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Brigadier Bullet tried everything he could to get past early pace setters Prime Time and Sporting Dave but was blocked at least 3 times in a thrilling Coral Essex Vase Final at Romford on Friday. After a reasonable break our odds on favourite turned handy but the four bend speed of his rivals made him work hard to get to them and when he did the door was shut firmly in his face and in the end he had to settle for third place behind the tough Prime Time, who gave Phil Simmonds a week to remember at his home track after landing last week’s Puppy Cup. Before the race it looked like Brigadier Bullet had a draw to die for but these big race finals never seem to go the way they seem on paper. No complaints from us and I’m sure our fella will be landing a decent prize or 2 in 2019, he is lightly raced and maturing all the time and most certainly gets much further than this 575m, the Golden Jacket at Crayford will be one of his principle targets in a couple of months' time, as well as his sister Baroness Bullet.
Our last Category 1 event of the year that we are involved in is the English Oaks at Swindon and Chubbys Caviar bids to reach the final this Saturday when she takes on some hot rivals in the semi final. In a messy quarter final she scrambled to a qualifying place and I still think she has a big run in her, for this week I would happily take 3rd place just to be in the Classic final. Aayamza Bonnie was a touch unlucky in her quarter final when up with the pace but suffered badly at the first bend, she’s another nice bitch who might progress in 2019.
We are winding things down a bit on the open race front for the last three weeks of the year as we look to make a fresh and fast start in the New Year. It’s amazing to think very soon we will be crowned Champions for an incredible 10th year (7th in succession) but we also know that we will have to pull out all the stops if we are to challenge for the title next year, yes we have a few nice dogs, like the ones mentioned above, but at this stage we are at least half a dozen top open racers short of what I would like to start a year ahead. We will have to continue to get the very best out of what we have and try and add to the team as the year progresses, of course with seven meetings a week to cover at Henlow this will be our main priority as this pays the bills but we will still want to attack as many Category 1 events across the country as possible if we have the right sort of dogs to do so.
Brigadier Bullet was 3rd in the main race of the week the Essex Vase Final and on the supporting card Shrewd Honcho successfully stepped up to six bends taking her heat of the Maiden Stayers in good style in 35.56.
As said Chubbys Caviar qualified in the Oaks quarter final at Swindon on Saturday and on Sunday we had a couple of winners in the opens at Henlow. Silva Hill popped in again over 428m this time from behind in 26.06 and veteran Garryglass Teddy sprung a 14/1 surprise in a 550m contest.
On Monday Corrig Grace came off another long lay off to take a D2 in 17.09. On Tuesday morning we had three nice winners Shazzas Bullet won well in an A7 in a good 28.07, Bonitas Bullet scored a debut victory in an A6 in 27.92 and Nothing But Love took another A7 in 28.47.
Another treble for us on Thursday as Airforce Cluxton won a D3 in 17.11, Muxton Belle won well dropped back to 460m taking an A7 in 28.37 and Potman ran and finished well to take an A5 in 28.11.
On Saturday No Can Boogie won well in an S2 in 33.99 and Swift Windmill led all the way in an A3 in 27.95.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - GARRYGLASS TEDDY
GRADED - SHAZZAS BULLET
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
We will be back to Romford on Friday with Shrewd Honcho in the Maiden Stayers Final.
On Saturday Chubbys Caviar could help give the kennel a classic finalist when she runs in the semi final of the English Oaks at Swindon.
We should have plenty of open race runners at Henlow on Sunday.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Chubbys Caviar could give us a lovely touch before Christmas if she could get into the Oaks Final so Saturday at Swindon all eyes will be watching how she performs in the semi final.
ADVISED LAST WEEK
CHUBBYS CAVIAR - 1 pt ew ante post 66/1 - English Oaks - Swindon - semi final Saturday