A treble for the KSS cousins was the highlight of the Ladbrokes Winter Derby heats at Monmore on Saturday. The quickest of the trio was Queen Joni with a 28.36 (-20) run. That is 11 wins from 15 races which include two Category One titles. She was only two years old in December.
Three of Kevin Ferguson’s Yorkshire born littermates did the business at Doncaster a few hours later. There was probably little between Acomb Johnny’s 27.56 (-10) for the 450m and Acomb Felix’s 16.84 (-05) for the sprint (a spot slower than last week). But since Felix is the defending champ, he retains his title.
We can make a very similar case for Oxford’s Rioja Maxi who gets the gold typeface after finding six spots on last week’s open race win at Oxford. But cannot ignore the efforts of Sleek By Design. The veteran was only beaten three quarters of a length over a far from optimal distance. (She has won opens up to 682m.) What a fabulously durable litter they have turned out to be.
Velvet Violet was the quickest of the ARC Northern Puppy Derby heat winners. But we’ve got to go for British bred Greenwell Ovett, only three spots slower despite giving away four months in age and contesting his racing debut.
On the subject of quick pups, June youngster Sleepy Millie demolished a Sunderland A3 field in a flying 27.18 on Friday.
There seemed a decent shout to suggest that the fastest heat of the Northamptonshire Sprint would go to a son of Ballymac Best. It turned out not to be Quarteira though. Step forward Sean White’s Broadway Murty.
The Suffolk Downs sprint clock was broken for the second time this year on Thursday. It went to Brookside Richie’s half brother Kyprios whose 13.39 was three spots quicker than Yahoo Megan’s previous best.
Recent Cesarewitch winner Garfiney Blaze made it four from four with an impressive victory over the Hove 695m course on Thursday. The winner’s time of 41.88 was decent enough, considering the track was running -15. More relevant was his race comment ‘SAw,Stmb1/2,Crd5,LdRnIn’. Class always finds a way. A mention too for the 29.27 Rees winner, Rioja Woody.
Two days latter kennelmate Coonough Crow was completing final preparations for a second Golden Jacket campaign. A finalist last year, without winning a qualifier, her 44.83 would suggest this year’s preparation is going according to plan. Kick off on Saturday.
A fabulous run from Chiltern Sunny at Harlow on Wednesday. The ex-Kilkenny runner recorded the fastest sprint of the last three years with a 14.87 run. That’s four wins and three seconds from seven races.
The Mullins/Burr kennels moved on from the Essex Vase Final back to more familiar ground at Yarmouth. Both were doubly represented in Wednesday’s top A1 and it was the Attleborough based Swift Ian who came out in front with a 27.73 run.
Similarly no opens but a couple of very competitive A1s dominated the Saturday night card at Perry Barr. Recent POW Swift Prank clocked 28.45 when winning his battle, but he is trumped by a 28.38 from John Lambe’s Good Spark.
The Kinsley equivalent, with no A2s or A1s, was a couple of A3s on Sunday. Quicker of the pair with the week’s sole sub 28.00 run was Caydans Destiny. With consecutive wins she could be returning to her 27.58 form.
Pelaw’s top heat was an A2 won by defending POW Footfield Petal. But the fact that she was marked ‘awkward’ and was slower than an A2 winner means we’ve selected the 25.69 winner Gurtnacrehy Axel.
An array of minor opens at Swindon on Thursday. Ballymac Rocky was possibly the pick of the bunch with a 28.43 run. His fourth win in his last six outings.
Heading the big win sequences is Welsh flyer Glenmalure Flyer. His Sunday afternoon win takes his unbeaten sequence at Valley to ten. This was the closest of the lot though, a neck.
The remarkable Bitumen continues to extend his winning sequence at Nottingham. He romped up by eight lengths in 29.80 to extend his winning sequence to eight.
Asbo Lenny’s winning streak isn’t quite that hot, but Paul Donovan’s Kent Derby finalist made it five wins from his last six over course and distance with Central Park’s top performance this week.
The Romford selection tends to be tricky most weeks with little between the fastest winners over three or four different distances. No such issue this week with Druids Say Go entirely justifying her skinny SP (1-6f) for the quickest 400m open, 23.76 (-10).
Things weren’t as simple at Sheffield where there were opens over three distances on Sunday with nothing really catching the eye. Team Draper picked up a 500m treble but the quickest of the trio was Timmys Penny in 28.99. The stayers opens weren’t so rapid either, but in terms of spectacle, we’ve gone for Doncaster raider Trewmount Fury who managed to get his black nose the furthest forward in a sh,sh photo finish.