Monday 13th February 2012
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I have worked at Imperial Kennels now for over 20 years and I can honestly say that I have never experienced weather conditions like we have seen this week. On Tuesday and Wednesday our current arctic spell had seen temperatures drop down to -8 but by Friday night and Saturday morning they dropped even further to an incredible -14. It was bitter to say the least and all you can do is try and keep the dogs as least exposed to the conditions as you can and make sure they are fed accordingly. How we have managed to race this week is amazing but credit where credit is due some extraordinary work by track staff at some venues have made not only some surfaces raceable but most importantly safe as well. In particular Henlow on Tuesday for the Sky meeting produced an excellent track which, despite the severity of the weather, saw some truely top class action. The feature race the Primus Telecom Henlow Puppy Derby was sensibly brought forward by 1 1/2 hours to beat the freeze but they had no worries as the planned 11 races only had to be cut by one with a frozen set of traps seeing the 692m Stayers race fall victim to the elements. The final itself was turned into a procession by warm favourite Coolavanny Bert who had a dream draw in trap 1 in a field of six railers. We have to be pleased with the performance of Dan Daley's Benkaat Blue who lost nothing in defeat when third in his first major final from his poor trap 6 slot. I'm sure Benkaat Blue, like his brother Mountjoy Osprey, will be much talked about during 2012.
We also raced at Romford on Friday and again track conditions were very good while the extreme temperatures on Saturday didn't stop Crayford and Yarmouth from completing their cards. At Romford the last three races produced a great treble for us with Munster Champ and Ballintine Molly scoring but the performance of puppy Mountjoy Osprey when dismantling a top class field of older dogs was outstanding. This was his eighth win on the bounce (10 from 11) and it will take a good one to stop him adding to his tally. At Crayford Aero Joker made it three on the spin as well in the heats of the Peter Bussey Memorial Trophy though again we haven't faired well in a final draw when our tight railer was allocated trap 6!. Mountjoy Orion was eliminated at the semi-final stage of the Ladbrokes Golden Jacket when fourth.
The weather however got the better of Doncaster when they were forced to abandon their meeting on Friday when temperatures unexpectedly dropped to -7 causing some icy patches to form. Such a shame as the third leg of the Betdaq Premier League had assembled another top class field but it was a correct decision and at the end of the day the welfare of our greyhounds is of paramount importance. With this leg unable to be rescheduled the Premier League will now be reduced to just three legs with the final night being back at Doncaster on the 24th of this month. Quite how the points system will work we are all not sure but whichever way it will be very exciting. With the Arc on at Swindon five days earlier it will present a few team selection problems but that's what makes the new concept of the Premier League so interesting.
Blonde Snapper, our 2011 William Hill Classic winner at Sunderland, returned a fine 13.53 sprint time at Romford on Tuesday and will return tomorrow for a 400m workout. Aero Merlin, out of action for quite a while, pleased as well with a 13.58 and Monmore Puppy Derby prospect Castlebride Dan clocked 13.80. It will be a busy Tuesday with trial sessions at Swindon (Jazz Apollo, Bellers Bud, Dixies Air and Kinda True) for the forthcoming Arc while some of our Monmore Puppy Derby hopefuls trial at the Midlands track including Benkaat Blue and Castlebride Dan.
On a bitterly cold night at Henlow on Tuesday as said Benkaat Blue was a creditable third in the big Puppy race while in supporting races Munster Champ and Rookery Pedro both ran well when runners up but undoubtably the star of the show was Aero Majestic who landed another Sky prize when winning a 550m in a flying calculated time of 33.18.
On Friday at Romford no luck early on with our runners with Stormbeam best when second over 575m but a superb last three races treble saw Mountjoy Osprey win over 400m in 23.91 to land an eight timer over course and distance, Munster Champ led all the way over 575m winning by 4 1/2 lengths in 35.75 and at last the unlucky Ballintine Molly broke her duck when winning a 750m Maiden Marathon well in 47.73.
Aero Joker took the opening heat of the Peter Bussey Memorial Trophy at Crayford on Saturday morning by 3 lengths in 34.40 (-50) while Risky Rosaleen was an unlucky 3rd in the last heat. Mountjoy Orion led in the semi-final of the Ladbrokes Golden Jacket but was unable to shake off her pursuers and eventually finished fourth.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
On Wednesday the aptly named Wednesdaywhacker continued his excellent progress when scoring in A3 grade in 28.76(+10) and Paradise Riva scored a rare double for her landing an A1 in 28.31 (+10).
Questhousesavana got the ball rolling on Saturday night taking the opening race in 28.57. To honest that's as good as it got with our runners with Swift Reagan best of the others going down 3/4 length in a fast 28.00.
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Aero Majestic runs from an awkward trap 5 slot tonight in the Coral On TV Stayers heats at Romfor.
We will be at Henlow Thursday and Romford Friday.
On Saturday morning Aero Joker has a tough draw in the Peter Bussey Memorial Trophy final while at night Royal Premium begins his campaign in the Springbok at Wimbledon.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
A great week for our followers with Aero Majestic landing the odds at Henlow on Tuesday and Benkaat Blue managing to secure a place when third in the Henlow Puppy Derby at ante-post odds of 20/1. Aero Joker also won her heat of the Peter Bussey Memorial Trophy though her ante-post odds are bigger than when she started the event after she got a poor draw in trap 6 in Saturday's final. Royal Premium is open to improvement when the Springbok kicks off this Saturday at Wimbledon and s worth a small interest
ROYAL PREMIUM - 1 pt e.w ante-post - Springbok - Wimbledon - starts Saturday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
BENKAAT BLUE - 1 pt e.w ante-post 20/1 - Primus Telecom Puppy Derby - Henlow - 3rd 20/1
AERO MAJESTIC - 3 pts win - Henlow - Tuesday - WON EVENS
AERO JOKER - 2 pts e.w ante-post 3/1 - Peter Bussey Memorial Trophy - final Saturday