A few days ago my mother , Madeleine Harnden , received some exciting and thoroughly well deserved news. She is the proud winner of the GBGB kennelhand of the year award for 2012. Well joint winner to be precise along with Mark Perry of recently retired John Colemans kennel. My mother has dedicated her life to the dogs and to our sport and though i'm speaking from an obviously biased view there is nobody more deserving of such an award. The vast majority of people involved in greyhound racing , particularly kennelhands , are involved due to their love of the breed and without these people we wouldn't have a sport to enjoy. Congratulations also to Mark Perry the joint winner of the award , very well earned. Looking forward now to the awards night at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London on Sunday evening. Many thanks to all those who supported my mother and put her forward for this award , very much appreciated.
Salacres King - Age No Barrier To Success
This week got off to a good start when Salacres Johno came through with a storming late run to win in A3 grade. He looks like he might stay a bit further and being out of Say Good Night , he's certainly bred too stay a bit further than the standard trip. Our charity syndicate dog Head Case was unlucky not to score his first victory here in the UK , being touched off in a close photo finish by the pacey Bombolini. Some dogs come to the UK and settle straight away (ie Salacres Chip) whilst others take a bit of time before the jigsaw pieces fall into place. We remain confident that we will soon see Head Case performing at the level to which his fans became accustomed in Ireland , patience is the key. Later on the card it was a brilliant end to the night as Salacres Khan scored his first victory in open race company. I put this dog up as a dog that I rated very highly and a dog that readers of the blog should follow closely. This was when he'd not even had a race , so it was slightly puzzling when he graded in at a lowly A7. 17 races and 7 wins later he now finds himself the proud winner of an open race. He's still got improvement in him and remains a dog that you should keep on side.
Salacres King is now a veteran who on Tuesday was competing for the 99th time in his career. That win was the 22nd during that time and he must rate as one of the best buys i've ever made. Moving onto Friday nights card we again had just the one winner , though thankfully it was a bitch I fancied strongly. Readers of the blog were told last week "At the opposite end of the scale Salacres Flo was winning for the second time in her short career so far. I was quite taken with her run , she showed alot of determination and if not graded too harshly next time out can win again". Flo read the script and ran a brilliant race , winning by 2 3/4 lengths at odds of 3/1 and staying on strongly. Hope you were on !
Saturday night we scored a welcome four timer. Litter brothers Salacres Scotty and Salacres Howard were involved in an epic duel which resulted in a close photo finish. Scotty just about came out on top on this occasion but it was just pleasing that they both ran such good races. Salacres Maldini was next to visit the winners podium , he was scoring for the second time in 3 races and last nights fast going would have suited his out and gone style. In the very next race similar comment applied for Salacres Getty. Getty hadn't won since April 2012 and having now turned 5yo you had to be concerned that his best days had gone , to be fair his best days are probably behind him but he still thoroughly enjoys going to the track and racing and last nights all the way 6 1/4 length victory shows that there's life in the old dog yet. Next up was Salacres Fancy. What a frustrating bitch she's been. She started her career so well at Notts but niggling problems and mother nature taking it's course have stopped her progressing. Still it was glad to get another win on the card and the four timer was complete.
Thanks for reading.
Town Back With A Bang !
Cool Biko was scoring for the 18th time in his career here at Nottingham on Monday evening. As previously noted Biko has been a terrific dog for the kennel and for myself and co owner Bernie Slater. Bernie's wallet is bulging from the amount of big priced bets he's landed on this dog ! Tuesdays BAGS meeting saw us end the day with a double courtesy of Salacres Bingo and Salacres Flo. Bingo has been a brilliant servant to the kennel , Tuesday was his 141st race for us and he was scoring for the 20th time. He has finished in the runners up spot on a further 21 occasions and he's always a dog that will give you a run for your money. At the opposite end of the scale Salacres Flo was winning for the second time in her short career so far. I was quite taken with her run , she showed alot of determination and if not graded too harshly next time out can win again. Friday evening saw us land a treble , though the night had got off to a bad start when Salacres Tortuga took a tumbling fall when squeezed up at the third bend. The fall could have ended his career so it was a relief to see this veteran get back to his feet and complete the course. One win since July 2012 added to a confidence busting fall will not do much to the already fragile confidence of a dog in the twilight of his career. Salacres Gemma scored a short head victory in A4 , that's about as much as she wants to win by so 5/4 was not really great value , though a winners a winner. Salacres Amalfi has been in excellent form for the past few months and he scored yet again to take his tally to 7 wins from his past 15 races. That's terrific form by anybodys standards , let alone from a dog who will be 5yo in a few months time. Salacres Tango scored for the first time in his career , getting up to lead bang on the line. Friday night we were also represented in open races at Romford by Salacres Vision , Chip and Jamaica. Though not coming away with a winner all three dogs ran with credit , Chip particularly unlucky , running a great race from behind when front running really is his forte. After starting the week on Monday with 1 winner , 2 winners on Tuesday and then a treble on Friday , Saturday saw us keep in sync as we scored a 4 timer. We had a brilliant few months from April 2012 onwards with Salacres Town but he's been laid off the track with injury since then. It was then a brilliant sight to see him come home in front in last nights D2 sprint event. Fingers crossed he can stay sound and we can enjoy a few more wins from Town over the coming months. Salacres City was scoring for the first time since July 2012 whilst taking her A8 event , whilst Salacres Naomi was tasting victory for the first time in her career at the 10th attempt. Salacres Pepper was making his debut for us here in the UK last night , I fancied him to run a big race and so it proved as he ran out a comfortable winner , running a big race from behind.
Salacres Cool - First Winner Of 2013
It was an early start on Tuesday as we headed to Colwick Park for the new years day morning BAGS meeting. Fortunately we didn't have to wait too long to get our first winner of the year on the scoreboard. Salacres Cool got us off the mark , taking advantage of trouble on his outside to rail into the lead rounding the final couple of turns. Salacres Kiera had previously ran well when chucked in at the deep end as a reserve in A3 grade. Back in at A5 on Tuesday morning she looked to have a good chance and duly obliged by 4 lengths at odds of 11/10. On Thursday we headed to a happy hunting ground of ours down at Henlow. We had a couple of representatives on the night , Salacres Chip in the sprint open and Droopys Clive in the maiden 550m open. Chip again ran with great credit , only being beaten 1 1/2 lengths by Lil Risky. He's been a terrific purchase and continues to give us great enjoyment. Clive also ran with credit in his 550m race. Friday evenings card at Notts saw us land just the sole winner , Isabellas Meako running out a good winner of her A4 event , though regular readers of the blog will no doubt have also noted Salacres Tango again filling that forecast spot , hope you were on !
Peter Harnden , Trainer attached to Nottingham since 1997