Monday 23rd December 2013
JOIN GOBATA NOW
(Opens to a third party website)
What an unbelievable feeling it was to wake up on Friday morning and walk into our kennel knowing we had won our 5th Trainer Of The Year title in 8 years and a 7th one for Imperial Kennels since 2001 with Linda's two titles, A long and sometimes difficult year had been transformed over the last few months into another dramatic and fantastic piece of history for
the Kennels. As it stands with just one week of the season left neither Charlie Lister nor Paul Young can catch us and I will be a very proud man when I lift that trophy in Manchester next month.
Talk that the title doesn't mean that much to Charlie might have a certain sense of truth in it but ask Chris Allsopp or Seamus Cahill what it meant to them and I know Paul Young and his kennel would really love to land this trainers award and I'm sure they will one day. I hope we set aspirations and ambitions for a few more trainers but the above mentioned look likely to be the main players again for 2014.
I think each and every one of our wins has been different, from the outrageous 300 + points comeback in 2005 to the landslide victories of 2009 and 2012. This year we faced a crisis in the summer and without going into detail the loss of key staff and our biggest owner in the middle of a poor run of form from our greyhounds had certain people saying it was the demise of Mark Wallis and a hate campaign on the forums hurt. The injuries to stars like Glanmire Lad, Planning and Castlebride Dan as well as promising hurdler Baran Bugatti are all part of the game as we know but all came at a particularly bad time. After our incredible 2012 we knew this year was going to be difficult but I must admit come mid July I was at a real low point. There are two things you can do in these circumstances and that is either bury your head in the sand and let it all go down the pan or roll up your sleeves and get stuck in. I have faith in my ability to train dogs as good as anyone in the land and I was left with loyal people around me who know who they are, particularly my wife Sarah who has always been 110% behind me, and together we have come back to produce a stunning last few months landing four Category 1's and many other decent competitions and races. Hometown Honey may have only dead heated in the William Hill Grand Prix at Sunderland in July but that result was sweet. Slowly our results started to pick up and with the likes of Adageo Bob suddenly showing the promise from his early races when landing a massively important British Breeders Stakes Final at Nottingham in November we quickly followed that up with a result that epitomises our kennel - Bridge Honcho who had broken his leg nearly 12 months before suddenly showed us the old pre injury form and in the Eclipse heats and semi's he was at his best and in the final he simply blew some class opposition away with contempt to score in emphatic style. From that moment on my mojo was back and the confidence this gave me was half the reason we produced a stunning 1-2 in the Coral Essex Vase final two weeks ago. W ith Charlie Lister virtually guaranteed the title should he win, and he had two excellent chances, pressure indeed, but Reel Trickyone and Adageo Bob showed why we are still the best around with a stunning result. The sponsors Ladbrokes had pushed us out to 25/1 before Bridge Honcho's Eclipse victory but after the Essex Vase we had shortened to 4/9, what a turnaround!
As I said, we can't be caught and just to make sure Hometown Honey capped off an excellent year by landing the Tony Byerley Trophy at Romford in fine style but Adageo Bob just found the 485m a bit sharp when 3rd in the Golden Muzzle final at Coventry last night but what a year Adageo Bob has had!
We still have some unfinished business this year with Aero Twizzle taking on the top sprinters in the Category 2 National Sprint final tonight at Nottingham while on Boxing Day a big crowd is expected at Henlow for their lunchtime meeting with the final of the Cesarewitch the feature and Reel Trickyone bids to follow up his Essex Vase victory to make it a month to remember, and we have qualified three through to the Category 2 Xmas Cracker final at Henlow, the last competition of the year - Murlens Crash, Ilewin Allot and Skips Special will be our last runners of 2014.
Our popular 5 To Follow competition is set for a tight finish as well with Jim's Dogs 1, Cathlingoa and Clarkys All Stars 4 all making late progress and catching long time leaders Team Blonde 1 and 2 while our staff competition has been one way traffic with Sid comfortably ahead, and doesn't he just love telling me so each week! Lol!
Aayamzabella finished a respectable 4th in the Ted Hegarty Marathon on Friday at Harolds Cross and we thank Karol Ramsbottom for looking after our eight bend star for the event. She is only 2 1/2 and is set for a great 2014 with the TV Trophy being her main target.
Next Sunday we will have our review of 2013 with all our website awards so that just leaves me to wish all our readers and followers a very Merry Christmas!!
A tremendous night for the kennel on Monday as we produced three winners at three different tracks in three different competitions. Aero Twizzle took the semi-final of the National Sprint at Nottingham in 17.83 while Adageo Bob dead heated in the semi-final of the Boylesports Golden Muzzle at Coventry in 29.51 and the busy Hometown Honey took her heat of the Tony Byerley Trophy by 4 lengths in a good 47.53.
On Thursday in the Henlow Cesarewitch Jazz Tilly was unlucky when 3rd and Ayamzamodel did a lot of running to finish 4th after finding trouble at the first bend in a race won by our star of December Reel Trickyone who won in the fastest of the semis 33.77 (-40) while events at Belle Vue were very favourable to us.
Hometown Honey had to work hard early on but once hitting the front off the second bend proceeded to run riot in the Tony Byerley Trophy final at Romford on Friday night winning by 7 lengths in 48.03 (-50), Ayamzaman was 3rd in a hot 400m.
At Henlow on Sunday the Xmas Cracker semi-finals proved fruitful with Skips Special grabbing second spot in the first semi, Ilewin Allot produced a much improved effort comfortably landing his semi-final in 28.22 on a slow track but the best was saved for last when Murlens Crash took off to land his semi in a fastest of the event 28.20. In other races Benkaat Blue proved his defeat last week in the heats was unlucky as he flew round in a 460m Standard in 28.00.
Over at Coventry debutant Evanta Evita showed real promise when 3rd in a hot puppy race over 485m and in the feature race the Boylesports Golden Muzzle final Adageo Bob got a hefty bump at the first bend but ran on to finish 3rd.
YARMOUTH AND COVENTRY REVIEW
At Coventry on Monday both Hillcross Miami and Hillcross Kansas ran well when both 2nd.
At Yarmouth on Saturday just four runners with Benkaat Dolly starting to really learn her trade with a good win in A4 company in 28.70 (-20)
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Tonight the final of the Bookmakers National Sprint at Nottingham sees Aero Twizzle pitched in trap 1 in a hot race.
With the Trainer Of The Year title over we now will just
concentrate on the two Henlow finals. Reel Trickyone faces a tough race in the Henlow Cesarewitch final on Boxing Day while Ilewin Allot, Skips Special and Murlens Crash make up half the field in the Henlow Xmas Cracker next Sunday.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
I didn't see any ante-post betting for the Henlow Cesarewitch which was just as well as Jazz Tilly was unluckily eliminated but we could be in for a Christmas bonus in the Henlow Xmas Cracker as Ilewin Allot produced an excellent win in the semi-finals and we have a 14/1 ante post voucher that has a great chance of being cashed in this Sunday!
ADVISED LAST WEEK
JAZZ TILLY - Henlow Cesarewitch - no bet
ILEWIN ALLOT - 2 pts e.w ante post 14/1 - Xmas Cracker - Henlow - Final Sunday