Weblog: The view from the Hills
You can't beat JK when it comes to cracker-pulling!
“So . . . whereabouts are you?”
“Well you’re certainly in trouble if you’re in Walthamstow” came the response from a patient Jonathan Kay, who I was due to meet. But not in Walthamstow.
I, of course, meant Wandsworth but it can only mean I have dogs on the brain as I made my way to Plough Lane for the quarter-finals of the williamhill.com Oaks.
As if I’d not had enough traffic nightmares for one day after being wedged amongst fellow racegoers en-route to Newbury for the Hennessy. Definitely worth it though with the victories of horse-come-steamroller that is Big Buck’s and, of course, Carruthers finally landing a big race.
One negative was the lack of big-screen Fighting Fifth pictures. Instead of the omnipresent Overturn, punters were treated (I use that term in the loosest possible sense) to an interview with Ruby – Wax not Walsh. Tanya Stevenson saved the day by relaying the commentary to the huddle of bookie reps – and a cracking job she did too. She’d definitely nail the Wokingham.
Plough Lane was buzzing. A real atmosphere going on in there, the busiest I’d ever seen it, excluding Derby night of course. I swear it’s too early to have a Christmas dinner menu though. Bah humbug.
Also, never challenge JK to a cracker-pulling contest. You won’t win.
I thought Kilelton Anni could be value at 20-1 for the final after putting it up to ante-post fav Silverview Perky in the first round, before getting nailed for the win on Saturday eve. The fact she will be jumping away sandwiched between Nod and Perky has well and truly scuppered that. Brave Display getting knocked out in the first quarter-final was a result for us. The words ‘count’ and ‘chickens’ spring to mind after that however as the results soon turned the way of the punter.
Spinkys Nod, who recorded the fastest time in the first-round heats, took the lead at the second bend and was not for pegging back.
The third heat was where it all kicked off however, with the well-supported Silverview Perky tearing up 480 metres of sand and taking the opposition, and the bookies, to the cleaners at the same time.
That man Charlie Lister’s at it again, anyone who snaffled themselves some of the 7-1 about the master in his bid to be champion trainer will be feeling pretty smug now he boasts the odds-on favourite for the girlies’ premier accolade.
Perky trounced the lot in a spectacular 28.21sec and we thought it only right to introduce her into the williamhill.com Greyhound Derby betting at 20-1, with only Taylors Sky and Eden Star ahead of her in the ante-post list at this stage.
Whether she gets a crack at the £125,000 pot or not, it’s great to see a bitch who is a potential live contender against the boys for Classic honours.
Silverview Perky and Spinkys Nod will go head-to-head on Thursday after both being drawn in the first semi. A cracking heat but would have been made even more tantalising had they been kept apart until the final.
Next week will be a big one for the sport with not only the final of the Oaks, but also the launch of the new Racing Post Greyhound TV. There is a joining-together of various bookmakers, including us, in support of the programme, which will no doubt mean numerous competitive offers and price boosts – Christmas has come early for the punters!