Monday 27th August 2012
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READ MARK'S BLOG OF THE EXCITING
DERBY BUILD UP CULMINATING IN BLONDE SNAPPER'S FANTASTIC DERBY FINAL WIN
Lil Risky is fast becoming one of the all time greats to have graced Imperial Kennels over the years and on Friday at Monmore he followed up his recent Peterborough Derby victory with a hard fought win in the Ladbrokes Festival 416m Final worth £1,000. In the heats last Monday he showed his customary early dash but seemed to fall down a hole or loose ground on the second bend and in the end did well to grab a qualifying spot. In the final there was no such bad luck and a slick exit saw him go clear. To be fair trap 1 Manilla Flash ran a stormer to get within 1/2 length of our 'Jimmy' who is a jealous dog when in front and he duly repelled the challenge to land the final in 24.68. Incredibly that was Lil Risky's 16th open win from 30 races this year and overall his career record is an astounding 36 wins from 66 races. Because he is running either sprints or a sharp four bends he doesn't fall in to a specialist category and it will be difficult for him to gain an award later in the year in either the sprint or standard divisions though I would suggest at even this early stage he could well be a leading contender for the top British Bred dog. Lil Risky will now try an extended trip of 462m as he will head our team going for the East Anglian Derby at Yarmouth starting a week Wednesday. Also joining him will be Ayamzaman who was back to form on Friday at Romford with a fluent 23.92 success. Bridge Honcho a fast dog on his day will trial this Thursday as well as Castlebride Dan and the improving Darian Creek for the Category 1 event.
Dixies Air got tangled up with trap 1 Mark My Words on Friday at Monmore spoiling their chances in the Ladbrokes Festival 630m Final eventually finishing 5th. He will now head our team going for the Coral Champion Stakes that begins at Romford this Friday over 575m. Aero Joker, eliminated from the semi-finals of the Brighton Belle last Thursday, will also join him and if she could return to the form from two or three months ago that almost saw her unbeatable around the Essex venue she could be a real player, Risky Rosaleen and Mountjoy Orion, both out of luck in last Friday's Coral on TV Stayers Final, are both capable on their day and will be entered along with the improving Adageo Brae and Ballintine Molly.
In a busy time for the kennel we also travel up to Doncaster on Friday for the semi-finals of the Gain Feeds Yorkshire St Leger and the likeable Blonde Reagan has now been made ante-post favourite in this Category 1 event after a superb 5 1/2 length success in the opening round last Friday. Blonde Fletch, having his second run in three days after landing a Sky race over 642m on Tuesday at Sittingbourne (he is now four from four at the track), also qualified when third in his heat and should be spot on for this Friday.
Talking of Tuesday at Sittingbourne Jazz Apollo just failed to hold off Westmead Maldini in the Cearns Memorial Invitation race over 500m which surprised me after he led at the third bend and though taking nothing away from Westmead Maldini it was no shock that Jazz Apollo was lame the next day. Hopefully it's nothing serious unlike poor Westmead Adonis in the Kent Derby Final who suffered an horrendous injury spoiling what was a good night's racing. It does seem to be August/September where injuries to dogs seem to be at their highest and maybe that's someting that can be looked at in the future for the good of the sport.
I'm back in the RPGTV studio this Thursday and I'm really pleased we have Ayamzabeauty in the Brighton Belle Final worth £2,500 to the winner. 'Beauty' ran a stormer to qualify last week, having said that she faces a stiff task to land the spoils as it's a good final. It would be nice to have a winner or two whilst appearing but Hove is one hard place to get winners. Whatever Ayamzabeauty's fate she looks a lovely prospect over staying distances in the future and could even match the heights of the Ayamzaboys Syndicate's Ayamzagirl who retired recently.
In other news this Wednesday at Coventry Stadium (7pm) the first AGM for over 13 years will be held for the GTA and Rick Holloway the newly elected Chairperson will speak his mind on the way forward in the future for all Professional Trainers. A new committee will be formed of up to six Trainers with a position to be left open for when he allows all non professional trainers to join the GTA . Iff anyone out there is interested in joining the committee they need to e-mail Rick (email@example.com) and put their nomination forward. It would be nice to see a spread of trainers from across the country and both open and graded trainers would be ideal. I have agreed to put myself forward to try and help though with our kennel's busy schedule I'm limited to what I can do. I hope there are people out there that can help who have the time as we can, with a bit of unity, make a real difference.
One of the most urgent appeals Rick and the newly formed GTA Committee will make to the GBGB and the BGRF when all is sorted will be a raise in prize money across the board. That means every track has to, say by January 1st 2013, increase the prize money levels by between 5 - 10% in all races - opens, graded and bags racing. For example if Romford was to raise its prize money by 10% on a standard Monday card where their total prize money for the night is around £3,500 then its only another £350 to find, if it was a standard meeting at Mildenhall on a Friday night where the total prize money is around £800 then it has to go up by another £80, when you think about it it's not really a lot to ask for.
The first thing the GBGB and BGRF will say is where is the money going to come from because we all know the promoters don't want to pay more than they have to. Well the answer is a long one but my thoughts are this. For years the bookmakers have told us that our industry only provides a small percentage of betting turnover in their 10,000 shops making us feel grateful for what we get and horse racing produces a much larger percentage enabling them to have a huge compulsory levy while greyhound racing only gets some crumbs voluntarily given by the bookmakers. Years ago horse racing would account for around 67% of the market and greyhound racing about 23 % with the other 10 % coming from sports betting. In a recent survey this has dramatically changed and horse racing now is only responsible for around 30% of the turnover with greyhound racing not dramatically down at around 18% while sports betting is up to over 15 %. It's now clear that nearly 40 % of their turnover comes from the gaming machines that produce high jackpots and ultimately high stakes and huge profits for all the bookmakers shops. Why o why anyone plays these is beyond me but it is well known that punters are queueing up to put their money in. Here to me is the key, these machines are only allowed to be in the shops by law if there is live content being shown as well and of course with horse racing not being able to produce wall to wall coverage and other sports either not viable or too expensive to screen what do they rely on to give them a service? Yes of course greyhound racing, a cheap and popular quick fix for occasional punters that allows the shops to open at all hours thus giving them the chance to pack the punters in playing these gaming machines. This in my opinion gives greyhound racing the right to say we are entitled to more money which should go directly into prize money alone. We all know why the powers that be that run our sport won't ask for more and that's because it's the bookmakers that hold the power, crazy crazy!! The only thing that we could possibly do to change this is by saying 'this is not right and all practitioners namely trainers,owners and breeders are withdrawing the product until something is changed'. I'm pretty certain this would have the desired effect but to do this we need unity amongst all trainers, 'OVER TO YOU RICK!
On Monday at Monmore only Lil Risky and Dixies Air qualified for their respective finals in the Ladbrokes Festival when both were SECOnd in their heats while at night Mountjoy Orion was fastest in the heats of the Coral On TV Stayers heats when winning well in 35.55 and Risky Rosaleen qualified for Friday's final when runner up in her heat.
At Sittingbourne on Tuesday the Sky meeting saw Blonde Fletch keep up his good record at the track with an all the way success over 642m in 39.75 while Jazz Apollo was second in the Cearns Memorial Invitational race.
At Hove on Thursday Ayamzabeauty qualified for the Coral Brighton Belle final when a strong running second in the semi's and Risky Storm came closest of our other runners when just touched of in a 475m Maiden.
Lil Risky won the Ladbrokes Festival 416m at Monmore on Friday afternoon while at Romford on Friday night Mountjoy Orion broke well in the Coral On TV Stayers final but could not hold her position and it was Risky Rosaleen who finished closest but was only third. Ayamzaman got back on the winning trail with a 23.92 victory in good style. Also on Friday the heats of the Gain Feeds Yorkshire St Leger at Doncaster saw an excellent win for Blonde Reagan and also Blonde Fletch qualifying.
Risky Lass and Darian Creek our only two graded runners on Wednesday were both second.
On Saturday Bit View Emma was impressive when landing a top grade race by 3 1/4 lengths in 28.11 and Paradise Riva battled well to win an A2 by 2 lengths in 28.63. Youngster Newinn Chick again found one too good for her when second beaten 3/4 length. Ballyfinn Oscar scored a debut win when holding on by 1/2 length in 28.98 and should improve over the next few weeks. Wednesdaywhacker and Swift Freeze were both second.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
No runners until Thursday when Ayamzabeauty runs in the Brighton Belle final worth £2,500 to the winner.
The Champion Stakes kicks off at Romford on Friday with six first round heats while at Doncaster the semi-finals of the Gain Feeds Yorkshire St Leger see both Blonde Fletch and Blonde Reagan with great chances.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Aero Joker recommended at a huge price could not get past the semi's of the Brighton Belle last Thursday. This week sees the start of the Champion Stakes but I can't quite see anything worth a bet in this event though Dixies Air would be our best chance. Blonde Reagan has now been installed as favourite for the Yorkshire St Leger at Doncaster and we perhaps missed an opportunity so we will leave alone until another day.
ADVISED LAST WEEK
AERO JOKER - 2 pts e.w ante-post 50/1 - Brighton Belle- Hove - lost