Monday 7th January 2008
2008 has started and already we are on the Open race trail with trips to Harlow, Romford and Hall Green in the first week of the year; and it was Matthew Etherington's Stride On Babe at Harlow on Wednesday that secured our first Open race winner of the season. Next week, the start of the Coronation Cup at Romford, the Prestige semi's at Hall Green and the opening round of the first Category 1 competition the Birmingham Cup at Perry Bar ensures that Open race fans have plenty to get their teeth into. Hopefully our kennel can be strongly represented in these events.
The B.G.R.B awards night at the Royal Lancaster on the 21st of January is a very special occasion and we are all looking forward to the event and with Eye Onthe Veto nominated for the top Stayer of the year we could be celebrating long into the night. If anyone would still like a ticket (only a few remaining) for the black tie only awards please contact myself asap.
Our first Open race runners of the year got underway at Harlow on Wednesday night and with Directors Star missing his break in the opening heat of the Monkey Maiden over 415m the night didn't get off to the best of starts. Armies Plan ran OK in 3rd in Div 2 of the 592m and Centaur Fuji was desperately unlucky in the 769m Marathon when she was stopped about four times in running before getting beat the minimal margin by Emporio Rebel in 51.14 (-30). Stride On Babe looked on paper to have a hard race in the top division of the 592m but made a mockery of the form when she led off the first bend and then powered to a 4 length victory in very fast 37.69 (-20) (fastest time ever first-time up at the track) over Swift Villain and in doing so completed a hat trick of wins for her delighted owner Matthew Etherington.
Thursday at Walthamstow was a case of close but not quite there on the night starting with Special Deal who was having his first Veteran race over 475m and a good break saw him turn second behind Legal Major but try as he might he just couldn't get past his rival going down by a head in the end in 29.01 (-10). Snappy Girl (needed the run) and Lockdale Lady (great early but not quite getting home) were both 3rd, Like Hot Cakes (should come on for the run her first over six bends for a while) and Marathon Girl (just touched off but will win over the trip very soon) were both second with Aero Blacjack the only winner of the night in the 475m Puppy after he just caught Grannie Annie on the line to share the spoils.
On Friday we travelled to both Romford and Hall Green with Directors Chair put in second favourite for the Prestige which got underway with four first round heats. In his heat Directors Chair was forced very wide going round the first two bends but recovered his composure to lead at the 4th bend to go on and win from Swift Maybole by 1 1/4 lengths in 41.15 (-90).
At Romford both Fear Charlie and Twilight Fantasy were unlucky in running when 3rd in their respective Maidens. Our only winner came in the shape of Roswell Zodiac in the 400m Puppy after he produced a devastating turn of middle pace to lead at the halfway point and kick on and win by over 3 lengths in a good 24.30. Although Genesis Dream and Geordie Shay were only 6th and 4th in their races they could both go very close next time.
The first meeting on New Year's Day didn't unfortunately produce any winners but amazingly five seconds including Chase The Dream, Rain Rush, Twilight Fantasy, Eye Onthe Power and Not So Jolly all whom ran well.
On Saturday the evening started well with Macbart recording his first win beating kennel companion Imperial Singer by 3 lengths in 29.62. Centaur Elise showed promise when second in an A8 but the best performance of the night came from Castlemary Podge who followed up his debut win with another fine victory leading at the first bend to score by 1 1/2 lengths in 29.26 (-10) and this strapping 37 kilo son of Top Honcho looks a fine prospect for owners Andy, Paul and Noel. Eye Onthe Jewel was second in the S1 and in the A1 veteran Fear Mykeo rolled back the years to trounce her field by 2 1/2 lengths in a fine 28.81 (-10).
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACE:- STRIDE ON BABE
GRADED:- CASTLEMARY PODGE
WHATS ON THIS WEEK
Monday night at Romford sees the start of the Coronation Cup with Eye Onthe Veto leading the kennel's entries. On Tuesday Directors Chair runs from trap 1 in his semi-final of the Prestige and we will have runners at Harlow on Wednesday. On Friday the semi's of the Coronation Cup take place and on Saturday the Birmingham Cup gets underway at Perry Bar.