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September has been more than kind to us and it finished well at the weekend with some nice winners at Monmore and more importantly both Brigadier Bullet and Antigua Fire taking their semi finals of the Kent St Leger at Crayford in battling fashion. Both now line up in what is an excellent Category 1 final this Saturday so hopefully October can get off to a great start if we can get one of our stars to prevail, it certainly won’t be easy with the likes of Sheldon and Roxholme Dolly in the race. Antigua Fire in trap 5 has been installed the favourite with Brigadier Bullet in trap 4 a likely outsider, my first concern is that the two avoid bashing into each other, especially at the first bend, as Crayford is tremendously difficult to come from way off the pace and you wouldn’t want to give the likes of Roxholme Dolly a long lead. Whatever their fate it's great to have another two in a big final and we will enjoy the night.
Our Stayers have rescued our season and with Aayamza Express and Bumblebee Bullet's victories in the Champion Stakes and TV Trophy as well as Aayamza Breeze's stunning Regency triumph earlier in the year we could well add another big stayers title this weekend. That would most certainly take us to the top of the Trainer of the Year standings for the first time this year, it may only last a day as current leader Patrick Janssens has the red hot favourite Bockos Doomie in the Kent Derby final on Sunday at Central Park! Whatever happens we have done magnificently well to reduce a near 250 point deficit which makes the rest of the season even more exciting than normal.
News that Nottingham is to be again the host of next year's Derby has been welcomed by most in the industry and rather than go on about any negatives we should highlight the fact that this has been sorted out so early and Nottingham will have more time to prepare for the event. Incredibly what is disappointing whilst I was looking through the calendar was that this year's Oaks is still not in place and we are now in October. Even last year there was a lot of people calling for this classic to be a) sorted out early and b) not given a slot in what might be a cold December. This should be a competition that is ring fenced and set in stone as it has huge implications on the breeding industry with the prestige that goes with breeding from a bitch that has either won the Oaks or even just made the final. If Swindon has no appetite for getting this sorted out early then it’s time this competition was tendered out to other tracks and a more suitable slot around the end of September early October would be preferable.
I hope everybody who entered the popular Five to Follow competition has done their mid way changes and there were certainly plenty of new intakes to choose from! Quite a few of these new intakes are on our For Sale page
and we have some interesting young ones for sale. Over the years we have sold some fantastic dogs through our website with the likes of st Leger winner Ferryforth Fran and the legend Adageo Bob to name but a few being bought through this method. Talking of Adageo Bob it will be a very sad occasion tomorrow when we attend his owner Dick Barfoots funeral as he suddenly passed away a couple of weeks ago, we enjoyed many magical moments together and he will be sadly missed.
Another excellent Friday night card at Romford featuring the Puppy Cup final won by the Paul Young trained Young Princess and in a supporting 575m final Towstar Zelda almost pulled a 16/1 surprise when caught on the run in by Ballymac Diego in 35.66. Nothing But Love for the Markwallisgreyhounds Racing Club ran well when second to make this week's 575m Maiden Stayers final and we had a couple of winners as Have A Brandy took a 400m in 24.10 and Champion Stakes heroine Aayamza Express was smooth winning a 575m contest in 35.38.
On Saturday at Crayford in the second semi final of the Kent St Leger Busters Bullet led up for 500m but was caught down the back straight and all of a sudden there was only a couple of lengths between the whole field, on a scramble to the line it was our Brigadier Bullet who proved strongest winning a short head in 45.63. In the last semi final Antigua Fire was made to work hard and seemed to take his time before a decisive finish saw him win by a couple of lengths in 45.23 to give us two runners in the Category 1 final.
Over at Monmore another great open race card gave us three nice winners. Antigua Breeze looks a fine prospect and took a decent puppy race in an excellent 27.97, Chubbys Turkana stepping up in trip flew out the boxes in a 630m contest and held on gamely to win by a neck in a good 37.87 and dog of the month so far has to be Coolavanny Messi
who carried on his good form winning a hot 480m and beating hot pot Droopys Verve by 2 lengths in 28.25.
Unfortunately Antigua Romeo couldn’t carry on the kennel's good form as he was eliminated in the semi finals of the Kent Derby at Central Park on Sunday.
Not much luck on the graded side with a blank on Monday and Tuesday and we had to wait until Sunday to see three winners. Corrig Grace took a D3 Sprint in 17.00 and Princess Evita made it a second successive win in 28.78 but the best performance was from Towstar Billy who won a decent A4 by over 4 lengths in a fine 27.62.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - COOLAVANNY MESSI
GRADED - TOWSTAR BILLY
WHAT’S ON NEXT WEEK
Antigua Breeze and new intakes Aayamza Royale trial at Hove on Thursday night in preparation for the forthcoming Puppy event over 490m.
We have a few runners at Romford on Friday night including Nothing But Love in the Maiden Stayers final and then a big race for the kennel on Saturday night as Brigadier Bullet and Antigua Fire contest the Category 1 Kent St Leger final at Crayford. Hopefully there will be a few opens at Henlow on Sunday afternoon.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
We nearly had a small tickle on Tiffield Blueboy at Romford on Friday at a big price, he ran well and might well be worth following in the coming weeks.
Antigua Fire is as short as even money to land another big race success for our supporters in the Kent St Leger final at Crayford on Saturday and we will stick with that for our interest this week
ADVISED LAST WEEK
TIFFIELD BLUEBOY- 2 pts win - Romford - Friday - lost
ANTIGUA FIRE - 2.5 pts ew ante post 10/1 - Kent St Leger - Crayford - final Saturday