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Well what can we say, what a huge thrill on Saturday night being a part of the Lionheart Syndicate that owns Black Farren who magnificently chased home Good News to finish a brilliant runner up in the Boylesports Irish Derby Final at Shelbourne. It was a terrific night for the syndicate and for myself a somewhat strange one being only an owner of Black Farren and not training him and I now appreciate that side of the sport more than ever. Graham Holland did a wonderful job in preparing our pride and joy and he progressed in every round and again in the final he found another length or two, sadly it wasn't enough to beat the sensational Good News who came out the traps when it mattered for Pat Guilfoyle and the strong running son of Definate Opinion wasn't for catching stopping the clock in a superb 29.37. Anyone who was at Shelbourne will tell you it was a night to remember and out sport has now showcased two wonderful Derby's in 2017 both in Ireland and at Towcester in July so we can be more than hopeful that our sport will be around for a long time to come.
We have to thank Paul Ephremsen for the whole idea with buying and syndicating Black Farren and we know one of his major new plans he would like to implement in his new role as Owners Representative on the GBGB board is to bring thousands of people into the sport with well organised syndicates, this proves how successful these can be. The whole night at Shelbourne was a huge success and that was the most people I've ever seen at the track in all the Irish Derbys I've been to, next year, who knows, we may well be back and not just as an owner!
I must admit today has been tough after what was a full on couple of days and loads to organise at the kennels for the rest of the week etc. At Yarmouth last Thursday it was nice to get a couple of decent winners on the Sky card in supporting races for the East Anglian Derby and again tomorrow we will try and do the same at Crayford. We have a few runners on the supporting card for the Ladbrokes Gold Collar Final including Ribble Atom in the Cesarewitch Final but it is getting a little frustrating that we are missing out on the big race finals that we are so used to plundering. Indeed the field is closing in on us for the Trainer of the Year title with Seamus Cahill now only a little over 120 points behind us and the gap could well close even further in the next couple of weeks and we really will need a strong end to the year to land an incredible 9th title.
One huge and momentous occasion will be next Sunday where Clondoty Alex and Calco Flyer go in the final of the RPGTV Seniors Cup at Henlow. Both will be donning their jackets and muzzles for the last time in what has been two very distinguished careers. It's no easy race and win lose or draw both have earned the right to treated like kings on the sofa for the rest of their lives. I will do a full write up next week and look back on both careers. Just like recent retirees Billys Bullet and Domino Storm the 'pocket rocket' Clondoty Alex and the legend Calco Flyer are impossible to replace and our kennel will struggle to find win machines like these for a long time.
It's the last full week to get your changes for your teams done in the popular 5 To Follow competition on our website. You can chose a completely different team from the new list of greyhounds that are up as long as there is at least two bitches in your team. Anyone can win if they have a bit of luck even if their teams are right down the bottom so it's worthwhile doing whatever your positions might be.
Kiltrea Mike and Cappoquin Al both ran well when runner ups in opens at Towcester on Tuesday. On Thursday afternoon Cotton Pants unfortunately hit the deck in his Guys & Dolls semi final but thankfully is OK despite a few stitches needed.
It was a better night at Yarmouth on Thursday with Pennys Ryan narrowly landing a puppy open in 27.95. Rubys Rascal
was back to his best with a 5 length success in the 659m open in a flying 40.30 while both Scolari Sound (Green King IPA Sprint Final) and Ribble Atom ran very well bit had to settle for second place .
At Romford on Friday we just came away with the one winner in the shape of Tangled Upinblue over 400m in 24.21 while on Sunday at Henlow Calco Flyer got our RPGTV sponsored seniors event started with a win in 27.61. Clondoty Alex couldn't cope with his draw in trap 4 but thankfully scrambled into next weeks final when second.
Only a handful of runners Tuesday with Brynoffa Jasmin and Gully Foyle both coming closest when runners up.
On Saturday morning a similar story with Saffrons Honey second in an A8 best of all.
At night at last a winner when Saffrons Bonnie took a good S2 in a fine 41.66.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - RUBYS RASCAL
GRADED - SAFFRONS BONNIE
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Another couple of opens to watch at Towcester on Tuesday and we have a busy night at Crayford where we will look to pick up some quality supporting opens on the Sky card as well as Ribble Atom on the Cesarewitch final.
We make a long trip to Newcastle on Thursday for trials while Garryglass Teddy faces a tough draw in the minor Friday Night 500 Stayers final at Romford
The highlight of the week could be the RPGTV Seniors Cup at Henlow on Sunday where Calco Flyer and Clondoty Alex bow out hopefully in style.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Scolari Sound ran a blinder for us in the Sprint Final at Yarmouth on Thursday but just missed out in second. Looking for a bet on the Sky card tomorrow at Crayford I think Cincinnati could take all the beating in a Maiden Marathon over 714m, a decent trial last week he could be ready to land a hat trick of wins.
CINCINNATI - 4 pts win - Crayford - Tuesday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
SCOLARI SOUND - 2 pts win - Green King IPA Sprint final - Yarmouth - lost