8th June 2015
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And then there were three, that's our position after round two of the William Hill Greyhound Derby at Wimbledon. Over the weekend we witnessed some dramatic action of what is fast becoming one of the best Derby's for many years. On Friday some stunning performances in the first two heats by Eden The Kid and Droopys Nidge were followed by some solid runs from Salonika, Roxholme Kid and Leamaneigh Turbo and then ended with a sub 28.00 run from ante post favourite Farloe Blitz whose early pace was simply awesome, and Jaytee Berlin who surprised with a 28.19 run.
In between these runs was a fascinating and tough heat 6 where both our runners Evanta Fantasy and Blue Moment were unfancied against the likes of Swift Hoffman and Lenson Sanchez. Evanta Fantasy, known mainly for a prolific record at Romford used her phenomenal early pace to lead round the first bend and a bit of scrimmaging behind saw her go 3 lengths clear. Out the pack turned Blue Moment and for a few seconds it looked like we had secured a memorable 1-2 but both Lenson Sanchez and Shotgun Harley showed superb middle pace and got up Blue Moment's inside and outside. At this point Lenson Sanchez just moved off stopping Blue Moment in his tracks and his Derby was over. Up front Evanta Fantasy had gone and much to most people's surprise she stayed on very well to win by 3 1/4 lengths in 28.56.
On Saturday the action again got off to a flying start with a polished 28.03 performance from Newinn Yolo and Coolavanny Jap and Quietly hit back for the Irish. Adageo Bob was one of the highlights of round one but our near veteran was stopped in his tracks off the second bend and couldn't get going again when eliminated in 4th place behind sprinter Geelo Vegas who is staying really well. On Alert won a weakish four dog heat before both our Evanta Evita and Van Frankie took on a tough heat 14. Favourite Viking Jack bombed out again to lead but importantly Evanta Evita showed some great early to turn second. Van Frankie paced up but got tangled up at the first bend and turned a remote fourth. I was pleased with Evita who kept the winning distance down to 2 lengths as Viking Jack is strong while Van Frankie made plenty of ground up but couldn't find that vital third spot and his Derby was over as well.
Our fourth runner Ballymac Sinbad showed a bit of inexperience when skewing out the traps badly and couldn't get competitive when also eliminated in heat 15. The last heat of the round was another hot one and Blonde Nipper had to be on his toes to have any chance of making the bend unscathed. This he did with ease after showing much more zip and once turning behind the early paced Ibiza Rocks he used his excellent middle pace and strength to go on and score by 2 lengths in 28.44.
This is certainly a very good Derby and next Saturday we start to get to the point where the skills of the greyhounds and trainers are tested beyond belief. Three runs in eight days face them and at the end six finalists will emerge for a crack at the £250,000 first prize. It's a day all owners and punters enjoy when you can watch all the remaining runners on one night. The draws have not been over kind to us as our two bitches Evanta Fantasy and Evanta Evita go in the same heat which has plenty of early pace and in trap 1 Swift Keith will be the likely favourite. Evanta Fantasy has been a revelation in the event and could well get first run on Evanta Evita but both Evan Herbert's stars will need to be foot perfect to get round in front. Blonde Nipper has a tough heat as well and trap 3 is a little bit further in than I like and he has the early paced Lenson Tiggy to avoid but Nipper is being brought along slowly and more improvement is expected. Nothing will be easy but it will be nice for our three to qualify for next Tuesday's quarter finals.
We have plenty of big race action before next Saturday's Derby with the Category 1 Ladbrokes Summer Stayers kicking off today at Monmore. Aayamzamodel and Black Francis fly the flag for the kennel. Tonight the Rose Bowl at Romford sees Jimmy Nailed On return to action and impressive Friday night winner Blonde Razor as well. On Saturday night the second leg of the Premier League returns to Towcester and we trail Eric Cantillon by a couple of points after the first leg.
Our popular 5 to Follow competition is now up and ready to go. You have up to 30 June to get your entries in (5 max) choosing 3 dogs and 2 bitches from our kennel list. We will offer some fabulous prizes including tickets on my table at the GBGB awards night in January and a night's stay in the hotel, also a table of four in the lovely restaurant at Towcester on a night of your choice. It's FREE TO ENTER and a lot of fun following your selections when they race and watching your team climb up the leaderboard each week if they win.
Our only other open racing this week apart from the William Hill Greyhound Derby was at Romford on Friday. Aero Twizzle was second in the heats of the 500 Sprint and Clondoty Alex was an unlucky 2nd over 400m. Two good wins though with Ilewin Allot a 24.30 scorer over 400m while Blonde Razor returned to the winner's podium with a 9 length win over 575m .
Not the best of nights on Friday where we drew a blank and on Saturday we got off to a better start when Carden Punch ran well to open her account by 1 1/2 lengths in 29.45. Ilewin Frimley scored well in an A2 in 28.56. Just the one winner on Sunday when Energize Master just held on in a sprint in 15.93.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Competitions today at Monmore with the Ladbrokes Summer Stayers and tonight with the Rose Bowl at Romford.
On Friday we will be at Romford and they are now holding regular mini competitions which is very good.
Saturday all roads lead to Wimbledon for the third round of the William Hill Greyhound Derby where eight heats promises to be special.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Not the best start for us in the Derby two weeks ago but we are starting to get a bit excited after this weekend. Blonde Nipper landed the odds for us as recommended on Saturday in his second round heat, 7/2 as well and his overall Derby price of around 33/1 (ladbrokes 40/1) means our 100/1 ante post vouchers are looking promising. Evanta Evita is also still there and her 200/1 pre Derby price is slashed to 80/1. In the top bitches market she now only has two rivals to beat to land our 5/1 but amazingly one of those is kennelmate Evanta Fantasy and sadly they clash in the same heat on Saturday.
For a bet this week I fancy Aero Twizzle on Friday to land the Coral 500 Sprint at Romford, beaten in his heat last week I expect a big run from our sprinter to score at decent odds.
AERO TWIZZLE - 2 pts win - Romford - Friday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
BLONDE NIPPER - 2.5 pts e.w ante post 100/1 - William Hill Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon - continues Saturday
EVANTA EVITA - 1 pt e.w ante post 200/1 - William Hill Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon - continues Saturday
EVANTA EVITA - 5 pts win ante post 5/1 - Bitch to go furthest in Derby - Wimbledon - continues Saturday
BLONDE NIPPER - 3 pts win - to win heat 16 - William Hill Greyhound Derby - WON 7/2