9th July 2019
(Opens to a third party website)
After the Derby it's normally really quiet but the sport has got stuck into a number of Category 1 events. There are a number of big comp just etitions starting at Crayford, Henlow, Sheffield, Sunderland and Central Park with the Sussex Cup just around the corner. I would have liked to be involved in all but we are a bit light in quality and ones that are suited to some venues though it was disappointing not having a suitable puppy for our home event at Henlow as their Puppy Derby got underway on Sunday, however, we are involved at Sheffield in the unique Three Steps to Victory event in what was a heavily over subscribed competition. We have four runners but it will be hard for the likes of out and out stayers Antigua Fire and Brigadier Bullet to get through the first two phases over a woefully short 480m for them, of course if they make the final they will have massive chances. Busters Bullet has a plum draw in trap 1 to work from but if he got to the 660m final he would be stepping into the unknown but judging on his 630m runs at Monmore he should be ok. Chubbys Caviar comes into the event in great form and would have the early pace to get through to the final but she's only ever been as far as 575m but her recent form suggests she might well get the 660m and would have a serious chance if she did.
The Derby certainly brought out everything that is good in our sport and overall the feedback was excellent. Unfortunately our sport is reeling from the negative fallout from RTE's recent programme giving a complete damning of the serious welfare issues in Ireland and though it's hard for me to comment too much given the fact that I'm not sure of how truthful and factually correct the programme was it's certainly having serious repercussions over in Ireland which is bound to affect us over here sooner rather than later. Sponsors pulling out left, right and centre is not good news and I fear that this will force the closure of a number of tracks in Ireland, breeding will be seriously damaged and that seems the biggest problem that will impact us over here. For years I always said as long as we do what's right for our Greyhounds then whatever happens outside our kennel is not our concern and beyond our control but that's no longer the case as seemingly we are all tarred with the same brush. I'm a proud champion of our industry in the UK but even I can't defend the needless slaughter of so many pups in Ireland (allegedly!) that either aren't quick enough or are not genuine, we live in a completely different age as I've said many times before where this kind of practice is totally unacceptable. The IGB must take action on any breeder/trainer who has violated these welfare issues or their credibility will be totally gone. Like everything, a serious amount of money needs to be pumped into the industry both sides of the water if we as a sport are to be whiter than white. While the horse racing industry enjoys friends in high places (Arabs, Royalty etc etc) they seem to be untouchable for now, and believe me they have massive welfare issues, but once the Greyhounds have gone, which it will be if action is not taken very soon, they will be next. The bookmakers bleating about losing their FOBT profits in their shops (which prey on thousands of weak people) say nothing about the huge profits they make online (casinos especially) and continue to make millions from Greyhound turnover but still want next to nothing to do with helping putting welfare issues right. I never thought I'd say it but I can seriously see an end coming to our sport if certain problems are not addressed immediately. How I don't know but if the immediate issues in Ireland are not sorted soon that timescale will be massively shortened!
On a more positive note the negativity of everything in the sport has produced a social media outburst by hundreds of people involved in Greyhound racing to show how much they care about our their pride and joys. I will do my very best to promote all the good things in the sport which includes an enormous amount of charities which the Greyhound world supports. I'm personally annoyed that one of the main suppliers of Greyhound racing food has dropped its sponsorship (Red Mills) and I will not be using this product anymore and Gain will once again be my main source of what we feed. Our continued policy of rehoming every Greyhound that retires at our kennel will continue and I will give the sport up if ever I have to sign a 'Green form' with a tick on it saying 'euthanised for economic reasons', this is totally unacceptable. Now come on everyone else involved 'get your act together and do the right thing!'
A quiet week with just two runners at Hove but no winners though I was delighted with the trial of Antigua Rum and Aayamza Express.
On Saturday at Monmore we continued to support their twice monthly opens and Bumblebee Bullet was a close up 5th where the railers seemed at a disadvantage. Antigua Romeo scored a well deserved victory in the top division of the 480m by 1 1/2 lengths in 28.45.
On Monday Come Home continued her good form taking an A9 in 28.58 and Chubbys Jenny dropped back to four bends to win an A8 in a good 28.17. Towstar Winston completed a good morning winning an A4 in 27.93.
On Tuesday evening Jaxxon Facebook scored a well deserved victory in an S4 in a good 34.24. On Thursday Brutus Bullet was our only winner scoring by the minimum margin in 28.67 while on Friday our only winner was Towstar Evita in a career best 28.34.
No runners Saturday and no winners from a couple of graded runners on Sunday.
Just three runners in opens on Sunday at Henlow where Towstar Zelda was second in a Maiden 550m and should be winning soon.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - ANTIGUA ROMEO
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Today the Three Steps to Victory kicks off at Sheffield and we travel with a strong team of four.
We have a decent team going to Hove on Thursday including Brinkleys Poet and Antigua Rum goes in a Maiden over 515m which should suit and Aayamza Express makes her long awaited debut in another 515m Maiden.
We will be at Romford Friday and on Saturday we have one runner, Passing Stranger, in the Produce Stakes that starts at Swindon. Hopefully we should have a few runners at Henlow on Sunday.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
So difficult to predict this Three Steps at Sheffield and purely on value grounds the 33/1 offered by Betfred on Chubbys Caviar looks worth an interest.
Looking at the week ahead I think Antigua Rum looks the best bet on the card at Hove on Thursday. He's yet to get to grips with everything over here yet but an excellent trial over the trip last week was encouraging as is trap 3 which should suit.
CHUBBYS CAVIAR - 2 pts ew ante post 33/1 (Betfred) - Three Steps To Victory - Sheffield - starts Tuesday
ANTIGUA RUM - 3 pts win - Hove - Thursday