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Sell the winning distance on Scottish Derby final
TRAVEL has been the order of the day, not all of it without incident, the past couple of weeks with a couple of trips to London and three to Glasgow for the early skirmishes in the Bettor.com Scottish Derby.
It’s been a strange competition at Shawfield, and not one which Charlie Lister will look back on with any particular fondness. He landed a treble in the first round only for one of his winners, Boher Legend, to be disqualified for deliberate interference.
Often when a greyhound has his card marked, there have been warning signs in previous races but I don’t think anyone saw that one coming. Certainly I didn’t when I tipped him ante-post!
Two became one for Lister when defending champion Taylors Cruise was all but knocked over in the quarter-finals and his bid for a seventh title ended in strange circumstances on Saturday when ante-post favourite Boher Paddy faded into fifth having turned second behind Barefoot Allstar.
The going was an issue with the track exceptionally dry for trials and then perhaps over-watered a touch to compensate. There did seem a false patch of ground on the inside at the third bend with a few greyhounds, Boher Paddy included, briefly losing their action.
Boher Paddy’s semi was won by Kelly Macari’s Mill Pegasus and the north-east handler qualified another finalist when Mill Bling Bling dead-heated for second with old rival Tudor Prince behind Julie Bateson’s Bowtime Sykes, who nailed the duo on the line.
Mill Bling Bling has always had a touch of character about him, but it hasn’t stopped him winning three Category Ones. He really hasn’t got on with things during this competition and, although it’s made for thrilling racing, it’s hardly been satisfactory so hopefully he’ll be on better behaviour in Friday’s £25,000 final.
Macari thinks the three quick runs so far have left him a little bored, maybe the break of nearly a week now will freshen him up.
The London trips were, in the main, for spots on Racing Post Greyhound TV which are generally great fun, especially given the interaction with viewers via Twitter, email and Facebook.
Mark Wallis was an excellent guest a couple of Thursdays ago, but at one point he became quite animated about what he perceived was a lack of promotion of the sport by the GBGB, arguing that its remit was not just regulation and that it should be actively seeking sponsorship and the like.
It seems a common theme and there has been plenty of GBGB-bashing of late, but my view is that it is entirely unfounded and based on misconception and misunderstanding of their role.
There has been consistent pressure on the GBGB’s finances – key departees over the past couple of years have not been replaced with their roles absorbed by others – and it is simply not realistic to expect the Board to have the resources, both human and financial, to do much more than ensure a smoothly-run sport.
In my opinion they do that exceptionally well, despite constantly being forced to listen to misinformed comment about how useless they are!
The train will be taking the strain again this week, hopefully without a repeat of the 11-hours trip for the Scottish Derby quarter-finals courtesy oftwo breakdowns, with a visit to Sheffield on the agenda for Tuesday’s Carling Chrome 3 Steps To Victory final then a quick dash to London for RPGTV on Thursday before all roads lead to Glasgow once again for the first-ever Friday final of the Shawfield Classic.
Catch it live on Sky Sports, possibly selling the winning distance . . .
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