31st March 2021
We are now just a few weeks away from crowds being allowed back to the Greyhound Stadiums to enjoy not just greyhound racing but the chance to socialise again with other people, many of whom may not have seen each other since the first lockdown last March. Horse racing and greyhound racing, to an extent, can utilise the open spaces at the stadia to be able to keep to social distancing and that should be an attraction to the sport though I’m not sure everyone would welcome or feel safe in a packed football ground or certainly any indoor arena type events, we will see how it pans out as nobody seems certain of any rules and regulations. We are without doubt leading the way in Europe with our vaccination programme but the new normal is still going to be a lot different to our normal way of living that we had just over a year ago. I had my vaccination last Wednesday and unfortunately was one of the people who really suffered afterwards. Wednesday night I felt like I had flu like symptoms and bad cramp in my legs but because we were so busy on Thursday I had to work. I won’t lie I felt shocking and as soon as I finished feeding the dogs in the afternoon I had to come home and went straight to bed, the next day I was a bit better but felt drained and took a very rare day off. Thankfully by Friday night I felt a lot better though even now a week later I still don’t feel 100%. Sorry if your reading this and haven’t had your first vaccination yet!
After a quiet few weeks we actually get into competition mode from next week with the Laurels starting next Thursday and tomorrow night we have a team of seven in action at Perry Barr. We are doubled up in a couple of races but it’s really just preparation for the competition next week. Our open race team is as small as I can ever remember but we do have a number of youngsters and new dogs recently arrived as well as some just starting out on their careers so hopefully our team will build up as the season progresses.
Though I would normally leave this week's races until next week's newsletter I have to mention the 3 dog match race at Towcester last night. I was a touch nervous as our Greyhound of the Year Aayamza Royale is clearly not 100% match fit and we are trying to get her to peak in a few weeks' time when the TV Trophy gets underway. She still ran fantastic to win the race from Savana Volcano and Three Ems, credit to both for not making it easy, indeed Savana Volcano ran a blinder to get within 3 lengths of our superstar and all in all it was a satisfactory outcome for connections and the public watching. Of course it would have been even more interesting if Redzer Renae had taken part but that’s something we couldn’t do anything about and we are pleased Tony Giftkins' star will be back in a few months.
It’s not been a great few days as we had to say goodbye to a greyhound in our care this week. Saffrons Xpress was a promising open race dog owned by our Markwallisgreyhounds Racing Club and only in February he won a nice sprint open at Towcester but a few weeks ago became unwell with a bad case of chronic diarrhoea. After visits and consultations with our vet he wasn’t getting any better and yesterday a full scan revealed a horrible tumour in his spleen. Unfortunately it wasn’t treatable and we had to have him put to sleep. Despite his final outcome he was fairly happy and alert at the end but the cancer would have spread and he could easily have gone downhill quickly so the advice given was sad but correct. We of course always give the best possible care and attention to our greyhounds in our care so it’s deeply upsetting for our team when on the rare occasions something like this happens.
A rare week where we didn’t record an open race winner though we did only have five runners at Romford on Friday. Saffrons Smash ran well when second in the 400m Maiden final and Rail McCoy was also runner up in a maiden. Playbook qualified for the Standard final when second in her heat.
HENLOW & TOWCESTER REVIEW
Not the best of weeks on the graded front after I highlighted the fact we were absolutely flying at both Henlow and Towcester!
Ardera Nidge came closest on Tuesday at Towcester when second in a D1.
On Thursday at Henlow we did have one winner with Scrahane Boss taking an A4 in 28.36 and on Sunday Knockard Dylan was a close up second from all our runners.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - SAFFRONS SMASH
WHAT’S ON NEXT WEEK
Tomorrow we have a decent team at Perry Barr and hopefully can get back amongst the winners while on Friday we just have three runners including Playbook in the Friday Night Standard final.
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Quiet on this front as well but hopefully we can find a winner at Perry Barr tomorrow and I’m hoping Antigua Romeo can show his class despite a shorter trip than he likes these days.
ANTIGUA ROMEO - 2 pts win - Perry Barr Thursday