Following on from the successful Rob’s Romford Round Up, we introduce a new feature looking at the popular Nottingham evening meeting. Your guide is Mark Pierrepont, assistant at the track’s leading Salacre Kennel, operated by Pete Harnden.


Monday evenings at Nottingham have a long held reputation for being the night for what I like to call the proper dog people.  Real enthusiasts who are there to enjoy the sight of quality greyhounds doing what they were born to do , running , chasing and competing against each other.  The night is generally filled with open races with maybe a few graded affairs to start the night off.

T0night’s card is a full open race evening of no less than 14 quality races.  My first interest on the night is the Dave Mullins trained Troy Bella (NEXT BEST) who runs in heat 1 of the Carling Black Fruits Sprint Trophy at 706pm.  Troy is adaptable track wise with victories around Romford , Central Park and 3 victories here at Nottingham earlier this year.  An out and out wide seed he’s often drawn advantageously and keeps himself out of trouble on the outside.  Running wide in sprints is often disastrous but this stunning looking fawn and white dog has pace to burn and I fancy him to make it 4 wins from what will be just 5 starts around the track.

Fancied: TROY BELLA.Photo: © Steve Nash

Outside of our own kennel Nanny Cakes (NAP) is one of my favourite greyhounds in training and is a credit to Colin Wilton and his team.  Nanny reached the semi final of the St Leger at Perry Barr in November last year , unluckily eliminated at that stage , beaten just over 4 lengths in total despite a very troubled passage throughout.

Her form seemed to tail off a little after what had been a tough campaign with Wilton telling me that he decided the best course of action would be to give her a lengthy break.  After trialing back well throughout March and April , Nanny appeared back on the card in a 680m open race here at Nottingham on the 23rd April.
Obviously in need of the run when finishing down the field in 5th place , Nanny was to make no mistake a week later when stepped up to 730m and landing a substantial gamble in heat 2 of the stadium bookmakers stayers trophy.  Flashing from the lids Nanny led up before allowing Princes Royal to head her going into the third bend and until halfway.  At this point Nanny kicked on to the delighted roars of the Nottingham crowd to come home alone by an ever increasing 6 1/4 lengths.  Sent off at odds of 4/6 in last weeks final she made light work of the opposition to win by just shy of 5 lengths.  Now stepped back to this 680m trip Wilton believes that she’ll be away from the traps and around the bend from her plot trap 1 draw before the opposition know where she’s gone.  Don’t fear if she gives them a chance of coming back into it , that’s her style and she should soon kick on again to land the NAP in good style.
Yvonne Bell brought her promising young dog Onedin Paradise down to Nottingham for a 480m open last week without a trial.  Despite this and despite the fact that everything that could feasibly have gone wrong for him did , he ran with huge credit to be beaten less than 3 lengths behind Holdem Zidane who for once took a flyer from the lids.  He showed tremendous pace in defeat and i’m not one bit surprised that connections have come back for another race.  They’re a tad unlucky to find Calico Blackjack in the race with them , but at what could be very decent odds take a chance with Paradise who could well be an each way price.
Brinkleys Poet makes his Nottingham debut at 9.07pm in heat 2 of the Carling Black Fruits Sprint Trophy.  His odds are likely to be restrictive after a quite stunning 17.53 (+10) trial over course and distance last week , however for fans of greyhound racing this is a dog to watch and enjoy.  His unbeaten run through the Betfred Gymcrack at Kinsley last month was a thing of beauty and this dog has it all , pace and balance , he’s a superstar , watch and enjoy.
If you enjoy watching good dogs racing then get down to Nottingham for what promises to be an evening of real quality action.