Marathon Greyhound of the Year Slippy Maggie was narrowly beaten in her first race back after season at Romford on Friday but should be back to her best in “another three or four races”.
Hazel Kemp, kennelhand to trainer Michelle Brown said: “It was a very good first run back. Frank Gray’s dog looks decent class and had won last week. Maggie tried to get past twice, then blew up late and just failed by three quarters of a length. You couldn’t ask for any more at this stage.
“The plan is for the 659 competition at Yarmouth and then I don’t know. There is very little in the calendar for marathon dogs. But there are plenty of them out there with Kevin Boothby’s bitch (Savana Winner) due back, Goldies Hotspur is in tremendous form, Ayamzaza Breeze, and quite a few others. Surely there is an opportunity for a track out there!”
It was a good night for the British breds on Friday at Romford with another win for the kennel’s Signature Dancer and a double for two members of the Kinloch Brae/Newinn This Way litter via Saving Mullpark and Goldies Allen, trained by John Mullins and Patrick Janssens respectively.
Dancer, who won a £500 final on his last appearance at the track, clocked 24.16 when holding off Piemans Noelle by a short head in 24.16 for the 400 metres.
The July ’17 whelp is from a litter of eight pups by Tullymurry Act out of Craig Cheshunt’s former open racer Franks Dream.
Hazel said: “They were a very boisterous litter and one of the pups smashed a leg to pieces in the rearing. Two of the litter have been very slow to grow up but they are chasing, just not really getting on with it.
“Having said that, we thought the same of Signature Sophie until a couple of weeks ago when the penny dropped and she has broken 28.00. But five of the litter are now running in opens and they are only July pups with very little done with them. They only had two handslips before we qualified them.
“Dancer looks the fastest at this stage. After he won a couple of weeks ago we decided to give him a week off, because you don’t like to push pups. Last night he went five or six clear but that lack of fitness caught him out and he only just held on. Hopefully he should come on for the run.”
With greyhounds expected to become increasingly scarce, the Kemps have planned ahead with a steady flow of pups expected at the Wisbech range in the coming months.
Hazel said: “We are currently rearing five pups by Crash out of a very well bred bitch, Ballymac Newinn. We have Queen Lucy (Droopys Scolari-Shaws Dilemma) due in early May with a litter by Forest Con – she is enormous – and Franks Dream is currently in whelp to Droopys Jet.