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Monday 22nd December 2008

There was some great action last week as the season comes to an end for 2008 not least the final Classic, the Oaks at Wimbledon, with an excellent supporting card that was once again superbly covered by Sky. For our kennel the gutsy win on Friday afternoon of Directors Ruler in the Ladbrokes Christmas Festival 480 Dogs Final worth £1,000 was a real bonus as we approach the Christmas season and with only the Henlow Winter Derby Final which concludes tonight with one of our brightest hopes for 2009 Mountjoy Gold running from trap 2 we will be having a break from racing for the last 10 days of the year. This will enable us to get ready for what promises to be a hectic first couple of weeks on the open race front with competitions at Hall Green (Prestige), Romford (Coronation Cup) and the first Category 1 of the year the Stan James Birmingham Cup over 480m at Perry Bar all starting in the first nine days of January and we hope to be well represented in all as we try and get off to a fast start in the Trainers Championship (the most important title a kennel can win) which we will be all out to retain. The news this week that the Trainers Championship meeting (the F.A Cup of our sport won by Seamus Cahill last year) which the top six trainers are invited to is to be held at the progressive Sheffield is great news and we will be also trying our hardest to get our name back on the trophy and wipe out the memories of last year's disaster at Wimbledon. Next week in our newsletter I will pinpoint the greyhounds in our kennel that will try to bring some silverware home and their targets for the year and on our Guest Column we will have a complete review of 2008 that will make some great reading along with our website awards that will be presented at my party on Jan 10th - a night you don't want to miss (invites only!) as it promises to be a night to remember!

Myself, my wife Sarah and all the staff at Imperial Kennels would like to take this opportunity to wish all our readers of this website a very merry Christmas!



Monday afternoon the Ladbrokes Christmas Festival heats took place at Monmore and in the Bitches 480m the unlucky Elusive Jazz was again bundled out of the event. In the Dogs 48Om Directors Ruler who had not made the 18 runners in the Cotswold Scaffolding event a couple of weeks earlier proved the racing office (no malice meant as they are one of the best and most helpful in the country) wrong when taking heat 1 by a length in a fastest 27.96 (+10). Goldcrest King completed a double for the kennel and landed a hattrick of open wins when winning his heat well after early trouble by 4 lengths in 28.11 (+10). Our other runner Genesis Dream was made favourite for the main event over 630m worth £5,000 but despite taking an early lead in her heat she couldn't shake off the field and faded in to 3rd beaten 3 3/4 lengths in 37.81 (+30). At Henlow the same night in the semi's of the ultra competitive Winter Derby we had both Scintillas Ruby (missed break) and Reagrove Class (tough draw and heat) knocked out but Mountjoy Gold qualified safely when runner up to the impressive Drink Up Zorro beaten 3 1/2 lengths in a fast 27.93 (-40).

On Tuesday at Wimbledon the feature race was the Oaks final and we had six runners on the supporting card. Mountjoy RubyIn the first race the Puppy 460m our two runners Goldcrest Lord and Eye Onthe Class got no sort of run as they bunched on the run up and despite finishing 4th and 5th to Liz and Rab Mcnairs nice pup King Edward their day will come. Highlight of the night for us was the win for Mountjoy Ruby in the 460m Standard not least as he had been purchased a couple of weeks before by my two friends Daniel Daley and Paul Ephremsen and after trapping well and showing good early he battled hard for his 1 length victory in a good 27.75 and this beautifully bred dog looks sure to have an exciting 2009. Our other runners all had tough races but had their moments but in the end Genesis Alix (5th), Butterbridge Ali (5th) and Eye Onthe Brave (4th) will have to wait another day.

At Harlow on Wednesday Moloolaba proved what a tough little bitch she is when from a bad trap 4 slot she showed good track craft to lead at the third bend and kept on well to take div 2 of the 592 Stayers by 2 1/2 lengths in 38.09 and in the warm Monkey Standard final Accordion Magic was crowded on the run up but turned second at the first bend but had no answers to No Joke Robbie going down 3 1/2 lengths in 26.04 with our other runner Risky Fabio (4th) finding all the trouble going. In the top division of the 592m Stayers Rhias Beauty also found plenty of bother and could only finish 4th behind Harlow Lad who clocked a useful 37.67.

As said above Directors Ruler took the Dogs 480m at Monmore on Friday. With 5 railers and 1 middle seed it always looked like it could be a messy race and when our Goldcrest King (heavily backed) came up in the air with the traps and Directors Ruler missed the break it looked a forlorn hope that we would win but Directors Ruler who has won 5 of his last six opens showed terrific pace to turn behind pace setter Swift Rooster and collar him at the third bend but as the field closed up he was all out to hold them off just prevailing by a head in 28.47 with Goldcrest King back in 5th but only just over 2 lengths adrift.



Only four graded runners on Wednesday but three winners with Zigzag Ellen opening her account with a facile 7 length win in 26.69. Risky Sensation was making her debut in A7 and boy what a debut it was as this daughter of Brett Lee blasted from the traps to scorch to a 5 1/2 length victory in a good 26.41 and looks undoubtedly a name for the future. Mountjoy Diamond looked like she was going to win easily last week over six bends before a mechanical failure by the hare stopped her in her tracks but she got a small bit of compensation when scoring over four bends 1 1/2 lengths defeat of kennelmate King Jackson in 26.42.





Monday at Henlow will be our last runners for the year with Mountjoy Gold competing in a cracking final for the Winter Derby worth £4,000 to the winner. With a few other runners on the supporting card it is well worth a visit.