4th February 2020
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After doing a column for the Racing Post on Monday it’s difficult to add too much more to this blog so that is worth a read on line if you get a chance. We have a big week ahead with the start of the second major staying competition of the year getting underway on Saturday nigh tat Crayford, the Ladbroke Golden Jacket looks like it’s going to be a vintage affair this year with an array of canine talent taking part including the Irish raider Redfer Ardfert. Of course with Antigua Fire we will be looking for revenge for the St Leger defeat at Perry Barr a couple of months ago and these two brilliant stars are split in the betting by the improving Skilful Sandie for Patrick Janssen’s. Antigua Fire had a setback at the weekend when withdrawn off colour for an intended engagement at Monmore, he had a touch of kennel sickness on Saturday morning so couldn’t run him but was fine Monday morning so is having a 400m trial today at Romford and should be 100% by Saturday. You can go back through the next dozen in the betting and you can see the quality and both our recent Coronation Cup winner Antigua Rum and our Champion Stakes winner Aayamza Express are high up in the lists. Antigua Rum won well in a Maiden 714m on Saturday in a decent 45.61 and is sure to improve while Aayamza Express was second in a similar event but didn’t quite handle the track as well, she should improve each time she runs and rule her out at your peril. At a bigger price our St Leger 3rd Avastorm will be a definite entry as well as Antigua Sky and Glassmoss Sis who are both suited to the tight track. I feel our trial stake winner Passing Stranger is too big and gangly for this type of track and I’m not going to enter him while other potential entries have been ruled out, Longacres Mikey (trip way too short) Antigua Vows and Towstar Zelda (don’t stay 714m) while I’m debating whether to enter Tiffield Maximus and though I know he will stay 714m he has cramping issues in the cold weather. It’s a strong team for the event, now for a bit of luck in the draw!
The first major four bend event of the year, the Category 1 Coral Winter Derby, reaches the semi final stage this Saturday and is another high class event. Antigua Romeo ran well in his heat but the duel up front with Volcanic Reef allowed the strong running King Sheeran the chance to reverse the previous week's result with Romeo. Aero Madrid also qualified and though he maybe not quite this class at the moment will be one for the summer with some warmer weather. Romeo has drawn a tough but slightly easier semi final than Aero Madrid and we are hopeful of seeing one at least in the following week's final.
On Friday at Romford we started with a nice winner in the shape of Muxton Teddy who took his heat of the Friday Night Maiden 500 in good style considering it was his first look at the track. He scored by 2 lengths in a good 24.22 though he does face a stiff task in the final this Friday drawing trap 4. The night didn’t go as well afterwards. In the Friday Night 500 Standard final both Tiffield Blueboy and Silva Hill got hammered out the boxes and at the first and second bend when well beaten and I was slightly disappointed that neither Tiffield Maximus (3rd) or Alien Sea (4th) didn’t take the Southern Drain Services Stayers Final as they didn’t quite pick up as expected though taking nothing away from the winner Rockmount Ozzy for John Mullins.
A tremendously busy Saturday saw us at four tracks. We had a great day at Henlow in the grades with four winners while as said at Crayford Antigua Rum was our only winner in a Maiden 714m. Over at Hove Antigua Romeo and Aero Madrid both qualified for the Winter Derby semi finals and Avastorm was a close up 3rd when well fancied in a 695m race. Despite having to withdraw Antigua Fire it was still a great night at Monmore, from our other three runners we had two winners. Antigua Breeze needed a blow out in a very good Puppy 480m and led up, he was helped by the favourite Droopys Addition getting knocked over then was all out to hold Ballymac Cloud but just scrambled home by a neck in 28.44. Win machine Coolavanny Messi made it five on the trot at the Midlands track and battled bravely to score by 3/4 length in 28.32.
On Monday we finished up with a good winner as Muxton Teddy took off in an A4 in a flying 27.52. On Tuesday morning Towstar Izzy got off the mark winning an A10 in 28.75, Ice Cool Ellis took an A9 in good style in 28.45, just the one winner in the evening with the in form Busters Bullet taking an A3 in a fine 27.61.
We were out of luck on Thursday with Towstar Winston closest when second. On Saturday we had a decent day, Butterbridge Ink at last gained a victory taking an A9 from way off the pace in 28.93, back to form No Can Boogie took a good S1 in a very fast 33.55 and we had a 1-2 in the E2 as Glassmoss Queen won well beating Nothing But Love by 2 1/4 lengths in 43.08. Chubbys Jenny completed a good day when taking an A8 in 28.56.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - MUXGTON TEDDY
WHAT’S ON NEXT WEEK
Back to Romford on Friday and Muxton Teddy faces a tough draw in trap 4 in the Friday Night 500 Maiden final.
The Coral Winter Derby semi finals are high quality on Saturday and both Antigua Romeo and Aero Madrid bid to make the final.
The Ladbrokes Golden Jacket heats at Crayford should be intriguing and we should have a strong hand in proceedings.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Last week's recommendation Have A Brandy ran well at a decent price on Friday but was second but Antigua Romeo kept his hopes alive in the Coral Winter Derby when qualifying for this week's semi finals.
A huge event which we have won twice before kicks off this Saturday and finding our best bet for the Ladbrokes Golden Jacket isn’t easy. Antigua Fire was awesome two weeks ago taking a high class trial stake but has had an interrupted preparation this week, hopefully all is good and he can lead our charge, at 7/1 it’s a bit skinny but he is still our most likely winner. Antigua Rum is an improving competition dog and though the sponsors have him reasonably short at 8/1 there might be value somewhere when all the firms price up. Avastorm has yet to really convince at Crayford but make no mistake she is a good quality entry and anything around the 50/1 mark must be taken.
ANTIGUA FIRE - 2.5 pts each way ante post - Ladbrokes Golden Jacket - Crayford - starts Saturday
ANTIGUA RUM - 2 pts each way ante post - Ladbrokes Golden Jacket - Crayford - starts Saturday
AVASTORM - 1 pt each way ante post - Ladbrokes Golden Jacket - Crayford - starts Saturday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
ANTIGUA ROMEO - 2 pts each way ante post 6/1 - Coral Winter Derby - Hove - semi finals Saturday
HAVE A BRANDY - 3 pts win - Romford - Friday - lost