2nd June 2020
(Opens to a third party website)
We didn’t have to wait too long for our first winner on our return from Covid-19 as Bobs Duke flew home to land the 11.12 at Henlow yesterday morning. Of course everything is nowhere near back to normal but all the same having racing again for the first time since March 23rd was a welcome relief.
In all we had 7 runners at Henlow on the new enforced format of 10 races every half hour and I felt most of ours went very well. As well as Bobs Duke winning, youngster Craigie Boy also scored and there were a couple of hard luck stories as well. Sid went on his own and he felt everything went smoothly and we now look forward to today’s late afternoon card where we have 10 runners. The card is actually a very good one which contains some higher grades including a very good A1 where Muxton Teddy looks to land the spoils.
We have just over 30 graded on back at Henlow with another 15 or so trialling back later in the week. It’s a different story for our open race team who are still awaiting news on any planned action but it’s looking likely that it could be July before there are any races or competitions for them. In the meantime the idea is to take them to Towcester for trials and try and get them back to full fitness during June.
Towcester’s opening trial sessions over the last two weeks have gone reasonably well and many of our stars have had a good look round the newly designed circuit. They seem to handle it well and we can’t wait until we actually get to race action but first they need three trials over the trip they are going to race at. Quite a few of our open runners could use graded racing whilst waiting for opens to start but many will just have to wait a bit longer for opens and continue to trial for fitness. Saleen Again and Alien Sea were joint fastest of yesterday’s session clocking 30.22 (-20) while Kent St Leger winner Antigua Fire (30.29 -20) went well and our Coronation Cup winner Antigua Rum (30.39 -20) looked in good heart as well. We have some new dogs that are yet to race for us like Sobers Express and he looked well when clocking 30.68 (-20).
Sadly we have picked up a couple of injuries in our trials back. Chubbys Turkana unfortunately broke her hock on Friday at Towcester in a sprint trial at Henlow but is all ok after being seen by vet Stefano Malegori the following morning, she won’t race again but will fully recover. Stayer Longacres Mikey sprained a metatarsal (4-6 weeks off) while at Henlow Garryglass Royal cane off lame (muscle injury)and will be out for a month or so but generally our trials back have gone well.
I’m still a bit old school and I like to buy the Racing Post in the morning as nothing replaces the feel of a newspaper so it was good to see it back on sale yesterday. The strong views from the likes of Ian Smyth that open racing will be back at his tracks Romford, Hove, Monmore and Crayford as soon as possible is welcome news and I believe next week the GBGB meet to discuss this issue and the possibilities of when we can hold our Derby. This has to be something that needs to be pencilled in with the upmost urgency and hopefully they will also consult with trainers and owners to get a balanced view on what’s best for all. I don’t think anything that’s happening in Ireland should have a bearing on what we do here as they have their own calendar and events, we have to look after our trainers and owners that support the GBGB and the promoters here and if that means running a Derby at the same time as the Irish one then so be it. I’ve said before if we reduced the numbers to 96 and found enough sponsors not to have it drastically cut financially we can still make a great spectacle of our historic race. If Nottingham are not fully behind it then quickly get it out there so other promoters can see if they would like to hold it. It will most likely have to be behind closed doors but that’s the time for all stakeholders to get behind the event and promote it properly through every channel they can find and make it an event to be proud of.