Monday 1st July 2013
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A superb William Hill Greyhound Derby came to a conclusion on Saturday night and what a breathtaking performance the winner Sidaz Jack gave. Of course we shouldn't have expected anything else from a Charlie Lister runner. He firmly put the Irish duo of Ballymac Vic and Droopys Jet in their place and once he had shrugged off their challenge Sidaz Jack surged home to beat a running on Airlie Impact to give Charlie a 7th Derby victory. For winning owners Daren Johnson and Simon Wooder it was a dream come true. Both are owners, friends and big supporters of Imperial kennels and only 4 years ago Daren's Kinda Ready touched off Simon's Fear Zafonic in an all time classic Derby final giving us our first of two Derby winners. Amazingly Simon was magnanimous in defeat that night and the two shortly afterwards met at the London Golf Club and have become real friends. Sensibly both Daren and Simon have teamed up together over the last year or so and have many top class runners split between us, Charlie and Dean Childs as well as some runners in Ireland with Graham Holland. As I've said before they are set to dominate greyhound ownership for quite some time to come, well done Daren and Simon!!!
Sidaz Jack has already been installed as a clear favourite for the 2014 Greyhound Derby and sponsors William Hill announced the astonishing news that not only is next year's renewal going to be worth an amazing 200k to the winning connections, an increase of 50k but the other finalists' prize money is going to be boosted by another 20k. I have to say this is fantastic news and should ensure that the 2014 English Derby is without doubt the best greyhound competition in the world. Of course we have to thank Kate Miller and her boss at William Hill Ralph Topping for this magnificent gesture and as long as Kate is around top class greyhound racing will do well, thank you Kate! Let's hope the likes of Betfair and some other bookmakers that do so well out of greyhound racing can follow up with the same passion. Greyhound racing is not only a safe product for the bookmaking industry to take bets on it provides a cheap live product for their shops to open and get their punters to play the fixed betting terminals that make so much profit. We do actually deserve more money being pumped into our sport and William Hill leads the way in recognising this.
Our kennel is not having the best of luck lately and as I said last week is running slightly below par. It was not only disappointing not to have a winner on Derby final night (Jazz Apoolo best when 3rd) it was a real blow not to qualify anything for the Ladbrokes Monmore Festival Finals on Friday when all our runners where eliminated in Monday's semi-finals and heats of their competitions. We really have to hope our form improves as all our main rivals in the Trainer Of The Year title have made considerable ground on us and Charlie Lister has knocked us off the top. We now go into the important William Hill Festival with some real questions to answer and I'm confident that over the next couple of months our form will improve. Glanmire Lad and Garryglass Rodge head our team for the Classic over 450m along with Carkei Max who is up for sale on our For Sale Page. Max is sensibly priced and it was only two weeks ago he destroyed Derby winner Sidaz Jack down the back straight in the third round before succumbing to Derby runner up Airlie Impact in the last stride, that is some form! Forgotten dog Blonde Reagan will head our Grand Prix team and hopefully Reagan will get his career back on track after some disappointing runs earlier in the year. Jazz Tilly will also be tried over the 640m.
Talking of Carkei Max being up for sale, we also have a lovely little April 12 bitch on our For Sale page. Little Sally is a repeat mating of superstar and former track record holder Milldean Panther which is very interesting. She has a flying 16.45 trial at Clonmel on her card and should be decent open class and again is sensibly priced.
Thank you for the response to our 5 To Follow competition and if anyone has forgotten to do their teams we will take entries up to our first runners tonight at 7.26pm. We have some fantastic prizes on offer and entry is FREE.
On Monday at Monmore in the Ladbrokes Summer Stayers Classic we missed out for a place in the final when Jazz Tilly led but failed to hold her position before finishing a close up 5th. Bridge Ruth couldn't cope with the short run to the turn when hampered but tried her hardest to get back into the race only to miss out by a couple of lengths and Hometown Honey also got eliminated. The Puppy event was very hot and both Polar Sean and Blonde Tango ran OK but never made the final and our veteran Lil Risky again couldn't overcome his draw in trap 4 in his 416m heat when only 3rd.
A quiet week elsewhere with only three runners on the Derby supporting card. Aayamzabella struggled from trap 3 in the Dorando Marathon when only 4th and after winning the British Bred race for the last three years Ayamzaman failed to make an impact when only 5th. Jazz Apollo ran well when 3rd in the Seniors race though never really looked a threat.
On Sunday at Coventry new intake Baran Bally Hi ran well enough when 2nd in the hurdles contest while Blonde Bobby took the Puppy race in 29.38. Over at Henlow our three potential Gold Cup entries Benkaat Nero, Reel Trickyone and Planning were all beaten but hopefully will go better next week.
YARMOUTH AND COVENTRY GRADED REVIEW
At Coventry on Wednesday we had our first graded winner when Hillcross Kansas took an A4 in style winning over 3 lengths in 29.80 while Swift Eire just failed to catch Swift Giggs in a good A3 going down by a neck in 29.67 with Hillcross Miami back in 3rd.
On Sunday Hillcross Kansas scored again in an A3 in 29.88 with Hillcross Dallas back in 4th.
At Yarmouth on Saturday Swift Rachel opened her account in style winning an A4 by 3 lengths in a good 28.33 (+20) and this young October 11 whelp looks a fine prospect. Baran Maverick (2nd) and Swift Obama (3rd) were best of our other runners.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Swift Sean and Aero Yeah go in the heats of the Coral On TV Maiden Standard at Romford while we travel up to Sunderland for trials in the daytime with a team for the William Hill Festival which gets underway this Saturday at Sunderland.
The Swindon Produce Stakes kicks off on Friday and Blonde Bobby and Blonde Tango represent ourselves and Mark Currell this year.
We will be at Romford Friday and Coventry on Sunday as well as Henlow where the Henlow Gold Cup kicks off.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Jazz Tilly looked for a moment like she was going to make the final of the Ladbrokes Summer Stayers Classic but was defeated in a close run semi-final and Lil Risky just failed to make the 416m final when 3rd.
The William Hill Festival kicks off this Saturday and I have long since fancied that Garryglass Rodge will ideally be suited by track and trip and should go well in the Classic. Of course he doesn't want a draw too far from the rails and that will be our only downside.
In the 640m Grand Prix Blonde Reagan has a lot to prove but he came to form this time last year and made the final last year finishing a close up 3rd. Not one for the mortgage but worth taking a chance on.
If there's any betting on the Swindon Produce Stakes then I see no reason why Blonde Bobby couldn't make the final at least.
GARRYGLASS RODGE - 1.5 pts e.w ante-post - William Hill Classic - Sunderland - starts Saturday
BLONDE REAGAN - 1 pt e.w ante-post - William Hill Grand Prix - Sunderland - starts Saturday
BLONDE BOBBY - 2 pts e.w ante-post - Swindon Produce Stakes - starts Friday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
JAZZ TILLY - 2.5 pts e.w ante-post 25/1- Ladbrokes Summer Stayers Classic - Monmore - lost
LIL RISKY - 1.5 pts e.w ante-post 9/2 - Ladbrokes Festival 416m - Monmore - lost