Monday 30th January 2012
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A great start to January has resulted in our kennel proudly sitting on top of not only the Trainers Championship at this early stage but after Saturday night's superb meeting at Yarmouth our 'Imperial Rock It's' team tops the 'Betdaq Premier League'!
Benkaat Blue kicked off his Primus Telecom Puppy Derby campaign at Henlow on Thursday with a gutsy and bold win in his heat securing us 5 points in the Trainers Championship taking us past early leader Liz McNair and a treble at Romford on Friday extended our advantage to six points. Now as much as I would dearly love to regain the Trainers Championship we last won in 2009 I have to say our main aim this year will be focussing on two other main aspects both of which hold as much importance to me. Firstly we would like to win as many Category 1's as possible and the William Hill Derby will always be our main target and secondly I would love to be crowned Premier League Champion at least once this year.
We hope to have as many as four 'Premier Leagues' in a calendar year and the thrills and comradery that these Premier League meetings are bringing are proving a real tonic for all trainers and teams involved. At last something on the open scene apart from the Betfair Trainers Championship meeting is bringing in some welcome revenue for the open race trainers and the owners' money is not bad either. Already the Premier League has given its trainers well over £3000 in 'Team' money after just two meetings, not bad considering that when Chris Allsopp picked up his award last Sunday for being crowned Trainer Of The Year in 2011 he only received £1500 for his monumental efforts with myself finishing runner up and legend Charlie Lister OBE in third, after one of the most exciting climaxes the Championship has ever seen, receiving absoloutley nothing! Yes the top six have got an invite into the Trainers Championship meeting superbly sponsored by Betfair and we will get £2000 just for turning up and a shot at £10,000 but without upsetting Betfair the meeting itself attracts a huge amount of betting turnover for them and Betfair make huge sums out of Greyhound racing over the course of the year. With many of our top class runners being 'cup tied' in the Premier League we will have less point scoring opportunities making it difficult to land the Trainers Championship but on a very positive note our owners and, having spoken to many of the other trainers involved on Saturday, many of their owners are asking that their pride and joys can be used in the Premier League meetings resulting, as you can clearly see by last Saturday's card at Yarmouth, in a who's who of canine talent involved in the Betdaq Premier League and the GOBATA Championship for teams trying to get into the Premier League.
On a cold Saturday January night as said spirits were high as open trainers from all over the country gathered at Yarmouth for both the second leg of the Betdaq Premier League and also the first leg of the GOBATA Championship with six teams vying to get into the Premier League. The action was fast and furious, all captured on Premier Sports (433) and some terrific action in the Championship highlighted by Pat Rosney's Bower Hawk who came from last to first with a devastating display of pace to land the 659m Stayers race was followed by an incredible Premier League.
Just like the first leg a fortnight ago we couldn't have got off to a better start when Dixies Air turned the 462m Puppy race into a procession winning by over 8 lengths in a fastest of the night 27.79 landing our 'joker' which gave us a maximum 12 points. Lil Risky as expected could not escape from an impossible draw from trap 5 in the sprint won by the 'Dunham Devils' Lenson Mac for trainer Tony Collett. The third race Div A of the 462m Standard carried the £1000 bonus and in Rookery Pedro we had a dog who tried his hardest but just couldn't get the better of course and distance specialist King Jaffa and Rookery Pedro had to settle for 2nd place still scoring us good points. The 659m Stayers proved dramatic as Matt Dartnall's 'Team Desperate' looked to have landed their 'joker' with Ballymac Pet leading its field a merry dance going into the last two bends but sadly 'The Mad Hatters' trap 2 runner Miss Magpie had broken down with a gracilis injury and despite the efforts to remove her from the track by staff she had turned back and had began to run towards the oncoming field. The hare rightly had to be stopped in the interest of safety and after a quick consultation of the rules 3 1/2 points were rewarded to all the teams with the 'jokers' being played scoring double. This eventually cost 'Team Desperate' a win on the night and with our Mountjoy Orion looking at only finishing 5th gave us a helpful 1 1/2 points more than we could have expected. Going into the last race of the second leg ourselves and the 'Dunham Devils were the only teams who could win on the night and the 'Devils' runner, Kelly Findlay's Local Dee Jay, looked plotted up in trap 1 with our Kinda True the outsider of the field. Going into the first bend the race looked wide open with Local Dee Jay toiling at the back. Kinda True who was in a good position at the time saw his chances disappear when bulked by trap 2 and off the second bend Local Dee Jay had swept into second place just behind Matt Dartnall's wide running Kilmore Say Go. It was just a question of time when Local Dee Jay would hit the front and turning for home he did just that powering home to land the 'Dunham Devils' 'joker' giving them 12 points and a £500 winning first prize on the night. With both ourselves and Matt Dartnall's 'Team Desperate' scoring well for most of the night the standings going into the third leg at Doncaster on February 10th look like this:-
IMPERIAL ROCK IT'S - 52 1/2 pts
TEAM DESPERATE - 51 pts
DUNHAM DEVILS - 48 1/2 pts
TEAM NORTH EAST - 47 1/2 pts
THE MAD HATTERS - 35 1/2 pts
IRISH ROVERS - 29 pts
Some exciting news is that Paul Sallis will be having his first runners for our 'Imperial Rock It's' team at Doncaster a week Friday, and look at this - Nottingham Produce Stakes winner Go Go Sonic and the hottest prospect in training at the moment puppy Tullig Joy will be joining our team for the third leg as well as the Monmore Stud Book Trophy winner Mark My Words. Tullig Joy is unbeaten in three starts since arriving in England including a devastating display to beat the high class Coolavaney Bert by over 2 lengths in the Coral Sussex Puppy Trophy in an incredible 29.39. This should certainly help us in our quest to land the inaugural Betdaq Premier League.
Last Sunday's GBGB awards night at the plush Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel was a great success and hugely enjoyable. We had over 40 owners and guests present and were very pleased that Blonde Fletch won the Stayer Of The Year title for owner Mark Currell. Yes there were a couple of contentious decisions in a couple of catergories which there always will be but overall I felt most of the awards were rightly given. A massive standing ovation for Charlie Lister after his recent OBE in the New Years Honours list kicked the night off and Charlie Lister's Taylors Sky for owners Steve and Becki Taylor finished proceedings that were as usual excellently compered by Jonathan Hobbs and Darrell Williams. I hope the GBGB don't change the format or the hotel and the fact that it had sold out weeks in advance is another boost for our sport, well done to all concerned.
After Sunday's awards night it was off to Walthamstow on Monday night where a public meeting took place at Rushcroft School with planning officers from the Waltham Forrest Council facing a barrage of questions from residents and many supporters of SOS (save our stow) with the growing concerns of London & Quadrant's plans to build a ghetto (sry housing estate) on our iconic greyhound stadium. We can all make a difference by continuing to object to their plans on the link above.
At Henlow on Thursday the Primus Henlow Puppy Derby worth £10,000 to the winner started with 6 heats. Confident Ramona, Mountjoy Eagle and Swift Reagan were all pitched in with ante-post favourite Coolavaney Bert but did each other no favours and never got in a telling blow when all eliminated. Benkaat Blue rode a few bumps when badly drawn in his heat in trap 5 but showed a lovely bit of pace to get round in front and score well in 28.09. Aero Bellagio had a tough heat and showed good track craft to miss some trouble before running on welll to get beaten 3/4 length by Droopys Stevie in 27.95.
On Friday at Romford Risky Blue was second in a 400m Maiden before a good treble started by Aero Joker who had to battle hard to win a 575m in 35.51. Aero Majestic found all the trouble going in another 575m which allowed Munster Champ to sweep round the outside and score well in 35.49. Carden Twilight completed the treble when leading all the way in a 750m Maiden Marathon to win by just over a length in 47.61.
Just a handful of graded runners on Saturday but a great treble with Risky Lass leading all the way to hold on and score in 28.53 in an A3. Paradise Riva was much improved when landing an A2 in 28.38 and in a hot A1 Bit View Emma flew from the boxes to make every yard of the running winning in a very good 28.01.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Back to Henlow on Thursday for the semi-finals of the Primus Telecom Henlow Puppy Derby with Benkaat Blue and Aero Bellagio both facing tough races.
We will be at Romford Friday and on Saturday the £15,000 to the winner Ladbroke Golden Jacket kicks off at Crayford and Mountjoy Orion and Carden Twilight will lead our bid for glory.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Benkaat Blue and Aero Bellagio both bid to get in next Tuesday's final of the Henlow Puppy Derby when they line up in Thursday's semi's and we have fancy prices about both. Lil Risky was tipped up last week for the Premier League sprint but had we known he was going to get drawn in trap 5 I doubt whether we would have selected him. I'm not sure we have a bet in the Ladbrokes Golden Jacket that starts on Saturday at Crayford though I think it wouldn't hurt to have a small interest on the unexposed Carden Twilight at decent odds.
CARDEN TWILIGHT - 1 pt e.w ante-post - Ladbrokes Golden Jacket - Crayford - starts Saturday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
BENKAAT BLUE - 1 pt e.w ante-post 20/1 - Primus Telecom Henlow Puppy Derby - Henlow - semi's Thursday
AERO BELLAGIO - 1 pt e.w ante-post 50/1 - Primus Telecom Henlow Puppy Derby - Henlow- semi's Thursday
LIL RISKY - 2 pts win - Yarmouth - Saturday - lost