Monday 1st September 2008
Romford's Champion Stakes Final live on Sky Sports is the highlight of a superb card on Tuesday and we are proud to be represented by the Bill McLuskey and Alan Dee owned Directors Chair and his price of 7/1 is a mark of how good this final really is with greyhound superstars in the shape of Barnfeild On Air and the immense Lenson Joker in opposition. Only Directors Chair's best break will give him any chance but whatever the outcome we shall enjoy the night; we also have three other runners in supporting finals and Eye Onthe Veto on the Sky card as well.
Charlie Lister's flying pup Farloe Merlin showed fabulous pace to overhaul Westmead Osprey to land Nottingham's Puppy Classic on Monday and his win has seen Charlie move past Seamus Cahill into second spot behind ourselves in the Trainers Championship and our 125 point lead is going to be hard to keep with events like the East Anglian Derby (Charlie's favourite competition), the Laurels and Eclipse coming up in the next few weeks. So if ever we needed some decent wins then now would be a good time, unfortunately nearly ever thing this week has gone pear shaped although we can take heart from the fact that Arc Hero Centaur Decree completed a marvellous comeback from serious injury when winning an open at Coventry on Sunday night and I would like thank my staff and I know it has been said many times but our superb physio Ron Mills for all their efforts in getting 'James' not only back on the track but winning as well! He will now head off to Yarmouth for the Derby and who knows could yet have a big say in our year's final points tally.
Historically our first graded runners at Harlow were on Thursday and for the records Rhias Beauty was our first official graded winner in an S1 by 5 lengths. We have now about 25 graded with another 30 on the trial list with quite a few of them only needing one more trial as we have used the inter-tracks and opens over the last few weeks to qualify them and in general I'm pleased at the way our greyhounds have adapted to the tightish circuit with the unusual Bramitch hare.
Great news for all our website readers is that following the success of our last Five to Follow competition last year we are announcing that this year's competition has now been rescheduled to start at the beginning of October with a chance to win a fabulous first prize of a meal for four at the venue (not been chosen yet) of the Trainers Championship meeting plus £500 of free betting vouchers for the night. With prizes for the top 5 as well it is well worth an entry (only £10 per entry). Full details will appear on the site at the end of the week when all you have to do is click onto the Five To Follow icon on the home page.
At Romford on Monday we were pleased with all three of our runners in the heats of supporting competitions for the Champion Stakes starting with Risky Fabio in the Puppy Standard who showed terrific early to lead and almost beleagued his 14/1 starting price but was caught right
on the wire to be beaten a head by favourite Starman Shaun in a fast 24.22 (+10). In the Maiden Stayers Kinda Classic qualified for the final when runner up to Love Forever beaten by 3 3/4 in 35.78 (+10) and in the 750m Marathon heats Bell Tempest ran well to be second to Lavenders Grant beaten 1 1/4 lengths in 48.23.
In the opens at Harlow on Wednesday Discreet Cat had no answers to Offshore Sox in the 592m Stayers when second beaten 5 3/4 in a very fast 37.41 but in the main race of the night Bell Tornado got the better of Copper Penny by 1/2 length to land the Maiden Monkey Stayers Final in 37.91 (+20). Blackey Said So looks to have taken to the track really well and completed a hat trick by winning the 415m Standard by a 6 1/2 lengths in 26.12(+10). At Romford on the same night all eyes were on the semi-finals of the Champion Stakes and Eye Onthe Spirit just missed out on a place in the final when third to Ballymac Weeshie with the unlucky ex kennel mate Stride On Babe breaking down when set to land the race. In the last heat Lenson Joker displayed what a great dog he is by dishing out a 7 length beating to our Directors Chair in a fast 35.07.
Belle Vue was the main meeting on Thursday with the Totesport Gold Collar the feature race. We had three pups running with next week's Manchester Puppy Cup in mind and were pleased with both Mountjoy Gold (2nd) and Eye Onthe Brave (5th) (both needed the run) but most pleasing was Goldcrest King who led despite running a bit green only to be collared right near the line in a good 27.71 (+20) and looks a dog that will come forward with each run. In a messy hurdle race Eye Onthe Flame just failed to stick his nose on the line and was beaten the minimum margin in 28.55 (+20).
Friday will not go down as one of the best nights for our kennels starting at Romford where a two hour delay for myself on the motorway on a hot afternoon did not help the cause of our runners and after arriving at the track at 6.50 we were 5 minutes too late for Bingo Panda to be able to run in the first race (another N.G.R.C rule that dosen't allow for any common sense to prevail!). A succession of fancied runners were turned over and Roswell Startrek will go down as one of the unluckiest losers seen before Genesis Sister saved our blushes by winning the last race the 750m Marathon by a length in 47.95. At Doncaster we didn't fare much better in the heats of the Calsberg Tetley Yorkshire St Leger with Butterbridge Ali run out of a place in 4th when odds on in heat 2. Mooloolaba was also 4th in her heat and it was left to Tipp The Breeze to carry the flag for the kennel when she qualified in 3rd, although she will need to improve significantly in the semi's if she is to make the final.
At Coventry on Sunday we had high hopes for our five runners but torrential rain in the day had made the going almost impossible on the inside which was annoying as four of our runners were railers! They all ran OK still and I don't think it will be long before the likes of Genesis Dream and Genesis Alix are back on the winner's podium. The good thing with the going massively favouring the outside was that it gave Centaur Decree our best chance of the night and when he had a clear run to the corner the race was effectively over and striding away at the end he looked back to somewhere near his best eventually winning by 2 3/4 lengths in 30.41 (-50).
Inter tracks on Wednesday as well as opens saw the debut success of Mais in only her second outing in 27.03. King Jackson ran well when runner up to Shakesspeare Boy beaten 2 lengths in 26.16 (+10) and So Said He returmed to the winner's podium when scoring in 26.33 (+10). Rusheen Calassic also won in 26.30 (+20) by a short head. Thursday saw our first official graded runners and Rhias Beauty flew round to take the S1 in a fast 37.47 and Genesis Gemstone also won in a good 26.16 (+15). Saturday saw Wilson Pick It get beat a s/hd in 27.09. Centaur Lucky beat kennel mate Rockybay Class by a 1 1/4 in 26.75 and the unexposed Mountjoy Ruby showed great pace to lead at the 3rd bend and score by 2 lengths in a good 26.24. RaggaDiva and Chilli Blue were both unlucky seconds before Seanis Strike made his class tell when winning the A1 by over 4 lengths in 26.05. To complete a good night for the kennel in form Bell Tempest won the S1 by 1 1/2 lengths in 38.16.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING- CENTAUR DECREE
GRADED- MOUNTJOY RUBY
WHATS ON THIS WEEK
Tuesday is Romford's big night of the year with the Champion Stakes final and Directors Chairs bids to keep the trophy in Imperial Kennel hands by trying to go one better than last year's second to Eye Onthe Veto. Wednesday and Thursday opens are planned at Harlow while theManchester Puppy Cup also starts on Thursday. On Friday Tipp The Breeze runs from trap 1 in the semi-final of the Yorkshire St Leger and we should also be at Romford for the opens that night. Saturday the Peterborough Puppy Cesarewitch gets underway and new intake Centaur Simon with Corrig Vieri are being aimed for this while on Sunday we will plan to take runners to Coventry for the opens.