13.2.22. Aside from the traps breaking at Monmore last night, which put Chasing Landy’s Winter Derby heat back to Tuesday and made live TV rather more awkward than usual, it’s been a pretty good week for once.
NODUFF EXCALIBUR (pictured above shortly after victory) finally got a clear run and did magnificently to win his A2 in a speedy 28.55. Jock had to do it from second as well, railing tightly to pass the leader out of the second bend and hold off the challenge of a top grade stayer to land the victory. Jock can now go into A1 and won’t be a problem dog for the racing office any more. He lacks a yard of early from the traps so is reliant on a clear run but his pace from one to three is outstanding.
We had two runners this week and SUPREME ODIN made it two from two when winning his A3. He led early, only for another early paced type to get up his inside and he took a big impact at the bend turning him sideways. His chance appeared to have gone but he showed great determination to right himself and set off again, taking it up at halfway and proving too strong for the other runners. Luigi runs again on Monday in an A2 with only one early paced opponent and he could well strike the front again.
We are also pleased to report the arrival this week of NODUFF KLONDIKE who made the journey from Ireland on Friday. You can read more about him on his dedicated page. Jake is a little underweight and Jooles Slater has made it her aim to fatten him up with a double breakfast and double lunch. He is a striking dog as you can see below.
Things are also improving on the trial front with NODUFF JOKER slated to have his first 480m trial at Monmore Green on Monday. Rum will be joined by NODUFF DUNES. Mia is having another outing before rejoining the graded strength following her absence whilst taking a course of antibiotics for her infected toe.
CHASING LANDY now runs on Tuesday in Heat 6 of the Winter Derby. Unfortunately there was an irrecoverable failure of the 480m traps last night and only three of the competition heats could be completed. It remains to be seen whether Cooper will face all five of this scheduled opponents and it means that the qualifiers will have to run again on Saturday in the next round but Cooper is easily able to keep to that schedule.
We are also happy to report that MUSTANG HIGHWAY will be returning to the kennel next week after his brief sojourn to Paddy Hennessey in Ireland for additional schooling or re-education camp as we like to call it, implying just a hint of North Korea. Hopefully Wilson will now keep his mind fully on the job and show that he is as fast as we think he is!
The other big news this week was the announcement that Jooles Slater will take over from Stuart Buckland at Watford Gap Kennels on or about 1st April when he retires. We wish Jooles all the best as trainer. You can read more on our Trainers page.