Monday 20th February 2012
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A superb end to the week not only for us but for owners Stuart and Eamonn Forsdike as both their Aero Majestic and Aero Joker landed competitions on Friday and Saturday. On Friday Aero Majestic was made a long odds on favourite in the final of the Category 3 Coral On TV Stayers at Romford after a devastating performance in last Monday's heats where he won by over 5 lengths in a stunning 34.82, the second fastest time ever recorded at the Essex stadium and just 4 spots outside Solid Money's 8 year old track record. He was made to work very hard in the final after a slow start and trouble at the first bend but eventually he got the better of Maxine Locke's Bridge Jane to win by 1/2 length in 35.51. On Saturday morning at Crayford Aero Joker appeared to have a difficult task having been drawn in trap 6 in a field of railers in the Category 2 Peter Bussey Memorial Trophy but a 'ping' break from the boxes saw her take 2 lengths out of the field and as she cut across the field the inevitable scrimmaging took place behind her and she had gone beyond recall coming home 3 1/2 lengths to the good in 33.71.
Both winners scored valuable Trainers Championship points for us and we passed the 100 point mark which at only the middle of February represents a fast start even by our standards. Amazingly we still lie in second place 5 points behind Kelly Findlay. Kelly is a top class trainer and has a tremendous amount of talented dogs at her disposal and seems to be as they say 'very fashionable' at the moment and many shrewd judges are tipping her to follow in Chris Allsopp's footsteps and land the Trainer Of The Year title for the first time. She has been likened to be the Manchester City of the greyhound world with some strong owners spending decent money to buy some of the best dogs in England and Ireland. I wish her well but will say I'm not looking to settle for second best this year and must admit to being more than happy with our overall kennel strength which we are also looking to further strengthen with some new potential stars arriving in the next few weeks. We also have a lot of young dogs which hopefully will turn into potential stars of the future in the coming months.
Aero Joker in winning on Saturday completed a five timer but the 'dog of the moment' seems to be our flying pup Mountjoy Osprey who recorded his ninth win on the bounce on Friday at Romford. Having won 6 puppy opens over course and distance including a heats and final in January we have been forced to take on all aged company which is normally very difficult for an April puppy. He has now won his last three Standard races and on Friday he flew from the boxes (3.58 split) and was a full 6 lengths clear down the back straight before tying up a bit as the line approached eventually scoring by 2 1/4 lengths in a fast 23.79. The options for 'Osprey' seem limited as he clearly only just gets the 400m and I'm not keen on running puppies in sprint opens as they struggle against genuine sprinters who are at their best with a bit of age so we will keep him ticking over at Romford and will target the Millenium Stand Golden Sprint worth £8,000 to the winner in April and hope he can strengthen up a little to be able to step him up in distance with the William Hill Classic in mind at Sunderland in the summer. Having won this event last year with Blonde Snapper we also won it in 2009 with Mountjoy Osprey's half brother Jogadusc Ace when the event was worth a whopping £40,000.
This week is incredibly busy and today we hope that our kenne's good form continues when we head off to Swindon for the Category 1 Ladbrokes Mobile Arc heats which is covered by Bags (Bookmakers Afternoon Greyhound Service) and our Kent Derby hero Jazz Apollo heads the market in many books after a scintillating 28.58 trial at the track last Tuesday. Kinda True also trialled well (28.97) and hopefully he can return to the form he was in at Sittingbourne before Christmas. This competition looks a tough one but one where we have got a realistic chance to follow up Corrig Vieri's 2009 triumph for the kennel when it was first moved to Swindon from Walthamstow.
Tonight we will see the return of Blonde Snapper who runs in the heats of the Coral On TV Standard at Romford over 400m. Some will see it a surprise to see him at Romford but he has had plenty of trials at the track and was a brilliant winner in his debut race back in May 2010 in 24.05. Amazingly Snapper has had only 23 races in his career and we still believe he has got a lot to offer for this year.
Friday will be hectic as not only do we have the second round of the Arc at Swindon we also have the semi-finals of the Springbok with lively outsider Royal Premium who ran on well in last Saturday's heats at Wimbledon to pinch his qualifying place in third.
We also will have runners at Romford on Friday with hopefully Blonde Snapper in the Coral on TV Standard Final but the main meeting will be the Grand Finals of the Betdaq Premier League at Doncaster where our team 'Imperial Rock Its' holds a slender lead going in to the final leg of the exciting inaugural competition organised by GOBATA. With the unfortunate loss to the elements of the third leg at Doncaster two weeks ago the revised points system now in place means that there will be two jokers that score treble points and with all other runners scoring double points there could be some massive swings in the five races making up the Premier League. With our team mate Paul Sallis having his top 3 or 4 dogs tied up in competitions we will have to find a competitive team to try and land the spoils although with so many points on offer if it was to go pear shaped we could inevitably end up being relegated if our team finished in the bottom two.
I am currently sorting out who best to make the team. Lil Risky (sprint) and Aero Bellagio (puppy race) are pencilled in but our dilemma seems to be in the two four bend races especially with Jazz Apollo tied up in the Arc at Swindon and Dixies Air still recovering from a bout of the cough. I might well put in a surprise entry so watch this space!
The whole event has been a real success and I really hope the Premier League is here to stay but after this week it will not return until GOBATA'S chairman Martin White talks to all parts of the industry to finance the concept for the future, indeed we never had any intention of running the league in March as we do not want to clash with the Betfair Trainers Championship meeting. Going by what the trainers think and the fact that he Premier League has produced some top class action on the track it would be a missed opportunity if the industry didn't support the new team event. Yes there are few things that need to be tweaked and the main one is to move to a slot earlier in the week so as to not clash with the new Racing Post greyhound channel or Sky but with many teams not involved expressing an interest in joining next time it has to be worth backing. Let's face it with what profits the bookmakers make over the course of the year on greyhound racing it would only be a tiny percentage needed to make it happen. Perhaps some of the big bookmakers who are not sponsoring the Racing Post Channel but who are piggy backing off its arrival like Paddy Power, Betfred, Victor Chandler, Blue Square, Bet Victor, Stan James and many more should dip their hands in their pockets to support a Premier League.
Lastly, this week I have the dubious honour of being the first of many trainers to appear as a guest on RPGTV when I will be on the sofa for this Thursday's programme. I must say I'm more nervous having to appear on the show than I would be having a runner in a big final! The show is on for 3 1/2 hours which is a lot of air time to fill and I hope I come across well and can come up with a few winners for viewers and punters for the meetings at Henlow (where we hope to have runners) and Hove which are covered that night.
As said on Monday Aero Majestic flew home in the heats of the Coral On TV Stayers winning in a blistering 34.82.
At Henlow on Thursday it was a case of the nearly's when Lil Risky and Ballintine Molly came closest when runners up in their respective races.
On Friday at Romford as well as Aero Majestic's Final win and Mountjoy Osprey's ninth win on the bounce there were wins for Questhousesavana (24.35) and Out In Chil (24.18) in 400m Maiden races and Risky Rosaleen won well over 575m in 35.75 to complete a brilliant 5 timer for the kennel.
On Saturday morning Aero Joker was a magnificent winner of the Peter Bussey Memorial Trophy at Crayford.
Only runners on Saturday where Born Tobe Blue ran well to be 2nd in an A3 before Risky Blue again went in at a big price in an A1 by 3 1/2 lengths in 27.97. Youngster Darian Marvel finished well to win at the second time of asking in 28.69 while other pups Swift Freeze (3rd) Blonde Kimber (4th) and Adageo Brae (4th) should all be winning soon.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
The Ladbrokes Mobile Arc kicks off today at Swindon with Jazz Apollo and Kinda True mounting our challenge. Tonight Blonde Snapper returns to action at Romford in the Coral on TV Standard heats at Romford.
We will be at Henlow on Thursday and on Friday the Grand Finals of the Betdaq Premier League will be staged at Doncaster. The semi-finals of the Springbok sees Royal Premium bid for a place in next week's final at Wimbledon while the Arc at Swindon continue with the second round and to complete a busy day Mountjoy Osprey will bid for a tenth successive win over track and trip at Romford.
On Saturday Benkaat Blue begins his preperation for the Monmore Puppy Derby when he runs in a trial stakes along with Confident Ramona, Swift Reagan and Mountjoy Eagle.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Another good week for followers when Aero Joker landed the Peter Bussey Memorial Trophy at Crayford. Having been recommended at 3/1 she duly landed Saturday's final at odds of 5/1! courtesy of a perceived bad draw in trap 6 - a winners a winner though! Royal Premium faces a stiff task to land the Springbok at Wimbledon but has a chance to progress to the final if he can get a run in Friday's semi-final. Jazz Apollo is tailor made for a track like Swindon and at 14/1 he looks a worth a decent bet in the Ladbrokes Mobile Arc starting today.
JAZZ APOLLO - 2 pts e.w ante-post 14/1 - Ladbrokes Mobile Arc - Swindon - starts today
ADVISED LAST WEEK
AERO JOKER - 2pts e.w ante-post 3/1 - Peter Bussey Memorial Trophy - Crayford - WON 3/1
ROYAL PREMIUM - 1 pts e.w ante-post 33/1 - William Hill Springbok - Wimbledon - semi-finals Friday