Monday 23rd March 2015
(Opens to a third party website)
Only two more days to go until the all important GTA Trainers Championship meeting sponsored by Chelsea Glass and the build up to the big night at Sittingbourne has been fascinating. I thought the loss of three of the trainers who qualified automatically would diminish the annual event but far from it. No disrespect to Charlie Lister, Pat Rosney and Rab McNair but the quality of the incoming trainers Seamus Cahill, Dean Childs and John Mullins is very high and it's going to be ultra tough to win despite the bookmakers making us as short as even money to land the spoils. We do have, in my opinion, a magnificent team and though we have some tough draws I'm very hopeful our overall quality will win the day.
On Wednesday afternoon the Trainers Luncheon, held at the River Thames on a boat at Temple Pier organised by the GTA's Chairman Rick Holloway and Sittingbourne promoter Roger Cearns, was well attended by the industry with all six Trainers enjoying the limelight. The draws, made by the sponsors Len Ponder, followed a nice meal and I did cringe a bit with three of our runners getting hazardous trap 4 draws. Still we hope to overcome them and take advantage of our better draws to land the £7,500 winner's prize. It's all about scoring points if you don't win the races and I think our whole team is class and capable of being competitive in every race, here is my view of the races.
LEG 1 - 480m Standard Div 2
BLUE MOMENT has been performing really well since he went to Towcester in early February winning 5 races from 7 starts and has a fast 27.91 to his name. After an injury hit 2014 where he was only able to show his ability on a few occasions he has a decent chance to grab an early lead and hang on to win the opening leg. He will have to step lively out the boxes to avoid trap 4 Ballygibbon King who tends to turn right a bit and trap 6 Lann Jacob in Trap 6 who has early pace and winning form over track and trip. Trap 1 Face The Blade for Kevin Hutton is very fast but has to clear Trap 2 Teejays Panther which won't be easy,. This leaves Trap 3 Sidarian Teejay who is also a fast dog and looks well drawn in Trap 3 but hopefully Blue Moment is away and gone to give us a perfect start to the evening.
LEG 2 - 500m Puppy
Trap 4 Southfield Jock was odds on when knocked over in the semi final of the Puppy Derby at Monmore and is obviously very fast and likely to go off a warm order for this puppy contest. Both traps 1 Patchys Kerry and trap 3 Swift Leonard have trialled well at Sittingbourne and have claims but one of the best drawn dogs of the night is SWIFT WHIRLWIND who has been lined up for this race for a while. He is on a roll at the moment winning his last four races at Towcester including one against Juvenile winner Ballymac Brogan and from his plum draw in the stripes he can hustle and outstay Southfield Jock for a perfect start for the kennel. Traps 2 and 5 look held.
LEG 3 - 265m Sprint
A tricky race with some fast sprinters in action. Key to the race will be what Millwards Whitey does in trap 3 because if he comes out this tight railer may well squeeze up trap 2 Jaytee Hawaii and trap 1 Who Needs Pace hindering their chances in the process. Trap 5 Cheers Tony has been in scintillating form of late for Kevin Hutton but the wide runner may also give trap 6 Soviet Paddy no room. This means CLOUDBURSTING has a plot draw in Trap 4 and he can improve on his 16.41 to land the spoils. Only ever having 5 races (won 4) his inexperience is a concern but he will be spot on for this.
LEG 4 - 642m Stayers
One of the most interesting races with dual Catergory 1 winner Millwards Teddy in trap 6 returning to action after a lay off. He will need to step up on recent trials which he may well do. Airport Captain has been a grand servant to connections and could be dangerous if getting loose but the 642 is probably as far as he wants and he has to clear trap 1 Millwards Joker and trap 3 Droopys Ward who also steps up in trip but obviously is another class act being runner up in the Derby, will he stay? Without doubt one of the most in form dogs is BILLYS BULLET and all in the race will fear our Prestige winner. He has drawn a very tricky trap 4 slot but I have no doubt given any sort of a clear run he can land the spoils for the kennel. Trap 5 Swift Seve has it all to do.
LEG 5 - 480m Bitches
A decent race for the bitches but I really can't see beyond trap 1 Jaytee China, trap 5 Forest Sara and our very own EVANTA EVITA. This has the makings of an absolute cracker and it was a hard decision leaving out Domino Storm but Evita will have no problems from trap 3 and if she gets first run on traps 1 and 5 she is a very jealous type and can repel all challengers to hold on for the victory.
LEG 6 - 500m Super Standard
ADAGEO BOB has been one of the most popular and prolific dogs in training over the last couple of years and is laid out for this race since he was a gallant runner up in the Coronation Cup in early January. He loves Sittingbourne and though clearly more suited to 575m he can go one step better than his runner up place in this event last year at Sheffield (the only dog in our 2015 team who represented us last year). Despite getting trap 4 he might have most to fear from the fast Droopys Norris in trap 2 and Droopys Jarrow in trap 5 but if Bob can hold his position to the first bend he will take a lot of stopping.
LEG 7 - 708m Super Stayers
Interesting that trap1Teejaysblackhawk is tried over this extended trip and could well surprise but in Chicago and Swansalona Diva he will be challenged early which could well set up the race for the in form and strong VANROONEY who will relish this track and trip. Droopys Bear looks out of form while Toosey Beanie will be plugging on late and could fill the runners up spot.
LEG 8 - 480 Standard Div 1
A stunning final race befitting the Championship with the likes of East Anglian Derby winner Swift Keith facing Juvenile winner Ballymac Brogan and fast open racers El Pedro, Home Raider and Millwards Davy but all could play second fiddle to Derby prospect BLONDE NIPPER who has a devastating turn of middle pace and if turning handy he could bring down the curtain on a brilliant night's racing for Imperial Kennels.
Of course the the above is totally biased and would be memorable if it did come off but one thing I'm sure of is that all our team is capable of winning. It would be great to get plenty of supporters there on Wednesday and I have some tables booked for the owners so it should be a superb night and as long as all the dogs come off safe and sound it certainly will be a good night win lose or draw!
It's been nice getting so many good reviews about our new look website and we have now updated our 'Feature Dogs' page and our 'Staff Profiles' page is almost completed which makes interesting reading.
A rare week where apart from trials at Sittingbourne on Thursday our only open race action was at the weekend. On Saturday a few opens graced the card at Towcester and we were rewarded with an excellent four timer. Roswell De Niro has struck form and followed his graded win the week before with a decent 28.39 victory by 2 lengths in a Maiden. Parkers Poison completed a superb five timer at the track and showing that her puppy open win the week before was no fluke when taking a good race by 2 1/2 lengths in a fine 28.22. Calco Flyer was a touch unlucky when 4th in a 480m standard but Aayamzaone completed a 1-2 for the kennel when beating Benkaat Nero in another 480m in 28.53. Black Francis finished off another excellent night's work at Towcester when running riot in a 655m contest winning by over 11 lengths in a very good 39.41.
On Sunday at Henlow the Mini Derby over 428m kicked off and Ilewin Allot a course specialist got proceedings underway with a win by 1 3/4 lengths in 25.85. Evanta Fantasy lost nothing in defeat when second in her heat while Aero Babooshka was very impressive at her favourite track scorching round when beating kennelmate Kilmagner MIke by 7 lengths in a new track record of 25.53. Vanbasten also looked set for a win but the traps opened prematurely making the race void. Blackstone Marco suffered a rare defeat when beaten by Westmead Rena over 550m.
Another stunning three days of racing over the weekend with plenty of winners for the kennel. On Friday Aero Gerry was second before Saffrons Anna made full use of a good draw when taking an A3 by 1/2 length in 28.77. Saffrons Roxsy also ran well again when 2nd while Benkaat Panther scored a well deserved victory in an A3 in 28.61.
On Saturday as well as our four open race winners there was a win in a good S1 for Evanta De Leon as he finished like a train to get up on the line in a good 39.67.
On Sunday we were again on the winner's podium starting with Reel Shirty returning from injury to beat kennelmate Airforce Karla in a fine 15.38. Forest Vanessa doubled up to take a B4 in 28.60 and looks a bitch going places. Dehavillands Boy ran well again when second in another 8 dog race and then amazingly Lord Hesketh's Ribble Aon came in as a reserve in a decent A2 contest and defied odds of 10/1 to beat kennelmates Evanta El Greco and Toosey Fern in a fine 28.26. A back to form Fairest Royal completed another super Sunday with a very good win in an A3 in 28.31.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Tomorrow night we travel to Sheffield for the Three Steps to Victory heats over 480m and both the classy Jimmy Nailed On and Blonde Razor (runs track well) will look to qualify for the semi's next week over 500m.
Wednesday is one of my favourite nights of the year as our team descends upon Sittingbourne for the GTA Trainers Championship meeting sponsored by Chelsea Glass.
We will be at Romford Friday and Towcester Saturday for their regular opens and on Sunday we have a strong hand in the Henlow Mini Derby going into the semi finals.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Both our ante post selections in the Henlow Mini Derby eased into next week's semi finals with Aero Babooshka most impressive when breaking the track record for the 428m.
Of course the biggest action of the week is Wednesday's GTA Trainers Championship meeting at Sittingbourne. Overall we are very strong and the even money (11/10 Corals and Skybet) about us winning the title for the first time since 2010 looks skinny but I think we have to play. Looking at individual bets we do have a few with tricky draws but I like both Cloudbursting and Swift Whirlwind's draws and I make them solid bets. I think Blue Moment can get us off to a good start as well. Billys Bullet, Evanta Evita, Blonde Nipper and Adageo Bob all have draws to overcome but could become backable because of that and for my nap of the night I'm going to side with Vanrooney who oozes class. A warning though, these nights do have a habit of springing up surprises so don't get carried away!
MARK WALLIS - 5 pts win 11/10 - To win Trainers Championship meeting - Sittingbourne - Wednesday
VANROONEY- 5 pts win - 8.51 - Sittingbourne - Wednesday
CLOUDBURSTING - 3 pts win - 7.43 Sittingbourne - Wednesday
SWIFT WHIRLWIND - 3 pts win - 7.26 Sittingbourne - Wednesday
BLUE MOMENT - 2 pts win - 7.11 Sittingbourne - Wednesday
1 pt Yankee on all four above
4 pt win Accumulator
Total 15 pts
Also if we're feeling lucky I'm advising a Goliath bet on all 8 of our runners which is 247 bets so for 0.10 stake with 0.30 Accumulator on top it comes to 25 pts staked.
ADVISED LAST WEEK
EVANTA FANTASY - 2.5 pts e.w ante post 6/1 - Henlow Mini Derby - semi finals Sunday
AERO BABOOSHKA - 2 pts e.w ante post 8/1 - Henlow Mini Derby - semi finals Sunday