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We are reverting back to our written weekly newsletters for now. Our experimental podcasts went down a storm and I’m proud of our innovative way of communicating our kennel news and views, we will not be stopping the podcasts, merely refining them, and making them as interesting as possible, we will try and get at least one or two a month out there to go along side our newsletter. My daughter, Emily, has received so much praise for these podcasts and we look forward to producing our first one of 2020 in a week or two, these podcasts will be a fantastic listen and will cover current subjects in the sport as well as the latest kennel news and occasionally involving a special guest or two, another first in Greyhound racing from our team.
So, hopefully everyone has enjoyed reading our full website Review of 2019
, I must admit, despite taking an enormous amount of time, I really enjoy writing the review of the year and its amazing how much happens in a busy, successful kennel like ours. Of course with us retaining our Trainer of the Year title for an 11th time and an 8th consecutive one it makes doing the write up even more enjoyable.
We begin this week with a quick recap on last week's action and it’s always great to kick of the year with a fantastic card at Romford featuring the Coral Coronation Cup heats. Over the years this competition has got stronger and harder to win, though it's only a Category 2 competition it's all but a Category 1 event in name and I think Corals should seriously consider raising the prize money a little bit more to upgrade the event in the future. In all we had six entries and though we never had a winner we qualified four through to this week's semi finals. Tiffield Maximus was collared on the final stride by defending champion Desperado Dan while both Aayamza Express and Alien Sea qualified safely the behind Essex Vase winner Droopys Aoife who is flying at the moment. Certainly the performance of the round came from the enigmatic Sparta Master who beat our own Antigua Rum, who ran very well himself, by 4 1/2 lengths in a fast 34.88.
I thought all our dogs ran well on the night and we were a shade unfortunate only to have one winner. That came when our first open race runner of 2020 Deans Hail Mary won a bitches 400m in by a neck in 24.26, she was also our first website recommended bet of the year so good to get that one in!
Monmore was a happy hunting ground for us in 2019 and this year started well there too, it’s fantastic that they are continuing with there twice monthly festival races and the first one last Saturday saw us bag three winners from six runners. Antigua Romeo
and Coolavanny Messi had great final halves of last year and that form continued as they took 480’s in good style, Antigua Romeo won by over 5 lengths in a flying 27.96 while Coolavanny Messi also won by 2 3/4 lengths in 28.21. Avastorm completed an excellent night winning a quality 684m race by 5 lengths in a decent 41.19.
Our first week of action saw us proudly sitting at the top of the Trainer of the Year standings, courtesy of the three winners at Monmore (5 pts each) and I’m hoping we have a decent strength of open racers to get the season off to a fast start, no doubt it will be difficult to win the Coronation Cup but that’s the first target. We have retired Brigadier Bullet, Brinkleys Poet and Aayamza Breeze and these top stars are hard to replace but I’m confident we have some new talent emerging and our kennel plan is our usual one, plenty of runners at Romford on Friday nights as they have regular open race competitions, we will support Monmore for their festival races and then if we feel we have the right dog that’s capable of getting to a Category 1 or 2 final anywhere in Britain we will travel. We have never failed to win a Category 1 event in my reign at Imperial Kennels that started in 2005, or for that matter, since we won our first one in 1999! It could well happen one day but that is always our main goal when we start the year. A third Derby victory would be nice but not essential to us and it goes without saying that should the results go our way then a 12th Trainers title will be achievable.
To do all the above we need not just real commitment from myself and my family but excellent staff, which we have, and most importantly owners who enjoy everything we are trying to achieve. We have that as well for sure but we are always open to new owners and whether they want a top class open racer or just a grader for a bit of fun we can accommodate. We have a well run Racing Club
that costs just £1 per day (£500 to join) and also a major partnership with Gary Goulden’s ‘Energize Kennels’
that breeds exclusively for our kennel. Feel free to contact us at any time if you are interested in being a part of our all conquering kennel.
We are contracted at Henlow and hopefully when Towcester reopens in April time we will be dual attached and our year began last week with four runners on Thursday and Ping Be Slick
won an A4 in a career best 27.89, not bad for a 3 1/2 year old bitch who looked stuck around the A6 grade, again an improving older type typical of how our kennel operates.
On Friday we had no winners but both Calco Dare and Shazzas Bullet ran well when second and on Saturday we had one winner when Longacres Mikey came from off the pace to win an S2 in 34.02.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - ANTIGUA ROMEO
GRADED - PING BE SLICK
WHAT’S ON NEXT WEEK
We have four runners at Hove tonight including Antigua Sands in a 500m Ladies heats and final. Our main action is at Romford on Friday where the Coronation Cup semi finals are the feature races of the night.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Of course we only put our recommended bets up for a bit of fun with a maximum stake of 5 pts. In 2019 we showed a nice profit on all selections given of 30pts with our ante post recommendations a decent 46 pts profit!
We started the year off well as our podcast last week highlighted Deans Hail Mary as our first bet of the year and she duly obliged at 9/4 whilst our ante post tips for the Coronation Cup both qualified for this week's semi final. Aayamza Express and Antigua Rum have tough races but hopefully both can qualify for next week's Category 2 final, we will leave them as our main hopes to get the year off to a great start.
ADVISED LAST WEEK
AAYAMZA EXPRESS - 2 pts ew ante post 8/1 - Coral Coronation Cup - Romford - semi final Friday
ANTIGUA RUM - 1 pt ew ante post 16/1 - Coral Coronation Cup - Romford - Semi final Friday
DEANS HAIL MARY - 1 pt win - Romford - Friday - WON 9/4