9th May 2016
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An incredible week for the kennel was highlighted by a sensational burst of early pace by Billys Bullet en route to landing an emotional Coral Regency final. The scene was set on a beautiful warm evening at Hove as the 'forgotten dog' lined up in the £10,000 to the winner final, a competition he was a warm ante post favourite to win in 2015 when disaster struck in the opening round, bowling along some 8 lengths clear he broke down after sustaining a badly shattered hock. Brilliantly pieced together by orthopaedic surgeon Daniel Doherty he not only fixed the injury but gave us hope that his career was not over. Carefully we began his rebuilding process where our physio Ron Mills helped enormously and in December he returned to the track, a monumental first win back at Towcester shortly followed and a brave defence of his Prestige title in January where he just missed out in the semi final at Hall Green was followed by a confidence boosting win on the supporting card. A few races later where he ran well without that magical spark of old had us and his loyal owners wondering if it was time to call it a day but a brave decision was made to enter him for the Regency. Three weeks before a badly spiked toe sustained at Sheffield put this thought in doubt but we managed to get him to the first round sound but slightly under prepared. Billys Bullet showed how much he loved the galloping south coast track with a great effort not only qualifying but beating our own ante post favourite Patchys Kerry. In the semi finals he was fitter and ran well to march into the final unbeaten but was rewarded with a poor draw in trap 4. What was great for us was that he was absolutely bouncing after the semi final and with the weather turning much warmer we knew he was spot on for the final, with the help of Ron Mills we put the last touches to his final preparations and I was confident he was ready for a huge run. Seeing him blast out in the final and show electric early to clear his field on the short dash to the first bend was a fantastic feeling and I knew he was not for catching, majestically striding clear to the delight of many he came home over 3 lengths clear of Kevin Hutton's Jet StreamTrail in a fine 41.32. Both Scott Murray and Billy Boyle were shaking with delight at the huge achievement as their pride and joy lapped up the kisses and cuddles for his efforts. Corals, as usual, put on an excellent show and the night is another in our history that will go down as such a special one, well done Billys Bullet!
We didn't have long to celebrate the famous victory as the very next day the much awaited William Hill Greyhound Derby got underway with 13 first round heats and what better way to kick off our campaign than seeing our first of 16 entries Calco Flyer produce a whirlwind finish to get up and win by the minimum margin in 28.57, this was a great run as with only two qualifying he looked out of it down the back straight. In heat 4 California making his British debut was pitched in one of the real early paced heats and did well to get round the first two bends in front but went down by 1 1/4 lengths in 28.55 but safely in the hat for the second round, a change of seeding to wide can only help him and he could be one to watch out for. Shutthe Backdoor hasn't quite got to grips with everything yet but is improving bit by bit, a battling performance where he showed terrific middle pace saw him qualify in 3rd. All eyes were on ante post favourite Droopys Roddick in heat 8 but it was our 14/1 shot Ginas Lad who showed the best pace to the bend leading round with Clondoty Alex showing terrific pace after a bump out the boxes to turn second, the pair superbly held off the challenge of Droopys Roddick for a great 1-2 with Ginas Lad prevailing in 28.48. To complete a good first night for the kennel Saffrons Boxer ran well to qualify in 3rd spot behind fast heat scorer Eden The Kid and might be a dog who keeps slipping through unnoticed, overall it was a great feeling seeing all six of ours qualify.
We returned on Friday with four runners and in heat 18 Deanridge Madbye stayed on well to comfortably qualify in 3rd behind veteran Viking Jack. In heat 21 Swift Whirlwind blasted to a 4.76 sectional and easily led at the first bend, he majestically strode clear to win by 7 3/4 lengths in 28.55. In a tough heat 24 Mac's On Storm battled to a 3rd spot though well beaten by the impressive Southfield Jock, our first elimination Famias Hope was back in 5th.
On Saturday the last batch of heats saw an impressive and unexpected win in heat 30 courtesy of Deanridge Angel who blasted out the traps and moved right into the middle but cleared the field and this strong running and underrated bitch was never going to get caught, Tellhimjohn the youngest of our entries battled into second spot and stayed there for an excellent 1-2 with Angel winning by 5 lengths in 28.57. In heat 31 Ballymac Sinbad showed good pace but failed to lead and a lack of race fitness told as he finished 4th. The darling of greyhound racing Domino Storm had to work hard in heat 34 but eventually she came home to win by 2 3/4 lgenths in an excellent 28.38, that was her 7th win on the bounce and is in the form of her life at the moment. Heat 38 was tough to swallow as firstly Ballymac Shirley led but got caught right on the line by Charlie Lister's Boyneside Fun but with only two qualifying Roswell Iceman 1/2 length away in 3rd crashed out the event.
Overall we have to be delighted that 13 of our 16 entries qualified for the second round and having five winners in the heats capped off a tremendous week. In a wide open Derby we might yet have one or two that could go all the way, the second round heats are on this Thursday and Saturday, here's a quick summary of our chances:-
HEAT 1 - This could be a race between the fairer sexes as DOMINO STORM in trap 2 faces the fast Queen Asia. She will be short odds to win but will need to avoid a bump from trap 3 Droopys Astorish who will be turning left straight away! DEANRIDGE MADBYE has a good draw in trap 1 and could well be battling for minor honours. Teds Last has a great draw in trap 6 will pick up the pieces if anything goes wrong up front.
HEAT 2 - A tough race for CALIFORNIA with some strong running sorts especially Droopys Roddick in trap 4, everything will be going inwards so his draw in trap 6 should be ideal. He has the early pace to lead and if he can stay on well an upset might be on the cards.
HEAT 5 - CLONDOTY ALEX has his draw in trap 1 but nothing but his best efforts will suffice here as he faces four heat winners including the Irish pair Droopys Awesome and Peregrine Falcon who will improve.
HEAT 7 - This looks a race between Jaytee Dutch and last year's finalist Making Paper and MAC'S ON STORM in trap 1 will have to work hard to qualify from here but it's not impossible if he can break fast.
HEAT 8 - A tough heat for our duo of TELLHIMJOHN and SWIFT WHIRLWIND where they face the Irish pair of Lenson Rocky and Must Be Jack but the biggest danger could be the enigmatic Droopys Turin in trap 1, both need to trap in their best styles.
HEAT 10 - BALLYMAC SHIRLEY faces a stern test up against the likes of Blue Cafu and has the early paced Bubbly Turbo on her outside, still it's a test she can win.
HEAT 11 - One of the most interesting heats sees both SHUTTHE BACKDOOR and CALCO FLYER pitched in with the early paced Hiya Butt and Face The Blade, this could go anyway in my opinion.
HEAT 13 - A race to savour with the likes of Ballymac Matt, Roxholme Barkley and Droopys Latina all charging to the bend, SAFFRONS BOXER in trap 5 will have to somehow try and get a run but qualifying is not impossible .
HEAT 14 - DEANRIDGE ANGEL has a perfect trap 3 draw to work from and can qualify in a slightly less demanding heat where Boyneside Fun will be the one to beat.
HEAT 15 - GINAS LAD one of the shocks of the first round finds himself in one of the more ultra competitive heats and there is a lot of early going up to the bend including the impressive Jaytee Spartacus. After last week write him off at your peril.
So there we have the thoughts on a second round in a wide open Derby. No doubt some of ours like Saffrons Boxer and Ginas Lad have very tough heats. Domino Storm my ante-post fancy kicks off proceedings and she is fully expected to race to another victory and if she can keep getting the draws she can go all the way, roll on Thursday!
In other news it was great to see Towcester qualify in the preliminary round of the Bags Championship at Sheffield on Tuesday and the defending champions now go into the hat for the first round proper. Mac's On Storm took the 500m in a fine 29.08 while Ela Ela Genie scored valuable points when 3rd.
No luck in our two Henlow finals last night as Saffrons Anna was a good second in the Dual Distance Final and Garryglass Pixie was 3rd in her 550m Final. One of our great Henlow dogs Blue Moment has now been officially retired and the lovable blue dog has now settled in on my couch as we have taken him home, to say he loves it is an understatement!
Rubys Rascal got the week off to a good start winning in the heats of the Towcester Bookmakers Puppy Trophy coming from off the pace to score in 28.55, Fearsome Folly ran well when second on her six bend debut.
Wednesday was a great night for the kennel as Billys Bullet scored a famous victory in the Coral Regency Final. On the supporting card Ribble Atom was a close up second in a high quality Marathon.
Thursday/Friday and Saturday was all about the Derby as said above and with five winners and 13 of our 16 entries qualifying for the next round.
At Romford on Friday Vandiva was a close up 3rd in the Winner of One final while win machine Evanta Fantasy scored again in 24.34 (-20).
On Sunday at Henlow Saffrons Anna (2nd) and Garryglass Pixie (3rd) ran well.
A couple of nice graded winners, Swift Dante performed miracles to get up on the line to win her first ever race in 28.78 while Rufford Atom scored an overdue success in A4 in 28.77.
On Friday there was a debut win for Saffrons Honey at the second time of asking in a D4 in 16.05, Broxbourne Flyer came closest of our others when just beaten in an A6.
A good card on Saturday started well with a 1-2 for our novice pups Swift Windmill and Swift Katrina prevailing in 29.18. The promising Blastoff Bonnie scored well in an A6 by 3 lengths in 28.50 and Ela Ela Genie easily took a good D1 by nearly 3 lgenths in a flying 15.10. Sligo Star ran well when runner up in a good A2 and Parkers Poison completed a good night when taking the S1 in a very good 38.51 with Ferryforth Fran back in 3rd.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
The William Hill Greyhound Derby second round is the main focus of attention where we have seven runners on Thursday and six runners on Saturday.
Rubys Rascal runs in a decent puppy final at Towcester tomorrow and we will be at Romford on Friday.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
A brilliant week for our supporters as Billys Bullet obliged in the final of the Regency at a juicy 14/1!!!
A great start to our Derby campaign with Calco Flyer kicking off with a win. Domino Storm started her campaign with a fluent win and our only sad note was the unlucky elimination of Roswell Iceman.
The best bet of the second round heats for me is Ballymac Shirley who has a great draw on Saturday while I was quietly impressed by California and though he faces a tough second round heat we should have something on our 100/1 shot.
BALLYMAC SHIRLEY - 5 pts win - heat 10 William Hill Derby second round - Wimbledon - Saturday
CALIFORNIA - 1 pt e.w ante post 100/1 - William Hill Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon
ADVISED LAST WEEK
BILLYS BULLET - 1.5 pts e.w ante post 14/1 - Coral Regency - Hove - Thursday - WON 14/1 (26 pts profit)
CALCO FLYER - 5 pts win - heat 1 William Hill Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon- Thursday - WON 4/5 (4 pts profit)
DOMINO STORM - 2.5 pts e.w ante post 50/1 - William Hill Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon- second round Thursday
SHUTTHE BACKDOOR - 2 pts e.w ante post 150/1 - Willian Hill Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon - second round Saturday
ROSWELL ICEMAN - 1.5 pts e.w ante post 66/1- William Hill Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon - lost
CALCO FLYER - 1.5 pts e.w ante post 150/1 - William Hill Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon - second round Saturday
TELLHIMJOHN - 1 pt e.w ante post 200/1 - William Hill Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon- second round Thursday