Monday 25th January 2010
JOIN GOBATA NOW
A poor start to our year mainly due to the weather has been complicated further by a savage virus that has hit our kennel in the last 10 days. For us most of the week has been spent cleaning and disinfecting kennels in an attempt to keep the sickness at bay but despite a sporadic amount of winners I felt that generally our runners have ran below par. I must stress that the greyhounds that do not have the bug seem fine and have been bouncing as the worst thing you can do is run them when they are not 100%. This seemed to be the case when we travelled to Hall Green last Tuesday for the Betfair Prestige final and some supporting races and though Kinda Easy led and was going well up to halfway he faded too much for my liking and it was no surprise that he looked none so good the next day as did Jogadusc Ace who cramped very badly when leading in his first race of the year but as I said before when we left the kennels the dogs looked in good health. Having said that I would take nothing away from the Prestige winner Lorrys Options who was a deserving winner.
We seem to be over the worst of the virus now but with a number of our kennel recovering it is going to take a little while before we can get back into full swing and we will have to work our socks off to get back up towards the top of the Trainer Championship table. In Peter Meldrum's Racing Post column on Friday we were well down the field with only 6 open winners to our name and I think it's the first time we have not topped the table since March 2008! and yes it hurts as the desire to be top is as passionate as always.
One of the few highlights of the week was the return of our Greyhound Derby winner Kinda Ready in a trial at Monmore. Stopping the clock at a blistering 15.06 (track record 14.95) it was an excellent run after 5 months off and we hope to give him another sprint sometime this week. With so many of our big guns due to return in the next few weeks such as Eye Onthe Storm (Feature Dog this week), Droopys Zach, Eye Onthe Flash, Dalcash Scolari, Bomber Bailey and Corrig Vieri anybody who is thinking of writing us off, and in some people's eyes you are only as good as the last winner you've trained, then think again!
This time next week we will be recovering from the night before's GBGB Annual Awards party at the London Hilton Metropole and whatever our fate in the individual categories it will be a night to remember. The award for Champion Trainer will be a proud moment for myself, my family and my staff and if we are lucky enough to win anything else then it will be an added bonus. I have said to all my owners that it is an honour just to be nominated and wow! we have done well in that department. Eye Onthe Storm leads the way as he is nominated in both the Standard and Best Newcomer awards and is a live contender in the coveted Greyhound Of The Year award. Kinda Ready is also nominated in the Standard division while Droopys Zach is a live hope in the Stayers category and Bomber Bailey is in the Hurdles list. My personal fancy is for one of our most consistent and at times quite brilliant Jogadusc Ace to land the competitive British Bred category. Chris Badger, Lee Jordan, Gary Crouch and Daren Johnson will have their own personal celebration as they pick up the owners' award for winning an unbelievable Derby/St Leger double. On the night we will have nine tables in all and expect some huge celebrations if we are lucky enough to win any of the titles. Next week's newsletter will be a bit late on parade as we will have a full review of the night's ceremony with pictures as well (also giving me time to get over any hangover I might have!).
Two important issues currently receiving a lot of attention is firstly the renewed interest in the return of Walthamstow Stadium highlighted by Ricky Holloway's superb interview with London's Mayor Boris Johnson live on BBC Radio London in which he gave Boris a thorough grilling on the reasons not to allow L & Q to build social housing on the iconic site. In my opinion never has the campaign been so strong as at this moment and everyone in the industry has to get behind Ricky and the SOS team to pull off what seemed an impossible battle. Trust me on this but Greyhound Racing has every chance of being rejuvenated if we can win this war. The second issue is the continuing work by Martin White and John Coleman in the new GOBATA (Greyhound Owners Breeders and Trainers Association). Having gone to an excellent committee meeting last Wednesday I can't tell you how passionate Martin is to make this work and, may I say it, all in his own time. Everyone out there that cares about our industry needs to back GOBATA and the simple way at the moment is getting everyone you know with an interest in Greyhound Racing to sign up to this association. You can do this on the GOBATA website. Strength in numbers is the most positive way of helping the GBGB listen to all trainers, breeders and owners in making our industry secure for the future.
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.
Monday kicked off with the heats of the Futurity Puppy Trophy at Nottingham. In the first heat All That Noise ran well to finish runner up to Droopys Ranger beaten 1 1/2 lengths in 30.34 (+10). In the second heat Glenagower Champ found all sorts of trouble when 4th and Droopys Seve ran well to qualify in 3rd beaten 3 1/4 lengths in 30.54 (+10). As said on Tuesday at Hall Green things never went right for our runners in the first Sky meeting of the year with Gan On Parker brought down at the second bend in the first race things didn't go a lot better all night with Kinda Easy in the Betfair Prestige Final getting well beaten by Lorrys Options.
With so much kennel sickness we weren't feeling too confident with our runners at Harlow on Wednesday night but to be fair it wasn't a bad night as firstly Sligo Too took the sprint in 15.25 (-10), then Risky Fabio justified favouritism in Division 2 of the Standard by 2 lengths 1n 26.39 (-20) and Risky Invader followed up winning Division 1 by 1 1/4 lengths in a good 26.00 (-10). With three runners in the Monkey Maiden Standard Final hopes were high but none of our three got clear runs and Foulden Vieri was best when 3rd.
Our four runners at Romford on Friday looked a bit below par but on Saturday I felt a bit better when the runners at Monmore ran with credit. In the puppy races Goldies Sam was having his first ever race and though last he showed promise, the winner's time of 28.29 proved how tough it was. Glenagower Champ for the second time in a week found all kinds of trouble when looking all over the winner before finishing 3rd. Directors Ruler ran well when second beaten a neck in 28.77 (+10) while after a long lay off Directors Wit, a dog who I expect to do well this year, won the sprint in 15.36 (+5).
Good to see two winners in the shape of Face My Fortune who is coming back slowly from season when taking an A5 by 3 3/ 4 lengths in 26.36 (-20) and the fast improving Adageo who landed a hat trick of wins this time in an A4 by over 4 lengths in an impressive 26.25 (-20). On Saturday youngster Bim Bam Boozle is getting his act together and won well in 26.58 (-10) beating kennelmate Siesta Smudge by over 4 length. Both Blackey Said So and Legit Jack were second before Risky Wand showed a touch of class winning an A4 by 8 lengths (4.69 split!) in 26.03 (-10).
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACE - RISKY INVADER
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
All That Noise and Droopys Seve contest the Futurity Puppy Trophy Final at Nottingham tonight but I must admit that any plans for the rest of the week have been put on hold until we can assess the kennel sickness situation.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
After Kinda Ready's eye catching trial at Monmore I hope everyone took the price advised a couple of weeks a go for him to defend his Derby crown. At the moment again with the bug in the kennel I'm not recommending any bets for this week.