Weblog: At large in the greyhound world
Dream-time for owners, trainers and punters
CONGRATS to Paul and Susan Hennessy, and their owners Bryan and Kathleen Murphy, on landing Friday’s Bettor.com Scottish Derby final with heavily supported Barefoot Allstar – Jonathan Kay’s Racing Post front page headline tip. What a lovely gesture from the Hennessys to allow elder statesman handler Willie Frew, with whom they stayed, the honour of walking the dog to the podium. Frew was rightly described as "a legend" by Paul Hennessy, and it’s certainly not the first successful gamble he’s cheered home either!
I watched the race at Romford, and it saw a clinical display of pace – exactly the same as the only time I’ve seen the dog in the flesh, when winning the puppy open for Hennessy at Cork on Laurels final night last October.
Muttley reminds in Saturday’s Racing Post that this race was won in most impressive fashion by Rattlin Goldstar from Cheddar Bob with Cabra Noel in third in 28.29sec for the 525 yards. The trio now all run under different identities -namely Barefoot Allstar, Mill Pegasus and Tyrur Justin.
Barefoot Allstar is now Wimbledon-bound and is a serious player.
The WilliamHill.com Derby closes to entries at noon on Wednesday, and this is when the dreaming takes hold with the chance of any greyhound, for the price of a £250 ticket, having a shot at immortality, and the £125,000 pay-off on May 26. To my eyes, the demanding Wimbledon format and profile is only matched by the World Series of Poker at the Rio in Las Vegas each summer.
Do come and join us at Wimbledon during the Derby – look out for the special Racing Post voucher that involves the offer of the year: free admission, racecard and drink for upto four people for any night of the Classic, excepting May 26’s final night – discounted £12 tickets to that are now available from 0870 840 8905.
After the John Smith’s Grand National, I’ll be making my way to Wimbledon for pre-racing trials, and then the last in the series of Derby trials stakes races. Live reporting of these, Wednesday morning’s trials session, those again before racing next Saturday and then the first round draw, 1pm Sunday April 22, will all be carried on racingpost.com.
And when The World’s Greatest Race kicks off, most probably (depending on numbers of entries) on Friday April 27, there will again be live race by race reporting on our web-site.
For me, it’s the month of the year; best wishes to all those who take part – whether connections, or simply punting on the outcome.
Saturday’s Racing Post is obviously packed with Aintree features – but there’s plenty of greyhound material too: a Countdown piece on the dog they all to have beat, defending champion Taylors Sky, a look back from Birchy at one of the all-time great Derby winners, Shanless Slippy, plus news of another dream, that of Harry Findlay in re-opening Coventry next month.
And in Sunday’s paper, look out for the tale of Trewmount Snap, bought cheaply from Sheffield sales, but who will have his first race for Kinsley trainer Darren Fretwell in the Derby. That's another dream taking shape, with even more next week at Hall Green Wednesday (live on Sky Sports, the Ladbrokes Blue Riband final) and RomfordFriday (live on Racing Post Greyhound TV, channel 231, the Golden Sprint final)
Good luck with your dream too at Aintree, then the Wimbledon double!