when he left our kennel. Finding a new 'Alex' is virtually impossible and hopefully the dream of having his offspring in the kennel will be something we can look forward to in the future.
We have nearly covered everything above but to recap Ninja Fortune was 5th in the Northern Puppy Derby Final on Thursday at Newcastle, Scolari Sound completely missed his break when down the field in a sprint while Forest Melanie ran well in a good bitches race when 3rd.
On Friday at Romford Droopys Dresden took a Maiden Stayers heat in an excellent 34.96, Ashakiran and Roswell Romanov were both runners up in one off races.
At Perry Barr on Sunday in the William Hill St Leger heats Kiltrea Mike ran a blinder first look but just missed out on a place in the next round when 4th, Cincinnati had no answers to Murrys Act's pace and once our front runner was headed he was always in trouble finishing 5th. In heat 5 you couldn't help feeling nervous with three runners in the race, all three of them broke well but the early pace in trap 1 from Russelena Reggie saw him lead at the first bend causing the others to crowd up, Not So Classical came off worse and was nearly on the floor, both Rubys Rascal and Fire Height Josh came out of the second bend chasing the leader but try as he might Rascal couldn't catch Reggie going down just over a length in a good 42.98, unluckily Josh was caught by the classy marathon runner Slick Strauss for that vital 3rd spot. Saffrons Bonnie gave it her best shot when turning second in her heat but the galloping track doesn't quite play to her strengths and she faded back to 5th. The same could be said for Rubys Razzle who tried to dominate from the off but found the field ganging up her at the 5th bend and she also faded away to 5th. It was a tough day for sure and we had no luck at Henlow at night with Brynoffa Jasmin a good 2nd in the sprint.
On Tuesday an excellent win for Plan Ahead in an A4 clocking a fine 28.25 while I was also very pleased with Razldazl Valiant who was 2nd in a good A2.
On Saturday morning the improving Swift Kaylee came in as reserve to take an A7 in 28.91 calc. In the evening Saffrons Honey scored a rare win in 29.31, Boylesports Duke is beginning to settle in to Towcester and despite running exceptionally wide beat kennelmate Tangled Upinblue by 1 1/4 in 28.49. In a tough A4 we had four runners and it was Fleetwood Royal who burst through when things got a bit messy at the first bend, he hung on gallantly to score in 28.83. Energize Jack
also made it a great night when running a blinder to get up and score by 1/2 length in a good 28.72.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - DROOPYS DRESDEN
GRADED - ENERGIZE JACK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
It's all about the weekend this week starting at Romford Friday where Droopys Dresden goes in the Friday Night 500 Maiden Stayers Final.
A busy night Saturday as Rubys Rascal travels to Perry Barr for the William Hill St Leger second round while at Towcester the ECC Timber Puppy Derby heats get underway.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
I think our stab at a couple of big priced ones nearly came off especially Fire Height Josh who was very unlucky to be eliminated in a tough heat of the St Leger. Hopefully Rubys Rascal can go on to glory and I certainly wouldn't put anyone off backing him.
The ECC Timber Puppy Derby is going to be a hot competition starting at Towcester this Saturday. Finding a bit of value and I think Brinkleys Ranger is a pup that will get the 500m strong and if he can get some rails draws he will be hard to keep out the frame.
BRINKLEYS RANGER - 2 pts ew ante post - ECC Timber Puppy Derby - Towcester - starts Saturday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
NINJA FORTUNE - 2 pts ew 20/1 - Northern Puppy Derby Final - Newcastle - lost
FIRE HEIGHT JOSH - 1.5 pts ew ante post - William Hill St Leger - Perry Barr - lost