Monday 25th May 2009
What a performance from our 'Del Boy' - a Derby finalist! The tension going into last Saturday's Blue Square Greyhound Derby semi-finals at Wimbledon was almost unbearable and after the bravest of efforts from Jogadusc Ace that had ended in glorious failure in the first semi it was down to Kinda Ready to try and grab that all important final place and wow what a run. Showing speed and agility he ran the race of his life to finish a fantastic 2nd to Matt Dartnall's Glenard Sunrise beaten 1 1/2 lengths in 28.77 and now for the kennel and his owners Daren Johnson, Lee Jordan, Chris Badger and Gary Crouch we can bask in the glory and build up to next Saturday's decider worth £100,000 to the winner.
For myself it will be our first Derby Finalist since I took over the licence from my mother-in-law Linda Jones in 2005 although thankfully the experience we had with Linda when we sent out two finalists in Secret Crystal and Greenfield Deal will stand us in good stead for the final. For the owners it's even more special as Kinda Ready is bred out of former kennel star Kinda Sleepy who herself performed with credit at Wimbledon in the past. Both myself and 'Del Boy's ' owners would like to say a sincere thank you for all of our fellow owners and supporters for the massive amount of texts and calls we have received from well wishers and few people can argue how united our kennel and its owners are, the best in the sport!. Well done to Patrick and Cheryl and the rest of my staff for all their efforts and we will all be there Saturday to cheer him on and who knows maybe it will be us doing the lap of honour after the final, something I have dreamed about since I first got in to Greyhound racing. The draw for the final with Kinda Ready in trap 5 is in my opinion excellent and if we are going to pull off a shock I think drawn outside the other four railers is the place to be.
The build up to the Derby has already begun with a massive amount of interviews with the press and interest in this year's event is huge despite a lot of negativity surrounding the sport and economic climate at the moment. But at least we can put that to one side for this week and enjoy what is a tremendous achievement, getting to this premier classic final. On Tuesday the Greyhound Derby lunch that has brilliantly been resurrected the last couple of years is being held at the Greyhound pub in Carshalton in Surrey and that's when it will hit home how exciting the week will be. On Wednesday I have been invited to London for an interview on Sky with Matt Dartnall and have also been asked to do stuff on a National and local basis. All a great chance to promote our kennel and try and bring the sport forward in difficult times. Whatever our fate with Kinda Ready in Saturday's final, we will enjoy the occasion and honestly will not be feeling any pressure.
Probably the best way to get to next Saturday is to keep busy and as usual our kennel has a small matter of a couple of other finals to look forward to. Tonight Goldies Destiny has a great chance of landing the Grolsch Puppy Stakes Final at Nottingham. On Tuesday some all important trials take place at Hall Green with the forthcoming Gymcrack only a week away and John Keefe has two special pups in Eye Onthe Storm and Eye Onthe Flash to look forward to as both have trialled very well at the track. On Thursday at Monmore Eye Eye Pickle runs from trap 1 in th Greyhound Stud Book Trophy Final and has a reasonable chance in a tough race. Also entries at Harlow and Romford before Saturday's big night at Wimbledon where a few other runners are pencilled in including Jogadusc Ace in the Consolation Final.
After chatting to connections of both Centaur Decree and Butterbridge Ali we have a come to a decision to retire both these superb race dogs. Centaur Decree has had 57 races in the highest class winning 17 times including brilliant wins in the Ocean Trailers Puppy Trophy and even more memorable the last ever Ladbrokes Arc Final at Walthamstow and after a serious injury came back to win a competition at Coventry. 'James' will be sorely missed at the kennel and the Arc Final was one of my finest memories ever in Greyhound racing, simply breathtaking!
Butterbridge Ali had 81 races winning 27 times. Starting in A6 at Walthamstow his rise to the top was awesome but sadly never winning a big title he deserved. Runner up in both the Zigzag Puppy Championship at Coventry and again in the prestigious Monmore Puppy Derby, he was best known for his six bend exploits with numerous big race finals. His finest hour came in my opinion when he broke the 640m track record at Walthamstow on their final night of racing on August 16 2008, a track record that looks like it will stay in the history books for ever. I would like to say thank you to both sets of connections for giving us the chance to train both these tremendous Greyhounds.
I've been asked numerous times these last few weeks when our popular Five to Follow competition will be up and running again and I'm pleased to announce that it will again start on July 1st. Full details will be up next week with some fabulous prizes on offer again. Please get your entries in asap as so many people regret not being in it once we have started!.
A brief look at last week's racing starting last Monday at Nottingham with a win for Goldies Destiny in the heats of the Grolsch Puppy Trophy in a fine 29.08 (+10).
Quarter-Finals at Wimbledon on Tuesday in the Blue Square Greyhound Derby with Jogadusc Ace running a brilliant race when just touched off by Wise Thought beaten 1 1/2 lengths in 28.69. Kinda Ready looked out of the event at the 3rd bend when out of contention but battled through to 3rd place denying kennelmate Kindred Sparky a place in the semi's.Also on the same night a 1-2 for the kennel at Mildenhall in the heats of the Peter Hunt Memorial Trophy when Centaur Sandi beat Ballyfinn Swift a short head in 34.59.
On Wednesday Bell Tornado, who is back to his best, won again over 592m at Harlow in 38.68.
Corrig Vieri was runner up over 480m at Monmore on Thursday and looks like he's now ready to be stepped back up to six bends and in the Stud Book Trophy Eye Eye Pickle was beaten a neck in the heats and lines up in next week's £2,500 to the winner final from a plum trap 1 slot.
No luck at Romford on Friday with Kinda Easy improving on Monday's heat time by 40 spots but could not hold the strong Westmead Ace in the Maiden Stayers final beaten 2 1/2 lengths in 35.65.
Saturday as said above Kinda Ready gave the kennel a massive boost when qualifying for the Greyhound Derby final with Jogadusc Ace's super run coming to an end.
On Sunday a few runners at Mildenhall with Ballyfinn Swift finishing 3rd in the final and from our other runners Bell Tornado completed a quick fire double winning over 545m in 33.85 landing a 7 timer in the process.
Friday night saw a double for the kennel with King Of Cashel opening his account at the first time of asking in 26.80 and Blackey Said so returning to winning ways in an A3 in 26.27.
On Saturday there were wins for Agincourt Fancy in 26.59 (+15) and Callums Man in 26.79 (+ 15) followed by a fluent success by Rank N File in 26.04 (+10).
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - KINDA READY (SAT)
GRADED RACING - RANK N FILE
WHAT'S ON THIS WEEK
On Monday Goldies Destiny bids to win the Grolsch Puppy Trophy for owner Andy Pelley. Tuesday we have some decent pups trialling at Hall Green with the Gymcrack firmly on our minds . Opens at Harlow (Weds), Romford (Friday) as well as a small matter of seeing Eye Eye Pickle land the spoils in the Stud Book Trophy at Monmore on Thursday.
The excitement of Saturday's Blue Square Greyhound Derby Final should be special and I won't be making any entries anywhere else so we can all join in the party atmosphere at Wimbledon!
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
KINDA READY has been a great pick ante-post at 66/1 in the Derby and who knows we might get a massive pay out if he can somehow get to the front early in the final. Anyone who backed him with sponsors Blue Square have done well as they paid the first six on their e.w terms. Difficult to see any other bets this week so LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLE!
ADVISED LAST WEEK
KINDA READY - 5 pts win - Wimbledon - Tuesday - lost