Monday 15th July 2013
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The general feeling amongst long suffering greyhound fans is that Wimbledon Stadium home of the Greyhound Derby, St Leger and for many years the Oaks is on its last legs with most local residents, council members and our very own 'stab you in the back' GRA knowing that it will be a mere formality for AFC Wimbledon to be playing their football at the Plough Lane site when the Stadium is redeveloped in the next few years. Despite a Paschal Taggart backed plan for the site that is far superior to the proposed football related development Merton Council is being told that Greyhound Racing has no future and it would be much more sensible to go with the football related plans. How can this be denied when our very own GRA are telling them this as well which of course they would as the GRA are owned by Gilliard Homes who would make millions out of the redevelopment.
The problem I see is that many greyhound fans have been deflated and sapped of their energy with losing the Walthamstow battle after a long drawn out and incredibly brave fight by Rick Holloway and the SOS (Save Our Stow) team and we all fear the worst for the only remaining track in London but we must find the will to at least make an effort to try and save greyhound racing in the capital. Click here to open a letter from Pascal Taggart to all greyhound owners, trainers, breeders, kennel hands, racing office and track staff and any fans of our sport asking to write or send e-mails in to the Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Stephen Alambritis of Merton Council to make their feelings known. For the campaign to have any chance we need well over 30,000 of these to make them stand up and take notice. A council meeting on the 11th September will need to be well attended and I hope politics within our sport can be put to one side and Rick can help WWW (We Want Wimbledon) to drum up support. I also urge all readers of my weekly blog to help with this campaign. Wimbledon has been huge in our kennel's success especially in the last four years with two Derby and three St Leger titles to our name and I will do all I can to help in the campaign.
On Saturday Hometown Honey recovered well from a bad bump at the first bend to run on and just get up for that vital second place to make the William Hill Grand Prix Final at Sunderland though Jazz Tilly in the same semi took a nasty fall at the first bend but thankfully seems ok afterwards. The £15,000 to the winner event is one of the main features along with the £25,000 Classic on Thursday live on Sky and we have a reasonable chance of avenging last year's head defeat of Dixies Air. Blonde Fletch was a brilliant winner for us in 2011 and Hometown Honey on her day has the pace to be very dangerous. This will be a massive thrill for owners Steve and Sarah Cragg and their family who are massive supporters of our kennel and a win for us would be a perfect tonic in what has been a difficult last few weeks for us.
The Henlow Gold Cup Final on Sunday is another event in a busy summer open race schedule and I was pleased to see both Planning and Benkaat Nero make next Sunday's final. Dalcash Scolari won this event for us back in 2011 and both our runners will have a decent chance of landing the spoils.
The Peterborough Derby kicks off a week Wednesday and today defending champion Lil Risky trials over track and trip along with Ayamzaman, Murlens Crash and Benkaat Boy.
Corals are only a couple of weeks away from two of their stadiums' big races of the year - the Sussex Cup at Hove and the Champion Stakes at Romford. It's a shame they clash but we hope to be well represented in both. At Hove Bridge Honcho, who was well inside the Coventry sprint track record last night recording a stunning 15.57, will target this race with track specialist Bridge Ruth, Jazz Apollo, Bridge Bandit and Benkaat Blue while at Romford we have many possibilities for the 575m trip including Blonde Reagan, Planning, Benkaat Nero, Reel Trickyone, Hometown Honey, Jazz Tilly and after two great debuts on Friday Blonde Bobby and Fairest Royal.
Our Markwallisgreyhounds 'Racing Club' has just purchased a beautiful young puppy in order to chase that Derby dream and with another fine talent on the way next month we hope to be able to build up a good team for the future. We are still seeking new members so if you want the chance to have an interest in greyhound ownership at an affordable price (£500 one off joining fee + £30 per month) then contact us as soon as possible for full details.
Our popular 5 To Follow Competition got off to a flying start at the end of last week with four teams (Kinda Snapper 4, Westy 1, Westy 5 and Jims Dogs 4) all scoring 35 pts. 207 off the 296 entries got off the mark and with a few different winners this week there should be plenty of changes when the results from last week are gathered.
Ayamzaman got the week off to a great start when landing a heat of the Coral On TV Standard in a thrilling tussle with old rival Shaneboy Ozzy collaring him right on the line in 24.07.
Blonde Tango bowed out of the Swindon Produce Stakes on Wednesday while Baran Bally Hi ran very well when second to Westmead Meteor in the Here And There 1985 Hurdles final at Coventry.
On Friday we got off to a good start at Romford with Murlens Crash taking a sprint in 13.77. Strawpedo Jet making his debut looked a shade unlucky when nearly getting round the first bend in front but was badly hampered while Blonde Bobby and Fairest Royal both made excellent staying debuts when Blonde Bobby beat a running on Fairest Royal in a warm Maiden Stayers by 1 1/4 lengths in 36.13. Ayamzaman missed his break in the Coral On TV Final and could only finish 4th to Shaneboy Ozzy. Glanmire Lad ran well when second to Belle Vue raider Karma Cause but both Aayamzalad and Aayamzabella where disappointing in their respective races.
On Sunday at Henlow the Gold Cup semi's looked tricky and both Planning and Benkaat Nero did well to qualify for the final when they both finished well beaten but second.
Over at Coventry the Lady Godiva Stakes kicked off with 4 heats and Darian Star ran on well to be second but Newinn Chick stumbled out the boxes and was eliminated. In supporting races Darian Creek ran well after early trouble to get up on the line in a 485m to score in 29.71 and Jazz Apollo still shows no signs of slowing up at over 4 years old running a blinder to weave his way through the field to get up and score in the top division of the 485m to win in 29.54.
YARMOUTH AND COVENTRY GRADED REVIEW
On Wednesday at Coventry Hillcross Dallas came closest of our six runners when second in a three way photo in an A4 while on Sunday Saleen Bolt got off the mark in a good A3 just holding on to win in 29.67.
At Yarmouth on Saturday just three runners with Baran Shirocco best when an unlucky third.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Tonight Blonde Reagan faces a stiff test drawn in trap 4 in the Rose Bowl at Romford.
On Thursday we will be at Hove with a few runners but the feature will be Hometown Honey who runs in the all important £15,000 to the winner Grand Prix final at Sunderland live on Sky.
We will be back to Romford on Friday and on Sunday as well as the semi's of the Lady Godiva Bitches Stake at Coventry we will be at Henlow where both Planning and Benkaat Nero look to take the Henlow Gold Cup final worth £2,500 to the winner.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Jazz Tilly suffered a bad fall in her semi-final of the Grand Prix but seems ok. It's difficult looking for a bet this week so we will keep stakes to a minimum and stick with a Romford specialist this Friday in Glanmire Lad who should make no mistake this time.
GLANMIRE LAD - 2 pts win - Romford - Friday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
JAZZ TILLY - 2 pts e.w ante-post 14/1 - William Hill Grand Prix - Sunderland - lost