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Rubys Rascal had to use all his powers to battle his way through to a second William Hill St Leger final when he was 3rd in his semi final at Perry Barr on Saturday. For a minute it looked as if a troubled run for the first two bends of the race might cost him but in a bunched finish he just scrambled home behind Patrick Janssen's Goldies Hotspur. The fact he was beaten just over a length in 43.05 and the other semi final won by Airmount Tess in 42.98 means only 2 lengths covers the whole field and the race promises to be a cracker and all six connections will feel like they have a chance of landing the £25,000 first prize,. Last year Rubys Rascal got no sort of run when well beaten by our outsider Ferryforth Fran in the final, Ferryforth Fran had also previously been well beaten in the final the year before at Wimbledon so maybe there is a lucky sign there that Rascal can do the same, it promises to be a classic!
We come into an important week in great form, an excellent 5 timer from 10 runners at Romford on Friday and a very decent day at Towcester on Saturday both in the morning and the evening where the highlight was Honest Robber
winning in the second round of the ECC Timber Puppy Derby. Brinkleys Twirl was a touch unlucky when eliminated from the same heat but she's only an April 16 whelp and her time will come. It's certainly a top class competition and we were delighted to see Kilcree Diamond qualify in a real tough heat. Considering he only came over from Ireland a couple of weeks before the competition started he has settled well and though he and Honest Robber face difficult semi finals they both look high class prospects for the future.
Last night all eyes were on Nottingham and a stunning Betfed Eclipse entry this year saw some excellent races. Bruisers Bullet having his first race since Derby final night in June faced a tough draw in trap 4 but came through by the skin of his teeth. Hampered at the start by trap 3 he couldn't shake clear his intentions until the 3rd bend and when he did he faced a 4 length deficit just to catch the 3rd placed dog, he did just that and eventually was only beaten 3 lengths so we were delighted with his performance and he will come on for the run though trap 4 again in the semi final will undoubtedly make it tougher. Both Ninja Fortune and Roswell Romanov went out at the first stage.
With so many big competitions either underway or just about to start Nov/Dec is a busy couple of months and always has a huge bearing on the Trainer of the Year title/top six as well as the top Greyhound awards for 2018. We most definitely need at least a few finalists or a winner in the Category 1 events remaining to secure a ninth title, we only have an 80 odd point lead from our nearest rival Seamus Cahill and we both have some cards to play before December 31st. The top six sees at least 8 or 9 trainers still in with a chance of grabbing a place which will secure a Trainers Championship invite (if it happens of course!). My former Assistant Trainer Patrick Janssens is currently holding on to the sixth spot and has a St Leger finalist and possible winner, he would be my favourite to get that vitally important spot and what a great achievement that would be for Patrick and his team.
Trials and racing at Nottingham last Monday saw an excellent 29.41 workout for Bruisers Bullet while Not So Classical took an 680m Maiden by 5 lengths in a very good 41.67.
Fireworks were rampant at Romford on Friday and so were our dogs! Brynoffa Jasmin took a sprint in 13.62, Cotton Pants resumed winning ways in the heats of the Friday Night 500 Standard scoring by 1 3/4 lengths in 23.84, Ashakiran was impressive when taking a bitches 400m in 23.79, Droopys Dresden completed a hat trick when taking a heat of the Friday Night 500 Stayers in 35.39 and Rubys Razzle looked nearly back to her best when skating up in a rare bitches 575m in 35.25 to complete a good night for the kennel.
On Saturday the ECC Timber second round at Towcester saw Honest Robber beat the useful Jovial Monk by 1 1/4 lengths in 29.65, Kilcree Diamond showed excellent early pace and led to the run in before going down by 2 1/2 lengths to the strong Lightfoot King in 29.56. It's a top competition but our two are still in with a shout of landing the £20,000 first prize.
Just a few runners and a win for Aiforce Cluxton in an Owners Bonus Series D3 event on Tuesday. On Saturday morning we started off with a nice treble when Ribble Ghost won in 29.14, Ninja Storm took advantage of a drop in grade winning an S3 in 42.24 and Jazz Jade won well in 28.87 in an A6.
At night as well as the Puppy competition we saw wins for both Plan Ahead who beat kennelmate Sidarian Dino in a good 28.41 calc while Boylesports Duke doubled up to take an A4 in a very good 28.30 calc.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - HONEST ROBBER
GRADED - BOYLESPORTS DUKE
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
The Betfred Eclipse took place at Nottingham last night and this coming Wednesday the biggest staying race of the year the William Hill St Leger sees Rubys Rascal trying to give us a 5th winner in the classic. A few other runners in the supporting races could hopefully give us a good night.
On Friday we hope to have another decent night at Romford and we have chances in both of the feature finals.
On Saturday the semi finals of the ECC Timber Puppy Derby see both Honest Robber and Kilcree Diamond trying to make the decider next Wednesday.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
So we didn't put up Rubys Rascal in the St Leger and at the start he was around 7/1, having qualified through 3 rounds and now drawn in trap 1 he must be worth an interest at around 3/1, it's seems to be a lucky competition for us
Honest Robber available at around 33/1 for the ECC Timber Puppy Derby won his second round very well and is still trading at 16/1 for the final but in reality it would be just nice to get him in this high class final.
RUBYS RASCAL - 5 pts win 3/1 - William Hill St Leger Final - Perr Barr - Wednesday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
HONEST ROBBER - 1 pt ew ante post 33/1 - ECC Timber Puppy Derby - Towcester - semi finals Saturday