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Monday 26th July 2010



When owners find that greyhound that has that extra gear that others haven't got the game becomes more than enjoyable, it becomes almost what their lives revolve around and when some reason, like injury or retirement, prevents them from competing again it's hard to take and leaves a big void in their hopes and dreams. John Keefe found out how much they are missed with the unfortunate injury this year to kennel star Eye Onthe Storm and sadly this week our injury hit season hit another low point when top open racer EEye Eye Pickleye Eye Pickle broke down at Yarmouth in a trial before racing. His loyal owners Peter and Aaron Goddard as always were there to watch him and it became obvious that Pickle, who at the time looked likely to record something special on the clock, had sustained a broken hock. X-rays the next day at Daniel Doherty's Uxbridge surgery revealed a worse than expected break but thankfully another successful operation by Daniel seems to have put his hock back together. We would all like to thank Daniel again for the first class service Pickle received. Peter and Aaron along with co owner Colin Heffer and many of their friends had travelled the length and breadth of the country to watch the super fast Eye Eye Pickle and are regular visitors to the kennel on Sunday mornings (I think Pickle knows they're on their way from about a mile away! judging by his tail wagging). In all Pickle had 45 races for us, all opens, winning 18 times, the highlights being winning the 2009 Monmore Stud Book Trophy and this year beating the eventual Derby winner Bandicoot Tipoki in a thrilling duel at Doncaster in the Trainers Championship, a result that certainly went a long way to helping us win that title. There were many other great victories in his short career and Imperial Kennel wish Pickle and his owners all the best and know that he will enjoy a long retirement once his injury is fully healed.

On the subject of Yarmouth I have to say no blame can be attached to the track for Eye Eye Pickle's injury, I think he was just simply going too fast for his own good. Apart from his injury, which obviously took the edge of the evening, it was a fair night for the kennel with Directors Wit and Corrig Vieri both winning. Yarmouth have recently completed £200,000 worth of work on the track and although still a place you need to have a trial at first before racing there, it is a lot better than in the past.

There has been a lot of speculation and rumour about our kennel leaving its base at Harlow to move to Yarmouth and to be fair it's true to a degree. With Harlow moving it's open races to a Sunday afternoon which is hard for us to cover and what seems to be an ever decreasing kennel strength it's becoming more difficult to race there. Yarmouth twice in the last 18 months has invited us to supply runners to the east coast and lately I have been impressed by their go ahead attitude and willingness to set high standards. Of course we will be ready if ever Walthamstow returns, and I won't hide that fact, which looks likely in the future but we will be looking to grade about 15 -25 dogs over the next few weeks. The majority of these will be new raw pups who need to have some graded races before hopefully having a successful open race career. Pups these days have all been schooled on the standard hare system and again I have to say I find that some pups have trouble chasing the old Bramwich style hare used at Harlow (though it's great for a switch for some of the older dogs). We only have a couple of graded dogs left at Harlow which makes it financially hard to travel there but obviously we would find time if enough owners came in who wanted us to train their dogs specifically for Harlow. Last week we trialled about eight pups at Yarmouth and were pleased with how they went. We should have our first runners on the card in about 3 weeks which should correspond with Yarmouth's summer open racing which includes the Betfair East Anglian Derby.

The William Hill Puppy Derby began last Friday at Wimbledon and the event was dominated by ourselves and the in form Seamus Cahill. Wins for Bomber Barkley and Blonde Ross got the night off to a perfect start. Blonde Fletch looked like going out of the event when in all kinds of trouble but a storming late burst saw him scramble home in third place, he looks a serious six bend dog for the future. Seamus Cahill's impressive Rayvin Giovanni clocked the fastest time with ante-post favourite Droopys Oscar more workmanlike. Blonde Snapper won the last heat showing great middle pace to complete a treble for us while Ted Soppitt produced the other heat winner with Skywalkershearer.

I myself was at Romford where I watched the Puppy Derby heats on the intertrack and straight after they had finished the Final of the Phil Isherwood Rose Bowl produced a memorable race with our Derby finalist Adageo racing clear and though not stopping Seamus Cahill's Raving Black was getting ever nearer as they came off the last bend and in a dramatic finish just denied Adageo right on the line to land the trophy in a fast 35.45.

The victory has seen him close the gap on us in the Trainers Championship standings and the Championship looks likely to go right to the wire, with Charlie Lister and Chris Allsopp also within range. It seems crazy that the Racing Post can't report on what could be an exciting battle every week due to a dispute with ex Post guru Peter Meldrum who produces the points scoring system that decides the title and the top six places that go forward in the Betfair Trainers Championship meeting every year. Surely the sport is missing an opportunity not promoting and reporting what is after all a hugely important Championship and I'm not just saying that because we have won it for the last two years and it's not just all about who wins the title but the Trainers fighting for that sixth spot are travelling many miles in search of point scoring winners. Between the Racing Post, the GTA (who started and are still behind the whole concept) the GBGB and even Sky surely they can come to some sort of arrangement with Peter (who spends an incredible amount of time updating the standings) to let the public know what's happening through the Racing Post. I mean imagine the Football Premiership being played every Saturday and no Tables shown afterwards or a Formula 1 Grand Prix season without the points table after each Grand Prix! Here's a suggestion - why not between the GBGB, Racing Post and maybe a sponsor (Betfair being the obvious one) split the costs of what Peter's time is worth in producing the standings, something that hasn't been hardly tinkered with for over 20 years. In fact I think the whole situation is an insult to those former great names that have won the year long title before, trainers like Trevor Cobbold, George Curtis and Linda Mullins to name but a few.






On Monday Adageo won his heat of the Phil Isherwood Rose Bowl in 35.78 at Romford with Directors Spur unplaced while at Yarmouth Directors Wit won a warm sprint in 16.46 and Corrig Vieri has taking a liking to the track and won well again in 41.06. Blonde Gunner and Jodu Fame were both 3rd in their respective races.

At Peterborough on Wednesday in Derby Trial Stakes there was some rough races for our runners with Bim Bam Boozle coming closest when a good 3rd.

As said a good night on Friday at Wimbledon in the heats of the William Hill Puppy Derby with wins for Bomber Barkley (29.08), Blonde Ross (28.81) who both came from behind to score and Blonde Snapper (28.89) with Blonde Robbo and Kinda Razzle also qualifying. At Romford, apart from Adageo's brave 2nd in the Rose Bowl final, there was a good win for Bourne Masons (35.82) by over 2 lengths in a 575m though Goldies Destiny suffered a heavy defeat when well fancied in the top division.

A trip to Monmore on Saturday saw Jogadusc Ace a warm favourite over 416m but a missed break cost him and he could only finish 2nd. Droopys Zach looked like his old self when slamming his rivals by nearly 9 lengths in 38.97 on a desperately slow track which was his first hopefully of many wins before the end of the season. No luck with our other runners on the night.

A rare trip to Harlow on Sunday produced two winners. Risky Wand an underrated dog scored a good sprint victory after being off for 6 weeks in a fast 14.85 and Circle The Camp won a week Maiden in 26.43.





Just three runners in graded races on Sunday. Genesis Fuzzums was well beaten and Reachfar Love was very unlucky when almost making the bend in front and as usual Sligo Too gave his all and was a shade unlucky when 2nd.










Hall Green resume their open racing on Tuesdays and there looks good opportunities for our four runners including Destroy The Camp, Dalcash Scolari, Blonde Gunner and Risky Skipper. The Peterborough Derby gets underway on Wednesday and all of our entries will have to step up on last week's trial stakes to make an impact in the event.

Runners at Sittingbourne (Thursday and Sunday) with Romford on Friday are pencilled in while all eyes will be on the third semi-final of the William Hill Puppy Derby at Wimbledon on Friday where the first three in the ante-post betting including our Blonde Snapper take each other on in what promises to be a race worth savouring. Blonde Fletch, Kinda Razzle, Blonde Ross and Bomber Barkley will also be trying hard to make the final.





Our single bets went badly down last week but we are still sitting pretty with our three Puppy Derby ante-post bets and I see no reason why we won't be having plenty of interest come finals night. The Peterborough Derby begins on Wednesday and I think we have a tough task to land the silverware but I have a sneaking feeling that Bim Bam Boozle could go a long way at what should be a fair price, having been unlucky in the Puppy Derby at the track a couple of months ago he took off albeit in defeat last week.

BIM BAM BOOZLE - 1 pt e.w ante-post - Peterborough Derby - starts Wednesday




BLONDE SNAPPER - 2.5 pts e.w ante-post 8/1 - William Hill Puppy Derby - Wimbledon - continues Friday

BLONDE FLETCH - 2 pts e.w ante-post 12/1 - William Hill Puppy Derby - Wimbledon - continues Friday

BLONDE ROSS - 1 pt e.w ante-post 25/1 - William Hill Puppy Derby - Wimbledon - continues Friday