Monday 7th January 2013
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It's hard to believe we are starting a new year already. Christmas has come and gone and now after a short break from racing our team is already busy and what better way to begin 2013 when our first runner at Henlow on Thursday became a winning one. To make it better that particular dog was none other than Lil Risky who epitomised what our kennel is all about in 2012. After looking in trouble going into the first two bends his agility got him out of a hole as he scrambled home to his 40th win in 80 career starts, lovely jubbly!
I hope everyone enjoyed reading our Website Review of 2012 (now on Pete's Column) and congratulations to the winners Blonde Snapper (Website Greyhound Of The Year and Top Performance Of The Year), Ayamzaman (Most Wins In The Year and our leading points scorer in the 5 To Follow competition), Lil Risky (Most Top Performances Of The Week - Opens), Bit View Emma (Most Top Performances Of The Week - Graded) as well as our competition winners, amazingly the 5 to Follow competition was shared by Molly 2 and Matthew' Marvellous Mutts on 375 pts and couldn't be split even after count back, Ron Mills won our Staff 5 To Follow competition by 1 point from Ria.
Since our last newsletter the nominations for the industry awards at the London Lancaster Hotel on the 27th January have been announced and in all our kennel has four nominations. Blonde Snapper (Standard), Blonde Reagan (Stayers and Marathon) and Lil Risky (British Bred) as well as Star Of Dromin who's in the Best Brood of 2012 category. To win the overall Greyhound Of The Year the nominations have to win their category and I don't see any reason why our contenders can't do this. Our Greyhound Derby winning hero Blonde Snapper looks to have most to fear from Loughteen Blanco but in my opinion his fairytale Derby win added with his Golden Sprint victory is vastly superior to Loughteen Blanco's two Category 1 wins at Sunderland and Henlow. Both are great dogs as is the third nomination Mags Gamble but I think Snapper must be a strong favourite, we are set for a tense night!
I'm hoping that the politics of our great sport becomes secondary to the action on the track this year but the GTA is looking at a head on collision with the promoters later this month after the proposed 'Tariff' on open racing was announced. The GTA is proposing a minimum open race level of prize money (www.thegta.co.uk) and many tracks fall well short of this. The GTA will ask trainers not to enter dogs from 1st February at tracks that don't meet the proposed level and many trainers are seeking support from their owners to take this action. For me I agree with Racing Post's Jonathan Kay that the prize money level being asked is not unreasonable especially if the BGRF reinstates the £5 a runner payment that was dropped a few years ago. With about 4,500 one off open races a year this would mean the BGRF only need to find £135,000 for open racing which is not a lot compared to the £3,000,000 + graded racing receives from the fund. In many cases if the promoters matched the amount proposed £30 per open race this would then meet the GTA proposal, surely after over 10 years of neglect on open racing it's time to address this problem.
As mentioned above the new GTA website has now been launched www.thegta.co.uk and I think it's an excellent site that all trainers open race or graded should use as a main port of information on current issues. The recently reformed GTA is still in its infancy and under Rick Holloway's leadership has certainly caused some waves which of course not every one will agree with but I feel ten times more has been achieved in the last six months by Rick and his team than in the 13 years of the previous GTA regime. Communication between the GTA and the trainers they represent is the key to making Rick's term as the Chairman succeed. Training legend John Coleman retires this week and as one of the original trainers who created the GTA I would like to see him as a Honorary President of the GTA, if John has time he would be a massive asset to Rick in this tricky role as the head of the GTA.
We have been working really hard on improving our own great site and over the next few days you will see our Feature Dogs page have a complete line up of all of our kennel strength that is starting this year off complete with a lovely photo of all our stars. Our Staff Profile page is also being updated so look out for some interesting reads. On our Dogs For Sale page I decided last year to have a new decent pup up for sale at a reasonable price every month and over the year I have been more than pleased with how some of them have turned out, Glanmire Lad (Romford Puppy Cup winner) being the highlight but Planning, Castlebride Dan, Dixies Air and Newinn Chick have all been sold from this page at prices most of which are well under 5 figures. At the moment we have had a new pup up for sale over the last two weeks called Butterbridge Dom and although of course not cheap this September 11 youngster could very well follow in the footsteps of the above, call me if you are interested in buying this young fella.
Imust admit that after having a short break over Christmas I felt many of our runners would be short of a run and I was not expecting a barrage of winners and so it proved. At Henlow on Thursday Lil Risky performed a minor miracle to win the sprint in a messy affair the time of 17.14 (-15) proof of that Castlebride Dan on a 5 timer was a touch unlucky when second over 460m and Darian Chief ran well when third over 550m.
At Romford on Friday all our runners were not far away and in the end we were desperate not to have a winner or two. Ballyfinn Oscar was third and Star One Day ran his best race to date when just failing to catch the useful Joe Bones going down by the narrowest of margins in a fast 23.96 (+10). Benkaat Boy ran very well when second to the in form Sharons Return beaten 3 1/4 lgths in 23.90. Adageo Brae looked to have won the top division of the 575m but just tied up a bit on the run in and was caught by Mash Mad Snowy going down a neck in 35.64 (+20) with Ayamzabeauty a running on third.
At Sittingbourne on Sunday our runners ran OK. Swift Lucozade (3rd), Kinda Neat (4th) and Rockburst Lenny (3rd) but most importantly some great trials from some of our stars including recent intake Tregyrnog Lad (29.27), Bridge Bandit (29.29), Planning (29.31) and Ballymoney Chris (29.67).
Seven runners on Saturday's card. Our three June 11 pups out of College Causeway x Hillcross Isis started with Hillcross Miami who ran on well to be second in an A5, Hillcross Dakota was slow away in an A4 but paced up well only to find trouble at the second bend and was brought crashing to the ground, thankfully she seems OK after her tumble. Hillcross Dallas was also slow away but ran on really well to be second beaten 1 1/4 lengths in 28.81, all three look promising. Toosey Faye was third as was Bit View Emma.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Lil Risky looks to get a fast start to the year and heads to Romford tonight in the heats of the Coral On TV Standard.
Trial sessions at both Monmore and Romford on Tuesday sees a number of new pups on show.
On Thursday trips to Hove and Henlow look likely while on Friday the Coronation Cup at Romford starts and we will look to have a big team spearheaded by Essex Vase finalist Planning.
On Sunday a return to Sittingbourne for their Sunday night opens
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
Although we only do this part of our website for fun it's incredible that when I worked out our profit and loss for 2012 I couldn't believe the stats. Remembering that 5 points is our maximum bet we were a magnificent 222 points in profit, that means if you bet £10 per point you would have won £2,220 over the year. Of course Blonde Snapper winning the Derby at recommended odds of 66/1 (plenty were on at 80/s right before the off) really makes the bulk of the profit but let's not forget that since we introduced this free service in 2009 we have shown a healthy profit.
Competitions winners backed ante-post are our real source of making money and the year can get off to a great start when the Coronation Cup at Romford begins this Friday. Planning 4th in the Essex Vase last month is fancied to get our Trainers Championship off to the best possible start, make sure you on and also have a saver on a new intake Tregyrnog Lad who has shown decent pace in trials.
PLANNING - 2.5 pts e.w ante-post - Coronation Cup - Romford - Starts Friday
TREGYRNOG LAD - 1 pte.w ante-post - Coronation Cup - Romford - Starts Friday