Monday 11th November 2013
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Tonight at Coventry as well as a good card for racing fans the GTA AGM takes place after kennelling. Promoter Harry Finday has kindly laid on a free buffet for trainers attending and the meeting is set for a lively encounter given the current financial plight of all trainers. GTA Chairman Rick Holloway elected as the GTA leader over 18 months ago is still not in his rightful place on the GBGB representing trainers and there have been many clashes with our governing board since his election landslide. Concessions have been made with myself along with two other GTA committee members (Jim Reynolds and Linda Jones) being invited onto various committees at the start of the year.
Despite not having experience at committee level I have found the time spent in meetings throughout the year worthwhile and positive although with the pot in the BGRF fund empty any real progress is certainly stifled. This is clearly down to the huge amounts of bets struck via the Internet and telephone that go offshore meaning a percentage of profits that really should come the sport's way goes straight into the bookmaking firms' pocket. Betfair's refusal to pay into the Fund is also a huge blow and is downright rude and unacceptable. Our GBGB has come under plenty of criticism but to me the bulk of this should be aimed at the very top where our leader Maurice Watkins has not been the driving force the industry expected and needed and I sincerely hope when he steps down the Board Of Directors who choose the next candidate remind themselves they have a duty to choose someone who really has the industry's best interests at heart and someone who can negotiate proper funding from the bookmaking industry who have raped us for far too long and someone who can get all stakeholders singing from the same hymn sheet.
On the track our defence of the Trainer Of The Year title seems to have slipped out of our grasp especially with the elimination of Aayamzabella and Blonde Razor in Friday's semi finals of the William Hill St Leger, a crown we had won in three of the previous four years. Airforce Diva a super bitch trained by us early on in her career and now by Charlie Lister has set the standard in the event and gave competition favourite Farloe Tango a beating at Wimbledon and in my opinion looks set to land the spoils for Charlie on Tuesday night. Charlie Lister has four runners in the Stayers classic and will most certainly leap frog current Trainer Of The Year leader Paul Young. Both ourselves and Chris Allsopp will now possibly have to win two of the remaining three Category 1's left in 2013 to hold any chance and we certainly still hold chances of landing the Betfred Eclipse after both Bridge Honcho and Adageo Bob won their heats. Reel Trickyone and Murlens Crash both just lost out in minor finals after running well and the 15 points gained would have been very helpful in bridging the gap but overall it does seem we are not quite getting the rub of the green at the moment.
As well as all our open race action we will travel with seven runners to Peterborough on Friday for the second leg of the Bags Championship. After last Monday's first leg Yarmouth face a smaller deficit than looked likely after the first two heats saw Peterborough race to a big lead. Ilewin Allot who dead heated with John Mullins' Mullpark Tornado helped claw back the deficit. Peterborough certainly were much better prepared than expected and had plenty of luck in the draws and it will take a massive effort from the Yarmouth team at the tricky London Road circuit on Friday to stay in touch and give them any hope of winning when they get to the last leg. We have added some strength to the side with the addition of Adageo Lad, Toosey Milly and Skips Special while I'm expecting a good run fom Swift Rachel stepped up to six bends.
We often have some good quality greyhounds up for grabs on our 'For Sale Page'. Only recently we had Produce Stakes hero and winner of his last six races Adageo Bob up at a very reasonable price as well as St Leger semi finalist Blonde Razor. I have put a lovely staying type bitch called Rosealinda up on the site this week and she arrived at the kennel on Saturday. A recent 28.85 winner at Newbridge she is a only a September 11 whelp and is lightly raced and I will expect her to be suited to the likes of Romford 575m and staying opens. I feel she would be a nice buy for a new owner or a syndicate and at £4,000 looks decent value. Call me on 07721778297 if you are interested in purchasing her.
Reel Trickyone was second on Monday in the heats of the Coral on TV Stayers at Romford and Hillcross Dallas was best of our runners at Coventry when 2nd beaten a head in a Bitches 485 race. At Peterborough on Wednesday Aero Twizzle scored again in the heats of the S & D sprint by 3/4 length in 15.16 (-10) and Murlens Crash qualified when 2nd. Ayamzaman was unlucky when eliminated from the Fengate Collar.
A busy day on Friday and big expectations at Wimbledon in the semi finals of the William Hill St Leger despite both Blonde Razor and Aayamzabella being big prices. Blonde Razor just failed to break in his best style and his early pace could only get him into 3rd place as they crossed the winning line, challenging the middle paced Hather George he was forced to check at the 3rd bend and again showing great pace to challenge at the 5th bend he was again forced to check and that was race over as the stronger stayers passed him on the run for home and he eventually finished 5th - for a dog so young a creditable effort. Aayamzabella's race was virtually over when she was forced to check into the middle at the first bend losing her vital ground. Once she secured her spot on the rails she tried valiantly to chase the leaders but her lack of middle pace was the deciding factor, despite running on at the end it was all too late and she was out of the first three - another good effort from our marathon star. In the RFS Puppy Derby semis Benkaat Boomer failed to break in his best style and a bump at the first bend meant it was race over for him and he finished well down the field.
Over at Romford the defeat of Garryglass Rodge in a sprint was disappointing in the context of the night though clearly talented he is not really a sprinte. Sidaz Dippy looks like 750m is too far for her when she was passed on the run in to finish 2nd but another solid effort from Reel Trickyone in the feature race the Coral On TV Stayers final chasing home the decent Sidelight and eventually only going down by a length in 35.55.
I was thinking at that point with no good news from Romford or Wimbledon our night was a disaster but over at Nottingham an excellent double from Adageo Bob and Bridge Honcho in the heats of the Betfred Eclipse rescued us. Adageo Bob was involved in a bunched race but his strength told as he won by a length in 30.10 to complete a six timer while Bridge Honcho bounced back to his very best with a fastest of the night 29.59 success.
At Peterborough on Saturday the inside looked slow and so it proved in the final of the S & D Sprint as Aero Twizzle looked like he was going nowhere on the rails while the race was dominated by traps 5 and Murlens Crash in trap 6 with our runner going down a short head in 15.36.
YARMOUTH AND COVENTRY REVIEW
Hillcross Kansas scored again from our three graded runners at Coventry on Monday when landing an A4 in good style in 29.52. Over at Yarmouth the Bags Championship 1st leg against Peterborough didn't quite go to plan but Ilewin Frimley ran OK when 3rd while track Champion Ilewin Allot wasn't at his very best but dead heated with John Mullins' Mullpark Tornado in 28.48. Swift Rachel was a fast finishing second in the bitches race but Swift Obama was well beaten after first bend trouble. In a couple of graded races Risky Lass rolled back the years to score again in a good 28.56 while Skips Special was most impressive when winning his first race in 18 starts downgraded in A2 clocking a fast 28.19.
On Saturday at Yarmouth Darian Star returned from seasonal rest to finish 3rd in A2 while our 'Racing Club' pup Saffrons Dream scored a much deserved debut win in an A3 coming from off the pace to win in 28.39.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Tonight to coincide with the GTA AGM Coventry have put on a few opens but we only have Jazz Tilly in a warm bitches race.
At Wimbledon tomorrow I'm afraid we have nothing in the two major finals but both Aero Twizzle and Aayamzamodel run in supporting races.
A busy Friday see's the Bags Championship 2nd leg at Peterborough and we have seven runners representing Yarmouth. The semi finals of the Betfred Eclipse at Nottingham looks our last chance of trying to defend our Trainer Of The Year title and a lot rests on the shoulders of Bridge Honcho and Adageo Bob. We will also be warming up for the forthcoming Essex Vase at Romford and Hometown Honey, Jazz Tilly and Reel Trickyone should be on a good card.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Blonde Razor bowed out the high quality William Hill St Leger on Friday but I'm sure we will be hearing plenty more in the coming months of our young stayer. It was great to see Bridge Honcho bounce back to form winning his heat of the Betfred Eclipse and I hope all our supporters managed to get a bit of the 33/1 available in the morning. Adageo Bob also qualified.
If we get a couple of decent draws at Peterborough on Friday I fancy a few of our runners could go well in the 2nd leg of the Bags Championship and Swift Rachel might be worth a bet in a 620m race as I'm sure she will stay.
SWIFT RACHEL - 3 pts win - Peterborough - Friday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
BLONDE RAZOR - 2.5 pts e.w ante post 10/1 - William Hill St Leger - Wimbledon - lost
BLONDE RAZOR - 1 pt e.w ante post (1/2/3) 20/1 - William Hill St Leger - Wimbledon - lost
ADAGEO BOB - 2 pts e.w ante post 16/1 - Betfred Eclipse - Nottingham - semi's Friday
BRIDGE HONCHO - 1 pt e.w ante post 33/1 - Betfred Eclipse - Nottingham - semi's Friday