Monday 8th March 2010
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The main topic of conversation over the week has been centred around last Tuesday's Racing Post Juvenile race at Wimbledon, won by Diane Henry's Ten Large Down in good style. It has to be said that the draw and some controversial and tactical seedings played a big part, without taking anything away from Diane who I find to be an excellent trainer and who's greyhounds are in great condition. I think both Eye Onthe Storm and Pat Buckley's Newlawn Class were unlucky in the race and I wouldn't be surprised if they emerged better Derby contenders than Ten Large Down, it's only my opinion but hey that's what our sport is all about. In the end I was just pleased that after the nightmare draw Eye Onthe Storm had he came home in one piece but to say I was angry about the way it was all done is an understatement! On the supporting card it was great to see Jogadusc Ace back to his excellent best when winning the British Bred race in fine style. Ace is one of my all time favourite dogs we have ever had since I started at Imperial Kennels and we look forward to what should be another top class year from this lovely natured son of former kennel star Star Of Dromin. In the not to distant future I will compile my dream team of former kennel stars which should be a good and nostalgic read.
On Wednesday I again attended the annual Trainers Championship Betfair Luncheon. This year we were back at the plush Langham Hotel in Portland Square.The day was brilliant and both Tony Calvin and Tom Rolfe from Betfair were superb hosts making sure all the trainers and their guests had a good time. It gives you a sense of real excitement with the Championship held this year at the galloping Doncaster track in just over 2 weeks time. All the Trainers were given a free £100 charity bet and at this year's prices I had to have it on ourselves at what seems a generous 7/2. If we were lucky enough to win I will split the proceeds between the charities Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research and Action Medical Research whom one of our loyal owners Alun Watkins is closely associated with. Eye Onthe Storm and Kinda Ready head our team and we will be travelling to Doncaster tomorrow night for some pre race trials. Already it looks on the cards that Kinda Ready will meet Fear Zafonic in a re-match of the epic Greyhound Derby final, that alone should make compulsive viewing. Last year Charlie Lister recorded a landslide victory at Sheffield and we were a distant but deserved second and again you can see how seriously Charlie is taking the event as his dogs have been trialling at Doncaster for the last few weeks. We are determined to make it closer this year and I am more than happy that our kennel is beginning to hit top form after a slow start to the year. This was highlighted by a track record performance on Thursday at Sittingbourne by Storm's brother Eye Onthe Flash when he set new figures of 28.90 for the 480m. The big concern for most trainers is the puppy race and the two stayers races. I'm not quite sure what to do about a puppy, I might use the experienced Rockburst Canyon who was a bit unlucky when eliminated from a tough heat of the Monmore Puppy Derby last Thursday or see if Directors Spur qualifies for the Monmore final which if he does wouldn't leave us any time to get him trialled at Doncaster which is essential. Other possibilities are Bim Bam Boozle or Aero Bolt. In the stayers perhaps the first name on our team sheet would have been Droopys Zach but unfortunately he has been ruled out as he has hade a setback when returning from injury and we will now give him plenty of time to make a full recovery. Both Corrig Vieri and Kinda Easy are still strong team members but both would only just get the tough 661m.
This week we welcome a new member of our full time staff, Tom Bent. Tom an experienced and knowledgeable greyhound man will be an important addition to our staff as we search for winners all over the country and we wish him well. Look out also for a new bitch called Welcome Along, she is going to be owned by Radio 1's Greg James and there will be regular features on his Friday afternoon 'Feet up Friday' show. This is massive exposure not only for our sport but for our kennel, Jimmy Fenwick who supplied her and the GBGB who arranged the deal.
Tuesday's excellent Sky meeting at Wimbledon produced a breathtaking win for Jogadusc Ace in the 460m British Bred race; showing great early after a slight bump out of the the traps his middle pace took him clear and though slightly tiring close home he scored by over 2 lengths in a fastest of the night 27.74. Earlier Risky Wand missed his break in a hot sprint when last to the impressive King Lee who broke the track record recording 15.14. Kinda Easy looked to be going well in the 668 Stayers race when leading around the first two bends but the middle pace of Romeo Maldini took him alongside Kinda Easy and when he bustled him back a few yards he had no answers before eventually finishing at the back although not beaten too far. Eye Eye Pickle could not extract himself from a poor draw but still ran well when 3rd in a 460m race while in the feature race the Racing Post Juvenile as said above Eye Onthe Storm was knocked from pillar to post but still ran a fine race to finish 3rd behind Ten Large Down who recorded a moderate 28.10 (-10).
On Wednesday at Harlow the heats of the Monkey Stayers saw us have two qualifiers. Kilquane Jack was a well beaten 2nd in his heat and Bell Tornado having his first run back over 592m for a while was just caught on the line when 2nd. In a 415m Kinda Handy found a bit of trouble when 3rd to Barbados Sam.
On Thursday at Monmore the heats of a hot Monmore Puppy Derby began and all four of our entries found themselves in tough races. Rockburst Canyon was slightly unlucky when 4th in his heat while Kinda Close found all kinds of trouble when well beaten in her heat. Directors Spur ran much better than in previous weeks when 3rd in his heat and Bim Bam Boozle tried hard but could only finish 5th. A different story at Sittingbourne where despite Directors Fire going down by a short head in the 450m we landed a four timer. Eye Onthe Flash lived up to his name with a comprehensive win in the 480m by over 5 lengths in a new track record of 28.90 and Corrig Vieri strolled to comfortable 8 length win in the 642m in 40.21. Bomber Bailey's first race since his defeat of Platinumlancelot back in early November was a winning one by 1 1/2 lengths in 29.52 making the decision for him to be a reserve on Wimbledon's Sky Hurdle race a farce. It will be nice to see what this fella can achieve this year. Jodu Fame looks a great prospect in the bitches ranks and she made it 2 from 2 at the Kent track when taking the 500m by 2 lengths in 29.52 to complete another super night for the kennel. We have now got a nearly 80% strike rate at the track over the last four weeks.
On Friday at Romford the night started well when the underrated Directors Wit took the sprint by a couple of lengths in 13.68 while there were good runs from Aldataro Lass (2nd) Catunda Mae (3rd), Join The Maids (2nd), Glenagower Champ (3rd) and Goldies Destiny (3rd).
Radnor Blue got off the mark when coming from off the pace to get up on the line in 26.86 on Wednesday while on Saturday our only winner came in the shape off Risky Sensation in an A4 in 26.45. An upgraded Radnor Blue and Justins Princess were both second and were best of the rest.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACE - EYE ONTHE FLASH
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Tonight at Nottingham an interesting newcomer Chapelane Harry makes his debut in the Stadium Bookmakers Puppy Trophy over 480m, a Sep 08 he is a name to watch out for. Staying prospect Goldies Sam also runs in the heats with the final next Monday. Tuesday night see's our Trainers Championship squad head north to Doncaster for trials in preparation for the big night on the 23rd of this month.
Opens at Harlow Wednesday and Sittingbourne Thursday as well as the semi-final of the Monmore Puppy Derby in which Directors Spur has it all to do to make the following Thursday's final. Opens at Romford Friday and on Sunday we will travel to Hall Green with quite a few runners for the Mothers Day fixture at dinner time.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Directors Spur our ante-post selection for the Monmore Puppy Derby is still there. His semi-final is hot but he has got a good draw in trap 1. Kinda Easy was a shade unlucky at Wimbledon last Tuesday but this week I see an excellent chance for a couple of our runners on next Sunday's Hall Green Mothers Day card. All That Noise is underrated and would be a dog to back as well as Catunda Mae and Aero Bolt if their races fill.
ALL THAT NOISE - 2 pts win - Hall Green - Sunday
CATUNDA MAE - 1 pt win - Hall Green - Sunday
AERO BOLT - 1 pt win - Hall Green - Sunday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
KINDA EASY - 1 pt win - Wimbledon - Tuesday - lost
DIRECTORS SPUR - 1 pt e.w ante-post (50/1) - Monmore Puppy Derby - Monmore - continues Thursday