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Not the best of starts for the kennel on Friday as the first open race action since March kicked off with an excellent card at Romford. We came away empty handed from plenty of runners but hopefully results will improve as some of our stars were obviously in need of the run. This week we will be back at Romford on Friday and Antigua Rum goes in the £1500 to the winner 575m final after he chased home the ultra fast Sparta Master in the heats.
We will also look forward to the card at Hove on Saturday night as there are both Sussex Cup and Regency trial stakes, these races are sure to be hot and again I’m thinking some of ours might just need another run or two before they reach peak fitness. Antigua Fire, in particular, has had a number of trials both at Towcester and Romford and has gone well but will have his first race since March over the testing 695m and the run will surely bring him on before the first round of the Category 1 competition that was cancelled just before lockdown kicked off.
Pubs and other leisure facilities were allowed to open from the weekend just gone which looked like they brought a mixed reaction and now our Greyhound world is trying hard to clarify when crowds will be allowed to return to the tracks to watch the action. Owners who love to go and watch their pride and joys run are waiting with baited breath and I would say now that we have returned to racing behind closed doors with a fair degree of success it would be great if something can be done for owners, many tracks could easily find a way of keeping to social distancing guidelines.
As well as being critical of certain aspects of our industry I have put forward a few ideas recently looking at ways to develop and promote the sport and I’ve been pleased with some positive feedback and support especially on the chances of seeing a National Greyhound Supporters Club formed for everyone who loves Greyhound racing rather than just an association which are mostly confrontational and struggle to make an impact. As I’ve said many times I would love to see an industry seminar where all stakeholders in the sport can sensibly speak on a way forward to maximise the real potential our sport has, I will press on this once we are all back to complete normality but that does look some way off at the moment.
Just a quick footnote as well to say that Coolavanny Messi is recovering really well from a fractured skull and eye socket 10 days ago. I have to say a big thank you to vet Polly Smith whose concern on the night and prompt action had a huge bearing on his recovery. Hopefully we will know in the next 2-3 weeks whether his racing career can resume or not but either way he’s in great shape in himself and loving all the extra attention he’s receiving, such a beautiful dog and we are all so relieved to see him looking better.
Good to back open racing at Romford on Friday night though it was thoroughly disappointing not to have a winner. Best performance came from Antigua Rum who qualified for the £1500 575m final after chasing home Sparta Master in a flying 34.93 and Passing Stranger
who was a good second in a 750m race.
Antigua Fire clocked a decent 34.99 workout in a 575m trial at Romford on Wednesday and in trials at Hove on Saturday Antigua Breeze (29.94) went well breaking 30.00 over 515m with Schooldays (30.12) and Masonspeedymac (30.04) also going well.
Shazzas Bullet came closest on Tuesday am from a handful of runners but better in the evening when Saffrons Express beat kennelmate Deans Hail Mary in a thrilling tussle in an A3 scoring by a neck in 27.81. Best was saved for the last when Far Froman Angel
bounced back to form with a 6 length success in a career best 27.57 (+ 20).
No winners on Thursday but Energize Bingo, Run Free Snowy and Ballyfinn Jade were all second and from 5 runners on Friday morning both Bobs Duke and Smile A Mile were narrowly beaten. Our luck was mostly out on Saturday as Towstar Izzy looked a certainty until she was fought when set to win but Sligo Lily did win well when bolting up in an A6 in a fast 27.94 (+20).
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - PASSING STRANGER
GRADED - FAR FROMAN ANGEL
WHAT’S ON NEXT WEEK
The open racing steps up a touch more because as well as Romford on Friday night we have a few runners at Hove on Saturday night with the likes of Antigua Fire and Antigua Breeze set to make their returns since they last ran in March.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
We return this week and I think straight away it was wise to leave last weekend alone! The truth be told our kennel isn’t having the greatest of luck at the moment so on that note it’s just a tentative selection and that’s at Hove on Saturday where I thought Passing Stranger could run a big race in a Regency trial stake, he would be one of our more fitter dogs as well.
PASSING STRANGER - 2 pts win - Hove - Saturday