Monday 21st September 2009
Last Wednesday's important public meeting at Nottingham's Hilton Hotel, organised by Martin White, for trainers, owners and breeders was on the whole a worthwhile and successful evening. The meeting, following recent critisicm of the 'GBGB', was intended as an opportunity for everyone to come together to show unity and strength among the people who supply the raw product to the industry, and to get some much needed representation on the board at high level. Despite the efforts of an excellent John Coleman who chaired the meeting, it was, however, spoiled slightly by the continuing row between the part time trainers who hold Greyhound Trainers licences, who number over 900, and the 'GTA' (Greyhound Trainers Association) who only allow Professional Trainers to join their ranks. The 'GTA' were represented on the night by their leader Norah McEllistrim and Tony Meek and faced some stiff questions. I personally would like to know how many Professional Trainers, which I think number about 400, are actually members of the 'GTA'. Back to the meeting, there was an intelligent letter read out from the Greyhound Star's Floyd Amphlett, who couldn't attend due to illness, and some wise words from Martin White, who in my opinion was impressive and showed that there was no hidden agenda for himself when calling the meeting and it was only that he cared about our sport that has sadly been let down by the 'GBGB' since they took over the running of the industry at the start of the year. Here are my thoughts on the best possible way forward:-
Firstly John Coleman's idea of forming a new association called the 'GOABATA' (Greyhound Owners and Breeders and Trainers Association) which every owner, trainer and breeder should join for say £10 would give mass strength in numbers.
Secondly, when this 'GOABATA' is formed, candidates should put themselves forward for the position of leader who would represent the association on the 'GBGB' - this person would ideally have skills in dealing at boardroom level. Once we have all the candidates then all members get a vote on deciding the leader.
Thirdly, once a leader is established then a committee comprising of say 1-2 owners, 2 current Professional Trainers, 1 ex Professional Trainer, 1 Breeder and 1 Greyhound Trainer should be appointed. Again all candidates coming forward for these positions will be democratically voted onto the committee by the members of the 'GOABATA'.
Fourthly one person from every track should be a representative of the 'GOABATA' to report the feelings and instructions of it's members to the committee.
In this way all things relating to the industry are properly discussed and work their way forward to the highest level. And the same in reverse, when the 'GBGB' wants to discuss subjects they will feed their way back to everyone that it concerns - it's simply called CONSULTATION!
On the racing side, this week sees a high-class Betfair East Anglian Derby at Yarmouth and tomorrow night's Final live on Sky worth £20,000 to the winner has seen us qualify Eye Eye Pickle who will have to overcome a difficult trap 4 slot if he is to cause a surprise. I still believe 33/1 is way too big for this classy animal. Also on the supporting card we have Eye Onthe Storm in a puppy race and if he reproduces last week's impressive display over track and trip we shouldn't go away empty handed.
The semi-finals of the Stones Silver Collar take place on Tuesday and Eye Onthe Storm's litter brother Eye Onthe Flash is drawn in a tough race but again if he runs like he did in the heats the other rivals will have it all to do to beat him. The Produce Stakes this year at Nottingham kicks off on Tuesday afternoon with the elimination trials and though Eye Eye Pickle now misses the event we have Jogadusc Jasper representing us.
Our 5 To Follow competition is reaching the halfway point and it's very close at the top with 'Bikerfriend' holding a slim lead going into last week. Now is the time you can change your selections if you want for the second half of the competition. You can change as many as you want as long as you retain one bitch in your team and all points gained in the first three months carry over to your new team which count from October 1st. A new list of the current selections is now available on The Dogs page if you click here. Don't forget to look as there are quite a few changes with greyhounds no longer on the list and new ones added. I have done a quick review of the new dogs available and you can read this on the Guest Column. When you have made your new selections send them through (with your team name) by email to the firstname.lastname@example.org address by 30 September.
On Tuesday we travelled to Sheffield for the heats of the Stones Puppy Silver Collar and with only two qualifying for the semi-finals both Goldies Destiny and Glenagower Champ missed out when both were 3rd. Eye Onthe Flash was ultra impressive when taking a difficult heat from a trap 5 draw winning by over 6 lengths in a very fast 28.74.
At Harlow on Wednesday Bomber Bailey found all kinds of trouble in the 415m hurdles but managed to get his nose in front on the line to score by the minimum margin in 27.23 (-20). In the heats of the 415m Monkey Maiden Face My Fortune made a good debut when leading at the fourth bend to score by 1 1/4 lengths in 26.34. Agincourt Fancy led her heat before finishing 2nd beaten 3 1/4 lengths in 26.41. Bell Tornado was also 2nd in the 592m Stayers beaten 5 lengths by the in form Brians Mate in 37.72.
At Yarmouth on Thursday Eye Onthe Storm raced to an impressive win in the 462m Puppy scoring by 5 lengths in 27.70 (+10). Directors Wit ran well when second in the sprint to Judicial Ace beaten 2 1/2 lengths in 16.52. Kinda Handy was unlucky in the 462m Standard as he was pinned to the rails by trap 6 when looking like he was going to lead around the first two bends and eventually shuffled back to last. The feature races of the night were the semi-finals of the Betfair East Anglian Derby and in the first Jogadusc Ace missed his break but paced up well before being held up at the first bend, lying 3rd on the run for home he was just collared by kennel mate Eye Eye Pickle for the last qualifying spot who ran on well after a slow start but was well beaten by Farloe Reason in 27.66 (+20). In the second semi Eye Onthe Brave tried his best but couldn't get to the first three when 6th to Jordansoilutions who clocked 27.60 (+20). In the final of the Derby Purse Droopys Zach was only 4th beaten 2 lengths to Raving Black in 40.92 but to say he was unlucky is an understatement as he was stopped at least 4 times in running.
On Sunday at Coventry Kilquane Jack was 2nd in the 480m Maiden beaten 1 1/4 in 29.71. Kinda Easy made it 3 from 3 over 625m staying on well to win by 3 3/4 in a good 39.25. Risky Invader was 2nd in Div 2 of the sprint beaten 1/2 length in 17.14 and in Div 1 a flying start from the returning Goldcrest Lord saw him five clear at the bend and coming home alone he won in a fine 16.83. Directors Ruler was 2nd in a 480 and a win looks just around the corner.
On Wednesday our thee graded runners Mint Bulb, Russell Legit and Hawk Sky (pleasing debut) were all 2nd while on Saturday Blackey Said So returned from season with a win in 25.96 (+50). Treacle Express was just touched off when 2nd and Goldies Tara was also 2nd with a two grade uplift.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON THIS WEEK
The Betfair East Anglian Derby Final is the feature race on Sky on Tuesday and Eye Eye Pickle flies the flag for our kennel. On the supporting card we have Eye Onthe Storm, Mountjoy Ruby and Jogadusc Ace in the Invitation race. On the same night Eye Onthe Flash contests the semi's of the Stones Silver Collar at Sheffield. Opens at Harlow on Wednesday, Romford Friday and Coventry Sunday complete the week.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Eye Eye Pickle our ante-post pick for the Betfair East Anglian Derby at 16/1 has made Tuesday's final but he now trades at 33/1! unfortunately there was no ante-post prices for the Stones Silver Collar as Eye Onthe Flash was most impressive in the heats. For a recommended bet this week Goldies Destiny looks like he has been crying out for six bends and on Friday a 575m Maiden is planned.
GOLDIES DESTINY - 3 pts win - Romford - Friday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
EYE EYE PICKLE - 2 pts e.w ante-post 16/1 - East Anglian Derby - Yarmouth - Final Tuesday
EYE ON THE FLASH - 5 pts win ante-post - Stones Silver Collar - Sheffield - no bet