Monday 16th July 2007
As we all know in Greyhound racing it is a sport with many ups and downs and those who have read my newsletters over the last couple of months have seen how luck good or bad can change very quickly. This week has been on the whole a great week with plenty of winners and a general feeling that we as a kennel are going the right way to seeing some of the hard work pay off with hopefully some big race wins just around the corner. Butterbridge Ali, Fear Robben, Snappy Girl to name but a few have all had wins this week and these especially are the big race Greyhounds that can see us challenge for the Trainers Championship. As I said, even in a good week Pinehurst Silk highlights the way fortunes of some dogs and their owners can experience the highs and lows of the game. After she won nicely on Tuesday in a warm puppy race she broke down on the run to the pick up and after being x-rayed by the vet the next day the news of a chipped bone in the wrist have seen her chances of returning to the track as only 50/50. This promising bitch is still very young and we hope the operation needed proves successful and she can get back to the race track. Talking of injuries Roswell Bluesky is on the road to recovery after undergoing extensive surgery last week and early indications are that he can make a full recovery to be a pet for his owners Martin and Debbie Allen. And on the subject of retirements we say goodbye to both Cream Munkie and Questhouse Sash who are hanging their muzzles and jackets up this week as Coolie (Cream Munkie) retires to his owners' home and Sash to the breeding paddocks of Dave Wood's Questhouse Kennels.
It's interesting and, for a couple of people, slightly embarrassing that on the site this week are the selections of the staff and our helpers for the well supported 5 to follow competition. Although we are obviously not allowed to enter the competition proper it's causing a fair bit of banter between us! As for the proper competition the early leader for the first week was 'Phil's Fancies' aka Phil Brown of 'Sir Ivor Survivors' syndicate but with a stack of winners from the kennels this week, Monday's update could see wholesale changes.
It was pleasing on Tuesday morning at Coventry to see our three entries for the Summer Derby trial very well with Centaur Decree showing his liking for the Brandon track with a slick 29.29 spin and Killer Keane (29.57) and Eye Onthe Flame (29.56) also going well. The heats of the Birchgrove Kennel Silver Collar at Walthamstow were to prove a graveyard for the three odds on shots including our Fear Robben who missed his break and found all kinds of traffic problems and finished just out of a qualifying position in third place. It was a different story for Discreet Cat who scorched to a 14.19 sectional en route to winning his heat by over 3 lengths in 39.44 (+30). On Thursday at Hove it was the last of the trial stakes for the Sussex Cup that starts next week and it was nice to see Butterbridge Ali get back on the winners rostrum when battling to a victory by the shortest margin in 30.05. Raging Jack hasn't quite got to grips with the demanding circuit and finished last in his stake but in the bitches race Stride On Babe put in another solid display when second to the use full Hope And Glory. Go Commando our other runner once again got tangled up with other dogs and ended up a well beaten fifth. In a trial before racing our Derby semi-finalist Directors Chair clocked a decent 29.84. A promising run at Romford over 575m last week for Eye Onthe Power was turned in to a winning one in another Maiden Stayers this Friday when he ran well coming from last to first in a respectable 36.41 and our other runner on the night, Like Hot Cakes, though well beaten looks as if she could do well over longer distances. Walthamstow on a Saturday night is always busy and with an all open card supporting the final of the Birchgrove Kennel Silver Collar there was a great atmosphere. In all we took eleven runners and came back with six winners and our first winner Night Night held on gamely to win the Novice Stayers in a good 39.77 (+15) and certainly has a bright future in front of her. One of the races of the night on paper was the 880m between our Snappy Girl and John Rudgewick's Jangos Snowdrop and the big crowd was treated to a thriller as Snappy Girl blazed a trail in front with her rival seemingly in trouble at the back but a magnificent burst of pace from Jangos saw her close to within a length of our leader and it looked all over but digging deep Snappy Girl clung on for a game win by a head in a good 55.93 only 15 spots outside of Star Of Dromins track record. Fear Robben reappeared in Division 1 of the Stayers and once again mistimed his break and after being brought to a standstill at the first bend it looked like his chance had gone but showing terrific pace and railing tightly he shot into the lead at the 4th bend and went clear and although tiring on the run home won comfortably in 40.16 (+15) a slow time but not surprising after the trouble at the first bend. Shelbourne Ryan has bounced back to form and ran well to qualify for Thursday's Final of the Irish Greyhound Derby Trial Stake. Despite Discreet Cat's victory in the heats he wasn't over fancied to win the nights feature race the Birchgrove Kennel Silver Collar Final and when he didn't lead out of the traps his task looked impossible but recently this dog has matured and showing great pace he set off and caught leader Westminster Taj and for a minute looked like he could win but Gary Baggs dog is ultra strong and when Cat couldn't get past him he dropped back but to his credit was only beat 3 lengths in 5th a very good effort and one that should see this son of Toms The Best win many races. Centaur Iris was made a short priced favourite in the 835m Maiden and after a good break it looked as if it would be plain sailing but the trap 2 runner had other ideas as it moved off at the first bend and nearly knocked Iris to the floor. Showing great recovery skills and a big heart Iris stormed back into the race and forced her way to the front and held on to give her supporters a loud cheer as she crossed the line in front. The final two races fell to our kennel to complete an excellent night . The Maiden 475m was won by Matthew Etherington's Daisyfield Matti who has been knocking on the door recently as he caught long time leader Systems Sound in 29.10. The victory was sweet in the last race Div 2 of the stayers for January Tiger who showed that despite his advancing years he is still a force to be reckoned with winning by 1 3/4 lengths in 39.69 a faster time than the Silver Collar Final and I wondered whether we should have missed the veteran race at Wimbledon on Derby Final night and gone for the 640 event! Still if he continues to run this well the 'Tiger' could be defending his Grand Prix title next month. The £10,000 Nigel Flowers and Glen Coulten Summer Derby kicked off last night with eight heats and our first runner Killer Keane led to the 3rd bend but was simply blown away by track specialist Alibulk Rocket who went on to win in a tremendous 29.02 by 4 1/2 lengths but still not a bad run from our fellow. Our other two runners annoyingly were pitched together in heat 4 and it was 8-1 shot Eye Onthe Flame who led with our Centaur Decree who was made 4/5 fav turning in second - a great scenario for the kennel . Everyone was waiting for Decree to go past Flame but his decision to try and pass on the inside at the third bend proved the wrong one as Flame slammed the door in his face and went on to hold on by 3/4 in 29.62 but satisfyingly both in the hat for the next round.
We drew a blank on the Monday's BAG's card but Tuesday we were rewarded with a few decent runs from our kennel. Datewithdestiny scored in the second race by a short head and was sold to go to Dickie Hawkes' kennel afterwards. Millwards Summit and Roswell Zodiac both made their debuts and should both step up a bit for the runs next time. Pinehurst Silk (1st) and Ortuna (3rd) both ran well in the A5 and Vigorous Whitney who has just come out of season is in the form of her life and won an A2 by 5 lengths in 28.75 (+10) . On Thursday we produced some good wins and also some encouraging runs from some others not least including Bowlers Bullet who having her first race back from season ran well to be third beaten a length in 29.52. Twilight Fantasy hasn't produced the wins expected with her talent but showed on the night again that she looks a bitch to follow with a convincing win in the P5 taking it up at the last bend and pulling right away to score by 4 1/2 lengths in 29.23. Coolanga Flyer and Shelbourne Thesa both missed the break in the S1 and in the end did well to finish in a dead heat for second beaten 2 1/4 lengths in 40.01. The last three races all came our way with Treacle Rose showing great heart when winning the A2 in 29.10 to complete a double for owner Duane Harvey. In the A1 I didn't give our two runners much chance and when Not So Jolly laboured to the first bend and Bell Classic didn't lead it looked even less likely but a brilliant first couple of bends and terrific back straight saw 'Jolly' arrive around the last bend in second and the writing was on the wall for the leader as he powered up the home straight to win in 28.99 at juicy odds of 8-1. My nap of the night and given a great chance from the grader was Ingenious who had trap 5 Pennys Crown for company most of the way round but sticking his neck out when it mattered won him the race to send favourite backers home with a smile!
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACE:- CENTAUR IRIS
GRADED:- NOT SO JOLLY
WHATS ON THIS WEEK
Race plans this week will include on Thursday opens at Walthamstow as well as a trip to Brighton for the first round heats of the Sussex Cup with amongst others Directors Chair and win machine Butterbridge Ali running. Coventry next Sunday not only features the second round of the Summer Derby but other supporting competitions with Saturday's game winner Snappy Girl a likely candidate for the 880m a trip she has yet to be beaten over at Coventry.