Monday 2nd March 2009
It was a case of after the Lord Mayor's Show this weekend as Aero Blackjack tried to win our third major race in consecutive weeks after Springbok and Arc glories but sadly his efforts petered out on the last lap in the £15,000 to the winner Ladbrokes Golden Jacket final and with some heavy defeats in other races it has brought us back down to earth. Aero Blackjack though can look back with credit on his efforts as Saturday's final was only his third race back since a winter's break and he should feature in some big races for the rest of the year. There were some bright spots for the week, most notably Mountjoy Gold's unbeaten run through to the £3,000 Jem Racing Golden Crest Final next Friday and good wins for Kinda Easy and Butterbridge Ali who rescued the night on Saturday and the return to form at Coventry last night for Roswell Startrek and Centaur Decree.
The Trainers Championship Meeting on March 17th is starting to build up and last Thursday the generous sponsors Betfair headed by PR boss Tony Calvin wined and dined the six trainers and and the press at the sleek Hempel Hotel in London. After numerous photo shoots and interviews and a delicious lunch it was down to the real business and that was who could be the last man standing! The free bar ended about 4.30 which saw the departure of Charlie Lister and it was off to the nearest pub we could find for the rest. With drink flowing and a rendition from Jimmy Austin of 'Bright Eyes' that nearly got us chucked out things were warming up. Seamus Cahill couldn't handle the pace and was last seen carried off by his good lady Teresa at about 8 o'clock and it was left for myself, John Mullins, Pat Rosney and our resident comedian for the day Trevor Draper to outdo the Racing Post boys and guests but I'm afraid I'm not too sure what happened after about 10 and I'm still feeling the effects today! One thing for certain is this year's event promises to be the best ever and Sheffield is a worthy venue. Charlie Lister will be tremendously difficult to beat as he will be using his top stars but hopefully we will have a team that can banish last year's disappointing memories. If anyone is interested in coming up to support us then I have obtained plenty of free tickets with free drinks and have spaces in the restaurant at a fair price. Win, lose or draw we intend to have a good time!
The return of Directors Chair at trials on Tuesday morning is a major boost to the kennel, not least that he did a splendid 17.02 trial, and with new boys Directors Fire, Eye Eye Pickle and Eye Onthe Storm looking promising in 480m trials things look bright for the future. At night we travelled all the way down to Poole for the Jem Racing Golden Crest and scored a kennel double courtesy of Mountjoy Gold and Seanis Strike. Mountjoy Gold was most impressive when scoring by over 5 lengths in a slick 26.58 just 13 spots outside the track record while Seanis Strike showed good early when winning by a neck in 27.02. Sligo Too was just beaten a neck in a sprint in 15.24.
Wednesday's opens at Harlow saw Cassius Clay 2nd in the 415m Hurdles beaten 2 1/2 lengths in 26.61 (-10). Treacle Rose continued her good form when winning the first heat of the Monkey Standard by a length in 26.20 (-10) and Bell Tornado returned to winning form back at his favourite track but was made to work hard for his victory by 1/2 length in 38.60 (-15).
Saturday's busy day started at Crayford in the morning with three finals. Rockburst Mason was well fancied to take the Chief Ramsbottom Hurdle final over 540m but a slowish start caused his downfall when he was slaughtered at the first bend eventually finishing 5th. In the Peter Bussey Memorial Trophy Final Elusive Jazz also suffered from a slow start which proved costly as she was well beaten in last place behind Special Liberty.
At night the evening got off to a bad start when Kinda Ready was almost pole axed at the first bend in the top division of a Monmore Puppy Derby Trial Stake but thankfully seems OK. Better news in another trial stake was the win for brother Kinda Easy who showed good all round pace to lead at the third to score by 1 3/4 lengths in 29.70. Kinda Free was 4th and Risky Flame 3rd in their respective trial stakes.
At Sheffield, Arc hero Corrig Vieri posted a good 29.32 calc trial before racing and pup Goldies Destiny a nice 29.43 calc while in races Eye Onthe Brave (4th) , Tipp The Breeze (4th), Sligo Too (5th) and Directors Ruler (4th) achieved their objectives of having a sighter of the track with the Trainers Championship meeting coming up. It was left to grand old servant to the kennel Butterbridge Ali to save the day when he took the top division of the 660m Stayers in all the way fashion scoring by 2 lengths in a fine 39.32 (+30).
At Poole oin the semis of the Golden Crest Mountjoy Gold wasn't as fluid out of the traps as Tuesday but flew up to the bend to lead and go on to score again by 5 lengths in 26.76 but Seanis Strike was well beaten in his semi.
On Sunday a good open card at Coventry where winners were hard to come by. Goldcrest Lord (3rd) and Droopys Zach (2nd) ran well but it was left to Centaur Decree who showed his old zip to lead and then hold on bravely to win by a short head in 29.55 and Roswell Startrek who flew from the traps (5.37 sec) to race clear and score by 3 lengths in 29.43 to secure a double for the kennel.
No luck from our three runners on Wednesday with Maia coming closest in second place. On Friday our runners didn't have the best of luck though Zigzag Ellen scored by 2 lengths in 26.56 calc with Genesis Fuzzoms (2nd) Wilson Pick It (2nd) and Bell Tempest (2nd) best of the rest.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - MOUNTJOY GOLD (Tuesday)
GRADED RACING - ZIGZAG ELLEN
WHAT'S ON THIS WEEK
Wimbledon's card on Tuesday live on Sky is a cracker featuring the Juvenile and a superb Emily Wood Memorial Trophy race. We have both Mountjoy Ruby and Eye Onthe Flame in tough supporting races but they should go well. On Wednesday Harlow's opens feature the Monkey Standard Final with Treacle Rose taking on track champion Vigorous Zico and on Thursday the eagerly awaited and prestigious Monmore Puppy Derby kicks off with Kinda Ready, Easy, Free and Risky Flame bidding for glory. The £3,000 to the winner Jem Racing Golden Crest final is on Friday and Mountjoy Gold faces a tricky trap 5 slot in his bid to win a first major competition. Other plans for the week have yet to be finalised.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
It was one of those weeks when in punting it just don't go your way! Aero Blackjack recommended at a juicy 50/1 ante-post for the Golden Jacket duly finished 5th (only paid first 4) last Saturday to stop our brilliant run and with Rockburst Mason out of luck it's back to the drawing board. Stakes should be kept to a minimum when facing a downturn so with that in mind just the one main bet this week which comes in the shape of Kinda Ready for the Monmore Puppy Derby. Despite being murdered at the first bend last week in a trial stake I see no reason to desert him as he is better judged on his flying 28.01 from the week before - in fact last week's run may make him a backable price e.w. Prices won't be out until Tuesday though but hopefully we will be looking at around 8/1.
KINDA READY - 2 pts e.w ante-post - Monmore Puppy Derby - starts Thursday
LORD PISHY - 2 pt win - Harlow - Wed/Fri/ Sat
ADVISED LAST WEEK
AERO BLACKJACK - 1 pt e.w - 50/1 ante-post - Ladbrokes Golden Jacket - Crayford - lost
ROCKBURST MASON - 4 pt win - Chief Ramsbottom Hurdle Final - Crayford - Saturday - lost
LORD PISHY - 2 pt win - Harlow - didn't run
MAIA - 1 pt win - Harlow - Wednesday - lost