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Wallis turns champion tide majestically his way
WAS Wimbledon on Tuesday a pivotal moment in the battle for the Trainers’ Championship? It certainly felt that way and the momentum does seem with Mark Wallis rather than Chris Allsopp just now.
In the feature williamhill.com St Leger final, I was cheering on Capoley Ash, but powerfully though he ran on after being crowded wide at the second bend and finding himself well in arrears, he was never getting to Aero Majestic who had raced miles ahead after crucially clearing Curragh Kewell by the first bend.
In doing so, Aero Majestic earned Wallis 50 points allowing him to pull ahead of main challenger Allsopp, who I will admit to having made a strong favourite for a first Trainers’ Championship for the past few months.
I’m not so sure now as it is going to become increasingly harder to pick up big points as the season draws to an end. Allsopp only now has five Category Ones to target, while Wallis has two more as he has Jazz Apollo through to Monday’s Nottingham Produce decider and Kinda True in the Northern Puppy Derby final at Newcastle two days later.
It has been a bit of a news week for Wallis as we learned on Friday that his Confident Ramona had become the first greyhound whose Point of Registration sample - taken and stored when at the time a greyhound is first marked up and microchipped - had tested positive when checked following a subsequent test failure.
In her case, both samples came in the space of seven days just after she had arrived at Wallis’s kennels and is exactly why the PoR procedure was brought in – trainers have strict liability for what is in their greyhounds but how can they be expected to know what might already be present before they get them? It is a welcome, commonsense and fair initiative from the GBGB.
As well as the racing action at Wimbledon, I took up general manager Keith Hallinan’s offer of a tour of the executive boxes in the ‘old’ stand which it is planned to refurbish and reopen in time for the pre-Christmas rush.
There was a bit of trepidation at what I would find, but the once-excellent facilities are still in reasonable repair – admittedly with most of the carpet having been stripped away – and it is certainly feasible to think that a bit of a spring clean, plus the removal of the huge Hills’ advertising sheet which currently shrouds them, will make them fit for purpose once again.
I’m sure they will be both popular, and crucially for Wimbledon, profitable as there’s no doubt that they will offer the best view in the house directly across from the winning line.
The weather had certainly turned by the time I headed north to Newcastle for stage two of the All England Festival on Thursday. The feature williamhill.com All England Cup final is an absolute belter, but there is no way that Colin Callow’s Longwood Fantasy should be double figures having run really well behind fastest-of-night Blue Artisan in their semi, especially with the draws now reversed.
Also for backing at a similar price is Keith Allsop’s Slick Stone in the GRA Scurry at Belle Vue. He went up marginally better than fastest heat winner Oneco Black when they met in the 260m event on Thursdayonly to be chopped for room when challenging at the bend and the semi draw has been kind as he meets only Drumcove Lad of the big guns.
It should be a cracking week ahead beginning with Nottingham’s Produce final on Monday, the culmination of the All England Festival on Wednesday and the Primus Telecom Derby getting under way at Henlow on Thursday, the same night as the Scurry semis. Go racing!
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