Monday 5th May 2014
(Opens to a third party website)
Sid Huett our head kennel hand is all signed up for Julie Collier's 'Fall For Hounds' Sky dive on 16th June and is looking for sponsors . I'm afraid I'm scared of heights and will not be signing up but will be making a massive effort over the next few months to get him well sponsored, click here for his link.
What a buzz there was as we entered Wimbledon Stadium on Thursday night for the opening batch of the William Hill Greyhound Derby heats. Owners and trainers from across the British Isles have embraced the event with a huge £200,000 carrot dangled in front of them. I said last week that this is the most open Derby I've ever seen and after the first round heats were completed on Saturday I have not changed my mind and the bookmakers are still 10/1 the field. Defending champion Sidaz Jack and the ante post favourite Kereight King as well as Northern hope Pay Freeze have bitten the dust, all looking seemingly not at ease in running, others high in the ante post list like Sidarian Blaze, Calzaghe George, Bittles Bar and Themopsonspeed were also eliminated. After 36 heats we had loads of thrills and spills, some shocks and a new track record when Fiery Splendour stopped the clock on Saturday at 28.06, it is exactly why this is the best five weeks in greyhound racing.
Our eight entries had their own ups and downs. On Thursday Real Trickyone broke well but was crowded on the run up and struggled with the brutal early pace a Derby heat throws up, despite running on he finished 5th and only a couple of lengths away from qualifying, he was in front at the drop. Garryglass Rodge our other runner on the night never came away from his awkward trap 4 slot and never got involved in his heat when last. On Friday we only had El Flutter in the last heat but it was well worth waiting for when he came from off the pace to storm through and win in a moderate but eye catching 28.92, Flutter was our 100th open race winner of the year so far.
On Saturday a great crowd gathered at Wimbledon and the Derby heats really started to take shape. Ilewin Frimley was a touch outclassed in his heat when last but all eyes were on how our much touted Aero Nemesis fared in a reasonable heat. A moderate break was not ideal but it didn't matter as he simply tore to the bend hitting it two lengths ahead of his rivals, cutting in nicely he raced to a five length lead. Super strong Hather George emerged from the pack and on the run in did close the gap but to be honest never looked like getting to Aero Nemesis and he won by 3/4 length (well clear of 3rd) in a very good 28.40. This is definitely a dog who can go a long way. Blackstone Marco faced one of the toughest heats of the whole first round and even though he broke well the searing early pace of trap 2 All About Ya caused him problems and he was forced to check at the first two bends, it looked all over but he gallantly stuck to his task and in a desperate effort to pinch the 3rd qualifying place he ran on strong down the run in but was denied by 1/2 length, a brave effort nonetheless. Our last two runners Blonde Razor and Benkaat Nero were both in the same heat with the highly regarded Vanrooney and it was very pleasing to see Blonde Razor smash out the traps and lead up with Benkaat Nero in second as they went round the first two bends. Vanrooney turned handy and produced a monumental effort to pass Benkaat Nero at the 3rd bend and then unbelievably catch Blonde Razor on the line to score in an excellent 28.26 with both of ours safely through. Overall the Derby first round was magical but two or three bad injuries on a very fast track was a slight concern.
The second round draw made yesterday is interesting and we knew it wasn't going to be easy. Aero Nemesis our only runner in Friday's batch of heats is in with impressive heat winner Greenwell Lark and will most likely have the early paced railer Dower Matt in front of him at the first bend. On Saturday we have been unlucky having both Benkaat Nero and El Flutter in the same heat and it's tough with the most eye catching first round scorer Paradise Silva, in some books the new ante post favourite, in trap 4 as well as the likes of Juvenile winner Droopys Odell. Both will have their work cut out to progress. Blonde Razor is in a heat with five first round winners and the early pace on show is like an Olympic 100m sprint final, his best chance might be to tuck in behind and pick off some of the ones that are likely to fade if they don't lead. It is what it is and we live in hope that this is a Derby we can be involved in over the next few weeks. I have no favourites of our ones left but I wouldn't swap Aero Nemesis for anything else in the event, bring it on!
Away from the Derby it was a mixed week with a couple of nice winners at Hove Thursday in Aayamzamodel and the progressive Domino Storm. We had no winners at Romford on Friday and our crack sprinter Aero Twizzle faces a lengthy absence after finishing lame (torn gracillis) while three of our four runners finished second at Sittingbourne last night.
Hometown Honey as said last week has now been retired to the breeding paddocks at Gary Goulden's near Sligo, she is due to be mated to Head Bound which will be a perfect match for her. Honey's pups will be much sought after as you would expect from a bitch that has won not one but two Category 1 competitions! Her career has been magnificent and in all she raced 73 times winning 26 times (22 opens), her obvious highlights being dead heating in the William Hill Grand Prix final with Calzaghe Lily but most memorable was going unbeaten through the high class Ladbrokes Golden Jacket at Crayford earlier this year to grab the £17,500 first prize. In all she amassed around £35,000 in prize money a very rare feat for any greyhound let alone a bitch. Her owners Steve and Sarah Cragg will struggle to ever replace her on the track but who knows one of her offspring may well repeat this for them in years to come.
We have some nice pups coming on our 'For Sale' page over the next few weeks that will hopefully turn out to be good open class. Mollys Chambers is a cracking looking bitch and is only a September 12 whelp and has just arrived at the kennel, she is from an exceptional litter and is fair value for a young pup.
I've covered the Derby above with four of our eight entries qualifying from the first round heats with wins from El Flutter and Aero Nemesis.
On Thursday at Hove Aayamzamodel dropped back to four bends and beat some good class bitches over 515m by over 3 lengths in a fast 29.78. Domino Storm is improving with every run and scored first time up at the galloping track in a 475m Puppy race in a fine 27.98.
Just four runners at Romford on Friday and bad news as Aero Twizzle finished lame in the sprint while Lightning Zeus was a well beaten 2nd in the 750m Marathon.
On Sunday at Sittingbourne in the heats of the Bookmakers Super Maiden Standard Airforce Dynamo was just denied when 2nd and should improve for the look in Sunday's final. Both Murlens Crash and Benkaat Blue ran well when also 2nd
Just runners on Wednesday this week where Garryglass Kaka got off the at the second time of asking winning well in 28.53. Kilmagner Mike (2nd) and Ilehaveone (3rd) both ran well and should be on the winner's podium soon.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Tonight Adageo Bob returns to Romford in the heats of Stuart Roberts Quicksilver Trophy along with Adageo Brae (Aayamzamodel withdrawn lame). Also opens at Yarmouth where the Greyhound Scene forum night should draw a good crowd and we have plenty of interest not least exciting Marathon prospect Black Francis.
On Thursday the heats of the Steve Joel Puppy Trophy should see us have plenty of interest at Hove as well as some supporting opens.
It's Second Round Derby time at Wimbledon on Friday with heats 1-8, Aero Nemesis is our only runner and he will hopefully improve his chances of overall glory by taking heat 5. At Romford the final of the Steve Roberts Quicksilver takes centre stage.
On Saturday heats 9-16 conclude the Derby Second Round and El Flutter, Benkaat Nero and Blonde Razor bid for a place in the last 48 at Wimbledon.
Airforce Dynamo runs in the Super Standard Maiden final at Sittingbourne on Sunday.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Obviously the Derby is on everybody's minds at the moment and we can be reasonably happy with our start. Our main recommendation Aero Nemesis impressed in the first round and is down to as low as 25/1 with some firms, Blackstone Marco tried his hardest in an ultra tough heat but is out, El Flutter went into a few people's notebooks with a huge finish when winning his heat but will have to improve to qualify again in a tough second round heat which also sees Benkaat Nero who as I mentioned is by far the best 500/1 shot in the Derby, don't be surprised if he qualifies again. We haven't got Blonde Razor in our ante post bets and I wouldn't put anyone off adding him, I do however think he might be a value bet in Saturday's heat where there is so much early in his race he may well tuck in nicely and be close enough at the second bend to stay on and pick the front runners up, at likely odds off 6/1 + he could be a cracking e.w bet to score.
BLONDE RAZOR - 2 pts e.w - Wimbledon 10.18 - Saturday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
AERO NEMESIS - 2.5 pts e.w ante post 80/1 - William Hill Derby - Wimbledon- continues Fri/Sat
BLACKSTONE MARCO - 1 pt e.w ante post 100/1 - William Hill Derby - Wimbledon - lost
EL FLUTTER - 1 pt e.w ante post 80/1 - William Hill Derby - Wimbledon - continues Fri/Sat
BENKAAT NERO - 1 pt e.w ante post 500/1 - William Hill Derby - Wimbledon - continues Fri/Sat