Monday 12th December 2011
JOIN GOBATA NOW
What a climax we now have in the Trainers Championship as we come to the end of an intriguing season. The twists and turns over the last couple of weeks on who will be crowned champion trainer for 2011 have been extraordinary and every competition lately has had a true meaning. Chris Allsopp and ourselves have been swapping the lead over the last few months but a run of big race victories for Charlie Lister have not only seen him catch us both up but last Thursday's Oaks victory from Silverview Perky saw him take a narrow lead. I said in last week's newsletter that the week just gone was crucial to the final outcome for all three of us and we had a wave of mixed emotions nearly everyday.
On Monday at Monmore four Category 2 competitions in memory of Lawrence Jones saw local Chris Allsopp with no less than 12 runners and Charlie Lister with some strong entrants as well. We looked to have the banker of the meeting with Blonde Fletch in the 630m and despite a head defeat in the heats he still looked the most likely final winner but sadly he came back lame (stress fracture) which meant we were without a runner in Friday's finals. On the Monday night it was off to Nottingham for the heats of the Category 2 National Sprint and a good win from Lil Risky gave us a vital 5 points with Chris missing out with his runners. Thursday at Wimbledon was all about Charlie Lister with his two Oaks finalists and after they finished 1st and 3rd he leap frogged the both of us to take a 4 point lead. Lil Risky's sprint win on the supporting card again scored us some vital points.
On Friday afternoon I fully expected us to lose vital ground at Monmore with not only the absence of Blonde Fletch but with both Chris and Charlie looking to have some excellent point scoring opportunities but both came away without a 1st or 2nd place and only the 5 points per dog (Chris 20 , Charlie 10) for reaching the final. It left us with a glimmer of hope at night with Jazz Apollo and Aero Majestic contesting the semi-final of the last Category 1 event of the year the Coral Essex Vase at Romford though both drawn in the same semi was not ideal. Jazz Apollo was slow into his stride but a better than normal break from Aero Majestic saw him turn second behind Judicial Academy and showing a devastating turn of middle pace he soon passed his rival and staying on strongly he galloped away to win comfortably in a fastest of the three semi's in a blistering 35.13. The 10 points earned mean at the end of the night, much to my surprise, we sat only 20 points behind Chris Allsopp who had gained a 7 point lead over Charlie Lister on the day but more importantly we now seem to have an excellent chance of scoring good points in Wednesday's final. A win for Aero Majestic would mean that the 50 points up for grabs could well be the most important result of the whole season as this could well give us a 30 point lead that will take some pegging back with so little time left - pressure, what pressure!!
The Championship could boil down to single races that are just worth 1 point and I have been studying the open race calendar like never before to try and pick the right races for our dogs for the last 20 days of the year. Lil Risky who has been sensational all year would be a fitting dog to secure the Championship for us and his National Sprint campaign with the semi's tonight and final in a week's time is crucial. The GBGB awards are just around the corner and a win in this event would also mean he would be a cast iron certainty to win the 'Sprinter Of The Year' title. There are five or six small Category 3 events left worth either 5 or 10 points depending on their value and any victories in these would be most welcome. Kinda True just missed out last night at Sittingbourne when 2nd in a £750 Puppy event and only Aldataro Lass scored for us on the night when winning a 642m one off open for one point though both Dixies Air and Dalcash Scolari qualified into £750 finals next week.
With the excellent Premier League getting TV exposure last week on Premier Sports and on Thursday the brilliant Sky team covering the Oaks at Wimbledon it was the turn of the Racing Post TV who launched their new dedicated Greyhound racing channel on Friday with action from Romford featuring the Essex Vase semi-finals and graded action from Sunderland. I caught some of the channel on Friday at Romford in between our races and thought that both Errol Blyth and Jonathan Kay were excellent and both the studio and the pictures were first class. I do however have an important gripe on the whole thing. It's not the extra exposure, I think though it will of course have a detrimental effect on crowds at the track, the extra revenue that it will bring to the bookmakers could increase our levy in a serious way in the future which it must if we want our industry to survive. No my gripe is that the channel is showing both Hove and Henlow on Thursday and a large, if not total, part of the cards will be showing open racing and on a Friday it will cover a full open card from Romford. On Saturday Crayford are looking to have more opens than normal for the channel which means in total the majority of the races covered are opens yet still the money allocated from our fund that is put back into prize money through BGRF grants goes solely for graded racing and not a penny towards open racing, this can't be right. I have been saying for ages now that open race trainers should and can not be overlooked as we make significant contributions to the turnover that makes the major bookmakers a vast fortune. At the very least all TV races should carry extra prize money at least for the owners i.e the races at Romford on a Friday should be increased from £175 to a minimum of £200 and also ran money upped by up to £10 more than it is now. I firmly believe trainers should be paid 'appearance money' for each runner they have in opens on the telly or something similar, don't forget all trainers that appear on Bags/Begs receive 'bonus' money. The bookmakers can afford it and believe it or not they need us trainers and owners supplying dogs more than they will care to admit to as Greyhound racing is an important part of their business. I promise you I will not let this issue drop over the next few weeks and months.
Talking of exposure on camera Pete Vernon has written a new article on 'Pete's Column' and is an excellent and well researched read. Our 5 To Follow competition is also drawing to a close and 'Jems Gems 1' is holding on to a slender lead over 'Simons Flyers 5' with the fast finishing 'Andy Pelley 3' in with a shout as well. In our staff 5 to Follow five of us are in with a chance of winning and I have lead right from the off but Sarah has just overtaken me this week, typical! And lastly make sure you don't miss the Sky show at Romford on Wednesday- you will see an excellent feature done by Julie Collier when she brought the cameras to 'Combat Paintball' at Thetford yesterday where I was celebrating my son Daniel's 13th birthday, very funny!
On Monday at Nottingham Lil Risky made no mistake at the boxes and won his heat of the National Sprint by no less than 9 lengths and Dixies Air made it a good night when landing a Puppy Open by over 3 lengths in 29.26 but at Romford Lil Magic and Kinda Close were unlucky when both 4th in the heats of the Bitches 400m.
On Thursday at the Sky meeting at Wimbledon both Bellers Bud (480m) and Ayamzagirl (868m) ran well when 2nd with Lil Risky taking the sprint by 3 lengths in 16.07. Mountjoy Orion led til the last bend over 687m before finishing 4th. At Henlow on the same night Benkaat Blue got a well deserved vctory in the 460m Puppy Open coming from off the pace to win well in 28.36 (-40) while both Risky Rosaleen (550m) and Rookery Pedro (460m) were second.
On Friday at Romford as said Aero Majestic won his semi-final of the Essex Vase in style while Clarecastle Bub and Aero Joker were both 2nd in other races.
Last night at Sittingbourne Kinda True just missed out in the 480m puppy final when second and both Dixies Air (480m Puppy) and Dalcash Scolari (450m Senior Dueal Distance) qualified for next week's finals when 2nd and 3rd respectively. Aldataro Lass was our sole winner when taking the 642m Stayers by 1/2 length in 40.36.
On Wednesday three winners from four runners with Wednesdaywhacker (28.96) and Get Home Bess (28.70) both getting off the mark while in the A1 Steam Machine beat kennelmate Risky Blue recording a speedy 28.23 (-10).
On Saturday Benkaat Boy at last got a welcome victory in the A1 scoring by 3/4 length in 28.23. Lil Magic got beaten a head in an A1 in 24.47 but both our other runners Paradise Riva and Questhousesavana were k'od but are both OK afterwards.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPENN - AERO MAJESTIC
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Tonight the semi-final of the National Sprint at Nottingham sees Lil Risky go from trap 4 while at Romford the 400m Maiden event sees a good opportunity for Bit View Emma.
Wednesday is big race time at Romford with Aero Majestic's crucial Essex Vase final and plans are being made today for the rest of our runners this week.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Our supporters are sitting pretty with ante-post bets on both Aero Majestic and Lil Risky. Aero Majestic recommended at 14/1 for the Essex Vase at Romford is as low as 7/4 for Wednesday's final while Lil Risky is best priced 9/2 for the National Sprint and was an 8/1 chance before taking last week's heat by 9 lengths and we will be having a great Christmas if both oblige.
ADVISED LAST WEEK
AERO MAJESTIC - 2 pts e.w ante-post 14/1 Corals - Coral Essex Vase - Romford - final Wednesday
LIL RISKY - 2 pts e.w ante-post 8/1 - National Sprint - Nottingham - continues tonight