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Fantastic Romford night with an emotional champ
YOU do have to hand it to Coral, they really know how to put on a big night as they showed once again with a superb Coral Champion Stakes final meeting at Romford on Wednesday.
Excellent prize money and a well thought out programme of races led to a high-quality card, with the track owners once again pushing the boat out to entertain connections of the big-race finalists in the superb Pavilion facility. It all goes to make their achievement in getting a greyhound to a Category One final extra-special.
And the meeting provided an extra-special moment too. Older hands talk of the wonderful advert that first emerged when World of Sport first covered greyhound racing in the 80s, showing Harringay and Wembley when horseracing was off. The key shot was at the pick-up, the viewing millions loved the sight of clearly happy greyhounds, tails wagging, looking for the dummy hare.
Chris Mosdall provided a throwback to this, picking up his Smiler Jack at Romford’s pick-up on Wednesday and hugging him almost unbelievingly that he had done it, done it for him. His pride and emotion shone out and showed just what greyhound racing means. It was priceless and will have captured everyone who saw it – the GBGB should put the excerpt on its website.
Speaking of the GBGB, many of the procedures of the governing body, and indeed that of the Fund, have been questioned by critics over the past week or so.
It is interesting that the process for tendering for Fund-backed projects has been explained this week as well as a potential conflict of interests being openly declared, but there are still some way-off-the-mark suggestions out there with the exact meaning of the GBGB’s Ukas accreditation being a prime example.
Quite simply, the GBGB is accredited by Ukas to specifically regulate racecourses, although the Donoughue-inspired structure does aim for best practice throughout. Part of that best practice is a proper complaints procedure - and the GBGB does detail instances of complaints being proven - so that is the route for the disgruntled to take rather than go running off to Big Brother.
And those who think Ukas accreditation involves a lot of red tape on their behalf should consider what they wish for as local authority imposed regulation would very likely take that to a whole new level as well as being inconsistent from county to county.
Speaking of county to county, it was good of the owners of Ballymac Eske, Wendy Prince and Peter Band, to do a bit of that themselves and travel to Romford for the August Greyhound of the Month presentation.
For the second month running, I didn’t back the winner having plumped for Lil Risky but I don’t think anyone could really have complained whoever had got the nod out of the leading contenders which also included Ballymac Eske’s kennelmate art Barrie Draper’s, Farloe Warhawk.
Band said winning the GoM award was, in some ways, a better moment than when the dog landed the Nottingham Puppy Classic which clinched the title for him and that meant a lot. When the Greyhound Writers’ Association introduced the award some four years ago, we weren’t sure how it would be received but the trophy, of which we are proud, is highly sought-after and the odd controversial decision just shows that people care.
Right, off to the RPGTV studio to watch Ballymac Eske make his all-aged debut in the Coral Olympic at Hove. These are exciting times on the track.
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