Monday 18th February 2013
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Last year I felt our monumental 2012 season really got kick started when Aero Joker smashed out the boxes to land the Peter Bussey Memorial Trophy at Crayford so we should brace ourselves as Bridge Bandit's repeat performance this weekend with a bit of luck could lead to something similar for 2013. Bridge Bandit has been a revelation in recent months for owner Peter Bridges and his potent early pace over these sharp six bend trips was put into good effect at a packed Crayford on Saturday morning as he raced into an early lead, Droopys English turned second and looked dangerous as they approached the last bend but to be fair Bandit never really looked like he was going to relinquish his lead and he secured a memorable victory by 1 length in 33.97.
I think sometimes I'm too competitive for my own good as after reading Jonathan Kay's story in the Racing Post last week on the high chance that there would be a new leader at the top of the Ladbrokes Trainer Of The Year standings by the end of the weekend I sent JK a text asking what price we would be to still sit at the top by Saturday night? We were leading last Monday with 51 points so with the Golden Jacket winning trainer receiving 50 points we would have needed a few open winners as well as a win in the Peter Bussey Memorial Trophy (20 points) to retain the lead. Well we might have liked a few more open winners than we did over the last few days but we did win the Category 2 Crayford race so by my quick mathematics we are still at the top of the table by 2 points! job done! Danny Riordan lays just behind us after his White Soks Roks took the main event and I would like to say well done to Danny and his team who are a credit to our sport.
Details are now being finalised for the Ladbrokes GTA Trainers Championship meeting which will be held at Yarmouth Stadium on March 27th. The top six trainers from 2012 have to provide 8 greyhounds over various distances in the exciting points per races competition covered live on the new Sky format as well as going out in all the betting shops giving one of the sport's showpiece events maximum coverage. My idea of the team has always been to use as many of the stars of 2012 that helped us to the top spot in the Championship. Of course Blonde Snapper, our biggest star of 2012, has now been retired but we should still have a strong squad that could well include Blonde Reagan, Li Risky, Ayamzaman, Glanmire Lad, Planning, Benkaat Blue and Castlebride Dan. Apart from Lil Risky (who has run the track a few times) all of these established open race stars started their careers at the east coast track. The new GTA has worked hard to organise the event and many thanks go to the Franklin family who run Yarmouth Stadium for all their help and to Gordon Bissett from Ladbrokes for their generous sponsorship. The traditional trainers luncheon has been kept and will be held at the Imperial Hotel in Yarmouth on March 20th. This is a great occasion for the sponsors, trainers and media where they can socialise and look forward to the night's action and as it is a bit closer to the event than normal the trainers will have their sides ready for presentation, as they say 'bring it on'!
I hope everyone is enjoying our website currently which has been almost completely updated over the last couple of months. I have had some great comments said to me over the last few weeks which makes it all worthwhile for myself, Mick and Maureen and we will try to continue to make improvements. Our Staff Profiles page has now been updated and if anyone would like to see anything else on our site feel free to contact us.
Lil Risky kicked off the week when chasing home Pams Tomjo in the Coral On TV Standard heats at Romford on Monday to qualify for the final.
On Thursday Bridge Ruth made it two from two this year when beating a good class field at Hove over 515m scoring by 1 1/2 lengths in 29.91 (-20). Ard To Beat looks a puppy going places and he did well to hold off the fast finishing Islas Scolari by a head in 30.02 (-20). Sidaz Dippy again ran well again when 2nd but a win still eludes her while Ayamzabeauty is beginning to get frustrating and could only finish 3rd with every chance.
On Friday we looked to have plenty of chances on the Romford card. Carkei Glen was 3rd in the sprint and our puppies Extreme Lad (2nd) and Garryglass Rodge who won in 24.40 (-20) both ran very well. Kinda Neat was runner up in a Maiden Stayers but Lil Risky got no sort of run from trap 4 in the Coral On TV Standard and could only finish 4th. Springdale Hawk and Carkie Max were both 3rd before the classy Planning ran an absolute blinder when taking a good 575m race, coming from behind to lead at the 6th bend with some awesome pace and track craft to win by 2 1/4 lengths in 35.79 (-20). Mallogs Holly was a running on 2nd in a warm 750m Maiden Marathon.
Bridge Bandit got our weekend off to a great start winning the £2,000 Peter Bussey Memorial Trophy at Crayford on Saturday morning and at night at Monmore both I Am Titaniun and Benkaat Blue ran well when 4th. Fairest Royal has made an excellent start to her British career and followed up her debut win with another all the way victory in a puppy race by 1 1/2 lengths in 28.90 (-20). Jazz Tilly put last weeks strange defeat behind her to take a good 630m by 1 1/4 lengths in 39.04 (-50).
On Wednesday all three of our pups showed pace with both Hillcross Miami (4th) and Toosey Faye (5th) unlucky in running while the slow starting Toosey Jensen ran his best race to date when 3rd.
On Saturday our new markwallisgreyhounds 'Racing Club' puppy Ollie Blue made a more than satisfactory start to his career when a running on 2nd in an A6. The August 11 whelp was only beaten a couple of lengths and he shouldn't take long before he gets off the mark. Star of the night was the returning Mountjoy Eagle who won a top grade by 1 3/4 lengths in 28.36.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
No competitions this week but we will have open race runners at Hove on Thursday, Romford on Friday, Monmore on Saturday and we will have plenty of runners at Coventry on Sunday.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Bridge Bandit gave our supporters the first real cheer of the year as he landed the Peter Bussey Memorial Trophy on Saturday morning and hopefully people followed our advice to have a press up as he was gambled from an early morning 13/2 to 3/1.
If I had to find an open racer to pick to have a bet on it would be Sidaz Dippy at Romford on Friday, a win looks just around the corner after some solid efforts.
SIDAZ DIPPY - 3 pts win - Romford - Friday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
BRIDGE BANDIT - 1 pt e.w ante-post 10/1 - Peter Bussey Memorial Trophy - Crayford - WON