‘Blond Stan’ Kennett

Stan Kennett

Greyhound racing is in mourning for former greyhound trainer, agent and all-round popular personality, Stan Kennett.

The East Londoner, whose thoughts and memories have featured on countless occasions on this website, finally lost a long batttle with cancer last night.

Famously christened ‘Blond Stan’ by Sporting Life journalist Harry Lloyd, Kennett was a Hackney stalwart before moving onto Crayford. He was acknowledged as a very capable handler, occasionally  ‘a bit tricky’ in the betting ring, but also a fabulous talker and entertainer.

His most famous runner was the brilliant Poor Sue with whom he won 69 open races on 17 different tracks including five major finals.  After handing in his licence he expanded a successful sideline as a greyhound agent.

In latter years, he was a driving force alongside great pal Maurice Newman in raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for the Great Ormond Street Childrens Hospital.

Trainer Paul Philpott said: “I’ve known stand since I was about 15 and I’m 68 now. What a lovely fella. I started out working for him, I had one range and Lorraine Sams had the other. I was with him for a couple of years but we have kept in touch ever since.

“Apart from being such a top class trainer, Stan really knew the industry inside out and would have sorted it for the better if he’d ever had the chance. He was also always such great company, a proper dog man and a good friend. I shall miss him.”

Owner Steve Fluin treasures a 40 year friendship with Stan Kennett and last visited him in hospital last week.

Steve said: “We got onto the subject of memorial races and he said, ‘I think you’d better make that a joint one for me and Maurice this year.’ He clearly suspected that he wasn’t coming out.

“It was through Stan that we started the Bubbly Club. I used to go to Hackney in the 80s and one day asked if he could find me a dog. A couple of weeks later he said he had found a nice little bitch for me. When I asked how much she was he said ‘two grand’.

“I said: ‘but I’ve only budgeted for £250’ to which he replied, ‘well you’d better find seven mates then’.

“Although she wasn’t the first ‘Bubbly’, when we had the next one there were about 20 owners and we were up and running.”

Like most people with a story to tell about Stan Kennett, Steve Fluin most readily recalls Stan’s personality and the enjoyment of being in his company.

Steve said: “Stan was an incredible salesman and an outstanding storyteller. Earlier this year we were invited, along from Karen (McMillan) from Romford for a tour around Great Ormond Street and afterwards we went for a bit of lunch. Stan was absolutely in top form keeping everyone entertained.

“Nomatter how many times you met him, there was a string of fabulous stories that you have never heard before. Those will be my longest and fondest memories of Stan.

“This is a very sad day and my thoughts are with Sylvie and family.”

We have also been asked to to include a tribute from one of the true gentlemen of the betting ring who who has had his own health issues over the years.

His text reads: “Stan was the gentleman from the Hackney Kennels. Mate, on a Sunday morning his kennels were a mini Petticoat Lane to him. He trained dogs for me at Crayford in the Poor Sue days. Will miss you mate” – Gary Wiltshire

Stan with Poor Sue

Quality over quantity in Kent Leger

If you were studying form for a 48-runner Ladbrokes Kent St. Leger at the second round stage, it might look a bit like this:

Although only 20 greyhounds will go to traps for a competition set-up for 36, the shortfall is explained by the absence of ‘graded filler’. The overall quality of the four qualifiers is very strong.

Crayford’s Assistant Racing Manager Jamie Norris said: “Starting off with defending champion Low Pressure, and there are competitive clashes in every heat including the return of Golden Jacket winner Dazl Rolex and his sister Razldazl Amanda. Capel Rose has been running out of her skin . . . Droopys Flotilla was awesome last week.

“Mark Walis is strongly represented with this year’s Jacket finalists Ballymac Taylor and Cooonough Crow and last year’s Jacket finalist Minnie Bullet. It is also interesting to see how Ballymac Johnjo gets on.

“There are a couple in it who would probably prefer a bit further, but no more than a couple in the whole event about who you might say they are making up the number. It is definitely quality over quantity.”

And if reluctantly persuaded into making a selection?

Jamie said: “I really like Baywatch Bullet. I expected her to go very close in the Jacket but she was desperately unlucky in the heats and was eliminated. I think she could take some beating.”

Ladbrokes/Corals betting:

4/1 Dazl Rolex, 5/1 Ballymac Taylor, Coonough Crow, 8/1 Minnie Bullet, 9/1 Baywatch Bullet, 10/1 Capel Rose, 12/1 Droopys Flotilla, 14/1 Ballymac Johnjo, 16/1 Razldazl Amanda, 20/1 Low Pressure, Maleficent, 25/1 Longacres Porto, Swift Delta, Swift Jock, 28/1  A Mystical Love, 50/1 Popsi Girl Cerys, Terrific Tonic, 66/1 Droopys Moose, Feora Poppy, Harlequin Windy

Judgement Night Jokers

Tom Heilbron – GREENWELL COE (PGR Judgement Night Puppies)

Kevin Hutton – BALLYMAC ZARI (PGR Judgement Night Puppies)

John Mullins – AAYAMZA SYDNEY (PGR Judgement Night 515)

Richard Rees – UNANIMOUS MADAM (PGR Judgement Night Stayers)

Mark Wallis – GARFINEY BLAZE (PGR Judgement Night Stayers)

Liz McNair – QUEEN JONI (PGR Judgement Night Bitches)

Points System
1st – 10 points 2nd – 7 points 3rd – 5 points 4th – 3 points 5th – 2 points 6th – 1 point

Sunderland fundraiser the first of many

Sunderland raised over £1,000 in their first fundraiser in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support on Friday.

Louis Pern – whose friend Jackie Teal trains at Sunderland Stadium – played a key role in organising the fundraiser.

“A huge thanks to everyone who donated and helped spread awareness on Friday,” said Louis. “Every single donation counts, and we couldn’t have raised £1,090 without Sunderland’s help and the generosity of racegoers who donated.

“We carry out fundraisers at racing events across the country, and we plan to announce the grand total of all our campaigns at a final fundraising event on Saturday, June 15, at York Racecourse where we’ll continue our charitable efforts.”

Joanne Wilson, General Manager at Sunderland Greyhound Stadium, added: “It was wonderful to see a great turnout under the floodlights, with the hospitality packages going down a treat.

“We’re proud to have played our part for a charity that has helped change the lives of so many individuals. It is our moral imperative to provide platforms to help spread awareness for charities within the local community.”

Sunderland Stadium has more fundraising events planned this month, with the track’s latest Fund-Racer happening on Friday, May 17.


Friday: Romford

Saturday: Hove ♦  Oxford

Sunday: CrayfordSheffield  ♦  Towcester