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Antigua Fire and Avastorm ran fantastic to finish second and third respectively to Irish raider Redfer Ardfert in Saturday's RPGTV St Leger final at Perry Barr, however, we did leave slightly disappointed as we had huge expectations of landing a record 6th St Leger title. We were having a good night up to the final with supporting wins for Coolavanny Messi over 480m by 3/4 length in 28.38 and in a very good marathon race our TV Trophy winner Bumblebee Bullet
ran really well to come from off the pace to lead at halfway and outstay some good rivals to win by 3 3/4 lengths in 57.75 but ultimately it was that St Leger victory we were after, Avastorm broke really well and led up going into the bend but Antigua Fire again made a hash of the start and his race was lost in a first bend melee which saw Patrick Janssen’s Skilful Sandie knocked over and left Antigua Fire some 12 lengths off the pace. It was the favourite Redfer Ardfert, trained by Brendan Maunsell, who came out the second bend behind Avastorm and try as she might she couldn’t shake off the Shelbourne track record holder and she succumbed at the fifth bend. By this time Antigua Fire had really got going but he just had way too much ground to make up and though collaring Avastorm for second spot he was 3 1/4 lengths behind the winner. In truth it was a magnificent effort by our two and both will get plenty more chances to add silverware to the cabinet in the future.
We also had a double at Monmore on Saturday with Saleen Again scoring over 630m in 38.12 and our top class pup Antigua Breeze warmed up nicely for next week's Trafalgar Cup with a fluent success in a fast 27.95. The points secured have seen us pass the magnificent 1,000 point barrier and race to a 120 point lead at the top of the Trainer of the Year standings, with just over a month to go an eleventh title is just around the corner but we must still press on. This week we see two big competitions starting, on Friday the Essex Vase gets underway at Romford over 575m but unfortunately our Champion Stakes winner Aayamza Express won’t get a chance to do the double as she picked up a tendon strain in a preparation race over track and trip last week, it’s not career threatening but will be off for 2-3 weeks minimum. We only have a small team of three which is the least I’ve entered in a Romford 575m competition for as long as I can remember but Brinkleys Poet, Alien Sea and Antigua Vows are all capable of getting to the final at least.
On Saturday the Trafalgar Cup for December 17 onwards pups starts at Monmore and Antigua Breeze is likely to be a warm favourite following another good win last Saturday and he has now won four races on the bounce at the Midlands track, breaking 28.00 on three of those occasions. Our huge fawn pup is becoming a real favourite for punters and is still only a March 18. We will also be at Swindon on Saturday with Chubbys Caviar and Antigua Sands who are in trial stakes for the forthcoming Oaks that starts the following week.
On Friday at Romford we got off to a good start as Towstar Billy won his heat of the Friday Night 500 Standard by 1 3/4 lengths in 24.21. A tremendous debut for Madrid (soon to be Aero Madrid) as he showed great early pace to lead and win by 3 lengths in a good 24.19 in his heat of the Friday Night 500 Maiden, he was gambled from 3/1 into 5/4 and looks an excellent acquisition for these types of races. Aayamza Express looked all over the winner in a 575m but was forced to check at the last bend and went down by a head to Savana Beetle in 35.62. Unfortunately she was lame afterwards and misses the Essex Vase starting this Friday. In the Friday Night 500 Standard final Have A Brandy and Cuil King were 2nd and 3rd respectively behind Bubbly Buster. Brinkleys Poet could only finish third as a missed break cost him dear. Antigua Sky ran very well in a 575m Maiden when second and Passing Stranger, first time over 750m, had a tremendous battle with John Mullins' Fabulous Mila over 575m before going down by 1 3/4 lengths in a good 47.12.
As said a decent night on Saturday at both Monmore and Perry Barr despite just missing out in the St Leger final.
A decent night's racing at Henlow on Tuesday as we celebrated Tim Piercy’s birthday party with trophy races! In form Tiffield Blueboy took a good A2 in 27.62 (+30), Longacres Mikey again finished strongly in an A7 in 27.98 (+30) and a career best performance from Far Froman Angel
taking an A6 in 27.80 (+30).
From a few runners on Thursday Jazz Jake got up to score an A6 in 28.58. Plenty of runners on Friday, Energize Bobadoo and Come Home both came close when second but our only winner was the improving Garryglass Royal when taking an A7 in 28.46.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - RUBYS RASCAL
GRADED - KILTREA MIKE
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
The Coral Essex Vase over 575m kicks off on Friday at Romford and we have both Towstar Billy and Madrid in minor finals. The Trafalgar Cup starts on Saturday at Monmore and we will also travel to Swindon in preparation for the Oaks.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Although our supporters just missed out on a decent pay day in the St Leger final at Perry Barr we did show a nice each way profit, particularly on Avastorm who was 33/1 at the start of the event.
The Essex Vase kicks off this week and we only have three runners entered as likely favourite Aayamza Express is absent through injury. Brinkleys Poet is more than capable of going close but these days is hit or miss out the traps. Alien Sea lacks a vital yard of early pace and the value of our three could lay with Antigua Vows who was eliminated at the semi final stage of the Champion Stakes and has been sidelined for a few weeks with a toe injury. She had a comeback race on Saturday at Perry Barr finishing third in a quality 480m bitches event and should come on for the run and should be attractively priced.
ANTIGUA VOWS - 2pts ew ante post - Coral Essex Vase - Romford - starts Friday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
ANTIGUA FIRE - 2.5pts ew ante post 5/1 - RPGTV st Leger - Perry Barr - 2ND
AVASTORM - 1pt ew ante post 33/1 - RPGTV st Leger - Perry Barr - 3RD