Monday 1st March 2010
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A very busy week on the track with some massive highs mixed in with some sad news. The return of our Derby winner Kinda Ready to competitive action after being off the track since early September was eagerly awaited and he did not disappoint, scorching round Monmore in a blistering 27.87 on Saturday night and he now heads to Doncaster in preparation for the Betfair Trainers Championship meeting on the 23rd March. It was great to see the kennel back to form after a slow start to the year and in all we had 11 open race winners last week including another stunning show of pace and determination from Eye Onthe Storm at Sittingbourne on Thursday. It was also pleasing to see some of our other big guns on the winner's rostrum again with the likes of Kinda Easy, Jogadusc Ace and Eye Onthe Flash all running well. The 'Performance of the Week' feature was a hard decision with terrific wins as well for Risky Wand, who beat class sprinter Rotar Wing at Yarmouth, and another gutsy win from Goldies Destiny at Romford while there was a couple of nice surprises such as Bim Bam Boozle's sparkling win at Monmore. The game unfortunately always seems to have that kick in the teeth and I was very upset when seeing an appalling injury on Friday at Romford to promising youngster Droopys Seve who had to be put to sleep. No blame can be attached to track or dog, it was just an accident and I thank Tony (D Mullins) and Kevin Ulla for their prompt action and to Romford's vet Julio Ibello. His owner Michael Dunphy was gutted but understanding and I thank him for his support to our kennel.
Tomorrow night the prestigious Racing Post Juvenile Invitational race at Wimbledon is the main feature of an excellent Sky card. Eye Onthe Storm, last year's 'Newcomer Of The Year', faces a tough draw in trap 4 especially as the three inside runners were all seeded middle in their previous races. To be honest when I saw the draw I was gobsmacked to see Newlawn Class, Shaws Dilemma and Ten Large Down all seeded rails as clearly it was just to avoid getting drawn in an unfavourable trap 5 or 6 slot. How the trainers were allowed to get away with this is beyond me and I have made my feelings known both to Gary Mathews (Racing Manager) and to the Racing Post. Having said that I still feel 'Frankie' can overcome this hazard and prove he is the one they will all have to beat in this year's Derby which is now only 8 weeks away. Incredibly, just to make my blood boil, I entered Bomber Bailey in the hurdle race only to find out he was just a reserve!, After a winter's rest 'Bailey' had come back with some blistering trials around Harlow and was ready to show why he was second only to Platinumlancelot (who he beat in his last race) in the recent Greyhound awards. Work that one out because I can't, in fact I would willingly take on anything that did manage to get in the race ahead of him in a match race if they wanted. Kinda Easy, Eye Eye Pickle, Risky Wand and Jogadusc Ace are all on the supporting card in some hot races.
On Thursday the Monmore Puppy Derby kicks off with six first round heats. Last year Kinda Ready advertised his Derby claims when second to Bandicoot Tipoki in an enthralling competition. This year there seems to be some decent pups around judging by the quality of some of the trial stakes at the Midlands venue over the last few weeks. The likes of Barry Draper's recent track record holder Farley Blitz as well as Star Gaze and Bower Eagle amongst others look exceptional. We ourselves will have about six entries and I feel we could still pull something out of the bag despite our pups looking rather green and backward in recent weeks. Our hopes lay with Directors Spur, Aero Bolt, Rockburst Canyon, Bim Bam Boozle and Kinda Close.
I am really looking forward to the Betfair Trainers Championship luncheon on Wednesday at the Langham Hotel. A champagne reception followed by a series of interviews and then a high class dinner make it a special occasion and later on everyone lets their hair down as host Tony Calvin normally takes matters into his own hands and marches everyone down to the nearest pub. Last year we were entertained by the Racing Post's Jimmy Austin with his version of 'Bright Eyes' and I somehow ended up in a curry house at about 1 in the morning, great fun!
I attended the latest GOBATA committee meeting on Tuesday and despite the continued snub from the GBGB things are moving on nicely in an attempt to pull the industry practitioners together under one umbrella. With membership rising steadily (if you haven't joined then now's the time) and some of the biggest names in the industry fully behind the association I feel we can really achieve something positive. Remember GOBATA is only in its infancy and will learn as it goes along but the key thing is that anybody who feels they can help is welcome to attend any meeting. I understand also that the news concerning Walthamstow, where SOS gained access to view the site last week, is very positive and it's common knowledge that Nick Budimir, who is leading a consortium, will make a bid for the stadium in the next 30 - 60 days once he has established how much is needed to bring the stadium back to its former glories. This is great news for an industry that has been rocked by the news this last week that the fund level has decreased from £10 million down to £8.5 million. I agree with everyone else on this subject that those bookmakers that take bets on greyhound racing and don't contribute towards the fund should hang their heads in shame! With the announcement that Barry Faulkner has been given the unenviable job as Chief Executive of the GBGB we wait with baited breath to see how he will deal with an industry in crisis and we will have to give the man a fair chance before we pass judgement. As far as the GBGB are concerned, before they start making expected cuts in prize money levels they should look internally to see if any savings can be made there first.
No luck at Harlow on Wednesday with a few open runners, Directors Wit and Eye Onthe Pulse coming closest when both 2nd. At Yarmouth on the same night a few opens spiced their Bags card up and Eye Onthe Flash in division 2 of the 462m Standard overcame a bump at the start to power home to a good win by 3/4 length in 28.38. Eye Eye Pickle having his first race of the year ran very well when 2nd to Monleek Mayhem beaten a length in 28.08. Risky Wand had trialled well in a sprint at the track the previous week but looked to have it all to do to beat track record holder Rotar Wing but in a tight finish he just got the better of his rival scoring by a neck in 16.79.
On Thursday at Sittingbourne on a night of torrential rain it was great to read headline comments on the Racing Post website reading 'Team Wallis Clean Up At Sittingbourne'. The night started with a win for Jogadusc Ace over 450m in 28.18 (-60) and Eye Onthe Storm after a good win the previous week was again impressive once he had got clear of the middle running trap 1 going on to score by 3 1/2 lengths in 29.68 (-60). Over 642m Kinda Easy beat kennelmate Corrig Vieri by 3 1/4 lengths in 41.12 (-100) and in the last open race over 500m Jodu Fame looks like a nice bitch winning without a look at the track by 1 1/2 lengths in 31.26 (-60).
On Friday at Romford Aldataro Lass was a shade unlucky when 4th in a 575m Maiden Stayers but the meeting was spoiled by the tragic injury to Droopys Seve. Goldies Destiny in a hot 575m Stayers brought a little relief when showing speed and guts to lead on the run in to score by 3/4 length in a fast 35.22 (+30).
Although recent trips to Monmore on previous Saturdays had not been too successful we started well with both Gan On Parker (24.90) and Kinda Handy (24.66) winning 416m contests. In the puppy races Rockburst Canyon (4th), Aero Bolt (5th), Directors Spur (4th) and Kinda Close (3rd) had their moments before Bim Bam Boozle landed his race in fine style scoring by 4 lengths in a good 28.38. The long awaited return of Kinda Ready was well worth the wait as he tracked trap 1 Little Flame before taking it up at halfway. Showing that devastating turn of pace that saw him land last year's premier Classic he pulled right away from his field to win by over 3 lengths in a fine 28.87. Dalcash Scolari in his first race of the year completely missed the break but blew away the cobwebs when 3rd to the impressive Nambisco.
Royale Boy was best of our two runners on Wednesday when 2nd and on Friday Severn Barcelona beat kennelmate Centaur Rosina by 3 1/2 lengths in 38.54 (-25). Risky Fabio scored well in A3 grade by a length in 26.33 (-15) and Sligo Too won well beating Genesis Fuzzums by 2 1/2 lengths in 26.27 (-15).
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACE - KINDA READY
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Wimbledon is the place to be on Tuesday where the Racing Post Juvenile takes centre stage. Opens at Harlow Wednesday and on Thursday the Monmore Puppy Derby begins. I've yet to finalise the rest of the week.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Goldies Destiny did the business for us at Romford on Friday. I think at Wimbledon tomorrow our best chance may fall to back to form Kinda Easy in the Stayers. I still think we might do well in the Monmore Puppy Derby and we should get a decent price about Directors Spur who is a bit green but very pacey.
KINDA EASY - 1 pt win - Wimbledon - Tuesday
DIRECTORS SPUR - 1pt e.w ante-post (prices not available yet) - Monmore Puppy Derby - Thursday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
GOLDIES DESTINY - 2 pts win - Romford - Friday - WON 6/4