31st May 2016
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Our 2016 William Hill Greyhound Derby campaign came to an end on Tuesday as our last remaining runner California bowed out at the quarter final stage. A slightly missed break didn't help but more importantly he was led up by both Bubbly Turbo and Ballymac Brogan and try as hard as he could they weren't for passing setting up the race for the strong finishers and he just missed out on a place in the semi final. Still it was a fine Derby for California and hopefully he will train on to be a major player in other big competitions later in the year, being only an April 2014 he will still be a live contender for 2017's Derby wherever that might be held. Talking about that I spoke to Paschal Taggart today and it is imperative that all owners, trainers and anyone connected with our industry does the simple job of sending a postcard to the Mayor Of London's office stating that we would like greyhound racing to continue at Plough Lane and that they support the plans for a new greyhound stadium with affordable housing on the current site, if everyone in the sport spared just 5 minutes to do this it could have a huge say in the outcome of Wimbledon's future.
Although now not involved in the final this Saturday, it's an absolute cracker and the odds of an Irish trained winner are very short and Jaytee Jet in trap 6 has a draw to die for and surely will go off a very warm favourite. As usual an excellent supporting card sees us with plenty of interest. California and Roswell Iceman run in cracking 480m races and Ballymac Shirley can atone for a rare defeat at Henlow on Sunday when she lines up in the ladies race. Ribble Atom of course has the Roxholme Magic bitch to beat in the Dorando Marathon and the 655m Stayers sees Billys Bullet in another hot contest. We won the Derby Plate last year with Domino Storm and Clondoty Alex has a great draw in trap 1 to be able to repeat this while Calco Flyer defends his British Bred title he won last year and what a race this is with the likes of Eden The Kid in opposition.
It's a busy time for the kennel with plenty of interest in smaller finals this week starting tonight where Macs On Storm faces a tough draw at Towcester in the RPGTV Standard final. On Thursday at Hove we are doubly represented in the May 500 Ladies final with Airforce Duchess & Garryglass Pixie and on Friday at Romford we again have two in the Rose Bowl final with Ribble Aon and Swift Whirlwind as well as Sligo Star in the Friday Night Winner Of One Final.
The Derby has certainly kept the interest in greyhound racing at a high but behind the scenes not only have we got uncertainty with the future of Wimbledon but the whole industry is under a cloud with the lack of funding coming in, on my guest column today my mother in law and greyhound legend Linda Jones gives a frank opinion of her thoughts on the current situation.
At Towcester on Tuesday Blastoff Bonnie continued her fine form taking a puppy open in 28.60 calc. The new 500m traps were used for the first time in Towcester's short history and Ferryforth Fran was 4th in the Dual Distance final while Macs On Storm made it into the final of the Standard final when 2nd in his heat.
At Wimbledon as said California went out the Derby while in supporting races Billys Bullet was 3rd in a hot stayers race and Ribble Atom again saw the back of Roxholme Magic in the marathon who smashed the track record, amazingly Ribble Atom was herself inside the old track record despite being beaten over 4 lengths. We did come away with a winner when Roswell Iceman showed superb middle pace to land a 480m in 28.45.
Not the best of luck at Hove as Calco Flyer missed the chance to win the Hove 500 Final when crowded on the run up finishing a close up 3rd. Garryglass Pixie was 2nd in the Ladies 500 heats and Airforce Duchess got back to winning ways when taking her heat in 30.27. Same again at Romford Friday with all of our five running well but no winners. Sligo Star was a close up second in the heats of the Winner Of One stakes while both Swift Whirlwind and Ribble Aon were second in their respective Rose Bowl heats.
On Saturday Clondoty Alex was a touch unlucky in the Derby Plate heats but was second behind the fast Yassoo Martin. In the charity meeting at Henlow on Sunday our luck was out also with rare defeats for Ballymac Shirley and Saffrons Anna.
On Tuesday Roswell Roxanne was 3rd in the Owners Bonus Series final and on Friday only three runners with Airforce Galaxy making it 2 wins from 3 runs winning in 28.76.
A good night Saturday as we had five winners overall. Parkers Prince took an A7 in 28.88 and Giveabitback Sue caused a surprise winning a D2 by over 3 lengths in 15.51. Farran Evans went even better in the D1 winning by 1 1/2 lengths in a very good 15.27. The best race of the night an A2 was won by Ballymac Sinbad by over 3 lengths in a very good 28.12 and there was a fine win for Roswell Red Kite in an A6 in 28.45.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Tonight a good card at Towcester sees us with plenty of open race action including Billys Bullet, Roswell Iceman and Macs On Storm in the Standard final.
We are back to Hove on Thursday, Romford on Friday and on Saturday the gala Derby final card is its usual high standard.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Our Derby betting is gone now and time to concentrate on our other racing. Looking for a winner on a tough supporting card I'm hoping Ballymac Shirley can bounce back to winning ways from a plot draw in trap 3.
BALLYMAC SHIRLEY - 5 pts win - Wimbledon - Saturday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
CALIFORNIA - 1 pt e.w ante post 100/1 - William Hill Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon - lost
RIBBLE ATOM - 2 pts win - Wimbledon - Tuesday - lost