While Coonough Crow clocked the fastest run in the Golden Jacket first round, she was surely upstaged by kennelmate Minnie Bullet in the Bussey Memorial heats. Fourth in least year’s Jacket, Minnie looks way better suited to the six bends and equalled Antigua Sugar’s FOY clock for 2023.
But things didn’t go so well for the MWD kennel’s even money favourite Quarteira in the Northamptonshire Sprint Final. Or were punters once again underestimating Sean White’s defending POW champ Broadway Murty who clocked an impressive 15.50 in the final?
King Capaldi has 14 wins from 17 races, that would have been 18 had the English Puppy Derby Final been over 480 metres and not 500. Nevertheless his 28.01 was the fastest of three excellent Winter Derby semis at Monmore.
Tom Heilbron landed the other two Monmore semis with Bogger Rambo and Links Maverick, but it was another kennelmate who produced the outstanding run at Sheffield on Sunday. Romeo To Victory’s 15.74 for the 280m was one spot quicker than Youmeanirene’s fastest sprint in 2023.
Omuircheartaigh was marginally the quickest semi final winner of the Northern Puppy Derby. But what about Maxine Locke’s Droopys Display, two months younger, only six spots slower, and unraced before the first round?
On the subject of pups, Kevin Hutton had a couple of flying youngsters win opens on Saturday at Oxford; May youngster Rioja Oisin (26.61) and the month younger Union Rebel (26.66). But neither has stronger claims than the veteran Sleek By Design, now back over her favoured distance and the fastest 650 win of the year to date, 39.36. (Havana Top Note’s track record is 39.29).
Three weeks ago, Phil Milner’s home bred July ‘22 whelp, Keefil Goose, ran third in Oxford’s BGBF Puppy Cup Final at Oxford. He contested his first race since at Doncaster on Saturday and was only three spots off the fastest 450 of the year with a 27.59 run.
Deelish Lucy didn’t win a race at Oxford despite slipping from A4 to A6 in five races. She has looked a different proposition at Kinsley though. She clocked the only sub28.00 run and has five wins and two seconds in her last eight races.
Heavy going meant that Hove’s Thursday times were difficult to gauge. But does anyone want to argue with Garfiney Blaze’s seven length win over the stayers’ trip? It was a full second quicker than the other open and extended his winning sequence for the MWD Syndicate to 5:5.
Similarly, forget the 43.44 winning time of Gagas Merry at Swindon. It was recorded on what can only ever be a huge guesstimate of -150. That’s four wins and two seconds in her last six.
Whilst Jura Kaneco clocked the fastest time at Harlow last week, it is impossible to ignore the claim of 26.56 (-10) winner, the appropriately named Good Streak. That A1 win followed a 26.58 run for the May puppy.
It’s over for Bitumen. The Nottingham eight-timer met the other semi final winner of a closely contested Cat 3 final on Friday, and it was Colin Wilton’s Sambar Kian who came out on top and completed his own four-timer.
There was also a change of selection at Romford. Although Druids Say Go won again, her 24.12 was comfortably eclipsed by Paul Burr’s prolific A1 winner, Supa Nova with a 23.82, both on -20 going.
Nova has a PB of 27.56 (+20) at Yarmouth (and a 23.60 at Romford). Which puts Smores A1 win at the Caister circuit into some perspective. The John Mullins bred and reared blue clocked 27.43 (N) for the 462 metres. His previous best in a career lasting almost 18 months was 27.92 (twice). Where did that come from?
Asbo Lenny stretched hjs recent Central Park sequence to 7:8, but his 29.68 was no match for Katie O’Flaherty’s Singalong Stacey and a 29.59 (-10) win on the same card.
No Suffolk Down opens this week due to the weather so a six length 23.72 A2 win, after a dozen failures, for Keith Robins’ Liam Jezabelle, was the week’s highlight.
It has taken a while for Robert Hall’s Darley Diglake to turn puppy potential into something more tangible. On Saturday night at Perry Barr, the youngster followed up an A1 with his first open race victory.
The smallest hound to make the feature in a while must be the 24.8kg Sunderland pup, Roaming Roxy. On a tough week, weatherwise, 27.48 proved to be quickest clock over the standard distance.
Although Ridleys Outlook clocked the fastest run at Pelaw (25.97 in A5), the selection is the 22 month old Tromora Supreme with a 25.99 winning debut in A2.
Perhaps the most interesting selection this week is Quare Doll. The Sep ’19 veteran began her Perry Barr career back in November ’21. She was mid grade who failed to finish one race, and was beaten a distance “gave up” in another. Her final race in Brum was last March when she was KO’d. She spent nine months off the track but has been a revelation since the start of the year at Valley. A couple of kilos heavier than in her Perry Barr days, she has won her last five and is the current sprint record holder (15.95).