Monday 17th May 2010
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Adageo and Eye Onthe Tempo were probably unlikely candidates from our kennel to be sitting in the William Hill Greyhound Derby Quarter Finals tomorrow night at Wimbledon but both deserve their places after bold runs in Saturday's third round heats. Unfortunately the unbeaten Kinda Easy's run came to an end after being badly crowded at the first bend giving him no chance of getting back into a qualifying place. Eye Onthe Tempo had pinged the lids in the same heat and with the trouble behind was always going to qualify though he had no answer to the middle pace of Paul Hennessy's Tranquil Time who went on to beat him by 5 lengths in 28.55. Adageo without doubt has been a revelation in the whole event and Dick and Anne Barfoot's strong running son of Brett Lee produced another power packed performance when winning heat 2. After riding a first bend bump he showed his customary middle pace to get on terms with the front runners and swept past them to score by 2 3/4 lengths in 28.82.
This year's William Hill Derby has already thrown up a lot of talking points right from the start with the switch to the other side being the main one a few months ago. A massive and unexpected high entry with many entries from across the water despite the drop in prize money and the problems with micro chipping left people scratching their heads. Sadly for our kennel win lose or draw we will only remember the disastrous and career ending injury to Eye Onthe Storm in the first round. There have been a lot of other high profile runners eliminated but with still a lot of surprise qualifiers left that will give some owners that Derby dream which makes the competition the best in the world. Bandicoot Tipoki, Mesedo Blue, Barefoot Bullet and Toomaline Jack do look the ones to beat. The unbeaten Lyreen Mover from Hungary has certainly given the event an international flavour as well. The track has been a huge credit to Wimbledon and the outstanding groundsman John Foster again deserves high praise. Sadly the facilities over the new side have not come up to scratch for our showpiece premier classic but hopefully lessons can be learnt for future years. Tomorrow's Quarter Finals have given both our runners a reasonably good chance of making Saturday's Semi's and neither will be bothered by the quick runs they may face and at this stage I would like to wish all the remaining entries the best of luck.
Another huge talking point seems to be the reaction of trainer Diane Henry after the elimination of her Juvenile winner Ten Large Down on Saturday. It must be said that after two impressive wins in round one and two from a rails draw it must have been disappointing for Diane to have the stewards change his seeding to middle and then straight away get drawn in the stripes for the third round. If Ten Large Down was graded the Racing Manager would always place this dog in trap 3 or 4 but the trouble most trainers face with an open class greyhound like this is that if you seed them middle they are highly likely to get an unfavourable trap 5 or 6 draw with so many dogs being seeded rails these days. Most often these type of runners can cope better with a draw on the rails than out wide. This seems to be what played a large part in Ten Large Down's elimination. Although I don't know Diane quite that well I must admit that when I have met and spoken to her before racing she has always come across as very pleasant and friendly and I'm surprised she reacts as angrily as she does when things that are out of your control go wrong. I always say once you have put those dogs in the traps your job as a trainer is done and there is no more you can do. At the end of the day in this game you have to accept defeat with as much grace as winning or you won't last long. Take Eye Onthe Storm, he had a bad draw in the first round and though he never got injured at the first bend one wonders whether given a better draw he would have not been in the position he was when it all went horribly wrong at the third bend. Despite Ten Large Down's elimination he looked to have come off safe and sound and unlike Eye Onthe Storm he will return to race again. I hope Diane can learn from what's happened as I'm sure she is a very good trainer and I can assure her it's not her against the world. Quite the opposite, I have found over the years that all trainers and kennel staff have a mutual respect for each other and will go out of their way to help each other in their love for the greyhounds. I think that is why sometimes we get walked all over by promoters, bookies and the powers that be! As for those Internet forums, I too can get angry and upset when things that are sometimes said become personal and quite often hurtful by people that don't know you or are plainly jealous of your and your dogs' successes and it's all too easy to reply to these people leaving yourself even more open to abuse. I wish I could answer some of these critics face to face, I bet they wouldn't be so nasty without their keyboards.
In other kennel news Eye Eye Pickle won his heat very well last Thursday at Monmore in the Stud Book Trophy and will have a great chance of defending the title he won last year when he was drawn in trap 1 for this Thursday's final though it is a very good quality field. Sadly Barry Draper's high class Magna Flintoff broke down with a bad injury when leading his heat and we hope he recovers OK. Jogadusc Ace won well at Henlow last Thursday in what was a race to keep him ticking over for Tuesday's Sky race at Wimbledon supporting the Derby Quarter Finals. Unbelievably he has been deemed not good enough for the race by Wimbledon's RM, quite puzzling as his record at the track is superb and really it was only a shocking draw that saw him take an early bath in the Derby and he has then won his two subsequent open races afterwards. The Gymcrack at Hall Green is now only a week away and still no word of a sponsor to step in after Skybet pulled out of the event. We have a number of high quality pups trialling for the competition this week and it would be a real blow for the sport if this does not take place.
At Harlow on Wednesday Risky Smasher followed up last Saturday's graded win with a convincing Maiden open win scoring by 2 1/2 lengths in 26.20 (+15). Rockburst Mason despite winning many opens in his career over the flat and the hurdles was eligible to run in a Maiden Stayers and ran well enough to lead and hold on by 3/4 length in 38.15 (+15). In the Monkey Standard final Risky Wand missed his break and found plenty of trouble but in the end did well to be second but was well beaten by 7 1/2 lengths by Matt Dartnalls Nice in 25.81 but also dislocated a toe in the process. On Thursday Eye Eye Pickle as said took his heat well at Monmore in the Stud Book Trophy in a fast 28.16 (+10) while at Henlow Jogadusc Ace won well by 4 lengths in 27.64. No luck at Romford on Friday in what was a slightly disappointing night with defeats for the fancied Aero Bolt (3rd), Jogadusc Jasper (3rd), All That Noise (2nd ran well), Goldies Destiny (3rd) and Join The Maids (4th) but a much better night on Saturday with the William Hill Derby third round with a win for Adageo and a runner up for Eye Onthe Tempo.
Rockburst Eva ran well when 3rd on Wednesday and a win looks just around the corner. On Friday from half a dozen runners Risky Sensation was the only winner scoring well by 2 lengths in 26.06 (+10) while Kilquane Jack went down by a neck in 37.78 in an S1.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACE - EYE EYE PICKLE
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Tonight Directors Spur and Bim Bam Boozle run in the same heat of the Caffreys Puppy Trophy over 480m at Nottingham. On Tuesday the all important William Hill Derby Quarter Finals take place live on Sky and both Adageo and Eye Onthe Tempo have done us proud so far and are not without a chance of progressing further. Both Directors Wit and Join The Maids have tough races on the supporting card. On Wednesday Rockburst Mason runs in the Monkey Maiden Stayers Final at Harlow while opens are planned for Henlow on Thursday and Monmore where Eye Eye Eye Pickle defends his Stud Book Trophy. We are back at Romford on Friday as well as a rare trip to Mildenhall. If we are lucky enough we could be at Wimbledon for the Derby semi-finals on Saturday and on the same night we have pencilled in some runners at Monmore to complete a busy week.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
We haven't had a recommendation for a couple of weeks but I don't see any reason why Eye Eye Pickle can't win on Thursday given his ideal trap 1 slot and is worth a good bet. We are at Mildenhall on Friday for the Peter Hunt Memorial Stakes with Bell Tornado and he won well on his last visit there so is worth an interest. I have taken a real shine to pups Lil Rebel (Bomber Barclay) and Destroy The Camp and feel both could go well at Monmore on Saturday.
EYE EYE PICKLE - 3 pts win - Monmore - Thursday
BELL TORNADO - 2 pts win - Mildenhall - Friday
LIL REBEL - 1 pt win - Monmore - Saturday
DESTROY THE CAMP - 1 pt win - Monmore - Saturday
ADVISED LAST WEEK