13th October 2021
Another big weekend approaches especially for Antigua Storm as he lines up in his 5th consecutive Category 1 final on Sunday. The Kent Derby reaches its conclusion at Central Park and it's a class final. Storm has drawn trap 3 and will need all his navigation skills to negotiate a clear path if he is to win. In his semi final last Sunday the match up against Hilight Arkle proved an exciting one as the two battled to win with Storm going down by a length but safely through to the final, Brookside Ritchie is probably still the one to beat.
It’s an incredibly busy time on the open race circuit and on Friday at Romford we have the semi finals of the Champion Stakes. Heat winner and still amongst the favourites outright Bombardier faces a tough draw in trap 3 but is fast enough to make the final at least but may need luck in running. All Fours ran above expectations to qualify but faces hotpots Warzone Tom and Droopys Addition while in the 3rd semi final Bo Shine Bullet has a good draw in trap 1 but needs to come back to her best form to qualify. The Mitch Millward Marathon starts on the supporting card and both Blueberry Bullet and Antigua Mememe should go well.
Last Sunday on a cracking card at Towcester we saw some great heats of the Category 1 1st Containers Marathon. In form Antigua Lava set the standard with a scintillating 14 length victory in the second heat in a fine 56.38. The 3rd semi final was as expected a classic with St Leger Space Jet just holding off our Aayamza Royale by 1 1/4 lengths in 56.48 with Savana Volcano a fast finishing 3rd. The semi finals see both our Antigua Lava and Aayamza Royale pitched together against Space Jet which should be another thriller!
Injury wise we have not had the best of luck of late. In a trial at Sheffield on Saturday in preparation for the Steel City Cup our Yarmouth Derby finalist Billis Tudor unfortunately broke a hock at the 3rd bend. Thankfully to Sheffield’s credit they stopped the hare quickly preventing more damage and he was operated on yesterday by vet Stefano Malegori and is fully expected to return to racing in a few months' time, he’s still young enough to come back to his best. Our Sussex Cup winner Drumcrow Brent appeared to go well in his trial but returned a disappointing 29.44 time so we have not entered him and will get him fully checked over before he returns to the track while the promising Balterio went ok recording 29.05 and will now be our sole entry in the event. To add to our bad luck injury wise Saffrons Smash broke a hock at Henlow yesterday and another visit to Stefano’s today was required to fix him up.
The latest news on the reopening of Mildenhall is that they are hoping to stage trials in mid November so we could see a first meeting in December. With Henlow not having a set date to close we will gradually move our runners across to ‘Suffolk Downs’ as it will be known as. I’m not quite sure how Oxford is getting on but the signs are that they will definitely be up and running by the spring.
The Champion Stakes at Romford saw mixed results for us with only Bombardier winning his heat in 35.53. All Fours and Bo Shine Bullet also qualified but Ivy Hill Skyhigh, Coolavanny Kyser, Fatboyz Exile, Black Eyed Molly and Agincourt Xena were all eliminated. In the competitive Friday Night Standard final Rail Mccoy ran well to be 3rd with Antigua Socks 4th while Aero Madrid made it 3 wins from 4 races over 400m scoring well in 24.10.
On Sunday at Towcester as said Antigua Lava won well in the 1st Containers Marathon heats and Aayamza Royale was 2nd to Space Jet and we had another winner with Trumpers Lola holding on to score a debut open race victory over 500m in 30.09.
At Henlow Early Knight ran very well in the Puppy final when second in a fast 27.41 with Lotties Wish in 3rd. We went one better in the Maiden 550 final with an excellent run from Ballymac Honest who led all the way to win in a fine 33.20.
On a busy day Antigua Storm qualified for the Kent Derby final at Central Park when a gallant second to Hilight Arkle but Ballymac Odie was eliminated in his semi final.
Just the one winner on Monday with Energize Omaha scoring in 28.37 in an A8.
On Saturday Formel Jet scored a well deserved victory in an A3 in 28.07 while Drumcrow Bruce, Swift Pinch and Bobs Duke were all second.
On Sunday we had a debut victory for Swift News in an A7 in a fine 28.20, Nippys Spirit took an A5 in 28.21 and to complete an excellent night in form Breakfast Club won well in top grade in a fine 27.62.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - BALLYMAC HONEST
WHAT’S ON NEXT WEEK
A great card at Romford on Friday featuring the Champion Stakes semi finals and Mitch Millard Marathon heats and on Saturday we just have the one entry in the Bresbet Steel City Cup in Balterio, while we also have a few runners at Monmore on their open race card.
A big day on Sunday as we see the exciting semi finals of the 1st Containers Marathon with Antigua Lava and Aayamza Royale and then all eyes will be on Central Park in the evening with the final of the Kent Derby featuring the brilliant Antigua Storm. We should also have some runners in the opens at Henlow.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Bombardier has a tough draw to overcome in the Champion Stakes semi finals at Romford on Friday but hopefully he can qualify to give us something to shout about a week Friday. Unfortunately our other selection Ivy Hill Skyhigh was bumped out of contention.
Although Aayamza Royale would be seen as our main player in the 1st Containers Marathon the 25/1 available about Antigua Lava was much better value from a betting angle and so it proved as she took her heat by 14 + lengths, she’s bang in form and now a lot shorter in price.
Antigua Storm has made the Kent Derby final for our supporters though he’s around the same price as he started the competition, it’s tough but without doubt he can still win!
Balterio is our only runner in the Steel City cup at Sheffield and is still improving and should be a reasonable price for outright honours.
BALTERIO - 2 pts each way ante post - Bresbet Steel City Cup - Sheffield - starts Saturday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
ANTIGUA STORM - 2.5 pts each way ante post 6/1 - Kent Derby - Central Park - final Sunday
BOMBARDIER - 2 pts each way ante post 6/1 - Coral Champion Stakes - Romford - semis Friday
IVY HILL SKYHIGH - 1.5 pts each way ante post 20/1 - Coral Champion Stakes - Romford - lost
ANTIGUA LAVA - 1 pt each way ante post 25/1 - 1st Containers Marathon - Towcester - semis Sunday