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Aayamza Royale had to dig deep on Saturday to qualify for the semi finals of the Summer Stayers at Monmore, at one point down the back straight I thought she was struggling to make the first three but off the last bend she changed gear and was actually only beaten by a length in the end to Droopys Catch in a smart 37.76. The fact we had a late call to say that she needed to trial on her return from Ireland wasn’t ideal preparation as we had to get a quick sprint at Henlow on Friday morning, though I was confident it wouldn’t hurt her chances as she looks like she’s the type to be able to run everyday so I wasn’t worried at all. I’m confident she will be better for the run but I’m fully aware that 630m is very sharp for her, she has drawn what seems the easiest of the three semi finals so fingers crossed she can make the following week's final. Unfortunately Antigua Fire wasn’t so lucky in his heat, after a good break he was sitting handy but off the second was virtually turned sideways as King Lennon in trap 4 checked over the back of another dog and cannoned straight into Antigua Fire causing him to be nearly turned sideways, he tried hard to make up the lost ground but just failed by a neck to qualify. Again the 630m is a bit sharp for him but you can’t count for sheer bad luck. Jaxx Purple came into the event as a late replacement on Friday and nearly caused a real surprise at 16/1 when disputing the lead with the high class Desperado Dan, off the last bend she looked like she had got the better of her rival but moved wide on the run in allowing Desperado Dan to pinch the race by a head in 38.06. That was her first run over six bends and hadn’t run for two weeks so don’t be surprised if she comes on for the run. In the Gold Cup heats we only had one entry and Ivy Hill Skyhigh failed to get competitive in his heat and looks more like he would be suited to a staying trip and will he tried over 575m at Romford this week.
We didn’t have much luck at Romford on Friday and it’s beginning to get frustrating there but some poor draws are not helping. On Sunday the first open race action for two years began with the Category 2 British Bred Sprint event. Deans Hail Mary qualified when 3rd in her heat and Saffrons Xpress for the Markwallisgreyhounds Racing Club took his heat narrowly beating the useful King Drake by a head in 16.10, Antigua Breeze also qualified despite a sluggish start just failing to catch Queen Lily by a head in 15.98. The semi finals are this Sunday.
It doesn’t look likely that this pandemic is going to get any easier, I’m no expert of course but can see the government is trying to get back to some sort of normal everyday life that we were used to before Covid struck obviously with restrictions and guidelines in place. From a working side it’s understandable that masks have to be worn when in the paddock and kennelling areas but outside in the open air like on parade I don’t see why this can’t be relaxed a touch, surely masks are only needed when placing dogs in the traps and collecting dogs at the pick where masks would need to be pulled up or am I wrong? Like many a few months ago we were all expecting this pandemic to run its course but it’s more likely that we get another complete lockdown than to see it virtually disappear, one wonders if any tracks at all could survive another major lockdown.
As said no luck Friday and mixed results Saturday at Monmore with Aayamza Royale and Jaxx Purple both qualifying for the semi-finals of the Summer Stayers.
At Towcester Deans Hail Mary, Saffrons Xpress and Antigua Breeze all made it through to the semi finals of the British Bred Sprint.
HENLOW AND TOWCESTER REVIEW
On Monday at Henlow there was an overdue win for Garryglass Charm in an A9 by nearly 7 lengths in 28.76.
On Tuesday Morning there were no winners but in the evening Agincourt Xena
won well in an A4 in 27.70 and Domino Charm made it a hat trick of wins taking an A7 in 28.37.
On Saturday our luck was out with Ripley Guru and Run Free Snowy coming closest when 2nd and worst still a serious hock injury to our promising Calco Dare who is now receiving intensive surgery and veterinary care and though her career is over, will make a lovely pet for the Calco Syndicate.
On Sunday at Towcester, as well as the opens, we had a few graded runners with Sober Express ultra impressive taking an A2 from well off the pace in a good 29.75
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - SAFFRONS XPRESS
GRADED - AGINOURT XENA
WHATS ON NEXT WEEK
Some interesting runners at Romford this Friday including Antigua Fire stepping up to 750m and Sober Express stepping up to six bends as well as Passing Stranger being tried over the marathon 925 with the forthcoming Cesarewitch in mind.
On Saturday, both Aayamza Royale and Jaxx Purple look to try and make the Summer Stayers final at Monmore and both should go well.
On Sunday at Towcester our three semi finalists in the British Bred Sprint competition will have to be foot perfect to make the following week's final.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
It was disappointing to see Ivy Hill Skyhigh eliminated at the first round stage in the Ladbrokes Gold Cup at Monmore and though we never put up either of our stayers in the Summer Stayers, as I felt the 630 distance was too sharp for them, interestingly Aayamza Royale, who I thought ran really well, is a bigger price than when she started competition and has drawn a heat she is likely to be favourite in and now trades at around 7/1, that has to be taken.
AAYAMZA ROYALE - 2pts each way ante post- Ladbrokes Summer Stayers- Monmore- semi finals - Saturday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
IVY HILL SKYHIGH - 2pts each way ante post - Ladbrokes Gold Cup - Monmore - lost