Monday 15th September 2014
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Reel Trickyone tried his hardest to win the Coral Champion Stakes in an attempt to land an incredible grand slam of 575m competitions but ultimately he had to settle for 3rd place, a brave effort nonetheless. A cracking card at Romford well supported by an excellent crowd and three winners in the Sky races made it a great night despite Reel Trickyone's defeat in the final.
After a couple of defeats in the races before Sky's programme the improving Blackstone Marco got our night off to a great start in the first televised race when bravely getting the better of Hather George and Steves Dream to win narrowly in a good 35.24. This striking white and black dog is having a great year and has now won 8 of his 25 opens this year so far and will be a major player in the Essex Vase at the end of the season.
Another dog having a great year is our star hurdler Cornamaddy Jumbo and being a part owner with Jimmy Fenwick, Brian Usher and Scott Fraser I have the best of both worlds being the trainer as well. In the Hurdles final on Wednesday he faced a serious rival in Jetstream Reason but his customary blistering early pace and magnificent jumping put the race to bed and despite a brave run from Jetstream Reason and last year's Grand National winner Mad Mash Snowy Jumbo galloped all the way to the line for a great victory in a flying 24.02 just 3 spots off the track record. At the podium I was taken aback at talk of Cornamaddy Jumbo being crowned Greyhound Of The Year, of course a win in the Grand National next month will make him a leading player but as I have stated on record I really think the stiff 480m at Sittingbourne will stretch him to his limit but Jumbo is a born winner and nothing is impossible with this lovely natured dog.
I must admit that I drew a real sigh when I heard the draw for the Champion Stakes as Reel Trickyone drew trap 2 and on reflection and with certainly no sour grapes this in the end was his downfall. Trapping ok but turning right he lost a vital 1/2 length on the run up which allowed Fivestar Clipper to lead him from trap 6. 'Butch' looked in trouble but running the first two bends superbly he brushed aside (again costing another 1/2 length) his main rival and grabbed the lead. As they rounded the 3rd and 4th bends his lead looked vulnerable and as the big striding Milwards Master closed on his inside he just failed by 1/2 length to chop that rival off at the 5th bend where he himself was brushed aside. His chance had gone but he still battled to a 3rd place finish and though his brilliant run of competition wins came to an end we and his owner Chris Richards are proud of him. Congratulations to Paul Young and his team and owner Mitch Milward on Milwards Master's victory, it is certainly thoroughly deserved for Mitch a massive supporter of greyhound racing. It was still a great night for us at Romford.
Our home track, Yarmouth, this week looks forward to their highlight of the year with the Festival of Racing which combines with the horse racing festival at the race track a few hundred yards away. The action gets underway on Monday with a Bags card and on Wednesday the Sky cameras arrive and an excellent card climaxing with the £15,000 to the winner East Anglian Derby Final and we are delighted to have a representative in the shape of the talented Domino Storm. Drawn in trap 5, which didn't stop her at Monmore recently, she will have to find a career best performance in a very hot final. Charlie Lister will be most disappointed if he doesn't add another East Anglian Derby to his massive haul as he has two great chances with both in form Southern Mesut and 2013 Derby Champion Sidaz Jack and what a superb story if the injury plagued Sidaz Jack does win the event. Thursday night is also a great night's racing at Yarmouth with the Sprint final, where Ilewin a Allot takes on some decent rivals, and the Derby Purse final over 659m where unfortunately we are not represented whilst we should have plenty of runners in the supporting opens. Both meetings well worth a visit.
Paul Young's Champion Stakes victory on Wednesday has seen him close the gap on us in the Trainer Of The Year standings though it was damage limitation time as we had a good night with winners as well. With many big competitions still to come we will not be celebrating yet and it will also be an extremely tight battle for the top six places and with Charlie Lister only in 7th spot he will be looking to score maximum points at Yarmouth. Most certainly it will be an interesting last 3 1/2 months. Another open race milestone was reached on Friday as Blonde Razor became our 200th winner of 2014, superb and we are making 300 open race winners our target, the last time we broke the 300 barrier was in 2009.
This week's action kicks off tonight with the Coral Romford Puppy Cup over 400m and this year's event looks particularly strong. We have four entries with Aayamzaone returning fresh from season, no doubt if this event was three months ago she would be one of the market favourites but this may come a week or two too soon. Saffrons Anna has reached and won top grade at Yarmouth and is our Markwallisgreyhounds Racing Club's first runner in a Category 1 competition. Yet to get a clear run at Romford in opens she could go well from trap 1. Airforce Karla is an improving young bitch and she is drawn in the same heat as our other runner Crown Jewel who again has reached top grade and might be a surprise package.
We are only a couple a weeks away from being able to make our changes to the 5 To Follow competition as it reaches its halfway stage. A new updated list will be up in a week's time (leaving it as late as possible as we have new dogs coming in this week). All changes have to be done by October 1st for them to count in the last three months. As we near the change it's very tight at the top 'NODS FLYERS 4' on 221 points ahead of SPIGGING HUFFERS and KAANS RAPID RACERS 4 both on 200 points. The changes are important and in previous years I've seen teams come from way off the pace to win the competition.
On Monday the second round of the East Anglian Derby saw a magnificent 1-2-3 for our runners in the first heat with Domino Storm winning comfortably in 27.86. Aero Nemesis was a shade disappointing as he was eliminated and Ilewin Allot had little chance from an awkward trap 4 slot in his heat.
As said above an excellent night on Wednesday at Romford on Champion Stakes Final night despite Reel Trickyone only finishing 3rd. We were back to Romford Friday and a brace of winners saw the kennel reach a magnificent 200 winners for the season. Vanfrenchie scored a well deserved 575m Maiden victory by 4 3/4 lengths in a good 35.63 while our 200th winner came courtesy of Blonde Razor who was majestic in winning in a superb 35.13 and it was certainly a case of what might have been had he qualified for the Champion Stakes Final two days earlier.
On Saturday in the East Anglian Derby semi-finals at Yarmouth our three runners were again pitched together but this was tougher and with plenty of argy bargy on the run to the turn it was only Domino Storm of our three that made it through to Wednesday's final. In the John Smiths sprint heats Ilewin Allot was 2nd to Chance Once More in a flying 16.32 while in the Derby Purse over 659m Sidaz Dippy was a close up 5th in her heat.
On Monday Airforce Karla was our only graded runner and what a debut she made, bolting out the boxes she was well clear and thankfully tied up a bit at the finish or we could have been facing the stewards but still won her A4 easily in a fast 28.14 (+30). On Wednesday Kilmagner Mike came closest of our five runners in an A2 when just picked up on the run in to be beaten 3/4 length in 28.12 with Darian Star returning from season in 3rd place. On Saturday the open race action was mixed in with a few graded races. Evanta Nemo was a bit unlucky in the A1 when 5th and in a 4 way photo finish in the last race Aero Barbarella was just caught on the line in an A5 with Lets Havit Right a close up 4th.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Tonight the Coral Romford Puppy Cup heats look very warm and our four runners will have to be at their best to qualify.
It's Yarmouth Festival week and the final of the East Anglian Derby takes centre stage on Wednesday. The £15,000 to the winner final is a hot one and Domino Storm will be long odds to land the spoils. A great supporting card sees a few of our runners in action. Thursday sees more action from Yarmouth with a full open card featuring the final of the John Smiths Sprint and Derby Purse.
We will be back to Romford on Friday with hopefully a runner or two in the Romford Puppy Cup semi finals.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
A welcome winner in the shape of Cornamaddy Jumbo on Wednesday for our supporters. The Romford Puppy Cup can always throw up a surprise or two and of our runners Crown Jewel is a massive 80/1 with the sponsors as is kennelmate Airforce Karla who is 66/1. Saffrons Anna is a more realistic 40/1 while the bookmakers make Aayamzaone a 16/1, no doubt she would have been shorter pre season but if she can come on for her first run back she could end up a bit of value and we should at least have an interest on her.
On Wednesday's supporting card for the East Anglian Derby in form Black Francis could be the best bet for us in the 659m contest, already a winner over course and distance this year trap 1 is a real bonus for him.
AAYAMZAONE - 1.5 pts e.w ante post 16/1 - Coral Romford a Puppy Cup - Romford - starts tonight
BLACK FRANCIS - 5 pts win - Yarmouth - Wednesday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
CORNAMADDY JUMBO - 5 pts win - Romford - Wednesday - WON 4/5