Monday 12th April 2010
JOIN GOBATA NOW
An incredibly exciting week in store for our kennel starting tomorrow night with the Stan James Blue Riband final at Hall Green. Both Eye Onthe Storm and Jogadusc Ace line up for us in the £7,000 to the winner final and with Eye Onthe Storm trading at 1-2 with most bookmakers and Jogadusc Ace, who was runner up last year when favourite, a 6-1 shot we must have a great chance of landing the Category 1 event for the first time. The semi-finals last Tuesday produced high drama with both Eye Eye Pickle and Dalcash Scolari eliminated from the first semi. Eye Eye Pickle made a hash of the start and in the end did well to finish 3rd just half a length from qualifying while Dalcash Scolari could not extract himself from a poor draw in trap 4 and took a crashing fall at the first bend. Thankfully he seems OK and will head to Wimbledon for a trial in preparation for the Derby. The second semi-final at Hall Green produced a workmanlike performance from Eye Onthe Storm who was hard pressed by Freedom Emma throughout the race before scoring by 1 1/2 lengths in 28.10. The fact that his time was only 7 spots off of his own track record tells us what a serious hound he is as there looks a lot more left in the locker. The third semi brought a big smile to our faces when Jogadusc Ace showed that potent early pace to take what seemed a winning lead but an incredibly short hare at the second bend which made Ace move off almost over the hare rail nearly cost him the race but regaining his momentum he swept passed Ballymac Ace at the third bend to hold on and score in 28.32 with Greyhound Of The Year Fear Zafonic knocked out back in 3rd. The draw with Eye Onthe Storm in trap 1 and Jogadusc Ace in trap 2 has worked out well and respect is given to all the other four finalists but I do feel it's there for the taking if they can both trap in reasonable fashion.
Two other major events started last week as well. The Golden Sprint at Romford produced some tough races with both Kinda Handy and Risky Wand finding trouble when eliminated and it looked the same for Directors Wit when he was buffeted back to last at the first bend but to his credit he took off down the back straight and qualified in third place but again has been rewarded with a poor draw in trap 4 in Friday's semi-final. On Saturday the high class Peterborough Puppy Derby kicked off with six heats and both Kinda Close and Rockburst Canyon, despite being drawn together, ran well to qualify in 2nd and 3rd respectively behind fastest of the night (25.29) and ante-post favourite Little Sensation. Bim Bam Boozle was sent off at a dismissive 7/1 chance but ran a storming race leading off the last bend to take his heat in 25.52. The draw is made today for Fridays semi-finals.
The William Hill Greyhound Derby is now less than three weeks away and we took the chance to put a few likely candidates through their paces at the new Wimbledon circuit last Wednesday. I say new because with the 480m traps now over the old far side and with the bends all re-aligned it feels like a brand new circuit and my first impressions were of pleasurable surprise of how well the dogs went round the bends and I think there won't be any concerns for owners and trainers who take their pride and joys to Plough Lane. For the record I was delighted that Dick and Anne Barfoot's Adageo clocked the fastest time of the whole trial session when he beat Aero Bolt (also went well) a couple of lengths in 28.66. Eye Onthe Flash looked in good form when clocking 28.84, Droopys Zach returned to the track after injury and clocked a satisfactory 16.67. Obviously one sad aspect of Wimbledon is the now vast empty main grandstand and you get the feeling this might be left to rot unless some major investment is found. The cheap side grandstand is now the centre focus and as much as it will do a job for normal nights one wonders how it can cope with large crowds and Final night is going to cause a real problem.
Talking off the Derby GOBATA have come up with an excellent idea to hold a Greyhound Derby Preview Night. This will be held on the 25th April at Henlow Stadium and starts at 7 pm. I am delighted to have been asked to join a panel of experts that include trainers Charlie Lister, Nick Savva and Pat Buckley from Ireland as well as Tanya Stevenson, Floyd Amphlett and Richard Birch representing the press. The tickets cost £5 for GOBATA members and £7 for non members but you can join at the door. The night is hosted by Jonathon Hobbs and Darrell Williams and includes some video footage from Clive and Dave Lawrence of Sky and all the trainers will give some vital clues to their Derby performers - I think you would agree a night not to be missed.
Tuesday the feature of the night was the Blue Riband semi's at Hall Green and as said above we have qualified both Eye Onthe Storm and Jogadusc Ace for the final. The other event starting was the heats of the Geoff Demulder Memorial Maiden over 480m and Catunda Mae put in a good performance when 2nd to Droopys Edgar beaten 3 1/2 lengths in 28.31.
On Wednesday our only open runner was Bell Tornado in the Monkey Stayers final but a mistimed break cost him and his challenge petered out at the 5th bend and he finished 5th.
On Friday at Romford the Golden Sprint heats gave us only one qualifier in Directors Wit and in supporting races Join The Maids produced an excellent display to open her account in a 750m Maiden Marathon. Breaking well she just got outpaced in the middle of the race but finished like a train to win comfortably in a good 47.71. All That Noise stepping up to six bends for the first time ran a stormer, turning second around the first two bends he chased trap 1 Droopys Verdasco right to the line but just failed to get up going down by a neck in 35.92.
The Peterborough Puppy Derby began on Saturday and all three of our runners made the hat for the semi-finals and our two open runners on the same night at Monmore Aldataro Lass and Gan On Parker finished 3rd and 2nd respectively.
Debutante Lincolns Topgirl was best of our runners on Wednesday when she was 2nd and on Friday Mint Bulb won her first race over six bends in an S3 scoring by 1 1/2 lengths in 38.20 and in an S2 Centaur Rosina followed up last week's win with another leading all the way to score by 1 3/4 lengths in a good 37.91.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACE - JOGADUSC ACE
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
A busy week starts tonight with all thee of our entries for the Coral Stayers pitched in together led by Goldie Destiny with Risky Sensation and Kilquane Jack. Tuesday not only sees the Blue Riband Final at Hall Green but we have plenty of interest in the supportng races including Directors Spur, Bomber Bailey, Eye Eye Pickle, Corrig Vieri, Join The Maids and Catunda Mae in the Geoff Demulder Memorial final. Opens at Harlow Wednesday. Both the Golden Sprint and the Peterborough Puppy Derby semi-finals take place on Friday and our first batch of William Hill Derby Trial Stakes at Wimbledon begin with probable runners on Friday and Saturday including Eye Onthe Flash, Adageo, Aero Bolt and Foulden Vieri looking to see if they are Derby candidates. Also possible entries at Monmore on Saturday to complete a hectic week.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Eye Onthe Storm bids to give followers a good pay day when he lines up a 1/2 chance in the Blue Riband Final tomorrow night. In the supporting races we have plenty of winning opportunities on the card but I think both Bomber Bailey and Join The Maids have good chances in their respective races and are worth an interest. We still have both Directors Wit ante-post in the Golden Sprint at Romford and Rockburst Canyon in the Peterborough Puppy Derby running for us at big prices giving us a week to look forward to.
BOMBER BAILEY - 2 pts win - Hall Green - Tuesday
JOIN THE MAIDS - 2 pts win - Hall Green - Tuesday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
EYE ONTHE STORM - 4pts win ante-post (4/1) - Blue Riband - Hall Green - Final Tuesday
DALCASH SCOLARI - 2 pts e.w ante-post (12/1) - Blue Riband - Hall Green - lost
DIRECTORS WIT - 2 pts e.w ante-post (25/1) - Golden Sprint - Romford - semi's Friday
ROCKBURST CANYON - 1 pt e.w ante-post (33/1) - Peterborough Puppy Derby - semi's Friday