Monday 30th April 2012
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L&Q’s plans will be decided by Waltham Forest Councillors at a special public meeting at Waltham Forest Town Hall complex on the evening of 8 May.
We need as many people to attend this vital public meeting as possible.
The eagerly awaited 2012 William Hill Greyhound Derby kicked off on Friday night at Wimbledon with 11 first round heats and I have to say despite mixed emotions for our kennel it was an excellent night of greyhound racing. With many heats having the luxury of four or five qualifying to the next stage I'm sure plenty of trainers have left plenty in hand with some of their runners, after all the key to winning the greatest greyhound competition on earth is to be able to peak on May 26th.
The first heat saw first blood to the Irish, who have brought some quality runners to the event this year. Bombolini trained by Pat Cronin caused a minor surprise when leading at the first bend on the way to a 2 1/2 length win in 28.66. We didn't have to wait long for the first two of our six entries with Jazz Apollo and Benkaat Boy who were pitched together in heat 2 and when Benkaat Boy broke really well he looked to have an excellent chance of qualifying. He unfortunately had no answer to a magnificent performance by Bubbly Pheonix who exploded from the boxes and went round Benkaat Boy like he was standing still and galloped relentlessly to a 7 1/4 length victory in a flying 28.31. Meanwhile Jazz Apollo, who was well short of his peak, started slower than normal but qualified safely in third place. Sadly Benkaat Boy, who to be fair was having his first race for a nearly three months, faded badly and was eliminated in last place.
There were comfortable wins for the recent Scottish Derby Champion Barefoot Allstar and our current Oaks Champion Silverview Perky before our own Blonde Snapper erased the memories of last year's disastrous first round elimination with a scintillating 5 1/4 length victory in a good 28.69. Running from trap 2 for the first ever time in his career last week's Coral Golden Sprint winner gave us and his supporters no worries and has come out of the race in fabulous shape. I think Snapper would improve further with some warmer weather which he thrives on. One thing for certain the weather couldn't be any worse than it was in Suffolk last week. I don't think I've seen so much rain in one week!. There were other easy wins for Mill Bling Bling and Jaytee Pedro who had current Derby Champion Taylors Sky well beaten and though it's only the first round there must be some slight concerns for his supporters. Our own Castlebride Dan has been highlighted recently as a lively outsider for the event and produced a stunning 4.74 sectional and despite moving out to the outside from trap 2 on the run up comfortably led by 5 or 6 lengths going down the back straight. Although coming back to the field, David Miles' and Colin Denwood's black speedster had enough in hand to win by a length in 28.81. Some might say that this was his Derby final but I think this lightly raced April 2010 whelp has plenty of scope for improvement. Chris Allsopp's Freds Champ showed some blistering early pace (4.67 sec) when landing the next heat while the Irish trained duo of Tynwold Bolt (28.38) and Razldazl Jayfkay (28.39) were impressive in the last two heats of the night.
Saturday's batch of heats were run in awful conditions with strong winds and heavy rain and credit must go to the track staff for producing such an excellent surface. Young Sid, Droopys Lorenzo and Judicial Ruling all rewarded favourite backers. Whatsupjack and Tinas Nova gave the Irish some more success and Frankie Taylor's You Mind Me surprised even me by staying very well to win his heat by 2 1/2 lengths before the race of the night saw Eden Star establish himself as one of the leading contenders for outright honours with a 4 1/2 length victory over some warm rivals. Our own Dixies Air moved straight across to the rails hampering himself and trap 3 Droopys Jet and eventually finished 4th though did have the saving grace that all five runners in this heat qualified for the next round. In between an impressive Boher Paddy there were a couple of surprises in the shape of Lenson Mac and Cloheena Cash. Our last runner Aero Bellagio looked good to qualify when challenging for a minor place at the third bend but ran up the back of the dogs in front and was eventually beaten a short head for 4th behind Bit View Micko and made an early exit from the event.
Our four remaining runners went into yesterday's draw with anticipation and after seeing three come out in Friday's heats and one in Saturdays heats we are now digesting the draw. On Friday Dixies Air faces some decent rivals with the likes of Farloe Iceman, Razldazl Rioga and Farloe Mysterio in opposition but trap 2 will suit him and he would have a reasonable chance of qualifying. It was disppointing to see two of our runners in the same heat but both Jazz Apollo and Castlebride Dan would have a good chance of progressing from heat 8. Castlebride Dan has been re-classified to a middle seed and I see no reason why he can't be as effective from his trap six draw. On Saturday we only have Blonde Snapper to look forward to and he will have to be at his very best to qualify from a tough heat. Boher Paddy, King Jaffa, Whatsupjack and Oaks winner Silverview Perky are all in attendance and this race alone is worth the entrance fee.
I think the dismal weather conditions over the weekend certainly had a detrimental effect on both attendances and the Derby buzz but with better weather predicted for next week the competition really begins. William Hill as well as many of the other bookmakers have seen some brisk business and the eye catching Union Jack coated runners in trap 6 was a superb idea. Whilst on the subject of Wimbledon I was stunned at how strong the rumours of the stadium being sold are. The word is that Paschal Taggart's Irish consortium are being strongly linked to the rumours. This has to be great news for our sport, as is the opening of Coventry Stadium by Harry Findlay next month. More good news is that the important meeting about Walthamstow Stadium on May 8th could well see the most significant step in the right direction since it's closure in 2008. As you can see on our site it's most important that we get as many greyhound supporters to attend on this night.
The other great news is that the plans to open Towcester this year are well on course and yesterday I attended the GOBATA AGM. I'm sure the shocking weather kept numbers to a minimum but all the greyhound people in the room have one thing in common and that is that we are all passionate about our sport and our greyhounds. It's obvious that for all GOBATA'S efforts over the last two years since its formation the hardest part is trying to get any recognition from the GBGB board of directors. The constant negativity from them is not only scandalous it's damn right rude. Despite gaining credibility through Towcester and things like the Premier League GOBATA is still ignored. GOBATA will now back Rick Holloway in taking over from Norah McEllistrim as Chairperson for the GTA, a subject I have touched on in recent weeks, and we will try and see that a fair and democratic election for the position will take place and then maybe we could get some proper representation for trainers, owners and breeders eventually. Obviously there will be some major obstacles to overcome, not least from our current practitioners' director who sits on the board who we all have no confidence in.
On Thursday I'm really looking forward to Daren Johnson's 'Giveabitback' Golf Day at the magnificent London Club near Brands Hatch. Over 100 golfers, mostly from the greyhound industry, will enjoy the day that will raise a huge amount for Retired Greyhounds and for the Help For Heroes charities. Jimmy Tarbuck, Glen Hoddle, Bobby Davro and Peter Shilton are some great celebrities who will be there on the day and there will be some great prizes to be won on the course while the after dinner auction should raise plenty of money.
On Monday Ayamzabeauty ran well when third in the heats of the Coral on TV Puppy 400m at Romford.
On Wednesday only the one runner on the Peterborough Sky card and Ayamzagirl thrilled her many army of fans with another scintillating last to first victory over 790m.
At Hove on Thursday some great news with Blonde Fletch scorching around 515m in 29.54 in a trial before racing while Lil Risky didn't quite handle the bends on his first appearance at the Sussex track in a sprint won by Jimmy Lollie. Both Swift Reagan (2nd) and Risky Fred (3rd) ran well.
On Friday as well as the William Hill Derby heats at Wimbledon we had a few runners at Romford and again Aero Joker showed how much she loves the Essex track with another 5 length win in a fine 35.38 and Carden Twilight ran a stormer when second to Aero Gaga over 750m.
Pups Darian Chief (2nd) and Darian Creek (3rd) both ran well on Wednesday and should be winning soon. The feature race of the night was the annual Yarmouth Championship and both our finalists Risky Blue and Steam Machine had tough draws in trap 5 and 6. Outsider Risky Blue for a couple of seconds looked dangerous when pacing up in front but trap 3 Parkers Man just got inside him at the first bend and he was never able to get past that rival who stayed on to win the Championship by 4 lengths with Risky Blue a brave second and Steam Machine back in 5th. Mountjoy Eagle returned to Yarmouth to record a fine win in an A1 in 28.28.
On Saturday in shocking weather conditions Planning an exciting Otober 2010 pup won very well by over 9 lengths in 28.53 (-20) in A2 company while another exciting pup Blonde Kimber knocked off a good A1 by 3 1/2 lengths in 28.79 (-30)
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Runners at Hove on Thursday while the feature of the week is the William Hill Greyhound Derby 2nd round at Wimbledon where on Friday Dixies Air, Jazz Apollo and Castlebride Dan all perform and on Saturday Blonde Snapper takes centre stage.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
A tremendous week for our followers with Ayamzagirl landing the odds on Wednesday at Peterborough with many getting the odds against in the morning and in our William Hill Derby betting Castlebride Dan was a great winner for us in his heat on Friday and along with Jazz Apollo and Blonde Snapper (now down to 50/1) our ante-post vouchers are still in play. I think Blonde Snapper will be a good price to land a tough looking heat on Saturday but I think he will improve again and is well worth a bet.
BLONDE SNAPPER - 3 pts win - William Hill Greyhound Derby heat 15 - Wimbledon - Saturday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
AYAMZAGIRL - 4 pts win - Peterborough - Wednesday - WON 8/11
CASTLEBRIDE DAN - 2 pts win - Wimbledon - Friday - WON 3/1
BLONDE SNAPPER - 2.5 pts e.w ante-post 66/1 - William Hill Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon
JAZZ APOLLLO - 1.5 pts e.w ante-post 100/1 - William Hill Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon
CASTLEBRIDE DAN - 0.5 pts e.w ante-post 200/1 - William Hill Greyhound Derby - Wimbledon