Monday 7th February 2011
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Daren Johnson, our Derby winning owner, has announced his intention to do an almost impossible task of running from John O'Groats to Lands End all in one month for charity. This would mean running a marathon a day to complete the near 1000 miles. We are appealing to everyone to make a contribution to Daren's efforts. He will attempt this unbelievable feat in April and he hopes to raise many thousands for both the RGT and Help For Heroes, two worthy causes for sure. Iff you go to www.giveabitback.net you can read all about his desire to give something back. It is hoped that during the run we can get a few celebrities from the greyhound world to show some support and take time out to run alongside Daren at some stage even if it's only for a few hundred yards! (that's for me!) or a few miles. Sky have kindly offered to cover Daren's run on their programmes in April and Betfair were the first to dip their hands in their pockets donating £1,000 to his cause. More details will be available as the time gets nearer and all of us at Imperial Kennels would like to wish Daren the best of luck not only on the run but in his intensive training so please visit the website and make a donation.
Wimbledon's Sky card tomorrow night featuring the Springbok final looks top drawer with plenty of big names on show in the supporting races. We have four runners with the exciting Mountjoy Moon kicking off proceedings in a very good puppy race. She looks destined for the top and despite a huge rise in class I expect her to run a good race. Her trial over course and distance last Wednesday where she clocked 28.89 was very good and she will be aimed at the Monmore Puppy Derby later this month. Sprinter Goldcrest Lord has a tougher race than when he last won on Wimbledons Sky cad before Christmas and Eye Onthe Tempo and Destroy The Camp will both be up against tough opposition in the two 480's but are well capable of winning. Sadly we won't be represented in the Springbok final as Aero Bolt was eliminated at the semi-final stage when getting no sort of run but he will have plenty to look forward to over the year with his sound jumping and good pace. We also have Derby hero Kinda Ready trialling over 480m before racing and he looks to be in good form after his decent 16.33 sprint trial last week. With only 6 weeks left before the Trainers Championship meeting takes place at Wimbledon our team is beginning to sort itself out for the Betfair showpiece.
The first major Category 1 competition of the year gets underway this Friday when the Ladbrokes Golden Jacket begins at Crayford. Credit where credit is due, Ladbrokes have kept the same prize money for this event as in previous years with £15,000 to the winner a buck against the trend of cutbacks in tough economic times. The 714m trip is a shade short for Ayamzagirl but providing she comes out of tonight's race at Nottingham in good order I see no reason why she couldn't at least make the final. Aldataro Lass is our other intended entry and she should be suited by the trip.
It was interesting to read in the Racing Post that some leading horse racing trainers have introduced a tariff which means if races advertised don't reach a certain level of what they would perceive to be acceptable prize money they would not enter any of their horses. This boycott would of course give smaller yards a better chance of winning and seems to be just a reasonable protest at prize money levels but whether it will achieve anything I'm not sure. In Greyhound racing I've always felt that at least all the Category 1 races and classics should be ring fenced with a set amount of prize money. If say the GRA with the Derby, St Leger and Oaks can't meet the criteria set then they should be offered elsewhere. All opens should have a minimum £150 (maidens, heat and semi-final winners as well) and any other one off opens starting with a minimum £200. Where would this extra money come from? well that's another question but we need to set standards and the GBGB needs to think of ways to force the promoters to adhere to these.
Aldataro Lass faced a tough task in the heats of the Coral on TV Marathon and she led to the 7th bend but could only finish 3rd behind Riverside Ella beaten 3 3/4 lengths in 46.23 but safely through to Friday's final. At Nottingham our luck was out with some fancied runners turned over. To be fair it was obvious that it was big disadvantage if you were drawn on the rails and all of our 5 runners were tight railers. Dalcash Scolari and Eye Onthe Tempo were both 3rd in 480m races and Goldcrest Lord came closest when a well beaten 2nd to Brooklyn Bandit in the sprint.
Back to Romford on Friday and with news that Aero Bolt had been eliminated at Wimbledon in the Springbok semi-finals and 4 of our first 8 runners all finishing second it looked like being one of those nights. Scintillas Jesse made a fine debut when leading until the run in before going down just over a length in probably the warmest 400m Maiden I have ever seen at the track. He looks a promising recruit to our open racers. Goldies Tara and Kinda Close were runners up in the two divisions of the Bitches 400m and Aero Merlin ran a stormer chasing home top local Droopys Cruyff over 400m. All That Noise again allowed to go off at juicy odds of 6/1 took full advantage of crowding on the inside, with Bourne Masons heavily involved, by going well clear and not coming back winning the 575m by nearly 6 lengths in 35.73.
On Saturday at Monmore some races didn't quite go to plan with Blonde Fletch almost knocked over in a 480m and both sprinters Risky Wand and Directors Wit in bother from poor starts. Pup Kinda Dashing also got tangled up in a warm puppy race when well beaten but Catunda Mae caused a small surprise when landing a 480m by 2 1/2 lengths in 28.56 to see we didn't go home empty handed.
Monday's meeting was called off due to a power failure! and on Saturday our run of seconds continued with Kinda Razzle on her graded debut getting beat a short head in an A2. Blonde Brutus has found nearly 10 lengths in two races to date and has got beat both times in A5. The night finished well with Bellas Bud showing a fine turn of early to land an A2 on his debut by 2 1/2 lengths in 28.29 and Corrig Vincent put in his best performance to date to win a top grade by 1/1/2 lengths in a fine 28.07.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Tonight at Nottingham Dalcash Scolari bids to avenge last week's defeat when he runs in the heats of the 480m William Hill Trophy along with the return from injury of Droopys Elbow and Ayamzagirl warms up for the Golden Jacket in a 730m race.
On Tuesday a great Wimbledon card on Sky sees us with four runners.
The Ladbrokes Golden Jacket kicks off on Friday and Ayamzagirl and Aldataro Lass will be entered while we should have runners in the supporting opens over 540m both flat and hurdles, Romford (Friday) and Monmore Saturday are also pencilLed in.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Our poor run of form unfortunately continued with a heavy defeat for Dalcash Scolari on Monday at Nottingham and Aero Bolt's elimination from the Springbok so it's back to the drawing board. I think that Ayamzagirl looks likely to be hard to keep out of the frame at Crayford in the Ladbrokes Golden Jacket and is worth a small e.w bet ante-post. At Wimbledon tomorrow I can see the unexposed Mountjoy Moon running well in the Puppy Race and Destroy The Camp has a good draw in a hot 480m Standard and it could pay to have an interest on both. Kinda Close seems to be a touch unlucky in her last two races and if she is entered at Monmore Saturday could cause a surprise.
MOUNTJOY MOON - 1 pt win - Wimbledon - Tuesday
DESTROY THE CAMP - 1 pt win - Wimbledon - Tuesday
AYAMZAGIRL - 1 pt e.w ante-post - Ladbrokes Golden Jacket - Crayford - Friday
KINDA CLOSE - 1 pt win - Monmore - Saturday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
DALCASH SCOLARI - 4 pts win - Nottingham - Monday - lost
AERO BOLT - 2pts e.w ante-post 7/1 - Springbok - Wimbledon - lost