Monday 30th March 2015
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Despite having victory snatched away on the very last leg of Wednesday's GTA Chelsea Glass Trainers Championship meeting at Sittingbourne it was a superb night with a brilliant atmosphere that captured our sport at its best. For us the night had everything including some great performances and some controversial ones as well. Yes of course we are disappointed that we lost when at the halfway stage it looked as good as over but congratulations have to go to fellow Towcester trainer Kevin Hutton and his team for rattling off the last four winners to clinch the title in magnificent style.
The first leg of eight over 480m looked likely to be a dream start for our kennel when Blue Moment loomed large at the 3rd bend to challenge John Mullins' Lann Jacob and was odds on to get up but instead he turned his attentions on the trap 6 runner and went down by a short head. Myself and owner Steve Murphy were literally shocked by Blue Moment's actions as he never looked like doing anything wrong in all his previous races of which he had won 8 out of 23. I'm sure the RM had this in mind with only marking him 'Awkward' when I know many were calling for a red card but I think a sensible decision was made given with the fact it never changed the result. The 7 points gained towards the Championship was small compensation and I hope Blue Moment doesn't do anything wrong in the future, he is a beautifully natured dog at home and has had his share of injury problems, he will return.
We bounced back in the 2nd leg as Swift Whirlwind for Evan Herbert took the puppy race over 500m when catching Seamus Cahill's quality performer Southfield Jock. That was Swift Whirlwind's 5th win on the bounce and the 10 points gained gave us a great start. It looked like it was going to get even better when Cloudbursting led up in the sprint but a combination of just getting a slight touch at the first bend and not handling the flat turns he came out of the second bend in 4th where he stayed behind the impressive Millwards Whitey.
With a huge crowd in attendance the atmosphere was electric and I have to say my favourite memory of the night came as Billys Bullet tracked cleverly in the 642m race and hit the front at the 5th bend where a deafening roar went up in the stands making the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Billys Bullet held off a gallant Droopys Ward to land the spoils and at this stage the bookies went no offers us winning the title as we held a substantial lead.
If I'm honest I certainly never thought the Championship was over and had this horrible feeling after the Blue Moment incident in the first leg that this wasn't going to be our night, and so it proved despite Evanta Evita running a cracking race when 2nd just beaten a neck by Kevin Hutton's Forest Sara in a stunning Bitches race with Jaytee China also running well. Then Kevin struck again with Jolly Redeye over 500m with Adageo Bob an unlucky 4th and after the 708m Stayers where Swansalona Diva took the honours again for Kevin with our favourite Vanrooney never looking a factor (slightly lame afterwards) the scene was set for a dramatic finish in the last leg as both ourselves and Kevin were tied on 43 points.
The final leg looked a classic on paper and we had our Derby hopeful Blonde Nipper in trap 4 while Kevin had the well thought of El Pedro in trap 2. The betting suggested we would be favourite to land the overall title if not this race and I expected the jolly Swift Keith to trap in front of Kevin's El Pedro not allowing him to show his early pace but he missed the break as both El Pedro and Blonde Nipper broke in front with trap 6 Home Raider. El Pedro showed the best early and was just in front but the crucial moment of the whole Championship was missed by most people. The strong running Blonde Nipper, as he was about to turn second, had his back legs clipped by trap 3 Millwards Davy forcing him back to 5th and leaving the game El Pedro in front and as he held off all challenges to cross the line in front it meant a first Trainers Championship at the first attempt for Kevin and Donna Hutton, while the unlucky Blonde Nipper was back in 4th.
A massive thank you goes to the GTA and Ricky Holloway for making the whole event happen, to Len Ponder for his generous sponsorship and also to Roger Cearns and his team at Sittingbourne for being so helpful and for putting on a great show.
An interview on Sky with Jonathan Hobbs and Matt Chapman 5 minutes after the dramatic finish was difficult for me to say the least but I hope I came across gracious in defeat despite being totally gutted, the reason being I'm far too competitive! Let's remember it's not life or death and a couple of days later it was back to business. I've set my stall on our kennel winning a 4th consecutive Trainers Of The Year title and a 7th one since I took over the licence at Imperial Kennels in 2005 and we are going well! It's not just about that particular title as I'm confident we can add to our two Derby victories and our three St Leger triumphs as well as our glorious Oaks title last year.
We are currently involved in two important competitions. Tomorrow night both Blonde Razor and Jimmy Nailed On go to Sheffield for the semi finals off the Three Steps To Victory where the distance is an ideal 500m. Both have big chances of making the final a week later over 660m though if we do qualify I will be hoping none of the stronger stayers make it through as 660m will be stretching ours to the limit!
On Sunday the Henlow Mini Derby final has already proved a good point scorer for our team and now the ante post favourites Evanta Fantasy and Aero Babooshka have a great chance of scoring maximum points for us in Sunday's Category 2 £2,500 to the winner event. Aero Babooshka was most impressive in giving Evanta Fantasy a start and a beating last night in the semi finals.
Look out for news this week from Towcester with the announcement of an exciting new Premier League to follow on from the Trainers Championship meeting in giving owners and trainers some much needed decent prize money. Towcester's full Bags programme begins this Friday and we are also only a couple of weeks away from a series of open race competitions at the Northamptonshire track. Exciting times and I was there on Saturday and I can assure you the place is buzzing!
At Sheffield last week Jimmy Nailed on made it four on the spin with a heat win over 480m in the first round of the Three Steps To Victory at Sheffield and Blonde Razor was slightly unlucky in 3rd but qualified safely.
After the Trainers Championship meeting on Wednesday our next action was the three opens at Towcester on Saturday. Vanayamzaman was a shade flattered when winning the sprint open by 4 lengths in 15.28, Aayamzaone was 3rd in the 480m while Black Francis stumbled out the boxes and was last going into the bend over 655m, he battled on bravely eventually finishing 2nd beaten just over 4 lengths in a moderate 40.05.
On Sunday at Henlow Evanta El Greco took the scalp of no less than Southern Mesut en route to a win by nearly two lengths in 28.00. Aero Babooshka showed her liking for the track when beating kennelmate Evanta Fantasy by 1 1/2 lengths in 25.87 in the last semi final of the Henlow Mini Derby while Kilmagner Mike and Ilewin Allot were knocked out.No luck for either Rosealinda and Blackstone Marco over 550m.
For a change this weekend not too many graded winners. On Friday a good debut by puppy Freedom Rebel when 2nd and Nimrod Son continues to run well when 2nd again with Toosey Fern grabbing a well deserved success when beating kennelmate Fairest Royal a short head in 28.55.
On Saturday Swift Balotelli, Persian Black and April Mirth all came close when 2nd and on Sunday it was another case of seconditis with Airforce Venus, Aero Gerry, Dehavillands Boy and Reel Shirty all running well with the best performance coming from the in form Roswell De Niro who landed the top race of the day in a fine 28.21 to make it three wins on the spin.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Tonight at Nottingham Do It For Twiggy and Toosey Fern run in the heats of the British Bred Standard and on Tuesday Jimmy Nailed On and Blonde Razor run in the semis of the Three Steps To Victory at Sheffield and on both nights we have some good runners in supporting races.
Some Arc trials at Swindon for Blonde Nipper, Evanta Fantasy, Domino Storm and Aayamzaone on Wednesday and on Friday we will be back to Romford.
Hopefully some opens on Saturday will spice up Towcester's card and on Sunday we look forward to the Henlow Mini Derby Final with both Aero Babooshka and Evanta Fantasy well drawn.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
No doubt Wednesday's defeat proved very costly to our supporters but most of them will clearly see how unlucky we were. Swift Whirlwind saved us a little bit winning at 5/1. We can recoup losses and more at the weekend with both Evanta Fantasy and Aero Babooshka who run in the Henlow Mini Derby Final. A return to Romford on Friday and we will be going back with Adageo Bob and I always seem to remember the bookies like to lay him sometimes when he's been off, he will be 100% fit this Friday!
ADAGEO BOB - 5 pts win - Romford - Friday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
VANROONEY - 5 pts win - Trainers Championship - Sittingbourne - Wednesday - lost
CLOUDBURSTING - 3 pts win - Trainers Championship - Sittingbourne - Wednesday - lost
SWIFT WHIRLWIND - 3 pts win - Trainers Championship - Sittingbourne - Wednesday - WON - 5/1
BLUE MOMENT - 2 pts win - Trainers Championship - Sittingbourne - Wednesday - lost
1 pt win Yankee on above
4 pt win Accumilator
Total - 15 pts ---lost
Also Golliath and Acca on all of our runners - staked 25 pts - lost 23 pts
EVANTA FANTASY - 2.5 pts e.w ante post 6/1 - Henlow Mini Derby - final Sunday
AERO BABOOSHKA - 2 pts e.w ante post 8/1 - Henlow Mini Derby - final Sunday