Tuesday 22nd April 2014
(Opens to a third party website)
Sid Huett our head kennel hand is all signed up for Julie Collier's 'Fall For Hounds' Sky dive pencilled in for June and will be looking for sponsors over the next few months. I'm afraid I'm scared of heights and will not be signing up but will be making a massive effort over the next few months to get him well sponsored,
click here for his link.
Derby fever grips our sport this week as entries close for the William Hill classic at noon on Wednesday. Speculation of the numbers this year has varied from a possible 140 up to over 200 entries but my guess it will be somewhere in the middle at around 170. I think this number would suit Wimbledon and RPGTV as they would probably look to have 2 x 14 races over two nights. Should they get more entries then the possibility of having to add a third night won't be very popular as far as they are concerned, Wimbledon will undoubtedly lose money having to open on a non racing night (Thursday) while RPGTV already have Hove and Monmore booked for coverage that night. There has been a lot of talk about the availability of trials and yes we do understand how busy, hard working and accommodating Gary Mathews and his team have been. I booked trials at Wimbledon for last Fiday night some two weeks previous but last Tuesday I decided to change my plans for various reasons. I planned to take a few this coming Wednesday and was amazed to read in the Racing Post on Friday morning the trial session was fully booked. I can only think that because the Derby starts a month earlier this year trainers have been a bit slow in their plans for their possible entries. I know I'm not sure about a few but if we don't give them a trial then they would not be worth entering hence the reason for being disappointed the Wednesday session is full. With a huge £200,000 carrot being dangled you can see by the ten trial stakes that filled at Wimbledon on Saturday anybody with a dog that can break 29.00 is prepared to have a go at the jackpot being offered by William Hill. There were still some high class runners and potential winners on show, I personally couldn't see the point of giving any of our intended entries a hard race less than two weeks before we get underway but that's only my opinion.
So, how are our possible entries looking?
BLACKSTONE MARCO will trial before racing on Friday and after being eliminated in the semi's of the Arc, where I felt he never looked comfortable at Swindon, he will be more at home at Wimbledon and will be a bit fresher going into the first round.
GARRYGLASS RODGE is running well and was a very unlucky loser in the supporting open at Swindon on Wednesday. I'm not worried whether he goes to Wimbledon before the first round and will be entered on the Sky card at Hove this Thursday.
AERO NEMESIS has pace to burn but it was a blow to his preparation when a small muscle injury kept him out of the Arc but that seems fine now judging by an excellent sub 24.00 trial on Tuesday at Romford and he repeated that time in a 400m Maiden race on Friday, astonishingly it was not good enough to win as Seamus Cahill's Express Max scorched round in a flying 23.66!
BENKAAT NERO unfortunately had to miss Wednesday's Arc final after coming out the kennel two days before on three legs. Thankfully it looked like he only somehow banged himself but his leg was infected, with anti-inflammatories and anti-biotics needed that meant he had to be withdrawn. He is fine now and will trial next weekend and hopefully he can progress further than last year's third round.
EL FLUTTER has a fair Irish card and looks a nice intake for the kennel and his owner Nick Henry. He may lack a yard of real early pace but looks like a dog that will be difficult to keep out the frame. A confidence boosting win at Sittingbourne on Sunday will have helped.
BLONDE RAZOR is more of a stayer but I think if you are going to put this type of dog in a Derby the best ones are the tight railers who can miss any trouble on the outside and use the advantage of the rails to launch their attack. He runs Wimbledon well and will be hard to knock out especially in the early rounds.
REEL TRICKYONE was another who nearly made it to the quarter finals last year and was hugely responsible for our kennels 4th Trainer Of The Year accolade in 2013. There isn't a lot about and has had a light campaign so far this year and should go well.
ILEWIN FRIMLEY wouldn't be on everybody's lips as a Derby runner but the owners have enjoyed plenty of open wins with this likeable sort and for the owners it is worth having an interest in the event.
Others I was considering giving a spin around Wimbledon if any spaces were available this Wednesday were AERO BABOOSHKA, AIRFORCE DYNAMO, EVANTA EVITA and EVANTA MILAN but won't be putting them forward if not able to trial them.
Whatever happens it looks set to be a great Derby and with the Irish coming over in force and every race covered by RPGTV or Sky the bookmakers can expect some huge turnover (Betfair must love this freebie they get). I've being trying my best to stay out of he politics of the sport over the last few months but I have to say with the owners looked after with decent prize money and the thrill of a Derby runner what is actually in it financially for the trainer apart from winning the final? Surely a small payment should be in order to the trainer for each runner they supply, say £10 for each first round runner, £15 for each second round runner etc etc. You would be looking at around £10,000 to distribute to them during the course of the Derby which doesn't seem a huge amount in the context of the event. While the Derby is going on the trainers at Bags/Begs fixtures all receive bonus payments for supplying runners to the betting shops. It's a funny industry where a trainer has a top class runner and gets nothing and a trainer with an A10 runner might get anywhere near £3 up to £15!
We had plenty of winners again last week and we are fast approaching 100 open race winners which looks likely to be achieved with only a third of the season gone. Quite remarkably as well we could break the 400 points barrier in the Trainer Of The Year standings. It would be truly amazing if we could keep that up until the end of the year. 300 open race winners and 1200 points is a target I will set our kennel out to achieve. Having already a Category 1 competition in the bag (Ladbrokes Golden Jacket) the pressure is off on that score but we would love to win another two or three this year. We were out of luck in the big races last week with Benkaat Nero withdrawn from the Arc final and Sidaz Dippy running a good race behind Farloe Tango in the Regency semi-finals, Sidaz Dippy is now in season.
Sadly Ayamzaman's racing career came to an end last Monday when he tore a Monkey muscle whilst contesting the lead in a heat of the Steve Simmonds Easter Bunny Trophy at Romford. Thankfully it's nothing serious but enough to call his retirement. Formerly known as Mountjoy Osprey he had 95 races winning an incredible 38 times which included a nine timer at his favourite Romford. Once his shoulder has healed I intend to bring him home with me as he is such a lovely dog.
At Romford on Monday as said above Ayamzaman went lame in the Steve Simmonds Easter Bunny Trophy and Benkaat Boomer took full advantage winning well in 24.35. Coosane Star was second in his heat but moved to Maxine Locke's kennel afterwards and will make a lovely top grader for someone as he is still for sale.
At Swindon on Wednesday with Benkaat Nero withdrawn from the featured final our four supporting runners didn't have the best of luck except Aero Twizzle who pinged the lids in the sprint and went on to beat Zenas Boy by 1 1/2 lgths in 16.31.
At Hove on Thursday Sidaz Dippy ran well in the Regency semi-finals but was eliminated in 4th. Risky Pumpkin in the puppy and Darian Star in the top division of the Ladies race both ran well when second. Aero Babooska made it two from two in a tight finish in the other Ladies race scoring by the minimum margin in 30.12 calc.
A busy night on Friday at Romford and a great start as Domino Storm (24.36) and Evanta Milan (24.38) took the first two 400m Maidens. Cornamaddy Jumbo made it three in a row on the night when taking the hurdles race in a fine 24.31. It didn't quite go as well after that as Reel Bliss took a crashing fall in the 575m Maiden Stayers but thankfully came off fine. Blue Moment was firmly beaten by Putdownyourfoot and picked up a nasty spike on his toe in the process. Benkaat Boomer ran as well as he could when third in the Steve Simmons Easter Bunny Trophy. Aero Nemesis ran well when second to Express Max in probably the quickest ever maiden at Romford - 23.66. Black Francis capped off a good night for the kennel when taking the Maiden Marathon in 47.49 (+40).
At Sittingbourne on Sunday night three winners and a second from our four runners was another good return for us. Murlens Crash was impressive taking a heat of the Bookmakers Sprint in a flying 16.10, Benkaat Blue was second after leading in a 480m Standard while El Flutter improved for last week's run winning a good 480m Maiden in 29.26. Adageo Bob back over the stiff 500m won well in 30.32.
On Wednesday Garryglass Kaka made a good debut when second in an A4 while Evanta Fantasy scored at the second time of asking taking an A5 in 28.64 (+30). Saffrons Champ was just touched off in an A3 in by 1/2 length in 28.45 (+30)
On Saturday some new pups having their first races - Energize Dan, Energize Rosco and Kilmagner Mike were all well beaten but showed some good pace and shouldn't be long in winning. Hillcross Dallas was second after a long absence while Ile More won in 28.90 (+20) in an A4.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
A quiet week where we will have runners on the supporting card for the Regency at Hove on Thursday. We will be at Romford Friday and Sittingbourne on Sunday where Murlens Crash should have a great chance in the Bookmakers Sprint final.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Our bets at Swindon went down and how annoying it was with Benkaat Nero withdrawn from the Arc final when we were on at 33/1. Garryglass Rodge was a very unlucky loser. I'm not sure we have anything this week but looking at the possibles for the Sky card on Thursday at Hove Aero Babooshka could well find a bit more improvement and is worth keeping on the right side at the moment
AERO BABOOSHKA - 2 pts win - Hove - Thursday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
GARRYGLASS RODGE - 3 pts win - Hove - Thursday - lost
BENKAAT NERO - 1.5 pts e.w ante post 33/1 - Pinpoint Recruitment Arc - Swindon - lost
SIDAZ DIPPY - 1 pt e.w ante post 25/1 - Coral Regency - Hove - lost