Trainer of the Year
With nine months of the year already in the book, the Trainer of the Year contest appears to be a two horse race at this stage with reigning champion Sue Newberry (28.77%) and Pat Doocey (27.47%) having forged clear from the opposition following purple patches. Both Sue and Pat are similar in that they operate with a small, select kennel enabling them to be able to give attention to detail to all their charges, all of whom are immaculately turned out. Lynn Short (22.33%) and Simon Cull (20.00%) are disputing third place, with Shirley Aveline (19.77%), James Danahar (19.75%) and James Turner (19.73%) battling it out in behind.
Dog and Bitch of the Year
The Dog and Bitch of the Year titles look certain to go down to the wire with a number of hounds in contention for both awards. Current leader at the top of the Dog of the Year standings with 11 wins is Dave Acott’s Greenbanks Bluey, closely followed by Baker Boy (Phil Naylor), Blazeaway You (Simon Deakin), Castell Don (Lynn Short), Laidback Larry (Gerry Ballentine), Longacres Puma (Pat Doocey) and Rocky Dee (James Danahar) all on 10. For the ladies, Simon Deakin’s Slaneyside Waltz leads the way with 10 wins, ahead of Ascot Faye (Sue Whitehouse) and Keeperhill Lexi (Deakin) on 9, with Cefn Carys, Drahbeg Delish, Ide Shellydee and Rosies Laugh all having won 8.
Corren Price (from Monmore) and Shaun Moore (previously unattached) are notable recent additions to the Perry Barr training roster. Corren got off the mark last weekend and her graded strength is already nudging twenty, with a good many more likely to join them in the coming weeks. Nottinghamshire based Shaun will operate a smaller kennel with a maximum of around seven, but doubtless all will be of decent quality. Lastly, Carterton based Richard Anderson has taken out an Owner Trainer licence following ownership spells with Kevin Hutton and Pat Curtin, and is looking forward to the challenge of doing one (or two) of his own. We wish Corren, Shaun and Richard well.
Above and beyond the call of duty
Two more Perry Barr stalwarts passed the 150 race mark recently, making a grand total of four this year. Firstly, Shirley Aveline’s June ‘13 black Drumurrer Rumble (Ace Hi Rumble x Holston River) was retired after 152 UK races (plus a further 10 in Ireland). Rumble was successful on 30 occasions, and his career saw him reach A3 at his peak. Credit indeed to Shirley and Martin Aveline for their handling of this tough and consistent hound who, apart from a three week period at the end of 2015, was an ever present on the Perry Barr racing strength for well over three years.
Next in line for commendation and a presentation jacket is the Ken Humphreys owned and trained Herston Tilly. A British bred July ’13 daughter of Droopys Scolari & Tyrur Alice, Tilly, like Drumurrer Rumble, is a trap five specialist who will contest her 152nd race on Saturday night, having racked up 22 wins in the process. Tilly’s Perry Barr debut was an A3 contest in May 2015, and apart from a minor tumble in October that same year, her sequence is unbroken, save for the odd open race elsewhere. Ken and Tilly make the 440 mile round trip every week from his base near Fishguard, and that alone speaks volumes for both greyhound and trainer.
The Ian Walker trained Airport Jumbo may well have just turned five years of age, but no one appears to have told Jumbo, who has just knocked up an A3, Seniors open and A1 hat trick. An October ’13 son of the prolific Spioraid Cath and a shrewd purchase out of Shelbourne nearly three years ago, the tough dark brindle’s UK record reads 105 races and 24 wins, plus a further five victories in Ireland. He is without doubt the best dog Ian has ever trained.
Ian Bradford has a possible St Leger candidate in the shape of the diminutive Token Memory. Unraced in Ireland, the tight railing youngster has plenty of stamina, underlined by her recent wins in an A2, and 480m and 660m handicaps, both off scratch.
Shirley Aveline’s British bred November puppy Ice Jubbly (Toolatetosell x Em Millie), boasts very decent early pace once his feet touch the sand and this helped him land an A7, A6 & A5 hat trick in September. Showing no signs of his improvement coming to a halt, this likeable black is currently contesting A3.