Monday 18th June 2012
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READ MARK'S BLOG OF THE EXCITING
DERBY BUILD UP CULMINATING IN BLONDE SNAPPER'S FANTASTIC DERBY FINAL WIN
The exciting European Championship is certainly overshadowing most other sports at the moment and Greyhound racing, despite having its own busy schedule, seems to be on the back of most peoples minds. With England also giving us their usual rollercoaster ride I'm sure if they progress it will obviously have a serious effect on attendances and betting turnover in the next couple of weeks. England play their last group game on Tuesday which could be crucial and Oxford's Ladbrokes Pall Mall final and excellent supporting card will play second fiddle to the big match. Most of us in the kennel are firm football fans so the tournament certainly is giving us plenty to talk about and Pete is looking very smug at the moment as he holds a commanding lead in our Sun Dream Team sweepstake!
On Saturday we all went to our kennel's home track Yarmouth where our brilliant Greyhound Derby winner Blonde Snapper was paraded and presented to the crowd before and after a race that was named after him. Blonde Snapper's owner Mark Currell and his family as well as myself, Sarah and our children Daniel and Emily and our staff enjoyed some excellent hospitality in Yarmouth's superb restaurant and despite only having one winner on the night we all had a great timed. I would like to thank the Yarmouth team and in particular Simon Franklin for organising everything. 'Snapper' looked in terrific condition and was lapping up all the attention. I think, three weeks after the famous victory, for me it has now only just sunk in. Seeing Blonde Snapper on the track I realise now what a huge debt I owe this fantastic little dog who ran his heart out for me. After discussing again with Mark the future for Snapper a decision will be made on Tuesday as to whether he will race again.
In other news, at long last it's nice to see the GTA Chairperson job is now proceeding forward and we have to thank the Racing Post's race expert Jonathan Kay for this. Nominations from the training ranks have to be made and seconded by the 26th June and at the moment Rick Holloway looks the man for the job and I will be supporting him in his quest to gain this important position. The GBGB's Annual Report was also included with this week's calendar and if you believe everything that's included in this report you wouldn't think we had too many problems in the sport at the moment. We all know that prize money issues at every level are the key points most owners, trainers and breeders would like to be the new GTA's representative's top priority when a new one is appointed.
In Kennel news after last weeks disappointing run of results it was nice to get back in the groove with three winners in the heats of the Ladbrokes Monmore Summers Stayers competition last Monday. Dixies Air, Swift Reagan and Ballintine Molly gained 15 valuable Trainers Championship points and with Jazz Apollo and Swift Freeze also qualifying we hold a strong hand in this Category 1 event that continues today. Later in the week at Romford it was good to see Ayamzaman and Aero Joker bounce back from recent defeats with first class wins and for Aero Joker this was her third terrific battle with Airforce New York and was her 13th open race win of the year.
As you can now see we are beginning to sort out our popular 5 To Follow competition which is FREE TO ENTER. We will have some fantastic prizes on offer including two tickets on one of my tables for tha GBGB awards bash in January. All you have to do is follow the guide and pick 5 selections (3 dogs and 2 bitches). Each one of your selections that wins scores 10 points and there are bonuses for bigger SP's. The competition runs from July 1st to December 31st and on October 1st there will be a chance to change any of your selections'. Great fun so please don't delay and get your teams in!
On Monday afternoon at Monmore the heats of the Ladbrokes Summer Stayers kicked off and both Mountjoy Orion and Carden Twilight were eliminated in the first two heats but Swift Reagan caused a minor surprise when winning by 2 1/2 lengths in 38.07 with more fancied kennelmate Jazz Apollo qualifying in third spot. In heat 4 Dixies Air blasted out the traps to race clear and though slightly coming back to the field he comfortably held on to win by 2 1/2 lengths in 38.02. Ballintine Molly completed a good day when leading all the way in the heat 6 to score by over 6 lengths in 38.03.
Darian Marvel qualified in the 400m heats of the Coral on TV Puppy event at Romford when third,.
At Hove on Tuesday in supporting races for the Regency final Lil Risky crucially missed the break when beaten in the sprint and Ayamzagirl couldn't get competitive in the Marathon, she may well be shortly retired. Castlebride Dan missed his break in the semi-final of the Ladbrokes Pall Mall at Oxford on Thursday but ran well to finish third.
At Romford on Friday Steam Machine was just caught onthe line and beaten a short head in a Maiden Stayers while Darian Marvel didn't get much of a run when last in the Coral on TV Puppy Final. Ayamzaman bounced back from a heavy defeat at Oxford to just clear Nans Turbo at the first bend and go on to win by 7 1/4 lengths in a fast 23.83 and to make the night a good one Aero Joker continued her thrilling battles with Airforce New York where she again prevailed by 3/4 length in 35.59.
At Coventry on Sunday Aero Prince got on the scoresheet for the first time for us when landing a sprint in a good 15.90. Rockburst Lenny again ran well when second.
On a fast track on Wednesday Risky Lass scored well in an A4 in 28.65 (+50) and in the same grade young pup Kinda Neat showed some good early and middle pace to win by over 2 lengths in 28.24 (+50). On Saturday the highlight of the night was undoubtedly the guest appearance of Greyhound Derby winner Blonde Snapper and in the night's racing Roberts Dancer recorded his first win by 2 1/2 lengths in 28.96 (+20). Swift Tequila and Swift Lucozade having their first ever races both ran well when seconnd and third respectively while Swift Cougar was beaten a short head in top grade. Both Blonde Kimber and Kinda True were unlucky when baulked out of a hot A1 at the first bend.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
The semi-finals of the Ladbrokes Summer Stayers at Monmore are the feature of today's racing and only two qualify for Friday's £7,500 to the winner final. Dixies Air, Jazz Apollo and Swift Reagan all line up together which is disappointing and they face the well drawn and fastest heat winner Westmead Maldini. Ballintine Molly would appaer to have a difficult draw in trap 1 in the third semi-final having won from trap 6 last week but it may be an advantage. Swift Freeze from trap 4 will have to step up to qualify. In other competitions supporting the final Risky Fred and Rosaleen should go well and Clarecastle Dub and Swift Chef give us plenty of interest.
At Oxford tomorrow we send a good team of Ayamzaman, Lil Risky, Blonde Fletch, Mountjoy Orion and Ayamzagirl for supporting Sky races to the Ladbrokes Pall Mall final while other open races are to be pencilled in for the rest of the week.
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Castlebride Dan was a shade unlucky when eliminated from the semi's of the Pall Mall but Dixies Air gave our supporters a great start when bolting up in his heat of the Summer Stayers at Monmore on Monday.
We have a few decent chances on the supporting card at Oxford tomorrow live on Sky and I think Ayamzaman will be worth backing to atone slightly for his exit in the Pall Mall a couple of weeks ago.
AYAMZAMAN - 4 pts win - Oxford - Tuesday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
CASTLEBRIDE DAN - 1.5 pts e.w ante-post 25/1 - Ladbrokes Pall Mall - Oxford - lost
DIXIES AIR - 2 pts e.w ante-post 16/1 - Ladbrokes Summer Stayers Classic - Monmore - continues today