25th August 2021
Three big Category 1 finals over the weekend and no winners!! I would say oh dear! but realistically we were literally an inch or two away from winning all three, it’s fine lines as they say and that was certainly the case. Thankfully all our runners seem to have come off safe and sound so we will dust ourselves down and move on to the next busy few weeks where hopefully we will have a bit more luck.
At Monmore on Saturday night it was good to see a healthy crowd and there was a great atmosphere. In the first of the two big finals the Ladbrokes Summer Stayers it was a great achievement for us to be triple represented but my fears of our three getting in each other’s way came true as firstly Blueberry Bullet and Ivy Hill Skyhigh trapped well but hit each other which hampered Ivy Hill Skyhigh more, in the meantime Angela Harrison’s Coolavanny Banni had poached a lead from trap 4. Blueberry Bullet was just about to turn second when our other runner Fatboyz Exile paced up and caught her from behind catapulting her backwards. Coolavanny Banni raced clear from Magical Firebird with our Fatboyz Exile giving chase while the others including the favourite Warzone Tom all proceeded to hamper each other and their chances had gone. The order stayed the same as they crossed the finishing line with Fatboyz Exile finishing a creditable 3rd and Blueberry Bullet showing how unlucky she was when running on strong to finish 4th.
Hoping for more luck in the Ladbrokes Gold Cup it looked as though our exciting prospect Antigua Storm had a great chance when trapping well and in front of favourite Signet Ace but from trap 4 Minglers Popeye had got a bullet break and was a couple of lengths clear at the bend. Antigua Storm vitally lost a length or so as he just moved a bit middle round the first two bends but he set off after the leader and for a second looked like he was going to reel him in but to the delight of the Newcastle boys who had travelled down in force to loudly cheer on Minglers Popeye he bravely held our Antigua Storm by 3/4 length in 28.45 on a slow track.That is Antigua Storm’s 6th race for us on these shores and in two Category 1 competitions he has been runner up twice, his time will surely come, he now trials at Yarmouth for the East Anglian Derby.
On Sunday all eyes were on the Towcester Bookmakers Marathon and we were again triple handed but most saw the race as a straight match between Savana Volcano and our Aayamza Royale. We may have beaten Diane Henry’s pride and joy last week in the heats but the make up of the final was always going to make it tougher for her and so it proved. Both Antigua Mememe and Antigua Lava were going to dominate from the off if they was to have any chance and once Antigua Lava was denied the lead it made her task impossible. Antigua Mememe ran his heart out but blatantly doesn’t get this distance and faded off the last two bends. The race may well have been lost for Aayamza Royale at the first two bends when the rank outsider Roseville Tiger moved middle and bumped Royale costing her a vital couple of lengths. Just after the 6th bend Savana Volcano made a telling move to hit the front but it was another few seconds before Aayamza Royale could get past the pack and the 3 or 4 lengths she needed to make up was near impossible, she got close again as she did in the Dorando final but Savana Volcano stays all day long and held us by a length in an excellent 58.27 to land the spoils. Make no mistake these are two awesome marathon bitches that would grace any era in our sport, Volcano loves Towcester and maybe Royale is just slighter more fluent elsewhere. Aayamza Royale definitely goes for another crack at the St Leger and she was desperate not to win last year and I’m hearing Savana Volcano also will be entered, don’t be surprised to see these two marathon stars to beat the best six bend dogs in training over a very demanding 710m at Perry Barr. If they ever decided to change it to the shorter trip closer to the bend I very much doubt you would see these entered!
Talking of the St Leger Bo Shine Bullet is having a short rest and will be fully prepared while Blueberry Bullet could well be on everybody’s lips as she clearly looks like she will thrive over this true six bends. Antigua Mememe will definitely be entered while we will see what races are around for Antigua Lava first before we enter her.
The Three Steps To Victory competition at Sheffield is always very popular but with so much going on and the fact it was little too close to the final at Monmore meant we only had one entry. Having said that there’s only going to be one winner and Bombardier making his kennel debut for Amanda and Nic Jeal was most impressive last night in the 480m heats reeling in a decent staying type in Nipsey Hustle to score by 1/2 length in a very good 27.68. it’s the 500m next week which will suit even more though he has drawn a hot semi final but I’m sure all his rivals will be worried about him rather than the other way round, a real promising prospect for the future.
Our Sussex Cup winner Drumcrow Brent looks certain to get in the prestigious Select Stakes over 500m at Nottingham on Monday and he trialled well recording 30.10 which compared well to the Derby winner Thorn Falcon (29.92) and Tenpin (30.17). It looks like there will be three wide seeds with Pacemaker Ted joining Thorn Falcon and Brent so the draw will be crucial. Hopefully if all's well he will head our Trainers Championship side the following week in the 500m Standard race. Finding a team for the other 5 races is certainly not so easy, the East Anglian Derby clashes as does the St Leger slightly and there is also a big bitches comp at Towcester and the Puppy Cup on the horizon so we are scrambling to get ones ready. I’ve no natural sprinter so I might look to our veteran and reliable Aero Madrid to do a job, the bitches 500 I’m hoping Agincourt Xena who won a British Bred competition at Nottingham on Derby final night last year can be really competitive while I will decide on our 680m one between Antigua Mememe or Antigua Lava though preference may be for the former as it might be a bit on the sharp side for Lava. We have a lovely puppy in Antigua Cuddles who is now ready to race and she won her last 3 dog qualifying trial at Nottingham on Monday in a decent 30.32. The race I’m having real trouble finding a good one for is the Maiden race but I’m sure we will find one suitable.
We seem to be short of a Romford winner the last couple of weeks and our luck wasn’t in last Friday either, Bazookas Bullet was well backed to win on debut but had to play second fiddle to Porthall Flight in the heats of the 400m Maiden but he’s in this week's final and he could easily improve to reverse the form. Aero Madrid ran respectably when 4th in the Standard final and though he was only third when a warm order Antigua Socks ran with credit in a 400m Standard.
We only had the finals to deal with at Monmore on Saturday though on Sunday we did have some supporting opens for the Marathon final. Ballymac Notoyou finally got rid of her Maiden tag when winning well in 29.55 while Black Eyed Molly got back on the winner's podium when taking a heat of the 500m standard in 29.62 with Ballymac Gaybo also qualifying in his heat when 3rd.
Last night at Sheffield Bombardier made an excellent start to his Three Steps To Victory campaign when landing his heat in a fine 27.68.
HENLOW & TOWCESTER REVIEW
A couple of winners on last Monday’s Henlow card with Sligo Lilly winning an A4 in a good 28.12, Bobs Duke dropped into sprints again took a D3 in 16.96.
For the second week running Swift Pinch was our only winner on a Saturday as he took an A3 in 28.14 though we couldn’t manage a winner on Sunday. At Towcester a couple of graded races in the afternoon saw a lovely run from Tiffield Firefly who won really well in a fast 29.43.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - BALLYMAC NOTOYOU
WHAT’S ON NEXT WEEK
Bazookas Bullet goes in the 400m Maiden final tomorrow at Romford but a rare Saturday night off this weekend from the open racing.
A Towcester on Sunday there should be plenty of opens and the 500m Standard final sees Black Eyed Molly and Ballymac Gaybo trying to win a small competition before going hopefully on to bigger things.
The Select Stakes at Nottingham spices up a Monday night and Drumcrow Brent could further enhance his reputation if he was lucky enough to win and we also have our exciting prospect Bombardier at Sheffield on Tuesday in the 500m leg of the Three Steps To Victory semi final.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Seeing Aayamza Royale get beat on Sunday in the big marathon final was hard to swallow and Antigua Lava finished 4th to rub it in but overall the weekend wasn’t a disaster. Fatboyz Exile finished 3rd in the Summer Stayers for some good each way money and Antigua Storm justified his inclusion to our bets after the first round when a gallant runner up in the Gold Cup.
Bombardier is going well in the Three Steps To Victory at Sheffield and despite a tough semi final I feel he could have a big say in the event overall and is around 11/2 so is definitely worth a bet.
BOMBARDIER - 4 pt win 11/2 ante post - Three Steps To Victory - Sheffield - semi final Tuesday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
ANTIGUA STORM - 2 pts each way ante post 16/1 - Ladbrokes Gold Cup - Monmore - 2ND (4.5 pts profit)
FATBOYZ EXILE - 2 pts each way ante post - 33/1 - Ladbrokes Summer Stayers - Monmore - 3RD (9 pts profit)
AAYAMZA ROYALE - 5 pts win - Towcester Bookmakers Marathon - Towcester - lost
ANTIGUA LAVA - 2.5 pts ew ante post - Towcester Bookmakers Marathon - Towcester - lost