Monday 14th October 2013
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Seeing Bridge Ruth take another nasty tumble in the William Hill Angel Of The North Oaks Final at Newcastle on Tuesday typified the ups and downs of our kennel in a week of racing. Thankfully she seems fine afterwards which brought a huge sigh of relief for us and her owner Peter Bridges. Our hopes were high beforehand of landing a very classy final but a slight missed break saw her arrive at the first bend with four other rivals but there was 'no room at the inn' and in her quest to push her way through she was knocked over but quickly sprang to her feet and ran on strong to the end of the race. Earlier in the night we had good performances in supporting races from Bridge Honcho, Sidaz Dippy and particularly Aayamzabella who broke the clock in the Marathon en route to a facile win.
Peter Bridges had better luck on Thursday as Bridge Bandit overcame some scrimmaging to qualify for the Category 1 Kent Derby Final and we are due a bit of luck so hopefully it might come next Thursday. The Trainer Of The Year title took another dramatic twist on Tuesday as Charlie Lister's great year got better. Charlie, on a well deserved break, saw his hard working assistant Ian Sutherland bring home the bacon with four good winners on the night including the Northern Puppy Derby winner Redbrick Stuart. It's hard to believe that Charlie had a barren year of Category 1 winners in 2012 while we took six big titles including the Derby and the St Leger and it could be a case of roles reversed this year as Charlie hit the front in the Trainer Of The Year standings. This has meant we have had four different leaders in the last six weeks and I think there still might be a few twists and turns before the season closes on 31st December.
The betting suggests that Paul Young is still favourite over Charlie Lister with Chris Allsopp in third while our price has slipped to near double figures especially as a below par Blonde Reagan could only finish 4th in the Kent St Leger final at Crayford on Saturday. We may have it all to do to defend our title but I still think we might have a say in proceedings but we have to win at least one if not two big finals to get back in the hunt. We are now around 60 points behind Paul and Charlie but only us and Chris have representations in the Kent Derby Final at Sittingbourne on Thursday. Tonight the British Breeders Stakes kicks off at Nottingham and we are the only one of the four trainers to have a runner. Blonde Bobby (shortly to be renamed Adageo Bob) was impressive in a race over course and distance last week and there could be some good points gained for us if he was to do well in the event.
We are now less than two weeks away from the William Hill St Leger at Wimbledon and it's looking like it could be a magnificent renewal of the staying classic. The fact that the event can have a huge bearing on the Trainers title adds spice to the event. Charlie Lister has a strong hand in the shape of Fear Emoski and Farloe Tango, Chris Allsopp has a few decent six bend performers as does Paul Young especially with the impressive Moody Paul who has burst onto the staying scene over the last couple of weeks. Let's not forget our superb recent record in the event where we have won three of the last four St Leger titles at Wimbledon. Kinda Easy beat our own Droopys Zach in a magnificent duel in 2009 while Aero Majestic showed awesome early pace to land the first prize in 2011 and last year Blonde Reagan capped off a memorable year for us and his owner Mark Currell to hold off all challengers to again put us on the podium. This year we hope to have Blonde Reagan to defend his title, yes he has blown a bit hot and cold this year and he is proving a difficult dog to train but write him off at your peril. Sidaz Dippy ran Fear Emoski to a neck at Newcastle on Tuesday and looks set to go well but without doubt the best backed dog over the last few weeks has been Blonde Razor (33/1 - 10/1) now proudly owned by Dick and Ann Barfoot. This fella has a lot going for him in my opinion early pace, devastating middle pace but will he stay the stiff 687m? I think he will and my only doubt about him winning will be his age, only an October 11 whelp he has to face four stiff rounds to be able to win the Classic and that will be a tough ask. I fear nothing in the event with him we just need luck at the right time. Our Sunderland Grand Prix winner Hometown Honey has been exceptionally slow coming out of season and only rates a 50/50 chance of lining up in the first round and if I see nothing of note in the calendar for Marathon star Aayamzabella she might well take her chance as the format would suit her strong running style.
Our owner Peter Bridges has decided to send Bridge Ruth over to Ireland for the rest of the year as there are some big money races there that might suit her. It's a blow to our title aspirations but I respect his decision and we wish her well. On the plus side both our high class bitches Hometown Honey and Jazz Tilly will be back racing this week and fantastic news is that Garryglass Rodge, injured since the first week of July, came through a handslip at Yarmouth last Thursday with flying colours and will most likely trial at Romford tomorrow morning. Benkaat Blue will also be back after an injury and will be aimed at the Henlow Derby next Sunday.
One side of our kennel that many people don't see is the work myself, Sarah and Linda and all our staff do rehoming some of our ex racers. We do have a fantastic rehoming scheme at Yarmouth but we still rehome many of our retireds ourselves. This week both Castlebride Dan (pictured on his way home) and Ballintine Molly were picked up by their new owners while this year alone we have rehomed 8 of our former stars (more than we sent to the rehoming scheme). I can't stress enough how brilliant Greyhounds make as pets and as I write I have two former racers sitting at my feet (and stinking us out after a Sunday Roast mixed in with their normal food!), Discreet Cat (ex Stow racer) and Mint Bulb (ex Harlow and Yarmouth grader) are fabulous pets and me Sarah, Daniel and Emily would not be without them, they are so loving and sweet!
On Monday Blonde Bobby warmed up for tonight's Produce Stakes at Nottingham with an emphatic win over 500m by 4 1/2 lengths in a good 29.90. At Romford in the Coral On TV Maiden Stayers heats Risky Emerald cracked out the lids and led a couple of lengths into the home straight for the first time but eased (subsequently slightly lame) to slip back into 3rd with Toosey Milly gamely running on to snatch the honours by a short head in 36.09 with Risky Emerald running on again a neck away in 3rd.
On Tuesday our long trip to Newcastle gave us mixed results Bridge Honcho ran well when 3rd over 480m and Aayamzabella made light work of her rivals when winning by 6 lengths over the stiff 895m in a new track record of 55.81. Sidaz Dippy gave long odds on favourite a real scare when running on strong to go down by a neck in 40.79. As said Bridge Ruth was unfortunately knocked over in the bitches final.
On Thursday at Sittingbourne Bridge Bandit qualified for the Kent Derby final when a well beaten 2nd to Exocet after finding trouble and over at Hove Aayamzamodel made a creditable debut when a close 2nd in a Maiden Bitches race and Fairest Royal also ran well when 2nd in a 515m Ladies race.
On Friday at Romford front runners were at an advantage on a tacky track. Toosey Milly wasn't really suited when last in the feature final but Aero Twizzle ran well when going down 3/4 length in a warm 400m but best performance of the night came when Blonde Razor stepped up in class to take a good 575m by 1 1/4 lengths in 35.56.
At Crayford on Saturday expectations were high with Blonde Reagan in the Kent St Leger final but he had to work hard to get to the front and with Ayamzalad in close pursuit he was unable to dominate and was quickly passed by Ayamzalad on the 5th bend and eventually finished down the field in 4th.
YARMOUTH AND COVENTRY REVIEW
On Wednesday at Coventry from our 6 runners Saleen Bolt and Hillcross Kansas ran well when both 3rd and the best performance of the night came from Hillcross Dallas who took an A3 in a fine 29.48.
At Yarmouth on Saturday our Markwallisgreyhounds Racing Club Ollie Blue scored a well deserved success by 1 1/2 lengths in 28.76 and the Club's new pup Saffrons Dream made a fine debut when a close up 4th in an A3. The Yarmouth Championship kicked off with four heats and our only representative Ilewin Allot won well by 3 1/2 lengths. Swift Obama completed his rise up the grades winning an A1 beating kennelmate Butterbridge Bri by 1 1/2 lengths in 28.24, Ilewin Aggen was 2nd in an A2.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Tonight Adageo Bob (former Blonde Bobby) is our only runner in the British Produce Stakes at Nottingham and Adageo Brae runs in the bookmakers Standard heats.
On Thursday the Kent St Leger is the feature race at Sittingbourne and Bridge Bandit bids to land the category 1 final from trap 1, we will also be at Hove.
Open racing at Romford Friday and on Sunday the RPGTV Henlow Derby kicks off with six heats.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Bridge Ruth took a tumble at Newcastle when well fancied to land the Angel Of The North final and we just scraped a place when Blonde Reagan finished 4th in the Kent St Leger final. Bridge Bandit bids to give followers a decent pay day if he lands the Kent Derby on Thursday at Sittingbourne. on the supporting card Benkaat Boomer could be worth a flutter in the puppy race.
Tonight Adageo Bob could go well in the British Produce Stakes and if there are Any antE post prices available he is worth an interest
ADAGEO BOB - 2 pts e.w anti post - British Produce Stakes - Nottingham - starts tonight
BENKAAT BOOMER - 3 pts win - Sittingbourne - Thursday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
BRIDGE RUTH - 5 pts win ante post 4/1 - Angel Of The North Oaks - Newcastle - lost
BLONDE REAGAN - 2 pts e.w ante post 8/1 - Kent St Leger - Crayford - 4th (2 pt profit)
BRIDGE BANDIT - 2 pts e.w ante post 16/1 - Kent Derby - Sittingbourne - final Thursday