Westcott Norman’s participation in next week’s BGBF Nottingham Breeders Stakes Final could be the final runner for trainer Jon Blencowe.
The runner-up to King Sheeran in Monday’s fastest semi final is symbolic of the reason that the Brackley based handler is calling it a day.
He said: “Norman was out of our best bitch and when the litter was born, the plan was for them to run at Towcester. It is only 10 minutes away for us and we attracted plenty of owners. Since it closed, it just hasn’t been the same. The phone hasn’t rung with a new owner for 11 months.”
A dog man all his life, and a former assistant RM at Milton Keynes, Blencowe has handled a number of decent open racers including Kildallon Turbo, Starburst, TV Trophy finalist Tellhersomething and current sprint star, Fridays Geldof.
Blencowe continued: “We rent the kennels and had a maximum capacity for about 16/17 dogs which was always full. But we have now run it down to the last eight.
“Is so hard to get owners interested without the attraction of high quality facilities for a good night’s racing. It isn’t just Towcester, lots of owners don’t want daytime racing.
“But it was never about the money. Sure if you were making a decent living, you might carry on, and if Towcester was still open, I probably would. It wasn’t particularly viable even then, but like a lot of trainers, you put up with it because you enjoy it. When you can’t make it pay and you aren’t getting the buzz, you end up thinking. . .’really?’.
So will Westcott Norman be the last runner to carry the ‘Blencowe’ name on the racecard?
The trainer said: “Probably. There is a chance that we might run Fridays Geldof at Doncaster next week but he won at Nottingham last night and it would be good to go out on a winner. Whatever happens, the kennel closes at the end of next week and we will be taking a break from the sport.”
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