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The sudden cold snap completely obliterated our weekend racing with both meetings at Towcester on Saturday falling victims to the elements as well as good card at Henlow on Sunday night. I've always said that the England can't cope with any bad weather and the last 3-4 days have seen the country come to a grinding halt with a couple of inches of snow and temperatures well below freezing. To be honest though, seeing the racing cancelled is not a disaster as the dogs don't like running on tracks that are heavily salted or just in the cold for that matter and travelling to and from the tracks for myself and my staff can be not just hazardous but sometimes downright dangerous. With temperatures still struggling to rise for another day or so Towcester have postponed tonight's meeting and tomorrow's trial session. With so many dogs waiting for a run and Towcester's huge kennel strength, owners are going to be extremely frustrated at the lack of opportunities to get their dogs out, hopefully the weather forecast for later on this week will mean no more cancellations.
The Coral Olympic starting this Thursday at Hove will be the last major competition of 2017 which we are involved in and hopefully we can sign off another hugely successful year with a victory. Bruisers Bullet goes into the event slightly unprepared as he missed an intended trial last week due to a small cut on his foot but hopefully he can get through the first round and stamp his mark on the event. Bombers Bullet and Pennys Ryan join him in the first round.
Yesterday I was honoured to have been invited to the Greyhound Writers Association annual Christmas Luncheon in London and though the weather meant a few absentees it was an excellent day where all that was good in the sport was discussed including the upcoming Greyhound awards nominees. Obviously I have no say in the actual nominees but I was allowed to put my case forward for the likes of Rubys Rascal and Rubys Razzle in their respected divisions. I'm not going to let on about some of the strong opinions for the awards especially the overall Greyhound of the Year accolade but it's clear that a lot still rests on the four major events either currently ongoing (Oaks, National Sprint, Laurels) or the Olympic starting Thursday.
Whilst at yesterday's luncheon the news was filtering through that a deal has now been signed and sealed for RPGTV to continue for at least the next three years which is fantastic news. The new look format brings into play many of the TRP tracks with the exception of Crayford who are with SIS. Towcester's evening meetings on Fridays and Sundays will be covered which came as a bit of a surprise to me but I have to say that this is great for our business as we have many owners spread across the UK and Ireland so the opportunity to watch via RPGTV is great news. I was also surprised that the regular Romford open race night on Fridays has been dropped and I wonder if this will have a big impact on how many entries they get now.With Henlow suggesting they will have an all open card on Sunday afternoons and the rumours that promoter Kevin Boothby will offer top prize money as well as decent trainer payments could again see Romford's Friday night card suffer. In a good way I hope Henlow does do this as it could well force other promoters to step up to the mark and follow suit. At the end of the day the open races are an important part of the betting industry's turnover and as well as seeing owners rewarded with slightly better prize money levels the trainers should be rewarded as well for each runner they supply. Open races were once seen as a luxury and privilege for owners and trainers, now they are used more widely to make sure cards are filled and to get maximum profits for bookmakers so why shouldn't trainers be looked after. In many cases the costs involved in going open racing are too high for trainers to pass on to owners resulting in trainers being out of pocket so again tracks like Henlow who could set the standard should be applauded. In most cases local trainers will receive payments for open runners on a par with what they receive for supplying graded dogs and there is nothing more that frustrates me than seeing you're in a race with five local trainers who all get their bonuses and we don't despite travelling some extreme distances to get there.
On Monday at Nottingham only Scolari Sound made it through to the semi finals of the National Sprint whilst in supporting races Sidarian Dino was best of ours when 3rd in a 500m Maiden.
On Thursday at Hove Rubys Rascal nearly put the cap on another fine year when just touched off in the Ballyregan Bob Memorial race by the shortest of margins.
On Friday at Romford Kilcree Diamond was the Star of the show when landing the Friday Night 500 Standard final showing excellent speed to score by 4 lengths in 24.04. Earlier in the night Honest Robber beat kennelmate Bonzos Bullet by a length in the heats of the Friday Night 500 Maiden Stayers in 35.75 whilst Rubys Razzle took another 575m in 35.50.
Just the one meeting on Tuesday and just the one winner from a handful of runners when Zammos Bullet landed the Owners Bonus Series final in 15.51 by the narrowest of margins.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - KILCREE DIAMOND
GRADED - ZAMMOS BULLET
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
On Thursday the Coral Olympic kicks off at Hove while we will be well represented at Romford on Friday and Henlow on Sunday.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Rubys Rascal again was so unlucky not to get us a decent draw at a Hove on Thursday, so we are looking for something I can say get a few extras at Christmas with but to be honest it's hard picking anything without knowing the draws etc so let's stick with what we know and that's Bruisers Bullet in the Olympic at Hove.
BRUISERS BULLET - 4 pts win ante post 5/1 - Coral Olympic- Hove - starts Thursday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
RUBYS RASCAL - 3 pts win - Ballyregan Bob Memorial Race - Hoe - lost