Monday 1st August 2011
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I would like to thank everyone that has contributed towards the Pup Raffle I put up. The raffle is now closed and we made a total of £1750 which has helped boost GABB's wonderful efforts in their fundraising. The draw for the pup will take place on Wednesday 3rd August from Nottingham Stadium on Select Stakes night. Nottingham and Dave Lawrence have very kindly allowed us to hold the draw, so any ticket holders make sure you watch the racing that night.. Good Luck and Thanks Again. Dave Wood (Questhouse Kennels)
YOU CAN STILL DONATE AT www.giveabitback.net
Yesterday's Racing Post carried my full and frank interview with Phil Donaldson and was very well written and featured two of my favorite photographs (courtesy of Steve Nash) with the Derby Final presentation and the recent Sunderland silverware being displayed. The article itself highlighted how tough our position in the sport is but most importantly, as I stressed to Phil not to be all doom and gloom. As you may have read I'm currently trying to be as pro-active as I can to bring in new business and to make anyone who owns greyhounds in our kennel to feel part of a successful team. As I said the owners in our sport are the most crucial part of the industry, something I feel over the years our ruling body, the bookmakers and the promoters have all abused to the limit. Without them there is no sport and if we get to the point where trainers own most of the dogs in the kennel we will be in big trouble. Do you think the tracks and bookmakers really care when they have Bags cards to fill whether the dogs are owned or not? The times they put the races on and the amount of races and meetings in a week are fast becoming the only thing that seems to matter these days.
Trainers like myself, no disrespect to Yarmouth, without a decent contract are finding it almost impossible to balance the books. The open racing was always just the cream on the cake but never one that was going to make us a decent living. We have always been foremost a graded kennel with the ambitions to try and get some top class dogs (or most often turn potential open class dogs in to champions), to be in the top six trainers and to have that dream to win Derby's. When I joined my now mother-in-law Linda Jones back in 1990 we only had a handful of dogs running at Swaffham but I could see the ambition of first trying to get a good contract and secondly to try and battle it out with the best open race trainers around at the time. I have been with her at tracks all over the country when people said 'who's this Linda Jones from Swaffham' and let me tell you it wasn't long after the dogs had bolted in before people knew who she was! Those times where superb but when I got my opportunity to take over the kennels the foundations for me were in place, a good contract at Walthamstow and a kennel full of dogs and owners. Of course some people criticised me for falling into such a lucrative position but boy did I work for it all those years before. I used to work untold hours (as did Linda) and would be racing 4/5 nights a week. I've enjoyed all the highs and lows of the sport both with Linda and now in my own right and I would not swap it for the world. Now sadly due in my opinion through no fault of our own I might be forced to consider my position in the sport over the next few months.
Firstly, we will be trying our hardest to not only bring success to our kennel but to increase our owner strength. Over the next few weeks you will see our slightly revamped website that will include SYNDICATIONS /CLUBS. We will be introducing a series of clubs to suit everyone's pockets all with the aim to purchase top class greyhounds for the top competitions/Sky races. I will also do a club to suit more local people to Yarmouth with a syndication of people who live in East Anglia. Yarmouth is an excellent and friendly track with great facilities, please get in touch if you are interested in joining one of our syndications.
On the subject of bringing new dogs into the kennel, take a look at our Dogs For Sale page where we have a very exciting young pup available to purchase that we are looking forward to training.
Also in the article I wrote about possible sponsorship for our kennel and have been pleased to see some interest which I will be following up shortly. We also touched on the Premier League which is getting closer to getting underway. Of course there are still a few sceptics around but the majority of people would dearly love to see our sport's finest trainers and greyhounds running against each other on a regular basis especially in a new format. A Premier League would give our kennel much needed revenue but most importantly the buzz of the competition is what really gets me going. Criticism mainly on the forums not just on the Premier League but a few other things can be frustrating but that's the beauty of our sport' there are always strong opinions. I never mind answering any questions or queries regarding any matters so if anyone wants to e-mail me on firstname.lastname@example.org I will reply to all mail.
I have spent plenty of time reminding everyone to log on to the Waltham Forrest planning site to make an objection to L&Q's plans to build 8 storey high flats and houses on Walthamstow Stadium and AUGUST 4TH is the last day to do this. Please spare 5 minutes as this could be most important. I was down there last week handing out leaflets and the vast majority of local residents do not want new houses and flats on the site with 99% in favour of greyhound racing returning.
On the track this week the main focus is on the Betfred Select Stakes at Nottingham on Wednesday and Blonde Snapper warmed up for the event with an impressive 17.67 trial on Saturday which should put him spot on. Blonde Fletch is also in the Betfred Stayers Stakes and it will be fantastic to replicate what we achieved at Sunderland recently though I am currently on my family holiday at the moment and can't be there next Wednesday to hopefully see our kennel's first select Stakes winner!.
A brief look at the racing last week saw Blonde Fletch only second to Blue Bee in the Sky races at Hove. Better news on Saturday as Sulphur Spring, despite being all out to hold on by short head in 28.79, won his heat of the Puppy Derby at Wimbledon and on Sunday at Sittingbourne Aero Majestic made it 3 from 3 since stepping up to six bends when landing the Bookmakers Stayers Final by a length in 40.12 (+15). A win from the returning Bellers Bud in a 480m Kent Derby Trial in 29.03 also bodes well for the future. At Yarmouth only runners on Wednesdy with Legit Jack and Goldies Tara both obliging
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Opens tomorrow at Mildenhall and Friday at Romford but the main races are the Select Stakes at Nottingham on Wednesday and also both the Puppy Derby continues on Friday and the Kent Derby starts on Sunday.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Only one thought this week Blonde Snapper 7/2 on Wednesday!
BLONDE SNAPPER - 5 pts win 7/2 - Nottingham - Wednesday