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Monday 4th April 2011

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Daren Johnson's epic marathon run from John O Groats to Lands End began early on Saturday morning, I'm sure he was glad to get started after all the build up and the long journey to the very north of Scotland with his team of Pete Tame and Les Davey. At 8 am on a windy and wet morning all Daren's fears would have haunted him but thankfully the weather got better and Daren made the first 31 miles safely. His excellent daily blog on the Racing Post website is well worth a read and as he says everyday please if you can 'give a bit back' via this link (www.giveabitback.net) and any donations no matter how small are greatly appreciated. We will be following his journey with enormous interest over the next month, good luck Daren!

Blonde Fletch is fast becoming one of the country's leading stayers and he enhanced his reputation yesterday with an all the way success in the Queen Mother Memorial Cup Final at Sheffield. Breaking well from trap 4 he again went well clear with main danger Lonely Boy finding trouble on the short run to the first bend. Despite coming back to the field in the closing stages he had enough in reserve to win by 1 1/2 lengths in a good 39.45. The £2,500 prize was not enough to deem the event as a Category 2 competition and as a Category 3 only awards us with 5 points in the Trainers Championship standings but after briefly relinquishing our lead to Chris Allsopp we are now narrowly back at the top. I must say the new points system takes a bit of getting used to but at least you can see the leaderboard, which is regularly updated, at all times on the GBGB web site and last year's sham of not seeing the standings in the press (though Peter Meldrum did keep most trainers informed by e-mail) should not be repeated. It would also be nice if the GBGB could keep an updated list of the country's most winning open racers as this is always popular with the owners. Blonde Fletch will perhaps be aimed at the Coral Regency at the end of the month even if the tough 695m at Hove might stretch him to his limit.

Our decision not to send runners to Shawfield for the Scottish Derby might be a bit negative but I genuinely didn't feel like we had a runner that could win the event. Blonde Snapper is being laid out for the Derby and nothing else until then, while Kinda Ready came off a bit sore from his race on Trainers Championship night but should be fine in a week or two. Dalcash Scolari was impressive at Swindon on Arc Final night last Wednesday but the short run to the bend wouldn't suit. Destroy The Camp despite losing at Sittingbourne yesterday is well suited to Hall Green and will head our team for the Blue Riband starting next Friday. He will be joined by Eye Onthe Tempo, Corrig Vincent and Risky Skipper. The Blue Riband won last year by our Eye Onthe Storm in such brilliant fashion has sadly now been relegated to a Category 2 event which is such a shame and I don't see why if the fund can give Bags meetings an extra prize money boost, as good as an idea as it is, then why can't they provide extra money to keep the status of top competitions like the Blue Riband. As owners, trainers and breeders continually see a decrease in prize money especially on the open race side it should be reflected across the whole industry with salaries from our ruling bodies in proportion to what the practitioners are working for! At least there was a bit of common sense with regards to the level of prize for Derby Trial Stakes. It's not just about an extra £50 to the winner's prize it was the principle of the whole situation. Where is our representation on the board when matters of importance like this occur? it takes a legend like Charlie Lister to shout the odds to get it amended.

Better prize money is one of the most important issues in Greyhound racing but just as important would be the return of Walthamstow Stadium which without doubt would re-ignite the whole industry and the amazing campaign from the SOS team is gathering pace. L & Q must hate the sight of Rick Holloway and his loyal SOS team and the latest blow to L & Q is that English Heritage are right on their case, a compulsory purchase order is looming just around the corner and if SOS can get the MP's and councillors that are on their side to enforce this then Bob Morton's offer of £9 million will indeed seem very generous to them! and yes all those people in the Racing Post 'Spotlights' when asked 'do you think Walthamstow will re-open' who said 'no' you may well be eating humble pie!

 

OPEN RACING

 

On Monday at Romford Bim Bam Boozle was the only qualifier of our three to the Coral TV Standard final when he was a well beaten 2nd to Lethal Freds in the 400m heats.

At Sheffield on Tuesday Blonde Fletch won his heat of the Queen Mother Memorial cup holding on by 3/4 length in a fastest 39.49 and the consistent Eye Onthe Tempo also got on the score sheet when landing a 480m by a neck in 28.16.

Dalcash ScolariWednesday's Sky card at Swindon again showed how green but fast Mountjoy Moon is when she was only 4th in a good puppy race and later on Dalcash Scolari left us wondering what might have been when he won well in a 509m race scoring by 1 1/2 lengths in 29.84, a small compensation for his elimination from the semi-final of the Arc.

On Friday at Romford Bim Bam Boozle gave the big guns all a fright when he led off the second bend in the Coral TV Final but had to settle for 3rd behind Westmead Guru.

On Sunday at Sheffield as said Blonde Fletch landed the final of the Queen Mother Memorial Cup and Goldies Destiny was 3rd in a good 500m race while at Sittingbourne Jazz Apollo making his debut for us ran well when 3rd in a 500m race and Corrig Vincent did very well to win his first open in a good Div 2 480m Standard scoring by a length in 29.44. Destroy The Camp could only finish 5th in Div 1 after stumbling at the 2nd bend.

 

YARMOUTH REVIEW

 

On Wednesday litter brothers Blonde Brutus (29.00) and Blonde Sid (29.19) both scored in A4 while Kinda Magical got on the score sheet for the first time when landing an A1 by 2 lengths in 28.48.

On Saturday Dobbydaize was 2nd in an A2 as was Mountjoy Orion on her debut beaten only 1 1/4 length in 28.42 and looks a nice stayer in the making.

 

 

PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK


OPEN - BLONDE FLETCH
GRADED - KINDA MAGICAL


 

 

WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK

 

A quieter week really begins on Friday when Destroy The Camp, Risky Skipper, Eye Onthe Tempo and Corrig Vincent head to Hall Green for the Blue Riband while the Category 1 Coral Golden Sprint kicks off at Romford with six first round heats - Aero Merlin, Bellers Bud, Bim Bam Boozle and last year's runner up Directors Wit and possibly Rockburst Canyon will all be entered.

 

 

WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS

 

Dalcash Scolari was a good result for us last Wednesday at Swindon and Mountjoy Moon nearly made it an excellent one. The Blue Ribband at Hall Green and the Golden Sprint at Romford both kick off on Friday and I make Destroy The Camp our best chance of landing one of these events. His defeat yesterday at Sittingbourne had its excuses and he may well start at around 16/1 for the Blue Riband. A speculative small e.w on Bellers Bud at Romford is no forlorn hope if he can rediscover his trapping boots.

DESTROY THE CAMP - 2 pts e.w ante-post - Blue Riband - Hall Green - starts Friday

BELLERS BUD - 1 pt e.w ante-post - Golden Sprint - Romford - starts Friday

 

ADVISED LAST WEEK


DALCASH SCOLARI
- 3 pts win - Swindon - Wednesday - won 2/1

MOUNTJOY MOON
- 2 pts win - Swindon - Wednesday - lost

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