Monday 19th December 2011
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A hugely disappointing week and end to the year for the kennel which has seen our Trainers Championship hopes vanish. The week started with high expectations and the destiny of the title was in our own hands and on Monday at Nottingham all seemed to be going well when Lil Risky showed his usual opening burst of speed in his semi-final of the National Sprint but trap 1 Big Local had also broken well and as they went round the bend he completely took Lil Risky out of the race and out of the competition. Both Chris Allsopp's runners Drumcove Lad and Fifis Rocket were first and second in their semi to boost his hopes of landing a first Championship title.
On Wednesday the build up to the Essex Vase final live on Sky was all about Aero Majestic and if he could win the 50 points that would have seen us with a massive advantage over our Championship rivals. All seemed to be going well during the meeting when improving pup Mountjoy Osprey enhanced his growing reputation with a scintillating win in the Puppy race in a fast 23.80 but in the final itself Aero Majestic, after a good break, was bumped on the run up and found himself the wrong side of Judicial Academy as they rounded the first two bends. His race was all but over when he was dragged back at the third bend and he eventually crossed the line in 4th place behind Nick Savva's Westmead Maldini. The result gave us only 5 points which left us clutching at straws as we went into the weekend and despite a treble at Romford on Friday our main hopes went down at Sittingbourne last night, though Jazz Apollo was impressive when winning a 480m in a blistering 28.60.
With Chris Allsopp certain to gain at least 10 points tonight at Nottingham in the National Sprint final it will leave us over 20 points behind and with less than two weeks in the season left to go and a limited amount of meetings there's no way we can find the 20 + open race wins that we would need to be able to challenge for the title. Indeed I think it's time to put away some of our top class runners until 2012 and start afresh and I would like to congratulate Chris and his team on their successful year.
We can look back on 2011 with plenty of pride in what has been a difficult financial year not just for us and our industry but across the country as a whole. Greyhound racing has plenty of reasons to be optimistic going into 2012 with new initiatives such as the 'Premier League' the Bags/Begs 'Intertrack' and the continued superb Sky coverage as well as the new Racing Post Greyhound channel shown on Thursday/Friday and Saturday and we would hope that these positive ventures can renew interest in owners who have been disillusioned with the game for far too long. I will be reviewing our year in depth in the next two weeks and our annual website awards will also be announced.
With the seriousness of the business on the track of late it was nice to have been able to add a bit of light heartedness to proceedings last Sunday when Sky's Julie Collier came to film at Thetford Combat Paintball centre where my son Daniel's 13th birthday celebrations were taking place.
The feature shown on Wednesday's programme included a few shots of us both enjoying a game shooting at the other teams and then separately me shooting a couple of cardboard cut outs of our Trainers Championship rivals Chris Allsopp and Charlie Lister. All good fun, but whilst we were getting ready to wind up I was urged to take a shot at Julie. I must admit that maybe it wasn't a great idea being so close and my intention was to fire one or two just past her but managed to ping one right on the top of her leg. I did think by her screaming that it must have stung a bit and it wasn't long before I found how much these paintballs can hurt as Julie took aim at me and fired one right at my backside as I turned to flee, wow! ouch!, it was like getting the cane at school but ten times worse and seemed like forever for the pain to stop! Still I hope the viewers had a good laugh at our expense, I won't be doing that in a hurry again. The pictures three days later of Julie's bruise were not pretty but I can tell you my bum was as bad!
Lil Risky was desperately unlucky at Nottingham on Monday in the National Sprint Semi's when nearly brought down at the first bend and at Romford in the Coral on TV Maiden 400m heats Steam Machine nearly pulled off a suprise when beaten a head in 24.34 with Bit View Emma baulked out of contention.
All eyes were on Wednesdays Romford Sky card featuring the Coral Essex Vase Final where Aero Majestic never got a run when 4th to Westmead Maldini. On the supporting card Risky Rosaleen ran well in a 575m going down a head to Mays Rocknroller and Mountjoy Osprey recorded a 3.57 split on the way to an easy victory in the Puppy race over 400m and in a race just after the Sky broadcast Aero Joker gave the Forsdike syndicate a small bit of compensation when she landed a 575m in style by 5 1/4 lengths in 35.30.
Our runners on Thursday at Henlow ran well enough with Rookery Pedro just getting pipped on the line by Doctor Robert in a calculated 27.71. Rockburst Lenny was also second to Ballymac William over 550m with Munster Champ back in third and Benkaat Blue was third in the Puppy race.
On Friday at Romford Bit View Emma bounced back from Monday's defeat with an excellent win in a 400m Maiden in a good 24.16 but Steam Machine got no run when fourth in the Maiden final. Carden Twilight took advantage of trouble at the 5th bend to romp away with a 575m race by over 8 lengths in 35.95 and Mountjoy Orion easily landed the odds over 750m when scoring by 2 3/4 lengths in 47 .75 to complete a treble for the kennel.
At Sittingbourne on Sunday Dixies Air was second to Westmead Adonis in the Dual Distance Puppy final after being baulked at the first bend and Dalcash Scolari had a troubled run when 4th in the Seniors Dual Distance final effectively ending any aspirations we had of challenging for the Trainers Championship title while in supporting races there were defeats for both Lil Risky (2nd) and Aero Majestic (4th) but Jazz Apollo bolted in by 4 lengths over 480m in a flying 28.60.
On Wednesday the aptly named Wednesdaywhacker was just shaded when beaten a head in an A4. Big Step alo went down by the same margin in top grade in a decent 28.30 and in a touch of the nearly's Get Home Bess was also second and both Corrig Vincent and Kinda Razzle were third.
Some new pups made their debuts on Saturday and Confident Ramona was very impressive when landing an A4 by 6 3/4 lengths in a good 28.97(-50) on a very slow track. Swift Cougar was a good third on her debut and Swift Chef was also third in an A2 while in deteriorating conditions Swift Reagan was a well beaten runner up on his debut.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
I would like to say our runners are going to be scattered all over the country in search of Trainers Championship points but alas that won't be the case and we will be saving most of our dogs until the start of 2012.
We will have runners at Yarmouth on Wednesday and on Friday we will send a team of runners to Romford including our three winners from last week - Mountjoy Orion, Bit View Emma and Carden Twilight.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
After Aero Majestic was trading as low as 7/4 for the Essex Vase Final last Wednesday I thought we were going to have a great end to the year but a troubled run meant he finished out of the first three and we sadly won't be collecting with the 14/1 we got.
Lil Risky recommended at 8/1 and was trading at 4/1 favourite before last Monday's National Sprint semi-final also had luck against him when crashing out and probably the only compensation we can take is that we were spot on for the value.
We have nothing to put up for this week and I will do a review of our profit margins next week which I'm sure will be on the right side for the third year running, so don't forget to keep reading in 2012 as our website tips are always profitable.
ADVISED LAST WEEK
AERO MAJESTIC - 2 pts e.w ante-post 14/1 Corals - Essex Vase - Romford - lost
LIL RISKY - 2 pts e.w ante-post 8/1 - National Sprint - Nottingham - lost