Monday 13th January 2014
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Our fine start in 2014 could get even better on Tuesday as we will be long odds on to land the first big competition of the year when we field no less than four runners in the Category 2 Coronation Cup Final at Romford live on Sky Sports. After a treble in the opening round heats we had a more important treble last Wednesday as we bagged all three semi finals when Jazz Tilly (35.30), Hometown Honey (35.26) and Aayamzamodel (35.40) all won comfortably and our Essex Vase hero Reel Trickyone came from behind to grab an important second place to make his third major final in six weeks.
There is a very good supporting card as well on Tuesday and we have six other runners but the pressure is on in the final as all four of ours are dominating the betting. The draw sees Jazz Tilly run from the dreaded 1 box but the way she has hit form it might not prove a handicap to her. Aayamzamodel like Jazz Tilly is unbeaten in the event and has the more favoured trap 3 slot and this in my opinion might well tip the scales in her favour. If Reel Trickyone runs like he did in the Essex Vase final I couldn't see anything beating him though his record out of trap 5 is not good. That leaves Hometown Honey and what a great few weeks she has had. Drawn as the sole wide seed, I know of a few punters clutching 25/1 ante post vouchers will be very happy if she wins and she could well do that. Of course we have to have the utmost respect for our two rivals and both trainers Colin Lynch and Kim Billingham are in a no lose situation which makes them even more dangerous to our chances of winning. My worst fear is that all four of ours arrive at the first bend together and spoil each other's chances but I have no doubt if any of our runners hold an advantage at the second bend they will go on and win as I can't see anything back running one and another. It's been a long while since our kennel won the Coronation Cup and that's something we will never get a better chance of changing.
It is nice seeing our kennel the centre of attraction and with the action on RPGTV and the final on Sky, unlike last year, the exposure it brings can only be good for our future and my phone and emails have been busy with potential new owners. We have the added pleasure of a trophy presentation on Tuesday with the good news that Reel Trickyone has deservedly won the GWA Greyhound Of The Month award for December and well done to 'Butch' and owner Chris Richards.
A great piece in yesterday's Racing Post on young trainer Kate O'Flaherty who trains a stone's throw from our kennels. Kate highlights the pleasure and pain that training greyhounds brings. The pain is really only on the financial side as the rewards are pitifully low for all trainers whether they train open racers, graded racers, have no contract and in a lot of cases even when trainers have a decent contract. As I've said many times the cost of training isn't just feeding the dogs properly (this is relatively cheap). it's all the business costs that go with it - the list is endless, staff wages including PAYE and National Insurance, part time staff, physio expenses, rent or mortgage, electricity, gas, water, rates, telephone, liability insurance, vans, van insurance, van repairs, diesel, waste disposal, vet fees, food and supplements, meat and chicken, sawdust, bedding, kennel repairs, kennel shopping, racing equipment etc and then we have banks! and accountants, website and advertising and I'm sure I could find a few other things we have to pay for to run our businesses as well before we even think about perhaps taking something out for myself to pay for our own family, mortgage, car and all the bills a normal house owner has! The answer is simple, a better funded industry so prize money can be vastly increased and then trainers can charge a proper amount to train a greyhound that covers the costs. From an owners point of view they don't mind paying a higher kennel bill as long as the prize money is of a decent level to offset the trainers bill, simple!
As said the Coronation Cup at Romford went well on Wednesday and on Thursday we only had one entry at Hove where Aero Twizzle ran very well when 2nd in a warm sprint. Before racing Evanta Evita trialled very well when beating Lightning Zeus 2 1/2 lengths in a very good 29.77.
A good trial session at Yarmouth on Thursday where Aayamzaman 16.39, Garryglass Rodge 16.54 and Sidaz Dippy 16.73 all impressed.
On Sunday at Sittingbourne Ilewin Aggen (2nd) and Saffrons Dream (3rd) qualified for the Dual Distance Maiden final next week. Murlens Crash has found that winning habit now and took off in a sprint on his seasonal debut winning by 5 1/2 lengths in a flying 16.17. Benkaat Blue another that has found some form capped a good night for the kennel taking the 480m by a head in 29.20.
From our five runners Saturday Toosey Milly and Adageo Lad were both third but a good win double at the end when Newinn Chick on her return to Yarmouth took a top grade in good style in 28.18 while Benkaat Dolly made it three wins from her last fiver races when scoring in an A3 in 28.57.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Tomorrow night is hopefully the first of many big nights in 2014 as we field four finalists in the Coronation Cup at Romford and we have plenty of interest in the supporting card not least seeing hurdler Cornamaddy Jumbo make his debut in a hot race.
We will be at Hove Thursday and Sittingbourne next Sunday.
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I certainly think we have really missed the boat as far as the Coronation Cup is concerned and looking at the supporting card winners will be at a premium. Evanta Evita showed real promise on her debut behind the highly touted Droopys Norris and trialled well at Hove last week and we should follow her this year starting at Hove this Thursday.
EVANTA EVITA - 3 pt win - Hove - Thursday