Tommy Grant , Hinckley greyhound track owner , sadly passed away on the 16th March aged 72. Tommy had fought a long and difficult battle against cancer. Tommys kind are very few and far between these days and his will be a very sad loss. My deepest and sincere condolences to his dear family.
Salacres Ferry (Ex - Ferry Boat)
Friday evening saw us land no fewer than 5 winners and most of our other representatives all performing with credit. Salacres Manilla was just touched off in the evenings opening race , being beaten just a neck and a short head into third place. We didn't have to wait long for our first winner of the night though. One of my favourite bitches in the kennel , Salacres Jill , came through with her trademark late run to win for the second race in succession and for the 3rd time in 5 races. She's not running badly for an old girl who'll be 6yo later this year. Salacres Tortuga has been running brilliantly lately , winning 3 from his past 6 races , so after being beaten 8 lengths with pretty much a clear run , it didn't come as too much as a surprise to learn that he has come off from his last race a little sore and will now be off the card for a few weeks. Hopefully he'll not be off the card for too long and he can get back to were he left off. Next winner of the night was Salacres Rebel , winning the S2 staying race at very generous odds of 10/1. You sure about that lads ? 10/1 ? Thank you very much ;) Another of our old timers , Salacres Getty took his A4 race in battling style whilst one of our newer dogs was winning for the second race in succession. Salacres Ferry (pictured) is a stunning looking fawn and white dog and has a great will to win about him. He'd won the week previously in A3 and though Fridays A3 looked a little trickier on paper , he improved on his sectional and that was enough to ensure he came home victorious. Salacres Butler was our final winner of the night , he'd finished runner up on his three previous starts , so it was a well earned victory for him this time around.
We were also represented down at Romford on Friday evening by 3 runners. Salacres Fancy was taking in a 575m maiden open , she ran well enough without ever really getting involved , Salacres Chip was facing one of the leading dogs around Romford in his race in the shape of Glanmire Lad. 'Lad' was bred by good friends of our kennel Deirdre Walsh and Adrian Markey over at Manilla kennels in Northern Ireland. He is also a full brother to the two blue pups in our kennel Salacres Manilla and Salacres Boots. Even at a very young age and still unraced in the field , it was apparent that Glanmire Lad has something special about him. His brothers were good looking pups but he just stood out amongst them as one that was destined for special things. Having already won the Romford Puppy Cup for his trainer Mark Wallis , that early potential is being realised and he is sure to win many more races yet. So why didn't we pick him instead of his two brothers ? Unfortunately we were over a week too late. John Egan , owner of amongst others Dream Walker , had beat us to the punch by the finest of margins. Good to see that he's doing so well though , even if it is tinged with a slight feeling of if only. Back to Chip , he didn't run badly after a troubled race but has ran better. I fancied that Salacres Vision was our best bet of the night and the one to pay a few exes. He was beaten just 1/2 a length in the end and with racecard comments of ChlFr3,FcdTCk4&6&RnIn you can see that we're counting ourselves a little unlucky not to be collecting.
Back at Nottingham , we had a good amount of runners on the card for Saturday night so it was a little disappointing that racing couldn't take place. The track itself was perfectly raceable but the recent bad weather meant that a few of the trainers were going to find it difficult to make it to the track. As such the sensible decision was taken by the track management to call the meeting off at an early stage on Saturday afternoon. Monday night we were only lightly represented on the runners front but we were looking forward to getting back to business. Somebody didn't tell the floodlights though and after a good while of trying to solve the problem the meeting was abandoned.
Tuesdays morning BAGS meeting (without the need for floodlights) went ahead without incident. We ended the day with two winners courtesey of Salacres Ferry in his D2 sprint race and Cool Biko taking his A3. Ferry was completing his hat-trick and was also scoring for the 4th time in 5 races. He's proving a profitable dog to follow for his followers. It's interesting as we've actually got a new column appearing in the new online Greyhound Express magazine from the 1st April. Ferry was the dog that we have given readers as one to follow , since the column was submitted he's since won 2 races , I hope he's not finished winning for Peter and co owner Alan Witts just yet then ! Biko was yet again winning at a nice price for Peter and co owner Bernie Slater. Bernie rarely finds the time to fly back from his holiday home in Jamaica these days (paid for with his Biko winnings) , but I do know that he's delighted that the dog continues to run and win so well , even though he will be 5yo later this year. The drinks are on you Bernie !
Thanks for reading and see you soon.
Cherry Bomb (Droopys Kewell x Cherryhill Biddy , Jan 2009)
Salacres Getty might be 6 years old later this year but he continues to race with all the enthusiasm of a young pup. Getty was winning for the 17th time in his Nottingham career last Monday. Gettys normal style is to hit the front , stretch them out and hope he can build a big enough advantage. Though taking an early lead , he was passed on his outside as they headed down the backstraight by Ronnie Thompson's Muderadoe Rebel. He was then cut off as they approached the third bend and that looked to be race over. Getty was in determined mood though and rallied well to get up nearing the line.
Tuesdays BAGS card got off to a slow start but in the end we managed a couple of winners late on the card. Salacres Fergie was scoring for the second time in 3 races when just holding off our other representative , Salacres Iona , by a short head in a photo finish. Anybody on the Salacres forecast ? A nice return of £21.36 for anybody who was. Going into the final race of the day i'm sure most eyes would have been firmly fixed on the first day of the Cheltenham Festival. Those who did stay fixed to Nottingham though would have seen our Cherry Bomb beating Salacres Rogue into second place for another Salacres forecast , this time paying £23.46.
Friday nights BAGS card saw us score our next winner in just the second race of the night. Salacres Jill got the better of Salacres Butler by half a length , another forecast in the bag , this time paying £11.89. When Salacres Tortuga won his A2 race at 737pm , he was winning for third time in 6 runs. 'Ace' as he's known in the kennel was an unfortunate faller when competing just 7 races ago and i'd like to thank the racing office for their grading of him since. He's a dog who's never been the most confident at the bends and any more trouble after that tumble could have been enough to finish his career off. He's been handled well since then though and is running as well as ever. Salacres Ferry was stepping up in class to A3. He had come from behind to take his previous A4 race and was going to have to be a little more alert at the start this time around if he was to play a hand in the finish. Fortunately he came away well and after securing an early lead he galloped on strongly all the way to the line. Our final winner of the night came in the very last race of the night. Salacres Vision ran a storming race in A1 to win by 3/4 length at very generous odds of 7/1. Form is temporary , class is forever is the phrase that immediately springs to mind.
Salacres Biscuit was making his debut for us here at Nottingham in A8 on Saturday night. He ran well , albeit in lowly grade , and will hopefully improve a little over the summer months. Salacres Johno won his 680m S2 contest in great style. To be fair he'd been a little unlucky in running the previous week and looked to be a dot on the proverbial card. I backed him accordingly and it was pleasing to see local layer Eric of MS Bookmakers paying out with a smile. Thanks Eric. That was it on the winners front , the going on the night became ever more testing after consistent rain and finding those winners was never going to be easy under those conditions.
Peter Harnden , Trainer attached to Nottingham since 1997