Monday 19th November 2012
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READ MARK'S BLOG OF THE EXCITING
DERBY BUILD UP CULMINATING IN BLONDE SNAPPER'S FANTASTIC DERBY FINAL WIN
What a week just gone, so so much to talk about but let's start with the fantastic news that we have two runners in this Thursday's William Hill St Leger final at Wimbledon. Blonde Fletch who has been a revelation in the event so far bravely qualified when beaten a short head and a head in a tight finish in Saturday's semi-finals. A revelation might seem a strange comment to make on a greyhound like Blonde Fletch who has achieved so much in his career to date but coming into this event he hadn't raced for over a month after having a tendon removed and then had three rushed trials to try and get him fit after the operation. Added to the fact he is now a veteran and has never before looked at home when racing at Wimbledon he has performed miracles to now only be rated a 7/2 chance to add a St Leger title to his impressive CV. Blonde Reagan is our second chance of landing the £15,000 to the winnner Classic after leading at the second bend to score by over 4 lengths in a good 41.90 nearly 3 lengths quicker than Blonde Fletch's semi. Blonde Reagan is now favourite with most bookmakers to land our third St Leger in four years following Aero Majestic (2012) and Kinda Easy (2009).
Blonde Reagan's semi-final was marred by the serious injury to Dave Firminger's Romeo Patrol and we wish him a speedy recovery. Our current ante-post favourite for the forthcoming William Hill Oaks, Bridge Ruth, was put through her paces in a trial before racing and clocked a very satisfactory 28.65 for the 480m. Both Bridge Ruth and Airforce Diva could clash in a Ladies race on the supporting card at Wimbledon on Thursday and it should be a good race but be warned our high class bitches will be trained to peak in a month's time hopefully the Oaks Final!
We only have four Sky meetings left in 2012 and worryingly it looks likely that these could be the last for some time. Strong rumours are now surfacing that no Sky meetings will take place in Jan/Feb/March 2013 which means early season competitions such as the Prestige, Juvenile Championship and Springbok must be in serious doubt. As yet news is vague on whether we will get some Sky coverage after these dates which also means the well supported and popular Trainers Championship meeting has a massive question mark against it. I have said it before but if this is the case then there could be some serious ramifications throughout the sport if we lose the Sky coverage. I continually read that extra prize money is going into Bags racing which I don't disagree with but if we lose the top end of our sport everyone will suffer. We would be the only sport that doesn't showcase its highest level on television. If you were a breeder one of the main reasons why you breed is to try and produce a champion. Most of the time this doesn't happen and that's where graded and Bags racing gets its market from. If there's a serious cutback on greyhound racing from Sky or worse none at all what is there to encourage breeding? The cost of buying a greyhound to run on Bags is relatively cheap, you can easily pick up a greyhound to run in A2's to A8's for less than £500. On average it would cost a breeder around £1,200 - £1,500 per pup to breed from birth until they are ready to race at 15 months old. If there's not a potential top class open pup in that litter, which in most cases there isn't, then you can work the maths out yourself! They need to be able to sell the better class ones for good money to make it worth it but how can they if there's no market left for buying them!
I was surprised to see my name mentioned in Barry Faulkner's article for the Racing Post yesterday saying I shouldn't criticize the GBGB for not updating the Trainers Championship table and the people who do update it do it in their spare time. Well I'm sorry Barry but what rubbish. Firstly it was only something that I tweeted, when I was looking at the Internet on my phone the table came up with an old update. Jonathan Kay tweeted me back to say you have to sometimes press twice on the results or you would get an old update come up first. I did this and he was right a new update came through. I re tweeted an apology for my mistake - end of. I know Paul Illingworth and Amanda Duplock from the GBGB do the working out of the results and yes I realise it's time consuming updating the points system and I do appreciate their work but what bollocks that they have to do this in their spare time. This should be an integral part of their or someone else's workload in GBGB'S time. Imagine the Premier League in football on a Saturday night not having the tables up and the Chief Executive saying we have to wait for somebody to update them in their spare time, unreal!
And like above it seems the mentality of the GBGB is the same as when once Norah Mcellistrim was quoted in saying 'it is a privilege to own or train an open race greyhound, one that we should pay for ourselves' quite possibly the worse quote from anyone in greyhound racing I have ever seen. Some of us may be in a privileged position owning and training top class greyhounds but boy! have we earned the right to do that. As I've written above about breeding I will tell you, yes we know that graded racing supplies the majority of races daily but trust me without the top class racing the whole of the greyhound industry will collapse and if they don't believe me let's see over the next few months where we are when we have no Sky and some of our major races fall by the wayside.
One last point and that is does Barry Faulkner realise the dangerous path greyhound racing is running towards where up to 70% of the greyhounds on the Bags tracks are owned by trainers themselves, whereas in opens 95% of the greyhounds that compete have owners? This is a suicidal state of affairs by the industry. His article yesterday has some reasonable points but also shows a complete lack of understanding for the people who supply the product that gives them their jobs in the first place.
In other news, Ayamzaman and Fernhill Jess are set for a titanic battle to be the winning most greyhound of 2012 and last night Fernhill Jess landed her second race in four days in a sprint open at Coventry to draw level on 20 wins with Ayamzaman who was ultra impressive when landing the odds at Romford on Friday in a flying 23.8. It was another good week all round on the track for us with plenty of open winners which included a back to form Aero Joker who has now accumulated 17 victories this year.
Our first Markwallisgreyhounds 'Racing Club' greyhound I Am Titanium makes his full debut on Wednesday at Yarmouth and has gone straight into an A2. A tough start but we have high expectations of this young fella. As I have said before I think membership to our 'Racing Club' would provide an excellent Christmas present for someone. You can find full details on our Racing Club page and please contact us if you are interested.
Elsewhere on the website, later this week the Staff Profiles will be updated and should prove an interesting read.
Our first action of the week was on Thursday where at Henlow we saw good wins for Springdale Hawk over 550m in a decent 33.47 and Aero Joker completed a hat trick in 27.73 in a Ladies 460m. Over at Hove Castlebride Dan and Mallogs Holly came closest of our four runners when both second.
A cracking night at Romford with four winners and a few seconds. Risky Storm at last got up to win a Maiden 400m in a moderate 25.09 and Bridge Bandit took an excellent opportunity to land a 575m in 36.32 on slow going. The track speeded up as the racing went on and our two hotpots Glanmire Lad (24.14) and Ayamzaman (23.86) were ultra impressive landing 400m races in devastating style. At Nottingham the high class Betfred Eclipse didn't go so well with Bridge Honcho a slightly unlucky elimination when 4th while Jazz Apollo and Darian Chief both qualified when second in their heats.
At Wimbledon on Saturday fantastic news as said that both Blonde Fletch and Blonde Reagan qualified for the prestigous William Hill St Leger final. Ballintine Molly had a great competition but was eliminated.
Roberts Dancer (for sale on this site) got us off to a winning start scoring in an A5 in 28.91 but only Risky Blue came closest of our other five runners when second in an A. Darian Marvel and debutant Baran Assassin both ran well when third.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Tonight the heats of the Coral On TV Stayers over 575m see five of our regular open racers compete.
On Wednesday the fascinating Bags Championship second leg at Yarmouth takes place and 'Racing Club' debutante I Am Titanium is unveiled.
On Thursday the feature race is the William Hill St Leger final and Blonde Fletch and Blonde Reagan look to defend the title won by Aero Majestic last year. The Sky supporting card should be excellent as well with a clash between Oaks favourites Bridge Ruth and Airforce Diva another highlight.
We are also at Henlow on Thursday and back to Romford on Friday and Coventry on Saturday morning.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Blonde Reagan has the chance to give our supporters another lucrative pay day when he goes off a favourite for the William Hill St Leger final on Thursday and he will be our main focus this week. If you haven't already backed him I still think 11/4 about him is good value. Bridge Honcho was unlucky to be knocked out in the first round of the Eclipse.
ADVISED LAST WEEK
BLONDE REAGAN - 2 pts e.w ante-post 10/1 - William Hill St Leger - Wimbledon - Final Thursday
BRIDGE HONCHO - 2 pts e.w ante-post 16/1 - Betfred Eclipse - Nottingham - lost