Monday 3rd December 2007
THE ESSEX VASE 2007
Eye Onthe Veto preparing for and achieving the double in the Essex Vase.
Even the Trainer gets his hands on a trophy!
Tremendous news from Walthamstow this week as the owners and directors led by Charles Chandler sent a clear message to the press and all in greyhound racing that our sport's flagship track has not been sold and that it is highly unlikely to be sold for many years to come if ever. Over the next few months it will be interesting to see if the renewed positive approach can bring the crowds back to the track and show why this sport is still one of the best nights out in the leisure industry.
Oi Oi Directors Chair !! At last some silverware locked in the cabinet as he sauntered to a victory in the prestigious Midland St Leger at Hall Green by over 5 lengths. A reward for his consistent performances over the year racing against nothing but the best in training. Lets hope 'Dev' s win at Hall Green can inspire Eye Onthe Veto or Special Deal to put their best paw forward as Tuesday night is their chance to grab the headlines as they bid for victory in the Category 1 Essex Vase at Romford, the scene of last year's famous triumph for Eye Onthe Veto and nobody I think would begrudge John Keefe's superstar a successful defence of his title. Butterbridge Ali is also in the final of the valuable £10,000 to the winner Gold Cup over 750m and will try to dominate from the off so hopefully it could be a night to remember for the kennel.
Last night we were all off to the Kennelhands' Dinner and Dance extravaganza at Harlow so this morning will be hard for a few staff members who like a drink ( Sid comes to mind!) and also please if any owners who would like runners at the Greyhound Scene night at Sittingbourne next Sunday let me know asap.
At Nottingham on Monday Centaur Decree ran his heart out in the final of the Category 1 Betfred Eclipse when he was a gallant third to the much improved Rev Counter in a fast 29.91 (+20) and if 'James' can stay fit and healthy he will be a major force next year for his loyal owners. At Romford on the same evening the heats of the Gold Cup over 750m saw our Butterbridge Ali lead up and take a 2 length advantage with a lap to go but the writing was on the wall when favourite Foulden Special loomed large and despite Ali not folding completely he was passed but held on for second only beaten 1 1/4 lengths in 47.68 to make next week's decider.
At Hall Green on Tuesday Directors Chair contested the heats of the Midland St Leger and despite a tricky draw and heat he came through and won holding the strong finishing Swift Jade in 39.80 by 1/2 length. In trials at Wimbledon for the start of next week's Oaks we were pleased with both Lockdale Lady and Stride On Babe who won their trials in 28.18 and 28.15 (both-10) respectively.
Semi-final time in the Essex Vase at Romford and Eye Onthe Veto was first up and again had the doubters out trying to oppose him but again a bullet break took the crowd's favourite clear of the pack and despite main rival Vatican Jinky closing down the back straight Veto won comfortably by 2 3/4 lengths in 35.26 (+20) and is now long odds on to defend his crown. Coolanga Flyer got no run in his semi but Dick Barfoot's veteran Special Deal qualified for next Tuesday's live on Sky final when holding off Eye Onthe Power for the runner up spot in the race won by Swift Maybole. Earlier in the evening Eye Onthe Force just failed to qualify in the valuable Classic Shield when 3rd to Horseshoe Ping in a fast 23.85 (+20).
Thursday night's opens at Walthamstow were a bit low key with plenty on elsewhere and we gave some of our lesser lights a chance to shine. Bell Classic rose to the occasion and only just missed out when beaten a short head in 29.23 (-10). Discreet Cat has gone off the boil and could only finish 3rd when beaten by Droopys Nelson in 39.92 (-15). Seanis Strike, making his debut for Mathew Etherington in the 475m Maiden, showed blistering early but clearly has not got used to the contours of the Stow yet and he ran all over the place before finishing 5th but will surely improve with every run. Bell Tempest is a greyhound who is improving steadily recently and a fast break enabled him to dictate when winning the 640m Maiden by 3/4 length in 40.26 (-15) and another improving pup is Aero Blackjack who ran a big race in a hot 475m puppy open eventually finishing 3rd beaten a length in 29.12 (-10).
On Saturday we entered some more runners to support the Midland St Leger Final and hurdler Lockdale Lord ran better than previous efforts when 3rd to Sawpit Samuri in 29.67 (-50). Elusive No Doubt was ko'd in his race but is OK but all eyes were on Directors Chair who was made a solid 5/4 favourite in the prestigous final and when he quickly put daylight between himself and his rivals there was no catching him and he crossed the line 5 1/4 lengths to the good in 39.96 (-60) to take the title for his delighted owners Alan Dee and Bill McKluskey. At Walthamstow the heats of the Romford Mini Cab Marathon looked competitive in regards to who will finish second to Spiridon Loius especially as he raced to a 15 1/2 length victory over our Centaur Fugi in a fast 52.41. In the last heat Gary Baggs runner Droopys Kan Kan led our two runners Snappy Girl and Genesis Alix and in a tight finish Genesis Alix got up to beat Droopys Kan Kan by 1/2 length with Snappy Girl just missing out in 53.41.
On Monday's Bags card both Rain Rush and Roswell Zodiac were second respectively and Marathon Girl made it 2 from 2 since returning from season when winning by a head in 29.23 (+10). Tuesday looked a difficult card and a slow start for our runners got better when Allglaze Roman ran well to be second in 29.19 beaten 2 1/2 lengths. Geordie Shay had shown promise in his previous runs over 6 bends but found plenty of improvement when accounting for Silbury Squirrel in a good 39.99. The next race saw Allglaze Cruise step up the ladder and account for A3 rivals which she did in good fashion winning by 1/2 length in 29.06. Genesis Dream looks like a bitch going places and she warmed up for next week's Oaks with a fluent victory by 4 1/2 lengths in a good 28.80. Armies Plan doesn't win often these days but can still run when given a chance and dropping down to A2 his class told and he strode away to win by 3/4 length in 28.94 to complete a great night for the kennel. Genesis Sister was a graded winner on Thursday scoring in a calc 40.23. Cassius Clay started Saturday night and when he was beaten a short head you were wondering if it was going to be our night but Centaur Cappo soon dispelled those thoughts as he cruised to a comfortable success in the S1 in 40.19. Blue Wish came from way off the pace but got beaten a short head in 29.47. A kennel 1-2 later with Lockdale Duke winning by 1 1/2 lengths in 29.00 from Shlebourne Ryan in the A2.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACE:- DIRECTORS CHAIR
GRADED:- LOCKDALE DUKE
WHATS ON THIS WEEK
Romford is the place to be Tuesday as Eye Onthe Veto tries to defend his crown in the Essex Vase. Also on Tuesday the start of the Oaks at Wimbledon should entice a biggish crowd with Genesis Dream looking for a starring role. On Saturday Walthamstow will stage an all open card supporting the final of the Romford Mini Cab Marathon.