Monday 31st October 2011
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Thursday night's Sky card at Henlow will certainly be remembered for being one of the best nights of the year with a star studded array of canine talent on display. Most races produced some stunning finishes and the night's feature final the Primus Telecom Henlow Derby produced one of the races of the year.
In front of a packed stadium the current Derby champion Taylors Sky had to pull out all the stops to hold off our Blonde Snapper to land the £15,000 to the winner event. For us the night didn't start too well with the well fancied Mountjoy Falcon running well only finishing 4th in an ultra hot puppy race won by Rayvin Again and when Mountjoy Comet lost concentration when in contention in the British Bred race I was beginning to think it was not going to be our night but with Lil Risky proving he is one of the dogs of the year with a scintillating display of front running in the sprint race scoring by over 2 lengths in 16.60 our night was back on track. This race also saw the well beaten Jimmy Lollie's career come to an end. Lil Risky is now challenging for the 'King of the Sprinters' mantle and if he turns out to be only half as good as Jimmy Lollie then he will be at the top for a long time.
Rookery Pedro got up on the winning line in a thrilling finish in a 460m consolation race before Ayamzagirl 'back to her best' made it a treble for us on the night when holding on from the hotly fancied Buglys Billie in a tight finish in the marathon.
In the Henlow Derby final all eyes were on Taylors Sky who came out the boxes well but a great break from Blonde Snapper quickly saw the two going round the first bend together. As they went hammer and tongs down the back straight Blonde Snapper briefly got his head in front by the third bend but Taylors Sky hugging the rails just managed to hold Snapper off and running on strong held the excellent effort of Blonde Snapper by 2 lengths in a fast 27.16. The race was worthy of a big final and well done to both Charlie Lister and owners Steve and Becky Taylor on their victory, a perfect tonic for Steve who has been in hospital after suffering a stroke.
Today sees the closing date for entries to the much awaited GOBATA Betdaq Premier League and already over 50 of the country's leading trainers are involved either on their own or in some formidable assembled teams of up to five trainers. The qualifying legs are on November 16th at Doncaster (live on Sky) and at Yarmouth on December 3rd which will have two of the qualifiers on the same night (live on Premier Sports 433) and the draw will take place in the next day or two to see which teams are drawn where. Any negative thoughts seem to be fast disappearing as everyone seems to be embracing the idea of this new concept. A few people have said to me how does a Premier League help the whole sport and I would answer by saying anything that brings something new and exciting can only have a positive effect on a continuing decline in the industry. If the Premier League produces an increase in betting turnover, awareness to the public and an injection of current and new ownership as well as fierce competition amongst our promoters it can certainly help in a small way. One thing for certain if we do nothing then we only have ourselves to blame if the sport slips into oblivion.
Our kennel will also be supporting the Bags/Begs intertrack with a few of our graded runners by helping Yarmouth produce a team. We have somehow managed to draw the 'Midland' region where we will take on Monmore, Oxford, Swindon, Hall Green and Perry Bar in six legs over the next month or so. I get the feeling Yarmouth will be one of the outsiders in the whole event but I think we could well surprise a few people. The class of graders and trainers currently on show at Yarmouth could well be very much underestimated. One also wonders that the timing of the whole event with a generous £150,000 up for grabs may have something to do with the announcement of the Premier League so again I say the Premier League is having a positive effect on our sport.
The start of the Doncaster St Leger on Friday will be another competition that will be crucial to the outcome of the Trainers Championship. We will be taking both Blonde Fletch and our William Hill St Leger winner Aero Majestic and will need to score good points to keep ahead of the flying Chris Allsopp. After scoring 35 points (3 Sky wins and a runner up in the final) at Henlow on Thursday compared to Chris's 10 points (1 Sky win and 5 points for the finalist) we held a 26 point advantage but Chris struck back with a Category 3 win at Romford on Friday and then Ballymac Ace took the £5000 Category 2 Joe Hardy Memorial final at Sunderland on Saturday and our advantage is only three points now. I said three months ago this could go right to the wire and I still think that now. I just hope the weather is going to be kind to us both over the next two months as we will both be covering plenty of miles.
It was pleasing to see Castlebride Dan an April 10 pup win first time up at Yarmouth on Saturday in an A2. This fella was advertised on our Dogs For Sale page a couple of months ago and looks to have a bright future. Dixies Air also snapped up on our page is looking something special if his qualifying trials are anything to go by. Keep your eyes open as we will be having a couple of excellent prospects coming up in the near future but only for sale for us to train.
As said a big night on Thursday at Henlow with three Sky winners on the supporting card and a gallant effort in the big final from Blonde Snapper.
Just three runners on Friday at Romford and after a few attempts Risky Baba finally landed a 400m Maiden holding on by a neck in 24.75 (-30). The on fire Kinda Close made it three from four over track and trip beating some high class rivals by 2 1/2 lengths in a terrific 24.19 (-20).
At Sittingbourne last night a slightly disappointing run from Aero Majestic who could only finish 4th in a 642m but Jazz Apollo won well in 29.06.
Improving puppy Mountjoy Eagle scored well in an A2 on Monday by 2 lengths in 28.32. Corrig Vincent and Get Home Bonkers were both 3rd and Get Home Bess was an unlucky 2nd.
On Wednesday Risky Blue was just got on the line going down by a head in 28.46 (-10), Kinda Razzle came through the field to land an A3 in 28.82 (-10) while Goldies Mark was a good 2nd in an A1 on his return from injury only going down a head in 28.57 (-10).
On Saturday another of our runners returning from injury Paradise Riva ran very well winning by 3 lengths in 28.09. Both Big Step and Aldataro Lass weren't beaten far when 4th before an impressive debut display by Castlebride Dan. Leading from the start this April 10 pup never looked in danger coming home to win an A2 by 3 1/2 lengths in 28.30.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Not much open race action until later in the week with The Category 1 Doncaster St Leger beginning on Friday over 661m. opens are pencilled in for Romford on Friday with other opens to be planned.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Blonde Snapper gave it his all when a gallant runner up in the Primus Telecom Henlow Derby Final and on the night Dalcash Scolari slipped in the traps when well fancied in a 550m but Lil Risky again came to our rescue when a massive gamble from the early morning price of 9/2 to 6/4 on the track payed off with another authoritative display of front running. Blonde Fletch has gone three races without winning but Doncaster should be made for him and he can seal the Stayer of the Year award by winning te St Leger and maximum stakes are advised.
BLONDE FLETCH - 5 pts win ante-post - Doncaster St Leger - starts Friday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
BLONDE SNAPPER - 4 pts win ante-post 10/1 - Henlow Derby - lost
LIL RISKY - 5 pts win - Henlow - Thursday - WON 6/4
DALCASH SCOLARI - 2 pts win - Henlow - Thursday - lost