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A very brief blog as we wrap up the last week of 2018. In a couple of days my complete review of a truly dramatic 2018 should be complete and I hope everybody enjoys my read, we will also sort out our popular website awards and our 5 To Follow winner (very close going into the last week). I’m guesting on RPGTV tomorrow night so if there’s nothing better than the soaps on then it might be worth a watch!
Our last open races of the year were at Romford on Friday and Henlow on Sunday. At Romford we were preparing a few for this Friday’s Coronation Cup, Shrewd Honcho ran well to lead off the second bend and was all out to stay there but she did so scoring in 35.62, Saleen Ash is running well without totally firing and was second as was Brigadier Bullet (my recommendation for outright honours in Coronation Cup) who would have needed the run, all three will be entered for the Coronation Cup.
There were just a few opens at Henlow on Sunday and we started off with a double. Saleen Story has found his mojo again and followed up his A3 success on Boxing Day with a 460m open win in 27.64. Chubbys Caviar
promptly reminded us of what might have been the previous Saturday in the Oaks Final given a bit of luck as she blew away some decent maidens when stepped up to 550m , winning by 5 1/2 lengths in a scintillating 33.11, she will also take her chance in the Coronation Cup.
Chubbys Caviar’s victory was our final open race winner of the year which totalled 182 winners altogether at a healthy strike rate of 25% and took us to 982 points in the Trainer of the Year standings just over 200 points ahead of Kevin Hutton, who himself had a year to remember, winning both the Derby and the Oaks amongst other big race successes. We had four Category 1 winners which is always an excellent number each year, indeed our average strike rate for Category 1 victories since we won our first one in 1999 with Honky Tony Girl is 3.75. The kennel in total has now reached 71 Category 1 victories (9 Classics) , 13 whilst Linda was in charge and 58 since I took over in 2005. I’ve no doubt our kennel strength going into 2019 is not as strong as previous years and we have really got to pull out all the stops to retain our title but if we don’t then good luck to whoever does break our sequence of wins. Someone asked me the other day on how we motivate ourselves to keep reaching these incredible achievements and I can only give one reason and it’s a reason many sports people hate to admit ‘ Fear of failure’! of course you can’t win every race and the big race titles will elude us one day and its' how we deal with it that could be interesting, the best away to avoid this will certainly be to go and set our targets for us to achieve in 2019 and I have them in mind already! I think we are in for a fascinating year.
We had a nice few winners at Henlow last week including 5 on Boxing Day which saw a huge crowd on a reasonably pleasant day. Ribble Ghost
has really taken a shine to Henlow and without doubt was one of the slowest we ever trialled at Towcester when it first opened, when we did eventually get her on the card it looked doubtful she could win a race but eventually she got the hang of everything though we were all surprised she reached the dizzy heights of A4. A change of track to Henlow looked unlikely to suit the September 14 whelp but again she started to get the hang of it. On Monday our veteran bitch won an A5 in 28.07!! We might have trained all those Cat 1 winners but I’m proud of how we have such longevity with all our race dogs over the years and I think the likes of Calco Flyer, Clondoty Alex, Adageo Bob, Calco Swift, Saffrons Honey, Energize Honey, Airforce Cluxton to name but a few proves that we can get the best out of some of these long serving Greyhounds, all of whom are or hopefully will be retired without being injured! Whilst on the subject of retired dogs it was great to see Roswell Romanov, Bonzos Bullet and Swift Kaylee all go to beautiful and loving new homes they all so richly deserve over this last week.
So Boxing Day saw wins for Flip The Tyre, Roswell Martian, Swift Lisetta, Saleen Story and Jazz Jake while we also had wins the rest of the week for Energize Bobadoo, Deans Hail Mary, Aayamza Elseve and Corrig Grace
Today were our last runners of the year and another old stalwart Cousin Dupree took an S3 in a good 33.88 and was the last winner of 2018 for Imperial Kennels.
That just leaves myself, my family and my staff to wish all our owners, friends, readers and supporters of our website and Kennel a very, very happy New Year!
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - CHUBBYS CAVIAR
GRADED - RIBBLE GHOST
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
BRIGADIER BULLET - 2.5 pts each way ante post - Coral Coronation Cup - Romford - starts Friday