8.4.22. Apologies for the delay in providing this update due, primarily, to an excessively long holiday then the inevitable jetlag but what a day Tuesday was!
I turned on my phone at Heathrow to find out that I had been elected as GBGB Practitioner Director but, much more importantly, Jooles Slater had her first winners after taking over the licence from Stuart Buckland and they were all ours! Supreme Odin (pictured) was the first and therefore the one that really matters. Backed into short price favouritism, Luigi did well to take it up at the second bend and stayed on stoutly to hold off all challengers. There is a super video doing the rounds on Social Media of Luigi and Jooles posing after his win and he is not behaving himself! You can view the video via this link. Luigi is well-known in the kennels as a bit of a nutter and is showing his true colours. It was further fitting in that Luigi is one of Stuart’s home breds and the first of the current Noduff Racing crop of dogs.
One winner however was not enough. It was very welcome indeed that Noduff Aria got his head in front. Fred suffers terribly from cramp and, if he could talk, he would probably ask to race much closer to the equator! Not only did he win his A6 however, he even led at the first bend and that really is a first for him. I am still keen for him to step up to six bends again but Jooles says ‘no, not yet’ as Fred still managed to cramp at the pickup despite his comfortable victory. She, of course, knows best and must be obeyed so we will wait for better weather in the Monmore area.
Our third winner from just four starters came in the shape of Noduff Excalibur. I have been very vocal about the Racing Office’s treatment of Jock who doesn’t get to run often enough and, when he does, he doesn’t get the red box sufficiently often. Well, trap one made all the difference this time as Jock used the rails slot to great effect to take the lead out of the second bend and hold the rest at bay. It will be nice to see what further improvement there is in him with a few more regular runs on the inside. He can do better than 28.81 and a 4.41 sectional.
Jooles must think this an easy game as the following day we added another two to her tally. Noduff Hacienda got his nose in front for the first time after his return from injury. You may recall that Ridley had to have a partial toe amputation. We never quite know how they’ll get on when back to full pace but he’s handling his disability well as evidenced by his 28.66 victory from behind a well-backed opponent. There is probably more to come from him too but he’s another who performs best from the one box.
Finally, Mustang Highway got a small part of his nose in front on the line to take his first D1. Wilson is being kept to sprints for the timebeing. He was moderately away but showed terrific early into the bend – so much so that he moved off a bit before correcting himself out of the second bend. He saw the trip out well to prevail by the shortest of short heads. If Wilson can learn to run the bend better then the sky’s the limit.
Noduff Flamingo is destined for six bends as that is where her future lies. In the meantime Raspberry is doing herself proud having triumphed in A10 then A9. The A8 hat trick just eluded her however when forced wide at the bends. It is a struggle to get a six bend graded trial for her at present but we are working on it.
Noduff Joker has had three runs now and is finding life a little tough. Rum has yet to repeat anything like the 28.26 he recorded at Sheffield and is suffering from tardy breaks. He will pick it up.
Noduff Imperial and Noduff Klondike are in the midst of their grading trials. Absinthe struggled when placed with other dogs for the first time in her life but prior to that she put in a decent solo effort. Jake has had only one solo sprint since failing his POR drug test not once but twice. Another update will follow about that in due course. They are both blue beauties who we hope will be on the card come May.
Otherwise there remain a few injuries. Noduff Dunes (Mia) should be back shortly. Chasing Landy (Cooper) needs a few more weeks and Noduff Bellagio (Bonnie) needs a little longer still. She appeared to go well in her sprint return but bruised up the following day and had to be scanned again. Hopefully however her soft tissue problems will resolve so she can go about trying to emulate the successes of her litter sister Bellmore Sally!