26th October 2015
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A pretty good start to our William Hill St Leger campaign at Wimbledon on Saturday night with four of our six entries qualifying for next Saturday's second round. Sosaidhs Blue and Ferryforth Fran comfortably got through in 3rd place in their respective heats but both Black Francis and Parkers Poison bit the dust. The race of the night had to be heat 2 as Jimmy Nailed On battled to a lead but was challenged all the way by the well backed favourite Glenpadden Ace, in behind both Droopys Tamera and our Ribble Atom were travelling well but slightly impeded each other at the last bend enabling the front two to kick on slightly. With three or four strides to go it was all four line abreast but the powerful Ribble Atom used her stamina to grab the spoils by a short head from Droopys Tamera with Jimmy Nailed On a further short head away in 3rd and though only beaten 1/2 length Glenpadden Ace was out the competition. The draws have worked out reasonably well for our team but in truth there's no hiding place in this class. Ribble Atom was a last minute decision to enter for the event, that may well prove to be an inspired one as we chase the £25,000 first prize.
It's been pretty quiet otherwise on the road since Newcastle but very busy at Towcester with meetings Friday/Saturday/Sunday.. This week our All England Cup finalist Swift Whirlwind heads to Crayford in preparation for the now reestablished Gold Collar over 540m that starts a week Saturday. Firstly, this Saturday he is an entry in the John Davidson and Colin Wilson Memorial Race and I'm hoping this trip and track will suit him down to the ground.
We had a number of important trials last week and Billys Bullet blew away the cobwebs with a good 15.75 calc trial, most importantly he came off pretty sound after his long absence and he will have another sprint trial this week. Adageo Bob went well also and with the Essex Vase only 3 1/2 weeks away he is on target for his swansong at the end of a brilliant career. Ballymac Sinbad, Adageo Djongo, Aayamzamodel and Garyglass Pixie all impressed as well.
Talk this week that Towcester may not have their Bags contract renewed has been the subject of much gossip in the sport and though I'm not at liberty to speak about their situation I can assure people that Towcester will go from strength to strength. Myself and all the trainers that have been there since its opening are very loyal and are right behind Kevin Ackerman and his team in whatever they decide next. It's a fabulous track and the facilities are the best in the industry. If Towcester fails then there is little hope for the rest of the sport. Bags dominate the industry to an extent that many tracks can't, or have forgotten how to, survive without them. Tightly graded races and racing managers forced to make it hard for favourites to win so bookmakers margins are around 18% are what they want and on the whole get, and what does the industry get in return? ever decreasing fund money. Very little, if any, prize money increases are only the tip of an iceberg of the industry problems, I'm thankful that I'm contracted to a track that is in control of its own destiny!
Our only open racing of the week came at Wimbledon as said above and at Towcester on Saturday Blue Moment was most impressive on his return to the track blasting out from trap 6 to lead and beat a decent field by 2 1/4 lengths in 28.20. In two Novice Stayers races Garryglas Droopy was 2nd and Ribble Aon kept up Lord Hesketh's great form winning well in 39.65 calc.
An excellent Friday with 5 winners. Cardens Punch came from last to first to score well in 29.14 and Ribble Rush scorched home in an S2 in 39.65. Penny Seabiscuit won a decent A4 in 29.49 while there was a debut win for Dodger Lane in 28.90. In the last race Ballymac Shirley just got up on the line to win another A4 in 29.65.
A great card on Saturday and as well as open wins for Blue Moment and Ribble Aon there were two excellent runs from Toosey Fern in 28.32 and the prolific Nimrod Son who landed a kennel 1-2 when beating Cisberry Geo in 28.51.
On Sunday a few close up finishes with Famias Hope (2nd), Swift Clare (2nd) and Swift Boyne (2nd) with the most impressive win of the day coming from Droopys Ford who won a good A3 by 7 1/2 lengths in a very good 27.93.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
On Friday the third leg of the Bags Championship moves to Peterborough and both Oldfield Lynda and Saffrons Anna will hopefully score valuable points for Towcester.
Opens are planned at Towcester on Saturday but the William Hill St Leger second round is the feature of the weekend while the £10,000 RFS Puppy Derby also adds to the fun with Roswell Iceman our main hope for glory.
We will also be at Crayford with Swift Whirlwind in the John Davidson and Colin Wilson Memorial race.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
An excellent start for our St Leger selection Ribble Atom and our supporters will be feeling good about themselves. The RFS Puppy Derby also starts on Saturday and Roswell Iceman is a pup that I like a lot, very unexposed and worth an interest.
ROSWELL ICEMAN - 1 pt e.w ante post - RFS Puppy Derby - Wimbledon - starts Saturday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
RIBBLE ATOM - 2 pts e.w ante post 33/1 - William Hill St Leger - Wimbledon - continues Saturday