6th December 2016
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Roswell Romanov has been faultless in the Coral Essex Vase at Romford so far and goes into Wednesday's £10,000 to the winner final as a clear favourite. In Friday's semi final he again blasted clear out the boxes and looked to have the race in the bag but an incredible burst of middle pace from Alfie's Diamond saw Patrick Janssen's dog draw alongside him on the run in. He should have gone on to beat Romanov but certainly turned his attentions instead on our fella who held out by a head to win in the fastest of the three semi's in 35.23 (-20), sadly for connections his antics drew a red card from the stewards and he was disqualified meaning he is out of the final. Ferryforth Fran ran on to finish 3rd in the race and his dream of winning a 3rd category 1 in 2016 is over, he will however take his place in the prestigious Ballyregan Bob Memorial, a one off race at Hove on Thursday, Roswell Roxanne (6th) was outgunned and in the other two semi's both Rubys Razzle (4th) and Ribble Aon (3rd) just missed out on a place in the final.
It will be a great card Wednesday and we will have plenty of runners not least in a brilliant Mitch Millward 750m final, this race would grace any Category 1 final and is a fitting tribute to Mitch. Billy's Bullet lines up in trap 1 in what will be one of his last ever races, it's a tough ask for him to win with the likes of Fizzypop Buddy in the race but he's fit and well and he could add to his fairytale career by landing this great race. We also have Evanta Fantasy running and she is another who's on her very last few races and what a great bitch she has been for Evan Herbert and our kennel.
On Thursday we return to Belle Vue for the semi finals of the Oaks and defending champ Domino Storm kept her unbeaten record when winning her second round heat by 4 1/2 lengths in a fine 27.56. Mashmad Eyebrows and Airforce Duchess both missed out when third as only two went through at this stage. Mashmad Eyebrows was caught by kennel mate Ballymac Shirley on the line for the vital second spot after showing blistering early pace. The reward for their efforts is a hot semi final where Domino Storm is in trap 2 and Ballymac Shirley in trap 4, only their best will get them through to the final. The Laurels also began last Friday and Clondoty Alex crashed out after a moderate break but there was better news when Roswell Iceman returned from a lay off to blast home to a rare away victory in a good 27.63. Again this Thursday he has a tough semi final with loads of pace around him so further improvement will be needed.
We are getting to the end of a very long season and after the Oaks we will try and give some of the open racers a break though already I see the season opening 2017 Coronation Cup actually starts on the 30th December! so the likes of Roswell Romanov will need to be kept fit as this will be an obvious target. We also have the Bags Championship Grand Finals at Perry Bar on 23rd December so really we won't get that much of a break especially with a busy period at our home track Towcester. No doubt 2016 has been a hugely successful year again for my team at Imperial Kennels and I'm already making notes for my website end of the year review which I really enjoy doing. There have many highs and a few lows and I will be an immensely proud man when I accept my record 8th Trainer of the Year award in January. As I've said many times I am only as good as the staff I have as well as the owners who have supported us and of course their greyhounds who we have trained as well as we can.
Tuesday's intended open runners at Towcester never happened as the meeting was cancelled due to a severe frost. On Thursday our Oaks campaign continued as said above with the Laurels first round heats and on Friday we only had the Coral Essex Vase semi finals and Garryglass Teddy (4th) in a maiden stayers.
With the meeting cancelled on Tuesday we had six runners Friday, Blackstone Jovi ran well when 2nd in an A4 with Garryglass Pixie a nice winner in an A3 in 28.66.
On Saturday morning's card in the 8 dog races we had two nice winners with Lord Heskeths Ribble Ghost taking an A6 in 29.16 while Micky Thebutcher ran riot in an A5 winning by over 4 lengths in 28.76.
Plenty of runners and winners on Saturday night, our Bags Championship star Adageo Gold won well for the first time at Towcester in an A5 by 5 lengths in 28.72, youngster Tiffield Lad showed promise last week and followed up with a good win in a P7 by 1 1/2 lengths in 28.89. Giveabitback Sue has found her form again and scooted clear in a D2 winning by over 4 lengths in a very good 15.47, Cappoquin Jack was just denied in an A5 and though Swift Dante was well beaten in an S1 she ran well when 2nd. Ballymac Sinbad makes a habit of popping up when a big price and did so in an A2 winning by 1 1/2 lengths in 28.46 and the best was saved for the last where Saffrons Tina romped to a debut win in a superb 28.27 scoring by over 6 lengths for the Markwallisgreyhounds Racing Club and looks a bitch going places.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Last night the National Sprint kicked off and we had both Ela Ela Genie and Chubbys Oak involved. Tonight at Towcester we have some open race runners on the card supporting the British Bred final.
On Wednesday we have a great Sky card with plenty of runners with the feature being the Coral Esseex Vase Final where Roswell Romanov bids to follow up on Adageo Bob's memorable success of 2015, also Billy's Bullet runs in the cracking Mitch Millward Memorial final over 750m.
Domino Storm and Ballymac Shirley face a tough semi final in the RPGTV Oaks semi finals at Belle Vue on Thursday as does Roswell Iceman in the Laurels semi's. We also travel to Hove as Ferryforth Fran runs in the Ballyregan Bob Memorial race.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Roswell Romanov is going to go to the traps as favourite to win the Coral Essex Vase but it's far from a penalty kick, in fact he will have to raise his already mighty game a notch further to win. Ribble Aon just missed out on a place in the final when 3rd. In the RPGTV Oaks Domino Storm continues on her merry way in her defence of the title but again we just missed out on our bigger priced one when Mashmad Eyebrows bowed out in 3rd place. My best bet for the Sky card on Wednesday at Romford might well be our veteran Evanta Fantasy in the bitches 400m race.
EVANTA FANTASY - 4 pts win - Romford 7.26 - Wednesday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
DOMINO STORM - 5 pts win ante post 12/1 - RPGTV Oaks - Belle Vue - semi finals Thursday
ROSWELL ROMANOV - 5 pts win ante post 4/1 - Coral Essex Vase - Romford - final Wednesday
2 pt win Double
MASHMAD EYEBROWS - 1 pt ew ante post 33/1 - RPGTV Oaks - Belle Vue - lost
RIBBLE AON - 1.5 pts e.w ante post 25/1 - Coral Essex Vase - Romford - lost