24th July 2017
(Opens to a third party website)
A quiet week just gone on the open race front with seemingly our whole kennel slightly out of form bar a couple of exceptions, it goes like that at times and all you can do is wait and be patient until the form comes back. You just hope not to pick up injuries, of course we are all still on a bit of a low since the bad luck with injuries struck our kennel stars 10 days ago with Bruisers Bullet, a cert to be favourite for the Sussex Cup that started at Hove last Thursday, sidelined for a few weeks and more importantly Aayamza Breeze, our marathon star, whose career is in the balance following a nasty hock injury on the same night, she goes back to Daniel Doherty later this week and hopefully we will know more on whether she can race again. Sadly we had a rare broken hock at Towcester on Saturday when Adageo Gold broke down, he will be at the vets today but, touch wood, it's not a serious break.
These injuries to our open racers and a slight loss of form has meant we are falling behind in our bid to beat the long standing record of the most open wins ever achieved in a year. I was hoping to be around the 210 mark by the end of this month but we seem to be crawling to 200 winners (a great effort otherwise). Looking at how many runners we will be entering over the next couple of weeks that 365 target could look out of reach unless we come back to form with a bang, a few high profile retirements are likely soon as the likes of Calco Flyer, Clondoty Alex, Ribble Atom and Ribble Aon are all in the twilights of their distinguished careers and added to Ferryforth Fran's recent retirement Airforce Duchess was this week retired to the breeding paddocks, a superb open race career came to an end this week when she came in season with the highlight being her Brighton Belle victory in 2015.
Off the track it's all going ballistic with the media rights wrangles, as mentioned last week. On Tuesday I was fortunate enough to be invited as a guest to the GWA (Greyhound Writers Association) Select Stakes lunch in Fleet Street which was excellent but all the talk away from the Select Stakes nominations was about all the goings on between SIS, GMG, Bags etc and over the next few weeks and months the sport as we know it is set for change. I'm sure some things will be better as smaller tracks like Harlow and Henlow are set to get lucrative contracts from SIS and both tracks have vowed to give a lot of the extra money back to their owners and trainers. What happens to some of the other more established tracks like Sheffield, Belle Vue, Newcastle and Sunderland who fall under the new GMG group backed by the ARC enterprise is unsure. The biggest problem I can see is the fact that the sport is likely to lose its Sky coverage as this was backed by Bags and SIS and funded largely by our BGRB. With Bags and SIS in a bitter dispute it could mean the end of our 30 odd annual meetings that have been covered over the last 15 years plus. This would put many Category 1 competitions in serious jeopardy as sponsors would be unwilling to back them if there is no Sky coverage. Could RPGTV take over the televising of these events? yes but there is no guarantee that RPGTV will survive the industry changes as currently many of the tracks that they currently show will have enough meetings and may not be able to cover RPGTV as regular tracks currently used like Sunderland and Newcastle now fall under the GMG group having been brought by ARC. It's all a bit confusing and I won't lie I'm seriously worried that the top end of our sport, which is crucial in my opinion, may fall victim. Talk of tracks under each group not allowing their trainers to race at the other group's tracks is strong, though whether it's legally binding is doubtful, either way it will be another time where our sport shoots itself in the foot. Having no top end of our sport is like football without the premiership, motor sports without Formula 1 etc etc it's not healthy and gives no aspirations to the future, although the fact we ourselves are the leading open race kennel and are fast approaching a history record of 70 Category 1 titles won our bread and butter is graded races at Towcester. They have been quiet in all the recent battles but have an established high quality product that the industry seriously needs, it will be a case of watch this space I've been told and we wait with baited breath to see what their position will be long term when the dust settles.
At Hove on Thursday our sole entry in the Sussex Cup Cappoquin Jack qualified for the semi final when 3rd in his heat and Saleen Ash ran a solid race when 3rd in a puppy open over 515m.
At Romford on Friday Roswell Romanov took his heat of the Dual Distance event when winning by over 7 lengths in a fast 23.91 and should be difficult to beat in the final this Friday back over 575m. Cotton Pants ran well when second in the Friday Night 500 Standard final, Garryglass Champ was second over 575m with Rubys Razzle (short of runs) back in 4th and in a close finish Ribble Atom was a fast finishing 3rd over 750m.
At Henlow on Sunday the prolific Shlowdown Sally won by 1/2 length in 16.71 cal though no luck with our other runners on a rain softened track.
Just the one winner on Tuesday as Plan Ahead scored a well deserved victory in an A5 in a good 28.32
On Saturday morning Ribble Ghost battled well to win an A8 in 29.12 while Tiffield Lad ran well to also score from trap 8 in an A5 in 28.78 calc. Jazz Jade has found her form and took an A7 in good style in a decent 28.70.
At night disaster struck on a wet miserable summer's night as Adageo Gold broke down in a good A2 race where Aayamzacraftyone was 3rd. Tread Lightly impressed again with another D1 victory in a good 15.33 and Sidarian Dino scored a debut victory in 28.46
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - ROSWELL ROMANOV
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
A couple of opens grace the card at Towcester tomorrow night and on Thursday we are at both Hove (Sussex Cup semi's) and Monmore. Back to Romford Friday where a one off 925m race is advertised (Ribble Atom) and the final of the Dual Distance over 575m is there for the taking for the prolific Roswell Romanov.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Cotton Pants ran well but was second in the regular Friday night final at Romford. The kennel is not in the greatest form so will leave any bets until we are back running well.
ADVISED LAST WEEK
COTTON PANTS - 4 pts win - Romford - Friday - lost