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Sunday night's Annual GBGB Greyhound Awards night at the modern and plush Park Plaza in London was an excellent night's entertainment that was thoroughly enjoyable although the head told me different yesterday morning as it certainly was a late one! I felt that overall the awards went the way everyone was predicting and expecting and it’s great to celebrate these Greyhounds' achievements as well as some people in the industry whose work is recognised, I could nit pick and have a moan on the current state of our sport but I have said plenty in the past so I will just say what an enjoyable night it was.
Rubys Rascal won a well deserved Stayer of the Year award for John Clarke and I was proud to receive a ninth Trainer of the Year award and as well as sharing the moment with plenty of owners who came I was proud to have my family there with Sarah, my son Daniel and my daughter Emily enjoying the night though I did suffer the embarrassment of dropping the glass trophy hat comes with the main trophy on stage. Sometimes it’s hard to speak on stage in front of so many people but I did an excellent interview with Dave Clarke after the awards which should be up on the GBGB website shortly.
Obviously I’m bit late doing my weekly blog so I will skip briefly through our weekly news, the first great bit being that I’m told the sport is on the verge of securing a deal with Sky for most of the rest of the year. After thinking last year that maybe it’s not the be all and end all not having our regular diet of great racing on Sky I think I was wrong and the sport is way worse off for not having the best finals and supporting races to watch on this platform and it will be a real shot in the arm to see it return.
Also off the track it was so disappointing to see my good friend Paul Ephremsen quit his role as the Owners Representative on the board at the GBGB. I’ve not yet had a deep discussion with Paul but certainly know how difficult it is to work part time, and mostly in his own time, to try to make a difference to the sport and this can have an effect on your own job or business. He was a great asset to the industry in his short spell on the board and hopefully he can continue to be helpful in a sport he loves.
On the track the open race scene starts to hot up and next week we see the excellent festival of racing at Monmore with a series of races for the Lawrence Jones Memorial. We have a number of triallers at Monmore tomorrow including Bruisers Bullet but will only enter him if he trials really well, he has been kept up to his work since his win in the Olympic with some super trials at Towcester but really needs a race now.
The Springbok at Central Park is just around the corner and all three of our hopefuls went very well last week and comfortably qualified for the event particularly Swift Dartmoor and Parker’s Dynamite and both them and Ninja Storm will be entered in Trial Stakes next week.
The Golden Jacket and Peter Bussey Memorial also are only a couple of weeks away and Rubys Rascal will head our team though he is having treatment for a small injury picked up in the Mitch Millward final a couple of weeks ago but hopefully he will be ok for the event. Roswell Romanov is quite high up in the betting and I may well give him a trial over the trip to see if he stays the 714, he certainly seems to be much stronger over 575m these days but has also lost that touch of early which makes him vulnerable at times. We have plenty of others to try and will likely trial a strong team before the closing date which is the 8th Feb.
Our only open racing last week was three runners at Romford on Friday which must be a record low for our kennel since I took over from a Linda in 2008. Brynoffa Jasmin
ran really well to come from off the pace to take a sprint by a neck in 13.73. Kiltrea Mike was second in a 575m Maiden Stayers while Roswell Romanov found all kinds of traffic problems when second as well over 575m.
On Friday Ocees Bocca, Swift Dante and Pennys Ryan were all second. Another good morning on Saturday as Saffrons Honey (29.15) took an A8 by 3 lengths, Swift Lisetta
also won well by 2 1/2 lengths in 29.06, Ninja Penny completed a good morning when winning well in an A4 in 28.34.
On Saturday night Catunda Daisy took her chance well in an S4 bolting in by over 6 lengths in 42.34, Boylesports Duke ran very well in a rare A1 at the track catching the very useful Prize Fighter right on the line in 28.46.
On Sunday Ballyhi Joyce ran well to come from off the pace to win by a neck in 28.94, Tread Lightly mopped up another top grade sprint in a very good 15.33 and Swift Kaylee was also back to form winning an A7 in 28.96.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - BRYNOFFA JASMIN
GRADED - SWIFT LISETTA
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Some important trials tomorrow at Monmore and our first and likely only open racing of the week will be at Romford on Friday. Again we will have a busy schedule at Towcester with plenty of great action.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
No competitions this week and with only Trial Stakes and races on Friday let’s see if we can have a go on backing one blind and that for me Boylesports Duke who will be entered at Romford Friday, he’s running out of his skin
BOYLESPORTS DUKE - 3 pts win - Romford - Friday