9.1.22. Let’s start on an upbeat note. Last night NODUFF BELLAGIO (pictured) won her A2 to record her first hat trick of wins. This time Bonnie had to do it the hard way, turning the first bend fourth and gradually wearing down the leaders on the wide outside to take it up on the home straight and win by about a length. This win followed more comfortable successes in A4 and A3.
From now on the idea is that she’ll concentrate on longer distances for which she seems more suited. She’s had two maiden opens over 630m at Monmore. The last time (before her resurgence in form) she stayed on well and was clear by the pick up. The Racing Office have promised her an S1 race next week. If that doesn’t materialise she’ll be entered for another 630m maiden open next Saturday.
Assuming she does get that trip well there’s another dual distance event in February culminating in a 684m contest. We’ll enter her for that and hope she qualifies through the 630m first round. There are no other 684m contests on the calendar yet that seems the obvious step to take in seeing just how far she will get.
Years ago we had another staying bitch; Bizarre Lady, who got 645m at Hall Green very strongly. We eventually upped her to 815m at Milton Keynes and lumped on! She led to the final bend then fell down a hole. You never can tell.
Finally on the subject of Bonnie, we remind ourselves that on 24.4.21 at just sixteen months of age she beat Callmesteve by 8 and a half lengths at Kilkenny. That’s why we bought her. She hasn’t lived up to that until very recently and we hope that the recent rest and course of medication has done the trick. Today Callmesteve enters the first round of the Blue Riband at Towcester as one of the favourites.
SUPREME ODIN continues to rest but Luigi should return to trials soon.
NODUFF ARIA hasn’t been himself in the kennels recently and this is reflected in his lacklustre appearances on the track. Fred has now fallen to A6 yet shows no sign of winning. Our best theory is that he doesn’t like the Midlands Winter and associated bad weather. Stuart Buckland and the team are exploring various solutions but even they can’t provide him with more sun!
NODUFF DUNES has turned into a flying machine – sometimes. Mia is very much an individual. She’s won four of her last eight and is now up to A4. There’s just one issue – she has to be in front at the third bend or she doesn’t want to know. So far, if she’s been in front then she’s gone on to win every time but if not, she will noticeably slow. We don’t mind that at all even though we don’t know the cause. Every occasion she times the break well she’s led and won but she has also developed a habit of missing it badly. You know your fate in the race within a matter of strides. Watching Mia is always exciting for the first few meters at least!
NODUFF EXCALIBUR remains winless. Poor Jock is still running in the lofty heights of A3 though because he keeps going close. Last time, from trap 1, he got himself up the inside at the first bend to take the lead only to let a rival up his inside at the third. That was enough to slow him down and although he came again past that rival to secure second place another dog overtook him on the run in. Jock goes again in A3 this week.
NODUFF FLAMINGO remains on seasonal rest. Raspberry is to be aimed at staying races when she returns.
NODUFF GRAND is going to leave Monmore for Crayford. After disgracing himself and being disqualified (completely out of the blue) Wallace is going hurdling. Jim Reynolds has agreed to take and school him and we are just waiting for a kennel vacancy so he can be transferred. You never know, Wallace may turn out to be a natural and we’ll see him in the Springbok at Central Park in early April!
NODUFF HACIENDA broke a toe in his last A1 at Monmore. In typically impressive fashion the kennel had him at the vets within a couple of days where half of the offending toe was removed. Ridley is now commencing six weeks of rehabilitation and should return to the racing strength with minimal inconvenience. We certainly know how to keep our vets busy!
CHASING LANDY returned to winning ways in impressive fashion this week, leading all the way in Monmore’s top A1 contest. Cooper will likely continue to alternate between these contests and one-off open races.
MUSTANG HIGHWAY will shortly leave for a month of ‘re-education and schooling’ with Paddy Hennessey in Ireland. Wilson is a very fast puppy and we are trying to do everything we can to keep his mind on the job throughout his races so he can fulfill his full potential.
Finally our youngest pup NODUFF IMPERIAL continues her schooling under the guidance of Peter Stead at Youghal and will be joining us at Monmore in due course.