Monday 26th May 2014
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Sid Huett our head kennel hand is all signed up for Julie Collier's 'Fall For Hounds' Sky dive on 16th June and is looking for sponsors . I'm afraid I'm scared of heights and will not be signing up but will be making a massive effort over the next few months to get him well sponsored, click here for his link.
Our William Hill Derby dream is over. On Saturday at Wimbledon Aero Nemesis bolted from the traps and showed tremendous early pace to lead the hottest of the two semi finals by 2 lengths. At that point it looked a certainty for him to join the other three qualifiers from the first semi but how quickly fortunes can change in our sport. The trademark burst of pace around the first two bends that had made Aero Nemesis favourite for the £200,000 to the winner event wasn't there and going along the back straight his lead had been cut into by Farloe Trent in trap 5, worse still the pacey Kincraig Rory burst through on the rails and at the crucial third bend brushed our dog's back end and barged past him also allowing the well backed Mind The Net into the picture. Coming into the home straight try as hard as he could Aero Nemesis's race was over and he could not get back up to qualify and he was only 4th in the finish. A feeling of devastation, not just from myself and Kevin parading him but his owners the Forsdike family, swept over us and it was hard to take.
Aero Nemesis returned to the paddock and for the first time in the Derby he looked truly shattered and was struggling to stand up such was the effort he put in. Thankfully he was ok later but it was a bitter pill to swallow for all of us and the drive home difficult. At the end of the day the petrol ran out of the tank and despite his brilliant early pace he couldn't handle the third run in eight days. No excuses from us it just wasn't to be. Harder for me was knowing we hadn't quite made his owners' dream of reaching a Derby final but we will all be back one day I'm positive. Stuart and his family had a great run and if we think Aero Nemesis was a 125/1 shot three days before the competition got started then we shouldn't be too disappointed.
We wish all the finalists the very best of luck next Saturday and especially Bruno Berwick's Salad Dodger who is jointly owned by our physio and friend Ron Mills. I hope he enjoys the week ahead and who knows in what has been a wide open Derby there might be one surprise story left, good luck!
It wasn't all bad news on Saturday as Benkaat Nero qualified for the William Hill Derby Plate final when second in his heat as did our other runner on the night Cornamaddy Jumbo who was also second in the William Hill Champion Hurdle heat. All our triallists went well and we should have a decent amount of runners on Dery final night this coming Saturday although I obviously will have mixed feelings about not being represented in the Derby final.
I must admit after the intensity and disappointment of the Derby and a late night after racing at Romford on Friday and Wimbledon Saturday I didn't feel like doing anything on my day off yesterday but myself, Sarah and my daughter Emily travelled to nearby Kennet for the Retired Greyhound Trust day and met up with Sarah's Sister in Law Janet who brought recently retired Bridge Honcho (Gerry) with her. It was a real tonic to see so many people attend with the weather thankfully very good. It was also so nice to see a few of our former kennel stars with their new owners. We saw Directors Wit, Bridge Diva and Eye Onthe Brave amongst others and I also had a good chat with RGT chief Peter Lawrie who does such an outstanding job for all our sport's retired greyhounds. We always try and support RGT events and on June 5th I'm looking forward to the 'Give a bit back' Golf day at the London Club which raises so much for the RGT and Help For Heroes. On June 16th our Head Kennelhand Sid Huett is one of many who will jump from 10,000 ft in the 'Fall For Hounds' day organised by Julie Collier, please all give generously via the link at the top of the page!
In early July I am now definitely going to realise my dream of going to Vegas and play in the Main Event in the World Series of Poker. With near on $8 million dollars going to the winner and around $20,000 just to make the money (normally top 700 from around 8,000 players) I have decided to donate 1% of any winnings I might make to the RGT, it might not seem a huge donation but it will be if I can get into the mix at the business end! I will also get my friends who are coming to Vegas to do the same. I will also be selling some shares in myself, the entrance fee is $10,000 so if anybody wanted 2.5...5 or 10 % (10% is around £600) I will return the same percentage in winnings to them. I will be doing a full update of my progress on twitter (@wallis_mark) throughout. We might not be winning the Derby but my poker skills are more than good enough to do well but like the Derby you will need a certain amount of luck to win!
Next week we will also start to get ready for our annual FREE TO ENTER 5 To Follow competition. It begins on July 1 and ends on December 31st and all you have to do is pick 5 selections from our kennel list (must include 2 bitches) and each time one of your selections win you score points + bonus points for prices. We will have three reasonable prizes on offer including two tickets on my table + overnight stay at the GBGBG Awards bash in January. ENTRY CLOSES JUNE 30th.
It's hard to say after what happened on Saturday but on Tuesday Aero Nemesis won his Quarter Final of the William Hill Greyhound Derby from a bad trap 3 draw in a fine 28.37. In a supporting Marathon Black Francis ran well when leading to the run in before coming 3rd.
On Friday at Romford a good night where we picked up four winners from 11 runners on a busy night. Rosealinda scored well in a 575m Maiden in 35.73 while El Flutter in the top division of the 575m Maiden found one too good when 2nd but ran well. Domino Storm made it 6 wins from 9 races showing a lovely burst of pace and clocking a fine 23.96 in a decent puppy 400m. Adageo Brae is not very prolific but always wins at a big price and was again 8/1 when he popped in over 575m. Blonde Razor got no sort of run when a beaten favourite over 575m and Ilewin Frimley ran a blinder when 2nd to the impressive Farloe Rio. Lightning Zeus capped a good night when just getting up to score in the Maiden Marathon in 47.81.
Of course on Saturday it hurts to say Aero Nemesis finished 4th in his Derby semi final and in the William Hill Derby Plate heats Benkaat Nero showed some good pace to finish 2nd and qualify for Saturday's final. In the William Hill Champion Hurdle Cornamaddy Jumbo completely missed his break and jumped poorly but somehow still finished 2nd and gets another chance in the final on the Derby supporting card.
On Sunday at Sittingbourne Black Francis was a good 2nd over 708m and both of our runners Bridge Bandit and Darian Star in the Bookmakers Super Standard heats qualified for the final when 2nd and 3rd respectively.
On Wednesday none of our six runners were out the frame but amazingly no winners as Energize Rosco (3rd), Ille More (2nd), Ilehaveone (3rd), Airforce Grace (2nd), Kilmagner Mike (2nd) and Hillcross Dallas (2nd) all ran well.
On Saturday great news as our first Blonde Snapper of spring won when Toosey Snapper scored in an A3 by a neck in 28.41. Our Markwallisgreyhounds Racing Club puppy Saffrons Champ also won by the minimum margin in an A2 in 28.38. Of our others promising puppy Snappers Lad clocked 28.04 in top grade but still finished 2nd.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Obviously we will have to grit our teeth on Saturday when we return to Wimbledon on what should be a cracking Derby final night but it will seem a bit of an anti climax with no runner in the final. we still have a Derby Plate and Champion Hurdle Final to win and hopefully a few runners on the supporting card to ease the blow and Aero Nemesis should hopefully take his place in the Consolation Final.
We will be at Romford Friday and probably both Henlow and Sittingbourne on Sunday.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
So near yet so far away from a huge pay day for our supporters in the William Hill Derby as Aero Nemesis crashed out at the semi final stage. Cornamaddy Jumbo still gives us hope of a decent pick up when he runs in the Champion Hurdle final. also for a bet on the night I like the look of Evanta Evita in the supporting Ladies race, she showed great early in her trial on Saturday.
EVANTA EVITA - 4 pts win - Wimbledon - Saturday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
AERO NEMESIS - 2.5 pts e.w ante post 80/1 - William Hill Derby - Wimbledon- lost
CORNAMADDY JUMBO - 2 pts e.w ante post 11/2 - William Hill Champion Hurdle - Wimbledon - final Saturday