Monday 25th August 2014
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Adageo Bob was simply awesome on Friday night when romping to a tenth straight success over the 575m trip at Romford. Dick and Ann Barfoot's flying blue came out the traps like a bullet and once he led by 2 lengths around the opening turns it was always going to be a race against the clock which stopped at a superb 34.76 just 9 spots off Airport Captain's track record. Kennelmate Aayamzamodel, herself top class, did well to keep the distance down to around 6 lengths. Adageo Bob will almost certainly go into this Fridays eagerly awaited Coral Champion Stakes as ante post favourite. This annual Category 1 event will no doubt be very strong with the likes of defending champion Airport Captain returning to the scene of last year's famous victory. Adageo Bob will lead a great team from Imperial Kennels that will also include current Essex Vase and Coronation Cup winner Reel Trickyone and who can forget that brilliant Essex Vase final last December when he beat Adageo Bob by 3/4 length in a flying 34.77. We also have Aayamzamodel, Blackstone Marco (Weastmead Hawk Memorial 550m winner last night) Blonde Razor, Benkaat Nero and Vanfrenchie and hopefully they can avoid each other in the first round draw, it should be a cracker.
It's a busy open race scene at the moment and on Thursday we were at four tracks. Our feature action was on the supporting card for the Ladbrokes Gold Cup at Monmore where Domino Storm and Snappers Lad were the outsiders of the field in the Ladbrokes Puppy 480m final. Domino Storm flew to the first bend from an adverse trap 5 slot and once round in front quickly put the race to bed, Snappers Lad escaped some trouble behind and made it a 1-2 for the kennel. Over at Hove sadly we had to withdraw one of the leading fancies for the Brighton Belle Evanta Evita with a slight muscle problem, she will be off for 2-3 weeks but still has the Oaks firmly in her sights. Rosealinda ran very well when 2nd in her heat to make sure we are represented in Thursday's semi-final. We had some good results at Henlow where a lot of our runners were pitched together in the various competitions and in the 550m Blackstone Marco got the better of both Benkaat Nero and the more fancied Reel Trickyone. Earlier in the day we had a busy trial session at Yarmouth where we have some nice pups qualifying in, some sad news though Garryglass Rodge broke his hock in a sprint trial and though OK he will not race again.
As well as being at Romford on Friday night I celebrated my 50th birthday and thank you to everyone for their nice messages, apart from Martin Johnstone of Jem Racing fame who thought it was great idea to nominate me for the Ice Bucket Challenge! This task was duly completed the next morning! All good fun and for a good cause, and what great news at Henlow where Bob Morton donated the £5,000 he sponsored and then won with his dog Weastmead Chris to the Fall For Hounds charity taking their total to £100,000. A great night's action at the track remembering the legend Weastmead Hawk and it was nice to get a winner in the 550m final as Blackstone Marco beat kennelmate Benkaat Nero.
I thank those that took the trouble to respond to my newsletter last week on some severe problems in our industry and as you might have read and heard this week plenty of other trainers are highlighting the issues we face not least the respected Pat Rosney in yesterday's Racing Post. Praise should go to GTA leader Rick Holloway who has worked miracles to get the Grand National back up to Category 1 status with winning prize money up to £8,000 and our Cornamaddy Jumbo will do his best to land an unprecedented treble after winning the Springbok and Champion Hurdle events.
Talking of Hurdlers it was very sad that our 2005 Grand National winner Lethal Rumble passed away this week at the grand old age of 12 1/2. 'Ralph' owned by my mother in law Linda Jones made a successful transition from the flat to the hurdles and was a great favourite at Walthamstow winning a stack of open races and twice built up good sequences of 7 and 6 wins on the bounce and it was a truly memorable night when he landed the Grand National for us at Wimbledon. His win was a major factor in our kennel landing the Trainer Of The Year title in 2005 in my first year since taking over the licence from Linda. He spent all his racing and retirement days at Imperial kennels where he was much loved by all who were here.
Two notable retirements this month that I haven't mentioned and that is Bridge Bandit and Benkaat Blue both who won a stack of opens for our kennel, both will make lovely pets.
Take a look at 'Pete's Column' where we have a guest writer with an interesting article on the gambling industry.
A long wait until Thursday and then a busy night as said above. Domino Storm took the Ladbrokes Puppy 480m final at Monmore. At Hove as well as Roselinda qualifying in the Brighton Belle Rockburst Louis nicked a Maiden open over 515m. At Henlow Aero Babooshka (460m) and Huggies Buck (428m) made the Westmead Hawk Memorial finals as did Blackstone Marco in the 550m final beating kennelmate Benkaat Nero.
On Friday at Romford Evanta Fantasy was a touch unlucky when a close up 3rd and Blonde Razor was a pleasing 2nd over his first 575m for a while beaten just a head. No doubt the star of the show again was Adageo Bob who blew talented kennel mate Aayamzamodel away scoring by over 6 lengths in a blistering 34.76.
At Henlow on Sunday Huggies Buck was 2nd in the Weastmead Hawk Memorial final over 428m and Blackstone Marco showed some true battling qualities beating kennel mate Benkaat Nero in the 550m final in a fast 33.29. In supporting races both Black Francis over 692m and Aayamzabella in the marathon ran very well in good races when 2nd.
Just six runners on Saturday and it was really only Kilmagner Mike who sparkled returning from injury to win well in an A3 in a good 28.48.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Tonight at Yarmouth some of our East Anglian Derby hopefuls go in trial stakes including Aero Nemesis and new intake Do It For Twiggy.
Back to Hove on Thursday with the semi's of the Brighton Belle and Rosealinda could go well.
A brilliant night as always at Romford on Friday as the first round of the Champion Stakes gets underway and Adageo Bob heads a strong team from our kennel.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Unfortunately we had to withdraw Evanta Evita from the Brighton Belle on the day and hopefully most of our followers received their money back if they had backed her.
Time we had a decent ante post winner and this Friday the Coral Champion Stakes kicks off at Romford. Adageo Bob is sure to be a warm order and very short, Reel Trickyone dominated the 575's only 8 months ago so gave we got a bit of value. Blackstone Marco is in good form but this is a big step up in class. For me though well beaten by Adageo Bob on Friday Aayamzamodel has been a real winner this year and represents good e.w value.
AAYAMZAMODEL - 2.5 pts e.w ante post - Coral Champion Stakes - Romford - starts Friday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
EVANTA EVITA - 5 pts win ante post - Coral Brighton Belle - Hove - didn't run
VANFRENCHIE - 5 pts win - Romford - Friday - lost