[dropcap]S[/dropcap]tar’s Lofty, Michelle and ‘Lovely Face’ had a runner in the Gentleman George Curtis Trafalgar Cup Final up at Monmore Dogs. What better reason for my debut at the Midlands venue. Hoping to cheer Glenanore Diego to the £2,000 and cup prize. The puppy appeared to have it all to do though, top priced at 8/1 in the morning, though getting bet-maxed £6.25 at the price by a major firm gave a glimmer of hope!
I don’t reckon that I’d have found the place without one of the wonders of modern technology my Sat Nav, nestled between residential and industrial areas. Mind you the tower with a Greyhound on it is quite tall so might have been a runner and spotted back in the day had I got close enough.
Armaloft Alex had told me before racing that racecourse indispensable, RDT’s Jamie Shears, also had a dog running at the track. Just nobody mentioned it was the same one. Another glimmer, he’s a lucky type of fella.
So that was an added bonus when he turned up direct from Salisbury grinning from ear to ear, or was that the the result of the warp factor he must have travelled to get here on time.
Lofty had booked a table in prime position overlooking the track so could watch all the action unfold without leaving our seats. Great for us but not so good for the three bookies betting on the first who didn’t appeared rushed off their feet. But it was still only the first. The restaurant was buzzing though, fully booked.
The Star team’s race was the sixth on a 13 race card. Obviously there’s no superstition in these parts. By race 3 we’d done in the starters and took another down to the betting ring where there was at least one familiar face.
We had a whisper for a one race before ‘our’ race. Trap 6 was the dog to be on, we all followed the nod and invested like men. Well it did try hard but had to settle for second behind Trap 3. ‘Aye Aye’ shouted Lofty the judge, he’d kept that one quiet. ‘He didn’t tell me’ bemoaned Michelle disbelievingly, no Michelle he didn’t tell anyone except his bookie!
The rest of Glenanore Diego’s connections. Lofty was off collecting his winnings.
The bookmakers on course priced Glenanore Diego up at 5/1 with King Elvis in Trap 3 the hot favourite at 4/6. The excitement was palpable as the dogs went into the traps. Lofty was back from collecting his bundles and in the same ‘lucky’ spot. And they were off. Well King Elvis was, with Diego chasing all the way, Elvis proved to be the King making all to win but Diego chased gallantly staying and finishing in second for £250. The owners were over the moon and looking forward taking him to have a go at winning the Romford Puppy Cup in September.
Back in the hubbub of the restaurant it was easy to miss the fact a race had even been run, all apart from the very efficient and friendly table-travelling Tote lady.
It wasn’t until we’d had our main course before venturing down to the ring for the 10th and feature race The Ladbrokes Gold Cup Final worth £10,000 to the winner plus trophy. The jolly Droopys Buick won the race with some ease, even the second and third got £2,500 and £1,500 respectively.
What an excellent night out Monmore Dogs is it’s terrific and a great atmosphere. Can’t recommend it enough.
Simon Nott is author of Skint Mob!: Tales from the Betting Ring