Tuesday 3rd June 2014
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Sid Huett our head kennel hand is all signed up for Julie Collier's 'Fall For Hounds' Sky dive on 16th June and is looking for sponsors . 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.
What a weekend we have just had with some tremendous action on the Derby Final night at Wimbledon. Firstly a massive congratulations to Bruno Berwick and owner Ron Mills on the performance of their Salad Dodger who landed the sport's greatest prize the William Hill Derby Final to scoop a whopping £200,000. Of course winning the Derby isn't just about the money it's something a trainer/owner can be proud of for the rest of their lives and as many people know Ron Mills is a great friend of our kennel and is without question the best Physio in the sport and has been a major part of our successful team for nearly 20 years, we have got to know Bruno over the last few months and we all at Imperial Kennels are proud of what they both have achieved.
I can't believe the Derby winner was laying on our kitchen table a week before the Derby started when Ron asked Linda to have a look at him because he was having severe waterwork problems. Linda kindly catheterised the beautiful natured greyhound, a delicate situation that Linda is an expert in. Mine and Linda's advice on what to do afterwards to prevent a similar occurrence was fully listened to by Bruno and the rest is history, and what a training performance Bruno has done on Salad Dodger, he easily qualified from every round and saved his first win in the competition for the final! Wow! These are the stories that make our sport so great and Salad Dodger, a £2,000 purchase three months ago, has given hope to every single owner and trainer in the sport who buys a greyhound that dreams do come true! Brilliant!
We had a terrific night ourselves with nine runners on the final card. Murlens Crash (4th) and Black Francis (5th) ran well in good class while Blackstone Marco was a touch unlucky in the 480m won by Holdem Spy. Aero Nemesis gave ourselves and the Forsdike family some small consolation when landing the Consolation final but was given a real race by Metro Jack after he smashed out (4.71 sec) and led by a couple of lengths around the first two bends, he gamely held Metro Jack off to win by 3/4 length in a brilliant 28.21 some two lengths faster than the Derby Final. Certainly a case of what might have been but a very popular winner nonetheless. Benkaat Nero ran very well when 3rd in the Derby Plate and up stepped Cornamaddy Jumbo for the William Hill Champion Hurdle, battered, bruised and cut from the heats a week before I have to say myself and my team did a fantastic job just getting Jumbo to the race itself and I could only cross my fingers that all was well. Jumbo repaid our hard work with a tremendous performance when our front runner came from behind to lead at the 4th bend and hang on for a memorable short head victory. As usual owners myself, Brian Usher and Scott Fraser (Jimmy Fenwick at the Froch/Groves fight) celebrated Jumbo's win in great style as we did the Springbok!
After the Derby final Adageo Bob ran really well in the British Bred race to come second to the smart Take The Crown, Benkaat Blue couldn't escape a poor trap 5 draw in the veteran race but still didn't run too badly but one of the performances of the night was Evan Herbert's Evanta Evita who hacked up in the the Bitches 480m. Showing a great turn of pace she quickly put the race to bed and won by 5 lengths in a superb 28.46 on a drying out track. I rate her the best Oaks prospect since I have been in charge at Imperial Kennels. All in all it was a brilliant Derby final night and though the crowds were down on previous years it had an electric atmosphere and thanks go to the Wimbledon team and to William Hill for putting on a great show.
It's a quieter week this week which is not a bad thing sometimes. This gives me a chance to enjoy the 'Give A Bit Back' golf day at the London Club and Daren Johnson and his team have pulled out all the stops to make it a brilliant day. I fully expect my team to win the honours on the golf course (lol!) which includes my Kennelhand and friend Kevin Ulla, Hove trainer and top golfer Jason Heath and Kevin Ackerman who is in charge of the new Towcester greyhound venture who incidentally have their owners and trainers Open Day on Wednesday which should be very informative, the only weak link in the team is no doubt myself!
A reminder that we are less than two weeks away from Sid's 'Fall For Hounds' Skydive so keep those donations coming! If anyone would like to attend the after party organised by Julie Collier please let me know as she needs to get an idea on numbers.
I mentioned last week of my 50th birthday bash in Las Vegas next month and that I have been looking forward to playing at the World Series Of Poker in the main event ($10,000 entry). Back in 2004 I qualified on line to play the showpiece event when it was held at Binions Casino where a record 2,567 players entered and Greg Raymer won the $5,000,000 first prize. Unfortunately I didn't last long as my inexperience got the better of me and I've been waiting for 10 years for a chance to put that right. Next month in the established Rio Hotel and Casino there will be over 6,500 players competing for the $8,000,000 first prize and I have been saving for years to play again. I will be giving a small % of my winnings to the RGT if I'm lucky enough to cash. I'm also giving a chance to anybody if they want to buy a share in me (only 30% left on offer) 2.5 % (estimated £150)...5 % (£300) or 10% (£600) which obviously gets them the same % back on any winnings I might make! It's a gamble and a risk for sure but could pay big dividends if I have a bit of luck (and skill of course). My live tournaments over the years has been restricted because of how busy our kennel is but I have a decent record and the last time I was in Vegas two years ago I made a final table at the Rio in a non bracelet WSOP event, I mainly play on the internet a couple of nights a week and certainly hold my own.
At Hove on Thursday no winners from our five runners with Aayamzamodel coming closest when 2nd over 515m in a Ladies race.
A good night at Romford on Friday from our seven runners started by a scintillating performance from Airforce Grace (soon to be renamed Aayamzaone) in a 400m Maiden. It's been a long time since I saw a bitch come out the traps like she did and was a full 3 lengths clear of her rivals within a matter of strides. She recorded a brilliant 3.64 sectional en route to a near 5 length success in a very good 24.06 (+20), what's remarkable is she is only a November 12 whelp so looks to have a big future. El Flutter battled hard to win a 575m Maiden in 35.77 on a slowing track while both Snappers Lad (showed great promise) and Adageo Brae ran very well when second in their respective races. Another top performance came from Dick and Ann Barfoot's Blonde Razor who demolished a class field over 575m by an amazing 8 lengths in a very fast 35.27 (+20).
As said a great night at Wimbledon on Saturday and on Sunday veteran Bridge Bandit improved his brilliant record at Sittingbourne winning the Super Standard final in 30.28.
Only three runners Wednesday where Energize Dan was best when 2nd in an A3.
On Saturday Benkaat Dolly was a good second in A2 on her return from season and Benkaat Boomer took a top grade by 7 lengths in 28.15, Ilehaveone got off the mark in emphatic style scoring by over 5 lengths in 28.56. Evanta Fantasy completed a good night when winning a very good A1 in a fine 27.94 making it 4 wins from 6 races for this progressive youngster.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Our week of open race action kicks off on Thursday at Monmore as a few of our runners warm up for the forthcoming Ladbrokes Summer Festival. We will be at Romford on Friday and both Henlow and Sittingbourne on Siunday.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
After the disappointment of coming so close in the Derby with Aero Nemesis we quickly bounced back as Cornamaddy Jumbo landed the Champion Hurdle for our followers while our single bet on Evanta Evita made the night a special one as she romped to success at a tasty 7/2. We will rest on our winnings and wait for next week where we should have some decent opportunities at the Ladbrokes Festival.
ADVISED LAST WEEK
CORNAMADDY JUMBO - 2 pts e.w ante post 11/2 - William Hill Champion Hurdle - Wimbledon - WON 11/2
EVANTA EVITA - 4 pts win - Wimbledon - Saturday - WON 7/2