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Last week proved a tough week as we suffered far too many defeats for my liking on the open race circuit. Certainly our kennel seems a touch out of form the last couple of weeks but having a lot of younger ones down with the cough and a touch of sickness around I can perhaps see why we are not at our best, we are trying hard and hopefully we will bounce back pretty soon. We have two runners Antigua Rum and Brinkleys Poet in the Sussex Cup semi finals at Hove on Thursday and Chubbys Turkana in a small final at Romford on Friday and all three seem well. The searing temperatures which could get up to 37 degrees is a worry so we are not going to overstretch ourselves and I’ve said to Henlow I won’t race any dogs in the middle of the day in this heat, as much as their kennels are lovely and cool, common sense has to prevail, especially when travelling long distances which is a real concern.
On a bright note we had a couple of winners that look very decent prospects. Bumblebee Bullet may have only won a Maiden Stayers at Hove on Thursday but the way she powered to the drop suggests she is going to be a marathon star of the future. On Sunday at Henlow we didn’t get too much luck in the opens but Have A Brandy won a Maiden 460 in great style showing blistering early pace and could be a nice prospect over those 400m - 460 type distances.
Although we were largely out of luck all our runners seem to have come off sound so we will hopefully turn things round. We will have to if we are to retain our Trainer of the Year title as Patrick Janssens has catapulted clear at the top after landing his first Category 1 success of the year at Henlow on Sunday as the talented Bockos Doomie took the Henlow Puppy Derby, a second and third at Crayford on Saturday in the Guys & Dolls also scored huge points and congratulations to Patrick on his success, without doubt he has a strong kennel which contains plenty of variation over the distances which is key to success. We will have to get some decent results for the rest of the year if we have any hope of catching him. Our focus will be on trying to land another Category 1 winner for our owners and if that gets us a chance then fantastic but sooner or later our reign at the top will end and if it does then I hope it’s Patrick as we worked together for over 10 years.
I was very saddened by the recent passing of Irish legend Michael Fortune, you can see on social media and the Racing Post with the many tributes paid how well regarded in the Greyhound world Michael was and we all pass on our deepest condolences to his son Ian and his family.
This week's newsletter is a bit late as I had an important appointment yesterday at the new GBGB offices where I faced a double Inquiry into two positives from our Greyhounds in 2018. I will keep it brief but overall I can say I had a fair hearing where it was proved that the two positives came from contaminated meat that we fed. It’s annoying as we trusted our supplier and at no point did the contaminated meat help or adversely affect the performances of the said Greyhounds in question where the traces were minimal at best. I can sleep well at night knowing that I would never stoop to cheating by running a dog that is on medication or could be carrying any banned or performance enhancing substances in their system. I fully understand the rules and that due to the dogs being in my care I have the strict liability to abide by even if it was proved (as it was in this case) that I never administered any drug, anyone who knows me would tell you how anti drugs I am. I can only strongly advise all trainers out there that if they use meat it must come from the correct source and has to be fit for human consumption and my advice (and the GBGB) is for them not to use any Category 2 meat as it is like playing Russian Roulette with the dogs. I’m totally gutted that I have been reprimanded and fined but even more gutted that my good reputation has been tarnished in any way.
On a lighter note my golf tips I mentioned last week didn’t do any good. Stenson just missed out on an each way place and Snedeker was awful and missed the cut. I did do a few other small bets the day before it got underway and fortunately included the winner Shane Lowry at 70/1. I loved the coverage I managed to watch and boy! does Shane know how to celebrate.
At Sheffield on Tuesday both our runners Antigua Fire and Chubbys Caviar didn’t break well and were eliminated in the semi finals of the Three Steps To Victory.
At Hove on Thursday Antigua Rum and Brinkleys Poet found trouble in their heats but both qualified in 3rd place for the semi finals. Bumblebee Bullet won a Maiden Stayers well in 41.95
No luck at Romford with a few runners on Friday, Deans Hail Mary ran well when second and Chubbys Turkana qualified for the Friday Night Maiden Stayers final when also second.
At Monmore on Saturday we again seemed to have no luck with both Antigua Romeo (480) finding bad trouble at the bend while Antigua Vows couldn’t get past the trap 1 runner but wasn’t beaten far making her debut over 630m.
It was one of those weeks as the opens at Henlow on Sunday saw Tommys Storm kod (ok thankfully) and Saleen Ash get beat a short head over 460m. Have A Brandy made a sparkling debut winning a Maiden 460m in 27.77.
On Tuesday morning Ice Cool Ellis got off the mark running well to win narrowly in 28.78, Muxton Belle was unlucky when just shaded in an A7. in the evening Muxton Teddy ran well when second in an A5 and our only winner came when Bonitas Bullet sprang a surprise winning an A4 in a fine 27.77 at 14/1!!
On Friday morning we had another big priced winner as Gully Foyle took the honours in an A8 in 28.72 at 8/1 while the enigmatic Calco Cool took an S4 comfortably in a fine 33.83.
Two nice winners on Saturday with our veteran Swift Lisetta (April 15) winning an A6 by 6 lengths in a career best 27.84 and Hasskona Jet ran very well to beat kennelmate Chubbys Jenny by a length in 28.13.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - HAVE A BRANDY
GRADED - SWIFT LISESTTA
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Thursday the semi finals of the Sussex Cup at Hove are ultra hot but both Brinkleys Poet and Antigua Rum should go well.
We will be back at Romford Friday where Chubbys Turkana runs in the Maiden Stayers final and we will be at Monmore on Saturday and Henlow for their opens on Sunday.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Our two competition ante post bets went down last week as Chubbys Caviar was knocked out of the Three Steps semi finals at Sheffield and Antigua Sands crashed out of the Sussex Cup first round.
For a bet this week I’m hoping Chubbys Turkana can improve for her first look at Romford last week and take the Maiden Stayers final on Friday
CHUBBYS TURKANA - 3 pts win - Friday Night 500 Maiden Stayers final - Romford- Friday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
CHUBBYS CAVIAR - 2 pts ew ante post 33/1 - Three Steps to Victory - Sheffield - lost
ANTIGUA SANDS - 2 pts ew ante post 25/1 - Sussex Cup - Hove - lost