Rubys Rascal tells you nothing. Some dogs have the sort of personality that makes it easy to work out their moods and how they will run, Rascal isn’t one of them. He keeps his thoughts to himself.
He goes into tonight’s St. Leger final in good form but he will have to trap at his best to stand any chance. Will he do that? I really don’t know.
He certainly hasn’t been breaking as well as he can, and such is the quality of the race that only his best will see him land our fifth Leger in eleven years.
I think the draw (T1) has worked out pretty well because Slippy Maska (T2) moves to the middle on the run-up and he may get the room.
I can imagine Keplar Nine leading on the outside and I would love for our boy to be following him out of the second bend. Rascal is showing more stamina than ever before and we would take our chances from there.
If I had to pick one to win it other than our own? It would probably be Keplar Nine in such a competitive race. If you can get clear when the opposition is so closely matched – two lengths covers the field on semi final form – you will probably win four times in every ten.
With Shlowdown Sally something of a track specialist at Henlow and Towcester, I have no idea how she will run (beaten last time out at Perry Barr –Ed) so Rascal must be our best chance of a winner on the night.
Rather like connections of Roxholme Magic, I was gutted that the marathon didn’t fill on Leger Final night.
I entered Ribble Atom who was then put into a 710m race up against Cloran Paddy where she has no chance. Had I have known that, I would have run her in the TV Trophy Trialstake at Towcester.
Atom loves the track and I would love to see her reach her third final. She has given us, and Lord Hesketh, a lot of fun, and but for being around at the time of a great bitch like Magic, could have dominated marathon racing for a decent period of time.
As it is, this will be her last competition before she is retired for breeding. Ribble Aon leaves the kennel this week, also destined for the breeding paddocks.
We haven’t finalised our TV trophy team yet, though we just might give Rubys Rascal a crack at it.
His stamina looked very suspect when he was destroyed in that match race by Roxholme Magic earlier in the year, but he looks a lot stronger dog now and it would make an interesting side issue if they were to meet again.
Of course the one I would really have wanted to run was Aayamza Breeze, who broke her hock at Hove in July.
Vet Daniel Doherty did a great job on the hock and he wants to see her again in January. I remain hopeful that we will get her back on track next year.
I was delighted with Buisers Bullet’s return to racing in the Eclipse. He was bumped on the run-up and at the first and second bend.
At that stage, with a dog returning from injury, you would often see them run out of stamina and be eliminated.
But he kept going to qualify in third and was none the worse for the race the next morning.
I am looking forward to the semi finals – what a quality competition that has proven to be.
I am really excited that our former kennel star Domino Storm is due to whelp down in around three weeks time.
She is with Jim Hayton who has been such a credit to British breeding, and is in whelp to our 2011 St.Leger winner Aero Majestic (sire of Aayamza Breeze) who is at stud with Jim.
Finally, I was delighted to hear that Towcester have signed a long term deal with ARC.
It is not massively lucrative for trainers – we were earning more when Walthamstow closed nine years ago – but it should secure the future of the track.
The Hesketh family committed to greyhound racing when most others wouldn’t and I think the trainers have kept faith in them throughout.
We know that – unlike at some tracks – they will not settle for paying the bare minimum, and that loyalty and trust works both ways.