14th March 2016
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A tough week at the kennels with a lot going on behind the scenes as well as on the track. We have a really strong bout of the kennel cough ripping through our strength at the moment with many of our young dogs affected, this is very time consuming to sort out and I felt about 90 by the end of the week. We are in a busy period with a number of competitions either underway or about to start, the older race dogs seem to be fine though I sense the majority are just a shade below their best with only an odd few jumping out of their skin, talking to other trainers there seems plenty about.
On Tuesday I attended the GBGB offices in London for the Inquiry into the positive test our Droopys Ford produced when tested at Towcester in October. Of course trainers are protected these days to some degree with the Point Of Registration sample taken when they are first presented to the track for marking up, vaccination etc and in Droopys Ford's case this sample was also positive with the drug stanozolol. At the inquiry the evidence left us with no doubt that the drug was administered well before he arrived at the kennel and though I fully understand the responsibilities of trainers to make every effort to ensure that any greyhounds entering their kennels are free from any prohibited substances in Droopys Ford's case I bought him in good faith and was as surprised as anyone when the positive test came to light. I had a very fair hearing and feel the result of 'No further action' was a correct decision. I feel the integrity of the sport is of paramount importance and nobody is more anti drugs than myself. Our runners are possibly the most tested in the country with the amount of finals and open racing we attend as well as a decent strength on the graded card which I never even give a second thought about in fact I would be happy to have any of our runners tested and not just at the track, if more money was available I would welcome random testing at Trainers' kennels.
After the Inquiry Kevin picked me up en route to Wimbledon as we had a few runners on the Sky card including Ballymac Shirley in the prestigious Racing Post Juvenile. Though we were out of luck with most, all ran reasonably well including Ballymac Shirley. On the night only Domino Storm won when taking a Ladies 480m but overall our runners were perhaps a touch off their best. Before the meeting began I was surprised to hear that a meeting had been arranged where GBGB Chairman Tom Kelly came to speak to trainers and owners who were in attendance at the track. I try and keep out of the politics of the sport these days as it drives me mad but of course I'm still interested in what's happening and I felt Tom spoke honestly and well, hopefully there will be some encouraging news for the industry in the weeks to come as far as more funding from the bookmakers is concerned. The GTA is still not happy with the whole situation and they certainly have some valid points where the running of the GBGB is concerned but planned protests outside the offices later this month in my opinion would be better served by rerouting to the offices of the evading bookmakers especially Betfair who continue to choose not to pay into the fund. Just because the other bookmakers refuse to pay anything from their online profits is no excuse for Betfair, their profits from greyhound racing are only small compared to their other multi million pound profits from other sports and paying back a small percentage of those greyhound profits would certainly help the welfare of our greyhounds and those that work in the industry. I have noticed that since they stopped paying into the fund their ever growing new sportsbook offers plenty of odds on greyhound racing which they wouldn't do if it wasn't worth it so again no excuse for not giving something back.
On the track this week we just missed out on making two big finals. On Thursday the much improved Tellhimjohn ran very well in the Monmore Puppy Derby semi final but was just ran out of a place in the Category 1 final when 3rd. On Friday at Romford both Saffrons Boxer and Adageo Djongo tried their hardest in the Coral Golden Sprint but also just missed out in a big final. However we got three of our four entries through in Saturday's Calne Racing Arc heats. Clondoty Alex ran one of his best races to date to beat a good field that included Oaks heroine Domino Storm (eliminated) while Roswell Iceman and Calco Flyer also qualified when both second in their heats. Swift Whirlwind also made it through to the semi final of the Bookmakers Gold Cup when runner up in his heat last night but veteran Blonde Razor could well have ran his last race when down the field in his heat. We also had a trip to Sheffield on Thursday as we trialled for the forthcoming Three Steps To Victory event that starts a week Tuesday. Our Golden Jacket hero Patchys Kerry was most impressive beating Ribble Aon by 3 lengths in a very fast 27.67 for the 480m while Droopys Achieve (28.06) also went well.
Another decent night at Towcester on Tuesday. In the Towcester Racecourse Standard heats Deanridge Angel beat kennelmate Cisbery Geo by 1 1/2 lengths in 28.57 (-20) and Vandiva took her heat after a bumpy ride in 28.89 to give us three runners in tomorrow's final. Garryglas Droopy was second in a 480m Maiden while Famias Hope was most impressive in the top division of the Maiden scoring by 7 lengths in a good 28.31 (-20). Ela Ela Genie was second in a good class sprint and our two runners Ferryforth Fran and Black Francis dominated a 655m open before Fran took the honours by 2 1/4 lengths in a good 39.81 (-30).
At Wimbledon Calco Flyer again found one to good when beaten by the flying Yasoo Martin in 28.30, Domino Storm was given a real battle but prevailed by just over a length in 28.71. Ribble Atom never looked like beating Droopys Tamera but still ran well when dead heating for second in the Marathon, Billys Bullet still not back to his best but ran ok in the 686m finishing 3rd with two very good dogs in front of him. Roswell Iceman didn't get the best of runs over 480m when last and in the Juvenile Ballymac Shirley just failed to make the bend in front and was shuffled to the back where she stayed .
Tellhimjohn was third at Monmore in the Puppy Derby on Thursday and at Romford on Friday Saffrons Boxer and Adageo Djongo bowed out of the golden Sprint. Evanta Fantasy was quickly back to winning ways over 400m scoring by just over a length in 24.14. On Saturday at Swindon Clondoty Alex won his heat of the Calne Racing Arc in a good 28.57 with Roswell Iceman and Calco Flyer also qualifying.
On Sunday at Henlow Swift Whirlwind was out gunned by Jet Stream Sound in the Gold Cup heats but qualified safely. In other races a nice win for Saffrons Anna over 428m by 4 1/2 lengths in 25.86 while Macs On Storm was successful stepping up to 550m to score by 2 1/2 lgenths in 33.70 (-30).
Not too many graded runners this week where Airforce Cluxton was one of three runners on Tuesday amongst all the opens and won in 29.12 (-20). On Friday just four runners where both Kilara Sweetpea and Swift Bravo were close seconds.
On Saturday not much luck from our nine runners with Sosaidhs Blue running a cracker to catch Parkers Poison in the S1 to score by a neck in 40.02 (-15).
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
A good card at Towcester tomorrow night and on Wednesday the Calne Racing Arc semi finals at Swindon are red hot.
We could be at Monmore on Thursday for supporting races on the Sky card and at Romford on Friday.
The semi finals of the Bookmakers Gold Cup are at Henlow Sunday.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
A mixed week where recommended Domino Storm won at Wimbledon on Tuesday but bowed out the Arc at Swindon on Saturday.
We still have Calco Flyer running for us in the Arc but with the kennel under a slight cloud at the moment we will leave alone any other bets.
ADVISED LAST WEEK
TELLHIMJOHN - 1.5 pts e.w ante post 33/1 - Ladbrokes Puppy Derby - Monmore - Thursday - lost
DOMINO STORM - 5 pts win - Wimbledon - Tuesday - WON 8/11
DOMINO STORM - 2 pts e.w ante post 12/1 - Calne Racing Arc - Swindon - Saturday - lost
CALCO FLYER - 1 pt e.w ante post 33/1 - Calne Racing Arc - Swindon - semi finals Wednesday