4th July 2016
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The long trip to Sunderland on Saturday for the William Hill Festival turned into a bit of a nightmare for the kennel as we were virtually bumped out of both the Classic and Grand Prix. Of our six runners only the brave Clondoty Alex came through qualifying and now flies the flag for 'Team Wallis'. It would be difficult to knock the tight North East track with its fair run up and tight bends as we have many big wins at the venue in previous years and Sunderland has been kind to us but it's a hard place for the fastest dogs in the country to get round the bends unscathed. Our triple Category 1 winner Patchys Kerry, favourite for the Grand Prix with the sponsors, looked in a handy position as they got to the first bend but a massive squeeze up saw her take a nasty tumble and a competition that looked there for the taking was over in a flash, thankfully she seems to have come off sound and we will dust ourselves down and look ahead to the future with her. Both Ferryforth Fran and Garryglass Pixie were eliminated when only 4th in their heats. In the Classic a hot heat and a shocking draw in trap 4 for Roswell Iceman saw him bumped out of the competition as the fast dogs inside him moved off at the bend and he did well to stay on his feet, Clondoty Alex escaped the trouble and looked dangerous at the third bend but he himself had the door firmly shut in his face as trap 6 moved across to cut into the corner and in the end he had to settle for a qualifying spot next Saturday. California in the last heat also looked in a good position as they made the first bend but firstly trap 3 moved off nearly knocking him into the grass and then after riding that bump well trap 4 moved off down the back straight forcing California to check and that was the end of that. Not a great night and our remaining entrant Clondoty Alex then drew trap 4 in next week's semi final and our tight railer will do well to get in the first two to make the final but we will be trying our hardest.
We move on and we quickly need to bounce back and tomorrow night we are privileged to be a part of the Betfred Select Stakes and the Betfred Stayers Stakes which have fantastic prize money on offer and both Domino Storm and Billys Bullet are worthy contenders. Now that's the good news but I have to have a whinge, firstly I feel desperately sorry for the connections of Ballymac Brogan who sadly broke down in a trial last week in preparation for the Select Stakes a hugely valuable one off race. With Making Paper coming in for Brogan it still has a high class look about it but you can forgive me for thinking that the make up of the race would see Domino Storm drawn in either trap 1 or 2 with Droopys Buick the only other rails seed, but no, I was dismayed to see she has drawn trap 4! I thought there must have been other changes for this to happen, Eden The Kid and Making Paper occupy those two inside boxes, of course these are confirmed middle runners but somehow they have rails seeds, and when I looked trap 5 Lenson Sanchez another middle seed in my book has no seeding either! I'm not one for moaning about how trainers seed their dogs and I've never withdrawn a dog because it has a bad draw but in a high class contest like this you would think the seedings would have been done correctly. Only a Domino Storm smash break will now suffice as both her and Buick have a real job clearing both Eden The Kid and Making Paper who will surely move to the middle on the run up. Billys Bullet after having 3 weeks off has only trialled moderately but is in great form for the Stayers and his draw in 2 is no problem, with marathon sensation Roxholme Magic dropping down in trip it's one of the most interesting races of the year! Good luck to both our runners.
We enter a busy period both on the open race scene and at Towcester. We send runners down to Hove this week as the Sussex Cup gets underway a week Thursday and Towcester begin their preparations for two high class events coming up the - T.V Trophy and the Lowther Stakes with trial stakes beginning this week. Again we should have strong representation in both and a little bit of luck that's deserted us of late will hopefully come our way.
Thank you to all the people who entered our popular 5 To Follow competition and the first update will be up next Monday. In other news Towcester supremo Lord Hesketh has set up a Racing Club that gives people a chance to be a part of his 5 strong team of greyhounds, it's free to join and members will enjoy following his greyhounds headed by TV Trophy contender Ribble Atom and sharing the podium when they win. Mick Livesey will be running the club with regular updates and news. Our own Markwallisgreyhounds Racing Club is going from strength to strength and we are set to have over 50 members and guests at Towcester on July 16th enjoying their great facilities in one of the executive boxes, details for membership can be found on our Racing Club page.
Apart from the William Hill Festival at Sunderland on Saturday open racing for us was only at Towcester last week. The feature race the 500m Standard final saw Airforce Duchess chase home former kennel star Blackstone Marco while Blastoff Bonnie qualified for the Maiden Stayers final when 3rd.
On Tuesday Swift Katarina, Mexico and Airforce Karla were all runners up and there was a win for Famias Hope who surely won't see another A4 for a while after a facile 28.10 success.
On Friday Saltimbanco (2nd), Parkers Prince (2nd) and Parkers Star (3rd) all ran well with Ninja Frankie winning when just getting the better of a running on Swift Clare by a short head in 28.70.
Saturday was a disaster all round in respect of winners both at Towcester and Sunderland with a number of fancied runners missing their breaks and not having much luck. Roswell Red Kite was again a brilliant winner in a fine 28.23 but overall it was just one of those nights!
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
A good card at Towcester tomorrow evening featuring the Maiden Stayers final and Lowther and TV Trophy trial stakes are also on.
We will be at Hove Thursday and back to Sunderland on Saturday as Clondoty Alex tries to qualify for the William Hill Classic final.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Fingers were well and truly burnt on Saturday at Sunderland as the William Hill Festival saw Patchys Kerry ko'd in the Grand Prix and both Roswell Iceman and California bumped out of the Classic.
Though we seem right out of luck at the moment I see no reason why we can't have a little flutter on both our runners in the Betfred Select Stakes and the Betfred Stayers Stakes as both Domino Storm and Billys Bullet are class acts and know how to win big races.
DOMINO STORM - 2 pts win 11/2 - Betfred Select Stakes - Nottingham - Tuesday
BILLYS BULLET - 2 pts in 11/2 - Betfred Stayers Stakes - Nottingham - Tuesday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
PATCHYS KERRY - 5 pts win ante post 6/1 - William Hill Grand Prix - Sunderland - lost
ROSWELL ICEMAN - 2 pts e.w ante post 25/1 - William Hill Classic - Sunderland - lost
CALIFORNIA - 2 pts e.w ante post 20/1 - William Hill Classic - Sunderland - lost
CLONDOTY ALEX - 2 pts e.w ante post 25/1 - William Hill Classic - Sunderland - continues Saturday