Monday 3rd November 2008
After my short break last weekend in Majorca it was gutting to come back to news of Directors Chair's injury after a flying 24.07 trial at Romford on Tuesday morning. Thankfully after visiting the vet Bill Steels in Colchester the hock, though broken, is not displaced and a decision on his career can be reviewed in about six weeks when we can re-assess the injury. Thanks must go to greyhound expert Bill for his usual top class work on 'Dev'. One thing for certain he will be out for the rest of the season and as the kennel approaches the last two months it's a major blow to our Trainers Championship cause. Having said that we are sitting with a healthy 150 point lead and with the winners ticking over nicely the title in my opinion is there for the taking. Our trip to Newcastle for the important All England Cup started well last Thursday with all of our four runners qualifying from the heats with good wins for the in form Eye Onthe Brave and Roswell Startrek and with Charlie Lister's ante-post favourite Farloe Reason crashing out this competition could be decisive in the outcome of the title.
It was a sad day last Wednesday when I attended the funeral of Gary Baggs in Slough and again I would like to express my deepest condolences to Brenda, Stacey and Darren. There was a massive turnout and the fitting tribute at the church of showing Gary's finest moment when winning the sports biggest prize the Derby with Signal Spark brought a tear to the eye of everyone. It was a privilege to have known and train against one of the sport's gentlemen!
Christmas is on the horizon and two parties are coming up at Harlow - firstly the annual Kennel Hands bash (owners welcome) is on the 7th December featuring veteran comedian Jimmy Jones and on the 14th Decmber the Harlow Stadium Xmas party to raise funds for the retired greyhounds takes place. With tickets £35 each we can all let our hair down and will be well worth attending - anybody interested can give me a call.
A new leaderboard on our 5 to Follow competition will be up this week and with plenty of winners in the last two weeks it will be interesting to see if early leader 'Bosa's 5' is still at the top after the first month. Sadly we have to mourn the loss of two greyhounds in our kennel
after serious injuries namely Seven Gold Bars and Eye Onthe Power both of whom could not be saved. Though their loss is deeply upsetting for both owners and our kennel staff I must emphasise that it has generally been a good year on the serious injury front but it does show how fragile these beautiful animals can be at times. We also have to announce the retirement of one of our grand old servants Discreet Cat who is currently flaked out on my sofa at home as we speak! The Cat on his day was as fast as any I have trained and having made the Gymcrack Puppy Final at Hall Green where he was 4th to Fear Haribo he went on to win 19 races in a 106 race career clocking some sensational times 28.54 475m and 39.26 for the 640m at the Stow as well as a 27.51 at Henlow for 460m.
Droopys Zach was beaten a head in the heats of the 575m Maiden Stayers at Romford on Monday clocking a calc 36.02 and on Tuesday at Oxford Scintillas Ruby missed her break in the heats of the Gold Cup and was eliminated but again in a supporting race over 595m Genesis Dream impressed winning by over 9 lengths from a good field in 36.54. On Wednesday at Coventry Reagrove Class scored a debut open win over 480m by 4 3/4 lengths in 29.75 (+20) while at Harlow Kinda Classic won his heat of the Maiden Stayers over 592m by 3 1/2 lengths in 38.25 and Notanothersecond also qualified when runner up beaten 3/4 length in 38.88. Blues Wish proved her win at Romford the previous week was no fluke when taking the 769m Marathon by 4 3/4 lengths in 50.04. Bell Tornado added another win to his tally when winning the 592m top division by 1 1/2 lengths in 37.88. At Romford on Friday on a fast track Lockdale Storm took the Maiden Stayers well leading all the way to score by 4 1/4 lengths in 35.42 (+60). In a very warm puppy 400m Goldcrest Lord was a good runner up to Confident Kermit going down 5 1/2 lengths in a flying 23.72 (+30). In the Maiden Stayers Final Droopys Zach was again second to Stonewall Smithy this time beaten a length in 35.63. Millwards Summit was also runner up in the 575m Stayers beaten 1/2 length 35.82 (+20). In supporting races for the Gold Cup at Oxford Genesis Dream failed to make it a hat trick at the track when getting held up from a difficult trap 4 draw eventually beaten 2 1/2 lengths by Produce Champion Bomber Blue in 36.67. Earlier in the night Mountjoy Gold was an impressive 5 length winner in the Puppy race over 450m in a fast 26.63. On Sunday at Coventry there were open wins for Ballyfinn Swift (29.71), Directors Ruler (29.95) and Mountjoy Ruby (29.65) with Lockdale Duke beaten 1/2 length in 29.90 (-10).
27th October-2nd November
No luck on Monday in the trial stakes for next week's Kent St Leger at Crayford with Genesis Sister and Blues Wish but on Wimbledon's Sky card on Tuesday Mountjoy Gold followed up Saturday's Oxford win with a scintillating victory in the Puppy 460m by 1 3/4 length in 27.72 beating some useful pups in the process. Both Scintillas Ruby (4th) and Genesis Alix (3rd) ran respectively in other supporting races. At Harlow on Wednesday Seanis Strike returned from injury to pick up Div 2 of the 415m Standard scoring by 2 1/2 lengths in 26.76 (-50) and Kinda Flashy won the 592m Stayers Div 2 by 3/4 length in 38.58 (-70). Jonos Patience won well in the top division of the 415m by 1 1/4 in 26.41 (-40). In the Maiden Stayers Final Kinda Classic was made an odds on favourite and all looked good when he turned behind kennelmate Notanothersecond but when the pair tangled at the 5th bend it let the in form Champagne Club runner Bubbly Midas in and despite a renewed effort from Kinda Classic he went down by the shortest margin in 39.02 (-70). At Coventry on the same night Corrig Vieri qualified for Sunday's Dual Distance Final when second to Iceman Brutus in the 480m heats beaten 1 1/4 in 29.71. On Thursday in the heats of the All England Cup at Newcastle Eye Onthe Pulse ran well when runner up to the strong Crown Rover beaten 3/4 length in 29.23 (-40) but better news for John Keefe's next runner as Eye Onthe Brave ran the best race of his career when scoring very well by over 4 lengths in a good 29.05 (-40). Roswell Startrek, very much under-rated, took the next heat well winning by 1 3/4 lengths in 29.19 (-40) and in the last heat Centaur Decree looked set to make it a hat trick for the kennel when taking a 2 length lead down the back straight only to cramp up on the run in to be beaten 1 1/2 lengths in 29.68 (-50). At Romford on Friday Droopys Zach at last won his Maiden Stayers just getting up on the line to win in 35.91 and in the Puppy 400m Risky Fabio ran a game race to land the spoils by 1/2 length in 24.71. Millwards Summit ran another stormer in defeat when just touched off in the 575m by Shelbourne Miss in 35.84 and veteran Eye Onthe Veto also had to settle for second when well beaten by Big Brett Coalin the top division going down by 3 3/4 lengths in 35.63. On Sunday at Coventry it looked likley we were going to come away empty handed with Reagrove Class an unlucky second coming closest but Corrig Vieri ran a stormer when taking the Dual Distance Final winning by 2 1/4 lengths in 39.96 on a slowish track. This youngster who only turned two this month certainly looks a great prospect for next year.
HARLOW AND COVENTRY REVIEW
A quiet week on the graded side with a long awaited win for Hug Major at Coventry on Wednesday in 30.03 (+20) while at Harlow on Thursday there were graded wins for Lews Trickster (27.17), Genesis Fuzzums (26.48)and Cassius Clay (26.58).
27th October-2nd November
Treacle Gem won her first graded race at Coventry on Wednesday by short head in 30.52 while at Harlow on the same night Lews Trickster won again in 26.71. On Thursday there were wins for Aero Rapido in 26.79 and Centaur Rosina in 38.53 and later her brother Centaur Simon in the same time. In the S1 Roswell Gemini just held on to win in 38.01.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - 20-26 OCT - MOUNTJOY GOLD
27 OCT-2 NOV - CORRIG VIERI
GRADED - 20-26 OCT - HUG MAJOR
27 OCT-2 NOV - CENTAUR ROSINA
WHAT'S ON THIS WEEK
Monday sees the start of the Kent St Leger at Crayford with Genesis Sister and Blues Wish drawn in the same heat. A rare visit to Mildenhall on Tuesday where Millwards Summit and Roswell Gemini are also drawn together in the heats of the RDC Promotions 545m Stakes. Opens at Harlow on Wednesday feature the heats of the 592m Monkey Stayers with the returning Rhias Beauty in action. Some tough draws for our four qualifiers in the Semi- Finals of the All England Cup at Newcastle on Thursday and we will also have runners at Romford Friday, Mildenhall Saturday and Coventry Sunday.