Monday 16th September 2013
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I have to admit I wouldn't have been strong of entering the East Anglian Derby at Yarmouth with Bridge Honcho after he was eliminated from the Steel City Cup at Sheffield but his owner Peter Bridges wisely said he thought he would go OK. After a brave performance in all three rounds he now takes his place in Thursday's £12,000 to the winner final and if our Sussex Cup finalist can get a clear run, and I think he is drawn to, then it could cap a memorable two weeks for Peter with Bridge Honcho's sister Bridge Ruth landing the Brighton Belle ten days ago. It certainly isn't the final line up most people, including the bookmakers, were expecting, especially with no Charlie Lister runner qualifying, more due to bad luck than anything, and Hazel Kemp's Any Dak has not put a paw wrong in the event so far and will be odds on to lift the prestigious title. Bridge Honcho is not 100% suited to Yarmouth but is a class act and any mistakes by Any Dak might be punished by 'Gerry' or any of the other finalists who are all there on merit. Murlens Crash also lines up in the Magners Sprint decider on the gala final night card which always attracts a big crowd especially as it coincides with Yarmouths horse racing festival.
Our team of open racers seem in good form at present, which has came at a good time with the Trainer of the Year title so close and it was good to see Blonde Reagan win at Hove on Thursday to complete a treble for the kennel and on Sunday we had a nice double at Sittingbourne with Bridge Bandit and Blonde Bobby who incidentally is re advertised on our 'for sale page'. I must admit to being very surprised that he hasn't been sold yet at the realistic price of £7000 as the versatile four or six bend big blue dog has a touch of class about him and will definitely make some big race finals over the next couple of seasons given a bit of luck. Some welcome news for the kennel as well with a van load of class acts trialling at Yarmouth last Thursday including the likes of Ayamzaman, Hometown Honey, Jazz Tilly, Baran Bugatti, Sidaz Dippy and Risky Emerald to name but a few which will really boost our squad over the next couple of weeks or so. Two lovely new pups have impressed me as well in the shape of Benkaat Dolly and Saffrons Dream, the latter is our new 'Markwallisgreyhounds Racing Club' purchase and looks a massive talent. Clocking a decent 28.76 on his first ever four bend trial this April 12 youngster looks like he could make into top class. We are still welcoming new members to our Racing Club so if anyone is interested please get in touch and you will be able to be a part owner in Saffrons Dream and our other club dog Ollie Blue as well as a couple more young pups that our club will be buying later this year. Basically after the initial £500 one off payment (to help purchase club dogs) it costs a £1 a day to be a member, that's great value in my book!
As I mentioned in last week's blog I had a very important Racing Committee meeting at the GBGB HQ where the prize money budget submissions for 2014 were discussed. Of course it would be wrong for me to breach any confidential matters that came up in the meeting but I can say I was very pleased that the GTA's proposals were fully listened to and everyone on the Committee fully understood the need at this crucial time in our sport that prize money levels would and should be increased and indeed our final proposal that Racing Comittee agreed on was £350,000 increase than in 2013. Of course now the proposal has to go through the Buisness Standing Committee and the Board of Directors at the BGRF before it's approved and with the likely decrease (8.05 million to a possible 7.4 million) in overall money available to the fund it will be interesting to see what their reaction is. The reasons why the fund available is down is because of the decrease in turnover on greyhound racing in the betting shops which as I've said many times is annoying as overall greyhound betting is actually well up on previous years with a huge amount of bets struck on the internet on evening racing that goes to the bookmakers offshore which they do not see as part of the voluntary levy and of course the disgraceful refusal of Betfair to pay any money into the fund.
Our popular 5 to Follow competition amazingly is only a couple of weeks away from the halfway stage and any entries will be allowed to change as many of their team as they like (must include 2 bitches) from the updated list that will be ready later this week. We had nearly 300 entries this year and no one can be completely ruled out and as in previous years we have seen entries come from way off the pace to land the competition. At the moment 'Andy 5' leads the competition on 118 points but those changes (if any needed) made will be crucial to the final outcome.
On Wednesday at Yarmouth the East Anglian Derby second round was all a bit of a mess with some trouble marred heats and Sidaz Harris was very unlucky when getting involved in his heat before being eliminated but Bridge Honcho qualified safely in his heat.
On Thursday at Hove the night got off to a good start with Aero Twizzle taking a reasonable Maiden Sprint by 3/4 length in 16.52. Bridge Ruth extended her winning sequence to four on the bounce when winning the Ladies race by 3 1/2 lengths in 29.73 while Blonde Reagan got a well deserved and hard fought victory over 659m in 42.22.
Back to Yarmouth Saturday and Murlens Crash qualified for the Magners Sprint Final when 2nd to Glenvale Ozzi. Bridge Honcho faced a tough task in the semi-finals of the East Anglian Derby but ran well to qualify for the final when 3rd to Any Dak.
On Sunday at Henlow the Maiden Derby kicked off and Aero Twizzle led 3 or 4 lengths down the back straight but was reeled in by the strong Lizzie From Cork to go down 1 1/2 lengths in 28.29. Aayamzabella ran well when a close up 3rd in a supporting 692m race.
Over at Sittingbourne Baran Bali Hi got in all kinds of trouble in a Grand National Trial Stake when last but we came away with two winners with Blonde Bobby dead heating in a good 642m race in 40.55 and Bridge Bandit kept up his superb record at the track with a good win in 29.18 in a Kent Derby Trial Stake with Adageo Brae also running well when 2nd in another division.
YARMOUTH AND COVENTRY REVIEW
Ilewin Frimley our only runner on Wednesday fairly bolted up in an A4 winning by 7 lengths in 28.40.
On Saturday Ille More was 2nd and Swift Obama took an A3 slightly fortunately by 1 1/2 lengths in 28.51.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Tonight Reel Trickyone runs in the heats of the Coral On TV Stayers taking on course specialist Smiler Jack.
On Thursday Bridge Honcho runs in the feature race at Yarmouth The East Anglian Derby Final worth £12,000 to the winner bidding to land the title for the third time for Imperial Kennels following Courts Legal (2000) and Fear No One (2005). We should have plenty of interest in the supporting races.
At Hove on Thursday Jazz Apollo signs off a memorable career when he runs for the final time in a sponsored Seniors race and we will go over a brilliant career in next week's Blog.
We will also be at Romford on Friday and on Sunday we will be back to Sittingbourne and Henlow where Aero Twizzle runs in the semi-finals of the Maiden Derby.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Bridge Honcho could well land our followers another nice touch if he is successful in the East Anglian Derby, our 7/1 chance was put up at 25/1 after the first round. We could have some interest on the supporting card and I could recommend a decent wager on Sidaz Dippy who will surely be winning sooner rather than later.
SIDAZ DIPPY - 3 pts win - Yarmouth - Thursday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
BRIDGE HONCHO - 1.5 pts e.w ante post 25/1 - East Anglian Derby - Yarmouth - final Thursday
SIDAZ HARRIS - 1 pt e.w ante post 40/1 - East Anglian Derby - Yarmouth - lost