Monday 16th July 2012
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READ MARK'S BLOG OF THE EXCITING
DERBY BUILD UP CULMINATING IN BLONDE SNAPPER'S FANTASTIC DERBY FINAL WIN
All eyes were on the two big finals on Thursday at the William Hill Festival of racing at Sunderland. This time last year we were celebrating a famous double courtesy of Blonde Snapper and Blonde Fletch but with no representative in the Classic final our hopes lay with our three runners in the Grand Prix final worth £15,000 to the winne. Jimmy Wright's impressive heats and semi-final scorer Derrane Jack was a short priced favourite but a slow start cost him dear. Our Dixies Air was well backed into 3/1 and when he flew out the boxes to lead a victory looked there for the taking. However the strongest runner in the field was Paul Young's Swabys Princess and she got a dream run and, despite being held up a couple of times, nailed Dixies Air on the very last stride. Swift Reagan, the youngest dog in the race, ran on for third and was himself only 1 1/2 lengths behind the front two with Ballintine Molly getting no sort of run at the back of the field but not a million miles away from the winner. It was a long journey home and I was gutted for Dixies Air's owner Jeff Craft but I'm sure this won't be the last big final he will be in. The win sees Paul Young bite into our 200 plus lead at the head of the Trainers Championship and though we are still long odds on to regain the title we last won in 2009 we will certainly be looking over our shoulder as Paul has a powerful kennel at the moment.
It's been a tough week trying to get winners but at Coventry on Sunday the debut win for Cuil Condor, who is as low as 40/1 for next year's Derby, is a great tonic for us. Owned by Simon Wooder with Ian St Pier, Marcus Reader and top show jumper Guy Williams he was made to work hard for his 1/2 length success but it was a classy puppy race and the time of 29.36 was very good. He will now head off to Wimbledon next weekend to trial for the William Hill Puppy Derby along with Planning (unlucky loser Sunday night) and maybe a couple more. Blonde Fletch also scored a timely victory first time at Coventry on Sunday and despite his advancing years could still prove a major force for us while great news is that Stallone Bert who won the 12,500 euros to the winner Gain Feeds Corn Cuchulainn at Harolds Cross on Friday is heading our way after shrewdly being brought before the event began for the Risky Syndicate, he could be a real St Leger prospect.
Today sees the much awaited opening of the secret vote from the professional trainers for the job of Chairperson for the GTA. I would expect a landslide victory for Rick Holloway who's fresh approach to the post will no doubt see some interesting times ahead for us all. In yesterday's Racing Post I noted that BGRF Chairman Tom Kelly was going to write to all the bookmakers that don't pay into the voluntary levy asking for their support. I think we all have a right as greyhound people to see a list of bookmakers published on a regular basis that don't pay so we can all avoid bettng with these firms.
Sadly we lost two of our old stagers this week. Centaur Decree, brilliant winner of the 2008 Arc at Walthamstow, died prematurely after having a great life at the home of the Porter family while Roswell Spaceman a brilliant open racer who won the Oxford Gold Cup and twice at Trainers Championship meetings passed away at the kennels. Both brought some very happy memories flooding back.
On Wednesday I played on the RGT Golf Day at Stapleford Abbotts which was well organised by Annie Poole and raised a couple of thousand for the retireds. My team played well but the team including Mark Burridge, Daren Johnson, 'Butch' Lockley and Les Davey who would have been warm favourites took the honours.
Nearly 200 teams entered our 5 To Follow competition and the first leader board will be up for viewing now.
No luck with our two runners at Romford on Monday while on Thursday Dixies Air was just touched off in the William Hill Grand Prix final at SuNderland. Clarecastle Dub was best of our four runners at Romford when second.
At Swindon Benkaat Blue did well to qualify for the semi-finals of the Produce Stakes after completely missing his break in the quarters.
At Hove on Sunday morning Ayamzabeauty got a much needed win in a 515m Maiden in 29.98 while Risky Storm and Bridge Honcho who were both third andran well,.
A Coventry both Planning and Confident Ramona were a touch unlucky when third but wins for Cuil Condor (29.36) and Blonde Fletch (41.42) made it a successful night.
On Wednesday Aero Petrel scored in A4 in 28.75 (+30) and Swift Tigress was back to her best after seasonal break winning a good A2 by 2 1/2 lengths in 27.92 (+30). Plenty of runners on Saturday but it was a case of seconditis as Carden Pookie, Darian Creek, Benkaat Boy and Blonde Kimber were all runners up.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Tonight Aero Joker and Springdale Hawk face a tough heat in the Rose Bowl heats as does Risky Rosaleen at Romford.
A rarity with no runners on Sky at Nottingham on Wednesday but Benkaat Blue goes in the semi-final of the Produce Stakes at Swindon.
The Sussex Cup starts at Brighton on Thursday and Jazz Apollo, Bridge Honcho and Risky Storm will head our team.
We will be at Romford Friday and Wimbledon on Saturday and hopefully Swindon as well with the final of the Produce Stakes.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Its been a couple of weeks since our last recommendations where we so nearly pulled off a nice touch with Dixies Air at Sunderland.
We have the Sussex Cup starting at Brighton this week and I see no reason why Bridge Honcho wouldn't be worth an interest.
BRIDGE HONCHO - 2 pts e.w ante-post - Sussex Cup - Brighton - Starts Thursday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
AYAMZAMAN - 2 pts e.w ante-post 20/1 - Sunderland - William Hill Classic - lost
BLONDE FLETCH - 3 pts e.w ante-post 8/1 -Sunderland - Wlliam Hill Classic - lost
DIXIES AIR - 1.5 pts e.w ante-post 16/1 - Suderland - William Hill Grand Prix - 2ND 16/1