31st August 2015
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Adageo Bob survived a real scare before winning his heat of the Coral Champion Stakes at Romford on Friday night. Despite breaking well that customary early zip that has been legendary at the Essex track over the last two years seemed to be missing and he was in the pack at the first bend. Dropping on the rails, where certainly the going on the night was more favourable, he got back in contention down the back straight and to the delight of the crowd he showed great track craft to lead at the 5th bend and beat kennel mate Jimmy Nailed On by a length in 35.26. The result was a relief as our first runner, the well fancied Swift Whirlwind was eliminated. He seemed to not quite get going on the wide and after not leading he struggled to dominate and though only beaten less than 5 lengths in 5th his Champion Stakes is over, he will be back with a bang I'm sure.
The night got better as Patchys Kerry, getting a reasonable draw for a change, stormed away from her rivals at halfway to win by over 5 lengths in 35.07. Domino Storm having her first run over 6 bends was unlucky to find an electric Jet Stream Sound who clocked an incredible 13.33 sectional and beat her by over 6 lengths in a superb 34.78. Domino Storm will be better for the run and improvement is expected next Friday. In all five of our six entries qualified and Blonde Razor showed he's still a force after a titanic battle with Droopys Jarrow where again to the roars of a good crowd he asserted close home to win by 1 1/4 lengths in 35.09.
The draws for the semi finals haven't been over kind to us with Domino Storm and Patchys Kerry in the first semi from traps 3 and 4 respectively but face tough rivals in Jet Stream Sound and Droopys Jarrow. The second semi final sees all of our other three qualifiers in together. Since the rule change with no guarding for owners after the first round Dick & Ann Barfoot's Adageo Bob and Blonde Razor clash with the more than capable Jimmy Nailed On drawn outside Bob in trap 6. With only two going through to the final one of these is sure to miss out.
This Wednesday we make a welcome return to Yarmouth for the start of the Totepool East Anglian Derby. Evanta Evita, runner up in last week's Lowther Stakes, joins our team and she warmed up with a 28.12 trial on Thursday. No doubt this is a tough event which tests the durability of the dogs with four runs in two weeks for those that make the £15,000 to the winner final. Clondoty Alex who won well in a trial stake last Monday should go well and Calco Flyer made the semi final last year and can get back to his best form here. Ballymac Sinbad is a decent dog while Evanta Fantasy, back after a minor injury kept her out the Lowther Stakes, was formerly graded at Yarmouth and will be a player if back to her Derby form. Penny Seabiscuit is progressive while Ilewin Allot won the Yarmouth Championship in 2014 and loves the track so could well be in the mix.
It's a massively busy time for the open race runners over the next couple of months but with our commitments to Towcester I've decided to concentrate on a couple of competitions away from home rather than fly all over the place. We are heavily involved in the Brighton Belle with Aero Babooshka and Airforce Duchess but gave the Sky meeting at Monmore a miss on Thursday. Both big winners Swift Hoffman and Millwards Teddy were impressive. Also you should be seeing quite a few new names from Imperial Kennels on both the graded side and the open race scene with many recent recruits starting their British careers over the next few weeks.
We touched on some politics of the sport last week but I think the biggest crisis in the industry at the moment isn't a shortage of dogs but a shortage of trainers to supply enough dogs to the racing strengths. Towcester, despite their great track and facilities, are struggling to fill cards and that seems to be the case at many of the GBGB tracks. I always said that Walthamstow's closure in 2008 wasn't just a disaster short term but long term it had so many trainers deciding to call it a day. There are 1500 fewer trainers than that fateful day in August 2008 and if we are to make the sport's 100th anniversary in a decade or so a massive rethink from all sections of our industry is needed. To get new and younger trainers involved we need aspirations and financial rewards that will make it worthwhile for them to pursue a career as a greyhound trainer.
On a wet and windy summer's night at Yarmouth are runners performed well enough in East Anglian Derby Trial Stakes with Clondoty Alex very game scoring in 28.22.
In the Brighton Belle on Tuesday all four of our runners performed well but only Aero Babooshka (2nd) and Airforce Duchess (3rd) qualified.
At Romford on Friday the Champion Stakes saw five of our six entries make it through to this Friday's semi finals and at Towcester on Saturday both Millroad Rodger and Oldfield Lynda were best when 2nd.
On Friday a good night with three winners from our graded runners with Ilewin Sleepy scoring a debut win in an A5 in 28.69. Nimrod Son added to his tally of victories in A4 company in 28.58 while Roswell De Nero scored a well deserved victory in an A3 in good style in 28.28.
With plenty of opens on Saturday Vanbasten was our sole winner in a tough A1 making it three from four at Towcester and we wish him luck on his move to Peterborough. No winners from our 5 runners on Sunday.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
On Wednesday the Totepool East Anglian Derby gets underway at Yarmouth while we will also be at Romford in supporting competitions for the Champion Stakes.
Back to Hove on Thursday for the semis of the Brighton Belle and the Champion Stakes semi finals on Friday at Romford is the feature of the week's action.
On Saturday the September leg of the Premier League sees us with a small lead over Kevin Hutton.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Airforce Duchess still has a chance to make it through to the Brighton Belle Final while our supporters of Adageo Bob had a real scare on Friday but he came through, unfortunately Swift Whirlwind fell by the wayside.
The Totepool East Anglian Derby is a tough event to win but Evanta Evita has been solid for us all year and she can show her class by making the final at least. Calco Flyer also likes this venue and if he can get through a tough heat will be value to go all the way.
EVANTA EVITA - 2 pts e.w ante post - Totepool East Anglian Derby - Yarmouth - starts Wednesday
CALCO FLYER - 1.5 pts e.w ante post - Totepool East Anglian Derby - Yarmouth - starts Wednesday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
AIRFORCE DUCHESS - 1.5 pts e.w ante post 20/1 - Coral Brighton Belle - Hove - semi finals Thursday
ADAGEO BOB - 2.5 pts e.w ante post 4/1 - Coral Chanpion Stakes - Romford - semi finals Friday
SWIFT WHIRLWIND - 2 pts e.w ante post 10/1 - Coral Champion Stakes - Romford - lost