Bettor.com Scottish Derby final tops a great card...
SHAWFIELD could hardly have wished for a better response from trainers to tonight’s big Bettor.com Scottish Derby final meeting in Glasgow with entries coming from Lands End to John O’Groats, well almost.
Ten open races have attracted runners of the highest class, proving that if you pay top drawer prizemoney you will attract the top drawer dogs and the sponsor’s PR director, Jayne Clarke, says she is delighted with the quality of greyhounds on show. “It’s a brilliant turn out,” she said, “and it has gone extremely well both on the track and behind the scenes.”
Total win prizemoney tonight is approaching £33,000, rich pickings at a time when owners and trainers have a gripe with prizemoney in general but they would have no complaints with Bettor.com’s commitment to their three competitions this year. It is well in excess of £100,000 and after Glasgow the show moves on to the Peterborough Derby and then the Northern Ireland Derby at Drumbo Park.
They demand immediate negotiations...
IN a climate where the number of licenced trainers has suffered a year on year fall of 108 (over 10%), continuing the recent trend, there is now evidence that there are resources available to help trainers who are in financial difficulties.
Recent initiatives such as the owners’ bonus scheme and the Bags track championship are welcome but only benefit graded trainers. One group who have not benefitted are open race trainers.
Quality open racing is now seen as a means of driving turnover with an increasing presence at Bags meetings, RPGTV, and Sky Sports. For example:
* Ladbrokes have recently declared “the quality of racing (Racing Post Greyhounds TV) has been quite exceptional and boosted turnover.”
* William Hill talks of a six-figure boost to turnover at Newcastle on a recent Sky meeting.
* Coral have stated “our on-line and telephone business has seen great upturn.”
* Betfair: “RPGTV has made a very encouraging start in terms of the positive impact it has had on turnover.” Betfair regularly match over £1m per evening.
* Bet365 “we have so far seen excellent levels of business on the RPGTV programme, with turnover exceeding our expectation.”
He wouldn’t take 150-1 about Premier League chances now...
THEY say there is strength in numbers but try telling that to Dave Smith, captain of the Greyhoundscene Dream Team BETDAQ Premier League side.
Dave heads up a team of five trainers and has been planning his strategy for a number of weeks along with team-mates Jim Daly, Lee Gifkins, Phil Simmonds and John Mullins but the sick, lame and lazy list has all but scuppered most of those plans.
“When I put the team together I really thought we had a good chance of winning the Premier League,” said Smith. “We are currently 25-1 with Sports Bookmakers to take the title but due to unforeseen circumstances we should now be trading at around the 150-1 mark and I’m not sure I’d even be interested in that price!”
THE Mick Pacey Fan Club BETDAQ Premier League team, captained by Perry Barr-attached Carol Weatherall, will be hoping their star sprinter, Dynamo Joe, will be fit and ready to do himself justice in the qualifying round at Yarmouth on December 3.
The dog boasts an impressive win ratio of 11 from 26, all but one of those wins in open competition, and completed a four-timer recently at Belle Vue, which followed a hat-trick at Nottingham, all those races around two bends.
“Joe’s been off a couple of weeks but should be fine for Yarmouth,” said Darren Holmes, the partner of Mrs Weatherall. “Carol has asked me to look after the Premier League affairs and while we have a few good dogs ourselves we have the support of Brian Clemenson and Norah McEllistrim on our side and they probably have better dogs than us. Either way, we’re delighted they’ve joined ranks and delighted also that GOBATA has come up with an event open to all trainers of all denominations.
“Heather Dimmock completes the team and while we have been quoted at 100-1 to win the competition those are very attractive odds, after all this is greyhound racing we’re talking, anything can happen!”
So where did the team name Mick Pacey Fan Club come from? “Mick is Heather’s partner and we thought we’d have a bit of a laugh,” added Holmes. “He’s not really got a fan club and, even if he did, I doubt even his missus would join!”
THE Hertfordshire-based SPORTS BOOKMAKERS have been quick off the block with a list of ante-post prices on the championship which gets under way at Doncaster next Wednesday.
Full show: 11-4 Team North East, 4 Imperial Rock Its, 7 F@D’s Rocknrollers, 8 Pit Yackers, Team Canissage, Irish Rovers, 12 Allsopp Race Firm, Golden Oldies. Dunham Devils, 16 Team SOS, 20 Greyhoundscene Dream Team, Team Desperate, 100 bar.
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Power to their elbow but few takers anticipated.....
WHAT chance Frankel and wonder pup Milldean Panther going another seventeen races between them unbeaten?
With Frankel on a winning streak of nine For Sir Henry and Milldean Panther one behind him on a straight eight and neither seemingly beatable at this stage of their careers, some might be tempted by bookmaker Paddy Power’s offer of 100-1 against the pair taking their joint unbeaten run to 34!
However, with Tom Queally aboard Frankel and doing the steering - minus the last furlong over-use of the whip of course - we rather fancy that Frankel has the better chance of invincibility while the Panther, outstanding hound that he is, has the hazards of track racing to contend with.
That said, he has demonstrated fine track craft for one so inexperienced and on more than one occasion racegoers have needed binoculars to spot the opposition! But in a sensible world our view is that the Dublin bookmaker won’t get many takers, tempting for some dreamers though it may be.
Bookies to consider options to extend experimental Sunday evening meetings...
THE experimental Sunday evening BAGS meetings at Poole and Sittingbourne have been given a one week extension for this Sunday, thus giving the bookmakers’ fixture compilers the option to continue Sunday evening racing indefinitely at the two venues.
BAGS are due to hold a meeting this week to decide whether or not to push on with the meetings and a yes vote would be great news for the two tracks, but all will depend on the feedback they are compiling and assessing from betting shops.
The meetings were initially introduced as a suck it and see experiment and the encouraging news is that “due to demand from some bookmakers” – BAGS terminology, not ours – the meeting will go ahead and a decision made at their London offices within the next couple of days.
Chairman Kelly warns abstainers of potential consequences...
IN his first chairman’s statement since his appointment to the British Greyhound Racing Fund, Tom Kelly has urged those bookmakers who decline to contribute to the Fund to think again.
In the recently published annual report of the BGRF, Kelly draws attention to the fall of fund income from off-course bookmakers to £7.8m. this year from a record £13.8m. in 2008-9.
“This can no way be described as good news,” states the chairman. “At one point the Board was concerned that greyhound betting turnover would fall to such an extent that we might have been heading for considerably less than the £7.8m. finally achieved.”
THE BAGS/SIS 500 is proving tremendously popular with owners and trainers at the less glamorous end of the sport and the financial input is to be welcomed, especially as it goes straight to the sport at a level where it is greatly needed right now.
In addition, bookmakers Ladbrokes have stepped up to the mark with additional open racing at Monmore helping to fill the void created by a marked decrease in opens available. These initiatives by bookmakers are to be greatly welcomed and the BAGS/SIS 500 in particular is, we are told, in part a response to the current commercial climate.
We would urge BAGS and SIS and the wider bookmaker community to continue to explore ways and means to ensure that their contribution to the sport is effectively channelled to the areas where it is intended to assist.
THE blog from William Hill PR guru David Hood, published on the Racing Post website last week, was hardly going to take sides with the local racegoers at Plough Lane, those racegoers who have been re-grouped lock, stock and barrel on the old back straight side of the stadium and into the Mick The Miller bar.
The closure of the main grandstand restaurant, and all that went with it, has been for many of them like losing their right arm with the prosthetic replacement nothing like as good as the one they have lived with for decades.