Monday 17th November 2014
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After a week when the sport was still reeling from the demolition job done to the industry by the Panorama programme on BBC it's time to start focussing on the more positive aspects of Greyhound racing. Firstly on the track we saw two tremendous finals on the Sky card at Wimbledon on Tuesday. Hayley and Mark Keightley's bitch Roxholme Dream has been paw perfect all the way through a class William Hill St Leger and duly landed the £25,000 to the winner event and congratulations to them while Lenson Sanchez took the RFS Puppy Derby for the Irish. Trainer Pat Buckley's star looks a huge prospect and showed great tenacity to hold off Millwards Whitey to land the spoils.
We now move to an exciting week starting with the Eclipse Final at Nottingham tomorrow night live on Sky Sports and Snappers Lad bought by the new 'Calco Cup Syndicate' just before the first round has pleased his new connections by making this Category 1 final and win, lose or draw they should have some great fun with this class tracker in the coming months. On Friday the Coral Essex Vase kicks off at Romford with six heats. Last year's thrilling final won by Reel Trickyone who beat Adageo Bob is set to be a cracking renewal especially if last Friday's Terry Jago Memorial Trophy is anything to go by. Last year's Champion Stakes winner Airport Captain returned to his very best to beat our Essex Vase runner up Adageo Bob by 1/2 length in a flying 34.88 in what was a superb race and great credit to Kevin Hutton and his team for getting Airport Captain back to his best and we have to be pleased with Adageo Bob returning from two months off to record 34.92 in the final and still be beaten. These will undoubtedly head the entry list and as well as Adageo Bob we also have Do It a For Twiggy, Vanfrenchie, Blonde Razor, Blackstone Marco, Jimmy Nailed On, Aayamzamodel, Wanted, Rosealinda, Benkaat Panther and Black Francis to hopefully give us a strong hand.
Missing from that list above is Reel Trickyone. Our Essex Vase defending Champion sadly dislocated a toe in the Tony Jago Memorial heats on Monday and he would be looking at a minimum 2-3 months off. With that in mind and the fact he wouldn't be able to defend not only his Essex Vase crown but his Henlow Cesarewitch and Coronation Cup titles that come up in the next few weeks myself and his owner Chris Richards decided to call time on his wonderful career. A winner of 28 from his 88 races he came to the fore this time last year when finding the form of his life to land the Essex Vase in a superb 34.84. Three weeks later he landed a decent Henlow Cesarewitch final and at the start of the year lead home a brilliant 1-2-3-4 for our kennel in the Coronation Cup. In a two month period 'Butch' won three titles, over £15,000 in prize money and two Greyhound of the Month awards. No doubt he was the best dog on the planet in that time. It would have been impossible to keep that kind of form going but our fella proved he was still a force when landing a minor event at Henlow before bolting up at Sunderland over 640m in the Grand Prix heats before he was desperately unlucky in the semi finals. In September when many people underestimated him he made the Champion Stakes final unbeaten and but for a poor draw in trap 2 he would have definitely took another big title, instead he had to settle for a respectable 3rd place. Superstar is a word I use lightly but Reel Trickyone had that status and I certainly can say he won me a third consecutive Trainer Of The Year title in 2013, what a dog!
The ECC Timber Oaks at Belle Vue starting this Saturday is also shaping to be a cracker and I've made no secret that I want to win this event, and soon, it's the only Classic that has eluded our kennel over the years and it's started to eat away at me now. This year we have no less than four live chances but all come in with nagging doubts about fitness and form. If betting had been done for this event in August I'm pretty sure Evanta Evita would have been favourite for this event but injury and season means she hasn't had a race since then (form looks more impressive having been beaten a neck by Roxholme Dream). Her trials back have been good but she needs to come forward rapidly to win this event. Cashen Maureen, a winner of 10 of her 21 races including 6 of her last 7, looks a bitch that will thrive on the racing. Only in our kennel last month she was under a bit of an injury cloud but a couple of trials last week hopefully will put her spot on. Whether the 460m is a bit sharp for her I'm not sure but her class is unquestionable. Aayamzaone is only a November whelp and very lightly raced. She showed her ability a couple of weeks ago with a blistering 23.88 victory at Romford and few will match her for early pace. Just coming lovely out of season she might yet be a real dark horse in the event. Evanta Fantasy is a win machine and also has brilliant early pace but also is just coming out of season, she might yet surprise a few people. Aero Babooshka was another I really liked but unfortunately has broken in season and she will now be rested for next year as also has Saffrons Anna who was running superb of late.
The other real positive in our sport is of course Towcester and I know I speak about it every week but I'm so excited about the opening of this new track. There are still a few hiccups to overcome but we are hopeful of our first batch of triallists making their way to the track this Wednesday.
We are now entering the third year of our Markwallisgreyhounds Racing Club and our membership is growing ever stronger. We have three lovely young dogs running for our members and expect to have two new additions in 2015. Saffrons Anna, 3rd in the recent Romford Puppy Cup final and dual Bags/SIS winner, is flying the flag for the club. Our other two runners (Saffrons Champ and Saffrons Roxsy) are Towcester bound where we have hired an Executive Suite on the opening night (6th December) for all members. I stress again this is an excellent chance to own shares in our club Greyhounds at a very affordable price. For a £500 one off payment and £1 per day members can enjoy their own password locked pages on the website with all the latest information and news on the Racing Club.
At Nottingham on Monday Benkaat Nero and Blonde Razor both bowed out of the Betfred Eclipse at the semi final stage but Snappers Lad from an awkward trap 4 ran very well to qualify in second place beaten 3/4 length in 29.73. Over at Romford in the Tony Jago Memorial Trophy Adageo Bob, having his first race since a lay off, did well to pick Fivestar Clipper up on the run in to win in a fastest of the night 35.04. Sadly Reel Trickyone ran his last race after dislocating a toe.
At Wimbledon on Tuesday in supporting races for the St Leger Cornamaddy Jumbo couldn't add to his Sky wins when only 3rd in the 480m Hurdles and Aero Babooshka couldn't get competitive in a warm bitches race from trap 3.
At Romford on Friday Rosealinda scored an overdue success in division 3 of the 575m winning well in 35.73. Do It For Twiggy, Wanted and Jimmy Nailed On were all 3rd in other 575m races and the feature race the Tony Jago Memorial Trophy went the way of Airport Captain who beat Adageo a Bob 1/2 length in a fast 34.88.
At Henlow last night Van Frankie was our only qualifier in the Maiden Derby when just failing to get up in his heat. The night finished well with wins for both Ilewin Allot in a good 27.68 while Vanfrenchie took the last race over 550m in 33.54.
An excellent night for the kennel as we sent out five winners from our eleven runners. Puppy What A Laugh stamped himself as one to watch in the future with a fine win in A2 grade in 28.16 (+10). Benkaat Boomer has to be the top graded dog at Yarmouth this year and dropped back to a sprint he made light work of his rivals winning by 5 lengths in a fastest of the year 16.30. Aero Gerry seems a dog to follow in the future and made it two from two following up last week's A2 win with an all the way success in top grade in 28.14 (+10). Fairest Royal has started running consistently well and won an A2 in 28.24 (+10). Darian Star led home a 1-2 in the last race beating Rockburst Louis by 1 1/2 lengths in 28.32 (+10).
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Tomorrow night Snappers Lad is the outsider of the field in the Betfred Eclipse final we won last year with Bridge Honcho and could give new owners the Calco Cup Syndicate a real thrill if pulling off a big surprise. Aero Twizzle and Benkaat Nero run on the supporting card.
We will be at Hove on Thursday as Vanrooney and Evanta El Greco prepare for the forthcoming Olympic and on Friday The Essex Vase at Romford will be the main attraction.
On Saturday the ECC Timber Oaks kicks off at Belle Vue and it promises to be a superb event.
We will be back at Henlow on Sunday as Van Frankie goes in the semi finals of the Maiden Derby.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
It didn't quite happen for Cornamaddy Jumbo at Wimbledon last Tuesday but our supporters will be happy if Snappers Lad can reward our followers by sneaking in the top four in the Eclipse final tomorrow night at Nottingham.
Two cracking events coming up this weekend. On Friday the Essex Vase starts and Adageo Bob despite his defeat to Airport Captain is still the one they all have to beat. Vanfrenchie is running at the top of his game and us also worth an interest. On Saturday we could have a huge chance in the Oaks at Belle Vue and I think Evanta Evita can get her mojo back and will take all the beating. Cashen Maureen is a class act and will also have a fine chance of landing the event. Aayamzaone might not be quite ready for this but is worth chancing at decent odds.
ADAGEO BOB - 5 pts win ante post - Coral Essex Vase - Romford - starts Friday
VANFRENCHIE - 2 pts e.w ante post - Coral Essex Vase - Romford - starts Friday
EVANTA EVITA - 2.5 pts e.w ante post - ECC Timber Oaks - Belle Vue - starts Saturday
CASHEN MAUREEN - 2 pts e.w ante post - ECC Timber Oaks - Belle Vue - starts Saturday
AAYAMZAONE - 1 pt e.w ante post - ECC Timber Oaks - Belle Vue - starts Saturday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
CORNAMADDY JUMBO - 3 pts win - Wimbledon - Tuesday - lost
SNAPPERS LAD - 1.5 pts e.w ante post 50/1 - Betfred Eclipse - Nottingham - final Tuesday