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It’s nice to get into competition mode again this week as we send a team of seven to Perry Barr for the first round of the Laurels. All of our entries raced in trial stakes last Thursday with wins for Antigua Romeo and Ivy Hill Skyhigh
while all our others ran well in defeat. It certainly will be a good event looking at the entries and we face some tough draws with three of our rails seeds in trap 4. Coolavanny Kyser and Ivy Hill Skyhigh are around the 16/1 mark ante post while our Essex Vase winner Antigua Romeo is 25/1 dropping down in trip. Hopefully we can get ours through to next week's semi finals first so they can have a crack at making the final. I must admit I like Perry Barr which seems a good gallop and fair on any seedings, who knows we might even have a crowd for some atmosphere by the time the final comes around.
I’ve made no secret that we are really light on open class runners at the moment but we thankfully have plenty of new young dogs trialling on and just beginning to race, of course it will take a while for them to bed in but we are hoping we can start at least a couple of them in the Maiden Derby that begins at Towcester at the start of May. Our established stars are mostly at Perry Barr on Thursday while our marathon superstar Aayamza Royale can hopefully be ticked over until the TV Trophy starts next month at Monmore, she has been installed as 5/2 favourite at this early stage while our beaten Golden Jacket favourite Bo Shine Bullet is quoted at 8/1. After chatting with connections this won’t be a likely target for her as she might be kept to a stiff 6 bends when she returns from a small niggle in a week or so’s time.
There are a lot of rumours flying around about with what happens when Henlow closes, most likely, later this year. Promoter Kevin Boothby has made no secret that Towcester is not his only option and there is strong talk of reopening the greyhound track at Mildenhall, the stadium is still in full use with Banger and stock car racing as well as motor cross and speedway and I’m told the track would not take much fixing since that side of the business closed a couple of years ago. We ourselves have deep roots at the track which is just 15 minutes from our kennel, we had some great memories of when myself and Linda used the track as a stepping stone to getting contracts at the bigger stadiums, I myself held a permit licence at Mildenhall when I first cut my teeth in training and have always remembered the grass roots of the sport. These days that sadly seems to be a forgotten part of our industry, if Kevin does take it on it will be an ideal track for the smaller trainers as well as the bigger kennels to run youngsters and maybe the lesser class dogs who would struggle to grade at Towcester. If it has a full media deal, and there’s no reason why it couldn’t, the prize money would be then on a par with what Henlow and Towcester are currently running so I imagine it would be very popular and competitive. The old 375m standard trip would not take too much out of the dogs enabling them to have longevity while the 545m for six bends and 700m for eight bends are easy trips for those type of stayers. In our time racing there the track though small had lovely sweeping bends and seemed safe and fair but obviously early paced types would always hold an advantage. We certainly wouldn’t have problems supplying runners and would more than look forward to the savings in travel etc. Also news that Oxford could reopen in the near future is great for the sport, the track was steeped in history and provided excellent opportunities for owners and trainers in that area who not that long ago had a multitude of tracks to choose from (Swindon, Reading, Slough etc) and are now just left with Swindon these days.
We had a team of seven that went to Perry Barr on Thursday and Antigua Romeo just got up on the line to win his Laurels trial stake in 28.62, a quick double was achieved as Ivy Hill Skyhigh had a great battle with kennel mate Drumcrow Brent before holding on by a head to win in 28.61. In form Black Eyed Molly was a good second to Glory Millie in 28.56 with Pennys Plumber in 3rd and in the top division a great race saw Coolavanny Kyser contest before being shut out by Westway Blake and King Louis with the latter winning in 28.46.
Just three runners at Romford on Friday but no luck. Aayamza Lexie was well beaten in the heats of the Friday Night 500 Stayers heats but qualified for the final in 3rd.
HENLOW & TOWCESTER REVIEW
As mentioned last week on Tuesday Aayamza Royale got home in the match race on the Towcester card whilst there was a good graded win for Hopes Bullet in a fine 29.43 while Garryglass Royal took an A6 in 30.91.
We had three nice winners on Thursday's card at Henlow. Domino Charm won an A5 in 28.40, Drumcrow Bruce flew round in an A4 winning by nearly 6 lengths in a fast 27.64 whilst Antigua Socks was also impressive winning a very good A1 in a fast 27.50 beating kennel mate Muxton Teddy by 3 3/4 lengths.
Unfortunately that was our best day of the week as we drew a blank both Saturday and Sunday at Henlow with perhaps Saffrons Smash the pick of our runners on Sunday when a close up second in a tough A1.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - IVY HILL SKYHIGH
GRADED - DRUMCROW BRUCE
WHAT’S ON NEXT WEEK
Tomorrow we have a decent night with seven runners at Perry Barr for the heats of the Laurels.
Just two runners at Romford on Friday including Aayamza Lexie in the Friday Night 500 stayers final and a busy weekend with Henlow runners Saturday and Sunday.
We should have a few open runners on the Towcester Tuesday card supporting the final of the big sprint competition.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
We might be quiet but we can still pop a winner in and Antigua Romeo got us our only bet up last week at Perry Barr and was a nice 5/2 shot.
Looking at the prices for the Laurels I’ve no doubt Coolavanny Kyser is still perhaps our best chance of landing the spoils at Perry Barr and is reasonably priced at 16/1.
COOLAVANNY KYSER - 2 pts each way ante post 16/1 - Arc Laurels - Perry Barr - starts Thursday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
ANTIGUA ROMEO - 2 pts win - Perry Barr - Thursday - WON 5/2