19.9.21. A pretty quiet week in general. SUPREME ODIN (pictured) put in one of his rare lesser performances finishing last in an A2. Facing early pace on both sides he was able to turn the bend only third and got shuffled back from there. Another A2 awaits on Tuesday but with a similar amount of competing early. The elusive win in A2 company may have to wait a little longer before Luigi gets his deserved first crack at an A1.
NODUFF ARIA meanwhile continues to be the kennel workhorse (workdog?). Four outings this month so far have seen Fred finish first and third on three occasions. Last night he was down to an A4 (but an A3 in reality) and he continues to knock on the door of the 29 second barrier. Fred needs everything to fall right to win in this kind of company. He cuts the first, second and third bends well when able to do so but will insist on swinging wide off the last which costs him several lengths. Some may say he is being overworked but we disagree – he is capable of staying six bends but there are sadly no such graded races for him to be put in so an extra four bender a month is no great hardship.
NODUFF BELLAGIO remains a riddle wrapped up in an enigma. Bonnie hasn’t trained on at all and continues to run wider than we would like and in the low 29s. We sent her to Perry Barr for a trial to give her a change of scenery. She moved in with another (quieter) boyfriend to see if it impacted her mood and we’ve been looking at her diet and weight. What we really want is for her to come into season but there’s not a lot we can do about that. In the meantime it’s a question of when (and how) we can get her over six bends. She shapes up as if to need that trip but with no graded six bend races taking place or on the horizon the only avenue is a maiden open but is she running well enough?
NODUFF CAESAR continues his rehabilitation following his injury. He has now been allowed into the bigger paddock to run around as he feels able and will continue to be closely monitored. It would be lovely for him to have the enjoyment of being able to race but only time will tell. The course of Tvati is ongoing and we should know one way or the other by the end of the year.
NODUFF DUNES came into season at the beginning of August having only been able to run once (yes, it was Bonnie we wanted to come in, not Mia) but even Stuart Buckland and the team haven’t worked that one out yet. That one run was very promising as she showed great pace before being attacked down the back straight (no, it doesn’t say so on the card but if you watch the video there’s no doubt at all). Hopefully Mia will be trialling again come early October and we very much look forward to seeing what she can do.
NODUFF EXCALIBUR has been kept to sprints as was the plan when he was bought. He was thrown in at the deep end in two hard opens and this has been reflected in the Racing Office keeping him in D1 graded contests. He was finally given the one box (which he very much appears to need) and duly ran a lot better so it was disappointing to see that he is rostered back to trap two when he runs again in top sprint grade tomorrow. We will review his positioning again shortly. For whatever reason he is still not showing that phenominal trapping that he exhibited in Ireland. As for sprints in general see the end of this bulletin.
NODUFF FLAMINGO debuted last week, albeit in lowly A7 grade. Raspberry is still very young as a February 2020 whelp and looked a little overawed by the experience. She was slowly away, ran the bends too wide but stayed on resolutely as she did in her sales race. She appears again on Tuesday this week and there is any amount of improvement to come. She remains extremely lively as is evident on parade.
NODUFF GRAND has to remain on the sicklist a little longer. Wallace took a horrible looking tumble in his last race outing and we were very happy to see him finish with no great problems. His bruising settled down quite quickly but all our dogs are professionally checked over on a regular basis and a small problem was found in his shoulder so he has one more week of controlled exercise before he can trial again. Hopefully he can then work on perfecting his overtaking – which does still need some work!
NODUFF HACIENDA remains unable to race pending clearance from GBGB towers. Found to have failed his Point of Registration sampling, Ridley had a second sample taken over two weeks ago but we are yet to hear back from the authorities in relation to that second sample. This is, of course, immensely frustrating. Whatever was in his system when he raced and was bought in Ireland has nothing to do with his present kennel or ownership yet he remains on the sidelines far longer than should have been necessary. Phone lines to the GBGB will be red hot again on Monday!
CHASING LANDY gets a mention in this post in that he is owned by the Watford Gap Racing Club but Noduff Racing is also part of that club so we own the majority of his off hind leg and several hairs on his tail and chin. As one industry commentator put it – Landy swerved the Birmingham Cup (with its derisory finals run money) in favour of a one off open at Monmore last night. Cooper duly showed the effects of his break following the Gold Cup having turned the first bend second but not being able to pick up the leader as he previously would have done. He will undoubtedly come on for the race however and will compete again soon.
MUSTANG HIGHWAY also joins the WGRC from Ireland having broken 29 seconds in his recent sales trial. This March 2020 puppy has a lot of potential and will begin trialling at Monmore as soon as the necessary paperwork is complete.
FINALLY we promised a paragraph on sprints at Monmore and Entain tracks in general. A lot of fuss was made in the media about the 7% or so increase being given to prize money. When we looked at the detail, the cynical amongst us noticed that all the increases were to four and six bend races but that win money in sprints was actually coming down. That caused some to speculate that we would see more sprints on the graded cards thereby saving the tracks at least some if not all of the increased prize money. Lo and behold that has proved to be the case. As an example, tomorrow’s card features no six bend races but no less than four sprints! Yes, we are also disappointed. Surely this can’t have been a cynical ploy by Entain management can it? Hopefully someone more able than us will crunch the numbers on this.