THE GREYHOUND WEEK BLOG: Julie Collier

THE GREYHOUND WEEK BLOG: Julie Collier with all the latest news from the world of greyhound racing – including the final of the All England Cup, Brighton Belle up and running, Angela Harrison’s perfect week and Towcester rises like a phoenix.


➡️ Ice On Fire has been a very exciting dog in the later part of this year and he got his just rewards on Thursday night at Newcastle when he won the £8,000 All England Cup final for trainer Jimmy Fenwick and owner Dave Spraggon. The 2017 dog, known for his blistering early from the boxes, had a tricky trap 1 draw in the final, a box he had never previously won from. He moved off initially, baulking Nadurra Dutch, but his early speed came into play and he powerfully pulled clear and it was race over. He beat Roxholme Jim by six lengths in a best-of-the-night time, 28.16sec. The final came just a day after his second birthday so you’d be entitled to think the dog can improve some more. He will next head to Nottingham for the Eclipse, a track we know he loves. All being well, he will be a huge player in next years Star Sports Derby and is currently 25/1 with the sponsors. Jimmy Fenwick was understandably proud and delighted, posting on social media ‘dreams do come true’. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS

➡️ At Hove on Thursday evening, the bitches competition, the Brighton Belle kicked off over the 515m trip.Young trainer Jamie Kingsley’s Baran Spitfire was fastest when making all in 29.93sec. The semi finals are next Thursday. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS

➡️ Talking of bitches, Droopys Live has been an amazing racer for her connections. Despite being a May 2015 veteran, she blasted clear to win the £12,000 Yorkshire St Leger final on Wednesday night, by over four lengths, in 41.65sec. Trained by Angela Harrison and Jimmy Wright and owned by John Hardman, Paul Maragh, his daughter J D and Emma Wright, connections had been toying with retirement for their little girl, but whilst she is running so well and picking up valuable points for the kennel in the Trainers Championship, she will keep going. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS

➡️ What a week for Angela Harrision!! Droopys Reel, the youngest Scurry Sprint finalist, being just an October 2017 whelp, was a rare bitch winner of the competition at Belle Vue on Saturday night. In what was an incredibly open final, it was Coolavanny Dylan that pinged but Reel paced up to the bend and moved inside as the leader stumbled slightly. Angela’s bitch won the £2,500 prize by almost two lengths. Geelo Brezza raced on for second. Reel will now be aimed at the National Sprint at Nottingham, a competition that usually has a big hand in deciding the Sprinter of the Year category at the GBGB awards in January. If she could add that title, the deal is done! LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS

➡️ Talking of Geelo’s, there are two newbies on the scene with particularly eye-catching breeding. Lowther Stakes winner, Geelo Sapphire has had puppies to King Elvis! There are just two in the litter and I’m looking forward to seeing how they get on. British breeding at its best! LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS

➡️ Hurrah!!!!! Kevin Boothby has finally signed a 10 year deal to reopen Towcester!! Racing is due to restart around next March with meetings initially on a Friday and Saturday night, hopefully increasing to four meetings by next summer. Perhaps learning from previous mistakes, Boothby plans to utilise the facility in a variety of ways including concerts, conferencing and a Winter Wonderland in time for Christmas this year. For the greyhound track, the inside running rail will be moved inwards to change the width from 11.5 meters to eight meters and it will be completely resanded, with the same sand as at Henlow. Ultimately, if Boothby can get the right sponsorship in place, he wants to host the Derby back at Towcester. He went on to say ‘in my opinion, re-opening Towcester will give the industry a huge buzz. We are cracking on immediately and I really can’t wait for next March.’ LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS

➡️ It was the outsider of the field, Romeo Rumble, who landed the £7,500 final of the British Breeders Stakes over 500m at Nottingham on Monday night. King Sheeran went off favourite and did initially track the winner but was forced to check at the first bend. In the end, Romeo beat Heather Dimmock’s Down To The Felt, who was staying on strongly, by just over two lengths in 29.77sec, returned the 12/1 winner! Trainer John Mullins is no stranger to success in the competition having previously won with Badabing and Carn Brae. It’s also since been reported by the Greyhound Star that owner Dave Firmager is getting back into breeding in a big way. He initially gave up in 2016 due to his business commitments but is planning on breeding around six litters this year. We will follow with interest! LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS

➡️ Brilliant news this week that the Oaks has been confirmed at Swindon, the £15,000 final will be on December the 14th. It’s a relief, because to lose any classic is a disaster for the sport and the Oaks is unique and in my eyes, very special. It’s the second year that Swindon will host the competition and thanks must go to them for self-funding the event and maintaining the prize structure. There was a mixed reaction from trainers with Mark Wallis tweeting how pleased he was to see the Oaks confirmed and he hopes to have a nice team. Others questioned why it had been left so late to organise. The fact is, it is very difficult to get sponsors for greyhound events now. So again, well done Swindon. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS

➡️ In the Gold Collar heats at Crayford, Kevin Boon’s Leemount Venus set the standard, breaking well and leading all the way beating Kent Derby Finalist Lenson John by six lengths in 33.55sec. Mark Wallis’s Chubbys Caviar also impressed in heat five with an off-the-pace performance. In that race, ante post favourite Brinkleys Poet tangled with Droopys Noodle and both lost plenty of ground. Sadly, despite a late rally, Poet went out. But Chubbys Caviar took full advantage, reeling in leader Sleepy Kevin to win by half a length in 33.95sec. Wallis had another heat winner in the shape of Alien Sea (33.89sec), Jason Bloomfield won the opener with Savana Dare (34.15sec), Julie Luckhurst’s Vase winner Crossfield Vince rallied on the final lap to win in 33.96sec and Dean Childs had a winner with Southfield Ariel in 33.77sec. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS

➡️ With the Eclipse starting on November the 4th, some of the leading contenders have been taking a look around the track. Fastest of them was RPGTV Select Stakes winner Trickys Dumbo who clocked 29.92sec. Just one spot behind was Emma Richards highly rated Fitenwell. The Eclipse is going to be HOT! LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS