Tuesday 29th March 2011
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The history books will show that last Tuesday's Betfair Trainer Championship at Wimbledon was another win for Charlie Lister by 4 points but in reality it was one of the closest and most dramatic nights racing for a very long time. With just the final leg to go no less than four of the trainers involved, including ourselves, had a chance of winning the title. I have to say I was proud of the way all our team performed and I'm still in shock that we didn't win any of the races on the night but we came out of the event with our heads held high.
The opening leg was won well by Paul Young's Jaytee Tiger who held our Eye Onthe Tempo by 2 lengths in a good 28.54 and when Risky Wand was 3rd to Chris Allsopp's banker of the night Fifis Rocket in a fast 15.93 I was more than pleased with our start. Mountjoy Moon was backed all day long as if defeat was out of the question in the Puppy race and when she showed good early to contest the lead at the first bend it looked as if she was going to oblige but a bump firstly from Freedom Chief which she rode well was followed by almost a stumble when trap 3 Allisons Delight blocked her run. Shuffled back to 5th to her credit she showed good pace to grab 3rd behind Pat Rosney's Allisons Delight in 28.80.
More useful points were picked up when Kinda Easy secured second place in Division 2 of the Stayers over 687m. Considering our front runner didn't lead and has only just come back from a break we were well pleased with his efforts beaten just over 3 lengths by Charlie Lister's Lonely Boy who in turn got Charlie right back in the running after a slow start. In Division 3 of the Standard Thurlsbeg Bound was a surprise winner for Seamus Cahill with Kinda Ready back in 4th which was a blow though Charlie Lister's well fancied Jordansoilutions was behind Kinda Ready in 5th. At this point Chris Allsop was still leading the event but we were still well in the mix.
Division 2 of the Standard produced the race of the night as current Derby Champion Bandicoot Tipoki battled with Blonde Snapper right until the run in with both showing great early and middle pace. Blonde Snapper having his first race since last August just tired at the end and went down by 1 1/4 lengths in a fast 28.3, nevertheless a great effort. Bandicoot Tipoki had now put Chalie Lister in a great position just in front of us but just behind leader Chris Allsopp. The next race saw a real twist to the night in Division 1 of the Stayers, a race that would have befitted a St Leger final. Blonde Fletch carried a lot of our hopes but when he didn't lead it looked a forlorn hope. With Centurian Enry and Head Iton Jason in the lead Blonde Fletch produced a superb turn of pace to challenge Centurion Enry at the 5th bend but had the door firmly shut forcing him to check back to 4th. With Bower Hawk staying well from off the pace and Blonde Fletch renewing his challenge four dogs were in a line as they rounded the final turn but Pat Rosney's Bower Hawk stayed on well to race clear and win by 2 lengths in 41.90 from Centurion Enry with Blonde Fletch a close up 3rd from Head Iton Jason a short head away in 4th.
The final leg dramatically now saw four trainers all with a chance of winning but basically we knew that if Destroy The Camp won the top Division of the Standard we would have successfully defended our title. Charlie Lister needed the current Derby favourite Boher Paddy to win to lift the title and Chris Allsopp having a brilliant evening still held hopes that his lively outsider Brittons Empire could give him a first ever Trainers Championship meeting victory and mathematically Pat Rosney having a memorable night could also come out on top. Destroy The Camp broke well but not as well as the Charlie Lister's Boher Paddy who simply flew to the first bend with Brittons Empire in hot pursuit but he was not for catching. Again Destroy The Camp ran a great first two bends and challenged Brittons Empire for second off the last turn but had no hope of catching Boher Paddy who crossed the line 2 1/4 lengths in front of Destroy The Camp who gave his all for us in a brilliant 28.33 giving Charlie Lister his fifth Trainers title.
The whole night was an excellent advert for greyhound racing and credit must go to sponsors Betfair who have supported the event for the last few years. Wimbledon certainly has its problems in the viewing department since the switch to the other side but you couldn't wish to find a better track and running surface that gave trainers and their greyhounds a level playing field, the ground staff deserve the highest praise. At the end of the day we were left with the thought that one winner on the night would have seen us on the winner's podium and we were very unlucky in at least 3 of the races but that's the beauty of this sport and why it's still very popular. We also can look forward to a good year with the runners that represented us as they now go on the open race trail.
In other news Dalcash Scolari was eliminated in the semi-final of the Arc at Swindon last Friday when not getting much of a run. Sadly Eye Onthe Storm's dream of a dramatic comeback has ended. After a reasonable trial at Yarmouth last Thursday (16.80) he came off a bit sore and was noticeably not right the next morning. Despite improvement over the weekend we always said that if there was any setbacks in his comeback then he would be retired straight away as 'Frankie's' welfare was of paramount importance. It would have been great for the sport had he graced the tracks again but it was not to be and he will now enjoy a happy retirement.
After speaking to Daren Johnson yesterday with only 3 days to go before the start of his attempt to run from John O Groats to Lands End he is looking forward to getting underway and of course he has a few fears but is as determined as he can be to complete the monumental task of running the 900 miles in 27 days in a bid to raise £100,000 for the RGT and Help for Heroes. We all wish him well and again urge everyone to donate to the worthy causes no matter how small or large. We will every week give you a full update on his progress, Good Luck Daren!
Briefly on the rest of the week's action on the open race scene there were good runs from Gottabe Kinda when making the Coral Puppy final at Romford on Monday but had no answers to the flying PamsTomjo in Friday's final. At Yarmouth wins for Born Tobe Blue, Kildream Monster and Legit Jack were the highlights of the week
Daren Johnson, our Derby winning owner, has announced his intention to do an almost impossible task of running from John O'Groats to Lands End all in one month for charity. This would mean running a marathon a day to complete the near 1000 miles. We are appealing to everyone to make a contribution to Daren's efforts. He will attempt this unbelievable feat in April and he hopes to raise many thousands for both the RGT and Help For Heroes, two worthy causes for sure. If you go to www.giveabitback.net you can read all about his desire to give something back and watch the video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCdRWqJX2bA. It is hoped that during the run we can get a few celebrities from the greyhound world to show some support and take time out to run alongside Daren at some stage even if it's only for a few hundred yards! (that's for me!) or a few miles. Sky have kindly offered to cover Daren's run on their programmes in April and Betfair were the first to dip their hands in their pockets donating £1,000 to his cause. More details will be available as the time gets nearer and all of us at Imperial Kennels would like to wish Daren the best of luck not only on the run but in his intensive training so please visit the website and make a donation.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
The heats of the Coral Standard began last night at Romford with Bim Bam Boozle making Friday's final,.
Tonight we take a trip to Sheffield with Blonde Fletch and Kinda Easy both in the same heat of the Queen Mother Memorial Stakes.
Wednesday's Sky card at Swindon looks interesting and both Dalcash Scolari and Mountjoy Moon have good chances in supporting races.
Back to Romford on Friday and on Sunday we should be at both Sittingbourne and Sheffield.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
The Betfair Trainers Championship proved costly for us but it was edge of the seat stuff and in the end we were very unlucky and our main selection Mountjoy Moon (5/1 - 5/2) was so very nearly a major gamble that came in.
Looking at the Sky card this Wednesday at Swindon both our runners Dalcash Scolari and Mountjoy Moon look to hold excellent chances and should be backed.
DALCASH SCOLARI - 3 pts win - Swindon Weddnesday
MOUNTJOY MOON - 2 pts win - Swindon - Wednesday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
MARK WALLIS - 5 pts win 3/1 - Betfair Trainers Championship meeting - Wimbledon - lost
MOUNTJOY MOON - 5 points win - Wimbledon - Tuesday - lost
KINDA READY - 2.5 pts e.w - Wimbledon - Tuesday - lost
DALCASH SCOLARI - 2.5 pts e.w ante-post 16/1 - The Arc - Swindon - lost