Monday 28th November 2011
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A tough week just gone not without plenty of incidents both good and bad for our kennel. On Monday Yarmouth played hosts in the Bags/Begs 'Intertrack' and were hoping to score well at home but a combination of bad luck and some inspired performances from the away tracks only brought in a modest total of points. Worse still, especially for our kennel, both of our representatives Goldies Mark and Mountjoy Eagle were virtually put on the floor and sadly for Goldies Mark this resulted in a badly broken front leg and he was kindly put to sleep. Always a tough situation to deal with and especially for owner Andy Pelley who had suffered a similar accident recently with another one of his dogs New Phase at Newcastle. One can only hope his luck will change soon.
On Friday we were again in the wars at Nottingham where Pete Vernon my Head Lad arrived at the track to find that our first semi-finalist in the Betfred Eclipse namely Dalcash Scolari had got stuck in the travelling cage in our van. When trying to release him the normally nice natured big blue dog had a lunge at Pete catching him on his ear and side of the face. Obviously the dog had panicked a bit and that's why the incident occurred. When he was freed he had a cut foot and had to be withdrawn from the race. Pete, who after being looked at by the first aider on duty, decided he needed to visit A&E and my kindest thanks to Nottingham's promoter Rachel Corden who drove Pete to hospital and picked him back up later. A few stitches were needed and Pete was visibly shaken by the incident and again a thank you to all the people who phoned and texted me to see if Pete was OK. Dalcash Scolari was also OK and we hope to have him back on the track in a week or two. Jazz Apollo a warm favourite for the second semi-final completed a miserable night in the Midlands when he was bumped out of contention and could only finish fourth.
The disappointment from Nottingham was somewhat eased when pup Mountjoy Osprey fairly bolted in at Romford in the Coral on TV Puppy Final in a flying 23.72 beating a good field. Only an April 10 Mountjoy Osprey looks a bright prospect and will target next year's Monmore Puppy Derby and his lethal early pace will stand him in good stead. The five points gained for winning the final was welcome in our bid to win the Trainers Championship but we were expecting better at Nottingham and when our bitches in the second round of the Oaks on Saturday failed to progress and news came through that Chris Allsopp's Brittons Empire had won the Category 2 Jem Racing Super Paws Final at Poole we find ourselves behind by 12 points as we enter the last month of the year. It looks like the title is going to have the tightest finish we have ever seen in the Championship. Both ourselves and Chris are looking over our shoulders as Charlie Lister looms large. His Boher Paddy will have a decent chance in the Eclipse final on Wednesday and after being at Wimbledon on Saturday I will be astonished if his Silverview Perky is beaten in the Oaks. Just one of these wins will see him draw level with us but if both win he will be in the driving seat to land another title. Don't believe Charlie's talk of not chasing the title, he wants to win everything he can! and Chris is within touching distance of landing his first title and is hungry to make it happen. I said to Jonathan Kay a while back that we should be the outsiders of the three and that's probably the case now.
We have the Essex Vase at Romford starting on Friday and this is the last Category 1 of the year. Jazz Apollo will now set his sights on this event and will lead our team. Lil Risky has been laid out for the National Sprint at Nottingham and will run in the Sky race there on Wednesday first. he will be vital in our quest for the title. Blonde Fletch is back tonight having a sprint trial at Yarmouth and will be aimed for the Monmore Festival 630m event starting next Monday. It would be fitting if he could finish the year with a bang and help us land the spoils. Still the leading open racer in the country for 2011 with 19 wins with Lil Risky only two wins behind whatever happens it's been a great year for both us and these two tremendous animals. We are undecided whether to go for the Essex Vase or the Monmore event with our St Leger winner Aero Majestic who also could make a difference to the cause. There are still plenty of points to be had and hopefully some of our other open racers can finish the season well with every point secured now vital.
Next Saturday sees the much awaited second and third Premier League Qualifiers at Yarmouth and with the new concept being exclusively covered on Premier Sports (433) which will be 'Free To Air' on the night an exciting night of racing will be expected. Our team 'Imperial Rock Its' will only feature runners from our kennel as Paul Sallis has nothing available for Saturday and we will be expecting fierce competition from our rival teams. It's building up nicely and the banter around the tracks with the trainers involved is a joy. With the Trainers Championship so close a couple of our superstars won't be available but I have tried to put a competitive team together:-
277m Sprint - ROCKBURST FANTA - With Lil Risky not available we were slightly concerned about finding a sprint runner but 'Fanta' started her career at Yarmouth and has been laid out for the race. Her 16.49 trial on Thursday was sensational and if she reproduces that she will go close.
659m Stayers - MOUNTJOY ORION - Blonde Fletch would have been an automatic choice but is also engaged elsewhere. Again an able replacement has been found with 'Orion' another former grader at the track. She has been in scintillating form away from home over a sharp 8 bends and was favourite to win the Kent St Leger at Crayford but was ko'd in the semi's. We will be looking for maximum points in this leg.
462m Puppy - BENKAAT BLUE - Formerly Mountjoy Falcon again he started his career at Yarmouth. A flying 27.52 win around Henlow has been followed by some tough races. This could be a hot race but if he gets everything right he could be a big runner for us.
462m Standard Div 1 - ROOKERY PEDRO - As you can see our pattern of using dogs with knowledge of the track runs through the team and Rookery Pedro had a few graded races before a brilliant run through the East Anglian Derby where he finished a superb 3rd in the final. He as won on his travels since at Sittingbourne and Henlow and a big run from 'Rooky' will be crucial to our chances.
462m Standard Div 2 - BELLERS BUD - Again started his career at the East Coast track winning an A2 at the first time of asking. Semi-finalist in the Golden Sprint at Romford before a brilliant run in the Greyhound Derby at Wimbledon where he reached the semi-finals. He has been plagued by injuries since and this will be his first run for a couple of months and we will be hoping 'Buds' class will shine through.
The restaurant has long since sold out and a big crowd is expected on the night. If you can't get there don't forget to watch on Premier Sports and let's hope all the dogs come off safe and sound.
A brief look at the week saw Mountjoy Osprey just qualify for Friday's Puppy final at Romford when third in his heat. No mistake in the final where he bolted in clocking a flying 23.72.
As said above at Nottingham for the Betfred Eclipse we had no luck with Jazz Apollo in the semi-finals nor with the Oaks runners at Wimbledon on Saturday.
On Sunday at Sittingbourne in the 480m Maiden final Dixies Air was third to the impressive Coolavaney Bert and in the 640m Stayers final Aldataro Lass led but faded to finish only 6th. Both Catunda Mae and Aero Joker were runners up in the Bitches 480m heats but we did have a winner with the improving Kinda True in the puppy race when scoring by 1/2 length in 29.23.
The Bags/Begs 'Intertrack' was a welcome change to a Monday's Begs card though we were right out of luck. Kinda Razzle was a close up third in A2. Scodan Moet came closest on Wednesday when second.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Kinda Close and Lil Magic line up in the heats of the Coral on TV Bitches Standard at Romford tonight. Some of our Premier League hopefuls trial at Yarmouth tonight.
On Wednesday Lil Risky and Ayamzagirl bid to increase their Sky win records at Nottingham in races supporting the Eclipse Final.
On Friday the Category 1 Essex Vase kicks off with six heats and on Saturday the Premier League live on Premier Sports sees two pools of qualifiers on the same night and our team 'Imperial Rock It's' bids to make the finals next month.
Back to Sittingbourne Sunday with various heats and finals on.
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Not the most luckiest of weeks with Jazz Apollo desperate not to make the Eclipse Final and Aero Joker just getting caught on the run in at Sittingbourne. This week the Essex Vase kicks off but I'm not sure we will have any value. For a bet I would perhaps look at the Premier League and though it's difficult to say with out seeing the runners I have a fancy that Mountjoy Orion will win.
MOUNTJOY ORION - 2 pts win - Yarmouth - Saturday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
JAZZ APOLLO - 2 pts e.w ante-post 14/1 - Betfred Eclipse - Nottingham - lost
AERO JOKER - 2 pts win - Sittingbourne - Sunday - lost