Monday 28th April 2008
For the second week running we came runner up in Sky's feature race (Eye Onthe Flame -Grand National last week) but Commander Chief went down in a lot of peoples notebooks as a potential staying star when a strong running second to Farloe Reason in last Tuesday's feature race the William Hill Blue Riband at Hall Green. But first he will be one of our kennel's 10 entries in this year's Blue Square Greyhound Derby, an event that has attracted only 140 entries, though in my opinion it will be as hard to win as always as the quality is as good as I can remember with a large Irish interest. Here's my assessment of our entries and their chances:-
COMMANDER CHIEF:- (125-1)
After last week's strong running second in the Blue Riband he has been on a lot of people's short lists to be one of those dogs that keeps qualifying; but for me would have to improve his track craft considerably to do this, especially on a track that he is yet to master, but having said that I think his potential is enormous and if he did lead at the first bend then 'watch the clock!'.
EYE ONTHE FORCE:- (200-1)
Also made last week's Blue Riband Final and was a bit disappointing when last but there were excuses and he is a Wimbledon specialist so I would be bitterly disappointed if he can't get at least near the final 24. He has a great record from trap 6 so take the hint if drawn right.
EYE ONTHE VETO :- (200-1)
Unbelievable price for a quadruple Category 1 winner who has a great record around Wimbledon and judging by his last two trial stakes wins is clearly not past it yet. My kennel pick to go the furthest for us and as everyone knows there always seems to be an older type dog that gets in the final and this would cap what has been a superb career for 'Veto'.
LOCKDALE DIAMOND:- (200-1)
By far not the finished article yet and it would seem this youngster, who only turns two the day before the Derby starts, may not quite be ready to take on this class yet but 'Rocky' posseses top class pace having won at Oxford in 26.62 and the Stow in 28.72 so will take his chance and don't be suprised if he goes deep into the event.
SEANIS LAD:- (200-1)
Recent acquisition for owner Mark Gilbert and 'Spooky' looks the right type to do well in a Derby with his explosive ealy pace that few in the event will be able to live with and he stays better than people think once in front. Essential he breaks well as he has no chance if behind, very interesting runner reminds me of our kennel's first Derby finalist Secret Crystal.
ROCKBURST MASON :- (250-1)
For owners that have been in the game for only about a year Ian and Nicola McGinnis have enjoyed the rise of 'Denzil' from A9 at Walthamstow to a Derby entry and few would begrudge this fella his big chance. Very strong and if the gaps appear will be difficult to keep out of a qualifying place and has scope to improve as the competition goes on.
SEANIS STRIKE:- (250-1)
Seems like the forgotten dog who came over from Ireland with a big reputation but hasn't produced the goods yet and has now been bought by a syndicate comprising John Keefe (Eye onthe prefix), Scott Fraser (Centaur and Geordie Parker fame!), Duane Harvey (Treacle prefix) and Gavin 'golden balls' Cheeseman (sure to win the Derby now! Genesis prefix). Was the favourite for the recent Arc won by our Centaur Decree (still lame and not in the Derby) and if we can get the best out of 'Striker' he could raise a few eyebrows.
CASTLEMARY PODGE:- (500-1)
Likeable young dog who, like his name says, tips the scales around the 37 kilo mark but don't think this is an optimistic entry as 'Podge' has had a couple of looks round and 3.87 and 3.85 sectionals suggest few will lead lead him up and he has the heart of a lion! Will give his owners Andy, Noel and Paul an enormous thrill if going a few rounds.
MISSED A TRAIN:- (500-1)
I must admit to thinking his price is far too big and though his form has recently been in and out 'Train' is still only a pup until next week. His run on Trainers Championship night when second to Lethal Freddie was excellent and he showed his liking for the track and if going a few rounds will give his enthusiatic owners Barry and Rose some sleepless nights!
SCINTILLAS RUBY:- (500-1)
Perhaps this young bitch may be more of an Oaks prospect later in the year than a Derby one right now but having said that I thought she did remarkably well when only beaten just over 6 lengths to the legend Barnfeild On Air in a recent trial and for her first look at the track would give some hope to owner Neil Cossins that his first Derby runner could still be in the mix in a couple of weeks' time.
Well there you have my thoughts so get on the 'Veto' at 200's and have an interest on Seanis Strike at 250's with a small bet on Missed A Train at 500's and let's hope all come off safe and sound!
On an interesting week otherwise Friday's Racing Post read that Genesis Dream was the top open race greyhound with 11 successes after Tuesday's Sky win and last year's 5 To Follow competition winning prize 'Imperial Prize' made a very satisfactory debut when 4th in a hot race and looks likely to give Peter Whates an enormous amount of fun. We were unlucky with our pups who got no sort of runs in the semi-finals of the Ocean Trailers trying to defend our title won last year by Centaur Decree and disappointingly were not represented in Saturday's final. Directors Chair, our leading stayer, has completed his comeback trials and looks firmly back to his best when clocking 28.58 in a spin last Tuesday at the Stow and now heads for a Sky race at Hove on Tuesday with a plan to step him up in trip afterwards.
The last of the greyhound Derby Trial Stakes took place on Tuesday at Wimbledon and we were pleased with Seanis Strike who finished third behind the decent Droopys Wells beaten just over 2 lengths in 29.12 (-15). Eye Onthe Veto looks like he's hitting form at the right time as he showed when landing the spoils in authoritative fashion by 3 lengths in 29.02 (-15) and Obafemi put up a decent run when leading to the run in before weakening in to third beaten 3/4 length in 29.32 (-15). Rockburst Mason, our last runner, faced a stiff task in his trial stake and though 4th behind the top class Rio Quando he put up a good showing. At Hall Green the £10,000 to the winner feature race the William Hill Blue Riband Final saw us with two finalists - the improving Commander Chief and Eye Onthe Force, but the race looked at the mercy of odds on favourite and well drawn Farloe Reason for Chalie Lister and so it proved as he took advantage of his pitch along the fence to streak clear down the back straight to win by 4 lengths from our running on Commander Chief who ran with real credit in 28.24 (-10) with Eye Onthe Force a disappointing last. In the earlier races supporting the final Eye Onthe Flame (4th) and Like Hot Cakes (3rd) ran well but the star of the show again was Genesis Deam who beat a good field in 39.77 (-15) in the 645 Stayers. At Walthamstow the semi-finals of the Ocean Trailers proved frustrating as our dogs were bundled out of the competition with Lockdale Diamond desperate in his race almost being knocked over at the third bend and then just failing to make the final by a short head!. On Thursday the long trip to Hove proved a real disappointing one for Aero Blackjack as he ran poor when last in the semi-final of the Regency.
A top class night's open race action at Walthamstow on Saturday with Westmead Osprey brilliantly winning the feature event the Ocean Trailers Puppy Final. The night started with Seanis Lad making it three from three over the 430m trip when having a real battle with Directors Trick before getting the better of that rival by a neck in 26.01. Like Hot Cakes was made odds on for division 2 of the 640m but had to play second fiddle to Vito Blue when going down by 3/4 length in 40.09. Seanis Strike ran a fair race when 4th to Bubbly Legend and Bell Tempest was runner up in the Maiden Marathon over 835m beaten 3 1/2 lengths in 53.22 by Paul Young's Goldmin Crumlin. What promised to be one of the races of the night was the eagerly awaited clash between Big Brett Coal and our flying Genesis Dream in division 1 of the 640m Stayers and after a decent break from both it was Genesis Dream who showed the best pace up to just get round the first bend in front and keeping a relentless gallop she broke the heart of her main rival coming home 2 lengths to the good in a fine 39.59. A great night's racing was capped off with a great performance by Eye Onthe Spirit who looked a real staying prospect when demolishing her opponents in the 640m Maiden Stayers by 7 lengths in a good 39.92.
On Monday's Bags card Centaur Fuzzoms (3rd) and Roswell Zodiac (3rd) ran well and look likely winners next time and Jonos Patience looks like he's starting to get his act together when showing fine early pace to lead at the first and account for kennelmate Chilli Blue, who also ran well, by 1 1/2 lengths in 29.23. Directors Vision made it a quick fire double in the next when barging his way past at the third bend to win by 2 1/4 lengths in 29.49.
On Tuesday Kinda Flashy belatedly opened his account when holding on by a neck in 29.38 from Black Axel with our Same Approach a running on 4th. Kinda Classic and Freedom Man were having a battle royal coming off the last bend in a warm A6 but both were pipped on the line as Paul Garland's Scooter Man swooped late to land the spoils by a sh and hd in 29.47. The S1 looked at the mercy of Discreet Cat and so it proved as he raced clear and outclassed his rivals to win by 4 1/2 lengths in 39.92. Ortuna (3rd) and Bell Tempest (2nd) both ran well.
With a large amount of new pups from our kennel now on the strength Thursday was another interesting night and though the likes of Wilson Pick It, Princess Organa, Mountjoy Diamond, Treacle Gem, Imperial Prize and Mountjoy Gold didn't win, all have showed enough to please us and think that they will turn out quite decent. A youngster who did win was Centaur Elise who shows flashes of real class and clocked a decent 29.28 when beating kennelmate Mountjoy Ruby (ran very well!) by 2 1/2 lengths. The impressive Pinewood Evo made it two from two when leading at the first to score by 3/4 length in 29.37 and is a bitch that looks top class. Genesis Sister and Eye Onthe Power were 2nd and 3rd respectively in the S1 won by Journey Star in a fast 39.76 and it was nice to see Coolanga Flyer back on the winner's rostrum when scrambling a win in the S2 by 1 1/2 lengths in 40.87 (-30).
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACE:- GENESIS DREAM (Saturday)
GRADED:- JONOS PATIENCE
WHATS ON THIS WEEK
Directors Chair lines up in a strong 515m Standard race on Hove's Sky meeting on Tuesday with Genesis Alix and Millwards Summit also on the supporting card. An open card at Walthamstow on Thursday is the action before the 2008 Blue Square Greyhound Derby at Wimbledon kicks off with 11 heats on Friday which features 7 of our 10 entries and with plenty
of qualifying places up for grabs we will look to see all ours in the hat for the second round. Also on Friday the Peterborough Puppy Derby heats get under way and we should have around 4-5 entries. The second batch of Derby heats continue on Saturday with 12 more heats.
LIKE HOT CAKES The Betdirect Get Involved Trophy 2008, Hall Green
GENESIS ALIX The Freephone Betdirect Trophy 2008, Hall Green
AERO BLACKJACK William Hill Stakes 2008, Wimbledon
EYE ONTHE FORCE Racing Post Stakes 2008, Wimbledon
GENESIS DREAM Stan James Ladies Stakes 2008, Wimbledon
TREACLE ROSE Ladbrokes Arc Heat 8 2008, Walthamstow
AERO BLACKJACK Ladbrokes Puppy Stayers 2008, Walthamstow
CENTAUR DECREE Ladbrokes Arc Final 2008, Walthamstow
GENESIS DREAM Ladbrokes Spring Festival 630 Final 2008, Monmore
LOCKDALE DIAMOND William Hill Radio Stakes 2008, Wimbledon
AERO BLACKJACK NGRC Stewards Cup Final 2008, Walthamstow
GENESIS DREAM Williamhillarcade.com Stakes 2008, Hall Green