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Monday 9th December 2013


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On Tuesday at Romford a monumental milestone was achieved for Imperial Kennels when Reel Trickyone landed our 50th Category 1 title since my mother in law Linda Jones started our kennels back in 1989, and what an important victory it was in the context of the Trainer Of The Year Title. Reel Trickyone led home a brilliant 1-2 for the kennel in the £10,000 to the winner Coral Essex Vase in a scintillating 34.88, the fastest time in the history of the event, and with Adageo Bob producing a massive effort to push him all the way, and in the end was only beaten 1/2 length, nights like these don't come much better than this in our sport.

On Tuesday morning I was looking at our kennel strength of around 20 fit dogs available and was thinking not just of how important our night was at Romford with 11 runners in races that all score valuable points towards the Trainer Of The Year championship but also of how we were going to beat current Championship leader Charlie Lister's two Essex Vase finalists. Should he beat us then his 50 odd point lead would become unassailable, pressure indeed!. Added to that I was desperate to reach that 50th Category 1 landmark and this would be our last chance of 2013 with us deciding to sidestep the Oaks at Belle Vue.

Bridge RuthHalf way through the night with the defeats of Ayamzaman, Blonde Razor and Garryglass Rodge it looked like it was all going to go pear shaped but a scintillating performance by one of our real stars of 2013 Bridge Ruth who was poetry in motion as she landed a 575m in a blistering 34.72, just 1/2 length outside the track record, and then Hometown Honey came back to her best at the right time when leading all the way in the 750m to score convincingly it was showtime as we came out for the parade for the crucial Essex Vase Final. You just knew at least one of Charlie's runners would smash out and the super consistent Hather George did just that in trap 4 but if one thing that's been a massive reason for all those previous 49 Category 1 wins it's that we have matched or bettered legend Charlie Lister in that department over the years and Reel Trickyone simply smashed out as well.Hometown Honey His brute early pace saw him edge ahead of Hather George at the first bend and his draw inside his rival was a huge factor and he was able to use his excellent turn of middle pace to kick on to a 2 length lead. Adageo Bob has been a revelation in recent months and again he showed his well being when beating the remainder of the field to the bend and then came the crucial moment in the race when he passed Hather George for second place and, as well as trying his hardest to catch Reel Trickyone, he acted as a goalkeeper for his kennelmate as Hather George desperately tried to pass our two stars. Surprisingly to most people Reel Trickyone refused to be passed on a fast track and that line came in the nick of time to land the honours for owner Chris Richards but huge credit to Adageo Bob who himself found 5 lengths in the final and didn't win!!

Reel TrickyoneTo say I was emotional at the presentation is an understatement and despite looking ridiculous in a Coral coat at least three sizes too big for me (that's all they had left) I did manage to keep it together in the post race interview - just. As I have said many times these Category 1 competitions are hugely competitive and with 'Butch' we have just won another event with a vastly improved greyhound which we are very proud of. Reel Trickyone started his career at Peterborough in A4 grade and took six races to get off the mark in an A6. A good winner through the grades and progressing to open class at the start of the year with wins at Henlow over 460m and 550m he joined our kennel in March where he again won at Henlow and at Nottingham over the stiff 500m. As a complete outsider in the Derby he performed with credit to reach the third round and in July won a Maiden Stayers final at Romford in a good 35.60. Consistently running at Romford in the very best races he had actually gone 11 races without a win before the semi finals of this Essex Vase but had always ran well. To hit the form of his life in such a tough event is testament to our training skills and his final win which included a superb 13.36 split and a calculated 35.04 winning time is unbelievable. I of course have to thank all my team at Imperial Kennels and special mention to our physio Ron Mills who plays such an important role in our set up. Reel Trickyone will go back to Henlow this Thursday to spearhead our team in the Cesarewitch.

Another reason for being emotional was our landmark 50th Category 1 winner for Imperial Kennels and I have had the pleasure of being involved in all 50 winners since Honky Tonk Gal's first one back in 1999, ironically that was in the Essex Vase as well. Later on this week I will be doing a special feature blog on the history of our kennel's 50 Category 1 winners which I hope will bring back many great memories and will be an interesting read.



Murlens CrashWith Adageo Bob finishing second to Reel Trickyone in the feature race we scored a maximum 70 points for the Trainer Of The Year race and with two other winners on the Sky card worth 5 points each we leapfrogged both Paul Young and leader Charlie Lister to the top of the table for the first time since last August albeit by only 2 points. Murlens Crash superbly landed the Category 2 Crayford Rose Bowl on Saturday adding another 20 points to our tally. This Championship race has only 21 days left but looks set to go down to the very last day and all eyes were on Belle Vue on Thursday where we were not involved. Charlie had no joy on the night in the Oaks and Laurels but both his bitches qualified for the semis while Paul saw Jaytee Jules win and she is now clear favourite to win the event. This would undoubtedly pull Paul right back in the hunt with us and Charlie should he win a week Thursday. Before then there are many point scoring opportunities around the country, not least today where at Monmore no less than four Category 2 events begin with all the leading trainers involved. We have Bridge Honcho defending his Lawrence Jones Memorial 480m title while Hometown Honey takes on Charlie's staying stars Fear Emoski and Farloe Tango over 684m. We have Garryglass Rodge and Benkaat Blue in the 416m which is always draw dependant and in the puppy 480m Benkaat Boomer will need to step up on recent efforts to figure in a good class event. With 5 points gained for any heat wins and in the finals 20 points for the winner and 10 points for coming second and 5 points for other finalists these events that conclude on Friday could have a significant bearing on where the Trainers Trophy will go.

Aero TwizzleAs well as the Monmore Festival today the National Sprint at Nottingham kicks off tonight and we will have Aero Twizzle looking to get back on track after a couple of heavy defeats. Surprisingly in this Category 2 event there is no entry from Charlie and Paul so if Twizzle can do well we might steal a march on our rivals. All the leading trainers are involved in Coventry's Boylesports Golden Muzzle starting Tuesday night another Category 2 event that we won last year with the brilliant Castlebride Dan. We have Adageo Bob and Bridge Ruth dropping back down to four bends after the heroics at Romford last week as well as Coventry specialist Darian Star. On Thursday the Category 2 Henlow Cesarewitch kicks off and this for us can be key to us winning the Trainers title. We will target the three round event with six heats all scoring 5 points a piece with a number of our strength headed by Vase hero Reel Trickyone, also we intend entering Jazz Tilly, Aayamzamodel, Ilewin Frimley, Adageo Brae and Toosey Milly. I expect a decent entry will come from both Paul and Charlie not only in this Henlow event but also on Sunday the Xmas Christmas Cracker another Category 2 event kicks off over 460m and we will try and get as many runners as possible in this event. So you can see the Trainers title could yet have many twists and turns to it before we get to the end of the year. For us to be leading is unbelievable as only four weeks ago we were quoted at 25/1 by the sponsors Ladbrokes and the only way to win was to win competitions and now after Bridge Honcho's magnificent Eclipse victory and a 1-2 in the Essex Vase and Saturday's Rose Bowl success we have scored heavily and are now quoted at 8/11 on for the title. This is far too short in my opinion and any of the three of us still have a great chance if we can get the best out of our runners for the last three weeks of the year. I'm so proud that our kennel is running so well and that we are in the mix as we have suffered a number of setbacks this year, many of which I will keep privately to myself.




Skips SpecialAll our Trainer Of The Year hopes were pinned on Tuesday's superb Sky card at Romford with the feature race the Coral Essex Vase being the crunch race. Skips Special, who has been running well of late, got our night off to a great start when winning the 400m Maiden in 24.30. Ayamzaman looked set to land the 400m after riding a bump at the first bend but just couldn't get past Alis Avenger on the rails and had to settle for second spot. Swift Rachel was a good 3rd in the 750m maiden and Risky Emerald ran well for a long way in the gruelling 925m. Blonde Razor ran very well in a 575m but just couldn't get past the determined old stager Ding Hero. Garryglass Rodge was in trouble early and well beaten but the winning time of 23.53 by Droopys Quincy was sensational. At this point I was beginning to think it was not going to be our night. Step up Bridge Ruth, on her day most definitely one of the fastest if not the fastest bitch in the country, a super break saw her lead round the first bend and, despite a fine effort from Aghaburren Paddy, Ruth kept up the gallop to win by 1 3/4 lengths in a superb 34.72 just 1/2 length outside the clock and the second best time ever recorded over the trip. Hometown Honey led at the first bend in the 750m and kept up a relentless gallop to score by 6 lengths in a fast 47.26. Onto the Essex Vase Final and as said a brilliant 1-2 for the kennel with Reel Trickyone running the race of his life to beat kennel mate Adageo Bob by 1/2 length in a flying 34.84. Aayamzamodel was a well beaten second to Droopys Odell in a 575m Maiden.

It was a long wait until Saturday for our next open race action but it was worth it as Murlens Crash landed the Crayford Rose Bowl and a handy £2,000 to the winnes prize. Not the most frequent of winners Murlens Crash does possess decent speed and what a good time to get everything right and as he nipped inside trap 6 at the first bend and then chopped her off at the third bend he scored by over 3 lengths in a fine 23.33 and in doing so scored a vital 20 points for the kennel.

Both Skips Special (2nd) and Ilewin Frimley (3rd) ran well at Henlow last night and there were some good trials ahead of some important races with Aayamzamodel (27.83) Jazz Tilly (27.87) Adageo Brae (27.98) Ilewin Allot (28.07) and Rosealinda (28.08) all going well.







Benkaat DollyF

our runners on the Begs card on Wednesday with Saffrons Dream just touched off in an A2 in a good 28.43 and Ilewin Aggen 3rd in an A1.

On Saturday Benkaat Dolly at last got a clear run and she won an A5 by over 3 lengths in 28.43 on a fast track and Adageo Lad ended a long losing run when taking a top grade event by 2 1/2 lengths in 27.98.













A massive week ahead starting today with the Lawrence Jones Memorial events at Monmore with a star studDed card. Aero Twizzle is our sole entry in the Bookmakers National Sprint at Nottingham tonight while Ayamzaman runs in the heats of the Coral On TV Standard at Romford.

At Coventry on Tuesday the heats of the Boylesports Golden Muzzle are competitive and Bridge Ruth and Adageo Bob drop back in trip along with Darian Star.

On Thursday as well as keeping our eyes on proceedings at Belle Vue we will have up to seven entries in the Henlow Cesarewitch over 550m.

On Friday it could be a big day with the Monmore finals while we hope also to be back at Romford at night and on Sunday we will be back to Henlow for the Xmas Cracker heats and the Maiden 550m heats.






Although Adageo Bob didn't win on Tuesaday we probably couldn't be more pleased to lose to our kennelmate Reel Trickyone in the all important Essex Vase final.

It would be good to end the year with a couple of winners for our followers and if they price up the Henlow Cesarewitch I have a feeling Jazz Tilly could be a spot of value while on Sunday in the Xmas Cracker Ilewin Allot is an unexposed sort who could do well.

JAZZ TILLY - 2 pts e.w ante post - Cesarewitch - Henlow - starts Thursday

ILEWIN ALLOT - 2 pts e.w ante post - Xmas Cracker - Henlow - starts Sunday






ADAGEO BOB - 2 pts win 7/1 - Essex Vase Final - Romford - lost