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It’s difficult to get really excited about this week's Starsports/Arc Greyhound Derby Final in these strange times as it looks like the vast majority of Greyhound fans will be watching from their sofas as Nottingham will be severely restricted in numbers that are allowed into the stadium. After it was announced that Nottingham moves into tier 3 from Thursday night there are plenty asking if we are even going to be able to hold a finals night, at the moment it seems ok and despite all the problems in the world it looks a great card. We have plenty of interest with Hopes Doggy (Derby Plate), Antigua Bruiser (Puppy) and Agincourt Xena (British Bred) all in supporting finals while we have Hopes Bullet, Avastorm, Aayamza Lexie in one off races and we have a brilliant Dorando Marathon with our Cesarewitch winner Aayamza Royale locking horns with last year's winner Micks Little Gem amongst others. It’s not easy getting winners at Nottingham but hopefully we can find one or two out of these. As for the Derby Final my heart says the brilliant Southwood Jet but my head says Wolfe will be crowned champion.
It’s hard to believe we are approaching six months since we started racing again since lockdown was lifted at the start of June but we look closer to the point now of where we were way back in March which is not good. Sometimes everyday life seems normal when working at the kennels, right from an early start at 6am, when I normally get up, the day seems to fly by as we have plenty of dogs to attend to and prepare for racing, we have at least 4 day time meetings to cover plus trial days and around 3 or 4 open race meetings in the evening so most of the time it’s normality and although the race and trial meetings themselves are no fun and mostly behind closed doors the working week flies by. What I’m missing most is the few days off I get each month where myself, Sarah, Daniel and Emily like to go out to the cinema, restaurants, the odd trips to London and of course a family holiday or two to look forward to. Yes I can go off for a round of golf occasionally but realistically it’s just not the same and all those things we took for granted seem light years away at the moment. Heaven help us if we have another 3 month plus full lockdown as financially I couldn’t see our business surviving and the industry I feel will collapse, it wouldn’t take much more to force tracks to close and as we have found out the likes of Poole and Peterborough are lost forever. We face a long winter I’m sure but we live in hope that we find a solution to this pandemic, Christmas this year is going to be a real blow out and you have to feel more for the younger generation who enjoy the festivities most as it seems likely group gatherings will not be allowed. Already many people face Christmas without a job or business so we must remember that there are so many people worse off than ourselves, it certainly makes me think that when this is eventually over I will live life to the full and not waste a minute ever again and not take the simple things that we enjoy for granted.
Not the best of Friday nights at Romford as we came away empty handed but both Saffrons Xpress and Tiffield Blueboy ran well to qualify for the Friday Night 500 Standard final when second in their respected heats, Alien Sea also ran well in the Friday Night 500 Stayers Final when 3rd and Jesses Sister was just edged out in a bitches 400m.
At Nottingham on Saturday Antigua Bruiser fairly took off winning his heat of the RPGTV Puppy trophy by 1 1/4 lengths in a fine 29.84. In the British Bred competition in memory of Natalie Savva Agincourt Xena led to near the line before going down 1/2 length in 30.01 to make next week's final while in the Derby Plate Hopes Bullet was forced to check at the bend as Doolin Duke chopped him off and he was always struggling to qualify after that but Hopes Doggy qualified for Saturday night's final when 3rd in his heat behind Catunda Logan and he is starting to show his potential. Avastorm looked a bit lost on her first visit to Nottingham when eliminated in a strong Stayers competition and we had a good trial before racing from Aayamza Lexie (29.84) ahead of this week's Ladies race.
On Sunday at Central Park the going on the inside seemed really tough and we had three seconds from out five runners. Hardy Rebel ran a blinder to be beaten a short head while both Antigua Jet and Drumcrow Brent ran well.
HENLOW & TOWCESTER REVIEW
On Monday we had two winners as Energise Bundy took a D4 in a good 16.94 and Koroleva Queen
ran well to win an S3 in 34.03. Just the one winner on Tuesday night as Bobs Queen scored well in an A9 in 28.63.
On Thursday Deans Hail Mary beat kennel mate Towstar Winston in a B2 by a head in a 26.22 calc and Longacres Mikey got a well deserved victory in an S2 in 34.18. On Saturday Glassmoss Sis was best of our runners when second in an S2.
Just four runners on Sunday at Towcester but two winners with Pennys Plumber winning well in an A4 in a good 29.98 and Garryglass Royal scoring back to back victories when taking an A6 in 30.47.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - ANTIGUA BRUISER
GRADED - KOROLEVA QUEEN
WHAT’S ON NEXT WEEK
A few runners at Romford on Friday with Tiffield Blueboy and Saffrons Xpress in the Friday Night 500 Standard Final.
A big night on Saturday at Nottingham with Derby night extravaganza without the crowds! We have to make the best of a great card and hopefully a winner or two from the kennel.
We will be back at Central Park on Sunday night with a few runners.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Agincourt Xena made it through to the British Bred final on Saturday night but unfortunately Hopes Bullet was unluckily knocked out the Derby Plate.
Best bet for us on the Derby night card could well be Aayamza Royale in the Dorando Marathon and it is a strong race so she should be a reasonable price.
AAYAMZA ROYALE - 5 pts win - Dorando Marathon - Nottingham - Saturday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
AGINCOURT XENA - 1 pt each way ante post - Westmead Legacy In Memory Of Natalie Savva Trophy - Nottingham - final Saturday
HOPES BULLET - 2 pts each way ante post 25/1 - Derby Plate - Nottingham - lost