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Monday 14th July 2008

As most people will gather it's two weeks since the last newsletter due to the fact that I have had the pleasure to go to Las Vegas for a short break. It was a brilliant week, one that I would recommend to anyone and not just the mad gamblers as there is plenty to do and see without the casino side to it. When I first got there it was my intention to try and grab a place in the main event of the World Series of Poker via a satellite but it didn't work out so I decided to pick two events to concentrate on (that was in between golf, cash games, a bit of craps and drinking and eating as well). The first event was $550 freeze out with 15,000 starting chips at the magnificent Venetian Hotel but despite some good play I managed to only finish 129th out of 345 entries. The second event was the Mega Stack 4 day event at Caesars Palace ($1,060 buy in). Starting out with 25,000 chips on the first day and an entry of nearly 1,200 players (600 split in two days) including some of the best in the world I plotted my way up to 53,000 chips by the close. On the third day with 250 players left but with only 100 getting paid I was short stacked with my 53k (average 110k) and the blinds a crippling 3k and 6k with a 1k ante every hand but thankfully I doubled up a couple of times when hitting pocket kings twice and with the money bubble fast approaching the Kings came to my rescue again to see me safely in the money. Starting to feel comfortable and dreaming of the million bucks final table only a few hours away I looked in a great position when raising all in with my pocket nines and finding a caller with A3 for a pot with 360k in it and a flop of 10-8-6. The turn of another 10 had me getting ready to collect my vast pile of chips when suddenly an Ace flipped over on the river so ending some 17 hours of gruelling but exciting poker with an 87th finish and a cash of $1,600 - not a great profit but my first cash in a championship event.

There has been plenty going on in the greyhound world and in our kennel since our last newsletter - not least the story of a possible lease of Walthamstow but as quick as the story came it went in the same way. On the track I was very pleased for the Ponder/Collett partnership cleaning up at Sunderland in the big festival sponsored so well by William Hill, though it was a shade disappointing for our kennel not to be represented in the two major finals. On a positive note we have two runners in this week's live on Sky Gymcrack final at Hall Green, namely Eye Onthe Brave and Goldcrest King, both of whom look exciting prospects for the future what ever the result. As well as losing Commander Chief out of the kennel we have also seen our other Derby semi-finalist Seanis Lad move elsewhere this week which is a major blow to our Trainers Championship aspirations but on the bright side it was great to see Butterbridge Ali return from a broken metatarsal when he flew round in 26.00 calc over 430m in a trial at Walthamstow last week and also brilliant news is that our Arc hero Centaur Decree has come through some rigorous workouts and is due to return to the track next week. Both these top greyhounds have been out of action since the Trainers Championship meeting at Wimbledon back in February. We should also see the return of Eye Onthe Veto (broken tail), Aero Blackjack (short rest), Genesis Alix (season) and Genesis Dream (season) very soon to
bolster our open team and rest assured we will travel the length and breadth of the country to achieve our goals this year.


30th June - 6th July

On Wednesday morning at Hall Green shocks were plentiful in the heats of the Gymcrack which saw the demise of ante-post favourites Fear Zafonic and Westmead Osprey who went badly lame just as he looked set to bolt in. We had our share of bad luck as well but managed to qualify four into the next round which include Mountjoy Gold, Kinda Flashy, Eye Onthe Brave and Goldcrest King. At Sunderland in the William Hill Festival Semi-finals Directors Chair found all kinds of trouble and crashed out in last in the stayers while both Seanis Strike (ran well)
and Seanis Lad were knocked out of the Classic over 450m. The Gary Baggs benefit night at Walthamstow was packed to the rafters and raised a huge amount of money for the popular trainer. On the track the improving Roswell Startrek scored his debut win in 29.09 . Both Treacle Rose and Eye Onthe Spirit were second before Tipp The Breeze won the 640m just getting up on the line and in the Maiden Elusive Jazz made a winning debut in this country and looks a bitch to follow. At Coventry on Sunday our six runners were all in the first three and ran well but again Pinewood Evo led the way winning at a juicy 8/1 in 28.79.

7th July - 13th July

Eye Onthe Force completed a nine timer when winning by 4 1/4 lengths in 36.19 (-20) in the heats of the Coral TV Stayers at Romford on Monday night. On Tuesday at Hall Green the semi-finals of the Gymcrack saw both Eye Onthe Brave and, in only his third race ever, Goldcrest King both qualify for next week's final with Mountjoy Gold an unlucky loser. On Thursday at Walthamstow Seanis Doire won in a calc 28.98 in the first heat of the Half Grand Maiden and the under-rated Bell Tornado scored nicely by over 4 lengths in 28.81 in the Puppy 475m. In the final of the Coral TV Stayers at Romford on Friday Eye Onthe Force lost his
winning sequence when stopped in his tracks at the second bend and could only finish 5th behind Droopys Nelson. Lode Star has come back from a nasty injury very well and confirmed his well being when landing the 640m open on Saturday night at Wathamstow in a good 39.86.


30th June - 6th July

30th June will be marked down as the last Bags race at the Stow and only Centaur Rosina (2nd) came closest to winning for our kennel. On Tuesday Lockdale Storm scored an overdue win in 29.48 and Bingo Panda and Bell Tempest both second were best of our other runners. Thursday saw Stormy Dakota double up when winning the opener, Eye Onthe Flame got back on the scoresheet when dropped back to H2 grade and Wilson Pick It ran well when runner up in a warm P6.

7th July - 13th July

Tuesday night's card saw Rockybay Class open his account winning by 1/2 length in 29.72. Princess Organa was impressive when recording 29.14 in an A7 as was veteran Lockdale Lady who bolted in by 2 1/2 lengths in 28.75 (+10) in an A2. On Thursday Discreet Cat led home a kennel 1-2 when accounting for Missed A Train by a length in a good 39.76 (14.16 sec!) in an S1 and Megusta Manners scored well in an A5 in 29.38. On Saturday Ants Gunner blasted out the traps and won easily by 4 lengths in a good 29.16 and Elusive Jazz made it two from two when landing the A2 by 1 1/2 lengths in 28.88. Chilli Cobra was just denied in the A1 by 1/2 length before Directors Vision won the last race an S2 in 40.55 calc.



OPEN RACING- LODE STAR (7th July-13th July)
GRADED- LOCKDALE STORM (30th June-6th July)
GRADED- LOCKDALE LADY (7th July-13th July)




A busy week in store for the kennel with the Gymcrack Final live on Sky on Tuesday with both Eye Onthe Brave and Goldcrest King bidding to repeat Go Commando's victory for the kennel in 2005. Also in the supporting races we look to have good chances with Directors Chair,
Mountjoy Gold and Tipp The Breeze. A big day for trials on Wednesday as Arc hero Centaur Decree returns to the track in his first spin since February and we will look to trial some pups at Wimbledon with the Puppy Derby coming up as well as Eye Onthe Veto and maybe Aero
Blackjac. Also Wednesday evening sees the first of our runners going to Harlow for inter track and open races. Thursday and Saturday there are opens planned at Walthamstow and we will have runners at Coventry on Sunday which could well see the return of Butterbridge Ali.