24th May 2016
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I can't help feeling somewhat disappointed with our Derby campaign as four of our five contenders crashed out in Saturday's third round at Wimbledon, perhaps not disappointed with their efforts but more so with the lack of luck that you so need to keep qualifying. The night started sensationally as our improving California flew to the first bend (4.77 sectional) and led all the way to win heat 2 taking the notable scalps of Jaytee Dutch and Droopys Latina. His winning time of 28.57 was reasonable but more importantly he is improving with every race rather than starting off flashy and going backwards. Our young April 2014 son of Ballymac Vic is now a 20/1 chance for outright honours with the sponsors William Hill, this would be shorter if he hadn't drawn such a competitive quarter final heat. He will need to improve again if he is to make the semi's next Saturday and will have to trap smartly with so much early pace inside him, we are at that stage now that all you want to do is qualify.
The rest of Saturday night was a bit painful for us to watch. Firstly our Oaks heroine Domino Storm got ruffed up a bit at the first bend after a good break but somehow managed to turn third off the second bend, the powerful Jaytee Jet was away and gone and the scramble for the qualifying spots was on. Try as she did our little bitch was definitely struggling as she railed closely suggesting the going on the inside, especially tight to the fence, was not as quick as the middle and certainly not as quick as the outside and anyone who disagrees with that has blinkers on! Cloran Paddy, for Charlie Lister switching to the middle on the run ran on very strong to nick that 3rd qualifying spot off Domino Storm and her Derby campaign was over. She will now have a break and target the £20,000 to the winner Lowther Stakes at Towcester in August.
Deanridge Madbye took advantage of trouble up front in the hottest heat of the third round and somehow found himself in second place off the second bend but had the likes of Eden The Kid and Droopys Roddick chasing him. Again I thought he would have made a better fist of it had he not been glued to the rails and he eventually finished 5th, he will hopefully step up in trip now. In the last heat it's almost the least said the better. The seeding on the rails of Lenson Rocky is not good as it takes a middle course, Ginas Lad was effectively taken out of the race at the start. Clondoty Alex in the main avoided the trouble and got around in 3rd and looked nailed on to qualify until Paul Young's Droopys Ambition showed awesome pace but unfortunately only the kind of pace that fighters have and in a flash she attacked Alex and that was the end of his honourable campaign.
As always there were shocks aplenty in this third round not least Eden The Kid who can count himself very unlucky. I was confident of getting at least two or three of our runners through but it wasn't to be. As they say you only need one to win and we are left with our youngster California who looks like he's coming to hand nicely, he's in great shape as we get down to the last 24 and he is two runs away from making the classic final but boy! does he have a tough quarter final, if we can get through this I'm positive we can have a great chance of making the final. The quarter finals are live on Sky and there are some great supporting opens including an intriguing clash between our Regency winner Billys Bullet and the Leger hero Fizzypop Buddy over 687m while Ribble Atom takes on Roxholme Magic in a marathon. We also have Roswell Iceman and Tellhimjohn (after Sky) back over 480m.
Towcester is currently suffering from a huge number of graded dogs available and Chris Page and his team were left with well over 120 dogs who didn't get a run over the last week, this is obviously frustrating for owners and trainers but hopefully this will sort itself out over the next few weeks. We have over 50 on the strength with loads of new pups coming on the cards, you do have to balance the fact they need regular runs but also I never really like to see them have more than 16 runs before they are out of puppy status as they can quite easily burn themselves out well before they get to four years old. The new streaming on Towcester TV is excellent quality, it's a shame you can't bet into Towcester Bet or straight into the tote pool as this would create huge revenue for the track and would then be passed down into better prize money etc, here's hoping!!!
On Tuesday at Towcester a thrilling race over 655m saw Ferryforth Fran finish a close up 2nd in the Dual Distance heats. Ela Ela Genie clearly doesn't stay 480m when he again led in the 480m Maiden final but faded into 4th place. Fearsome Folly was 2nd in a Novice Stayers but Roswell Iceman returned to his home track to score a narrow victory over 480m in 28.41.
At Hove on Thursday Calco Flyer was another Derby exit who got back on the winning trail taking a heat of the 515m Thursday 500 in 29.94, Mass Megan ran well when third in the puppy race and Garryglass Pixie got back on the winner's podium when taking the bitches race by 1/2 length in 30.19 with Airforce Duchess back in 3rd.
At Romford on Friday Giveabitback Sue was 3rd in a 400m Maiden, Evanta Fantasy was beaten into 4th in the Friday 500 heats but Swift Whirlwind was another to come from the Derby to score back over 575m in a good 35.49.
Saturday was all about the William Hill Greyhound Derby with California triumphant for us in the third round.
Roswell Roxanne was our only graded runner and qualified for the final of the Owners Bonus Series when 2nd in her heat. Not much luck from our 6 runners on Friday with Swift Dartmoor and Broxbourne Flyer coming closest when both second.
It was a case of seconditis on Saturday with six of ours filling the runner up spots,.Ninja Frankie and Deanridge Angel were both a touch unlucky. Fearsome Folly dropped to an S2 won comfortably by 4 1/2 lengths in 40.05.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
The Willam Hill Greyhound Derby quarter finals are the focus of a superb card at Wimbledon live on Sky tonight whilst Towcester has a decent card live on RPGTV.
At Hove on Thursday Calco Flyer has a great chance to land a small final and we have a strong hand in the Ladies 500m heats.
The Rose Bowl at Romford is on Friday and we should have a few runners and it's back to Wimbledon on Saturday as the Derby reaches the semi final stage and we also have the Derby Plate .
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
With Domino Storm and Clondoty Alex out of the Derby we only have California left as we reach the quarter final stage - cling onto those 100/1 vouchers tightly as he might still have a big say in the outcome!
For a bet this week I'm going to take on Roxholme Magic with Ribble Atom in the Marathon tonight at Wimbledon, she will be value to poach a lead and stay there.
RIBBLE ATOM - 2 pts win - 7.26 Wimbledon - Tuesday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
DOMINO STORM - 2.5 pts e.w ante post 50/1 - William Hill Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon - lost
CALIFORNIA - 1 pt e.w ante post 100/1 - William Hill Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon - Quarter Finals tonight
CLONDOTY ALEX - 1 pt e.w ante post 66/1 - William Hill Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon - lost