IN REPLY TO CRAZY JOE’S POST ON GREYHOUNDSCENE STATING THAT HE HAS BEEN INFORMED THAT GOBATA, IN OUR MEETINGS WITH GBGB/BGRF, HAVE CALLED FOR CENTRAL CONTRACTS FOR THE TOP SIX TRAINERS, ALL I CAN SAY IS THAT AS GOBATA CHAIRMAN THIS IS NEWS TO ME AND SMACKS OF A CONTINUED CAMPAIGN TO DIVIDE TRAINERS BY CLAIMING THAT GOBATA ARE ELITIST. WE CALL ON ALL TRAINERS TO MAINTAIN THE SEEDS OF UNITY THAT HAVE BEEN EVIDENT BOTH DURING THE INAUGRAL TRAINERS’ PREMIER LEAGUE AND AT RECENT
GOBATA MEETINGS AND BACK RICKY HOLLOWAY IN HIS CAMPAIGN TO BE CHAIRMAN OF THE GTA AND ARREST THE CONTINUED DECLINE IN OUR SPORT.

AS HAS BEEN WELL DOCUMENTED, DESPITE NUMEROUS REQUESTS THE GBGB HAS REFUSED TO MEET WITH ANY REPRESENTATIVES OF TRAINERS WHO ARE OUTSIDE THE CURRENT COSY SET-UP OF WHICH MR SIMPSON IS PART. IT TOOK THE THREAT OF A BOYCOTT OF THE BETFAIR TRAINERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP PROPOSED BY THE LEADING FIGURES IN THE GAME TO SECURE A MEETING WITH TOM KELLY AND MARGARET WOODRUFF OF THE BGRF. THESE TRAINERS FELT THAT THEY COULDN’T CALL ON THEIR GRADED COLLEAGUES TO RISK THEIR LIVELIHOODS AND CONTRACTS BY ACTING SO DELIBERATELY CHOSE A MEETING AT WHICH THEY WERE THE SOLE LOSERS FINANCIALLY TO PRESENT A CASE TO TRY TO ARREST THE DECLINE IN OUR SPORT AND THE FINANCIAL VIABILITY OF GREYHOUND TRAINERS.

 
 
Dunham team run away with Premier League title at Doncaster

JANE HOUFTON, team captain of BETDAQ Premier League champions Dunham Devils, heaped praise on team member Kelly Findlay after last night’s clear-cut win in which the Devils finished the competition more than ten points clear of runner-up Matt Dartnall and his Team Desperate.

Mrs Findlay sent out no fewer than three of the five last round winners, and they didn’t need the aid of a photo-finish to determine the outcome, the fabulous three romped to a 14-length aggregate winning margin!

“Kelly is a top trainer, her dogs are running very well and it was great to have her in the team,” said Mrs Houfton. “All our team members have loved every minute of the Premier League, it really is a great concept and we’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”

 
 
“See you in the second division next time,” he says

SEAMUS CAHILL, languishing at the foot of the BETDAQ Premier League table under the guise of the Irish Rovers, will need a near miracle to take the title at Doncaster tomorrow when both the PL and the GOBATA Championship will eventually be decided.

Cahill’s squad will take just 28 points into the final round, some 24 points behind narrow leaders Imperial Rock Its representing Mark Wallis and Paul Sallis and doesn’t rate his chances of overhauling those at the top of the pile.

“Far from winning the Premier League I’m getting accustomed to the idea that I’ll be in division two next time around so that hope for a miracle is looking like even less than a dot on the horizon! But the dogs will be doing their best, it’s really out of my hands now.”

The trainer attributes his league placing to “what has been a very slow start to the year for the kennels.” He added: “We had kennel sickness and coughing here through January and this set everything back a few weeks, we’re gradually getting going again but as far as the Premier League is concerned it looks like the comeback will be too late.

“We’ve all got an extra joker this time and I’ve nominated Skywalkershearer and Rayvin Again but at this stage I don’t really know who’s joking who! When the competition comes around again though we’ll be going for it big time but I wouldn’t want any more problems like we had this time with the sickness.”

 
 
It’s grand finals night at Doncaster..

THE trap draw for the final round of both the BETDAQ Premier League and GOBATA Championship,  to be run at Doncaster on Friday, produced some intriguing contests yesterday and probably none more so than the last leg of the League, the eleventh race on the card.

The race brings together Local Dee Jay from the much in-form Kelly Findlay kennels but whose aspirations as a hurdler have been put on the burner behind the bank burner. He never took to the  jumping game but as a flat runner he is up there with the best of them.

The Dee Jay has a perfect pitch in trap one and will need it with the presence in the line up of Munster Champ and Mags Gamble but there is no ignoring his splendid 29.33sec. (calculated) trial here last week and if stepping out smartly the others will need to play catch up.

Munster Champ looks the big danger, he has been in good form for Mark Wallis (Imperial Rock Its) recently and, conversely, he too could not be better drawn in trap six. Mags Gamble was beaten in an untidy race at Newcastle on Saturday and the form should not be taken at face value.

One peculiarity to emerge from the draw is the presence of Munster Champ in that final leg of the Premier League. Peculiar because the dog is owned in partnership by Team North East captain, Ian Lavery MP, but runs for the Mark Wallis and Paul Sallis side.

How this came about we are unsure but Team North East are represented here by Mags Gamble from the Harry Williams kennel and could be the chief threat to Local Dee Jay and Munster Champ.

While the Premier League offers a feast of top class racing the four legs of the GOBATA Championship look equally fascinating, particularly the puppy race in which Dean Childs introduces the September baby, Aero Lillie.

Running for the first time in front of what will likely be a full house at Doncaster is a big ask for one so young but she ran a very smart 29.57sec. solo here last week and clearly has ability and is one for the notebook, if not for Saturday!

Her main rival is surely Farloe Kyle as a hound out of the Barrie Draper kennel these days is synonymous with winner. He too has run a good trial here but is drawn in trap four and on the immediate outside of the Childs runner, it is to be hoped they don’t spoil the other’s chances on the dash down to the first bend.

Plenty then to look forward to up in Yorkshire this Friday and for those of you who can’t get to the track you can see it all live on Premier Sports (Sky channel 433) – don’t miss it.

 
 
DONCASTER last night was unrecognisable from seven days earlier there when the Premier League meeting was lost due to freezing temperatures and the accompanying crusty track conditions.

But many of the trainers who will hope to go back to Donny next Friday were out in force last night when no fewer than 33 aspirants for the final round of the BETDAQ Premier League and GOBATA Championship were put through their paces in trials.

“Unlike last Friday the track was in brilliant condition and there were some decent runs by the dogs coming back here next week,” said racing manager, Mick Smith. “I particularly liked the look of Matt Dartnall’s Ballymac Pet in a six-bender who, although she was caught close home, was impressive nevertheless and she’ll be a force to reckon with in the stayers’ race next week.”

 
 
FOLLOWING the cancellation and subsequent abandonment of the third round of the BETDAQ Premier League, due to the difficulties and cost of re-scheduling TV/production in the time available the GOBATA rules committee, with the omission of Mark Wallis through the affected party rule, have considered how points should be awarded for the fourth and final round on Friday week at Doncaster.

The decision was made in an attempt to re-establish the total points which would have been available at Doncaster last Friday when the third round should have taken  place. On the basis that the maximum score for any team is 36 points (5 races x 6 points plus double for a winning Joker) the maximum for two meetings is 72 points.

The only way to have 72 points available with two jokers is to double the points in each race i.e. 12/10/8/6/4/2 and treble them for jokers. So a team scoring maximum points will get 3 x 12 plus 2 x 18 = 72 points.

We were particularly concious of two matters. Betting on the total points/joker-related betting would be compromised by withdrawing a third of the original total available and teams trying to avoid relegation would be seriously disadvantaged by having half of the available points withdrawn.

We move on to grand finals night at Doncaster with everything to play for. There are only five points separating the top four teams in the BETDAQ Premier League and the top three in the GOBATA Championship, so competition will be intense. If you are unable to attend and avail yourself of some fantastic Yorkshire hospitality the meeting is Free to Air on Sky Channel 433.

 
 
Eleventh hour cancellation thwarts one and all..

DESPITE the tireless efforts of the groundstaff at Doncaster on Friday the BETDAQ Premier League meeting there was cancelled at the eleventh hour when plummeting temperatures way below the local forecast forced the meeting to be called off.

In the hours leading up to the start of the meeting it was all hands to the pump in an effort to keep the surface frost free but when it dipped to minus eight degrees, five degrees colder than forecast, the management, after consultation with the vet and trainers, admitted defeat.

The meeting was eventually cancelled just minutes before the first race was due off and there was hardly a complaining word from owners and trainers. “We’re all going home with the same number of dogs as we came here with and they are all sound, that’s what matters,” was how Mark Wallis summed up the decision to cancel.

 
 
Williams star has the talent, and we’re not joking!

DESPITE being five points adrift of the leaders in the BETDAQ Premier League confidence in landing the championship is hardly ebbing away in the Team North East camp, which will go out all guns blazing for the penultimate round of the competition at Doncaster on Friday.

That skipper Ian Lavery MP and his squad have nominated Tudor Prince as their joker in leg three (the standard once-rounder) bears testament to the fact that the original ante-post favourites for the title have far from given up the ghost as the 483 metres contest is the arguably the most competitive race of the night.

The Harry Williams-trained Tudor Prince meets the likes of the Kent Derby first and second, Jazz Apollo and Local Dee Jay, plus three accomplished runners in the outside traps, but he will not be meeting his nemesis, Mill Bling Bling at Donny, and Williams will probably be thankful for that!

Tudor Prince chased home Mill Bling Bling in all three of team mate Kelly Macari’s Category 1 event victories, the Eclipse, Steel City Cup and All England Cup, but the pride of the North East has a night off tonight and the Williams dog can prove to be a most able alternative challenger.

 
 
And it’s all to play for at Doncaster on Friday...

IMPERIAL ROCK ITS (Mark Wallis and Paul Sallis) and Team Desperate (Matt Dartnall), running neck and neck at the top of the BETDAQ Premier League points table, will be out to pile on further points when the show moves on to Doncaster on Friday for round three of the competition.

The pair came out of the Yarmouth round split by a mere point-and-a-half with the Rock Its bearing the torch while the Dunham Devils and Team North East are both within striking distance of the top two and no way out of contention.

With the fourth and final leg to be held at Doncaster on February 24 there is still plenty to play for but Charles Fanous’ Mad Hatters squad has it all to do in fifth spot some 16 points adrift while the Irish Rovers, steered by Seamus Cahill, will need a miracle to take the Premier League honours some 24 points behind the leader.

 
 
Premier League supported by GOBATA Championship on Saturday

LOCAL DEE JAY is “plotted up” to win his BETDAQ Premier League proper race at Yarmouth on Saturday where he runs in the final leg of the night over 462 metres - that’s the message from his ebullient trainer, Kelly Findlay!

She says that a plum draw in trap one on the back of a sparkling trial at the Norfolk track on Monday (27.76sec.) should put him spot on and, such is her confidence, she will probably put him up as her joker chasing double points.

“The dog is well in himself and in fact our team this time around has more strength in depth than in round one and I think we’ve a good chance of scoring well for the Dunham Devils. Local Dee Jay runs in the penultimate race of the night, which doesn’t bother the trainer too much.