2019 Ten to Follow
We didn’t do too badly looking back at last year’s list which included an English Derby winner, an Irish Derby runner-up and a Golden Sprint winner. The list of unraced pups featured Ravenswood Flo who went onto win the Oaks so hopefully we can have the same success with the new list!
Once again it’s been really tough to narrow it down to 10 choices and I’ve had to leave some super dogs out including, Ravenswood Flo, Bull Run Bandit, Swift Jim, Ballymac Daz, Billericay Blue and Pro Penny but I’ve tried to include a few that are only just starting out.
Dorotas Wildcat (Ballymac Vic x Droopys Danneel - May 2015) * Owners – David Usher & K. Hutton
Wildcat tops the list for the 3rd year in a row after a stunning 2018 which was highlighted by his sensational English Derby victory in June. He followed that win up with an unbeaten run through the Eclipse at Nottingham and has been rested since.
At the moment the intention will be to run him in the trainer’s championship meeting as part of his build up to defending his Derby crown at Nottingham for which he is the winter favourite.
We’ve always kept Wildcat lightly raced and I think he should be as good as ever in 2019.
Magical Vera (Tarsna Havana x Sizzling Sarah - October 2016) * Owner – Stephen Harvey
Despite having only raced 7 times, Vera already has an English Oaks runner-up spot on her CV and looks a very exciting prospect for 2019.
Vera was purchased unraced from the Guilfoyle’s having come highly recommended following her schooling trials and is from super brood Sizzling Sarah.
We started Vera off at Towcester where she was beaten first time up in A7 grade after missing the break. She then gave a massive indication of what was to come as she won A4 next time up by 5 lengths in 28.23.
She then headed to Newcastle for the Northern Puppy Derby where after a troubled run she made it through to the semi-finals but had to be withdrawn in season.
We gave her plenty of time and she came back for the Oaks at Swindon with some pleasing sprint trials. She battled well to a first round victory in 28.97 and ran her heart out to qualify in 2nd spot in the quarter finals, she popped out and made all in her semi to win in 28.96 before running a super race to follow kennelmate Ravenswood Flo home in the final.
We’ll keep Vera to races of her own sex where ever possible and you’d fancy her to stay a bit further with the way she is bred.
Argentina (Tyrur Big Mike x Headford Maura - January 2017) *Owners – Mike and George Burton
Argentina was purchased after an impressive debut win in Galway when known as Headford Big Mike. He showed terrific early pace and we were delighted to have him in the kennel. He was soon snapped up by Mike and George Burton and in just his 3rd run for the kennel finished 2nd in the Trafalgar Puppy Cup final behind King Sheeran. He showed great pace to lead to the 3rd bend and it was obvious he would make a serious puppy over a lesser trip.
A switch to Romford paid immediate dividends as he won his first four open races at the track including a 23.94 in the first round of the Puppy Cup there. Unfortunately he missed the break and got trouble in his semi-final when ante-post favourite for the competition.
He then ran very wide in his first look at Henlow and our plans to get another trial into him before the start of the English Puppy Derby were thwarted as he came down with the kennel sickness. We were delighted to see him qualify from the first round as we knew how short of work he was. He then showed great improvement in his semi-final as he led all the way bar the line in 27.64. He made no mistakes in the final as he flew out and led all the way in 27.50 to claim the £7,500 prize.
Argentina should improve further during 2019 and will be an ideal dog for the Golden Sprint, Henlow Derby and all the competitions over that type of trip.
Drive On Hunter (Fernando Bale x Ballymac Salpa - December 2016) * Owner – Stephen Harvey
Hunter’s record of 1 win in 7 probably doesn’t appear too special at first glance but I think this little dog could be a real cracker in 2019.
He was purchased after making a winning 28.62 debut in Waterford and really looked the part. Due to the combination of a few things, Hunter had been on the easy list for a while before we got him so we decided to start him off at Romford over the easy 400m trip with the Puppy Cup in mind. He won a maiden by over 6 lengths in 24.30 and did remarkably well to reach the Cat One decider where he was unfortunately knocked over but thankfully returned ok. A blind man could see the track or trip didn’t really suit him so it was a great effort to make the final and next year over more suitable, tough four bend trips he could make a really nice dog.
Ballymac Diego (Droopys Sydney x Ballymac Razl - May 17) * Owners – Hand of Dog Syndicate
Diego was purchased unraced from Liam Dowling after clocking a superb 29.68 in his first 525 yard trial in Tralee.
We began his trials at Monmore where he posted an excellent 15.64 over the 264m trip. Further trials included a 29.02 at Swindon and a very fast 28.85 spin over Nottingham’s 480m trip and a 16.42 solo trial back at Swindon.
We decided to give the English Puppy Derby a try at Henlow and he delighted us with his 27.73 trial effort. He ran well on debut to be beaten just 2 lengths by Strides Farran before winning his first round heat in 28.05. Diego ran a very good race in the semi-final and looked destined to make the final but showed his inexperience when moving of at the last bend and drifting wide which cost him his place in the final.
We gave him a trial back at Swindon for a blowout and despite some crowding on the bend he posted 28.95 and looks a really top prospect for the major events next year at the bigger type of tracks. He has the Monmore Puppy Derby as his first main target and should be worth an interest at a decent price for the Derby. He’s one of our top pups for sure.
London Nights (Laughil Blake x Terminator - July 17) * Owners – Mike and George Burton
Homebred by Mike and George Burton out of their former open racer Terminator, London Nights has made a good start to her racing career at Monmore. She was beaten on debut in A4 but still clocked 28.80 and then made no mistake next time up as despite a missed break she led at the first bend to win her A3 in 28.60.
There’s plenty more to come from her and she’s a lovely looking puppy. It would be ideal if she could break into season over the winter to allow her to mature a bit further but she’s certainly going to be worth following and she could be anything.
Ballymac Berry (Pinpoint Maxi x Vicraz – July 17) *Owners – Billy McMahon & K. Hutton
We purchased Berry unraced from Liam Dowling after clocking 30.16 in her first 525 yard trial in Tralee.
She delighted us with her first look at Monmore when posting 15.75 and graded into A6 where she showed lovely all round pace to win easily in 28.99.
Despite being upgraded to A4, Berry again led all the way to win easily. She looks to be a natural trapper with super early and gets the trip strongly.
She’s only a baby and could improve to be a really nice sort during 2019 and looks to have a touch of class about her.
Chosen By Destiny (Scolari Me Daddy x Noelles Chiquito - May 17) * Owner – Terry Kenealy
Formerly known as Noelles Chico when in Ireland, she was purchased after winning 2nd time up in Galway in a very fast 28.79.
We began her UK qualifying trials in Swindon where she clocked a very good 16.66 in her first solo sprint. She was then put in at the deep end in her first 480m trial against Bull Run Bandit and Ballymac Diego and she showed huge pace to lead until the halfway mark before being beaten around 3 lengths. She was subsequently found to have sprained a hock and was given a couple of months off to recover. She started her trials back in 16.55 and looks to be going the right way.
She has wicked early pace and looks a lovely prospect for the Monmore Puppy Derby in March.
Ballymac Osby (Kinloch Brae x Ballymac Scarlet - September 2016) * Owners – G.Lee, S. Jackson & A.Egan.
Ballymac Osby made a stunning start to his racing career back in the summer as he won his first 4 races in scintillating style. He quickly shot through the grades at Towcester with a 28.63 win in A4, a 28.13 win in A3 and then a stunning top heat win in 27.91. He won a red-hot trial stakes for the Steel City Cup at Sheffield when beating the likes of Droopys Expert, Geelo Blissful and Lightfoot Oscar in 28.72. Unfortunately he was badly crowded and checked the pick-up in the first round heat and we then kept him off for a month.
He came back with a very impressive Cat 3 win in a 500m competition at Central Park when beating the useful Headford Johnny in a fast 29.86.
Osby then took to Nottingham for the Eclipse where he ran the top class Droopys Verve to just under 3 lengths in the first round of the event and really caught the eye of plenty of people. He was unlucky to be knocked out of his semi-final after early crowding.
Another top run in the first round of the Olympic at Hove followed where he beat Droopys Gold by a length in 30.07. Yet again, he was desperate to be knocked out of the semi-finals after being very badly crowded early on.
He remains one of our top prospects though and with some more time to mature he could have a great 2019 in all the big comps.
Dream Fairy (Laughil Blake x Fandango - November 2016) * Owner – Geoff Hutton
Dream Fairy was purchased unraced having impressed in her trials at Thurles. She was kept for the prestigious Monbeg Unraced stake at Enniscorthy where she ran out a brilliant winner of the competition in 28.78 back in July.
She posted 28.74 at Waterford on her way to the semi-finals of the Munster Oaks where she was badly crowded throughout and sprained her elbow.
We bought her over to the UK afterwards and gave her plenty of time to settle in. She was beaten just 1 ¼ lengths by Magical Vera in her first look at Swindon and recorded 16.60 despite running very wide off the 2nd bend. She improved the following week to post a super 16.38 and really caught my eye.
Unfortunately Fairy broke into season soon after and is on the easy list for a couple of months but I’m convinced this is a really decent b1tch and she will have a great 2019.
Top 3 unraced pups
Ballymac Fargo (Ballymac Vic x Coolavanny Angie - July 17) * Owner – Stephen Harvey
Fargo is a stunning looking blue brindle dog who was purchased from Liam Dowling after posting a flying 29.61 in his first 525 yard trial at Tralee back in August.
We have given this strapping dog plenty of time to mature and settle in and he hasn’t seen a track since leaving Liam. We’ve kept him ticking over on the gallop though and he looks very good indeed. We’ll see how the weather is over the winter but I would imagine he’ll start his trials in late January.
Coolavanny Angie has thrown some top class dogs over the years including Chespirto, Ballymac Twitter, Ballymac Anton and Ballymac Arminta so this fellow is certainly exciting.
Ballymac Charm (Pinpoint Maxi x Looney Surprise - March 17) * Owner – Peter Sandbach
Charm also joined us unraced from Liam Dowling after posting 30.36 in her first 525 yard trial at Tralee. Liam always liked her and it was easy to see why when she joined the kennel – she’s a lovely looking pup.
Charm broke into season fairly soon after joining us and has only just begun her qualifying trials. They have been very pleasing though as she has posted 15.74 and 28.77 at Monmore which considering how long she has had off are lovely runs and she’s certainly worth following.
Signet Swift (Ballymac Vic x Dorotas Irena - May 17) *Owner – Peter Sandbach
Swift is out of one of our former racers Dorotas Irena who was a daughter of the great Droopys Danneel.
Swift was reared by Craig Dawson and schooled in Ireland by Damian McCann where she was very highly thought of.
We gave her plenty of time to settle in and mature and we’ve only just started her off and she was impressive when posting 16.01 at Monmore after missing the break. She has always galloped well at home and looks a really nice prospect.