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After a positive start to 2019 last week was very much one to forget. In the Coronation Cup Final we did get beat fair and square in the first major competition of the year when the likeable Desperado Dan, trained by my former assistant and good friend Patrick Jansenns, beat our Brigadier Bullet and Chubbys Caviar with a bit to spare at Romford on Friday night but it was disappointing all the same and we only had one winner (No Can Boogie) on the night, and one of our runners, Running Senor managed to cut his foot during the night forcing a late withdrawal.
I thought Chubbys Caviar ran very well in the final and she looks set to have a good year on the open race scene though beaten favourite Brigadier Bullet never really got in a telling blow but again flew to the drop suggesting he needs that step up in distance now, that will happen as he now prepares for the Ladbrokes Golden Jacket starting on the 9th February at Crayford. His sister Baroness Bullet, one of the brightest staying prospects for 2019 and currently second favourite for the Golden Jacket, trialled on Saturday night before racing and was looking magnificent on the first lap of a full 714m trial recording a sensational 23.14 split before checking in between the 5th and 6th bends. She then dramatically slowed at the drop, that I wasn’t too worried about but as soon as they announced the time of 46.47 I knew something was wrong. A phone call from a Kevin, who was on duty for us, 15 minutes later confirmed my worst fears as he said her stopper bone (behind the wrist) had blown right up. The swelling is worse today and she visits the vets tomorrow to probably confirm that her racing career has ended all too briefly, this is a major blow both to the owners (Bruiser Boyz) and to ourselves as I’m confident she could have challenged for every major staying competition this year, to say we are down in the dumps about this is an understatement!
This Sunday we are looking forward to the annual GBGB awards night at the plush Park Plaza in London. We have two nominations with our dual Category 1 winner Bombers Bullet in the Stayers nominees and our Grand National winner Parkers Dynamite in the hurdles division. As usual I will be proud to collect my 10th Trainer of the Year on behalf of my team at Imperial Kennels and generally enjoy the night with family, owners and friends. The debate of who will be crowned Greyhound of the Year has been an interesting one and I’m sure the voting will be close between Dorotas Wildcat and King Turbo, both in my opinion deserve to win it on their fantastic achievements in 2018 and I would just favour Dorotas Wildcat but sometimes you never know. Of course there are always some nominations, let alone winners, that will spark some passionate debate not least this year the final three chosen for the sprint division. Dave Mullins is extremely upset his talented Troy Bella didn’t get nominated and I must agree that he has cause to be upset by his absence, we ourselves just missed out with Cotton Pants who won the only Category 1 sprint competition in the calendar when he landed the Bresmed Northern Sprint title, if I’m honest I would have still put Troy Bella in front of him in overall consistency through the year. Calzaghe Flash appearing on the scene in the latter half of the year did tremendously well but as I’ve always said the emphasis on the GWA members should be the point that says ‘of the Year’ when choosing their selections.
All eyes we
re on the Coronation Cup Final at Romford on Friday and the supporting card saw a decent return race for Kilcree Diamond when runner up in the sprint. Veteran Swift Dartmoor, also returning from an absence, ran well over 400m when 3rd while Saleen Ash couldn’t shake off the attentions of trap 5 Itsur Mate on the run to the turn but ran well overall when 2nd. Our lone winner came when No Can Boogie
stepped up to 8 bends after a promising run the week before over 575m, running on strongly he led off the last bend to score comfortably in 47.52. The Coronation Cup Final was won out the boxes as Desperado Dan led up and despite both Chubbys Caviar and Brigadier Bullet turning in pursuit they could not get to the winner who won well in a very good 35.27 (-20)
At Crayford we were already suffering the disappointment of the Baroness injury and we saw Kiltrea Mike defeated when well fancied in a Golden Jacket trial stake. Garryglass Champ led up in the top division but it looks like age is catching up with him as he faded off the last two bends.
On Monday Aayamza Bonnie won well in A5 company by 4 3/4 lengths in 28.12. On Tuesday morning we had a double with Ballyfinn Jade taking an A8 in 28.70 and Nothing But Love running well in an A7 to come from behind and score in 28.13 (+20).
No winners on Thursday with a handful of runners with Shazzas Bullet coming closest when 3rd and on Sunday's all graded card Towstar Evita and Deans Hail Mary were both second with Potman our only winner taking an A4 in a 27.92 calc.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - NO CAN BOOGIE
GRADED - NOTHING BUT LOVE
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
A quiet week overall with just Romford on Friday and some runners at Crayford on Saturday and on Sunday we travel to London for the annual GBGB awards bash.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Well we started the year with a small winner with Brigadier Bullet second in the Coronation Cup Final as he was highlighted at 7/1 ante post. Not too much happening competition wise this week and looking for a single bet blind, so to speak, I can’t see too much on the entries front though Kiltrea Mike, given a similar contest to the one he got beat in last Saturday at Crayford, might strike this time in a Golden Jacket Trial Stake at better odds after plenty of people burnt their fingers last week.
KILTREA MIKE - 3 pts win - Crayford - Saturday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
BRIGADIER BULLET - 2.5 pts each way ante post 7/1 - Coral Coronation Cup - Romford - Friday - 2nd (2 profit)