Monday 26th November 2007
The Racing Post Festival Finals night on Tuesday was, despite the kennel finishing up empty handed as far as winners were concerned, a great success for the sport and with the leading candidates for Greyhound of the Year both winning on the night a huge debate has taken place as to which dog will win this year's coveted award. I get the feeling the greyhound writers might conjure up a shared award! we shall see. Also at Walthamstow, on Saturday a great night was had by those who attended the W.G.S.O.A party in the Goodwood Lounge for which a colossal amount was raised again on behalf of the retired greyhounds and Barry and Debbie Clegg with Mick Faithful and all their team should be praised for their efforts - and thanks again to my owners who supported the event. With all these good people that are dedicated to our wonderful greyhounds it is somewhat disturbing to hear all the negativity that surrounds Walthamstow at the moment with many predicting its closure and it would be nice to hear the Chandler family themselves quashing these damaging rumours.
On a lighter note Linda Jones, my mother-in-law, launched her book 'Talking Greyhounds' this week and with the help of the Sky coverage on Tuesday it has gone very well and anybody who is interested in our sport I fully recommend that they have a read of Linda's story. The book is available via the Racing Post or First Stone publications (01594 560600).
Centaur Decree participates in tonight's £10,000 to the winner Eclipse Final at Nottingham and it will spark a furious next 10 days for the kennel as this is probably our last chance of winning this year's Trainers Championship. Although we are nearly 150 points behind leader Charlie Lister a win for 'James' and with Eye Onthe Veto sitting as favourite for the Essex Vase after his brilliant first round display all is not lost yet.
Our 5 To Follow competition has been hugely popular with the lead changing hands on a regular basis and with only a few weeks to go it looks wide open with at least 50-60 entries still in with a great chance of winning the tremendous first prize of an Elite State - Up In Lights pup trained free of charge with 50% of its prize money paid directly to you - and I wish I had a pound for every time someone said to me they wish they had entered! At the moment Peter Whates entry 'TEVEZ HERO 3' has struck the front after coming from way off the pace and today's updates will be interesting. Click here for more details.
A big thank you to Scott Fraser for writing in our Guest Column the last couple of weeks, a very interesting read, and look out as well on the website's Feature Dogs page which will review the dogs that were originally shown when our site first started with up to date race records and a review of their year with an added feature dog every week. Also keep an eye on our Dogs For Sale page as this week we have some nice pups bred by Alison Coxon and Steve Fishwick on view, something that will now be a regular feature.
With Centaur Decree in a hot semi-final in the Betfred Eclipse at Nottingham it was no surprise to see him sent off a 14/1 shot. A much better break than the week before had James at the front of affairs and, when the favourite Fear Haribo sadly broke down, he was left in an unassailable lead eventually crossing the line 3/4 lgth to the good of Affleck Elite in 30.56(-20).
On Tuesday in trials before racing at Wimbledon Gavin Cheesemans Genesis Dream continued her preparation for this year's Oaks with a fluent trial beating Stride On Babe by 2 1/2 lengths in a calc 27.93. Meanwhile at Walthamstow the Racing Post Festival was drawing to a conclusion and I thought Millwards Summit ran well when 4th in the Maiden Derby Final and Centaur Fuji and Genesis Alix didn't disgrace themselves in the Marathon Fina. But our best performance came from the consistent Directors Chair in the 640m Stayers final after he bolted out the boxes to record a 14.15 split only to find old rival and in form Lenson Joker on his tail and a tremendous buckle followed before Tony Collet's strapping dog got the better of 'Dev in a fast 39.63 (-30).
Our other open racing of the week was at Romford on Friday with the main event being the heats of the Essex Vase with John Keefe's Eye Onthe Veto defending his title he brilliantly won a year ago. In the first heat Lenson Joker making a quick reappearance simply demolished the field including our Special Deal who did qualify in third albeit over 10 lengths behind the 35.20 (+20) winner. Discreet Cat was bundled out of heat 2 and finished 5th behind Larkhill Jim. Eye Onthe Power ran a blinder in heat 3 to finish runner up to Dainty Prince beaten 1 1/2 lengths in 35.72(+20) with Fear Robben looking a tired dog in last and out of the competition. In a trouble marred heat 4 Coolanga Flyer tracked cleverly to catch pacesetter Erinacious Rapid near the line to win at juicy odds of 10/1 in 35.84(+20). Without a doubt though the best was saved for the last heat when 'Veto' smashed out the traps again to race in to a unbeatable lead and powered on to score by over 7 lengths in a brilliant 35.29 (+20). In an earlier race Eye Onthe Force made it a night to remember for owner John Keefe when running well in the puppy race scoring by 1/2 length in 24.36(+10)
Lady Asher(2nd) and Rockburst Mason(4th) both ran well on Monday's Bags where it was pleasing to see Jamie Langley's Blackmagic Rose win again in 29.26. Cassius Clay confirmed the promise of his first race when showing good pace to win by 1 1/4 length in 29.59 and he looks a pup to follow over the next few weeks.
Thursday's graded card saw a long-awaited debut win for Aero Blackjack and what a performance, leading at the third bend to pull right away from his field to win by 4 3/4 lengths in a fast 29.23 (-40). Rhias Beauty was a running on second again and we will look to step her up in trip soon and it was nice to see Bell Classic get back on the score sheet winning the A2 by 6 lengths from Blackmagic Rose in a career best 29.11 (-30). Armies Plan has gone a while without winning but his turn looks just around the corner when he ran well in the A1 to be second beaten 2 3/4 lengths in 29.37 (-30). Snappy Girl is not getting any younger but has come out of season quicker than normal and proceeded to make a mockery of her S2 rivals to win by 8 1/2 lengths in a good 40.65 (-50).
On Friday's Bags card Ants Gunner ran very well leading to the run in before getting caught to be beaten a length in 29.10 and it was nice to see Special Roxi end a loosing streak to win the A5 in 29.54. Treacle Star blasted out the traps and didn't look like getting beat as she romped to victory by over 5 lengths in a fast 29.09 (+10). Puppy Blue Wish ran well to be second and could go one better next time.
Saturday's W.S.G.O.A meeting was looking hard to find winners but Largo Lassie showed great pace to lead up and despite fading in the closing stages hung on to score by 1 3/4 lengths in a good 28.98 (+10). Lockdale Prince was 2nd before the first of the night's S1's which turned out to be a battle between the kennels two runners. Centaur Cappo who broke well just held the persistent challenge of Eye Onthe Jewel to land the spoils by 3/4 length in 40.05(+15). Youngster Blackey Said So (3rd) ran well before Sofem ran a stormer to finish runner up to the useful Double Top in the other S1. Lockdale Duke came 2nd in a warm A2 with Not So Jolly 4th and unfortunatley Eye Onthe Flyer was ko'd in the last race but finished OK and she has now been retired.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACE:- EYE ONTHE VETO
GRADED:- LARGO LASSIE
WHATS ON THIS WEEK
Betfred Eclipse night tonight with Centaur Decree only a 7/2 chance to record a Category 1 victory and at Romford Butterbridge Ali steps into unknown territory over 750m in the hotly contested £10,000 to the winner Romford Gold Cup. Tuesday will see the in form Directors Chair go to Hall Green to try and emulate former kennel stars Kinda Sleepy and Ronnies Flight who won the Midland St Leger over 645m in years gone by. Romford again on Wednesday as the all important semi-finals of the Essex Vase are scheduled to take place with four from our kennel headed by Eye Onthe Veto bidding to make the live on Sky Final the following Tuesday. Also the £5,000 to the winner Romford Classic Shield over 400m will feature Eye Onthe Force. Thursday's Walthamstow Opens could see the debut of Matthew Etherington's Seanis Strike and the heats of the Romford Mini Cabs Marathon over 835m start at Walthamstow on Saturday and Centaur Fugi, Genesis Alix and Snappy Girl will all be entries.