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The Greyhound Derby was not without incident as the second round was completed at Nottingham on Friday and Saturday. Clonbrein Prince was an impressive Irish winner for Graham Holland on Friday in a fine 29.42 but we had some good British winners in the shape of Magical Bale, Queen Beyoncé and Desperado Dan amongst others. Our only runner Busters Bullet was baulked straight out the traps, virtually ending his campaign, but on Saturday I was delighted that both our runners qualified for the 3rd round this coming Friday. Antigua Romeo did well to cling on to third spot behind Paul Hennessey’s Priceless Blake (29.52) and in a hot heat Antigua Sands ran a cracker to finish second behind defending champion Dorotas Wildcat beaten just under 5 lengths in a fast 29.43. There was a good mixture of British and Irish winners on the night but the main talking point was Graham Holland’s Wolfe who inexplicably checked between the 3rd and 4th bends when looking set to qualify behind Roxholme Jim, he certainly didn’t seem lame or anything and videos showed no clues as to why he suddenly stopped chasing. The luck needed to win a Derby is incredible and I'm sure there will be plenty more stories unfold.
The third round is always a great night where you can get to watch all the last 48 contenders race on the same night. I'm happy with both our remaining runners heats and draws and I see no reason why we can't progress to the quarter finals. Antigua Romeo and Sands are well and though, like everyone else, travelling to Nottingham on a Friday is not ideal it should be an interesting night and people's idea of the Derby winner should come to the fore.
With the Derby on it's not easy finding races for the rest of our open race team but thankfully Henlow have put a few opens on Sunday's and we will now start to go back to Romford on Friday's. Also the twice monthly festival opens at Monmore seem to suit and yesterday we sent a strong team there for trials in preparation for races this Saturday. Brinkleys Poet, unfortunately eliminated in the first round of the Derby, impressed clocking 28.17 beating Brigadier Bullet (also pleasing) by 1 1/2 lengths, Antigua Vows another desperately unlucky Derby elimination flew round beating Alien Sea by 5 lengths in 28.19, Chubbys Turkana looked in need of a run but still went well to beat Saleen Again (caught the eye) by 3/4 length in 28.59, No Can Boogie also looked short of a run but went ok over 630m clocking 38.57.
Look out on our For Sale page and our Energize Kennel page as a number of young puppies will shortly be up for sale. We have two litters from Saffrons Tina and Ribble Aon that will be ready to sell. Once again we offer an excellent deal with a 'one off' payment that covers rearing, schooling, transport to our kennel and nothing else to pay until the pups are graded on at Henlow. The last part gives an excellent saving on when they come over and go through their initial qualifying trials. We hopefully will have a few other youngsters that can be boought over the next few months.
My reputation of being late everywhere precedes me and a few people had a chuckle when myself and Emily were guesting on RPGTV on Thursday as the programme started without us. For once I had a genuine excuse as we were left sitting on a tube train going into London from Epping when suddenly the service was suspended as someone decided to chain themselves on top of a bridge at Leyton and we were stuck a couple of stops before. This meant we had to get off and find a cab to take us to Chingford overground station to board a train to Liverpool Street and then get another cab to the studios 10 minutes from Waterloo station, all time consuming and costly as well. My tips were as bad but the debut guest appearance of my daughter Emily went down very well with many people commenting on how pleasant and precise she was answering questions, not to mention how pretty she looked, she certainly didn't get all that side of her genes from me so Sarah can take the credit for that! a budding presenting career beckons in the future?
As well as the Derby covered above we had a trip back to Romford on Friday though that ended in strange fashion. Romford somehow missed off a couple of my entries due to communication problems and our first two runners were beaten. We had two on the last race and both Garryglass Champ and Towstar Arry looked like they were chasing leader Swift Tarquin in vain but an incident at the last bend when several runners checked as a hare rail popped up meant the race had to be void.
At Crayford on Saturday we took some runners in preparation for this week's Cesarewitch and the supposed eagerly awaited race between Aayamza Breeze and Slippy Maggie was somewhat spoiled as a cascade of fireworks went off close to the stadium and it ended up being a messy race with both Breeze and Glassmoss Sis well beaten by the running on Slippy Magie. They may have also needed the run and hopefully will be much better this week, without fireworks please. Avastorm went over 714m and looked to have the race won when challenging at the last two bends but had the door firmly shut in her face and couldn't recover to get up but ran well all the same.
After a disappointing Sunday at Henlow the week before normal service was almost resumed. Algo For you is turning into a prolific winner and took advantage of trouble in behind when scoring over 550m by 8 1/4 lengths in 33.70. Coolavanny Messi made a fine debut taking a 460m Maiden by 3 lengths in 27.90 and Silva Hill got back on the winner's podium taking a sprint in 16.88 while in form Towstar Billy
produced his best run to date beating kennelmate Brinkleys Rosie in a fine 25.60 over 428m, it could have been better but Glory Snake was touched off by old nemesis Layton Boy by a short head in the top division of the 460m and Towstar Jess ran well when second over 550m.
On Monday a rare win for Bobs Boy in an A11 in 28.88, no winners on Tuesday from a few runners and on Thursday again we was out of luck. On Saturday a well deserved victory for Chubbys Jenny over 550m beating kennelmate Jaxxon Facebook by 3 lengths in 34.35. Earlier Towstar Zelda was most impressive beating some good S2 rivals by over 6 lengths in a very good 33.79 and Coasthopper Vic followed up his debut win with another last to first in 28.19.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - TOWSTAR BILLY
GRADED - TOWSTAR ZELDA
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
A busy day at trials yesterday with both Nottingham and Monmore on the agenda and this week the main focus is on the Derby third round with Antigua Romeo and Antigua Sands flying the flag.
We will be open racing at Romford on Friday and on Saturday the Cesarewitch starts at Crayford and the Ladbrokes Summer Festival series of races continue at Monmore and hopefully a few opens will be at Henlow on Sunday.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
With no bets last week I actually have an interesting bet this week. Ladbrokes are pricing up the fastest sectional during the Derby and our Antigua Romeo is 125/1, if he ever comes out like he did at Hove a few weeks a go he’s certainly capable of getting in the mix and at that price it’s worth a nibble. Also I think we have a reasonable chance of getting Antigua Sands through as well and with only five bitches left in the competition 6/1 is also worth a bet.
In the Cesarewitch all our runners will do well to beat Slippy Maggie but Aayamza Breeze had excuses Saturday and if she was 4/1 ante post or bigger she would be an each way bet.
ANTIGUA ROMEO - 0.5 pts each way ante post 125/1 - fastest sectional overall in Derby - Nottingham
ANTIGUA SANDS - 5 pts win 6/1 - Top Bitch - Greyhound Derby - Nottingham - 3rd round Friday
AAYAMZA BREEZE - 2 pts each way ante post (4/1 or better) - Cesarewitch- Crayford - starts Saturday