36 entries in redrawn Hunt Cup

The Bet365 Hunt Cup has been re-drawn following a mix-up over entries. Furthermore it has now reached its complement of 36 runners.

Racing Manager Simon Pearson said: “Mark Wallis (on holiday) sent in his entry by text and I saw it but forgot to add it in the book. Entirely my fault, though I have told Mark that in future we would need a phone call. In the meantime, Craig Marston phoned with three entries after we had closed it. Given that we would have to do a re-draw anyway, we included them.

“That would have taken the entries to 37, but Michelle Brown had one who was out of time so we finished with the correct number”

‘Sod’s law’ dicatated that two of the most fancied runners in the event – Greyhound of the Year Droopys Clue and track record holder Savana Top Note – we redrawn into the same heat.








No hair appointment for Syd

Steve Evans, joint owner of Churchfield Syd, disqualified as the Ladbrokes Winter Derby winner following a positive drugs test, is “totally dismayed with the British Greyhound Racing Board” for their failure to secure a hair sample from their greyhound.

Steve said: “We asked for a hair sample to be taken straight away. Duncan (Gibson – Senior Steward) agreed to do it on March 9th at Central Park ( 2 weeks wait). When Syd arrived, Carly Philpott said she couldn’t do it as she never had a pack and it would be 3 weeks before they got one. Incredible.”

Understandably, prior to the inquiry, GBGB have declined to address this specific case but have responded with the following:

  • Hair sampling is also only effective when a period of time has passed after ingestion. It is difficult to say precisely when this is, as dogs will differ, but in general it is an issue more of months than weeks.
  • Where a substance is found in urine, hair sampling may be useful to detect patterns of use over time; it is less useful for acute use. The longer the hair growth in the sample area, the more sophisticated and thus accurate the laboratory analysis will be.
  • GBGB determines on a case-by-case basis whether hair sampling would be useful as part of an investigation following a positive urine sample. Hair sampling must be conducted by a veterinary surgeon in accordance with strict GBGB processes to ensure the test’s integrity.
If it is deemed appropriate to conduct a hair sample, GBGB ensures that all relevant parties are informed of the process and expected timings. In the meantime, as appropriate, samples of other materials in a kennel (of which there are a wide range) would be progressed to help identify and/or eliminate any other potential sources of contamination.
This evidence would all form part of the case used in disciplinary proceedings following a positive sample, pursuant to the GBGB Rules of Racing.

Oxford Stadium withdraws Blue Cross open invitation – press release

Oxford Stadium can confirm it has today withdrawn its open invitation offer to The Blue Cross, six months after the animal charity accepted during a live BBC Radio Oxford interview.

The Stadium invited senior representatives of The Blue Cross to view first-hand facilities at the Sandy Lane venue and the headquarters of professional trainer Kevin Hutton – who is based a stone’s throw from the charity’s Burford offices.

The invitation was put to the charity on September 27, 2023, during a local radio broadcast where Blue Cross spokesperson Kerry Taylor accepted on the charity’s behalf stating: “We’d welcome that, we’d love to go and have a look and start those conversations.”

Since then, Oxford Stadium has repeatedly attempted to organise The Blue Cross’ visit without success. A timeline of communication can be viewed below:

September 27, 2023: The Blue Cross accepts Oxford Stadium’s open invitation on BBC Radio Oxford’s Breakfast Show.

September 28, 2023: Oxford Stadium contact The Blue Cross to organise a date.

October 5, 2023: A follow-up email is sent after The Blue Cross failed to reply.

October 5, 2023: Within 15 minutes, The Blue Cross responds saying the invitation is being “discussed internally” with a promise we’ll hear back shortly. Oxford Stadium immediately replies.

December 4, 2023: Oxford Stadium sends a further chaser to The Blue Cross, requesting to organise a date.

December 13, 2023: A fourth chaser is sent to The Blue Cross.

December 14, 2023: Blue Cross CEO Chris Burghes responds. He formally accepts Oxford Stadium’s invitation under three conditions, which Oxford Stadium accepts. The conditions are:

  1. No recording of the visit – video, audio or transcript.
  2. No media presence.
  3. Oxford Stadium supplies its injury and fatality data from the past year.

January 17, 2024: Oxford Stadium advises on dates to hold The Blue Cross’ visit.

January 18, 2024: The Blue Cross confirms it is looking into dates.

Oxford Stadium has received no correspondence from The Blue Cross since January 18. Today, we have contacted the charity confirming our withdrawal of the offer to CEO Chris Burghes.

It is disappointing – but not surprising – The Blue Cross has refused to engage with our team, and we now feel we have wasted enough time chasing their engagement and cooperation. You can read our email to Chris below.


Dear Chris,

I am writing to confirm the withdrawal of Oxford Stadium’s open invitation offer – accepted by The Blue Cross in September 2023.

We are disappointed – but not surprised – The Blue Cross has failed to confirm a date to tour our facilities and visit the training headquarters of Kevin Hutton within six months of accepting our invitation.

We put it to The Blue Cross that it was never the charity’s intention to fulfil the promise made during the BBC Radio Oxford broadcast. We will continue to call out the inconsistencies and disingenuous behaviours of The Blue Cross in regard to its campaign to end UK greyhound racing.

Photoshopping stock images of greyhounds to paint pictures of ‘grim reality’ and misidentifying greyhounds as Spanish Galgos in paid social media campaigns is in no way acceptable.

We appreciate animal welfare charities are facing unprecedented challenges right now. This, however, cannot reasonably be used as an excuse for choosing not to agree a date with our team within a six-month period when the campaign to end greyhound racing is one of your key priorities.


Oxford Stadium team.


Thursday: HoveSuffolk DownsSwindon

Friday:  OxfordRomford

Saturday: Central Park ♦ Doncaster ♦ MonmoreYarmouth