THE GREYHOUND WEEK BLOG: Julie Collier with all the latest news from the world of greyhound racing – including the final of the Gold Collar at Crayford including an interview with Dean Childs,  Hennessy strikes again – at Cheltenham !, RPGTV St Leger and the latest on Towcester.

➡️ Dean Childs has a great hand going into the £8,000 Gold Collar Final at Crayford. The local trainer has the first two in the betting with Star Sports; Droopys Noodle is 6/4f while Southfield Ariel is 100/30. Noodle, winner of the Peter Bussey Memorial over the course and distance earlier in the year, is on the comeback trail after suffering a hairline fracture of his hock. He certainly looked back to somewhere near his best when going clear early on in his semi-final and scoring in a best time of 33.48sec, beating Kevin Boon’s Headford Cain by four lengths. Southfield Ariel isn’t a bad back-up plan as she too has a nice turn of early. She also led all the way in her semi-final beating John Mullins Saving Sonic by over two lengths, the winners time, 33.76sec. The third semi went to Nick Carter’s Sleepy Kevin in 33.93sec, Jim Daly’s Barnfield Moll was second beaten by over four lengths. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS

➡️ Noodle certainly has a bit in hand on the clock and looks to have a lovely make-up in trap six as well with his kennel mate on his inside likely to be edging left from the boxes. Both dogs are owned by longtime owner Mark Gilbert. Dean used to pick up finals like this for fun so it would mean a lot to him to be back on a big race podium at his local track. Have a listen to this week’s trainer interview to hear Dean’s thought’s on the final. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS

➡️ Congratulations to 2019 Star Sports Derby winning trainer Paul Hennessy, who sent out another winner last week – of the horse variety! Heaven Help Us won at Cheltenham, ironically beating Master Debonair, owned by a long-time owner in the Cahill camp, Matt Sharp. So it was a proper doggy takeover. Heaven Help us is owned by John Turner of Jaytee Jet Derby winning fame and the trainer/owner duo paired up again, their entry winning at 40/1! Happily, reporter Nick Luck knew all about Paul Hennessy’s greyhound exploits and mentioned it in his emotional post race interview. Well done team Hennessy (main picture showing presentation!LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS

➡️ Talking of the Hennessy’s…after almost five months off the track, Star Sports Derby champion, Priceless Blake is making his comeback over at Limmerick in the Irish St Leger. He hasn’t got an easy race either drawn in trap 3 with Graham Holland’s rails-seeking, Select Stakes, Kingdom Derby and Derby Plate winner, Blue East drawn on his outside. We will follow his journey with interest with only five and a half months to go until a potential campaign to defend his Derby crown. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS

➡️ The draw for the RPGTV St Leger at Perry Barr was made on Wednesday and it looks HOT! Magical Icarus was included in the draw after squeezing in a 28.19sec trial over 476m at Swindon on Wednesday, to ensure the 2018 runner-up is eligible. Dave Jean reported that they’ve had a ‘troubled time’ with the dog who hasn’t been seen since September 28th. He has since had a kidney infection but is fully over that now and we are expected to see a better dog at Perry Barr on Saturday yet he is 12/1 ante post with Star Sports. Irish staying star Redzer Ardfert took well to Perry Barr clocking 28.35sec over the 480m trip in a trial before racing on Saturday. He is the 3/1 ante post favourite with Star Sports. Both Icarus and Ardfert line-up in the last heat of the event on Saturday, with Sheldan in there as well – what a race! After prize money dropped last year, the first prize this year is back up to £15,000 for winning the most prestigious staying event of the year. Bring it on…. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS

➡️ There were four Eclipse trial stakes races at Nottingham on Monday night, the fastest winner was Angela Harrison’s Droopys Nadal who clocked 29.47sec. I’ve long been a fan of this dog since a pre-Star Sports Derby trip to his kennel, where Jimmy Wright told me he literally had to teach the dog how to walk forwards! He is full of character and hopefully, his ability is really coming to the fore now. Before racing, Martinstown Band who was, prior to injury, one of the most talked about dogs for the 2019 Star Sports Derby, clocked an encouraging 17.72sec (+20) over the 305m trip. And Trickys Dumbo trialled on Tuesday clocking a smart 29.55sec (+60). Dumbo loves Nottingham and is unbeaten there in four outings, including winning the Select Stakes when he was just a puppy. Trainer Robert Holt reports that he has had enough time off to get over all his niggles picked up during the Irish Derby. The first round heats are next Monday. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS

➡️ And there was myself and the rest of the greyhound racing fraternity thinking that Towcester is all set to re-open. So imagine my surprise when I asked Mark Bird, GBGB Managing Director, how big a boost it will be for the industry and he replied ‘IF it reopens.’ Apparently, nothing has been signed and sealed yet, although he has had discussions with two parties. I hope that someone will sign on the dotted line soon!! LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS

➡️ I interviewed Mark Bird for Star Sports #BettingPeople (watch out for it next week on this site) and covered pretty much all aspects of the sport. I’ve always found Mark to be honest, frank and fair and he has made great strides on the welfare front. Make sure you have a listen to the interview to hear his views on the immediate and longer term outlook for the sport…coming soon! LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS

➡️ It was lovely to see the now retired ‘Queen of Romford,’ Chop Chop Hope back at the Essex track last Friday. The 8.53pm race was meant to feature the sprinting star but time was called on her career due to a minor injury. Owner Colin Moye tweeted how proud he was of his girl who racked up no less than 50 wins from her 98 runs. The race was won by Frank Gray’s Savanna Poppy with Hope presenting the trophy and looking very happy with herself on the podium. Happy retirement Hope! We look forward to following your offspring! LATEST STARSPORTS.BET GREYHOUND MARKETS