Monday 24th June 2013
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Carkei Max our last survivor in an intriguing William Hill Greyhound Derby bowed out on Tuesday when 5th in his quarter final. Max was in trouble as soon as Bittles Bar from trap 6 led up and despite turning a handy 3rd and staying there until the run in a cavalry charge to the line saw him miss out on a place in the semi's by just over a length with Bittles Bar a fine winner. Carkei Max should build on a fine Derby campaign and hopefully start to get his head in front a bit more often. He will join our team to go to Sunderland for the William Hill Classic along with the likes of Garryglass Rodge and Glanmire Lad who answered a few knockers of late with a fine win at Romford on Friday.
It was tough watching the action from Wimbledon on Saturday with not being involved as the Derby reached the semi-final stage as we have been in that exciting position for 6 of the last 8 years. The pure adrenalin and tension was plain to see for all the connections and the new coverage, although still not as in depth as the Dave Lawrence Sky produced shows, is getting better with each show. The final looks a classic with the Irish duo of Droopys Jet and Ballymac Vic dominating the market but both trainers will know they have a battle on their hands with six times Derby Champion trainer Charlie Lister having an exciting youngster in Sidaz Jack in an ideal trap 1 slot. Sidaz Jack is owned by Daren Johnson, who we trained Kinda Ready for to win the Derby in 2009, and Simon Wooder who came to the fore when we had a stella year in 2005 with his 'Fear' prefix having many big race winners which made Simon the sports 'Owner Of The Year'. Their new prefix 'Sidaz' is set to dominate the sport for the next few years and we are all firm friends. They have many exciting youngsters coming through split between a few trainers and look out for a real talent that we have in the kennel called Sidaz Harris who will shortly be having his first race for us. We wish them the very best of luck on Saturday with Sidaz Jack.
Kevin Hutton is a trainer who has really been making some waves over the last couple of years and he has deservedly guided his Screen Critic to the final and has a plot trap 6 to work from. My advice as a double former winner of the Derby would be to enjoy the week and not try to change anything from a normal routine. If the trainer feels any pressure this will reverberate back down to the dog and that will be the end of that. Screen Critic has a real chance. Paul Young has been in this type of situation many times and won't let the pressure get to him but he will have to find a fair chunk for his Airlie Impact to win but don't rule him out as Airlie Impact has a touch of class about him. That leaves us with a very good friend of mine Martin White who has steered the early paced Bittles Bar to the Derby final. Martin is not only passionate about our sport, he would revolutionise the industry if he was given a chance to be put in a position of authority and not only that he is a damned good trainer and reached the final in 2009 with his exceptional talent Wise Thought who was 3rd behind our Kinda Rea. I wish him the very best of luck and if his Bittles Bar produced his best break it would not be inconceivable that he could lead around the first bend, he would take an awful lot of pegging back if he did.
This time next week we will no longer be the reigning Derby winning kennel and I wish all connections of this year's final the very best of luck on Saturday but trust me the passion I have will be burning bigger than ever to land a third Derby title and we will begin our quest for more glory from next Sunday morning!
The Derby result will have a big bearing on the Trainer Of The Year title with many points on offer and Charlie Lister, Paul Young and Kevin Hutton will all be able to improve their position considerably. It is time the sport made a genuine effort to reward not just the top 6 open race trainers but right down to say the top 20 at the end of the year as well as sorting out the Trainers Championship earlier rather than the last minute decision to stage it as was the case last year. We are currently still at the head of affairs but have had a bit of a lean spell recently which has been due to a bit of a low grade virus that has swept through our kennel. For the last month a lot of our dogs though seeming well seem to be sporadically coughing and though it seems worse for the younger ones, which if they are coughing bad have gone on a strong course of antibiotics, sometimes all you can do is run them through until it clears up. Judging by a couple of nice wins on Friday from Ayamzaman and Glanmire Lad and a 50% strike rate from our graded dogs at Yarmouth we are hopefully coming through the worst of a poor spell which hopefully will also keep some of the horrid snipers on the Internet forums quiet for a little while though I doubt it! nobody minds a debate or an opinion but when certain people get personal it's not on.
Today we have an excellent chance of accumulating good points towards the year's title when we have three runners in the semi's of the Summer Classic Stayers at Monmore. Bridge Ruth has a real tough race to contend with as does Hometown Honey while Jazz Tilly will be well fancied to make the Category 1 final taking place on Friday. In supporting competitions Lil Risky returns to his favourite track and distance over 415m but our veteran superstar will have to be on his toes from a trap 4 berth while Blonde Tango and Polar Sean run in the 480m Puppy event.
The decision to drop Coventry on Sunday nights from RPGTV in favour for Henlow has got a lot of greyhound fans scratching their heads. The fact that the trial period for Sunday nights is continuing on the channel must mean their decision is purely a commercial one. My guess is with the fairness of the superb track at Coventry and the high quality of entry where form works out better has meant punters had a decent chance of winning so though turnover was probably good profits would be marginal. No disrespect to Henlow but it's more of a quirky track which will always produce some freak results so by their thinking will enhance profits. This will probably also tell us by the numbers that watch RPGTV hether more people tune in to watch better class dogs or whether the viewing figures will be the same meaning they are happy to watch and bet on anything.
The revenue RPGTV brought to Coventry meant promoter Harry Findlay was able to reward owners with prize money on a scale not seen for a long time and he surely must question the decision from RPGTV. In a conversation to myself Harry has promised to honour the prize money levels already scheduled in the calendar over the next few weeks but will understandably have to review the future levels. It goes without saying that we will continue to support Coventry with our quality open race runners and hope greyhound fans support the track by attending. We must remember Harry has led the way in our sport for owners, trainers and punters not just with superb prize money levels but a tote retention of around 15% giving all punters a fair deal unlike most other tracks that treat punters with a total lack of respect. If Harry fails to to make other promoters match the levels Coventry offer and is forced to have a rethink we might as well admit defeat and carry on taking the crumbs on offer at most other places and stop complaining. This is the time not just the trainers through the GTA have their say but it's about time the owners spoke up and said something, as I have said before the silence from our official owners association is deafening!
This is the last week to get your entries in for the popular 5 to follow competition that begins on JULY 1ST. Just click on the logo on our home page for full details, it's a free to enter competition and I'm just sorting out a couple of fabulous prizes for the winner and runner up when the competition comes to a conclusion at the end of the year.
The Category 1 Ladbrokes Summer Stayers Classic kicked off at Monmore on Monday. Bridge Ruth having her first run over the track and trip did well to hit the front at t. Jazz Tilly qualified with a close up 3rd in a race marred by the sad injury to former kennel star Ayamzabeauty while Hometown Honey also ran well when qualifying for the semi-finals in 3rd place in her heat.
Carkie Max's Derby run came to an end on Tuesday at Wimbledon. Earlier in the day there was some encouraging news for the forgotten Blonde Reagan who recorded a fine 24.12 in a trial at Romford.
Our three runners pitched together in the weekly Wednesday competitions at Coventry seemed to be a magnet to each other and never made the 485m Maiden final but have qualified for grading racing at the Brandon circuit and Blonde Bobby was best of our three runners at Hove on Thursday when runner up in a 515m puppy race.
At Romford on Friday both Benkaat Boy and Aayamzabella were second when favourites in their respective races and it came as a relief when both Glanmire Lad (23.89) and Ayamzaman (23.96) enhanced their superb Romford records with fine wins over 400m. Planning ran respectable when third to Smiler Jack in a warm 575m race.
At Wimbledon on Saturday our two runners Benkaat Nero and Reel Trickyone were pitched in together in the heats of the Derby Plate an after both got an unusually fast break it looked good but firstly the early pace of Cloheena Micky and secondly the middle pace of Glenpadden Post squeezed them both out at the 1st and 3rd bends, Benkaat Nero ran on well but could only finish 4th.
At Coventry on Sunday Fairest Royal ran an encouraging race when 3rd in a 485m Standard, a heavy defeat for Aayamzalad over 672m was disappointing and Carkei Max had a troubled run when only 4th.
We now have a few runners graded at Coventry as well as Yarmouth and on Wednesday Baran Loki caught a good one when 5th in an A3 at Coventry. We will have a few more graded runners this coming Wednesday.
At Yarmouth on Wednesday we had better luck with two winners from our four runners. Youngster Baran Spectre showed the promise of a couple of runs when just hanging on in an A3 to win by the minimum margin in 28.48 and Swift Obama took an A4 in 28.77.
On Saturday at Yarmouth another two winners from four runners with Ille Way slightly flattered by a 9 1/2 length victory in 29.07 (+10). Baran Shirocco ran well when 2nd and a welcome return to the winner's rostrum for I Am Titanium when winning an A2 in 28.22 (+30).
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
A big day today as the semi-finals of the Ladbrokes Summer Classic Stayers sees three runners from the kennel Bridge Ruth, Jazz Tilly and Hometown Honey bid to make Friday's Final. Lil Risky is a standing dish at the track over 415m and has to overcome a tricky trap 4 drawer to make Friday's supporting final and both Blonde Tango and Polar Sean go in the 480m Puppy event.
Plans for a few runners will be pencilled in today but we do expect to have a couple of runners at Wimbledon on Derby Final night. Jazz Apollo bids to win for the third consecutive year though it might be in the Seniors race rather than the British Bred race while Aayamzabella bids to win the Dorando Marathon won last year by Ayamzagirl on a memorable night for the kennel.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Jazz Tilly our recommendation in the Ladbrokes Summer Stayers Classic at 25/1 has an excellent chance of making it to Friday's final for our supporters. Our kennel is not in the greatest of form but we have to have an interest on Lil Risky at Monmore in the 415m event this afternoon as his record is exceptional.
LIL RISKY - 1.5 pts e.w ante-post 9/2 - Ladbrokes Summer Festival 415m - Monmore - starts today
ADVISED LAST WEEK
JAZZ TILLY - 2.5 pts e.w ante-post 25/1 - Ladbrokes Summers Stayers Classic - Monmore - semi-finals today