A mixed weekend for the Janssens kennel took an upturn on Sunday night as Affleck Bolt ran away with the BGBF St.Leger Final at Central Park on Saturday night.
The 4-5f and course and distance track record holder ran a stunner (well worth a watch) to reel in a gallant Shoot The Bolt and retain the title won last year in 39.81 (-20) for the 642 metres. So why is his record so much better there than elsewhere?
Patrick said: “He really likes the big gallop and his best career performances have been there, plus Towcester and Hove. Overall though, he hasn’t been the luckiest of dogs.
“He just missed out on a place in the Regency Final when beaten half a length to qualify by the eventual winner Aayamza Breeze, and he ran third in a Golden Jacket semi final (two to qualify) in a time that would have won either of the other semis. Looking ahead, we would have to be thinking about the Doncaster St.Leger and of course the St.Leger itself at Perry Barr.”
Sunday’s decider was a bit of a family affair with litter sister Affleck Lady finishing fourth, when she might have been looking after a litter of pups.
Patrick said: “She has a long standing toe injury which we manage but when she came in season, we decided to get her mated. I wanted to put Kilmore Lemon across her but he was in a competition so we went to his sire Taylors Sky, but unfortunately she missed.”
The pair are from the third litter out of Ardrine Lunar, who was actually disqualified for fighting at Central Park. The sire is Kinloch Brae and the same parents previously produced Bada Bing, Meadow and Whatugonnado.
Patrick said: “We decided to retire Lunar after her third litter. She actually lives, along with Barricane Bullet with a lady in Brandon.”
In addition to Bolt, the kennel picked up two more Central Park successes with the ‘win machine’ Seaglass Tiger and the youngster Distant Lucy in a novice competition.
Patrick said:”Tiger is such a cracking dog, so keen and never runs a bad race. Lucy was having the first race of her career. She is a pup from the later litter to Kilmore Lemon, and open to further improvement. She actually found half a second between two trials and her first race.”
The weekend had started badly at Nottingham on Friday night when Bockos Doomie, Seaglass Phantom and Desperado Dan all exited the Derby.
Patrick said: “Doomie and Dan were both badly drawn. Phantom is vulnerable in the early stages of a race when he doesn’t get a clear run. I am particularly excited about Doomie. He showed some much pace at Nottingham but lacked age and experience against dogs of that calibre. But he is only a September pup with great potential.
“I would like to run him in the puppy race on Final night and possibly in the Puppy Derby at Henlow. Phantom will go to Hove for the Sussex Cup, probably along with Dan who will also be back to Romford for the Champion Stakes. Dan is still only a Jan ’17 whelp but has a great strike rate and will to win. Hopefully there is a lot more to come from him.
“I am also excited about Droopys Biker. He has tremendous all-round pace but struggles to get a run against top class dogs because he lacks a bit of early. I am really hoping that he stays. He trialled well at Monmore on Saturday, doing 28.08, and I think he might stay the ‘short six bends’ (630m). If that goes okay, I am thinking about trying him in the GAIN Three Steps at Sheffield.”
Former kennel star Kilmore Lemon continues to make excellent progress following a recent career ending injury.
Patrick said: “The cast is about to come off and it has all gone well. We will then send him away to have some straws drawn before he joins his owner Robert Vaughan who lives near Swindon.
“I would be keen to have some pups by him. It isn’t just his ability that I loved so much, he had such incredible determination and will to win. If he can transmit that to his pups, he would make a very good sire.”