Monday 13th April 2015
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Another excellent week on the open race circuit and also at Towcester over the weekend with plenty of winners including a stunning track record by Billys Bullet at Sheffield. I touched on trying to get at least 7 open race winners per week to try and set a target for 2015 of 350 +, possibly an impossible target but one we would love to reach. On Tuesday these kind of targets look achievable as we sent four runners to Sheffield, a very tough place to win at, and we came back with a 100 % record. Aayamzamodel having her second run out of season won a 500m bitches race before the Sky cameras came on air, Swift Whirlwind took the 480m Puppy race and Calco Flyer produced another superb display for his enthusiastic owners over 500m and to top it all Billys Bullet won a warm 660m in fabulous style and in doing so smashed Ballymac Eske's track record by an incredible 4 lengths. To bring us back to Earth on Wednesday we sent four runners to Swindon for the Arc trial stakes and all the four finished second! Another open race treble at Towcester on Saturday and a double at Henlow last night gave us nine open race winners this week.
This week I have to announce the sad news that my Assistant Trainer Pete Vernon is leaving Imperial Kennels at the end of this month. Pete has been with both myself and Linda at our Lakenheath base for the past 14 years. Pete, who's health over the last two years has not been what he would have liked, is moving back to his home town Leicester and semi retiring. At 57 he has devoted the last twenty years to our industry having worked for Nicki Chambers before his move to our kennels. In the time here I doubt whether many kennelhands in the history of our sport have been part of a team that has had so many Category 1 winners including two Derby's, three St Leger's and an Oaks winner. He has enjoyed our spells at Walthamstow, Harlow, Yarmouth and of course most recently Towcester and I'm sure he will take away many fond memories. As his boss its hard to put into words how much he will be missed, his love for all the greyhounds in our care is astonishing and his integrity and honesty is second to none. He is one of the most popular characters amongst other kennelhands and trainers around the country and I'm positive he will still be taking a keen interest in our sport in the future. He will enjoy watching his beloved Leicester more regularly even if it is in the Championship next year! I'm sure all our readers and owners would wish Pete all the best for the future.
Pete's position as Assistant Trainer will be filled by Sid Huett and I will be advertising this week for a suitable Head Kennelhand. There's no doubt it's a tough job working at our busy kennels but one that I hope is very rewarding. We are looking for someone experienced (email at email@example.com) and with a clean driving licence to join our team.
We decided to skip the Scottish Derby in favour of a crack at the Calne Racing Arc at Swindon which begins on Saturday and we have a strong team assembled. Though all our trial stake runners were beaten into second place last Wednesday I think they all will come forward during this event. Evanta Evita, Domino Storm and Aayamzaone are top class bitches and they will be joined by Blonde Nipper, Calco Flyer (trials tomorrow), Vanbasten and Roswell De Niro.
As said a cracking night at Sheffield on Tuesday with four from four including a track record performance from Billys Bullet and on Wednesday it was also four from four at Swindon but all our Arc hopefuls this time were runners up!
No luck at Romford on Friday with Airforce Karla closest when second but a better night on Saturday at Towcester starting with another win for Blue Moment but he was made to work hard by Mays Stardust and in the end only won by 3/4 length in 28.52 (-30). Cloudbursting was sent off an incredible evens and made it six out of six at the track over the sprint distance in a good 16.37 (-15). The Towcester Maiden Puppy heats saw an impressive debut for Ballymac Sinbad who showed great all round pace to win in 28.58 (-20), in the second heat Swift Turbo ran a creditable second and also makes next week's final.
Last night at Henlow the Super Sprint heats saw Evanta Fantasy take some notable scalps in Wee Tiger Tots and Trade Victorious in a good 16.62 while Aero Babooshka and Ilewin Allot also qualified when both second. Evanta El Greco also scored taking a 550m Maiden.
Six runners on Friday with Persian Black taking advantage of a chance to lead and after some consistent performances took off to win an A6 by over 8 lengths in a flying 28.33. Energize Fred took a low grade sprint to score at the second time of asking winning by 3/4 length in 15.90.
On Saturday as well as the successful opens we were on the mark with Rufford Atom who held on to score by a short head in a good 28.57. Reel Shirty was second in an A3 as was Saffrons Anna who just got collared right on the line. In a very good A1 puppy Parkers Poison led but couldn't hold off both Toosey Fern and Forest Bound and was 3rd with Kevin Hutton's dog holding Toosey Fern by 3/4 length.
A double on Sunday from our five runners with Lord Hesketh's Ribble Atom running on strong to get up and win an A4 in 28.57 while the consistent Dehavillands Boy also ran on strong to score a well deserved success by 2 1/4 lengths in 28.80.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
A quiet start to the week with some important trials at both Swindon and Romford tomorrow and then on Thursday we begin our preparation for the Regency with Billys Bullet travelling to Hove as well as Aayazamodel and maybe a couple of others.
We will be at Romford on Friday and on Saturday we send a decent team to Swindon for the heats of the Calne Racing Arc.
On Sunday we return to Henlow as we reach the semi finals of the Super Sprint and we will have supporting runners.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
So nearly a nice double last week with Calco Flyer obliging in fine style on Tuesday at Sheffield but Domino Storm was just touched off at Swindon in the Arc trial Stake.
Talking of the Arc that's where we will concentrate on and though it's hard to leave out the likes of Blonde Nipper in our staking plan I've decided to put up two great bitches who have early and are rails seeds so Domino Storm and Evanta Evita get our votes.
DOMINO STORM - 2 pts e.w ante post - Calne Racing Arc - Swindon - starts Saturday
EVANTA EVITA - 2 pts e.w ante post - Calne Racing Arc - Swindon - starts Saturday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
CALCO FLYER - 4 pts win - Sheffield - Tuesday - WON evens
DOMINO STORM - 3 pts win - Swindon - Wednesday - lost