“We thought that with the ‘King dogs’ entered it would frighten away some of the opposition, and reckoned it would be a great achievement just to get to the final. But, that’s dog racing.”
Trainer Carl Perry was in philosophical mood following Geelo Monty’s victory in the BGBF British Bred Derby at Sheffield on Tuesday.
It was the same course and distance where Monty won the BGBF Puppy Cup on a very special April night for the kennel in 2017. He had beaten Artic Lightning in 29.12 (-10) and proved a model of consistency when coming from fifth place to beat Viking Jerry in 29.05 (N), the 49th race and last race of his career.
Carl said: “He has had so many niggly injuries, a TFL, a hip, a shoulder, a neck problem, nothing serious, he is seldom off for more than about six weeks. But you can’t enjoy it knowing that he will probably have tweaked something. We have a few retired dogs here and he will stay with us, or possibly to one of the girls who works here.
“I am delighted for Nic Brereton (Geelo Racing) who puts so much into greyhound racing because we never expected to win this and it has come as a real bonus. When you get top class dogs like King Elvis and King Turbo in the field, you know you will need a bit of luck on your side.”
The fickle fate of Lady Luck has been demonstrated amply to the kennel this year. On the same April 2017 night when Monty did the business, kennelmate Geelo Sapphire landed the Three Steps To Victory en route to the Bitch of the Year title.
While things worked out for Sapphire, the same can’t be said for Geelo Blissful who Carl actually rates as a faster bitch. The 28.07 winner of the Star Sports Puppy Stake over 480m at Towcester has been retired for the year after picking up a chest infection.
Carl said: “We trialled her at Swindon and although she went well. But she suffered afterwards and we had her tested and found the problem. I think Donation has been the outstanding middle distance bitch this year but we beat her in the Angel of the North and I would have loved to have taken on in the Oaks.
“As it is, we have laid her off, hope she comes into season for the first time, and can look forward to next year.”
Geelo Monty (Ballymac Eske-Macys Perfect, May 15) was bred and reared by Carl and sent to Ireland where he was schooled by Martin Tucker.
Geelo Sapphire, meanwhile, has a six month old litter of nine pups (5d 4b) by Candlelight King and came in season again this morning. A decision is still to be made on a potential mate for her next litter.
Although they missed out on the big one, the BGBF event was a big success for Janicka Debatt and Jim Hayton at Lowgate Farm.
Three of their pups reached the final, Lowgate Rudy (out of the prolific Bansha Mo), Viking Jerry and Sharpys Rocket, the latter two being sons of their own stud dog Viking Jack, and from two different litters.