Monday 3rd June 2013
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Who couldn't get excited about this year's William Hill Greyhound Derby as the action kicked off on Friday night. There is no doubt that this year's renewal is an above average event and most likely because of so many stars from across the water have descended upon Wimbledon in South Lond. For ourselves we had a decent nine entries and didn't have to wait long before our first runner when Carkei Max came out for the very first he. Here is my assessment of our runners' performances.
Heat 1 - Carkei Max
Irish hotspot Kereight King 2nd favourite in many ante-post lists blasted out the boxes and a comfortable win never looked in doubt. Carkei Max having his first race for a few weeks showed his decent trial from the week before was no flash in the pan as he rode a bump on the run up to turn second to the favour. Although not looking like catching Kereight King he showed decent middle pace to comfortably hold the rest of the field and was only beaten 2 lengths at the finish with the winner clocking a decent 28.67. Could Max be the surprise package from our kennel? or maybe the whole competition.
Heat 3 - Ayamzaman
As much as Ayamzaman doesn't win away from Romford as much as everyone would like he never really gets the luck he deserves. Having broke well he had no answer to the electric pace of Laughil George who led up and then took off around the first two bends. With Ayamzaman just about to turn second trap 1 Knockglass Billy moved off and knocked him back a couple of strides. If that wasn't enough his hopes of qualifying were ruined when he was forced to check at the third bend and he faded out of contentio. Laughil George kicked on to win by a facile 6 1/4 lengths in the fastest time of the whole round 28.45 underlying the fact of how unlucky Ayamzaman has been away from home.
Heat 6 - Garryglass Rodge / Bridge Honcho
Probably the most talked about heat of the whole round with ante post favourite Ballymac Eske drawn immediately inside our rail hugging Garryglass Rodge while our Bridge Honcho was also pitched in this tough heat that also contained the much touted Isabels Boy in trap 6. It was getting annoying that Rodge was only talked about as being a spoiler as people forgot that he made a warm Golden Sprint final unbeaten and dips under the 24.00 barrier regularly. Rodge smashed out recording a great 4.80 sectional and just got inside Isabels Boy at the first bend while Bridge Honcho looked in a promising position to qualify off the second bend. The fact that Ballymac Eske missed the break was to play into his hands as he found plenty of room to show his pace and wore down Rodge right on the line to get up and score by the minimum margin in 28.97. Meanwhile there was a mad scramble to the line for the other two qualifying places and sadly Bridge Honcho showed that he is still not match fit after a long absence when just done on the line by the fast finishing Farloe Tango. An excellent effort from Garryglass Rodge.
Heat 12 - Bridge Ruth
A tough competitive heat where the favourite Lemon Pluto blasted out to take a decisive first bend lead. Bridge Ruth after a slow start paced up well and was just looking to burst her way through to second place when she was dragged right back, after that she couldn't recover finishing a well beaten 5th.
Only two of our five runners qualified this night which was slightly disappointing but overall we have to realise this is a tough Derby this year. Of the other races on Friday Screen Critic, Jolly Bullseye, Shaneboy Alley, Ballymac Vic and Jaytee Hellcat all impressed when winning while South Armagh and Teejays Bluehawk caught the eye in defeat.
Heat 18 - Reel Trickyone
Although this fella would be our biggest outsider of the Derby we certainly thought he had a chance of qualifying from this first round and despite his odds of 25/1 once he turned off the second bend in third place this strong running sort was always going to qualify and flew past the 1/2 favourite Droopys Loner up the run in to take second place behind another Golden Sprint finalist Falkland Tyson to be beaten 2 1/4 lengths in 28.87 and don't rule him out for qualifying another couple of rounds.
Heat 18 - Glanmire Lad
I must admit the heat we didn't want to see Glanmire Lad in was with early birds such as Farloe Barracuda and when the Golden Sprint winner led up Glanmire Lad, despite turning second, was always going to struggle to hold on for a qualifying place and so it proved in a bunched finish he was just run out of a place in the next round. Not a bad performance but clearly 480m stretches him too far.
Heat 25 - Benkaat Nero
A heat we thought our fella could win but despite a better break than normal he was murdered after a stride as both trap 1 Bittles Bar and trap 2 Taranis Rex moved badly right. Turning into the straight Benkaat Nero was in third and to be fair he showed tremendous pace to move into second but the leader Bittles Bar had gone beyond recall and he was beaten by what he had lost at the start 3 lengths in 28.91 on a deteriorating track. If the gaps appear he could go a fair way in the event.
Heat 26 - Benkaat Blue
It may have been the last heat but what a super compeitive race it looked on paper with every runner holding some sort of claim. Benkaat Blue in great form after landing the Stud Book Trophy broke reasonably well but had no answer to the devastating pace of Shaneboy Spencer who rocketed up to the bend and down the back straight pulled to a 6 length lead. To his credit Benkaat Blue turned second and held some strong runners off and though having no chance of catching an impressive Shaneboy Spencer kept the winning margin down to 4 1/4 lengths with the winner's time a very good 28.67.
A better night for the kennel with 3 out of 4 of our runners making it through to the second round. I thought overall the heats were stronger on Friday than Saturday though the track was definitley slower on Saturday. Holdem Spy could be a tough nut to crack and could go a long way while both Fire Height Spec and Stonepark Crash caught my eye when winning but to me the performances of the whole round were undoubtedly Laughil George and Shaneboy Spencer.
Yesterday's draw had mixed feelings for me on our five runners. Benkaat Nero faces a couple of stiff opponents in Sidaz Jack and Airlie Impact but will have a decent chance of progressing. Garyglass Rodge has not been rewarded for his efforts on Friday and has drawn an awkward trap 4 slot with Carkie Max joining him in heat 4 with the early paced South Armagh on his outside. On Saturday Reel Trickyone is a bit closer to the rails than we would like in trap 2 but has missed a few big guns and would not be without a chance of qualifying while Benkaat Blue has drawn a weaker heat than most but will need to trap smartly from a trap 4 berth. There are some super tough heats which will cause some big name casualties but that's what the Derby is all about, bring it on!
The other main news in the greyhound world this week seems to be the debate on our owners' representation. Basically the sport's owners are represented by the FBGOA who answer to each individual track's owners' associations. A lot of these owners' associations seem to have little or no support from their track's owners which means a vast amount of owners are not represented and certainly there's nothing in place for owners of open race dogs only (our last GTA chairperson sadly thought that this was a privilege to own an open race dog and not worthy for them to have a say in our sport) so in reality our owners in greyhound racing have really no strength. The FBGOA is funded by the GBGB through the BGRF who seem happy at this situation, of course they would be as the last thing they would want is the owners, who supply the product, throwing their weight around. As much as I am not saying we should not have an FBGOA, I would urge them to change their policy and open up membership to all owners in our sport. The GBGB has a list of all owners so it would not be hard to inform them of this and then once they have some strength in numbers to take their views in a proper manner to the Board of Directors. As Johnny Haynes is in charge of the FBGOA and sits on the Board as our Practioner Director he should be the man to bring all owners together, if not the owners need to find a way of challenging this position.
It's that time again where we reintroduce our popular Five To Follow competition which always runs from July 1st until the end of the year. By the end of this week we will have a full list of our kennel strength for you to chose from. Full details will be up ASAP and all you have to do then is click on the Five To Follow icon on the home page and follow the instructions on how to enter. This is FREE to enter competition and there will be a great prize for the winner and runner up so make sure you participate and tell all your friends and relatives to as well!
At Coventry on Wednesday Swift Pepper looked out of his depth in the Maiden Stayers Final but a brilliant performance from Darian Star who blew her rivals away in a hot 485m Rodney Magnet 1970 Trophy winning by 2 lengths in 29.62 (-20)
Not much to shout about at Hove on Thursday with star of the show Blonde Razor only third of four in the Puppy race. As said above it was Derby time at Wimbledon on Friday and Saturday where five of our nine entries qualified for the second round.
At Coventry on Sunday the night didn't start that well with the defeats of Baran Bugatti, Lil Risky and Aayamzabella who was well beaten in the Himalayan Climber 1963 Marathon Final but a good end to the night saw wins for Benkaat Boy over 450m in 27.23, Aayamzalad over 659m by over 8 lengths in 41.61 and a rejuvenated Planning who again smashed out to beat a good field in a fine 29.26.
Swift Eire opened her account in fine style on Wednesday winning by 7 lengths in 28.51 and Darian Creek was closest of our other runners when second.
While on Saturday only I Am Titanium came close when second in an A2.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Tonight Jazz Tilly and Darian Creek run in the Douglas Tyler Summer Cup heats at Romford.
Back to Coventry on Wednesday for the heats of Modest Newdown 1973 Puppy Cup heats where Blonde Tango, Blonde Bobby and Blonde Razor for Mark Currell join newcomer Baran Loki.
All eyes will be on Wimbledon Friday and Saturday as the William Hill Greyhound Derby second round takes place while we will be back to Romford Friday and completing the week with our regular visit to Coventry on Sunday.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Looking at our Derby recommendations last week you have to say it was a poor start with ante post fancies Bridge Honcho, Glanmire Lad and Bridge Ruth all biting the dust at the first hurdle. Add to our misery with Ayamzaman beaten in the first round and we need a small miracle to show a profit.
For a bet this week let's go to Romford on Friday and stick with the promising Polar Sean who has threatened to get off the open race mark recently while I can see Benkaat Blue running a big race on Saturday in his Derby second round heat.
POLAR SEAN - 2 pts win - Romford - Friday
BENKAAT BLUE - 2 pts win - Wimbledon - Saturday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
BRIDGE HONCHO - 2.5 pts e.w ante-post 100/1 - William Hill Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon - lost
BENKAAT NERO - 2 pts e.w ante-post 200/1 - William Hill Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon - 2nd round Friday
GLANMIRE LAD - 1.5 pts e.w ante-post 150/1 - William Hill Greyhound Derby -Wimbledon - lost
BENKAAT BLUE - 1 pt e.w ante-post 150/1 - William Hill Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon - 2nd round Saturday
BRIDGE RUTH - 1 pt e.w ante-post 125/1 - William Hill Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon - lost
BRIDGE RUTH - 2 pts e.w ante-post 6/1 'top bitch' market - William Hill Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon - lost
AYAMZAMAN - 4 pts win 7/2 - William Hill Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon - lost