Monday 10th January 2011
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2011 is off and running and it was pleasing to see our first open winner of the year last Friday at Romford in the shape of Kinda Close in a bitches 400m. The first major competition of 2011 got underway that night when the Coronation Cup heats were run over 575m and I must admit that I was surprised by the strength of the event possibly due to the fact that the finals night is now covered live on Sky with an increase in the winner's prize (£5,000). With so many of the kennel's runners having not run since the start of December we only had two entries, Goldies Destiny and Aldataro Lass with the latter progressing through to next Friday's semi-finals. Indeed most of the kennel has got to have a trial or two before we get back up to full strength. We had half a dozen trials at Romford on Tuesday and then had 29 dogs trial at Yarmouth on Thursday. One of our team Aero Bolt has been kept pretty fit while at Rick Holloway's who has been schooling him over the hurdles for quite a while now and his hard work and patience paid off. After returning to us a couple of weeks ago he had his first competitive race on Saturday at Wimbledon in a hot Springbok trial stake where he jumped and ran extremely well scoring by nearly four lengths in a good 29.85 (-30). He certainly will now be one of the leading candidates for outright honours when the event starts in a couple of weeks time.
I would like to thank everyone for the kind comments about our in depth 2010 review which will be up for you to read over the next few weeks. We will continue to improve our website which myself, Mick and Maureen enjoy doing each week. All the magazine style features will continue including my regular weekly newsletter giving exclusive kennel news and my thoughts on the Greyhound worl. Our popular 'Spotlight On' feature will run all year with many of the top media personalities giving their views on our sport. If you only log on for our recommended bets for the week you must be a few quid richer as again last year we showed a nice profit (24.5) overall for the year, though 2009's 245 point profit (5 pts stake max) will never be beaten! We will be having a new page in the next week or two which will be a Stud Directory. I can exclusively reveal that both Kinda Ready and Jogadusc Ace are currently at Merefield Stud gathering straws that will be advertised for sale on our new Stud Directory. Both will be back in the kennel by next weekend with Kinda Ready looking to get straight back into training with the likelihood of him returning to action in February.
Last Friday I flew to Dublin with Martin White and Chris Page from GOBATA as a representative for British trainers for a meeting with some of Ireland's leading trainers to discuss the possibilities of a Premier League both in this country and in Ireland, as well as a Champion League style event and all parties were excited by the prospect of enhancing the very best that our sport offers. Imagine a midweek race between Tyrur Big Mike, Razldazl George, Deerfield Music v Boher Paddy, Droopys Oscar and Blonde Snapper! It may not happen just yet but we have to seize these opportunities if they can possibly be done. The top greyhounds, trainers and owners at the top tracks shown on prime television time are what could capture the public's imagination which could rejuvenate the sport as a whole even at grass roots level.
It's no good leaving our ruling body to come up with these ideas, they are far too busy keeping the bookmakers happy with Bags racing the only thing that seems to matter to them. GOBATA (who I can't believe gets criticised when loads of good people put in their own free time to try and help the sport) are still being blatantly ignored, SOS are doing a fantastic job (again honest dog loving people fighting the cause in their own time) in trying to bring political pressure to bring back racing to Walthamstow Stadium but where are the GBGB when meetings are taking place? One big question to the GBGB - "Where are the ideas for the future that are going to bring the sport into a modern era?" What's needed is right in front of their eyes, modern stadia which we can be proud to take guests to and better prize money to get owners involved again, new or old! Investment should be the key word not cut backs! Borrow money and build an industry owned track that we can be proud of. Of course we know this can't happen as the GBGB is still completely dominated by the promoters who are largely the bigger bookmakers who contribute most to the fund and they wouldn't want their contribution going to too many other tracks that they don't own! If any of the non bookmaker owned tracks that have Bags contracts rock the boat they know what to expect with all of them relying heavily on their Bags payments.
My criticism of the GBGB is levelled at the very top, of course there are many within the governing body who do a fantastic job. Peter Lawrie and his welfare team have fought a long hard battle to rid the sport of all the bad apples and we now have an industry that we don't have to keep quiet about when a greyhound's racing days are over. Declan Donnelly a rules man has great integrit., Dave Levvy and his team who deal with registrations etc do a brilliant and efficient job, and you have to say that microchipping has not been the pain everyone envisaged, and there are many more examples of why we can be optimistic about our future.
Again I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy New Year!
Our first open race runners of 2011 were at Romford on Friday night. Mountjoy Moon who stumbled and then found loads of trouble in her debut in a 400m Maiden may have finished down the field but i'm sure you will be hearing a lot more of her name in the future. In the heats of the Coronation Cup Goldies Destiny missed his break when favourite in his heat and could only finish 4th but Aldataro Lass ran on strong to qualify in 3rd in her heat. In other races Kinda Close who had been most frustrating last year got off the mark at the first time of asking scoring well to win the Bitches 400m by 2 1/2 lgths in a good 24.19, Eye Onthe Brave and Aero Merlin were both last in ultra tough 400m and in a strong 750m Ayamzagirl ran well to finish 2nd behind Mercury Rose beaten 3 1/4 lengths in a flying 46.96. As said Aero Bolt won on Saturday night at Wimbledon on his hurdle debut.
Only four runners on Saturday with Corrig Vincent and Scodan Parker involved in a four way photo finish in an A1 with Corrig Vincent getting up by a short head with Scodan Parker a head back in 3rd in 29.08 (-30). Kinda Magical on her Yarmouth debut in an A2 missed her break but ran on well to be beaten just over half a length in 29.04 (-30), Gottabe Sleepy couldn't follow up last week's win when well beaten in a tough A3.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
The first Sky meeting of 2011 on Tuesday at Hall Green sees us with three runners Risky Rosaleen and Risky Wand as well as Ayamzagirl in the Marathon.
On Friday the Coronation Cup semi-finals take centre stage and Aldataro Lass flies the flag for the kennels. We should have a few other runners including Goldcrest Lord on a four timer in the sprint. On the same night Aero Bolt returns to Wimbledon for another Springbok trial stake. Many of our other open races will have trials for races the following week.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
All three of our runners on Hall Green's Sky card tomorrow night have a chance but I think Risky Rosaleen in the puppy race warrants our first bet of the year. Successful on her last visit to the track she looks an above average pup. Goldcrest Lord did well for followers on his return from a long absence through injury at the end of last year and should go well at Romford on Friday.
RISKY ROSALEEN - 2 pts win - Hall Green - Tuesday
GOLDCREST LORD - 2 pts win - Romford - Friday