As I say we've had far from a great year and though we're mainly a graded kennel we've always enjoyed our trips out with a handful of open race dogs. Being honest , though we've tried to land a few this year we just haven't had dogs of the calibre of Salacres Vision about , he was a dog who when right could run with and beat the best about , particularly down at his favourite track Romford. Hopefully in 2014 we'll get in a few dogs that can see us heading to other tracks again with live winning chances. Our litter of Premier Fantasy x Queen Of Rangers pups have hit the track over the past couple of months. The 3 to have raced so far at Nottingham have now all won races , they're honest , genuine and have the clever racing brains that you would hope for but they probably do lack that little bit of pace that we'd hoped. I'm sure they'll improve in the coming months though. Hopefully the next litter to Kinloch Brae have all the same attributes but also have the pace , if they do we could be in for an exciting time.
The Boxing Day meeting is always a day that we enjoy. There's always a good crowd down at the track , many people who only attend once a year. This should be a golden opportunity for every track in the country to try and ensure that some of those once a year punters comeback before the following Boxing Day and who knows maybe some will get involved in owning greyhounds. There should be people walking around with here to help signs on their t shirts , giving advice about the day and making them feel wanted , not that they're a spare part.
We had a good day on Boxing Day. In fact I knew we were in for a good day when Salacres Tango stuck his nose in front in the second race of the morning. He's a dog who just loves to be second so for him to win was a very rare thing. The comadre amongst the other trainers is brilliant at Nottingham and it was no surprise that Laurence Tuffin was the first person to congratulate me on Tangos success. Tango is a very dog of Mr Tuffins and he's often said to me that if there was one dog on Nottingham that he could bring to his kennel , Tango would be the dog. Sorry Larry but hands off. Salacres Adele (Premier Fantasy x Queen Of Rangers) was our second winner of the day. Only an A8 but pleasing to see any homebred runner get their first win under their belt. She was in a much more suitable trap in 3 having previously been in a wholely unsuitable 5 , she may even be better a little nearer the rail. She should improve through a few grades over the next few months. Dusseldorf is a very fast dog but he's not the most straight forward to train. Things fell right on Boxing Day though , he got the clear lead that he needs and with no really strong finishers in behind he just about managed to hang on. 3 winners already and our best bet yet to come. James Bon Junior hadn't looked like seeing the trip out over 500m at Notts so we'd kept him confined to sprint races for a while. He'd got a little fitter though over the past few months so we graded him on over the 500m. Having looked at his Boxing Day race , an A5 event , we thought he had a little squeak and so chanced a few quid in the betting ring. It was nice to see him oblige , every little victory against the bookies is a pleasing one. Salacres Chek didn't look like he knew how to win a race when first coming over. In fact he looked like he didn't want to. He's won 2 from his past 3 races now after completing our five timer on Boxing Day and hopefully he's turned the corner and there are more wins to come.
We were only lightly represented on Friday night but we came away with 2 winners. Salacres Fancy won her A2 in good style. Having recently been knocked over at the first bend it showed what a game and gutsy bitch she is by taking a knock at the very same bend in her stride before going on to claim the honours. Fancy has been a great little bitch to the kennel , I wish we had a few more like her. Our second winner of the night was an important one. Sour Face lined up as a 9/2 chance in the Owners Bonus Series Final. She had to come from behind but she did so with great guts and tremendous effort to get up on the run for the line. Owned by one of our Northern Ireland based owners Seamus Boyce it was great to get a nice win into her. She's not the easiest to win with but she has ability and has been running really well of late.
So thanks once again for taking the time to read the team blog. I hope you've all enjoyed it , at times i've enjoyed writing it , at times i've not really wanted to , let's hope that 2014 is a good year for us all though and I take this opportunity to wish all of you and your families the very best.