Monday 10th March 2008
On Tuesday I was privileged to be able to attend the Trainers Championship lunch sponsored by Betfair at the luxurious Landmark hotel in London and I cannot praise them enough for the hospitality they showed with Tony Calvin superb as the host. This relaxed occasion is a real treat for Trainers and it starts to build a great atmosphere towards the March 18th meeting at Wimbledon. With our team all most complete I thought the price of 5-2 that is on offer for us to go one better than last year was very fair.
After last week's big race triumph with Centaur Decree in the Arc, Genesis Dream's brilliant victory in Monmore's Spring Festival worth £5,000 on Friday afternoon was another welcome return to form in finals for the kennel. This little black bitch is like a pocket rocket and has a real big heart, as she showed holding off a decent field, and she looks a real prospect for the big staying races in the summer like the Grand Prix. Owner Gavin Cheeseman's Genesis prefix is now well established on the open race circuit with some lovely greyhounds in the kennel.
Genesis Dream's win has powered us to the top of the Trainers Championship standings by 42 points and it is great to have started the season so well. The next Category 1 competition is the Pall Mall which starts this week at Oxford and we will be looking for a good showing from Seanis Strike who hasn't had the best of fortune yet but we think he is well capable of going a long way.
The Spring Festival at Monmore on Monday was not going to plan as Seanis Strike, Eye Onthe Force, Aero Blackjack and Like Hot Cakes were all eliminated from their respective heats and it was left to Genesis Dream to rescue the day as she cracked out the lids to lead in the 630m Stayers and, though all out, she held the challenge of Swift Messenger by a short head in 38.20.
Thursday was a day we look forward to in the calendar as the heats of the Puppy Derby at Monmore took place and surprisingly the ante-post favourite Ballymac Under was knocked out in the opening heat. Unfortunately our two entries, Rockburst Mason and Lockdale Diamond, could not take advantage as they were both unlucky in running. At Walthamstow on the same night Eye Onthe Flame(3rd) put in another good display of jumping for a novice but had no answer to Springbok champ Hotdog Jack who won in 29.27(-10). Butterbridge Ali was a shade disappointing as he lost out to Droopys Majella by 1 1/2 lengths in 40.31(-30) in Division 2 of the 640m Stayers when odds on and Bell Tempest suffered the same fate in the Novice Marathon as he was beaten half a length by Leaha Chuita in 54.07(-40).
After the the previous night's racing confidence was not high as Genesis Dream went into the Spring Festival Stayers' Final worth £5,000 at Monmore on Friday afternoon but Gavin Cheeseman's daughter of Kinda Sleepy produced her career-best performance with a scintillating burst of early pace and then showed her tenacity to hold the class field at bay eventually scoring by a cosy 1 1/4 lengths in a fast 38.06 to take the honours.
Friday night was not so lucky at Romford with no winners from our five runners.
On Monday's Bags card we had three 2nds from our 5 runners - Blackey Said So beaten by 1/2 lengths in 29.31(+10), Megusta Manners beaten 5 lengths in 29.27(+10) and Treacle Satin beaten 3 lengths in 29.20(+20).
Tuesday started well with Centaur Fuzzoms scoring an emphatic win by 4 3/4 lengths in 29.42(+10). Kinda Flashy ran a blinder when beaten a short head in 29.45(+10) after he was in trouble going into the bend and he showed good pace to almost get back on terms. Chilli Blue led from a wide draw which suited and repelled the late challenge of Centaur Lucky to win by 1 1/2 lengths in 29.45(+10). Genesis Sister, returning to the grades, showed why she is a real force when winning the S1 by a head from Toosey Tops with Centaur Cappo in 3rd place beaten 2 1/2 lengths with the winner clocking 39.85(+15). Ortuna having her first run back from season ran well to only be beaten 1 1/2 lengths in 29.21(+10). Treacle Rose ran well in 3rd in the A2 but in the last the well backed Blue Wish could only finish 2nd at a prohibitive 1-2 on.
The improving Freedom Man was our sole winner on a difficult card on Saturday night. His 4.98 split set up his 1/2 length success over Droopys Giamatti in a good 29.34. Millwards Summit (3rd), Bell Tornado (3rd), Roswell Zodiac (3rd) and Largo Lassie (2nd) were all thereabout but found it tough.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACE:- GENESIS DREAM
GRADED:- FREEDOM MAN
WHATS ON THIS WEEK
Our week starts at Romford with the heats of the Coral TV Marathon over 750m and Genesis Sister must have a big chance after last week's confidence-boosting S1 win.
We have a number of trials booked at Wimbledon on Wednesday morning with the Trainers Championship in mind including Arc hero Centaur Decree, quadruple Category 1 winner Eye Onthe Veto and top prospect Missed A Train to name a few.
Thursday sees a busy open race night at Walthamstow plus the start of the Pall Mall at Oxford and we hope to be back at Romford on Friday.
LIKE HOT CAKES The Betdirect Get Involved Trophy 2008, Hall Green
GENESIS ALIX The Freephone Betdirect Trophy 2008, Hall Green
AERO BLACKJACK William Hill Stakes 2008, Wimbledon
EYE ONTHE FORCE Racing Post Stakes 2008, Wimbledon
GENESIS DREAM Stan James Ladies Stakes 2008, Wimbledon
TREACLE ROSE Ladbrokes Arc Heat 8 2008, Walthamstow
AERO BLACKJACK Ladbrokes Puppy Stayers 2008, Walthamstow
CENTAUR DECREE Ladbrokes Arc Final 2008, Walthamstow
GENESIS DREAM Ladbrokes Spring Festival 630 Final, Monmore