Tuesday 27th January 2015
(Opens to a third party website)
(Owned by The Lil Risky Fan Club)
HURDLER OF THE YEAR 2014
GREYHOUND OF THE YEAR 2014
Our triple crown winner has become the first hurdler ever
to win the Greyhound of the Year Award.
VIDEO OF CORNAMADDY JUMBO AND
TRAINER OF THE YEAR PRESENTATIONS
A superb night at the annual GBGB Awards bash was capped off with the announcement that Cornamaddy Jumbo made history for the second time by being the first hurdler to land the coveted 'Greyhound Of The Year' title, a tremendous achievement for himself, the owners and all the team at Imperial kennels.
For one night in the year all sections of our industry can get together to celebrate all that is best in our sport and it's an occasion that I would not miss for anything. The magnificent London Lancaster was again the chosen venue as this year's event moved back to the capital and over 400 people dressed up to enjoy a memorable evening. I do find it incredibly stupid that anyone, and there are plenty out there, would call to boycott these awards nights as it's a thrill for any owner to have a nomination let alone a winner of these prestigious awards, yes we do have serious issues to be resolved and not just with our governing body, but these awards nights are categorically not the place to bring them to the table.
The night was brilliantly presented by Jonathan Hobbs and Darrell Williams and the slickness in which it rolled on in between the superb food served up was testament to how well the event was organised by Emma Dowding, Zoe O Brien, Amanda Duplock and their team, all of whom deserve great credit. The first awards, all of which were decided beforehand, were presented well and I will say all in the room had a tear in the eye as the 'Kennelhand of the Year' award was picked up by the family of Peter Dangerfield who sadly passed away last October, some poignant and well said words followed by his son and the very popular Lee Dangerfield. Peterborough, still celebrating their recent Bags Track Championship victory, were supported in force as they received their award and Julie Collier was rightly given the 'Services To Retired Greyhounds Award' after raising over £100,000 in the 'Fall For Hounds' Skydive, Alan Findlay of Pinpoint Recruitment fame was a most deserving winner of the 'Services To The Industry' award.
The Greyhound awards began after our starters and main course with Newinn Yolo picking up best Newcomer for a very pleased Pat Rosney and owner Kevin Heilbron. Our recent Oaks heroine Cashen Maureen just missed out on the Best Bitch award to Roxholme Dream which was slightly disappointing but well done to Hayleigh Keightley and the connections. Salad Dodger rightly picked up the Best British Bred award for Bruno Berwick and Ron Mills and no I'm not going to comment on Bruno's unfortunate recent predicaments. We came onto the Owner Of The Year award and the KSS syndicate led by Brendan Keogh and Simon Senyk was hijacked by their trainer's partner, the ever popular Rab McNair.
The nerves were getting to me as Darrell Williams read through our kennels long list of achievements in 2014 and after a video footage of our highlights I collected our a 'Trainer Of The Year' award for the sixth time in 10 years since taking over the reins at Imperial Kennels. Without doubt I'm so proud to be the industry's Champion Trainer again and I would like to extend my sincere thanks to my wife Sarah, all my staff, owners and friends without whom this would not be possible, and a special mention to both Linda Jones my mother in law and to Ron Mills who both give huge support to myself.
Geelo Vegas took 'Sprinter of the Year' and King Kane took the Marathon division with Hometown Honey receiving a deserved nomination. Roxholme Dream took a competitive 'Stayer of the Year' title for her second award and at that point I feared for Cornamaddy Jumbo's chances of winning the big award. We did of course pick his 'Hurdler of the Year' award and again with the Newinn Yolo deservedly picking up his second award in the Standard division I thought Jumbo's odds were lengthening in the main award.
A speech by GBGB Chief Barry Faulkner was then followed by complete silence as the envelope for the 'Greyhound of the Year' was opened by MP Andrew Rosindale. I was really not sure which way the award would go and to be honest expected the worst but to a huge roar from table 17 Cornamaddy Jumbo's name was called out and he was crowned 2014 'Greyhound of the Year' a remarkable achievement for a hurdler and a second ultimate award for our kennel following Blonde Snapper's victory in 2012. Cornamaddy Jumbo who won all three major hurdling competitions last year was rightly awarded this prestigious title by the Greyhound Writers Association, he had made history again as the first hurdler to ever lift this major award. Delighted connections and friends of the Lil Risky Fan Club syndicate comprising Brian Usher, Jimmy Fenwick, Scott Fraser and myself as well as Cornamaddy Jumbo's breeders joined myself and Sarah on the stage for the presentation. This of course has capped off a memorable year in the history of Imperial Kennels and Cornamaddy Jumbo is a beautiful natured dog who has gave us his all in 2014 and we are very grateful to him.
Myself and Sarah travelled down late Saturday afternoon to enjoy our stay in the hotel and enjoyed a lovely evening in the West End together and after breakfast on Sunday a mooch around the shops in Regent Street before getting ourselves ready to greet some 50 guests arriving for the evening that included owners and friends. The celebrations did go on later than expected and I admit to being a touch fragile Monday morning before we travelled home in the afternoon. Obviously we are late with this week's newsletter and not surprisingly I'm finding it difficult to concentrate writing this so you will have to excuse me for a brief catch up on the rest of the news!
On the track today we have a big competition to try and win as Billys Bullet travels to Hall Green for the Partex Marking Systems Prestige Final live on Sky Sports. After a stunning heat win last Wednesday he has drawn trap 1 in a field of railers and he will have an outstanding chance of victory in the £6,000 to the winner final if he traps in his best style. Three supporting runners support a good card that will have the added attraction of a massive jackpot that has rolled over to the meeting, a pool of up to £500,000 is expected which alone should see plenty of viewers watching the show. Ilewin Allot, Blonde Razor and the in form Black Francis will hopefully go well. I will say a touch of caution should approach our runners as the kennel has had a bout of sickness spreading through it over the last 5 or 6 days and it will be fingers crossed all is well tonight.
We rolled out a few open winners on Thursday at Towcester which included a win for Black Francis in the January £500 Super Stayers final in a very good 41.45. A tremendous run from Blue Moment to win a 480m open by over 3 lengths was made more significant as he became the first dog to break the 28.00 barrier when he clocked a stunning 27.91. Vanrooney was a desperate loser by a short head over 686m but Rosealinda capped a good night off when dropping down in trip to land a 480m in 28.43.
At Romford on Friday the highlight was another top class run from Evanta Fantasy who again destroyed a good field by over 7 lengths in a fast 23.74 while Vanfrenchie got back on the scoresheet when winning by over 5 lengths in a very good 35.16.
Not such a good weekend at Towcester with a blank night for winners on Saturday and a couple of injuries to go with it. On Friday Vanbasten was a very impressive winner from our three runners when blasting out the traps and scorching round to win in a very good 28.24.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Tonight, as said, we travel to Hall Green for the final of the Partex Marking Systems Prestige Final.
We are likely to be at Romford Friday and on Sunday the new launch of Sunday afternoon meetings should be enhanced by a good open race card.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Billys Bullet could give us a nice profit if he lands the Prestige tonight, 10/1 ante post he is as short as 11/10 in some books. For another bet I like following in form dogs and Black Francis could well oblige in the 670m Super Stayers from a plot draw in trap 1.
BLACK FRANCIS - 2 pts win - Hall Green - Tuesday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
BILLYS BULLET - 2 pts e.w ante post 10/1 - Partex Marking Sytems Prestige - Hall Green - Final tonight