Monday 2nd February 2009
Moving into February we can be pleased with the start to the season where we had 31 open winners in the first month and with a busy period upon us with the Springbok reaching the semi-final stage on Friday with both of our entries Bomber Bailey and Rockburst Mason safely qualified. The Blue Square Arc, now at Swindon, also gets under way this Tuesday with eight first round heats and our nine entries will be chasing the first prize of £10,000. The returning Centaur Decree, Roswell Startrek and Corrig Vieri will boost our open race team whatever their fate. Also on the trail back after a lengthy break is Aero Blackjack, who was impressive in the first seven months of last year, when he has his first race back tonight over 540m at Crayford with the Golden Jacket in mind which starts in a couple of weeks.
It was interesting to see this month's excellent Greyhound Star with the top story leading with the major track changes planned for Harlow Stadium. The plans to make the bends more sweeping, which in turn will alter the standard distance to around 480m, and to see the new hare system in place can surely only benefit the stadium by attracting the top trainers and owners which in turn will bring some decent sponsorship in. The crowds like most tracks are a bit thin on the ground during the week but the weekend is busy and when I visited the superbly run poker event last Friday business looked good. Dave Barclay, Chris Page and the rest of the team at Harlow deserve a visit and with some quality trainers and greyhounds now racing at Harlow the changes should also be beneficial to them. Yes prize money still needs addressing but we are all patient enough to give this time, especially during the difficult economic climate. As I have said many times, we are happy to be part of Harlow's future plans and can't wait to see the likes of say Goldcrest King, Corrig Vieri and Butterbridge Ali (all need a bit more of a gallop) to name but a few supporting the opens. On a very positive note we have introduced some nice pups on the racing strength recently and with another dozen or so coming on the card over the next few weeks it all bodes well for us to continue where we left off last year and I expect some of these to be making headlines in the months to come. Make a note of Risky Flame, Risky Sensation, Treacle Maggs, Hollywell Dixie (for sale at the right price) and Emly Bob who all have winning form already plus watch out for Bumble Lee, Ruff By Name, Lord Pishy, Mint Bulb, Callums Man, Scintillas Tammy, Goldies Destiny and Goldies Tara who should be appearing on the card shortly.
As said last week, the pressure is on with our site's new feature Recommended Bets for the Week after a flying start. Last week we advised a bet on our Springbok pair Bomber Bailey ( 16/1) and Rockburst Mason (14/1) before they ran in trial stakes on the Tuesday so it came as quite a surprise, having won both their races, that on Saturday morning they were both freely available at 20/1. Hopefully if you took our advice you did like myself and have a press up on those prices and now with both in Friday's semi-finals we could be in a great position come Tuesday week. Kinda Easy (6/4) landed the nap for us last night at Coventry when romping home by over 7 lengths. The Arc starts on Tuesday and scouring the ante-post prices for a selection from our nine entries I must admit to a slight concern on the going suiting our wide runners as it seems the cold snap we are enduring could favour the railers which brings bang in form Goldcrest King into play. He showed us a decent profit in the Birmingham Cup and though plenty short enough at 7/1 (Tote) and a difficult heat to overcome I still see him as our best chance of winning the event. For a bit of value as well it could pay to have a little e.w bet on Corrig Vieri at 20/1 (William Hills) who trialled very well round the galloping circuit last Tuesday.
A full team of our Arc hopefuls trialled at Swindon on Tuesday morning with Goldcrest King (28.41), Corrig Vieri (28.55)and Eye Onthe Brave (28.73) impressing the most. At night our two Springbok contenders were in action at Wimbledon in the last trial stakes for the event. Bomber Bailey was given a great opportunity to win his first hurdle race and duly took it after showing terrific back straight pace to lead at the third hurdle and go on and win by 3 1/2 lengths in 28.60. Rockburst Mason was made to work harder but jumped very well to lead at half way and go on to score by 2 1/4 lengths in surprisingly a faster time 28.48.
In Wednesday's opens at Harlow Blackey Said So, having her first race back from season, showed good pace to lead round the first turn and go on to score by 2 1/4 lengths in 15.29 (-25). Cassius Clay was soundly beaten in the Hurdles by over 5 lengths in 26.80 (-40) but it was nice to see Genesis Sister return to the winners podium in the 592m div 2 when bolting out of the lids and pull right away for a 7 1/2 length victory in 38.33 (-70). Best of our other runners was a slightly unlucky Sligo Too who was denied a hat-trick of wins after being held up by trap 1 on the run up and first two bends before going down by 2 1/4 lengths to Allinthepaws in 26.89 (-40).
On Friday at Romford all our nine runners were in the the first three places with Toasting Jack scoring a nice victory in the opener, a 400m Maiden, after a good 3.63 split to win in a good 24.35 by 2 3/4 lengths. Ballyfinn Swift was a slightly unlucky in the 575m Maiden crowded when challenging at the fifth bend eventually finishing 3rd beaten just under 2 lengths in 36.43. Kinda Handy caught a warm one in the other 400m Maiden when 2nd to the impressive Fire For Effect eaten 4 lengths in a fast 24.18. Eye Onthe Flame had another great battle with litter brother Bubbly Magic in the 400m Hurdles getting the better of that rival by a shprt head in 24.81. Goldcrest Lord (3rd), Taboby Legend (2nd), Eye Onthe Spirit (3rd), Congo Invader (3rd) and Genesis Dream (3rd) all ran well in defeat.
The eagerly awaited Springbok heats at Wimbledon kicked off on Saturday and Bomber Bailey had a terrific battle with Love Lynz in the first heat but jumping superbly he held his rival by 3/4 length in a fine 28.30 to put his mark down firmly in the event. Rockburst Mason had a tricky heat and when he was crowded on the run up and the first bend he found himself at the back of the pack and with the winner Platinumlancelot gone beyond recall he did well to jump and run through the field for second place, albeit some 11 lengths off the winner who stopped the clock at a fastest of the night 28.05. On Sunday at Coventry it was again like Romford on Friday with all six runners in the first three but only one winner. Bee My Honey (3rd), Missed A Train (3rd), Hollywell Brett (2nd), Pinewood Evo (2nd) and Butterbridge Ali (2nd) all ran well and had their chances but it was left to Kinda Easy to get us on the podium after he bolted up in div 1 of the Puppy 480m when leading at the first bend for a 7 3/4 length victory in a fast 29.36.
On Wednesday Maia (3rd), Hollywell Pearl (3rd) and Zigzag Ellen (3rd) all ran OK but most impressive again after a missed break was Treacle Rose who got up to score by 3/4 length in 26.74 (-40). On Saturday Emly Bob having his first race looked a nice pup in the making when leading all the way for a 3 1/2 length win in 26.52 (+10). Litter sister Emly Lee was runner up beaten 2 1/2 lengths in 26.50 (+10) and should be winning soon. Emly Magic and Hollywell Dixie were both second and ran well.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - KINDA EASY
GRADED - TREACLE ROSE
WHAT'S ON THIS WEEK
The heats of the Coral 575m Stayers at Romford begin the week tonight with Droopys Zach and Genesis Dream pitched in heat 1 while at Crayford our four runners face hard races including Tipp The Breeze in the top division of the Golden Jacket trial stake. The Blue Square Arc at Swindon kicks off on Tuesday and a bold show from our kennel is expected. Opens at Coventry and Harlow on Wednesday and on Friday the semi-finals of the Springbok take centre stage at Wimbledon and both Bomber Bailey and Rockburst Mason will be bidding for a place in the Sky final a week Tuesday. Opens at Romford Friday and Coventry Sunday as well as the Arc second round on Saturday complete a busy week for the kennel.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
GOLDCREST KING - 3 pts win ante-post to win Arc - 7/1 (Tote) - Tuesday
CORRIG VIERI - 1 pt e.w ante-post Arc - 20/1 (William Hills) - Tuesday
BOMBER BAILEY - 2 pts win Semi-Final - Friday- Wimbledon
ADVISED LAST WEEK
BOMBER BAILEY - 2 pts ew ante-post Springbok 16-1 (Stan James) Saturday
ROCKBURST MASON -2 pts e.w ante-post Springbok 14-1 (Stan James) Saturday
EMLY BOB- 1 pt win Harlow Saturday - Won evens
KINDA EASY - 2pts win Coventry Sunday - Won 6/4