Monday 27th April 2009
Tuesday night's William Hill Blue Riband final didn't quite go as well as hoped for the kennel with three runners in the £10,000 to the winner final but on reflection there was not much we could do when Tony Dean's Blonde Fern pinged the lids and led off the first bend going on to score by over 4 lengths in a flying 28.06 just one spot off the track record. Jogadusc Ace, slightly inconvenienced by the draw in trap 1 intside tight railer Lenson Express, tried hard to get back on terms with the leader but had to settle for a dead heat in second with Lenson Express with Goldcrest King and Mountjoy Ruby back in 4th and 5th respectively. On the whole it was another good week for open race winners and Eye Eye Pickle and Eye Onthe Brave were impressive at Wimbledon in Derby Trial Stakes on Tuesday. Goldcrest Lord was simply awesome at Harlow defeating track champion Vigorous Zico who was bidding for an eleven timer in a fast 25.88 and at Romford on Friday we sent three runners who were all successful.
At Harlow on Tuesday I was a guest on a panel in a Question and Answer Seminar organised by David Parker for the GBGB along with Declan Donnelly (GBGB), Richard Torr (vet), Bob Gilling (trainer and British Breeders Chairman) and chaired by Floyd Amphlett. A lively session proved very informative and it should certainly be replicated on other occasions in different forms, maybe an owners seminar or just representatives from the GBGB open to all which I'm sure would pull in a large turnout judging by the questions fired at Declan Donnelly.
The big news of the week was yesterday's draw for the first round of the Blue Square Greyhound Derby which begins on Friday/Saturday at Wimbledon. In all 142 entries went into the hat where four will qualify from 24 heats. Our kennel will provide 12 of the runners and expectations will be high that we could have our first Derby finalist since taking over the licence from my mother-in-law Linda in 2005. After finishing agonisingly 4th in three semi-finals with January Tiger (2005), Directors Chair (2007) and last year with Commander Chief I strongly feel that, given a bit of luck, we have a very good chance of achieving our goal. Here are my thoughts on our kennel's runners this year:-
KINDA READY - 66/1
Recent brilliant runner up to Bandicoot Tipoki in the prestigious Monmore Puppy Derby 'Del Boy' comes into the event fresh and the Derby has been on his agenda well before the start of the year. Without a doubt he has the pace to ruffle the big guns and his track craft has improved with racing. Has he the early? can he be as good now pitched in with all aged dogs? these are the questions we will find out and if he copes I rate him as our best chance of landing a Derby since I have been training!. Tricky draw from trap 3 in heat 20 but race looks a match between him and Charlie Lister's Farloe Reason and a win could see his current odds slashed.
EYE EYE PICKLE - 100/1
Has done nothing but impress me since arriving from Ireland with a decent card in February with a crack at the Derby firmly in mind. Three wins from four, including two at Wimbledon, this son of Droopys Kewell has great all round pace. Only a March 07 there will surely be more improvement to come and though some fancy prices have been snapped up 100/1 looks massive. A tough heat 22 but a good draw in trap 1 with veteran Barnfield On Air who tends to move middle on his outside should see 'Pickle safely in the hat for round 2.
JOGADUSC ACE - 125/1
Formerly known as Mountjoy Gold 'Ace' has been in scintillating form for the new syndicate who rought him with the Derby in mind. Runner up in last week's Blue Riband final at Hall Green he possesses awesome early pace and by no means a short runner he has the great advantage of running Wimbledon very well having won three times at the track. Has Deanridge Fury who is fourth favourite in some books to win the Classic to beat in the final heat of the first round but with a good draw in trap 2 should safely qualify. Definite chance of getting to the business end of the event.
GOLDCREST KING - 200/1
'Sunny' has to be one of the most nervous greyhounds in the event which would be a worry if he got to the latter stages but one thing for sure he is very fast having been runner up in the Gymcrack last year and runner up to Derby favourite Fear Zafonic in the Birmingham Cup at the start of the year. Also made the Blue Riband final last week at Hall Green so his credentials are better than most. Lacks a real turn of early which could be his downfall and has a tricky draw from trap 3 in heat 8. Having said that we will be mighty disappointed if he doesn't qualify comfortably for the next round.
ROSWELL STARTREK - 200/1
This fella has been well fancied to land a Category 1 event this year but seems tough to get through the first round which again could be tricky as 'Star' has drawn trap 4 in heat 17 which looks difficult. Still yet to reach his full potential he has ability in abundance which he showed when an East Anglian Derby finalist and was recently was our only winner at Sheffield in the Trainers Championship meeting. He has the pace and class to go a long way but luck will be needed in the first round.
EYE ONTHE BRAVE - 200/1
A much better and more consistent greyhound this year as several open wins have proved. 'Fella' has made numerous finals and semi-finals of Category 1 competitions with his great early pace but has yet to win a big one. Runs Wimbledon better than anywhere else which is a huge advantage as a recent trial stake win proved and running from trap 1 in a winnable heat 19 we could definitely see this son of Ballymac Maeve make the last 24 plus.
MOUNTJOY RUBY - 250/1
High class greyhound who has won plenty of good opens in top class and another who runs Wimbledon very well as seen back in November when recording a 27.57 trial and also when winning a Sky race earlier in the year. 'Robbie' made last week's Blue Riband final at Hall Green and despite having a tough first round heat pitched in with kennelmate Eye Eye Pickle he has the stripes which always is worth a couple of lengths. Eye-catching ante-post price and well capable of going a long way.
KINDA EASY - 250/1
Litter brother to Kinda Ready 'Dave' is not quite in the scintillating form that we saw at the start of the year where some fast wins at Coventry set some tongues wagging. Has a tough heat 23 and also drawn a little wide in trap 5 he will need some luck getting a run but will be finishing strong which is a pointer as to the future running of this son of Just The Best who will be stepped up in trip after the Derby.
KENGYELFUTO SNOW - 300/1
Commentator's nightmare this beautiful Australian bred greyhound sent to us from Hungary after making waves on the European tracks is very fast and a tight railer and it is a real bonus that he has drawn trap 1 in heat 8 along with kennelmate Goldcrest King and as long as they don't come together at any stage should qualify for the next stage. Winner of a Romford Maiden competition 'Roy' was eliminated from the first round of the Blue Riband and after watching him in a Sky race last week at Hall Green you get the distinct impression that he will get six bends and looks a likely candidate for the Champion Stakes after the Derby.
KINDRED SPARKY - 500/1
Very lightly raced this year our surprise entry was justified when beating kennelmate Kinda Ready in a trial at Wimbledon last week in a good 28.95. 'Sparky' has been a high class Walthamstow greyhound who has won his share of opens and has a real burst of early and we fully expect him to go more than a round or two. Has first round touch written all over him and has trap 6 in heat 11.
EYE ONTHE PULSE - 500/1
A big ask from this lad who has just returned from a long absence after injury but not an impossible one despite drawing the toughest heat of the first round on Friday with the likes of Windy Millar, Wise Thought and Boherna Best. If squeezing through possibly the best outsider to go a long way, 'Roan' was unbeaten going in to last year's All England Cup at Newcastle and has a touch of class about him.
DIRECTORS FIRE - 500/1
After last week's disappointing trial stakes at Wimbledon 'Fire' will have to raise his game to qualify from a tough heat 15. Won two good opens at Romford last month showing tremendous middle pace and had won a stake at Enniscorthy last year and this superb looking black son of Ace High Rumble could yet surprise.
At Hall Green on Tuesday the William Hill Blue Riband Final was the feature race of the night and as said above we were out of luck with our three runners with Jogadusc Ace (dead heat for 2nd), Goldcrest King (4th ) and Mountjoy Ruby (5th). Earlier in the night in supporting races Rockburst Mason was a well beaten 2nd to Platinumlancealot in the 480m Hurdle race with Eye Onthe Flame ko'd at the third bend. Directors Chair was 2nd beaten 1 3/4 lengths in 28.58 in div 2 of the 480m Standard and Butterbridge Ali after a slow start was a close up 4th in the 645 Stayers div 1. Kengyelfuto Snow didn't get much of a run in the 480m Standard when 4th but better news at Wimbledon where the last batch of Trial Stakes for the Derby produced two winners in the shape of Eye Onthe Brave who was impressive when scoring by 4 1/4 lengths in 29.15 (-10) and Eye Eye Pickle who showed great middle pace to lead at the 4th bend to win by 3/4 length in 29.07 (-10). Eye Onthe Pulse also ran well when 3rd beaten 3 3/4 lengths behind Plassey in 28.97 (-10).
At Harlow on Wednesday in the heats of the Monkey Maiden Standard over 415m Notanothersecond railed well to lead at the 4th and score by 1 3/4 lengths in 26.37. Justins Princess just failed to get up in heat 3 going down a short head in 26.46. Highlight of the night was the victory of Goldcrest Lord who stopped Vigorous Zico's run of 10 consecutive wins when he showed blistering early (4.77 split) to lead and hold Zico in a fine 25.88. On Friday at Romford two puppies impressed having their first look at the track. Firstly Goldies Destiny who flew from the traps to lead all the way recording a flying 23.80 on a very fast track rated +40 though still a good run. In the next race Bumble Lee was also impressive in a differant way coming from behind to lead at the 4th bend and score by 2 1/4 lengths in 24.17 (+30). Our third runner on the night Genesis Dream (see this week's Feature Dog) made it three from three when taking the last race the 575m Stayers leading on the run in to win by 3/4 length in 35.97 (+20). At Peterborough the heats of the Puppy Derby kicked off but of our three runners only Goldies Tara made it through to the next round after she qualified in 3rd. No luck at Coventry on Sunday with both Roswell Startrek and Eye Onthe Brave 2nd in their 480m races.
On Wednesday Centaur Rosina returned to the winner's podium winning by 1/2 length in a moderate 27.23. On Friday Ragga Diva was 2nd before a flying run from back to form Princess Organa winning by nearly 5 lgths in 26.03. Risky Fabio was a close up 2nd beaten 3/4 length in 26.16 and Centaur Sandi just failed to get up in the S1 going down a short head in 38.04. On Saturday Lord Pishy looks a real improver as he followed up last week's victory with a fine 5 length win in 26.27. Genesis Fuzzums and Ballyfinn Swift were both 2nd before an out of season Scintillas Ruby exploded from the traps (4.74 sec!) en route to a 2 1/4 length win in 26.38 (-10). Imperial Prize rounded off a good night when taking the last by 2 1/2 lengths in 26.56 (-20).
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - GOLDCREST LORD
GRADED RACING - PRINCESS ORGANA
WHAT'S ON THIS WEEK
Tonight at Romford the heats of the Coral TV Puppies sees Friday's winners Goldies Destiny and Bumble Lee back in action. Rockburst Mason and Genesis Dream (see this week's Feature Dog) travel to Hove for the supporting races to the Regency Final live on Sky. On Wednesday the final of the Monkey Maiden Standard at Harlow where we have Notanothersecond and Justins Princess representing us is the main race while at Peterborough the Semi's of the Puppy Derby sees Goldies Tara not without a chance from trap 6.
The heats of the Silver Salver at Sittingbourne is next on the agenda for Goldcrest Lord on Thursday with Bomber Bailey looking to get back on track in the supporting hurdle race.
On Friday the eagerly awaited Blue Square Derby 2009 struts in to action with the first 12 heats where we will have our first four runners. On the same night Romford's Coral TV Puppies final takes place and back to Wimbledon on Saturday for the final 12 first round heats of the Derby with our remaining eight entries. To complete a busy week for the kennel the Silver Salver final at Sittingbourne is on Sunday.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Hall Green proved a bit of a disaster on Tuesday with ante-post bet Goldcrest King losing out when only 4th in the final and Kengyelfuto Snow well beaten in the supporting race. This week sees the start of the Blue Square Greyhound Derby and it's only right we put up our ante-post selections. As you have read my thoughts on our kennel's chances above it's obvious that it's time to back both Kinda Ready and Eye Eye Pickle whom I can see going a long way in the premier classic but I also think Mountjoy Ruby is a lively outsider.
KINDA READY - 2pts e.w ante-post - 66/1 - Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon - Friday/Saturday
EYE EYE PICKLE - 2pts e.w ante-post - 100/1 - Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon - Friday/Saturday
MOUNTJOY RUBY - 1 pt e.w ante-post - 250/1 - Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon - Friday/Saturday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
GOLDCREST KING - 2 pts e.w ante-post - 12/1 - Blue Riband - Hall Green - lost
KENGYELFUTO SNOW - 4 pts win - Hall Green - Tuesday - lost
BUMBLE LEE - 1 pt e.w ante-post - Peterborough Puppy Derby - did not run