Monday 7th March 2011
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Wednesday's Betfair Trainers Championship Luncheon at the gorgeous Cannizaro House Hotel was a splendid occasion that all trainers and connections enjoyed thoroughly. Tony Calvin and Tom Rolfe from sponsors Betfair were again wonderful hosts. After the usual interviews and photographs had been done we sat down to a wonderful lunch and afterwards all the trainers stood up to reveal their thoughts on their team selections. By this time the usual banter and friendly slating began! as I've said before it is so nice to see the all the trainers get the chance let their hair down and enjoy such an occasion that rewards all the efforts of the previous year,. The night was finished off around the corner in the Fox and Grapes pub and by this time I think quite a few wouldn't remember too much about what was said!
The Trainers Championship meeting is now just over two weeks away and the build up for the annual event this year at Wimbledon is high in all the thoughts of the trainers taking part at this moment. Our team is beginning to take shape and though the Sky meeting last Tuesday at Wimbledon featuring the Racing Post Juvenile won by the impressive Blue Artisan didn't produce any winners on the night for our kennel both Destroy The Camp (showed excellent pace) and Kinda Ready (needed the run) will be a big part of our four bend team. On a pleasing side our stayers look on course to do well in what could be crucial to our chances of defending the title won last year at Doncaster. Blonde Fletch again showed he is ready to take the step up to a full six bend trip with an emphatic win at Sittingbourne last Thursday over 642m while Kinda Easy went well in a 575m trial at Romford last Tuesday. Also on that trial session at Romford Blonde Snapper scorched round in 23.81 over 400m and will trial at Wimbledon this Wednesday over 480m. Mountjoy Moon who all being well will represent us in the Puppy race was forced to miss the Monmore Puppy Derby with a split pad is ready to trial again and will have a 400m workout at Romford tomorrow.
I think it was the first time for quite a few years that we have not had any runners in the Monmore Puppy Derby that started last Thursday which is a bit of a blow for the kennel especially as we have started the 2011 campaign off quite well as we sit about 8 points behind Kelly Findlay (my tip in my review of 2010 to do well this year!) in the Trainers Championship standings. We are hoping that a few recent intakes will see us well represented in the summer puppy events. I really believe that the year long Championship is the most open ever with a number of kennels in with a chance of landing the title including Kelly.
On Friday Clive Lawrence and Emma Johns came up to the kennel to do some filming and interviews with Daren Johnson and his team as they make their last minute preparations for the John o Groats to Lands End run. I will be leaving the paragraph below up until his epic adventure has finished but seeing and talking to Daren made me realise just what a difficult task he is taking on and strongly urge everyone who is involved in our sport to donate something to Daren's cause. Myself, my son Daniel and Pete Vernon will be meeting Daren at some point on his journey to run alongside him, if in my case, only for a mile or two just to offer encouragement and if anyone else feels the same you are more than welcome!
Daren Johnson, our Derby winning owner, has announced his intention to do an almost impossible task of running from John O'Groats to Lands End all in one month for charity. This would mean running a marathon a day to complete the near 1000 miles. We are appealing to everyone to make a contribution to Daren's efforts. He will attempt this unbelievable feat in April and he hopes to raise many thousands for both the RGT and Help For Heroes, two worthy causes for sure. Iff you go to www.giveabitback.net you can read all about his desire to give something back. It is hoped that during the run we can get a few celebrities from the greyhound world to show some support and take time out to run alongside Daren at some stage even if it's only for a few hundred yards! (that's for me!) or a few miles. Sky have kindly offered to cover Daren's run on their programmes in April and Betfair were the first to dip their hands in their pockets donating £1,000 to his cause. More details will be available as the time gets nearer and all of us at Imperial Kennels would like to wish Daren the best of luck not only on the run but in his intensive training so please visit the website and make a donation.
Lady Aristocracy slightly missed the break in a hot 400m heat of the Coral on TV Bitches at Romford on Monday and could only finish 4th behind fast winner (23.89) Longford Meg but Kinda Close was 2nd in her heat which was a bit messy.
On Tuesday at Wimbledon Risky Wand was 3rd in a sprint won by Jackdaw Joe with sprint champion Jimmy Lollie well behind and reported lame afterwards. In a warm top division of a 480m Destroy The Camp missed his break slightly and could only turn 4th around the first two bends where he ran a storming back straight but could not get on terms with the winner Bandicoot Tipoki and eventually finished 3rd. Kinda Ready made a slow start and looked in need of the run when only 5th.
On Wednesday we travelled to Swindon for Arc Trial Stakes. To be fair all our runners had no previous runs at the track and I was pleased with Bomber Barkley (2nd) and Droopys Elbow (4th) though both Risky Skipper and Bellas Bud were well beaten before a tremendous run from Dalcash Scolari in a warm top division. 'Bluey' bolted out the traps and led all the way winning by 5 1/4 lengths in 28.72 (-10).
At Sittingbourne on Thursday Aero Merlin was 3rd over 450m before a scintillating victory for Blonde Fletch over 642m. Quick away and on the bunny Blonde Fletch raced to a big lead in a good race and though coming back slightly he was still over 7 lengths clear at the line winning in a sparkling 40.42 (-60). Eye Onthe Tempo looked to have won a 480m race when leading at the first bend but fellow Yarmouth raider Jackdaw Summer ran well to beat him by a length in 29.78 (-30).Bourne Masons was a close up 4th over 500m.
On Friday at Romford Stormbeam found plenty of trouble when 2nd in a 575m Maiden and Kinda Close was only 4th in the Coral on TV Bitches final. Bim Bam Boozle ran better than of late when 3rd over 400m before Catunda Mae caused a surprise when flashing out of the traps over 575m and comfortably holding off Raving Black by a length in 35.47 (+20) despite pricking her ears near the line as if she had seen something.
On Monday both Legit Jack and Imperial Sarah came closest of our runners when 2nd. On Saturday Scoden Moet kicked off the night with a 4 length win in 28.72 (+10) and Blonde Sid followed up with a 6 1/2 length victory in 28.98 (+10). Kildream Sweetie got off the mark at the second time of asking when taking an A5 by 3 lengths in 29.19 (+20) and Legit Jack was again 2nd in an A1.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Tonight Kinda Ready returns to Nottingham in the heats of the Betfred.com Standard Trophy heats over 500m while on Tuesday and Wednesday important trial sessions take place both at Romford and Wimbledon.
We will return to Sittingbourne on Thursday and Romford on Friday with open runners on a week where there is not too much else in the calendar.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Stormbeam found all the trouble going when tipped on Friday at Romford and this week we look to be compensated starting with a confident bet in the shape of Kinda Ready at Nottingham tonight. He should come on for last Tuesday's run at Wimbledon and last November did the fastest time of the year over track and trip. Destroy The Camp was beaten on his last visit to Sittingbourne but we are not expecting any mistakes when he races there this Thursday.
KINDA READY - 4 pts win - Nottingham - tonight
DESTROY THE CAMP - 3 pts win - Sittingbourne - Thursday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
STORMBEAM - 3 pts win - Romford - Friday - lost