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Ante post favourite Roswell Romanov had a huge scare in the heats of the Coral Champion Stakes but just managed to keep his hopes alive when 3rd in his heat. It was another rare defeat at the Essex track and he needs to step out lively in his semi final this Friday as its an ultra tough one. Tardy exits have cost him so far but if he can solve that problem then he's still the one to beat in the event. Garryglass Teddy took his heat while Rubys Razzle ran well to finish second and she is starting to get her form back and is still a live contender. Garryglass Champ also qualified in third to make it four through to the semi's.
Clondoty Alex and Swift Dartmoor didn't qualify for the Peterborough Derby final when eliminated last Wednesday and Alex our old warhorse is now on his last few runs before he retires. He returns to Romford this week while Swift Dartmoor who won on Sunday at Henlow but had question marks against him will now be schooled over the hurdles. Again overall we didn't have the greatest of weeks and August hasn't proved a good month so far and we have fallen some 20 odd wins behind our target of 365 wins in a calendar year. That record of the most open race wins in a year held by Linda Mullins looks gone begone recall unless we have a dramatic turnaround in form, I always said how tough that record is and we may have to wait another year to have a crack at it. Injuries have not helped with the likes of Aayamzabreeze, Bruisers Bullet, Chubbys Oak and a few more but really the kennel has simply just gone out of form more than anything.
Talk of the in form Seamus Cahill actually catching us in the race to the Trainer of the Year title is plentiful and we really need to find a few results or we could find ourselves with a real battle on our hands, good luck to Seamus and maybe he can give us something to spur us on as we really haven't been challenged properly for about 3 years. I enjoy the challenge and we have cause for optimism with a plethora of new talent just about to come on the cards or just beginning to qualify at Towcester. I won't say too much at this stage as predictions of future winners don't always materialise but I'm excited by the talent we could have at our disposal in the coming months and more importantly we should have a strong Category 1 team for 2018.
Thinking about what me might do in 2018 is of course a bit in the air with the ongoing battle between SIS and ARC for the media rights and this week SIS have come out and stated they will definitely be providing a greyhound service to the main betting shops of Ladbrokes, Corals, William Hill, Paddy Power and Betfred which is well over 60% of the total betting shops in the UK. Quite how they will provide the required amount of races and fixtures is beyond me as there is a shortage of not only greyhounds but more importantly trainers but they are confident they can do this. What then happens to the majority of tracks in the ARC group is anybody's guess as many like Newcastle, Sunderland, Belle Vue and Sheffield are hugely reliant on the BAGS money in the past and by not signing to SIS how do they survive? Towcester have yet to sign a deal and there is no doubt they would be the jewel in the crown for one of the groups with their large kennel strength and quality service they provide. At the moment its tough at Towcester with only three meetings a week meaning a large number of their kennel strength not getting regular runs. The vast majority of trainers and owners are right behind Lord Hesketh and Kevin Ackerman who will only sign a deal that gives them the stability and finances that they need to become profitable.
Also what will happen to open racing, competitions, Sky & RPGTV ? no one really seems to know but we could well face a time without this top end of the sport as we know it. We could even face the fact our sport could be split into two groups with trainers who are attached to tracks in rival groups only being allowed to enter their dogs at their own group's tracks. This could mean that a number of high profile unattached trainers like Liz Mcnair, Charlie Lister, Pat Rosney and Hayleigh Keightley to name but a few will have a vital say in the whole row. If they were to demand minimum prize money levels way above what they are now it would be interesting to see what group would put up the best money first. Trust me either group will need open racing to fulfill the fixtures that will be required so if they were clever they could set the tone for the future, all very interesting and we wait with baited breath for the next episode of this war.
No luck at Nottingham on Monday with our runners with Brynoffa Jasmin best when runner up in a sprint. On Wednesday both Clondoty Alex and Swift Dartmoor were eliminated from the Peterborough Derby semi finals.
On Thursday at Monmore Plan Ahead ran well when second in a puppy open but our others were well beaten on the Sky card. Garryglass Teddy got our Coral Champion Stakes off to a good start when winning his heat in 35.80, Roswell Romanov just scraped through in 3rd place in his heat when blocked at nearly every bend, Rubys Razzle was also 3rd but ran well behind the impressive Stand Alone while Garryglass Champ also qualified when 3rd behind Murrays Act. There was good news as Cotton Pants
took the Friday Night 500 Standard in a good 23.97.
The Lowther Stakes at a Towcester this Saturday proved disappointing for our kennel this year and both Forest Melanie and Ribble Aon were outclassed in their semi finals. On Sunday at Henlow a mixed bag from our four runners with Swift Dartmoor winning a 460m in 27.68.
Three seconds on Tuesday with Swift Cobra, Sidarian Dino and Swift Windmill. Swift Dante has bounced back to form and took the Owners Bonus Series final in good style in 41.89.
No winners Saturday morning and on Saturday night the quarter finals of the Graded Derby saw Saffrons Honey eliminated but Swift Kaylee has found her form at the right time and ran a career best race winning her heat bravely in 29.01. She has plenty to do to make the final but will try her best in the semi's on Saturday. Shlowdown Sally was best of our other runners when second in a top grade sprint.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - COTTON PANTS
GRADED - SWIFT KAYLEE
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
A quiet week until Friday where we have the semi finals of the Coral Champion Stakes at Romford.
On Saturday the Lowther Stakes final also see's some supporting opens at Towcester while on Sunday we will look to find some runners.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Our hopes of winning a few quid are hanging on by a thread as Rubys Razzle and Roswell Romanov try and qualify for the Champion Stakes final at Romford on Friday. We will stick with those for this week.
ADVISED LAST WEEK
ROSWELL ROMANOV - 5 pts win ante post 7/2 - Coral Champion Stakes - Romford - semi's Friday
RUBBYS RAZZLE - 2 pts ew ante post 16/1 - Coral Champion Stakes - Romford - semi's Friday