3rd February 2021
The TRC Health & Hygiene Blue Riband Final at Towcester has had its problems but reaches its conclusion on Saturday afternoon and despite its issues with delays, void races and tragically the loss of one of the sport's superstars it has a class line up in the final. Though he hasn’t run his best yet Coolavanny Kyser lines up in trap 2 and if he can show that electric trapping and turn of early pace that we have seen before then he still has a shout of winning this Category 1 competition. Kilara Lion will go off a short price favourite and no-one would begrudge Patrick Janssens a win in the event after last week's heats saw his kennel superstar and ante post favourite suffer a career ending injury that then cost his life at the vets a day later. It’s a very rare occurrence in our sport but as we all know it has and can happen with these graceful animals that reach up to 40 mph in full flight.
We have a busy Saturday in store as we start with the Ladbrokes Golden Jacket heats at Crayford in the morning and we have six entries chasing the title we last won in 2016 with Patches Kerry. With long time ante post favourite Roxholme Kristoff withdrawn yesterday Bo Shine Bullet jumps to the head of the market after two good displays and wins over track and trip, I’m not so sure she should be in front of Smallmead in the betting who has been there and worn the tee shirt in big events but Bo Shine Bullet certainly gives everyone a buzz and the connections who are on at juicy early odds can dream of glory. She certainly isn’t are only chance as Antigua Rum carries excellent credentials and warmed up with a decent trial on Saturday before racing, he was a semi finalist last year and surely can get stronger as he’s only had three races since being off for over 4 months with an injury, those three runs were all in the Essex Vase and he finished a creditable 3rd in the final. Aayamza Lexie beat some good class stayers in Redzer Renae and Micks Little Gem on Saturday in a trial stake and must enter calculations, her catch me if you can tactics at Crayford often pays dividends as we well know with Patches Kerry in the past. Avastorm, a finalist last year, loves Crayford and in what will be her last races before retirement she’s still capable of making the final again while we also have two lively outsiders in Anhid News, a lightly raced type, who destroyed her opposition in a 750m Maiden at Romford on Friday in a very decent 47.16 and Tiffield Maximus who has been in a Category 1 final before, both need to handle the tight tack a little better and who knows.
One notable absentee of ours is Antigua Fire who hasn’t really fired since returning from injury last year and again on Saturday ran just ok. A third crack at the event was going to be his last races of a distinguished career but we all felt it maybe wasn’t in his best interest. Twice a runner up in the Golden Jacket he proved how good he was at Crayford when winning the Category 1 Kent St Leger in 2019. That maybe his only group 1 success but he’s without doubt been the best stayer in the country over the last couple of seasons and his last to first victory in the stayers competition at Nottingham in 2019 on Derby final night was a real thrill. He has given his owners Amanda and Nic Jeal enormous pleasure winning 25 opens in all and ranks alongside Brinkleys Poet and Antigua Romeo as the best dogs they have owned in their love for our sport. He will be found a lovely home to enjoy his retirement.
Antigua Fire is not the only open racer we have seen retire recently. Litter siblings Tiffield Blueboy and Jesses Sister had picked up career ending injuries recently and both had fine race records with Tiffield Blueboy second in last year's Golden Sprint final a real blow to connections. Promising stayer Schooldays has also recently retired when he aggravated his gracilis injury in a recent trial while Glassmoss Sis a lovely open race stayer also is now retired with an Achilles’ tendon injury, all thankfully will make a full recovery to make lovely pets.
We have plenty of runners in supporting opens at Crayford and Towcester on Saturday with recent Essex Vase winner Antigua Romeo now having a crack at the forthcoming Peter Bussey Memorial event and he faces some tough rivals in a red hot trial stake over 540m. This will be all shown on the new Saturday morning RPGTV show which is a welcome bonus for greyhound fans. Our star marathon performer Aayamza Royale has her first race of the year in a gruelling 940m one off race at Towcester, she warmed up with a flying 37.30 trial at Monmore today and can hopefully give viewers who subscribe to Towcester TV a real thrill. We will also be at Monmore on Saturday night as we warm up for the Winter Derby and Puppy Derby that start the following week. We might just have the one puppy entry with the likeable young bitch Sweet Pear, she ran very well in a trial stake last Saturday when a close up second. We will enter a few for the Winter Derby though I think it will be tough just to get in the event and I can see it being well oversubscribed as there’s not much else in the calendar for the top four bend dogs.
Wednesday afternoon at Towcester to be honest was a tough watch as the days racing featured just the Blue Riband heats which were delayed after the planned meeting the previous Saturday fell victim to the weather. The injury to Bockos Doomie and a void race which meant we had to draw straws to see who qualified for the semi final which subsequently meant both of ours Black Eyed Molly and Hopes Bullet missed out. In the end it was only Coolavanny Kyser and Drumcrow Brent that made the semi final on Sunday where Drumcrow Brent was eliminated when stumbling upon leaving the traps but Coolavanny Kyser qualified for the final when second in his messy semi final.
On Friday at Romford Playbook and Innfield Kaci were 2nd and 3rd respectively in the Friday Night 500 Bitches final, Elms Bee was just caught on the line in the heats of the Friday Night 500 Maiden Stayers but qualified for this week's final. Ivy Hill Skyhigh ran well when also second in a 575m behind a fast Newinn Liz who clocked 34.94 but Anhid News made sure we went home with a winner when scorching round in a fast 47.16 over 750m.
At Crayford we warmed up for the Golden Jacket with fluent trial stakes victories for Bo Shine Bullet (45.54) and Aayamza Lexie (45.79) and Avastorm was 3rd while over at Monmore Sweet Pear ran well in a Puppy Derby trial stake when second.
HENLOW & TOWCESTER REVIEW
The cold snap relented allowing us to race on Tuesday night and in form Formel Jet took an A3 well in a decent 27.98 and Go Wild Turbo was most impressive dropping back to sprints winning a D2 in a fast 16.57, litter sister Onyx Penny completed a good night winning an A6 in 28.12.
On Thursday we had another cracking day. Nippys Spirit won an A6 in good style in 28.12, Glassmoss Queen took an A5 in a fast 28.02 and we had a winning debut from Swift Pinch who won an A8 and Sheriff Master grabbed his first victory taking an A4 in 27.93.
No luck at Towcester on Sunday in graded races with Towstar Izzy coming closest when just beat in an A5.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - BO SHINE BULLET
WHAT’S ON NEXT WEEK
A busy Saturday as we have the Ladbrokes Golden Jacket heats and other runners in supporting races in the morning all on the new RPGTV show, in the afternoon you need to switch to Towcester TV to watch a gala open race card with the Coolavanny Kyser going for us in the feature race the Blue Riband Final worth £7,500 to the winner, in the evening a cracking card at Monmore should keep us all happy.
Before that we just have a few runners at Romford on Friday including Elms Bee going in the Maiden Stayers final.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Our Blue Riband selection was in the void race and didn’t get drawn out of the hat but all stakes should have been returned.
Trying to find the right selection for the Ladbrokes Golden Jacket at Crayford starting Saturday is not easy as most of the value went when Roxholme Kristoff was withdrawn. Bo Shine Bullet is a clear favourite and without doubt she’s our most likely winner but now seems to be a skinny price but we should have something on. Antigua Rum is worth an interest as he’s a class act while Avastorm has lost that winning habit and her career ends when this competition finishes but 50/1 is overpriced as she loves Crayford and made the final last year so is worth a small each way bet
BO SHINE BULLET - 2.5 pts ew ante post 5/1 - Ladbrokes Golden Jacket - Crayford - starts Saturday
ANTIGUA RUM - 1.5 pts ew ante post 14/1 - Ladbrokes Golden Jacket - Crayford - starts Saturday
AVASTORM - 1 pt ew ante post 50/1 - Ladbrokes Golden Jacket - Crayford - starts Saturday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
HOPES BULLET - 1 pt ew ante post 25/1 - Blue Riband - Towcester - Void