“In the middle of last year we completely changed the way we operate and we haven’t looked back.”
Matt Dartnall enjoyed a fabulous night at the Sussex track when Toast Of London, Droopys Polly, Lets Be Ready and Away Shelly completed a 46-1 four-timer.
Away Shelly clocked the fastest 475 of the year while Droopys Polly’s 29.76 equalled Brave Venture’s quickest 515 run in 2018 with said joint holder beaten four lengths. Polly’s last twelve races over course and distance have yielded ten wins and two seconds (both to Barricane Tiger).
Matt said: “My biggest disappointment is that she doesn’t have the big race title that I think she deserves. She came in season before the Brighton Belle and she then missed Belle Vue. She is now in great form but there isn’t anything for her to run in.”
So what is the secret behind the kennel’s upsurge in form?
Matt said: “We went back to basics everything from how we operate and feed to the number of dogs in the kennel. We went down the graded route with sixty odd dogs. We couldn’t get a run with a lot of them and it was just manic trying to operate in the way we wanted to.
“We are now down to 36 runners and I am much happier that dad and I can operate in the way we know best. That is now being reflected in the form of the dogs.”
Looking ahead, the kennel have two contenders in next week’s Ladbrokes Puppy Derby at Monmore.
Matt said: “I have happy with the draws for both dogs. Brinkleys Poet is our first runner for Rob Brinkley and I am delighted to have got him through to a ‘Cat One’ final. Rob has spent a lot of money on dogs and is a great supporters of the game. Poet (T3) has very good early pace and I am hoping he can dominate the inside runners.
“Rising Brandy is owned by Alex Antoniou and Paul Bennett and only has the two Monmore races on his card; was unraced in Ireland. We weren’t sure how good he was but he did 15.54 in a sprint trial at Towcester and told them there were two routes we could go. We could go graded to give him some experience or ‘the brave route’. They both left the decision to me and we went the brave route. It has all worked out so far.
“Brandy is a dog with tremendous back straight pace and provided we have a pitch by the second bend, I fancy our chances against the rest. Both dogs have come fit and well out of the semis and I couldn’t be happier with them.”