Having set a new track record for the Derby course, it is impossible not to select Clona Duke as the Towcester Performer of the Week following his 28.73 run. It is interesting that he was a 20-1 chance when he won the RPGTV sponsored Irish Juvenile Derby last October. But then he was giving away between four and six months to the rest of the field.

But this selection was far from a ‘penalty kick’ for Graham Holland’s runner. Serious consideration was given to the claim of Cesar-(708m)ewitch winner Cochise following his 28.94 Derby heat win on Saturday.


The old phrase ‘God loves a trier’ might sum up Low Pressure’s victory in the Jay & Kay Coach Tours Kent St.Leger. Belinda Green’s fawn, a natural front runner and contesting a distance a little beyond his optimum, had to overcome a slow break before hanging on gamely for a half length win over an unlucky Bellmore Sally. A mention too for Jim Reynolds’ Ritzy Lady who set a new FOY for the 380m trip of 23.00.


How good a performance was Fearsome Enigma’s 28.55 to land the British Bred Maiden Derby at Newcastle on Thursday? The evidence suggest, ‘exceptional’. The fastest time of the night was Witton Venus’s 28.50 in a supporting open. That followed a 27.28 (FOY) at Kinsley and a Sunderland 450 track record. But while Jill Sutherst bitch is an experience open racer, John Marriott’s Enigma is an 18 month old contesting just the sixth race of his career. Huge potential!


Back at Sunderland, the Sutherst kennel (or is that Sutherland and the Sundern kennel!) were, as always in the thick of things in A1 with Witton Survivor (27.20) and Newmoors Dream (27.07), the third and fastest hounds at the track. But we’ve opted for Dean Blackbird’s August pup Slamannan Para with a very competitive 27.14, also in top heat.


It has been a bad week for defending champs and Curfew Flyer will not find his name in gold letters this week after being turned over in the top A1 at Pelaw. In a race that look destined to go to the unfortunate Starson Melody (Led, DNF), it was the ex-Central Park D1 runner Bellmore Chief who prevailed in a calculated 25.82.


Farneys Trend – third behind Gougane Jet on Sunday – was last in action at Nottingham on Monday as he recorded a 17.53 for the 305 metres. By way of comparison, only Shrewd Call (17.51) went quicker last year.


Crossfield Dusty beat Shrewd Call in the 2021 National Sprint Final though connections will be hoping his half sister Crossfield Cora has a fair bit more stamina when she lines up in Tuesday’s Time Greyhound Nutrition Three Steps To Victory Final over 660 metres. The Mark Wallis trained black clocked the fastest of the 500 metre semi finals last week.


Former Wallis trained Bombardier landed a £2,500 final at Harlow on Wednesday when becoming the first hound to break

38.00 for the 592 metres since last November. The quickest time in the entire year was Broadway Sugar’s 37.69.


The near 39 kilo Druids Movin On, bred by the late Michael Brennan, has shown continuous improvement since arriving at Perry Barr with 29.18 and 29.01 qualifying trials eight weeks ago. On Thursday, the John Lambe trained black set a new PB with the fastest 480 of the week, 28.54.


Perry Barr sprint record holder Gougane Jet was in action at Central Park on Sunday when clocking the fastest first round heat of the ARC Silver Salver. That is 23 wins from 30 races, an unbelievable strike rate of 76.6%.


Sprinters don’t often get a look-in at Doncaster but we can’t ignore the efforts of Ricky Overton’s Quattro Katie following a 16.75 run for the 275 metres. It is her fifth consecutive win over the two-bend course and an identical time to Coalmore Blakey’s FOY for 2022. All of which is a bit tough on Starcash Henry who was once again the top middle distance performer.


Sticking with the sprinter theme, a fortnight ago, Narcos The Great set a new FOY for the Monmore 264m. On Saturday, he reduced that by another 10 spots to become the fastest hound over course and distance since another Angela Harrison trained runner Droopys Reel with a 15.05, some three years ago.


Suffolk Downs staged opens over four different distances on Thursday though it was A1 winner Santas Supreme who is due all the plaudits after landing an A1 race by 11 lengths in 23.58, the second fastest time of the year. Six months ago Pete Manley’s runner was struggling in A6.


When Chelms Gask made his Romford entrance last August it was in A5 company. He has shown slow but steady progress over 400 and last week finished within a couple of lengths of Ballymac Slapup as he produced the fastest sprint run of the year. On Friday, Gemma Evans runner was back over his favoured trip and produced a new PB of 23.63.


Swindon’s top 476 open on Thursday had the look of a ‘Performance of the Week All Winners contest. Defending champ Twolengthstoogud, previous winners Velocity Drive and Haverhill Lad all had the followers. In among them and returning from seasonal rest was a talented lady with a 28.13 on her card back in December, Singalong Stacey. Cut and paste that line of form!


The following night, Stacey’s litter brother Taylors Gord went to traps as the 15-8jf for Oxford’s top 450 of the week. On going rated at -30, he produced a highly impressive 27.24 win for Richard Baker. That’s four from his last six.


Hove regulars have been waiting for Wastehouse Woosh to be tried over six bends. They got their wish on Thursday and the pup duly lived up to her name. The Irish bred daughter of Ice On Fire got home by nine lengths in a 695m open to clocked a FOY 42.07 despite going rated -30. Some debut! (Chelms Cub’s fastest run last year was 41.43 on normal going).


On the subject of six-benders, Craig Morris’s Kilgarran Lime is the joint third fastest hound over the Towcester 712m trip this year with a 43.50 run. On Saturday night, he took on and beat a decent A1 field at Yarmouth in the fast 462 of the week.


Recent Clonmel import Dysert Soul has made a very smooth transition since arriving at Kinsley. A 27.96 A3 winner on debut, she followed that up on Wednesday with a 27.88 FOW run in similar company.


The final event of the week, the last race at Henlow on Sunday night, provided the final selection, Baden Balle. The former Swindon D1/A4 runner clocked the fastest time of the week in A3 company.