Monday 9th January 2012
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I hope everyone enjoyed reading my Review of the Year which included our website awards, we will leave this up for viewing for as long as we can (under Guest Column) before it goes onto our Archive section. Congratulations to Mark Currell's pair Blonde Snapper and Blonde Fletch. Blonde Snapper won our 'Performance Of The Year' with his blistering track record run in the William Hill Classic Final at Sunderland in July, although Jazz Apollo's amazing finish to land the Kent Derby at Sittingbourne was a close second. Dual Category 1 winner Blonde Fletch was a deserving 'Imperial Kennels Greyhound Of The Year' while Lil Risky (leading 5 to Follow points scorer), Jazz Apollo, Aero Majestic and Ayamzagirl all are worthy of mention in 2011. Corrig Vincent was our Graded Dog of he year for Barry and Rose Peters.
Well done to Martin Johnson who won our 5 To Follow competition with his 'Jems Gems 1' team. Martin, who is one of our sport's leading independent bookmakers under 'Jem Racing' and stands at Poole, is obviously a proper judge as well! A table for four at the Trainers Championship meeting and £250 worth of free betting vouchers are his winning prize and Martin has kindly said that he will use the vouchers on the night and any winnings he gets will be donated to charity. Second place went to Simon Clarke's 'Simons Flyers 5' team and £150 in betting vouchers are on the way to Simon. Begrudgingly well done to Sid who topped our Staff 5 To Follow for the second time in 5 years! I can't believe I led right until the last two weeks until I dismally faded into fourth!
The new season is now underway and we are all looking forward to 2012. Who knows what's in store for us but William Hill's price of 11/10 that we win this year's 'Trainer Of The Year' title certainly seems plenty short enough but it's high on our targets after coming so close in 2011. We have a strong kennel which will be up for viewing shortly in my 'Class Of 2012' on the Feature Dog page. We are currently looking to strengthen our team with some new purchases and we will set out to give our current owners the usual highest quality of service with our high standards and also hopefully welcome some new owners and syndicates into our fold. I will be having some regular quality greyhounds that can be bought from our 'Dogs For Sale' page and already two of our most recent purchases from here Castlebride Dan and Dixies Air look great prospects. Our Website will endeavour to continue its excellent updates and reviews and we are always open to suggestions on any improvements or ideas anybody might have.
Firstly I would like to let everyone know that SOS are still trying their hardest to bring back Greyhound racing to Walthamstow Stadium. There is a public meeting being held at Rushcroft School on Monday 23rd January between 7pm and 9pm. This is your chance to put questions and objections directly to the Planning Officers at the council on L & Q's plans for the iconic site. A strong presence is urgently needed and all those greyhound fans that would love to see the Stadium back to its former glories are requested to attend. Tomorrow (Tuesday 10th) the Chingford Times are doing a big story outside the Stadium at 1pm and SOS will have a strong presence, anybody who would like to come along and show their support is most welcome.
I must admit to being pleasantly surprised by our current mild weather, although the winds on Tuesday and Wednesday were unrea,l and as yet it's amazing that we are now in the second week of January and there's been no disruption to our race programme through snow and ice, let's hope I've not spoken too soon. We had our first runner of 2012 at Yarmouth on Wednesday and let's hope it's a good sign for the year as Risky Lass won in good style.
Our first open racers of the year on Thursday and Friday all ran great but we were frustrated that out of our 13 runners we only had one runner out of the first three but managed just one winne. We incredibly had three 2nds and eight 3rds!
Two important competitions start the year and it was disappointing not to have got one through to the Prestige Final at Hall Green tomorrow night. In the heats on Friday night Mountjoy Orion ran well and only went down by 1 1/4 lengths but was third and the same fate fell upon the well fancied Aero Majestic . Trapping is always going to be his achilles heel and again it let him down. Stumbling out the boxes he was fully 4 lengths behind the 5th place dog, showing awesome pace he did manage to get into 2nd place by the third bend and chased hard after leader Fleeting Image but his stamina ran out at the finish and he was passed on the run in for the all important qualifying spot.
At Romford on the same night in the Coronation Cup over 575m all four of our entries qualified. Rockburst Lenny went down to the hanging about Razldazl Zamba by the shortest margin with Aero Joker back in 3rd. Risky Rosaleen was a well beaten 3rd after a troubled run behind Coolavany Jane and the best was saved for last when the in form Munster Champ ran riot in his heat winning by 7 lengths in a fastest of the night 35.64.
The first leg of the much talked about 'Betdaq Premier League' kicks off this Saturday at Yarmouth and our 'Imperial Rockets' team is looking to get off to the best possible start. We face strong rivals in Seamus Cahill's 'Irish Rovers'. 'Team North East' who won the Doncaster Qualifier as well as runners up the 'Mad Hatters' are coming to Yarmouth for the first time. Matt Dartnall's 'Team Desperate' and Jane Houfton's 'Dunham Devils' will make for some competitive action and all the races can be seen on live on 'Premier Sports' on Sky 433. With the weather still forecast to be OK for next week it should be a great night. After speaking to team mate Paul Sallis he has nothing available for this first leg at Yarmouth and maybe the second leg on the 28th but we will look to use a couple of Paul's stars for the final two legs at Doncaster in February. We hope to have top sprinter Lil Risky available and will be using some of our successful qualifying team from last month Mountjoy Orion, Rookery Pedro and exciting puppy prospect Benkaat Blue. Derby semi-finalist Bellers Bud is not quite fit enough after another slight setback so we will either use in form Bit View Emma or Benkaat Boy who has won his last two A1's at Yarmouth in good fashion. I'm sure the whole 'Team' idea will start to catch on and we now are spoilt for Greyhound racing on TV with Racing Post's dedicated Greyhound Channel also shown on Saturdays. Good news for the 'Premier League' as well as talks are currently taking place by GOBATA and Shelbourne Park of a possible match betwen our league champions and an Irish team in the near future.
Sad news that grand old stager Catunda Mae broke a hock after the line when doing the fastest sprint time of the day at Thursday's trial session at Yarmouth. It was a bad break but thankfully top vet Daniel Doherty managed to do a successful operation yesterday so Mae can enjoy a happy retirement. Talking of happy retirements I promised to pay tribute to a few of our former kennel stars who have retired at the end of 2011:
Dalcash Scolari owned by Bill Mcluskey and Tony Wonnacott has been a brilliant top open race dog over the last two seasons where his most memorable highlight for me was winning so well on Trainers Championship night at Doncaster in 2010. He will be registered at Stud and I will give further details where this superbly well bred strapping 37 kilo dog will be available asap.
Another lovely dog who helped us win the Trainers Championship meeting on the same night at Doncaster when bolting up in a hot sprint is Directors Wit and he has now also been retired.
Adageo our 2010 Derby finalist who suffered a career ending injury in September and will not race again but will enjoy a happy retirement'
As well as his litter brother and fast open racer All That Noise who has a recurring tendon injury.
Our first open racers of 2012 all ran well at Henlow on Thursday. Aero Bellagio, having his first ever race, looked a touch green and found plenty of trouble at the first bend before finishing 3rd to the impressive and experienced Be Real. Ballintine Molly, back from seasonal rest, ran OK when 4th in division 2 of the 460 Standard and Rookery Pedro had no answers to Droopys Loner when 2nd in division 1. Aldataro Lass looked to be well beaten in the 692m Stayers when Bush Whitney led by a good 8 lengths going down the back straight for the last time but at the end she ran on strong to be beaten just 1 3/4 lengths in 43.42 (-60).
At Romford on Friday Big Step was 3rd in a 400m Maiden and in the heats of the Coronation Cup as said all four of our entries qualified for the semi-finals. Bit View Emma again ran well when 3rd behind the flying Fernhill Jess in the Bitches 400m.
At Hall Green both Mountjoy Orion and Aero Majestic were a shade unfortunate not to qualify for tomorrow night's final live on Sky. Lil Risky warmed up for tomorrow's supporting card with a fast 14.35 sprint trial before racing.
On Wednesday Risky Lass opened our 2012 season with a hard fought and gutsy win in an A3 by 3/4 length in 28.87 and was best of our four runners.
On Saturday some excellent performances by our runners. Swift Reagan a July 10 whelp won an A2 from behind in 28.45 (+10), Lil Magic scored a well deserved victory in an A2 in 28.44 (+10) and in a hot A1 a rejuvenated Benkaat Boy scored well by 4 1/2 lengths in a good 28.14 (+10). Confident Ramona looks a pup going places and she made it two wins from two when scoring well in an A2 in 28.47 (+10) to make it a good night for the kennel.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Tonight Mountjoy Osprey kicks off his 2012 when he lines up in the heats of the Coral On TV Puppy 400m.
On Tuesday the first Sky card of the year is at Hall Green and though we have not got one in the feature race, the Prestige final, Lil Risky, Carden Twilight, Kinda True and Aldataro Lass run in supporting races.
We will be at Henlow on Thursday and on Friday the semi's of the Coronation Cup at Romford will see four of our runners trying to qualify for the final.
On Saturday the Betdaq Premier League first leg kicks off at Yarmouth.
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2012 proved not to be as successful as the previous two years' huge profits, although we showed a healthy 10 1/2 point profit on our ante-post bets we were slightly down on our single bets (-20 points) overall - 9 1/2 points.
We will try and get the year off to a good start and I fancy our top sprinter Lil Risky can do that at Hall Green tomorrow. Rockburst Lenny could have a reasonable chance of landing his semi-final of the Coronation Cup on Friday at Romford and is worth a bet while Mountjoy Orion is fancied to win her Premier League stayers race at Yarmouth on Saturday.
LIL RISKY - 4 pts win - Hall Green - Tuesday
ROCKBURST LENNY - 2 pts win - Romford - Friday
MOUNTJOY ORION - 2 pts win - Yarmouth - Saturday