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Tuesday 2nd February 2010

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After just arriving back from the GBGB Annual Awards bash late on Monday afternoon it has given me time to reflect on the previous night's celebrations at the London Hilton Metropole. Firstly I have to say what an excellent night it was and Amanda Duplock deserves high praise for the slick organisation and again Darrell Williams and Jonathan Hobbs' presentation was most professional. Most of the categories were always going to be close but I think on the whole the winners were the correct ones. Midway Skipper had a great night winning the Marathon, Bitch and British Bred awards. Fear Zafonic just edged out our own Eye Onthe Storm and Kinda Ready in the important Standard division while Platinumlancelot was a runaway winner as king of the hurdlers. Jimmy Lollie in the Sprint and Lorrys Options in the Stayers were winners in competitive categories. From a kennel point of view with nearly a hundred of our Staff, owners, family and friends present it was a shade disappointing that, despite having several nominations in various categories, we only picked up one award when Eye Onthe Storm won Best Newcomer of the year. I must admit that I felt a bit gutted that Jogadusc Ace, who ran brilliantly right from January to December which included a gutsy performance when landing the second biggest prize in the sport the William Hill Classic worth £40,000 at Sunderland, didn't win Best British Bred especially as he raced in the most competitive division whereas Midway Skipper ran in marathon races that lacked any real stars this year. Not that I'm knocking Midway Skipper, brilliantly trained by Henry Chalkley, she can only beat what's put in front of her but Jogadusc Ace ran and quite often beat the best dogs in training.

Personally I have to say I was proud when my good friends and owners Daren,Chris, Lee and Gary won the prestigious Owners' Award for the brilliant Derby/St Leger double with Kinda Ready and Kinda Easy and I was even prouder when to a standing ovation they presented me with the Trainer Of The Year trophy. Once again I have to thank my staff, family and my loyal owners for making it possible and three words describe it all 'what a year!' (See pics from the night below)

The other highlights of the night, apart from the sight of some illustrious owners and trainers propping up the bar at 4.30 in the morning including myself, was the brilliant speech made by Simon Wooder when picking up Fear Zafonic's deserving Greyhound Of The Year title. I won't repeat what he said but I bow to him for adding a touch of class to the whole night, well done Simon! and congratulations to Charlie Lister a brilliant training feat and we look forward to doing battle with Charlie's kennel in 2010. The other highlight of the night was the heart warming story behind the Kennel Hand Of The Year award presented so well by Tanya Stevenson. To a standing ovation John Price went beyond the call of duty for his trainer Darren Hampson who I was fortunate to talk to at breakfast the next morning. People like these are why the whole sport in difficult circumstances still survives, I hope they enjoy a successful 2010 they deserve it!

The whole night was superb and it was good to catch up with our friends, fellow trainers and their kennel hands, all the other owners including our own and the people who run our sport in one evening. The event was extremely well attended despite clashing with the coursing festival in Clonmel.

As much as it was a time to celebrate and debate the previous year it was also a time to discuss the future. Now here is where we have a problem, let's be honest we are not in a good position at the moment as we move into another decade. Falling attendances and track closures, a hard recession which reflects on leisure industries like ours and a new ruling body that is so tied up in bureaucracy trying to implement the necassary changes so the sport can continue to self regulate that it doesn't have time to look at the bigger picture. Our main source of daily information comes through the Racing Post and as much as all the Greyhound Journalists are great friends of the industry the current editor of the paper Bruce Millington looks like he has a total disregard to greyhound racing despite having started on the canine side. The greyhound section is decreasing all the time and I was shocked to learn long time greyhound guru Peter Meldrum is no longer employed by the Racing Post. Peter's Friday column and his ratings and latest Trainers Championship standings was what all open race trainers looked forward to reading. Many punters have been richly rewarded by his inspiring selections, I mean how can we forget his headline tips on Pricewise of Kinda Ready (66/1) in the Derby and Kinda Easy (25/1) in the St Leger this year, a sad sad loss! Please Bruce have a rethink!.

So what can we do to improve and promote our sport and safeguard its long term future? I myself would swap most of our success in return for a prosperous industry, that's how much iI care. In the next few weeks I will pull no punches in saying what I think as well as coming up with ideas. If anyone else has a view on what we need to do I will be pleased to pass it on directly to the people at the top along with mine just e-mail me through the web site.

I hope everyone got to read our intended race horse syndication up on our Guest Column. I've had plenty of interest so if you would like to be a part of this exciting new venture and enjoy some great days out at the races then drop me an e-mail or call me.

Yet another new feature to look out for on the site. Visit the Feedback page to see what our retired greyhounds are up to. Please let us know about your retired greyhound - email us with your news and pictures.

 

 

 

RACING REVIEW

Just a brief look at last week's racing starting last Monday at Nottingham where All That Noise was 3rd and Droopys Seve 6th respectively in the Futurity Puppy final won well by Droopys Ranger. At Harlow on Wednesday Adageo completed a four timer when winning his heat of the Monkey Maiden over 415m in a good 26.32 (-20) and Jogadusc Jasper got back on the scoresheet when winning by 4 lengths in 38.24 (-40) in a 592m. Risky Invader was 2nd whie on the graded front Carden Boss won comfortably in 26.80 (-20). With the kennel sickness still giving us cause for concern and a number of non runners we didnt produce any winners on the open road on Thursday at Henlow and Saturday at Monmore. Risky Sensation (Henlow), Droopys Seve and an eye catching run from Jodu Fame both at Monmore were all 2nd respectively. It was the same story at Harlow on Friday with no winners though there was a couple of notable performances namely Beat Them Again and Bim Bam Boozle.

 

PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK

OPEN RACE - ADAGEO
GRADED - CARDEN BOSS


 

 

 

WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK

Its tough at the moment with a bug still in the kennel but this Wednesday see a who's who of greyhounds from our kennel trialling at Wimbledon. Kinda Ready , Eye Onthe Storm, Eye Onthe Flash, Jogadusc Ace, Eye Eye Pickle, Dalcash Scolari, Kinda Easy and Corrig Vieri head a team of dogs that are being put through their paces. At night Adageo could land our first competition winner of the year at Harlow while trips to Romford (Friday) and Monmore (Saturday) are planned.

 

 

WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS

Again with kennel sickness still around it's difficult to be inspired to have a bet so will again leave well alone.

 

 

Owners AwardNewcomer of the Year

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prints of any of these pictures are available, contact feedback@markwallisgreyhounds.co.uk for more information.

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