Monday 2nd March 2015
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I hope everyone looking at our website likes our brand new design where we have modernised the site which we first launched some eight years ago. We have kept to our same popular format, the regular Weekly Newsletter gives an insight into my thoughts and about our runners the week before with a look at what plans we have for the future as well as my views on all the latest greyhound news from our great sport. Our popular Video section gives readers a chance to watch all our winners where possible past and present. The Dogs For Sale page has a selection of puppies and older race dogs that can suit most owners both new and old. The Racing Club page shows how to join our popular syndicate which had two winners this weekend. We also have the Guest Column which currently has our brilliant Review of 2014 but will have many different features on it during the year, not forgetting the Feature Dogs, Staff Profiles and Stud Directory and all our stats are on the Home Page through the History section. I think I'm confident in saying we have the best and most current website of any of our counterparts in the industry. Please let us know if there's anything else you would like us to add.
Back to business and another fine week for the kennel where we plundered nine open race winners including three finals. Unfortunately one of those finals wasn't the Ladbrokes Golden Jacket on Tuesday at Crayford as Wiki Waki Woo took the honours in terrific style. Black Francis, for owner Jeff Craft, ran a solid race and was a reasonably close up third until just caught on the line to finish a creditable 4th (recommended by us e.w at a juicy 33/1). It was still a good night as Jimmy Nailed On ran his best race to date to land the Peter Bussey Memorial Final, amazingly the fourth year running we have won this Category 2 event. Our other runner on the card Toosey Fern also won a 540m race in good style.
At Romford on Friday no-one would have begrudged a win for the very popular Evanta Fantasy in the Steve Simmons Standard Trophy Final and win she did. Blasting out to a 3.69 sectional she showed electric pace to go well clear and beat Henlow Derby winner Southern Mesut by over 3 lengths in a superb 23.76. She now heads a large team from our kennel for the heats of the Category 1 Coral Golden Sprint starting next Friday. We also hope to have Aero Nemesis who returned to the kennel this week after his spell back in Ireland. His preparation will be a bit rushed but he runs Romford well. It was good to see Aayamzaone back on the winner's podium on Friday and her time of 24.04 was very good considering the bump she took on the first bend. Also we have capable sorts in Ilewin Allot, who made last year's final, Huggies Buck, Kilmagner Mike, What A Laugh, Vanayamzaman, Roswell De Niro, Saffrons Anna and Evanta El Greco.
Towcester on Sunday has been very productive for us and yesterday we again had a good day with three open winners with Domino Storm using her plum trap 1 slot to land the Sunday £500 Standard Final. Blue Moment was just preferred in the betting and was a shade unlucky as he tried to go round the first bend but couldn't clear the trap 2 runner Ballymac Bobbyjo, this left the door open for Domino Storm who took full advantage to land the final in 28.53. Both Domino Storm and Blue Moment will head to Monmore next for the Ladbrokes Summer Festival as will Billys Bullet, Blackstone Marco and Evanta Evita who produced a stunning 15.14 trial at Towcester on Wednesday.
Towcester is going very well for us and I can just sense the crowds are getting better now the weather is beginning to improve slightly,. Fee entry surely helps but as I've said many times the first class facilities are way above the majority of any other of the 25 licensed tracks. Towcester's only real problem is the same as all other tracks and that is there is a shortage of both greyhounds and trainers. I would go as far as to say the industry is very nearly at crisis point, many tracks are struggling to fill cards and with the demands of Bags contracts it's a massive worry. I won't lie but it was over three years ago that I, along with many other trainers, forecast this predicament but I really think our calls for a major rethink have fallen on deaf ears. Prize money levels, a large drop in owners and a lack of real incentives to breeders are a number of reasons why we are now so short of greyhounds and trainers. The GBGB leadership under Maurice Watkins simply failed to deliver in their quest to get a good deal from the bookmakers for better funding and the next Chairman who comes in, whenever that might be, will be the most important appointment in the history of greyhound racing. If they don't get it right I can only see track closures, there will also be welfare issues as greyhounds are put under extra strain when being asked to run more and with an ageing group of trainers and a lack of youngsters coming through the ranks, as working 80 hour + weeks and not being able to make it pay becomes hugely unappealing.
The week got off to a good start at Romford on Monday as Evan Herbert's Evanta Fantasy (23.81) and Evanta El Greco (24.36) scored a double in the heats of the Steve Simmons Trophy.
A great night on Tuesday at Crayford and Black Francis did us proud with a fourth placed finish in the Ladbrokes Golden Jacket Final. The Peter Bussey Memorial Trophy has become a favourite of ours and Jimmy Nailed On kept the trophy at Imperial Kennels for the fourth year in succession as he caught and passed Castlelyons Sevi at the 5th bend to win well in a very good 33.50. Earlier in the night Toosey Fern scored well in the Bitches 540m in a fine 33.70.
On Friday at Romford a couple of close seconds in 400m Maidens with Lets Havit Right and Roswell De Niro. Aayamzaone ran a stormer to get up on the line in the bitches race recording a fine 24.04. Blonde Razor was 2nd over 575m but the show was stolen by Evanta Fantasy who landed the Steve Simmons Trophy in great style in a fine 23.76.
At Towcester on Sunday a mixture of opens and graded races, Aclamon Josie was again 2nd in a Novice Stayers but Vanbasten after some good efforts in graded and Maiden company won well in a very good 28.27. Benkaat Nero is getting fitter after a lay off and ran well when 2nd in a good 480m race while Black Francis showed his class when in a poor position at the first bend over 655m he came through to score well in 40.20. As said above the classy Domino Storm took the £500 Sunday Standard final in battling fashion to complete another great afternoon at the Northamptonshire track.
An excellent night's racing on Friday and two winners from our five runners with the lovely prospect Parkers Poison showing fine early to lead and did very well to hold off kennelmate Ilewin Frimley in an A4 in 28.68. Saffrons Anna looked back to her best with a fine win in a tough A4 in 28.61.
On Saturday Dehavillands Boy (3rd) Nimrod Son (2nd) Evanta De Leon (3rd) and Poodle Star (2nd) all ran well but it was left to Swift Whirlwind to bring the bacon home landing a four timer in a fine 28.32.
On Sunday in the last two graded races Toosey Fern followed up her win at Crayford with a nice win in an A2 in a good 28.56 and Saffrons Roxsy pulled a surprise at 10/1 in the last race but won on merit in 28.93.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
We are looking forward to tomorrow nigh's Wimbledon card live on Sky as we have three exciting runners in the supporting races. Cloudbursting is four from four at Towcester but steps up in class at this stage of his career and if he beats this field he could be something very very special. Aero Babooshka has come back from season well racking up a three timer at Henlow but the bitches race also looks hot. Vanrooney is in great form and he will need to be as he takes on a decent field in the 686m.
The Coral Golden Sprint kicks off on Friday at Romford and Evanta Fantasy heads our team, we will be back to Towcester on Sunday for the opens.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
A terrific result for our supporters on Tuesday as firstly Jimmy Nailed On landed some nice touches at 12/1 when winning the Peter Bussey Memorial Trophy in fine style and a decent pay out also as Black Francis finished 4th in the Golden Jacket for our e.w money.
We have to put up Evanta Fantasy for the Coral Golden Sprint that starts on Friday mainly because she looks a Romford specialist and if she breaks like she did in the Steve Simmons Trophy event no one will beat her. For a lively outsider let's take a chance on Vanayamzaman who we haven't seen the best of yet but has real pace.
EVANTA FANTASY - 2 pts e.w ante post - Coral Golden Sprint - Romford - starts Friday
VANAYAMZAMAN - 1 pt e.w ante post - Coral a Golden Sprint - Romford - starts Friday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
BLACK FRANCIS - 1.5 pts e.w ante post 33/1 - Ladbrokes Golden Jacket - Crayford - 4th -7 pt profit
JIMMY NAILED ON - 2 pts e.w ante post 12/1 - Peter Bussey Memorial Trophy - Crayford - 29 pt profit