It is very sad to confirm that Bruisers Bullet broke down in his comeback trial at Sheffield and we have been left with no option other than to retire him.
He has been off since damaging a wrist in a preparation trial for the Select Stakes last June. We have taken every care with him, but he damaged ligaments in his first full circuit and the end was inevitable. I would like to stress that he is in no discomfort, it is a performance affecting, rather than something that affects his well being.
He won the 2017 Derby invitation in 29.78, which is just six spots outside the track record, and reached the 2018 Derby final. He also won the Olympic. Although I would rate Bruisers among the best six middle distance dogs I have handled, I don’t think we ever saw the best of him.
The Select Stakes was to be his last race our four bends, I was always convinced that he would have been a sensation over six – potentially, another Ballyregan Bob. Yes, that good, in my opinion.
He will be retired as a pet with some friends in Scotland. But he already has a couple of big litters and owner Billy Boyle wants to take some straws from him.
Just minutes after Bullet won the Derby Invitation, Aayamza Breeze won the Dorando Marathon. She broke a hock in July 2017 at Hove and her career seemed over.
She was off for eight months and took quite a long time to find her form. But you would have to think that, although she is now four, she is running as well as ever. She won the fastest qualifier for the Greyhound Star Marathon at Henlow on Sunday and I would love to see her win the final.
It won’t be easy. It really is a cracking marathon final including four very successful hounds, with the other two, including our other young dog, No Can Boogie, far from out of it.
The meeting also features the semi finals of the Maiden Gold Cup where our Glory Snake looks exceptionally well drawn in trap one.
We actually have three left in the competition and ALL THREE are drawn in the same qualifier. The amount of times that it happens is absolutely unreal.
I would guess probably 18 times out of 20 when we have two entries in these small competitions, they get drawn together.
This draw is particularly bad because Razldazl Valerie is absolute railer and will move straight across. But what can you do?
The grade of greyhound at Henlow is exceptionally good. Excluding our dogs, look at the amount of open races won by Henlow trainers at other tracks.
There are lots of examples of it with two pups who I took out of the grades at Henlow in Saturday’s Ladbrokes Puppy Derby semi finals at Monmore.
Droopys Cruiser has been running in A3 but won his heat in 28.67. Flip The Tyre, who has been running A5, ran third beaten four lengths behind the fastest heat winner in a time (28.47) that would have won all the other heats.
Good owners are probably harder to find than good dogs, so I was delighted to get both with Nic and Amanda Jeal bringing Towcester Story in the kennel.
Nic and Amanda had been in touch a few months ago and we had found Antigua Coral who won at Newbridge at the weekend. I had been very impressed with Towcester Story at the Night Of Stars, and although he ran very well at Crayford, it really didn’t look his track.
I can imagine him and Brigadier Bullet challenging for most of the decent staying competitions this year, and thankfully they will be seeded differently.
I would hope they will be our two stayers for the GAIN GTA Trainers Championship meeting at Sheffield in April. It is an event that I love, and have won three times, though the press seldom seem to give us a chance.
This year will be tough. Hopefully we will have Chubbys Caviar for the bitch’s race. We tried Silva Hill in a couple of recent sprints at Sheffield and he has gone really well, so that is our two-bender sorted. Hopefully one of the Monmore duo will be able to contest the puppy race.
That just leaves three runners for the standard distance, and quite honestly I wouldn’t know where to start looking. But we will give it a go, we always do.
At the weekend I read the leaflet from the Greyhound Trust and quite frankly, I was disgusted.
My main bone of contention is the wording inside the leaflet. It talks about the sad life of racing greyhounds and the need to save them before its too late. What do these people think they are doing?
I’m not really up to speed with all the negativity surrounding the CEO but since she must have sanctioned it, heads must roll. A total insult to all trainers!! I therefore plan to sign the petition for her to go
My dogs have a brilliant and interesting life. They are loved and cared for, and re-homed at the end of their days – BY US!
One of our former stars, Cotton Pants, is due to leave us this week. He is a bit of a handful and will be off to Kevin Stow for a bit of ‘chilling out’ before he gets re-homed. But he will make a lovely pet.
I am currently organising something for my website inviting owners of our ex-racers to send pictures in of the dogs in their new homes. If you are one of them, please get in touch.