It is a bit early to be sure, but I am hopeful that Clares Rocket could soon return to racing. He hasn’t been on a track since coming off lame in the fourth round of the Boylesports Irish Derby.
The problem was a tendon in front of the wrist. We have continued to work on it and it is all positive. I don’t like to make outrageous statements but let’s just say that he is doing very well at home.
I was delighted by Clonbrien Hero’s victory in the St.Leger at Limerick. Despite any impressions to the contrary, I thought the dog was given a very good reception by the locals.
I have been delighted by the dog who has maintained a high level of performance throughout the year in three different classics.
The biggest concern we had was in the semis where he missed his break and ran brilliantly to qualify. I was kind of glad to get the mistake out of the way and once he trapped well in the final, I am not sure there is a dog who can come from behind him.
Sonic – who is probably the fastest dog in the kennel with a clear run – had suffered with a few little niggles throughout the event but he lost his chance after trouble at the first bend.
His next outing should be the Night Of Stars at Shelbourne Park when I hope to have at least five or six runners.
We have two through to the Gain Select Final at Waterford at the weekend. Lughill Robbie has trap six in the final and I would expect him to come on a couple of lengths from the semi finals. He is only just back over four bends and moved off at the last bend after leading.
Black Farren ran his semi final and must have the better chance of the pair in the final from trap one. I think he lacks a yard of pace to the bend against the very best 550 dogs, but the 525 suits him better. He a Derby finalist and a very good greyhound. I would expect him to run a big race.
We have a lot of exciting young dogs coming through at the moment. Two that I particularly like are like are May 16 litter brothers Riverside Tiger and Rural Brae. The pair are by Kinloch Brae out of Duck Fat, the dam of Rural Hawaii. They are both still qualifying but appear to have some ability.
There seems to be a huge demand from England for dogs at the moment and I would like to some sort of sales controls introduced by the IGB.
I hate the thought of slow dogs being snapped up as ‘cannon fodder’ for the English tracks. Every one of those greyhounds will have cost between €1,000 and €1,500 to get to the track and in my opinion, there should be a rule in place which says no greyhound should be sold for less than €500.
Britain needs the dogs and experience suggests that a dog costing more will often get better looked after.
(Graham refuses to go public on the ongoing controversy surrounding the alleged analytic positive tests for cocaine on Clonbrien Hero in the Laurels. The incident – still to be heard by the stewards – has caused devastation to the Holland family. Graham continues to protest his innocence and is pursuing the matter through legal counsel. Solicitors are awaiting responses regarding material facts from the Irish Greyhound Board – Ed)