Monday 14th May 2012
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Blonde Snapper flies the flag for us in the William Hill Greyhound Derby after safely negotiating the third round when he was a comfortable third to Coolavanny Bert on Saturday night. He broke very well in heat 7 but steering a wide course from trap 3 both Coolavanny Bert and Droopys Jet got inside him rounding the first two bends. In the end he stuck to his task well but couldn't get back to the front two and didn't look in any trouble for qualifying eventually going down just over 3 lengths in 28.51. The acid test will now be two more quick runs starting tomorrow night when he lines up in the fourth quarter-final. He has a good draw in trap 6 and the make up of the race with five railers inside him looks ideal. Although the race will still be tough Snapper has avoided the big guns and we will be very optimistic of him making the semi-finals next Saturday night. Castlebride Dan was most definitely drawn in one of the toughest heats and for a brief moment he looked like he was going to turn the first bend close up in second but a bad bump with Jaytee Pedro effectively ended both their chances and in the end he was last behind Paul Young's Young Sid. Castlebride Dan is still lightly raced and could do well for his owners Colin Denwood and David Miles later in the year. His next target will be the Pall Mall at Oxford which should suit his early pace.
The third round is where the competition really starts to unfold and as well as Blonde Snapper there's plenty of connections of the remaining 24 who will fancy their chances of landing the top prize. Razldazl Jayfkay the market leader won an easy heat but certainly wasn't as impressive as when breaking the clock the week before, has he peeked too early? Defending Champ Taylors Sky was again workmanlike and looks nowhere near the dog he was last year but he is still there and that could spell trouble for all other contenders if Charlie Lister gets him back to his best. Of the others Bubbly Phoenix looks the part and again showed his speed with the fastest time of the night (28.19) but what a tough quarter-final he has with Razldazl Jayfkay drawn inside him. Paul Young's other runner Young Sid is very interesting and could well prove best of the two. Dolores Ruth's other two winners Razldazl Bugatti and Rioga are drawn together and I fancy Bugatti to perhaps beat Taylors Sky tomorrow. Shelbourne Geoff is well drawn again and Champion Jockey AP McCoy who owns a share in Pat Curtin's dog may well have a Derby finalist but can he find that extra few lengths he will need to win the classic? Charlie Lister, as well as Taylors Sky, still has Bucks Blade and the strong Boher Paddy left and I have a sneaking feeling Boher Paddy might give him his best chance of landing a sixth Derby title. Here's my fancy for the final 6 :-
I will most likely be a mile out in my predictions for the finalists but as long as Blonde Snapper gets there I will be hugely delighted, let's get ready to rumble!!
Derby apart the highlight of the week on the track for us was undoubtedly the performance of the prolific Aero Joker on Friday night at Romford when landing the Tony Byerley Quicksilver Trophy over 575m. The race had had been built up as a match between her and the strong running Airforce Newyork after their respective impressive heat victories on Monday and many fans had looked forward to the match up. They both didn't disappoint as they served up a tremendous race. As expected Aero Joker sprang from the traps and built up a comfortable lead at halfway. Airforce Newyork had got a better run than in the heats and going down the back straight for the last time had moved into a menacing second place. The race looked there for the taking but he hadn't counted on how game Aero Joker could be and as the two raced neck and neck on the run for home Aero Joker stretched her neck out to score by a head in 35.11 to hold on for a memorable win. Aero Joker was winning her 11th race of 2012 and is the winning most open racer in the country and her love for Romford this year could well see her win many more. Also on the card there was a sensational performance from Aero Majestic who hacked up by 11 1/2 lengths in the final 575m in a superb 34.94 and the brilliant double for the Forsdike family was a small pick me up after a difficult personal week for them. Swift Reagan (35.56) and Dixies Air (35.15) making winning six bend debuts while Mountjoy Osprey, now owned by the Ayamzaboys Syndicate and shortly to have his name changed to Ayamzaman, was desperate when missing the break in a sprint and only going down by a length in 13.54, he will be winning plenty of races soon.
The big news off the track this week concerned both London tracks Walthamstow and Wimbledon. Sarah and myself were present at the Waltham Forest Council meeting supporting SOS along with 100's of other greyhound fans and I will keep it brief because the whole thing makes my blood boil. SHAFTED! was my thoughts as we drove home late on Tuesday night and if I ever see another person from the Labour party I won't be responsible for what I do! Again huge praise for Ricky, Linda and all the SOS team for even getting this close to getting our beloved Walthamstow Stadium back and in their words the fight isn't over yet. Come on Boris show us you're not a complete buffoon and tell the Labour Councillors and the pathetic L&Q where to shove their mickey mouse shoe box flats and houses that will produce some horrendous problems in the future. We all need to e-mail Boris Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell him to do the right thing and overturn the councillors' decision (view this link for email proforma).
Wimbledon is not only in the spotlight this week because the William Hill Greyhound Derby is currently in action, news that Risk Capital who own the GRA have a building partner in Gilliard Homes and plans for a new Wimbledon drawn up by Noi Architects could very well see the last remaining London dog track on a life support machine. It is shocking that all these things going on behind our backs have not come to light before and it stinks of the unscrupulous Chandler family who let Walthamstow go to ruin to make it look like Greyhound racing is not viable. Paschal Taggart, the man responsible for the regeneration of the Irish Greyhound racing a few years back, has some massive plans for the redevelopment of the stadium that includes Greyhound racing and all may seem not lost yet, though it will take a monumental effort from all Greyhound supporters to save Wimbledon from the developers.
On Monday Aero Joker led home a 1-2-3 for the kennel when landing her heat of the Tony Byerley Quicksilver Trophy over 575m by 3 1/2 lengths in 35.54.
On Thursday Blonde Fletch made his return to six bends when finishing third over 595m at Oxford and was a touch unlucky after a good break from trap 2 when trap 1 Envy Apple King moved off at the bend and impeded him knocking him back to last but running on strong he was only beaten 1 1/2 lengths in 37.00 and will come on for the race.
As said a tremendous night for the kennel at Romford on Friday and Blonde Snapper kept our Derby dreams alive when qualifying from the third round at Wimbledon on Saturday.
A rare visit to Hove on Sunday morning and Planning got the day off to a good start when landing a 515m Maiden in 30.21. Carden Simon was second in a Maiden sprint and Adageo Brae third in another 515m Maiden. The best 515m Maiden produced a storming finish from Ayamzabeauty who lost out by a neck and a neck in 29.99. Jazz Apollo was also third in a good top division of a 515m Standard.
On Wednesday Darian Marvel scored another good win in A3 in 28.11 (+40) while in a warm A1 Blonde Kimber simply took off when beating kennelmate Kinda True by 2 1/2 lengths in a brilliant 27.59 (+30).
On Saturday just four runners and litter mates Darian Chief and Darian Creek both scored well. Chief won an A3 by 1 1/2 lengths in 28.05 (+40) and Creek an A2 by 1 3/4 lengths in 28.03 (+40).
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Tonight Mountjoy Osprey (shortly to be named Ayamzaman) steps back up to 400m in the heats of the Coral On TV Standard.
As well as the William Hill Derby Quarter-Finals with Blonde Snapper going in heat 4 from trap 6 we have both Lil Risky and Ayamzagirl in supporting opens at Wimbledon on Tuesday.
Back to Oxford on Thursday where Blonde Fletch returns over 645m and Risky Fred warms up for the Pall Mall over 450m.
Opens at Romford on Friday and hopefully back to Wimbledon on Saturday for the Derby Semi-Finals.
Coventry re-opens on Sunday with an open race card and we hope to have a few runners.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Blonde Snapper is still there for us in the William Hill Greyhound Derby as we reach the quarter-final stage. our old favourite Ayamzagirl is back on the supporting card and could be value to win another Sky race.
AYAMZAGIRL - 3 pts win - Wimbledon - Tuesday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
BLONDE SNAPPER - 2.5 pts e.w ante-post 66/1 - William Hill Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon - continues Tuesday
CASTLEBRIDE DAN - 0.5 pts e.w ante-post 200/1 William Hill Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon - lost