Monday 18th November 2013
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Bridge Honcho has bounced back to his very best and after an excellent semi-fina. 'Gerry' scorched around the galloping track to win by 3 1/2 lengths in a fine 29.39 and a Category 1 win for him and his owner Peter Bridges would be well deserved after making both the Sussex Cup and East Anglian Derby finals in recent months. This will not be easy though with the likes of Exocet (Kent Derby winner), Calzaghe Davy (All England Cup winner), Sawpit Sensation (defending champion), Airlie Impact (Derby finalist) and a decent Charlie Lister runner in Aghaburren Paddy in attendance. His draw in trap 3 is fine and though he will be turning right on the run up a little bit but Sawpit Sensation in trap 4 would be going even wider and with Exocet in trap 1 who is likely to move outwards as well he could get a clear run to the bend and if does lead it would take a real good one to stop him winning. He seems to have come out of the race in good shape and will get his usual expert check over from our physio Ron Mills today.
The quality of the competition has been superb and no doubt the fascinating battle for the Trainer Of The Year title has enhanced the whole event, with four trainers, including ourselves, fighting for the valuble points on offer the entry and now the final has surely resulted in a top class event. The GBGB and bookmaking firms must see how the Trainer Of The Year battle makes open racing much more competitive especially at this time of the year when trainers could possibably be looking for a quieter end to the year. As I've said many times if there was a substantial reward on offer and not just for the winner but right down to the top twenty on a ladder style payment it would result in many more competitions being more competitive which in turn would produce higher turnover for the bookmakers.
After Charlie Lister's 1/2/3 in the William Hill St Leger his massive points haul has seen him pull over 100 points clear of us and Chris Allsopp but with Paul Young grabbing first and second in the RFS Puppy Derby he is bang in the hunt for the title. The Eclipse final on Wednesday sees all four trainers represented and you can tell that Charlie is serious about winning the Trainer Of The Year award as he had a rare runner at Romford on Friday with Hather George (2nd) which means he is likely to be represented in the Coral Essex Vase. Although I feel we are outsiders to defend our crown and our chance may have slipped by with no St Leger finalist we will try our best to finish the season as well as we can. For us to challenge both Charlie and Paul, Bridge Honcho simply has to win on Wednesday. Nottingham has been a lucky track for us recently (Adageo Bob winning British Bred Stakes two weeks ago) and in the past with dogs like Eye On The Storm (Eclipse and Puppy Classic) Ronnies Champion (Puppy Classic) Fear Robben (Puppy Classic) so we still have high hopes. We will have a strong team for the Coral Essex Vase with Blonde Razor, Jazz Tilly, Bridge Ruth, Hometown Honey, Reel Trickyone, Ilewin Frimley, Risky Emerald, Bridge Bandit, Adageo Brae and possibaly Adageo Bob all looking likely entries and again we would have to win this event to score maximum points against our rivals, all very interesting.
As well as the Trainers title we were again well represented for Yarmouth in the second leg of the Bags Championship at Peterborough on Friday and we were given a solid lesson by some well prepared Peterborough runners. Highlight for us was the impressive Ilewin Allot who is most aptly named as he added another Bags Championship win to follow up his Yarmouth Championship win, probably the find of he season for our kennel I'm sure he will do well when unleashed on the open circuit. For the record Peterborough hold an unassailable 95 point lead going into the third leg at Yarmouth a week Monday. Also a thank you to Peterborough who laid a nice spread on for the trainers and kennel hands after kennelling, Yarmouth take note.
In other news the AGM of the GTA went off relatively peacefully last Monday at Coventry though the absence of many trainers was disappointing but for those that did attend Rick Holloway spoke well and gave the good news that the GBGB would meet him and other GTA committee members to discuss full representation for the GTA in all GBGB positions most likely this week. Of course it's important in these tough times for all stakeholders in our sport to work together. News that Towcester is looking like it could open its doors next summer to greyhound racing would be a major boost to our sport.
Aayamzabella has done really well of late and we are planning a double trip across the sea to Ireland firstly for the marathon race on the Night Of The Stars extravaganza on the 30th November at Shelbourne Park and then back the following week to Harold's Cross for the heats of the Ted Hegarty.
Jazz Tilly our only open racer on Monday took a 485m Bitches contest leading on the run in to score in 29.52.
On Tuesday Aero Twizzle bounced back to beat a good sprint field in a supporting Sky race at Wimbledon just holding on to win by a head in 16.14 while Aayamzamodel was 3rd in a 480m Maiden.
A mega busy night on Friday and great news as Bridge Honcho landed the Eclipse semi-final at Nottingham while Adageo Bob couldn't quite grab that all important 2nd spot but ran well in his semi-final. Over at Romford we had a good start to the night with Risky Emerald coming again to land the spoils in 36.00. In a hotter maiden Stayers Ilewin Frimley ran a stormer and beat a good field entirely on merit in a fastest of the night 35.52 at a juicy 20/1. Garryglass Rodge back over 400m made no mistake when favourite hugging the rails to score in 24.02. Both Hometown Honey (4th) and Jazz Tilly (3rd) ran well in what effectively were Essex Vase trial stakes.
YARMOUTH AND COVENTRY REVIEW
Just a couple of runners at Coventry on Monday but no joy and most of our graded runners from Yarmouth were representing us at Peterborough with Ilewin Allot successful and Skips Special running well when 2nd.
At Yarmouth just three runners with Ille More and Olle Blue both 2nd and Benkaat Dolly 3rd.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
A few opens tonight in a good card at Coventry but the main focus this week will be Nottingham on Wednesday as Bridge Honcho bids for glory in the Eclipse final.
On Friday the start of the Coral Essex Vase at Romford will see a strong entry from our kennel.
We will most likely send a couple of runners to Crayford on Saturday for the Category 2 Rose Bowl.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Bridge Honcho could give our supporters a huge pay day if he could land the Betfred Eclipse final on Wednesday as he was available at a juicy 33/1 at the start of the event.
Blonde Razor would be my fancy from our strong team in the Coral Essex Vase starting on Friday at Romford. Bridge Ruth is pure class and should go well and for a lively outsider why not have a small interest on the unexposed Ilewin Frimley.
BLONDE RAZOR - 2 pts e.w ante post - Coral Essex Vase - Romford - Friday
BRIDGE RUTH - 1.5 pts e.w ante post - Coral Essex Vase - Romford - Friday
ILEWIN FRIMLEY - 1 pt e.w ante post - Coral Essex Vase - Romford - Friday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
ADAGEO BOB - 2 pts e.w ante post 16/1 - Betfred Eclipse - Nottingham - lost
BRIDGE HONCHO - 1 pt e.w ante post 33/1 - Betfred Eclipse - Nottingham - final Wednesday