Monday 3rd January 2011
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I hope everyone enjoyed Christmas and the New Year and wish you all a healthy and prosperous 2011!
Firstly you will see that I have spent plenty of time doing a complete review of 2010 (later on this page) and hope you enjoy reading my thoughts on the year and our awards. Congratulations to Adageo on being Imperial Kennel's Greyhound of the Year. I felt that to have come from an A6 grade at Harlow in February to making a Greyhound Derby Final 3 months later and carry on improving to win well over six bends made him worthy of the title. Well done to our 5 to Follow winner Mick Waters who wins a table for four at the Trainers Championship meeting in March + £250 in free bets for the night, while runner up John Clements (Elvis 3) will be one of my guests at the now famous Betfair Trainers Championship Lunch in March.
I think special mention should go to a few greyhounds apart from Adageo who have performed particular well in 2010. Eye Onthe Storm was heading for a glorious year before a career ending injury in the first round of the Derby and on what he had done in the first 5 months sadly didn't even get a mention in the journalists' roll of honour when the nominations were announced for the Greyhound of the Year. 'Frankie' won six out of eight races with defeats only in the Juvenile (poor seedings from other trainers proving his downfall) and obviously in the race he got injured. A couple of pipe opening wins at Sittingbourne before the Juvenile were followed by an astonishing performance in the Betfair Trainers Championship meeting at Doncaster winning a hot last leg that made us victorious on the night. This was followed by an unbeaten run in the Category 1 Blue Riband comprehensively winning the final and breaking his own track record in the process, such a loss to the sport! Destroy The Camp is 'Adageo like' having come from the grades at Harlow to win plenty of opens with a very good second in the £20,000 to the winner Henlow Derby. Eye Onthe Tempo was underrated all last year winning reguarly on the open circuit as well as taking the Dual Distance Trophy at Henlow. A 14/1 Sky win at Wimbledon in a good time was proof enough of him not being taken seriously. Risky Wand scored 9 open wins in what was an exceptionally high class sprint division and had the scalps of both Jimmie Lollie and Rotar Wing during the year. Corrig Vieri's great career may have come to a premature end due to injury but he still racked up his fair share of opens as did grand old servant Directors Ruler.
Kinda Easy was our winning most open racer with 14 victories but his luck when reaching numerous big race finals deserted him. Littermate and our Derby hero Kinda Ready was bang on course for a starring role in 2010 after a brilliant opening win at Monmore in a fast time but an injury in a prep trial for the Trainers Championship cost him a chance of defending his crown but a tremendous comeback saw him make the quarter-finals of the Irish Derby and in his last race of the year was a desperately unlucky loser in the Eclipse final. Talking of come backs Goldcrest Lord came back from a serious injury to land a open race hat trick at the end of the year while Ayamzagirl made the Marathon division interesting and produced the gamble of the year when landing a Sky race at Wimbledon (14/1 - 6/1). Directors Wit had his moments in an injury interrupted year and would have landed the Golden Sprint in most years had it not been for Ardbeg Mentor producing one of the great runs of 2010 smashing the Romford track record.
Others with great moments at times were All That Noise, Eye Eye Pickle, Eye Onthe Flash, Jogadusc Ace, Goldies Destiny, Directors Spur and Dalcash Scolari who scored a well deserved competition win at Henlow. Mark Currell has two dogs of the highest calibre in Blonde Snapper and Blonde Fletch who took on the highest class pups with credit and it would be wrong to say they should have took at least one of the finals they contested though it would have been nice for Mark if they had, maybe this year will be his! On the graded side at both Harlow and Yarmouth Legit Jack and Mint Bulb produced stacks of wins while Aero Merlin looks certain to progress to above average on the open scene after coming through the grades at Yarmouth as does Kinda Breezy.
Now here in my opinion is our main open race team to do battle in 2011:-
OLDER DOGS - 3+
KINDA READY - Should be back in early February with one sole aim on his mind to be fit to try and recapture his Greyhound Derby crown, still very lightly raced
KINDA EASY - A rest to recharge the batteries after a tough 2010, will want to be at his best to lead our staying team in the Trainers Championship meeting
ADAGEO - On the easy list after sustaining an injury in late September, hoping to pick up where he left off and the Derby is on his agenda
AYAMZAGIRL - Sure to be involved in all the top Marathon races during the year, well capable of winning any race.
EYE ONTHE TEMPO - A born winner who gives 110% should contribute well to the cause
DALCASH SCOLARI - So unlucky not to won more but still feel he has a big one in him, as fast as anything in the country when on song
GOLDIES DESTINY - Absolute flying machine on his day but looks like he needs switching around to be at his best
GOLDCREST LORD - Will be four years old this month but could still rack up some top sprint opens
DIRECTORS WIT - If 'Patch' could stay clear of injuries he will win plenty of opens on his travels
Others that we would look to help contribute would be Risky Wand, All That Noise, Aldataro Lass, Catunda Mae, Eye Onthe Flash.
SECOND SEASON DOGS - 2 -3 YEARS OLD
BLONDE SNAPPER - Top top class! looks a major contender to lift more than a title or two. Our shortest priced Derby contender (50/1) at this stage and I'm sure it won't last long
BLONDE FLETCH - An incredibly fast greyhound and I'm convinced he will be a staying sensation when tried over the full six bend trip
DESTROY THE CAMP - Great 2010 and a proper race dog, has gone very well at Wimbledon and the Derby is very much a target, lovely dog with a great attitude.
DIRECTORS SPUR - Finished with an injury when in the best form of his career but should do well when fully recovered
BLONDE ROSS - Looked very classy when making the Puppy Derby Final but a broken leg sustained in Ireland leaves some doubts but would be a major asset if recapturing his best form
BOMBER BARKLEY - Started his career with a bang looking like a huge talent but lost his way somewhat, signs of a recovery recently could mean he could regain winning ways.
RISKY SKIPPER - So many problems with this fella but we have seen glimpses of speed as good as anything in the kennel could well be one of those late developing dogs who comes good
AERO MERLIN - Super progressive dog who wins for fun, be interesting to see how he develops now stepped up in class.
AERO BOLT - Our first hurdler since the loss of Bomber Bailey could well follow in his footsteps when going for the Springbok and sure to play a big part in the year.
Others that may well chip in or better could be Kinda Close, Goldies Mark, Rockburst Canyon, Rockburst Eva, Paradise Riva, Bim Bam Boozle, Brave Drover, Corrig Vincent, Lil Magic, Droopys Elbow, Lincolns Top Girl, Goldies Tara and Scoden Parker
YOUNG GUNS - PUPPIES
STORMBEAM - Yet to open his account but signs are good and looks a stayer of the highest class in the making
RISKY ROSALEEN - Lovely well bred prospect, only had three races and won well in an open at Hall Green and she wasn't disgraced at Wimbledon on her last run
MOUNTJOY MOON - Make a note of this name it's one you will be hearing of a lot in the near future, probably the best looking bitch I've ever had the pleasure of handling
KINDA BREEZY - From the impeccable Kinda Sleepy line who has produced two classic winners, she looked elegant when gliding to a fast 28.18 win at Yarmouth recently
BELLAS BUD - Two wins from two races in Ireland and looks a nice prospect
LADY ARISTOCRACY - Been in season after a good win at Yarmouth, could develop in to a good class open racer, very keen
Other pups that look promising at this stage include Kinda Magical, Gottabe Kinda, Gottabe Sleepy, Kinda Dashing, Kinda Dizzy, Aero Sparky + (Droopys Maldini x Blonde Lucy) litter and a (Killahan Panther x Genesis Dream) litter that look promising.
RACING REVIEW FOR LAST WEEK
Our year started well on Saturday when our three runners at Yarmouth nearly produced a treble. Gottabe Sleepy (shortly to be named Born To Be Blue) showed great early going well clear before coming back to the field but holding on to win in 28.63. Goldies Tara seems to love the seaside air and scored again in top grade in 28.43 while Stormbeam, a pup destined for the top class staying ranks, ran a blinder when second in an ultra tough A1 beaten 3 lengths in a fast 27.96. Last night in a few intertrack races at Sittingbourne Lil Magic looked, like a few of ours, well short of fitness was 3rd but the likeable Aero Merlin made sure we didnt go home empty handed when landing a 450m in style by 6 lengths in 27.93.
One matter to clear up from last week was Ayamzagirl who ran well when runner up in the Boxing Day Marathon at Crayford to Lorraine Sams' Ministry Magpie who just wouldn't let Ayamzagirl go past her eventually pulling away to score well in a good 56.86.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
GRADED - GOTTABE SLEEPY
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
With so many of our team not having raced since the start of December it's going to take a few weeks to get them all fit so trial sessions are booked at Romford Tuesday and Yarmouth on Thursday and any other tracks we can get them.
On Friday the Coronation Cup kicks off now worth £5,000 to the winner with Goldies Destiny and Aldataro Lass looking our only entries. Aero Bolt will create a lot of interest when racing over the hurdles for the first time this coming weekend as Wimbledon continue with some more Springbok Trial Stakes.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
As we have said 2009 was always going to be a tough act to follow when we showed an incredible 245 point profit which was phenomenal given the fact that 5 points is our maximum bet. This year we didn't get those big priced winners ante-post but overall we still did nicely. Our ante-post wagers showed a profit of 12.5 points and our single bets showed us a 12 point profit making the year 24.5 in profit overall. All bets and results were recorded with no enhanced odds that you couldn't get and nothing missing so again if you want to take advantage of my expert opinion then make sure you read each week and follow the website advice, the best FREE service in the sport!
No bets this week as we try to get the kennel back on the track after missing a few weeks with the cold weather and Christmas.
Good luck for 2011!
---- REVIEW OF 2010 -----
It has to be said looking back on 2010 it has mostly been a year to forget. We were always going to struggle to beat an epic 2009 with our record breaking efforts but after a slow start to the year we picked up nicely in March and at the end of the month were standing on top of the world after a dramatic win in the Trainers Championship meeting at Doncaster with superstar Eye Onthe Storm clinching a nail biting victory in the last leg to land us the title we had not won since 2006. Eye Onthe Storm landed us our only Category 1 success of 2010 with an unbeaten run in the Blue Riband at Hall Green and was a clear Greyhound Derby favourite going into the first round way back at the end of April with us standing some 80 points clear at the top of the Trainers Championship standings. The whole story is well described in the review below but no one will forget in a hurry how the injuries to the likes of Eye Onthe Storm, Bomber Bailey, Eye Eye Pickle, Droopys Zach, Corrig Vieri, and to a certain extent Kinda Ready, Blonde Snapper and Blonde Ross have had on our year. We finished 3rd in the Trainers Championship behind Charlie Lister in second with a first title going to a well deserved Seamus Cahill who had the kind of year we had previously, of course without that magical Derby win. We still have a lot to be thankful for and some bright spots and plenty of hope for the future so I hope you enjoy the review and awards below and again thanks to all my staff, family and friends and not forgetting the wonderful dogs as well for keeping the show on the road and special thanks to Mick and Maureen for running this superb site. Happy 2011 to all!
2010 was never going to get off to a fast start as the country, just like recently, had been gripped in arctic conditions with many meetings called off. Our kennel was also suffering through most of January with a severe virus that kept quite a few of our stars off the track. Adageo was our first winner of the year in a graded race at Harlow. Eye Onthe Tempo was a good 3rd in the Coronation Cup Final at Romford but we had to wait until Kinda Easy won his heat of the Prestige at Hall Green to put our first open winner of the year up on the board, not a great night in front of the Sky cameras on the finals night with Kinda Easy a well beaten 2nd in the Prestige Final.
Off the track our kennel party was a brilliant night at 'The Hare ' in Roxwell though sadly the severe weather meant a lot of cancellations. Rick Holloway and his SOS team were beginning a superb campaign to do the impossible and get greyhound racing back at Walthamstow which as we speak still dominates the news. The 2009 industry awards night took place at the London Hilton Metropole in front of a sell out audience. I proudly recieved my 'Trainer Of The Year ' award on behalf of the kennel. Daren Johnson, Chris Badger, Lee Jordan and Gary Crouch were hugely popular picking up the 'Owner Of The Year' award for the exploits of Kinda Ready and Kinda Easy whilst Eye Onthe Storm was rewarded for his brilliance taking the 'Best Newcomer' award though disappointingly Jogadusc Ace missed out on the 'Best British Bred' award by a whisker to Midway Skipper, all in all a memorable night.
The virus affecting our kennel and the continuing cold snap gave us a slow start to the month and it was most disappointing not to be able to defend our Arc crown at Swindon due to these circumstances. Gradually as the month went on some of our top 2009 stars returned to the track as we prepared for the forthcoming Trainers Championship meeting at Doncaster in March. The open winners were beginning to flow by the end of the month most notably Eye Onthe Storm winning at Sittingbourne and Kinda Ready at Monmore in a blistering 27.87 in their first outings of the year. Only one sad point was the loss of the promising Droopys Seve in an unfortunate incident in a race at Romford.
Probably the most memorable month of 2010, our team was starting to fire on the open circuit and track records for Eye Onthe Flash at Sittingbourne and Bomber Bailey at Harlow gave us all a lift especially after the disappointment of seeing Eye Onthe Storm get beaten in a hot Juvenile at the start of the month at Wimbledon. I have to say I aged a few years after the disgusting tactical seedings from some of the trainers resulting in 'Frankie' getting a poor trap 4 draw in the race but thankfully, despite not getting any kind of run, he came home safe and sound. Jogadusc Ace was a good winner on the supporting card. Directors Spur ran well to make the Final of the Monmore Puppy Derby but a poor start cost him dear and he was last in a very good race behind Ballymac William.
Tom Bent joined our kennel staff and enjoyed the taste of success straight away as we landed a memorable Trainers Championship meeting at Doncaster.
The build up to the Trainers Championship sponsored generously again by Betfair had been bigger and better than before with a superb Luncheon the week before at the Langham Hotel in London and we were confident of sending out a strong team headed by our 2009 stars but even the best made plans sometimes go wrong. One of the first names on the team sheet Droopys Zach was still injured and unable to take his place and disastrously after a scorching trial over track and trip our Derby hero Kinda Ready was ruled out after damaging a toe joint. We still however were confident of a good showing and were determined to avenge the heavy defeat inflicted upon us the year before at Sheffield by Charlie Lister.
Well it couldn't have started any worse in the first leg as Aero Bolt was knocked over in the Puppy race in front of a packed Stadium and a huge audience watching on Sky, thankfully he picked himself up to secure a point. Directors Wit answered back with a scintillating burst of pace to land the Sprint beating the likes of Jimmie Lollie in the process and reserve Eye Onthe Flash scored valuable points when 3rd in division 4 of the 480's. Corrig Vieri ran well but could only finish 4th in the first of the Stayers races with Charlie Lister taking a healthy lead at halfway. Trading at over 10/1 at this point we turned the event on its head with two tremendous wins from Dalcash Scolari and Eye Eye Pickle in the 480's with both Charlie Listers stars Fear Zafonic and Bandicoot Tipoki beaten and with Kinda Easy favourite to land the 2nd of the Stayers it looked in the bag! oh how wrong can you be! Kinda Easy missed his break and trailed in a well beaten last with Charlie Lister's old stager Carbarns Tom winning to give Charlie a 5 point lead going in to the last leg. Enter the stage Eye Onthe Storm, could he possibly not only win but see Tyrur Speedy of Charlie's down the field - the tension was unbearable. What was to happen next will live long in the memory as our superstar 'Frankie' showed a devastating turn of pace to lead out of the second bend, the result of the race never in doubt as he galloped to victory but where was Tyrur Speedy, wow he's struggling near the rear of the field after a hefty bump at the first bend OI OI! 'Frankie' you beauty!
For the record we won the Trainers Championship at Doncaster by 2 points from Charlie Lister and during that week we contemplated the fact we now held not only both Trainers crowns but had the current Greyhound Derby and St Leger titles for at least a few months anyway. How fortunes can change as you will see reading the monthly reviews this sport, as many do, has a funny way of biting you in the bum when you least expect it!
If March had been a dramatic month then it has to be said April 2010 will be a month never to forget and sadly not all for the right reasons. It began well with the momentum of winning the Trainers Championship at Doncaster giving the whole kennel a lift. Three competitions got underway and we felt we had leading chances of landing all three. Directors Wit now stepped up to 400m for the Golden Sprint at Romford ran with credit but in the final couldn't get near Ardbeg Mentor who broke the long standing track record in 23.56 to beat Directors Wit by 7 lengths, still a fine effort nonetheless. In the Peterborough Puppy Derby we had less expectations and in the end Bim Bam Boozle looked to be a very unlucky runner up. Our best chance was always going to be with Eye Onthe Storm in the Blue Riband at Hall Green and so it proved. Getting better with each run he went through the event unbeaten landing the £8,000 to the winner final comfortably and trimming 1 spot off his own track record when recording 28.02. Jogadusc Ace ran creditably when 4th. 'Frankie', now given superstar status by the sport and media, headed towards the William Hill Greyhound Derby as a strong 10/1 favourite to land the premier classic. We had now hit the top of the Trainers Championship standings and everything seemed set for us to enjoy another superb year, how wrong can we be!
News that Bomber Bailey, a phenomenal hurdler had to be retired when breaking a bone in his wrist at Sittingbourne after going down by a short head was a setback but our spirits were high. Kinda Ready lost his battle to be fit for a defence of his crown but at least his injury was on the mend and he would be back racing in the future, still a major blow. On the plus side Adageo had come from contesting an A6 at Harlow 2 months previously to record a blistering 28.66 trial at Wimbledon, could this be right? A pre-Derby function at Henlow Stadium organised by GOBATA saw all the top names in the sport air their views on who was going to win and Eye Onthe Storm was on most peoples' lips, the scene was now set for the first batch of Derby heats.
Thursday 29th April and away we go, the Derby is off and running. Eye Eye Pickle scorched to a new track record albeit briefly of 28.48 when landing his heat. A couple of eliminations followed but all eyes were on Eye Onthe Storm who faced a difficult heat and a tough draw. A missed break and a bit of scrimmaging around the first couple of bends saw 'Frankie' back in 4th but a tremendous turn of pace saw him challenging at the 3rd bend. At this point our world, along with his owner's John Keefe, came crashing down. My feelings and thoughts on this horrendous night for the kennel have been well documented in Newsletters from April/May and even now it's hard to look back at what was the end of a career from probably one of the most majestic and powerful greyhounds who has ever graced Imperial Kennels.
The remainder of the Derby first round heats where we had 13 entries gave us mixed fortunes and heat wins for Adageo and Kinda Easy did little to ease the blow of the Thursday night.
As the Derby progressed Kinda Easy won again in the second round at a big price but was out of luck in the 3rd round though both Adageo and Eye Onthe Tempo reached the quarter-final stage. Blonde Snapper announced his arrival on the scene with a sensational 24.05 win at Romford on his debut but an injury crisis was taking its toll on the kennel and more bad news for the sport as Clive Lawrence's 'The Dogs' programme was axed by the GBGB as the economy worsened. This meant a lot of prestigious races in the calendar were starting to lose sponsors with the Gymcrack only being saved when Newton Abbott racecourse stepped in at the last minute. Pressure was growing on L&Q as the SOS campaign to bring the Stow back was growing in strength with politicians Boris Johnson and Ian Duncan Smith all now involved.
With Eye Onthe Tempo eliminated at the quarter-final stage unsung hero Adageo, who had two months earlier been competing in graded races at Harlow, produced a stunning finish in the semi-final when 3rd to gain us back to back Derby finalists. Greyhound Derby sponsors William Hills held a superb Derby lunch at 'The Compleat Angler' near Windsor where ourselves and proud owners Dick and Ann Barfoot enjoyed a glorious day. The Final itself was an incredible blanket finish where all the runners at some point in the race had a chance and despite Adageo's huge price he ran his heart out and though last he was only beaten 1 3/4 lengths by Charlie Lister's Bandicoot Tipoki. Plenty of criticism was heaped upon the GRA who had now moved to the cheap side following the main stands closure a month before the Greyhound Derby started with viewing and space the main problem and the final night's crowd attendance was well down on previous years. Jogadusc Ace won the British Bred race to at least gain us a winner on the night.
Eye Eye Pickle just failed to defend his Monmore Stud Book Trophy when 2nd but veteran Bell Tornado won the Peter Hunt Memorial Trophy at Mildenhall giving us a 56 point lead at the end of the month in the Trainers Championship standings.
A very busy month of open race action and one that really described our year. Blonde Snapper looked a pup of enormous potential and after winning his semi-final of the Gymcrack we went in to the final with high expectations despite the fact he was the youngest in a hot field. Breaking well he contested the lead with dog of the moment Blue Artisan but in the end had to settle for the runners up spot beaten 4 lebgths in a flying 28.18. Droopys Zach plagued by injuries had his first race back for over 6 months and did very well trying to defend his Monmore Summer Stayers Classic title but in the end also had to settle for 2nd. Had we won either of these two events we would have held a distinct lead in the Trainers Championship standings. There were notable performances from Adageo winning on his six bend debut at Romford and a couple of weeks later recording a brilliant 35.32. Blonde Fletch broke Eye Onthe Flash's track record at Sittingbourne recording 28.80 for the 480m. Kinda Easy won a Sky race at Oxford in great style before he went up to Sunderland for the William Hill Festival with the decision not to send Corrig Vieri looking a shrewd move as he broke the track record at Wimbledon on a Sky night.
Bob Morton was now named as the man behind the latest bid for Walthamstow as SOS's campaign gathered momentum while news of a positive sample in the Derby Final from Hungarian racer Lyreen Movercaused controversy. Our popular 5 To Follow competition began.
The William Hill Festival began at Sunderland with prize money levels down on 2009's level but still very attractive in the present climate. Defending champ Jogadusc Ace was eliminated in the semi's of the Classic while Droopys Zach was eliminated in the semi's of the Grand Prix Stayers but Kinda Easy on top form won his semi in a fastest 39.46. Blonde Snapper again produced a stunning performance in the heats of the Puppy Plate winning in a fastest 26.96. Eye Onthe Tempo an underrated performer was majestic when landing the Bookmakers Dual Distance Final at Henlow worth £1,500 and there was good news from Ireland as Kinda Ready came through some trials at Clonmel and Shelbourne well under the care of breeder and friend Ian and Brenda Seymour and was in line for a crack at the Irish Derby.
A major decision was made to switch our graded operation from Harlow to Yarmouth mainly due to a falling kennel strength and the fact that Yarmouth seems to be on the upgrade with extensive work done to the track and facilities. Sadly a severely broken hock to leading open racer Eye Eye Pickle in a trial at Yarmouth put an end to a distinguished career which was another blow for the owners and kennel. On a dramatic night at Sunderland in the finals of the William Hill Festival a missed break cost Kinda Easy dearly as he could only finish 3rd in the £15,000 to the winner Grand Prix Stayers behind England Expects while Blonde Snapper also made a hash of the start and was beaten in the Puppy Plate Final by rising star Rayvin Giovanni. At Romford in one of the races of the year Adageo was just collared on the line by Raving Black in the final of the Phil Isherwood Rose Bowl in a fast 35.45 which resulted in Seamus Cahill closing the gap to within 15 points by the end of the month in the Trainers Championship standings. The first round of a hotly contested William Hill Puppy Derby at Wimbledon saw us land a treble with again Blonde Snapper impressive in both heats and a top class semi-final where he beat both Rayvin Giovanni and Droopys Oscar.
This month was to be the one that everything went right for Seamus Cahill. With us having three runners through to the William Hill Puppy Derby Final and Blonde Snapper a pre race 7/4 favourite the night was going well as we landed a Sky treble courtesy of Corrig Vieri (bettering his own track record), Adageo and the gamble of the year Ayamzagirl (14/1 - 6/1) but a bad swerve at the start cost Blonde Snapper all chance of winning and despite 'taking off' he could only finish 3rd to Cahill's Rayvin Giovanni. Worse still both our other runners Kinda Razzle and Blonde Ross got tangled up at the first bend with Blonde Ross taking a crashing fall. Seamus Cahill could do no wrong with Raving Black beating Kinda Easy in the Oxford Cesarawitch and then Droopys Oscar landing the Category 1 Nottingham Puppy Classic with our Blonde Fletch well beaten. Their kennel also took the Kent Derby and by the end of the month Seamus Cahill had passed us in the Trainers Championship amassing a 100 + point lead.
On a positive side Directors Ruler who had been in the form of his life since passing the veteran stage landed the Sittingbourne Bookmakers Seniors Final and in Ireland Kinda Ready answered a lot of critics with wins in both the first and third rounds of the Ladbrokes Irish Derby but his participation ended in a hot quarter-final when only 5th. There was another blow for the kennel as the top class Droopys Zach was injured after just being beaten in a race at Sittingbourne and there was to be no fairytale comeback as one of the games great characters over the last few years was retired.
What a difference in a year for the kennel. This time last year we were still basking in the glory of our first Greyhound Derby win as well as other superb Category 1 successes and the emergence of a superstar in Eye Onthe Storm but September 2010 was a poor month both on and off the track. The Champion Stakes final at Romford saw both of our runners All That Noise and Bourne Masons find trouble when beaten by trainer of the moment Seamus Cahill's Raving Black. Winners were few on the ground and injuries to both Derby Finalist Adageo, who was having a year to remember, and the fast Eye Onthe Flash brought their seasons to a premature end and worse still the talented and hugely popular Corrig Vieri had to be retired when returning from a previous injury he broke down again in a trial at Monmore. One of our best ever performers over the last couple of years including a famous win in the Blue Square Arc at Swindon in 2009 'Dusty's' retirement meant most of our winning Trainers Championship team at Doncaster from only 6 months back had now been retired or were injured.
Fera Zafonic defended his East Anglian Derby title for an emotional Charlie Lister and old nemesis Kinda Ready was back in the kennel ready for a return to racing. Outrage as the GRA announced severe prize money cuts for the forthcoming William Hill St Leger.
A quiet month for the kennel although we had plenty of winners especially at Yarmouth where we enjoyed a near 50% strike rate with our graded runners for the month. The William Hill St Leger got under way at Wimbledon and defending champ Kinda Easy got his campaign off to a good start when making it through to the semi's. Henlow had bucked the economic trend with fantastic prize money on offer for their Primus Telecom sponsored Henlow Derby. The finals night saw the Bedfordshire track on Sky for the first time and despite a hiccup in the first race the meeting was a huge success. For us it was a case of so nearly has emerging star Destroy The Camp ran his heart out to finish runner up to Kelly Findlay's (former Kelly Rockman) Westmead Guru to land the £20,000 winning prize, a handsome £5,000 2nd prize was a nice consolation for the owners. Last year's memorable Henlow Winter Derby winner Jogadusc Ace was knocked out in the 2nd round and was retired after doing his owners and our kennel proud over the last 2 1/2 years picking up over £50,000 in prize money and famously winning the William Hill Classic in 2009 at Sunderland, a huge favourite in the kennel 'Ace' will be available at stud very soon. Unfortunately Kinda Easy was eliminated at the semi-final stage in the St Leger, the finals night at Wimbledon was remembered mostly for the wrong reasons when Seamus Cahills flying Rayvin Giovanni suffered a serious and career ending injury in a race where Kinda Ready was 2nd before he and Blonde Fletch made their way up to Newcastle for a crack at the All England Cup.
The winter seemed to have started early as November was very cold. On the track Dalcash Scolari was anything but cold as he raced through unbeaten in the Henlow Silver Salva worth £4,000 to the winner taking off in the final to win by over 5 lengths in a blistering 33.60 (-30), a deserving trophy for both dog and owners (Tony Wonnacott and Bill Mcluskey). Kinda Ready and Blonde Fletch were both a touch unlucky when knocked out of the All England Cup but on the plus side a remarkable recovery from serious injury and 10 months off saw Goldcrest Lord winning a sprint open at Romford at the second time of asking. We faced some tough draws in the opening round of the Coral Essex Vase with Henlow winner Dalcash Scolari coming off worse when eliminated but both Blonde Fletch who was starting to run well and Directors Spur both making the final.
After our luck deserting us in big race finals the year couldn't end quick enough for the kennels. Blonde Fletch looked a likely winner at the first bend in the £10,000 Essex Vase at Romford but some how found all the trouble going before finishing 4th with Directors Spur running well to finish 3rd. In the Betfred Eclipse at Nottingham Kinda Ready hit form with a bang landing his semi-final in a flying 29.65 the fastest time of the year but was so unlucky in the final when unable to escape his draw in trap 4 when last to Nambisco who had returned well from injury guided by Carly Philpott. Kinda Easy also was unlucky when a beaten odds on favourite for the Midland St Leger at Hall Green and in our last open race action of the year Ayamzagirl ran well when runner up in the Boxing Day Marathon at Crayford. There was some joy however as we signed off the year's Sky meeting at Wimbledon with two good winners in the shape off Goldcrest Lord completing his superb comeback and Eye Onthe Tempo at juicy odds of 14/1 who himself had a fine year. Directors Ruler a fine servant for owners and kennel was retired but on what could be a notable final note for the 2010 Blonde Snapper is back and looking free from injury! he could be the name to watch for in 2011!
MAJOR COMPETITIONS WON IN 2010
TRAINERS CHAMPIONSHIP MEETING - DONCASTER --- £10,000
William Hill Blue Riband - Hall Green - £7,500 - EYE ONTHE STORM
Coral On T.V Maiden - Romford - £750 - BOMBER BARKLEY
Peter Hunt Memorial - Mildenhall - £500 - BELL TORNADO
British Bred 480m Derby Final Night - Wimbledon - £1,000 - JOGADUSC ACE
Henlow Bookmakers Dual Distance - Henlow - £1,500 - EYE ONTHE TEMPO
Sittingbourne Bookmakers Senior Trophy - Sittingbourne - £500 - DIRECTORS RULER
Henlow Bookmakers Silver Salva - Henlow - £4,000 - DALCASH SCOLARI
MOST WINS IN 2010
KINDA EASY - 14
DIRECTIRS RULER - 12
ADAGEO - 11
DESTROY THE CAMP - 10
RISKY WAND - 10
GOLDIES DESTINY - 10
WEBSITE MOST TOP PERFORMANCES OF THE YEAR
DESTROY THE CAMP - 5
EYE ONTHE TEMPO - 5
ADAGEO - 4
GOLDIES DESTINY - 3
EYE ONTHE STORM - 3
BLONDE SNAPPER - 3
LEGIT JACK - 6
MINT BULB - 4
SLIGO TOO - 3
AERO MERLIN - 3
PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR
EYE ONTHE STORM
Trainers Championship meeting at Doncaster
GREYHOUND OF THE YEAR
WEBSITE 5 TO FOLLOW COMPETITION
1ST - M WATERS - 270 pts
2ND - Elvis 3 - 259 pts
3RD - Simon's flyers 3 - 254 pts
STAFF 5 TO FOLLOW COMPETITION
1ST - KEVIN ULLAH - 226 pts
2nd - Tom Bent - 215 pts
3rd - Cheryl Tillett 193 pts