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Janssens leads early in Trainers’ Championship race

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2017 TV Trophy winner Goldies Hotspur is four out of four so far in 2019 

PATRICK JANSSENS is enjoying life at the top of the Trainer of the Year standings heading into a busy period of open-racing, but is not about to get carried away. 

“It’s great to have made such a good start and it’s nice to see your name at the top of the table, but every trainer knows it’s the team behind you which make it work so it’s really down to the hard work of everyone,” said Janssens. 

Victory for Desperado Dan in the Coral Coronation Cup at Romford last month took the Janssens kennel to the top of the table and a regular supply of winners before and since that Category Two success have helped keep the momentum.

“Dan was great in the Coronation Cup and he’s a young dog we’re hoping will have a good year, but you still need the older greyhounds to play their part and Goldies Hotspur has been brilliant too,” he added. 

Four wins from four starts - all at Romford - prove the 2017 TV Trophy winner (pictured above) - she was second in the 2018 running in December remains at the top of her game heading into the Ladbrokes Golden Jacket at Crayford. She reached the final twelve months ago. 

Wins at Central Park for seasoned runners such as Bockos Alfie, Affleck Dino and Affleck Bolt, plus the younger brigade of Seaglass Tiger, Seaglass Shadow, Goldies Hotspur and Goldies Hoddle have helped Janssens to a 50 per cent strike-rate in open races. 

“Central Park have been great,” he added. “They stage regular Sunday opens and it’s our home track so all the younger dogs have learned their trade there. We’ve always enjoyed going to Romford, too, and hope to be there most Fridays. 

“There’s no particular ambition, just to do as well as we can with the dogs we have - and we bred and reared some of them ourselves, such as (Affleck) Bolt, Lady and Dino - and of course the owners are hugely important. 

“I have fantastic owners who think like me. I’ve only room for 25 dogs and if they don’t make open-class they might be sold out of the kennel. For us, as a small kennel, it’s the only way to do it - but we’ve got a nice team of greyhounds just at the moment. 

“Kilmore Lemon and Affleck Bolt will be starting off this week again; Seaglass Phantom has run two good trials at Romford and will be going for the (Racing Post) Juvenile and Steel City Cup, and we’re also looking at the (Ladbrokes) Puppy Derby at Monmore. 

“Seaglass Tiger, Goldies Ginola and Hoddle, plus Distant Sailor will head there and hopefully we can keep getting the winners - and we’ll see where we are in the trainers championship. It’d be nice to win but for a kennel our size it’s just nice to keep doing well. 

“We’ll be working hard, and thanks as ever to my wife Cheryl and the staff - Pete (Vernon), Ria (Tillett), Marcus (Leeder) - and of course Ron Mills (sports physiotherapist). He’s a huge help to the kennel.”

Janssens, a former assistant to multiple champion trainer Mark Wallis, is ahead of his former boss in the Trainer of the Year standings, although the master of Imperial Kennels will be chasing hard in his quest to win an eleventh title.

He said: “I think everyone knows we’re in transition after a tough year off the track in 2018, and we’re shy of some Category One dogs as such. However, we’ll be again targeting all the major competitions and always look forward to events around the Golden Jacket.” 

The Wallis camp have won the last seven runnings of the Peter Bussey Memorial, the chief 540m supporting race to the Ladbrokes-sponsored showpiece, and will look to continue their incredible record in the competition with a strong entry. 

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