Monday 6th August 2012
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READ MARK'S BLOG OF THE EXCITING
DERBY BUILD UP CULMINATING IN BLONDE SNAPPER'S FANTASTIC DERBY FINAL WIN
Lil Risky capped off what has been a brilliant few months for Imperial Kennels with a scintillating victory in Saturday night's £10,000 to the winner John Smiths Peterborough Derby Final. After going into the final unbeaten Lil Risky was a warm favorite in an event we last won in 2005 when another of our win machines Fear No One landed the title. Only what was perceived to be a poor draw in trap 5 with a field of six railers looked like it could stop our prolific winner from securing a well deserved victory but a stupendous fast break made a mockery of the handicap sending many of the crowd wild with delight including two of his three owners present at the track Brian Usher and Scott Fraser (Jimmy Fenwick was busy with his Newcastle commitments). Racing along the back straight with a clear lead 'Jimmy' never looked like stopping and he crossed the line some 5 lengths clear of the chasing pack in a brilliant 24.99. With plenty of friends and guests of the owners and kennel supporting Lil Risky a packed podium enjoyed an excellent night at the busy Fengate Stadium.
With Lil Risky, despite a terrific sprint record which had him as a nominee for 'Sprinter Of The Year' in 2011, I have always felt he was more of a sharp four bend runner and Peterborough's 420m trip has been ideal but we now plan to try him that little bit further with the Ladbrokes East Anglian Derby in mind over 462m at Yarmouth in September - incidentally Fear No One landed this amazing double back in 2005 and I see no reason why Lil Risky can't repeat this. As well as landing a well deserved victory Lil Risky bagged another 50 points for the kennel in our quest to win the Trainers Championship, vital after Paul Young had been steadily chipping away at our lead over the last few weeks but now our 200 plus point advantage has been restored and it will take a monumental effort to stop us winning the Championship a fourth time.
The week has been very hectic with plenty of racing and one of the highlights was a fabulous double in Tuesday's Sky meeting at Hove. Bridge Honcho was just touched off for qualifying in the semi's of the Sussex Cup but showed what he was capable of when trouncing a high class field to win in a scintillating 29.61 in a supporting open which was 1/2 length quicker than the Sussex Cup Final was won in by Westmead Maldini later in the night. The supporting stayers race over 659m looked a race to savour with the likes of Express Trend and Freedom Cache in the line up but neither had any answers to our Blonde Reagan who pinged the lids and then stayed on strongly to lead all the way recording an excellent 43.23 (-15). Reagan looks like he could well be aimed at the TV Trophy in October as I feel the 835m at a fast track like Monmore will be well within his compass.
A long trip to Belle Vue for the Cock Of North final on Thursday almost paid dividends when Blonde Fletch got off to a flyer but had the very good Ballyard Buddy turn behind him and on the run in was passed by Stuart Mason's dog to lose out by only 1 length, a good performance nonetheless. Jazz Apollo made a good start to the defence of his Kent Derby crown at Sittingbourne on Sunday night with a 3 length win in 29.12.
At Hove on Tuesday our new GTA Chairman Ricky Holloway was given a good and lengthy interview by Gary Newbon and it was clear that Rick's message is a call for all trainers to unite behind a new GTA if they want to be properly represented and that is something iIwholeheartedly support. Rick's call for the resignation of FBGOA (Federation of British Greyhound Owners Association) Chairman Johnny Haynes has sparked an angry spat between the two. Here to simplify matters is that Johnny Haynes sits on the GBGB Board of Directors as the only representative for all practitioners (trainers, owners and breeders) and this basically is not what we want. Sadly former GTA Chairman Norah McEllistrim handed over the GTA power to Johnny Haynes with no discussion or debate from its GTA members and this is clearly not right. Rick so will rightfully now demand that when the GTA has had its first AGM and a new committe is formed that a place on the Board is made available for the GTA and really Johnny Haynes should step aside as should another director, Clive Feltham the GRA CEO, who as I said last week is one of the worst cases for a conflict of interests you will ever see in any industry in our country. In fact it's beyond belief! and it's about time the likes of Barry Faulkner and Maurice Watkins from the GBGB grew some balls of steel and sorted it out.
Like many people I have been enjoying the magnificent London Olympic Games and having driven past the stadium on the way back from Wimbledon it looks like all the money spent to put the Games on has been well worth it as it glows in all its splendour. I love all the sports and watched the brilliant British performances on Saturday when we returned from a triumphant night at Peterborough. The rowing was fantastic and the cycling awesome but nothing could match seeing Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis and Greg Rutherford winning their gold medals it was quite inspirational.
A hectic week started on Monday at Romford where Ayamzabeauty finished ssecond to Ceroc Shaneboy in the heats of the Coral On TV Maiden Stayers.
A terrific double for the kennel on Hove's Sky card on Tuesday for Bridge Honcho and Blonde Reagan.
Blonde Fletch was a good runner up in the Cock Of The North final on Thursday at Belle Vue.
On Friday it din't go quite to plan as Cuil Condor was eliminated from the Puppy Derby at Wimbledon when 4th. After breaking well he spoiled his chances when trying to dive for the rails hampering himself and Ballymac Esske in trap 2 and despite getting round in third place was then caught on the line for that final qualifying place. At Romford most of our runners ran well without winning including Adageo Brae who was second and Ayamzabeauty who finished third in the Coral On TV Maiden Stayers. Castlebride Dan was our only winner showing serious gears after a missed break eventually winning by 3 1/2 lengths in 24.60.
Lil Risky was the hero on Saturday night landing the John Smiths Peterborough Derby Final in great style.
Jazz Apollo got his Kent Derby defence off to a good start when landing his first round heat by 3 lengths.
On Monday Darian Star won our first ever Owners Bonus Series Final worth £500. Breaking well she lead at halfway and drew away to win by 3 1/2 lengths in a fantastic 27.71 (+20).
On Wednesday Aero Apache ran well when third in an A3 on his debut and highlight of the night was Mountjoy Eagle who returned to the track to just get up on the line to land an A1 in 28.26 .
On Saturday an array of second places with Swift Freeze, Ballyfinn Oscar, Swift Chef, Carden Pookie all filling the runner up spots with Swift Pepper winning an A2 well beating Paradise Riva in 27.93.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
No finalist in the William Hill Puppy Derby on Tuesday at Wimbledon but plenty of runners on the supporting card with Bridge Honcho and Blonde Reagan trying to emulate last week's Sky double.
Opens for the rest of the week are to be pencilled in with the semi-finals of the Kent Derby on Sunday for Jazz Apollo at Sittingbourne.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
A fabulous double for us on Tuesday at Hove with Blonde Reagan (6/1) and Bridge Honcho (7/2) and very nearly a treble when Blonde Fletch was narrowly beaten at Belle Vue. Cuil Condor was a shade unlucky when knocked out of the Puppy Derby.
Tomorrow at Wimbledon Bridge Honcho has a decent chance and Blonde Reagan might be sent off at cramped odds. Our best bet on the card could be Risky Rosaleen running from a plot draw in trap 1 in the 7.40. Adageo Brae showed a lot of promise over 575m and could be worth a bet on Friday at Romford.
RISKY ROSALEEN - 2 pts win - Wimbledon - Tuesday
ADAGEO BRAE - 2 pts win - Romford - Friday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
BRIDGE HONCHO - 2 pts win - Hove - Tuesday - WON 7/2
BLONDE REAGAN - 3 pts win - Hove - Tuesday - WON 6/1
BLONDE FLETCH - 4 pts win - Belle Vue - Thursday - lost
CUIL CONDOR - 2.5 pts e.w ante-post 13/2 - William Hill Puppy Derby - Wimbledon - lost