Tuesday 23rd June 2015
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Our William Hill Derby campaign came to an end on Tuesday as all three of our remaining hopefuls crashed out at the quarter final stage. To be fair I was pleased that we had progressed as far as this stage but once there you always want to go all the way. Evanta Fantasy was in the toughest heat and again showed that brute early pace and led the now strong Derby favourite Farloe Blitz up to the corner but Owen Mckenna's superstar forced his way past her and the rest of the field converged on her at the third bend to bully her out of a qualifying place. This was very similar to what happened to Evanta Evita in the next heat but this time it was Rio Quatro who ruffled her up off the second bend and down the back straight before she was again forced to check at the third bend, she was pushed back to 4th and valiantly tried to get back up but she just failed. Blonde Nipper, in the fourth heat, never got any kind of run to the bend as both traps 4 and 3 on his outside and trap 1 on his inside squeezed him up and he was checked up at the bend to turn well in arrears, in this class there is no coming back although credit to him in running on strong to keep the margins down to respectable levels.
Both our two girls were the last remaining bitches in the Derby and my nap of the whole Derby was Evita to be the bitch that goes the furthest and she just edged out her kennelmate Fantasy in doing this. Both Evan Herbert's bitches have come out of the event with enormous credit and Evita will go to finals night to try and win the Ladies 480m, a race she won last year. Fantasy looks ideal for Sunderland for next month's William Hill Classic and that's her next target. Blonde Nipper also came out of the Derby with plenty of credit and a slightly stiffer test will suit him with Hove's Sussex Cup starting in a few weeks his next target.
Of course along with the Derby final on Saturday the William Hill Champion Hurdle got underway at the weekend and our 2014 'Greyhound Of The Year' hero Cornamaddy Jumbo returned for his first race of the year after recovering from a badly torn gracillis a few months ago. After a cracking trial last Tuesday at Romford hopes were high and he looked set for a fairytale comeback when smashing out the boxes. His main rival Con Te Partiro showed great pace to move alongside at the first bend but in an instant the race changed as he moved off and cannoned into Jumbo not once but twice allowing the rest of the field into the race. Jumbo tried hard but couldn't get back on terms and though not beaten far his defence of the crown had slipped by.
Sadly Cornamaddy Jumbo was lame on Sunday morning and upon examination he has a swollen tendon behind his stopper bone and that will be one set back too many. After discussion with his owners we will now be retiring him. Of course it's a sad loss to our team but it goes without saying what a wonderful race dog he was and his historic big race treble in the hurdle division in 2014 will be long remembered in our sport. He's a lovely dog and will go back to his breeders in Ireland to live a healthy and happy life with the possibility of covering a bitch or two in the future.
Domino Storm, an early elimination from the Derby behind Farloe Blitz bounced back to form with a vintage win in the heats of the William Hill Derby Plate on Saturday in a fastest 28.39 and heads our team of runners for this coming week's Derby final night. She has trap 3 in the Plate final and should go well. As said Evanta Evita runs in the Ladies 480m, Swift Whirlwind goes in a hot puppy contest, Ballymac SIinbad has a tough 480m while Calco Flyer should have a good chance in the British Bred 480m. It's good to be a part of the final night and we wish all connections of the Derby finalists the very best of luck, with two Irish runners in the final there should be a large contingent from across the water.
Entries for our 5 To Follow competition are flowing in and with just over a week to finalise your teams it's interesting to see the variations of selections, don't miss out in our free to enter competition. Anyone who has included Cornamaddy Jumbo has time to change that selection, please spread the word and get as many relatives and friends to enter a team as I'm looking to top the 500 entries this year, there will be two or three nice prizes on offer.
On Monday at Monmore Swift Whirlwind took his heat of the Ladbrokes Summer Festival Puppy 480m in a very good 28.17, Calco Flyer was a touch unlucky when 4th in his heat of the Ladbrokes Summer Cup.
After Tuesday's exploits at Wimbledon we travelled to Hove on Thursday with a few runners. Toosey Fern (3rd), Aero Babooshka (3rd), Van Frankie (2nd), Ribble Atom (3rd) all ran well before Ferryforth Fran followed up his promising effort from the previous week with a good win over 695m in 41.88.
At Romford on Friday not much luck from a few of ours but a very good 24.36 win on a slow track from Clondotty Alex saved the night.
At Monmore on Friday a solid run from Swift Whirlwind in the Ladbrokes a Puppy final where he was just beaten into second place.
On Saturday Domino Storm took her heat of the Derby Plate.
On Friday no winners from our five runners, no runners Saturday and on Sunday we got off to a good start as Vanbasten scored a well deserved success in 28.52. Benkaat Dolly just failed to get up in an S2 going down a head in 40.29, Ilewin Frimley continued his good form beating kennelmate Reel Shirty by a length in 28.41 and Nimrod Son scored another success in a messy 8 dog race in 28.87. Cisberry Geo completed a decent afternoon when landing an A6 by over 3 lgths in 28.96.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
A busy trial session on Wednesday at Towcester with a stack of new pups coming through should be interesting. On Thursday we travel to Hove where Ballymac Shirley and Millroad Rodger make their debuts.
On Friday our William Hill Classic and Grand Prix runners are in action in races and trials as we make the long journey to Sunderland and we will also have a few runners at Romford.
On Saturday all roads lead to Plough Lane as greyhound racing's big night of the year the William Hill Greyhound Derby comes to a conclusion. We have five runners on the supporting card including Domino Storm in the Derby Plate Final.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Evanta Evita landed the nap of the Derby when winning the Bitch that goes furthest bets but only by the skin of her teeth from Kennelmate Evanta Fantasy. We had a good run overall from our selections who all went out at the quarter final stage.
The Derby Final card looks high quality as usual and we have five runners who all should have decent chances of making it a night to remember for our kennel. My nap has to be Evanta Evita who will look to win the 480m Ladies race for the second year running while our record in the British Bred race is superb having won it three of the last four years and Calco Flyer has a great chance to keep that run going.
EVANTA EVITA - 5 pts win - 7.59 Wimbledon - Saturday
CALCO FLYER - 5 pts win - 10.14 Wimbledon - Saturday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
BLONDE NIPPER - 2.5 pts e.w ante post 100/1 - William Hill Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon - lost
EVANTA EVITA - 1 pt e.w ante post 200/1 - William Hill Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon - lost
EVANTA EVITA - 5 pts win ante post 5/1 - Bitch to go furthest in William Hill Greyhound Derby - WON 5/1 (25pts profit)