2nd July 2019
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Nottingham did their best to put on a good show for the Greyhound Derby final night on Saturday and overall I thought it worked well. The extreme heat, where temperatures hit an unbearable 32 degrees, wasn't helpful to the night especially for all the trainers travelling long distances but thankfully common sense seemed to prevail everywhere. Daniel and Kevin travelled with our runners using the two separate kennelling times while myself, Sarah and Emily came down in the car as we were generously invited in the restaurant by our owners Nic and Amanda Jeal, that was a black tie affair and everyone seemed to enjoy the evening.
Right next to our table was Paul Hennessey's party and they were in joyous mood as their Priceless Blake took the honours by landing the big one. A smash break and great early pace saw their star lead at the first bend and despite the strong finish of Ballymac Tas and Skywalker Logan he held on gamely to make it an Irish 1-2-3. Favourite Magical Bale missed his break from that dreaded trap 1 and after being chopped off at the first bend was never a factor. That gives Paul is second English Derby victory and well done to the team, it was very well deserved.
We were hoping for a great night ourselves but came away a fraction disappointed though we did win the RPGTV Stayers Final as Antigua Fire produced an exciting last to first finish to just grab the spoils from Savana Volt by a neck in 41.94. Brinkleys Poet was only 3rd in the JPW Cup final after a missed break behind the impressive Forest Jason for Julie Bateson, Antigua Vows ran well when 3rd in the Oaks Trophy and Garryglass Champ ran his heart out in the veteran race when second to Newinn Shadow for Graham Holland beaten just 3/4 length. I thought our best chance of the night would be with Brigadier Bullet in the 730m but he flopped out the boxes and despite showing some great pace to draw alongside leader Headford Maurice off the last bend he was then out stayed by Droopys Essie to go down by a length. We were hoping Aayamza Breeze would cap the night off by trying to win the Dorando Marathon for a second time but she was always up against it when she fell out and was plum last going into the the corner and though she did make steady ground she never really looked like winning and was 4th behind Micks Little Gem for Michelle Brown.
There was a large presence of anti greyhound racing people at the entrance to the stadium, as expected, but while I feel everyone has a right to express their opinions I can't help wondering whether their facts and motives are right. They spout way too many lies that certain individuals feed them, if they truly think that everyone who enjoys greyhound racing is cruel they are totally misguided, yes we have a long way to go to make the sport whiter than white but 99.99 % of owners, trainers, breeders and promoters love the breed more than they can imagine and would do anything for their beloved greyhounds. We all know there are certain risks involved in racing but the greyhounds are not forced to race like they would like the public to believe. Greyhound Racing has a huge history and tradition and gives hundreds of thousands of people each year a great thrill and as long as we keep improving all welfare standards I see no reason why the sport can't look forward to the future.
I saw some of the lies spouted by the anti's at first hand this week when one of our ex racers (Brinkleys Blaze) appeared on an advert for stud duties in China. Robert Brinkley, his ex owner was furious and after a brief investigation the truth of the matter was clear and Blaze is enjoying a great home life after being successfully rehomed last year by Hall Green Greyhound Trust and Blaze has a very loving home, as all our dogs will have when they are retired at our kennel. One wonders also that the damming RTE programme shown in Ireland a couple of days before the Derby final was timed to make full use of its horrific content. While I haven't seen the programme, talk that some 6,000 greyhounds are destroyed each year seems ludicrous but the IGB certainly needs to investigate these allegations and if there is any truth in them then heads must rol. We are in an age that destroying greyhounds because they don't chase or are not quick enough can't be tolerated at any level any more.
This week we try and look to chase some more open race winners but unfortunately I can't see anything suitable for two big competitions that start. We haven't got anything for the Guys and Dolls at Crayford which starts Saturday and disappointingly we have no suitable puppies for Henlow's big puppy competition that gets underway on Sunday. We will thankfully be well represented in the forthcoming Three Steps to Victory that starts next Tuesday - Antigua Fire, Brigadier Bullet, Busters Bullet, No Can Boogie and possibly in form Chubbys Caviar could all be entered. The Sussex Cup at Hove also starts next week and Antigua Sands, Alien Sea and Antigua Vows are likely entries while a decision on Brinkleys Poet will be made as we are not sure on this event or for him to defend his Select Stakes title which he won last year, both events clash. After the weekend we are 45 points behind Patrick Janssens in the Trainer of the Year title but we are only half way through the season so a lot can happen in that time, trying to win competitions comes first and hopefully that will secure vital points for the overall individual title.
Entries to our popular 5 To Follow competition seems to have been a bit slow coming in with a few people saying they couldn't access the website for some reason but fear not, if you would still like to do an entry (you can have up to five teams) and can't get through we will take late entries up to Thursday via an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Thursday at Hove Antigua Sands won well over 515m beating kennelmate Chubbys Turkana by 4 3/4 lengths in 29.98 on a slowish track. Just three runners at Romford on Friday with Chubbys Caviar making it four on the spin when taking the Friday Night 500 Stayers final catching Rough Star on the run in for a narrow but well deserved victory in 35.43.
Nottingham on Saturday as said above but not the best of days for our open racers at Henlow on Sunday where we didn't get a winner though I thought Tommys Storm and Busters Bullet were very unlucky and Bumblebee Bullet looks a bitch with a great staying future.
On Tuesday evening in form Bobs Boy won well beating kennelmate Jaxxon Facebook by 1 3/4 lengths in an S4 in 34.43 and Chubbys Jenny also won well in an S3 in 34.37 while Ballyfinn Jade was denied a short head in an S2.
On Thursday Muxton Belle gained a well deserved victory in an A7 in 28.83.
On Friday morning we had a nice four timer, Swift Lisetta bounced back to form taking an A6 in 28.19, Muxton Teddy ran very well to win an A7 by 5 lengths in a good 28.16 and puppy Coasthopper Vic made it 4 wins from 7 runs winning an A8 in 28.82. Nothing But Love completed a good day scoring in an S2 by 4 lengths in a fine 33.94.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - ANTIGUA FIRE
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
A quiet week on the open race scene though we will be at Hove on Thursday and Monmore on Saturday for the Summer Festival races. We should have a few open races at Henlow on Sunday.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Brinkleys Poet was only 3rd in the JPW Cup final at Nottingham on Derby Final night and I'm still scratching my head as to how Brigadier Bullet got beat in the 730m race!
Not too much happening this week but so have a look at the ante post prices for the Three Steps and Sussex Cup competitions starting next week.
ADVISED LAST WEEK
BRINKLEYS POET - 4 pts win ante post 5/1 - Nottingham - Saturday - lost
BRIGADIER BULLET - 5 pts win - Nottingham - Saturday - lost