18th September 2018
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The only real bit of news I’ve come back to is that the legend Charlie Lister has announced his retirement and last night at Nottingham was his last runner. Chris Akers is to take over the licence asap and I must admit it did take me by surprise, we knew Charlie was contemplating retirement the last couple of years as his health was suffering but I thought he would still be training for another year or two. I’ve paid tribute to him in today’s Racing Post and I will speak to him this week to wish him a long and healthy retirement, I’m certain that 10 or 12 years ago we pushed him to really pull out the stops to win competitions and I’m proud to say our two Derby victories in 2009 and 2013 had Charlie Lister runners in them which made those wins even more special. In any sport you always want to beat the best and in Charlie he is without doubt the hardest trainer to do that against. Away from the track he was a true gentleman and in any phone call or conversation I had with him he always had time to ask how Linda was and ask how Sarah and I my family was, a side of him many people never saw. He was without doubt the trainer myself and Linda had the most respect for and again we wish him well.
The half way mark in our Five to Follow competition is fast approaching. An updated kennel list will be available later this week so make sure you have a look over the weekend or next week and be sure to send in your new teams before the 1st October. It's very close at the top so there is all to play for.
Just the opens at Henlow on Sunday which produced three winners. Saleen Story got rid of that maiden tag when winning by 4 lengths in 27.93 over 460m while Swift Dartmoor’s good form continued when winning a 428m by the minimum margin in 25.95. Baroness Bullet was most impressive landing a 692m race by 13 lengths in 42.53, Chubbys Turkarna also qualified for next week’s Summer Maiden 550m Cup Final when second to Paul Young’s Itsur Mate beaten just over a length in 33.58, the fastest of the three semis.
On Saturday we had a few close calls with Jazz Jake winning an A5 in a good 27.76.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - BARONESS BULLET
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
On Sunday Chubbys Turkarna goes from trap 1 in the Summer Maiden 550m Cup Final and if she can grab a vital first bend lead she has a realistic chance of landing the event.
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