Salacres Chip - In Flying Form
Well hopefully regular readers of this blog took note of the positive comments regarding Salacres Sparky's chances last night at Nottingham. He was available early doors at a massive 7/1. We know he's got pace to burn and last night he showed it to a wider greyhound racing public as he quite literally toyed with the opposition , he even let Tyrur Pudsy take the lead from him as they went down the backstraight for the final time , before coming again with a renewed challenge and winning 'hard held'. It was a tremendous effort that saw him record a time just 20 spots off the 905m track record , without a doubt he could have smashed it to bits at will. Next stop the Ted Hegarty marathon competition at Harolds Cross stadium in Ireland. Sparky will be joined by Salacres Polizzi on the trip and fingers crossed they both take to the track well. This morning we had an early start as we set off to Sheffield for the final leg of our BAGS Track Championship group. We arrived at the track with great hope that Nottingham could make the final but at the end of the day we fell just short , some bad luck , an incredibly tough running surface and what looks to be a bad injury to the Margaret Roberts trained Leathems Rumble put an end to our challenge. From our 3 runners on the day , Salacres Chip scored again , winning his sprint heat in great style , whilst Salacres Brad ran a very game second after not really coming away. It was a watching brief with our new recruit Droopys Clive , he finished 5th but didn't run too badly after second bend trouble. Good luck to Belle Vue , who won our group , in the final of this event at Perry Barr on 23rd December.
Sparky - Hoping For Another Big Night Success
One of Nottinghams biggest nights of the year on Wednesday , The Betfred Eclipse Final. It takes a dog of the highest order to win this competition. The best of luck to all six finalists , may the best dog win. It's an honour to be represented on the night by a number of runners. We have Salacres Sparky running in the Sky marathon and he should run well. He is in great form at the minute , winning only on Saturday night in A2 company over a distance well short of his best. He'll need to come away and get competitive early but if doing so this race will be no foregone conclusion for likely favourite Aero Rebel. Aero Rebel is a bitch i've alot of time for , she was extremely impressive when breaking the 680m track record here recently and if gaining a clear run is definitely the one they all have to beat. Will this bitch who loves the rails get a clear run though ? Against these type of stayers Sparky could well be in her way and if he turns ahead of her then he's a difficult dog to get past , as all 5 runners found out to their cost on the last occasion that Sparky competed over this trip , when winning on Select Stakes night. Our other Sky representative is new recruit to the kennel Salacres Gem (ex Expert Gem). Gem has a 100% strike rate for us at present , winning her sole start for us and landing a bit of a touch in the process down at Henlow. I'm sure that both Sparky and Gem will put up good shows and anybody following the kennels dogs should get a run for their money. Before the Sky cameras start rolling we're represented by Salacres Vision in the 480m veterans race. He's running as well as ever and if trapping could make them all run. Away from the Sky cameras , but no less important to us , we're represented by Salacres Rebel , Salacres Abby and Movealong Tina in 680m maiden races and finally Salacres Henry in a 480m maiden. Fingers crossed they all go well but with some stepping up in trip it's a learning curve for them and us. Whatever you back on Wednesday evening or even if you don't have a bet , enjoy the racing from our home track Nottingham.
Away from Nottingham , we'll be heading to Wimbledon for the Oaks on Saturday night with Salacres Gem whilst Deirdre Walsh of Manilla Kennels will be heading over with our Queen Of Rangers. The step was taken to enter Queen Of Rangers for the Oaks over here as it was looking unlikely that she would be accepted for the night of the stars at Shelbourne. Winning The Oaks would be no mere consolation !
Great to see Salacres Jamaica winning and running extremely well in her 680m graded race on Monday night. Jamaica was doubling up after previously winning her A5 race over 500m. The further the better for this bitch and at a graded level she'd have no trouble whatsoever in staying marathon trips. Jamaica was our only winner on Monday night but a little mention must go out to Salacres Vision. Though only running third in his sprint open , he took an absolute flyer from the boxes and ran a very creditable race. Vision is a July 2008 whelp so is in the veteran stages of his career , as i've said before he's been a terrific dog for us and he continues to run with all the enthusiasm of a young pup.
Tuesdays BAGS card saw us end the day with a brace of winners. First up was Swift Sonchez who caught long time leader Salacres Casata late on to give us a very nice £48.48 forecast. He wins his share does Sonchez and is proving a real money spinner for his owner Mr Alan Witts. Our second winner on the day was Salacres Flo. She was winning at the 7th time of asking and though it's taken her a little while to find her feet she should now start to progress. She's a small bitch and wont take alot of knocking about but she could pay to follow for a little while yet.
Friday night was a blank for us on the winners front but some excellent open race action in the shape of the 3 Betfred Eclipse semi finals. Well done to Charlie Lister who must have an excellent chance of lifting the trophy next Wednesday night , he supplies no less than 4 of the finalists , namely Boher Paddy , Taylors Sky , Farloe Tango and Hather George. Good luck also to Nick Savva who is represented by Westmead Bertie and last but not least Dave Hunt who has a favourite dog of mine well drawn in trap 6 , Sawpit Sensation.
Thanks for reading and bye for now.
Salacres Chip - BAGS Championship Sprint Winner
Greyhound racing is a sport that at times can be over complicated by people , especially graded racing. Once the grader has your dogs measure it is a plain and simple process , you must wait until your dog has a chance of winning and make sure that your dog is fit , well and ready to take his chance. Saturday night was another night were I felt we were more often than not running solely for run money , that bore fruition as we left the track late on Saturday without a winner.
Monday evening saw some respite , Salacres Cuban won well , she's been running well lately and has been a good little bitch to the kennel. Salacres Gal won too , though she must go down as a very fortunate winner in a messy race and I do hope she's not too harshly treated next time out.
Tuesday saw the BAGS Track Championship arrive at Colwick Park , Nottingham. I thought Nottingham could have a good day yesterday , Terry Munslows Questoe Per Te and Tynwald Avatar stood out like the proverbial sore thumbs and duly obliged and we also put some winning points on the Nottingham scorecard courtesy of Salacres Chip (pictured) in the sprint race. Chip was purchased with this competition in mind and so it was very pleasing that he could win what looked like a tough sprint. Away from the BAGS Championship races Salacres News got the day off to a good start by winning the first race , whilst later on the card Salacres Jamaica came through with a late run to secure victory. So 3 winners on the day and with 2 on Monday night hopefully things are starting to look up.
Away from Nottingham we have Queen Of Rangers running at Shelbourne this coming Saturday night. In the care of Deirdre Walsh of Manilla Kennels we're hoping that 'Oyster' can put up a good performance to help secure a place in the Night Of The Stars bitches race at the beginning of December. It will be a night that will see the very best performers from the greyhound world in action , I truly believe that Oyster is one of those and would line up with as good a chance as anything if securing a place in the race. To me she was the fastest bitch in the final and barring a mistimed break and trouble in running , we'd have this week been celebrating a famous victory. Still we cannot dwell on what might have been , only the future matters now so positive thinking a must.
Thanks as always for reading.
Another Queen Of Rangers ?
Well just back from Ireland , it was a terrific night at Newbridge Stadium and again a terrific welcome from the Irish. Queen Of Rangers (aka Oyster) finished 5th in the ML Fitzpatrick Oaks Final but that doesn't quite tell the whole story. For me and trying not to be biased she was the fastest bitch in the race but a missed break and then trouble around the opening two bends put paid to her chances. Fully six lengths off the lead going down the backstraight she showed alot of guts to get within 2 1/2 lengths of the winner at the line , a great effort but not to be. Congratulations to the winner though , Highview Dolly. She was well fancied by the locals who thought the draw would be in her favour , owned and trained by well known transport man Ian Waterworth , if it wasn't to be for Oyster i'm pleased that Dolly won. Ian is a gentleman and deserves this success. My thanks to Deirdre Walsh and Adrian Markey at Manilla kennels. To do what they've done with Oyster since she had her litter of pups is a tremendous training performance and not only am I disappointed for myself and the bitch that she didn't win but i'm gutted for them too. They deserve a big race success and I know it will not be long in coming. Oyster is now penciled in for the big bitches race on Shelbourne's night of the stars all being well.
Whilst we were over we took the chance to see how Queen Of Rangers pups were getting on. They look well and and had shot up a fair bit since our last visit. Hopefully we've a superstar or two on our hands amongst them , that's everybody's dream.
Back on homesoil at Nottingham it was a blank night , hopefully a few more realistic chances over the coming week and back on the winners podium.
Finally but by no means least important , it was great to get our first win from Salacres Gem (ex Expert Gem) down at Henlow on Thursday night in a 550m maiden open. Gem is a bitch I have tried to buy for a long time and when I finally got the call from Margaret Roberts to say that my persistence had paid off I was very happy to take her on. Vincent Lund who is based in the Scottish Highlands has taken a half share in the bitch with me and I am pleased that we could get off to a winning start with her. Gem needed a bit of freshening up and that's what she's had since her last race , in all honesty we fancied her very strongly and would have been disappointed if she'd been beaten. She showed great guts when crowded early around a new track , but I expected no less and once she took the lead it was all over bar the shouting. I know that Vincent is very pleased with the win and is looking forward to adding her to his breeding paddocks at a later date , in fact he believes she's the best value bitch he's ever bought , great to hear. We also had Salacres Vision out in an open on the same night and he was desperate not to win , just about to go sailing into the lead at halfway it would have been all over , the door was slammed in his face though and this took the wind right out of his sails. On what I saw to halfway he shouldn't be long in winning again for myself and co owners Jon Stable , Colin Speirs and Bill O'Leary.
Dreaming of glory - Oyster & Peter
This week got off to a terrific start as we landed the first two races of the night on Monday at Notts. Salacres Amalfi and Salacres Boots winning their respective A4 events. Amalfi and Boots are at opposite ends of their racing careers. Amalfi is a May 2008 veteran who was winning his 15th race for us whilst Boots is a young December 2010 pup who was winning his 3rd race from just 9 career starts. Great to see them both adding to their tallies. Though not a winner on Monday night the performance of Salacres Sparky deserves a mention. It's fair to say that running regularly over extended trips has brought about an improvement in his overall form. It has though up until Monday at least , appeared to leave him a little short in the four bend pace department. He wasn't having any of it though and a 30.19 plus 40 (3059 calc) was no mean effort and rewarded him with a third place finish behind the impressive Lemon Velvet. Velvet is relatively unknown over here but has plenty of top class form over in Ireland and is one to keep on the right side of. After equaling Shelbourne Rene's long standing 2928 track record only the previous week , this Monday Ballymac Eske smashed it when recording new figures of 2921. He's a terrific dog and has unlimited potential. I really believe that he could win the Irish Derby next year with a bit of luck along the way.
Tuesdays BAGS card saw us end the day with two winners. Salacres Polizzi came storming up the run in to win by over 6 lengths in her A4 race whilst Salacres Maldini ran out an easy winner of his D3 sprint race. I've got Salacres Polizzi booked in for a 680m open race this Monday at Notts. It's a step up in class but she's looking like the trip should prove no problem. It's a watching brief really. After the injury she had it's just a relief to have her back running and winning the odd race no matter what the grade. Fingers crossed she runs well.
On Wednesday we headed to Belle Vue for the first leg of the brilliant BAGS Track Championship event. Notts face Belle Vue and Sheffield in our group and it was important that we got some points on the board before our home tie at Colwick Park and then the tough trip to Sheffield. Belle Vue looked to hold a strong hand going into the meeting and so it proved as they ended the day with 74 points compared to the 52 of Notts and 43 of Sheffield. We'll take that though. A good home meeting at Notts and it's all left to play for going to Sheffied. Conditions at Belle Vue were atrocious. An already watered track was left saturated after constant rain all afternoon. Our own Salacres Brad was just touched off after leading for a long way in his 470m event by Paul Gregsons Leggy Tiger. It was a terrific buckle and unfortunately we just came out on the wrong side of a photo finish. Nottingham ended the day well though as Terry Munslows Tynwald Avatar proved a decisive winner of her 590m race. She not only put some much needed points onto the Notts scorecard but she paid the expenses of most of the Notts faithful. Looking forward to the home leg.
Friday nights meeting at Notts saw us land 4 winners. Cool Biko won yet again to make that 16 wins here at Notts. He's been a terrific dog for myself and co - owner Bernie Slater. He really is one of the most genuine dogs you could wish to own , he would literally run through a brickwall for you and if I were to have a kennel full of dogs like him you would never hear another complaint from me. Not that myself or Bernie are complaining , but his generous sp's are often well received too. Biko will be 5yo next February , but is still running with all the enthusiasm of a 16 month old pup. Our second winner of the night was Salacres Tortuga , owned by myself and Mark Pierrepont it's been a while since Tortuga got himself on the scoresheet. He's another genuine dog , not quite the force he once was but when given a chance of a clear run he will continue to do himself justice. Great to see him winning tonight. Our next two winners were Salacres Laya and Salacres Diane. Laya is a bitch pup from the Rebel Ring x Salacres Power litter , she was scoring her 2nd win from 3 starts and is improving with each week. Diane is a little younger being out of the April 2011 Rebel Ring x Centurion Ginny litter. This was Dianes second win in 4 starts and again she should pay to follow for a little while yet.
Now away from Nottingham I got one of the best pieces of news i've had all year. As previously mentioned on this blog I was tonight to be represented by Queen Of Rangers in the semi final of the ML Fitzpatrick Memorial Oaks at Newbridge stadium in Ireland. When the call came at just after 10pm that she had won her semi final by 4 lengths in a time of 2859 , I could quite literally have flown to Ireland there and then , without a plane ! I can't thank Deirdre Walsh and Adrian Markey enough , to bring Oyster as she's known back to such form , so soon after whelping a litter , is one tremendous training performance. I look forward to visiting Newbridge next week for the final and if any of you are there , please come and say hello.
For now , i'm signing off , there's a cold beer with my name on it awaiting.
Peter Harnden , Trainer attached to Nottingham since 1997