Monday 22nd October 2007
The William Hill St Leger at Wimbledon is in full swing with the semi-finals on Tuesday and after last Friday's second round it's promising to be one of the best Leger's ever. Our Directors Chair set the standard when beating ante-post favourite Westmead Aoifa in a fastest of the round 40.92, this after blitzing to a 15.28 sectional. With the strong runners like Spiridon Lois and Iceman Brutus winning their heats it is set up to be a fantastic competition with the final a week on Tuesday which is live on Sky. Discreet Cat is still there but finding the stiff six bends hard going and the 'Sporting Dogs' syndicate's Butterbridge Ali looks none the worse after his tumble at the first bend when in a good position.
Watching Sky Sports on Tuesday the impressive pup Farloe Reason looked to be a real star for the future when bolting up in the £8,000 to the winner Sunderland Puppy Derby and Charlie Lister has secured at least 60 points on the night to go clear in the race for the Trainers Championship so we will need to win at least a couple of the Category 1 comps that are left in the season which is hard but not impossible. One of those big competitions starts at Coventry on Wednesday - the Blue Square sponsored 480m worth £22,500 to the winner and we have Eye Onthe Veto heading our entries and what a tough heat he has in the first round! - with the likes of Reading Masters winner Blitz on his inside. Just our luck as well with our other two entries Centaur Decree and Killer Keane drawn together. Friday sees the start of the Romford Puppy Cup in which the kennel will be looking for a hat trick of wins following Roswell Starship(2006) and Fear Assassin(2005)'s victories. This year Eye Onthe Force has come to the fore with two excellent wins over course and distance, the latest last Friday in a hot puppy race he looked the real deal when accounting for Barnfield Haveit in a fast 24.17. So with Wimbledon, Coventry and Romford all staging top events that we have a healthy interest in all is not lost yet!
One thing that disappointed me on Sky was the review of the Greyhound of the Year Award when they showed in their opinion the leading candidates. As much as you have to include the year's Derby winner, I, along with everyone I spoke to, will be amazed if Westmead Lord goes on to win the award as he unfortunately due to injury has not been able to follow up on his Derby win. You might be surprised by this statement but as much as I like Barnfield On Air he has only won the Sussex Cup at the moment and if it does go on to win another competition then fair play he deserves to be at the top of the list. My point is that there was no mention of dual competition winning greyhounds this year like Larkhill Bird, Boherna On Air and yes Eye Onthe Veto (Emerald Cup and Champion Stakes). So come on Sky have a look at the bigger picture!
I was very sad to hear this week about the death of a true greyhound man Ron Luton who was one of the most respected people in the game. I was fascinated and gripped by him whenever I've seen him - there was always a story to be told! and my condolences go out to his family.
On Monday night at Nottingham none of our team of six dogs were out of the first three but the only winner could ultimately prove to be an important one and that was the win of Roswell Diamond in the top division of the Puppy Trial Stake. After a few months of setbacks it was pleasing to see the son of Hot Cruise show a devastating turn of pace to beat Torrent Item with the fast Noirs Wild back in third in 30.41(+40) and this fine looking dog should get better and is one to watch in the coming weeks. Aero Blackjack led until the run in before being passed by Keljo Keane in the Second Division of the Puppy Stakes, the winner clocking 30.29(+40) and there were decent runs by Centaur Fuji(3rd), Shelbourne Ryan(2nd), Lockdale Lady(3rd) and Raging Jack(3rd). Vigorous Whitney could only finish 4th in the Harlow Monkey Stayers final on Wednesday but Friday proved to be a decent night not only at Wimbledon, where Directors Chair won as mentioned above in the St Leger second round, but at Romford where we had three good winners. The Romford Puppy Cup starts next week and we used some maiden and puppy races to get them used to the 400m trip. Elusive No Doubt looked set to win the Second Division of the Puppy when challenging for the lead over the last two bends but appearing a bit reluctant to go on, to be polite, he finished second. Roswell Zodiac was in a tough Maiden but ran well to be third beaten just over 3 lengths behind Citizen Skipper in a fast 24.15(+10). The top Division on paper looked very warm and as mentioned above the win for John Keefe's Eye Onthe Force was a real tonic in our quest to retain the title. Lindys Girl ran well enough to be third in the bitches 400m and as so often happens Coolanga Flyer, who had not won for a while, followed up last week's Walthamstow win with an authoritative victory in the 575m Standard, leading around the last 2 bends to score by nearly 3 lengths in 36.26. In the top Division Shelbourne Ryan was kept busy and, although beaten at odds on at Nottingham on Monday, produced a fine turn of pace to lead at the second bend and stay on to win by a one and 3/4 lengths in 36.02. The Injured Jockeys Fund meeting at Walthamstow had a decent card and in her debut race for the kennel Danielles Dora, only a March 06, ran well when runner up to Droopys Edith and though well beaten(6 3/4 lengths) showed plenty of promise and looks a marathon star all ready. In the gruelling 1045m Centaur Fuji led and held every chance but didn't get the extra distance when 4th to Rosshill View
Eye Onthe Jewel ran well to be second in the Veteran 640m and Centaur Decree was 5th in a very hot top division of the 475m behind Island View.
Special Roxi once again ran well in third on the Monday Bags card and Megusta Manners has now found the winning habit with his second consecutive win in 29.43 (+20). Ants Gunner (2nd) and Lockdale Prince (2nd) both ran well but the star of the show again was Ragga Diva who blew her A4 field away scoring by 6 1/4 lengths in 29.11 (+20). On Tuesday the long awaited debut of hurdler Chase The Dream didn't disappoint as he looked like he had been hurdling all his life but try as hard as he did he couldn't get past Castleivy Sand going down by 1 1/2 lengths in 29.88 (+10). Banjo Ocean ran well to get the better of Lews Trickster by 3/4 length in 29.42. Bell Tempest looked different class to his rivals but still made heavy weather of winning in 29.54 (+10) by over 3 lengths. Directors Star showed gears when leading up but in the end had to hold on from the well-backed and fast finishing Droopys Kan Kan by a neck in 29.06(+10). In the S1 Eye Onthe Power was another to follow up on his last win scoring in 39.96(+15). Eye Onthe Flame was a close up 4th and Genesis Alix found all kinds of trouble before finishing second in the S2. On Thursday a long overdue win for Lockdale Prince in the S3 and Blackey Said So confirmed the promise of Saturday's debut with a nice win leading by the third bend to score by 2 1/2 lengths in 29.61(-10). So Said He looks a decent pup as well and was unlucky finding plenty of trouble in running before being second to Swahv Zico beaten 1 3/4 lengths in 29.46 (-10). Not So Jolly ran well when third and a win looks just around the corner.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACE:- DIRECTORS CHAIR
GRADED:- RAGGA DIVA
WHATS ON THIS WEEK
On Monday night the heats of the Autumn Puppy Stakes take place at Nottingham with both our entries (Roswell Diamond and Aero Blackjack) as usual drawn together! On Tuesday the semi's of the St Leger at Wimbledon see both our runners Directors Chair and Discreet Cat run in the first heat and same old story on Wednesday in the heats of the Blue Square 480m at Coventry as Killer Keane and Centaur Decree lock horns - also the return of Eye Onthe Veto after his Champion Stakes victory gives the kennel plenty of interest. On Friday the Romford Puppy Cup gets under way with 6 heats.
Due to holidays the weekly newsletter and Five to Follow update will return in a fortnight.