Monday 17th March 2014
(Opens to a third party website)
It's so good that over the last few months we seem to start each newsletter with 'another great week for the kennel' and long may it continue. Those words can be said again as we landed two finals at Monmore on Friday, albeit one of them being a dead heat. Jazz Tilly deservingly took a decent title scoring comfortably in the Category 2 Ladbrokes Spring Festival 630m final, an event she was runner up in last year, in a fast 37.85 beating the likes of impressive heat scorer Droopys Alder and Prestige winner Scala Dromin and capping off a great afternoon Blackstone Marco ran a blinder to catch Lode Henry on the line in the Spring Festival Dogs 480m Final. The pair could not be split and a dead heat delighted both sets of connections.
Jazz Tilly has been so consistent over the last 18 months for owners John Bozza, Peter Bridges and Stefan Watson having won 18 races (17 opens) from 57 starts and as well as being runner up here a year before she has just been denied in the Three Steps To Victory final at Sheffield and by our own Reel Trickyone earlier in the year in the Coronation Cup final and is a real credit to connections and breeder Dave Wood at Questhouse Kennels. Blackstone Marco is starting to settle well at our kennels and can be a real force in the coming months for owners Nick Cheeseman, Paul Carpenter and Kevin Dear.
Open race enthusiasts didn't have long to wait after the Monmore finals as the Coral Golden Sprint at Romford kicked off a few hours later and our good form continued as all four of our entries qualified. Benkaat Boomer, Aero Twizzle, Ilewin Allot and grand old servant Ayamzaman all ran well with Aero Twizzle winning an ultra hot heat which was a great training performance from our team after he had taken a crashing fall at Wimbledon in his previous race.
At Sittingbourne last night a third straight final win on their regular Sunday night Begs card came curtesy of Benkaat Nero who won the 480m Standard Final by 8 1/4 lengths in a fine 28.83. What's most pleasing is that 'Toby' broke two metartarsals in the summer last year and has came back better than ever. In my opinion Murlens Crash is possibly the most improved open race dog in training over the last few months and again he showed why when completing a five timer and breaking the Sprint track record in 16.00.
Looking at the excellent Greyhound Trainers Association website our years statistics make for great reading and so far in 2014 from a total of 259 races (204 opens 55 graded) we have won an incredible 88 times for a strike rate of 35%. Last week along with the 30 points gained from Monmore we scored another 48 points towards the Trainer Of The Year standings moving us up to 328 points some 250+ points ahead of our nearest rival and we are only in mid March! Myself and my team have put a lot of hard work in to achieve these results and a thank you is in order at this early stage of the year.
As well as a busy open race schedule we are only eight days away from the Ladbrokes Trainers Championship meeting at Sheffield and this Thursday the annual luncheon takes place at the Napoleons Casino next to the track. We will have the added spice of having to name our teams at the luncheon and the draws will take place. Of course i have the dilemma of picking our side in eight races but my usual thoughts are for preference to the dogs that helped us achieve our place in the championship in the previous year, here are my thoughts:-
280m - Aero Twizzle would have been a natural choice but his engagement in the Golden Sprint at Romford rules him out. Step in Murlens Crash (doesn't seem to like Romford) who might well have been first choice given the tremendous form he has been in lately and he runs a track very well first time and is rarely out the first three.
480m Standard - Benkaat Nero takes preference over possibles Garryglass Rodge (not quite 100%) and Blackstone Marco (Arc or Scottish Derby bound) and another in fine form and runs a track first time and will be suited to Sheffield.
500m Standard - Reel Trickyone returns from a rest after winning three competitions on the spin (Essex Vase, Henlow Cesarewitch and Coronation Cup) versatile over four bends as well and warms up with a tough preparation race tomorrow night. Will be difficult to keep out of the points.
500m Puppy - a very tough one for us as most of our promising pups are very young and inexperienced and our only entry in the Monmore Puppy Derby Blue Moment would find this trip too demanding. Reel Bliss a May 12 bitch has won both her graded races at Yarmouth and this rail hugger will be a star over six bends in the future. Sure to go off huge odds a place in the top four will be job done.
660m - Sidaz Dippy has her moments both good and bad but ran really well at this time of the year in 2013 finishing third in the Regency and is also hard to keep out of the frame. She faces a tough race tomorrow but should go well at this track.
720m - Hometown Honey has been in scintillating form for quite a while and our dual Category 1 winner is an automatic choice for the team, the question is will she do battle with Farloe Tango again?
500m Dogs - Adageo Bob who performed heroics for us at the back of 2013 has been kept fresh for both the Juvenile (a touch unlucky) and this race. Warms up with a race tomorrow and a win for him in what is bound to be a tough race is vital to our chances.
500m Bitches - Aayamzamodel is another one that has been kept fresh for this race after landing the Peter Bussey Memorial at Crayford and although we are loathed to leave Fridays Monmore heroine Jazz Tilly out the side she has had a tough campaign already this year.
If everything goes to plan and our draws are favourable we seem to have a good all round team and it was difficult leaving the likes of Jazz Tilly, Blackstone Marco and Garryglass Rodge amongst others out of the team. Charlie Lister who has been trialling and racing his team around Sheffield for quite some time will no doubt be devilishly hard to beat.
I was going to comment on the recently published Deloites report on our industry but I still haven't found time to read it in full but hopefully will do soon. Of course you can have all the reports you like we simply just need a huge cash injection that can be focussed primarily on prize money and many of the sport's problems will be solved in an instant while promoters now and in the future need to finance better facilities to attract more crowds.
Our week started at Monmore with the Ladbrokes Spring Festival where a missed break cost Blue Moment a place in the Puppy Derby final, still a lot can be taken out of his third place in the semi's and he looks a bright prospect. In the supporting competitions Jazz Tilly held a long lead in the Category 2 630m heats but only just hung on to win from the fast finishing Scala Dromin. Sidaz Dippy was a touch unlucky in her heat clipping the rails at the third bend before finishing 3rd. In the Bitches 480m Fairest Royal cracked out the lids and caused a 14/1 upset when winning entirely on merit comfortably in a good 28.28 while in the Dogs 480m Blackstone Marco was impressive when landing his heat easily in a scintillating 27.96
An interesting workout at Romford on Tuesday saw recent intake Aero Nemesis scorch round over 400m in 23.99 and this lovely dog who has some decent Irish form on his card will be one of our main Derby hopefuls in a little over seven weeks.
It was back to Monmore on Friday where both Jazz Tilly and Blackstone Marco won their respective finals while Fairest Royal ran a game race when 3rd in the Bitches 480m final.
At night the heats of the Coral Golden Sprint kicked off and Benkaat Boomer safely qualified when 2nd to Dacent Rumble in heat 1, heat 2 looked by far the toughest of the night and not too many people fancied Aero Twizzle but he smashed out of trap 3 and got to his favoured rails slot quite early and showed great pace to go on and score by just over a length in 24.10. Ilewin Allot totally missed his break but used his rails slot to good advantage and showed some excellent pace and in the end qualified cosily in 2nd spot. Old stager and former track champion Ayamzaman flew out the traps in his heat but couldn't cope with the pace of Skate On and received a bump at the second bend and in the end did well to hang on for that vital 3rd spot. In other supporting races Golden Jacket heroine Hometown Honey took the 750m but had to hold off the fast Laughing Sam by 2 1/4 lengths in 47.39.
As said both Murlens Crash and Benkaat Nero took the honours at Sittingbourne last night with Reel Slippy 2nd in a hot Maiden.
Only four runners on Saturday night with three seconds, Hillcross Miami, Hillcross Kansas and improving pup Evanta Candyman all running well.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Tomorrow night a few of our Trainers Championship hopefuls are put through their paces at Sheffield and we are possibly at Hove ThursdaY. We are definitely at Romford on Friday where the semi-finals of the Golden Sprint will be the feature.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
I hope all our followers read the newsletter early last week to see our ante post tips for Monmore where on Friday Jazz Tilly landed the Spring Festival 630m event at 10/1 and Blackstone Marco dead heated in the Dogs 480m final at a juicy 20/1 (not quite sure how this works out for betting purposes)
Aero Twizzle recommended at 16/1 for the Coral Golden Sprint did brilliantly to win his ultra tough heat and followers look on good term with themselves.
I'm not sure I can see a bet for this week so all eyes will be on a Aero Twizzle on Friday.
ADVISED LAST WEEK
AERO TWIZZLE - 2 pts e.w ante post 16/1 - Coral Golden Sprint - Romford - continues Friday
BLUE MOMENT - 1 pt e.w ante post 16/1 - Ladbokes Puppy Derby - Monmore - lost
JAZZ TILLY - 2 pts e.w ante post 10/1 - Ladbrokes Spring Festival 630m - Monmore - WON 10/1 22 1/2 pt profit
BLACKSTONE MARCO - 2 pt e.w ante post 20/1 - Ladbrokes 480m Dogs - Monmore - WON 20/1 ????