Monday 29th December 2008
The last racing in 2008 for our kennel ended last Monday at Henlow and although Mountjoy Gold was last in the Winter Derby he showed plenty of pace and was blocked at the third bend when challenging for the lead. The race and £4,000 prize was won in great style by Paul Sallis's Drink Up Zorro. Of our other runners Congo Invader was just touched off in a 460m Maiden but our final runner of the year was a winning one when Droopys Zach beat a good field in the 550m Standard by 7 lengths in a fast 33.76 (-15).
So ends a great year in which Imperial Kennels won the Trainers Championship and will be proudly collecting our trophy on January 25th at BGRB/GBGB Awards night at the Hilton Metropole in London where incidentally I still have a few tickets (£50) left for our tables that are booked.
My review of 2008, statistics and awards are now on our Guest Column for your viewing which hopefully makes an interesting read and these will be presented at my party on Jan 10th which, if anyone who is lucky enough to have received an invite please can you let me know if you're coming as I need numbers for the food! it promises to be a great night so don't miss it!
All of us at Imperial Kennels hope you had a Merry Christmas and we wish you a prosperous and happy New Year, and again I would like to thank Mick Licence for producing this superb website.
Our kennel is preparing very hard for 2009 and,despite all the negativity that is not only in our sport but in the country generally, we are very much looking forward to defending our title and here is a look at our powerful open race team for next year-:.
THE OLD GUARD
EYE ONTHE FLAME:- 58 0PENS 10 WINS
Grand National runner up and set for another crack at it this year should still win plenty more opens.
BUTTERBRIDGE ALI:- 60 OPENS 22 WINS
Walthamstow track record holder who has just missed out on some major prizes in his career to date but not four until May and will still be trying his hardest for some silverware.
TIPP THE BREEZE :- 44 OPENS 11 WINS
Struggling a bit of late with a few injuries but looks firmly on course for another shot at the Golden Jacket in February at Crayford where she made the final last year.
GENESIS DREAM:- 48 OPENS 20 WINS
Leading open racer for us last year this front running bitch was unlucky not to have added more than her Monmore Spring Festival final to her name last year. A born winner she has plenty more to give.
CENTAUR DECREE:- 48 OPENS 15 WINS
Never ran graded this wonder dog has come back from serious injury to magnificently win again and has the Arc to defend, sadly not at Walthamstow though. His fair tale hasn't ended yet!
MOOLOOLABA:- 21 OPENS 5 WINS
A real tryer who can add a few more opens to her name; likes Coventry and Harlow and has great early for a stayer.
GENESIS ALIX:- 58 OPENS 17 WINS
In the twilight of her career but should still pick up a few more races before she retires. Jealous marathon front runner owes nobody nothing.
GENESIS SISTER:- 43 OPENS 12 WINS
Brilliant graded (21 from 59 races) and open race bitch who has done us proud over the last two years and still has another couple of wins in the tank.
LOCKDALE DUKE:- 26 OPENS 5 WINS
Has had to ply his trade in opens after Walthamstow closed and hit a hat trick of wins at Coventry and should still win his share in 2009.
EYE ONTHE FORCE:- 37 OPENS 17 WINS
It was a real blow when this talented dog got injured but he is on course for a return to the track in a few weeks, a real winner.
DIRECTORS CHAIR:- 68 OPENS 29 WINS
Top class open racer who has picked up a few trophies but the big one has eluded him. Injured at the end of 2008 but should be fit to resume battle in a few weeks, could yet have a say in a Category 1 final.
MILLWARDS SUMMIT:- 33 OPENS 6 WINS
A bit highly tried at times and has had her injury problems but still has plenty to offer if reaching her peak.
RHIAS BEAUTY:- 21 OPENS 6 WINS
Has been rejuvenated at Harlow recently winning a Monkey Stayers trophy but can win elsewhere. Again she should chip in with some open wins.
BELL TEMPEST:- 28 OPENS 4 WINS
Not the most prolific but capable none the less of picking up enough opens to pay his way.
CLASS OF 2009
GOLDCREST KING:- 14 OPENS 4 WINS
Only 4 wins to his name but he is one of only 3 dogs to have beaten the flying Fear Zafonic and was runner up in the important Gymcrack Puppy at Hall Green. Nowhere near the finished article but as fast as any dog around in my opinion and a definite Derby dog.
MOUNTJOY GOLD:- 19 OPENS 7 WINS
Exciting prospect who has won at 5 different tracks. Unlucky not to have made the Produce Stakes final at Hall Green but this son of former kennel queen Star Of Dromin is set to compete in all the big races and has already impressed at Wimbledon.
ELUSIVE JAZZ:- 12 OPENS 3 WINS
Looked a decent prospect when winning her first three races in this country but has been beset by problems. Showed great pace in the Oaks so looks like she will be winning again soon.
EYE ONTHE BRAVE:- 28 OPENS 4 WINS
Only four wins to his name but looks a fine prospect for next year. Already been 3rd in the Gymcrack, 3rd in the Puppy Derby and yes 3rd in the All England Cup scoring good points for our team in 2008; runs Wimbledon well.
REAGROVE CLASS:- 9 OPENS 2 WINS
Has shown plenty of raw pace and this lightly raced son of World Class could still make into a top open racer where tracks like Coventry will suit.
AERO BLACKJACK:- 48 OPENS 13 WINS
Terrific first seven months winning the Stewards Cup and the Test at Walthamstow in great style but had gone right off the boil and has been rested with a fresh campaign in mind. The Golden Jacket will be his main objective.
SCINTILLAS RUBY:- 15 OPENS 2 WINS
Not quite got to the bottom of this high class bitch yet but the brilliant win on Derby final night shows what she is capable off. Be expecting a lot more wins this season.
DROOPYS ZACH:- 22 OPENS 6 WINS
Likeable and fast young dog who impressed when slamming some good class rivals at Henlow last time. Coronation Cup his first target but would be one of my favourites to finish with the most wins in 2009.
BALLYFINN SWIFT:- 16 OPENS 3 WINS
Another fella who has pace to burn but hasn't quite found his track or trip yet. Should win plenty in 2009 and should get further in the summer.
ROSWELL STARTREK:- 20 0PENS 8 WINS
Would have won the award for the most improved dog in the kennels in 2008. A finalist in the East Anglian Derby I would be surprised if he doesn't make a few more big finals and should be a Derby contender.
MOUNTJOY RUBY:- 13 OPENS 6 WINS
Set for a great 2009 and closely matched with his brother Gold. His last win on Sky at Wimbledon showed what all round speed he has. The Arc at Swindon will be his first major competition and the Blue Riband at Hall Green where he runs well will be ear marked.
BLUES WISH:- 16 OPENS 2 WINS
Has the talent to improve on her open record. She stays a sharp eight bends and will get further in time.
PINEWOOD EVO:- 13 OPENS 2 WINS
Another who we will look to improve on her record. Very talented with great early, runs Coventry well.
SEANIS STRIKE:- 29 OPENS 6 WINS
On his day Striker is as fast as anything and when he wins he wins well. Still lightly raced he should have a decent year.
CORRIG VIERI:- 17 OPENS 6 WINS
High class stayer in the making who had a very good 2008 winning the Peterborough Cesarewitch. Will drop back to four bends for the start of the year.
ROCKBURST MASON:- 25 OPENS 5 WINS
Good class flat runner who has been schooled over hurdles with the Springbok in mind. Early stages are hugely promising and this fella is my favourite to win the most opens in 2009.
MISSED A TRAIN:- 36 OPENS 5 WINS
Not the most prolific winner but always there or thereabouts. Has a great strike rate though from trap 4 and could still pick up plenty of staying races.
DIRECTORS RULER:- 23 OPENS 6 WINS
Finished the year on a high when taking the Winter Festival 480m at Monmore to make it 5 wins from 6 for this late developing son of Persian Ruler. Perry Barr's Birmingham Cup is his first target.
BELL TORNADO:- 25 OPENS 13 WINS
Great 2008 for Tornado who has taken a real shine to Harlow winning three Monkey finals and several other races. One lad who may not be pleased if their track alterations take place!
RHIAS BEAUTY:- 22 OPENS 6 WINS
Wins her fair share and has also taking a liking for Harlow, don't see why she can't carry on in 2009.
RISKY FABIO:- 16 OPENS 2 WINS
Only a couple of wins to his name at Romford so far but with his early he should be able to get on the scoresheet more regularly.
EYE ONTHE SPIRIT:- 20 OPENS 2 WINS
Has been tried over various trips and tracks and she has been a bit unlucky not to win more than she has. Likes Crayford so will aim her for the Golden Jacket.
Others that hopefully can add to our tally would include the likes of Accordion Magic, Toasting Jack, Jonos Patience, Lockdale Storm, Mountjoy Diamond, Millwards Summit, Blackey Said So and Sligo Too. Also we will be confident that Eye Onthe Pulse can recover from his wrist injury later in the spring. Two interesting new recruits from Mick Puzey's kennel due to arrive soon are the exciting hurdle prospect Bomber Blue and Henlow Winter Derby finalist Kindred Sparky.
NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK
GOLDCREST LORD:- 6 OPENS 2 WINS
Only six runs but has shown top class early pace in all of his races. Looks an ideal type for the Pall Mall at Oxford. Big bold son of Brett Lee a definite star for the future.
KINDA READY:- 4 OPENS 2 WINS
Tremendous prospect who has bolted in at Coventry in a fast 29.58. Like his brother Easy he is to be aimed at the Monmore Puppy Derby,
KINDA EASY:- 5 OPENS 2 WINS
Probably the best staying prospect I've seen in a long while, Easy has won his last two opens at Coventry from well off the pace and will have his races mapped out carefully.
EYE ONTHE CLASS:- 8 OPENS 2 WINS
We have not seen the best of this Westmead Hawk pup yet but are sure he will hit the headlines in 2009. Could possibly stay six bends later in the year and capture another 575m Romford title for John Keefe.
CONGO INVADER:- 5 OPENS 0 WINS
Not won yet but has shown he has the armoury to develop in to a smart open racer. Will get up to 450m and wont be long before he gets off the mark.
TABOBY LEGEND:- 4 OPENS 1 WIN
Lovely early paced bitch that was desperately unlucky in the Puppy Oaks final at Wimbledon. Could turn into a serious Oaks prospect later in the year.
These are our main pups to start the year but look out for these exciting prospects that are just starting out - Risky Sensation, Kinda Free, Kinda Handy, Hollywell Brett, Hollywell Dixie, Lord Pishy, Bumble Bee, Risky Flame, Emly Lee, Emly Magic, Aero Rapido.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - DROOPYS ZACH