Monday 24th September 2012
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READ MARK'S BLOG OF THE EXCITING
DERBY BUILD UP CULMINATING IN BLONDE SNAPPER'S FANTASTIC DERBY FINAL WIN
Rarely have I seen so much discontent amongst owners and especially trainers since I got involved in the sport over 25 years ago. Such is the current mood I fear we are only a short time away from a major bust up between the practitioners who supply the greyhounds and the GBGB, BGRF and the promoters. In the middle are the bookmakers who dominate the industry i and I think the only way forward will be some strong negotiations between all parties as soon as possible or I'm sure some sort of action will be inevitable by the owners and trainers. To simplify the situation, since Rick Holloway was democratically elected as the Chairperson of the GTA it was made clear to us that the GTA would be the only route available for talks on the future of the sport but as you can see in my open letter to all trainers shortly to be sent out (available to read on the Greyhoundscene forum and the GOBATA website) it is clear now that certain people in the powers that be are doing all they can to prevent us from having a say, this can only end in tears.
The GTA has now called for an EGM (extraordinary general meeting) this Wednesday night 26th September at Coventry Stadium and it's sure to be a passionate meeting. The GTA has opened up membership to all trainers both professional and non professional so a good attendance is likely. Dave Smith has posted on his Greyhoundscene forum that any trainer who has space in their vehicles could they make themselves known so trainers can travel together whereever possible. For me I expect to see the usual leading trainers who always put themselves out like Nick Savva, Charlie Lister, Chris Allsopp, Dean Childs, Matt Dartnall, Stuart Mason, Pat Rosney, Barrie Draper, Jim Reynolds, Seamus Cahill, David Pruhs, Paul Sallis, Harry Williams, Kim Billingham, Rab Mcnair, Kelly Macari, Keith Allsopp, Tony Collett, Phil Simmonds, Jason Foster, John Millard, Chris Lund, John Mullins, Ted Soppitt, John Coleman, Carol Crasso, Jane Houfton and apologies to those that make an effort if I've missed them. It would be nice to see some more trainers from the Bags tracks across the country but I fear most of the trainers at tracks like Romford, Hove, Crayford, Sheffield and the North East sit in their own little world taking what they are given and are not interested in the bigger picture but more wrapped up in how many runners they can get out in a week for their trainer bonusses. It's time they came out and supported their fellow professionals, it's unity and strength of numbers that can force some necessary changes, something we all must surely see.
I would like to highlight some problems in our industry but to be honest I would need a week or so to write about them but for this week it has come to my attention that throughout the land there is a massive overflow of retired greyhounds in trainers' kennels waiting to be re-homed. And before the anti's cry foul make no mistake there's no welfare issue or indeed a problem with a greyhound becoming a pet, it is widely known now through the good work of all the re-homing centres and the RGT that greyhounds make wonderful pets. With so many trainers, some 35% in the last four years alone, relinquishing their licences because they mainly can't make it pay inevitably their greyhounds have to be moved elsewhere. The RGT are full but tick over nicely until greyhounds are found homes and the overflow sit at trainers' kennels waiting to go into the various home finding centre. 20% of our kennel strength is taken up by retired greyhounds that are well looked after, some still being paid for others occasionally left by owners who have fallen on hard times or in the case of one so called well known owner abandoned by them along with a huge unsettled kennel bill, mentioning no names but with our EYE ONTHE finances it is very stressful, we can all ill afford 5 figure sums being owed to us.
A fascinating time on the track at the moment as it seems like Paul Young's kennel has gathered huge momentum in the Trainers Championship race and despite us still winning plenty of opens and picking up a steady flow of points Youngy has hit terrific form. On Thursday Bubbly Phoenix managed something that many dogs and trainers have failed to do in recent years and that is beat a Charlie Lister dog in the East Anglian Derby final and with Millwards Matt scoring good points in third place our 200+ point lead has been reduced to around 100 points. The attention immediately went on to Friday night at Romford where Paul Young's Ballymac Josh landed a semi-final of the Coral Romford Puppy Cup but a tremendous response from ourselves as the exciting Glanmire Lad smashed out the traps and showed an awesome display of early pace put the 3rd semi-final to bed with the fastest time (24.38) of the three semi's. Next week's £8,000 to the winner final could now have a massive say in the outcome of the title race and Dick and Ann Barfoot's Glanmire Lad is a 6/4 favourite with the sponsors. I must admit I love the pressure of all what goes on and find it a real buzz looking for the right races for our kennel that helps us in our quest for a 4th Championship but obviously winning the big races for the owners is of paramount importance.
It's not only Friday's Romford Puppy Cup Final that has the limelight next week but Thursday night is significant in the title race. Bridge Honcho faces some stiff rivals including Ballymac Eske in the Coral Olympic Final at Hove where Paul Young for a change has no finalist while over at Henlow the Category 1 Primus Telecom Henlow Derby kicks off. With the likes of defending champion Taylors Sky in the field it will take some winning and we will be pinning our hopes on the in form Ayamzaman who brilliantly notched his first open race win away from Romford on the Yarmouth Sky card last Thursday. We also have the Nottingham Produce Stakes starting tonight and there are many championship points up for grabs though it was disappointing to see two of our three runners Jazz Tilly and Mountjoy Eagle drawn together.
There is only one week left for all the entries in the 5 To Follow competition to make their changes to their teams. As I said last week don't think you can't win if you're a long way off the lead, the competition has a habit of being won from off the pace at halfway. The new list of dogs available are both on the 'View the dogs' on our competition page or on 'Pete's Column' on our main bullets page.
Some terrific news later this week as we hope to have full details up of our brand new 'Markwallisgreyhounds Racing Club'. Syndication is most definitely the way forward these days and though we will still happily cater for any individual syndicates I have been asked on several occasions to set up a Racing Club. I have decided that the greyhounds for the club will try to achieve top open class and will target the best competitions and Sky races whereever possible. I hope to have the club up and running by November 1st and have recently brought an exciting young April 11 dog to be the first club greyhound that will be aimed at the Monmore Puppy Derby next March. The 'Markwallisgreyhounds Racing Club' will cost each individual £500 and then £30 a month (by standing order) and for every 10 members we get a new purchase will be bought. Members will be entitled to some special deals that include their own exclusive page on our website (password locked) detailing all accounts and a complete up to the minute report on when the club dogs trial or race as well as some hopefully major prizes and gambles that we can capture. A certain percentage of prize money will go to future purchases as well as a dividend paid back to members at the end of each year (taking in when each member joined). I have always said that if I was to do a Racing Club it will try to be the best club the sport can offer, you will not be disappointed!
The Romford Puppy Cup began last Monday and debutant Glanmire Lad showed a scintillating burst of early pace but was caught on the run in by Fahy Pine going down by 1 1/4 lengths in 24.33.
A big week at Yarmouth starting on Wednesday with the finals of both the Magners Sprint where outsider Kinda True was fourth and the Derby Purse Grand Final where Blonde Fletch was a warm 1/2 favourite but after early crowding he could only finish fourth with kennelmate Carden Twilight running a blinder when only beaten just over a length to David Pruhs Envy Apple King in a fast 40.43.
On Thursday the East Anglian Derby Final was the centre attraction but unfortunately we had no representative. We did however have some strong runners on the supporting card. Darian Creek was fifth in the opener and the improving Ballyfinn Oscar ran well when 4th in the Puppy open. Lil Risky was just collared on the line in a warm sprint going down by a head in 16.4. Aero Joker got no sort of run when last in the bitches race but a superb 5 1/2 length win by Hometown Honey (53.71) in a hot Marathon restored some pride and then at last Ayamzaman captured his first open win away from Romford when landing the Gents Standard in a very good 27.50. Blonde Reagan was only fourth in the Stayers while Swift Freeze was a fast finishing third in the Standard.
On the same night at Hove Ballymoney Chris and Billy Mac made their debuts for the kennel and though not successfull both should be winning soon. Darian Marvel was a well beaten second in a 475m Maiden while in the Coral Olympic semi-final Bridge Honcho scored in fine style in 29.72.
On Friday at Romford the star of the night was Glanmire Lad who took his semi-final of the Coral Romford Puppy Cup in great style by 3 lengths in a fastest 24.38 (-20).
Two runners on Thursday in a hot A3 with Newinn Chick a close up 4th in a race won in 27.87!
On Saturday not much luck from our five runners with Risky Blue and Darian Star both third.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
A busy week beginning tonight with the Produce Stakes heats at Nottingham where Jazz Tilly, Mountjoy Eagle and Kinda Neat represent us.
Over at Romford Dixies Air returns along with Adageo Brae in the Coral On TV Stayers heats.
Thursday sees the Coral Olympic Final where Bridge Honcho takes on superstar Ballymac Eske while at Henlow the Primus Telecom Derby kicks off with six heats and Ayamzaman heads our team.
On Friday the Romford Puppy Cup Final is the feature of a popular night and Glanmire Lad lines up for us as a 6/4 favourite.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
I can't believe we never included Glanmire Lad in our ante-post bets as he started a 14/1 chance in the Puppy Cup at Romford and now trades at 6/4 for the final on Friday. However we can take comfort in the fact our only recommendation last week was Hometown Honey in the Marathon on the Sky card at Yarmouth on Thursday and she duly obliged at a lovely 11/2 and we also have Bridge Honcho at 10/1 e.w for the Coral Olympic final at Hove on Thursday. This week I feel that Ayamzaman, now he has the winning habit away from Romford, will be our best chance of winning the Primus Telecom Henlow Derby and is worth a bet.
AYAMZAMAN - 2 pts e.w ante-post - Primus Henlow Derby - Thursday
ADVISED LAST WEEK
HOMETOWN HONEY - 2 pts win - Yarmouth - Thursday - WON 11/2
BRIDGE HONCHO - 2 pts e.w ante-post 10/1 - Hove - final Thursday