Some great memories from 2017
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The big day at Towcester dawned and we made our way to the track with eight runners.
Ballymac Manix was the first to run in the Champion Hurdle Final and what a start to the evening it was! He came from last to first to win on the line and complete the set of Springbok, Grand National and Champion Hurdle titles.
Droopys Gold was second in the Puppy race and Forest Con third in the Derby Invitation before Droopys Acrobat and Astute Missile came out on parade for the £175,000 Star Sports Derby Final.
A few days before, Teddy’s owners, Con Boles, Tom O’Donnell, Darrell Williams and, of course, Teresa, had all enjoyed the traditional Derby Lunch along with Mickey’s owner Geoff Hill and his family. Now it was time for the dogs to do the talking.
Mickey set up his victory by breaking well and then keeping Hiya Butt in his sights down the back straight before bravely passing him on the inside at the third bend and then tenaciously holding off the late challenge of Tyrur Shay by just under a length.
Teddy crowded with Clares Rocket on the run up and then found trouble at the bends eventually finishing fifth some eight lengths behind our champion!
Mickey was returned at 28/1, the biggest ever priced winner of the Derby and, of course, was also the first Towcester Derby winner so his win will forever be part of history.
Our three runners after the Derby, Brinkleys King, Crossfield Molly (pictured) and Karlow Turbo didn’t win but after Astute Missile’s triumph no one was really that bothered!
The rest of July was marred by injuries to our two Derby heroes. Teddy ran in the Dundalk International where he just failed to make the bend in front and picked up wrist and shoulder injuries that saw him sidelined for the rest of the year.
And then Mickey suffered a hock injury in a trial at Hove as we were preparing him for a run in the Select Stakes at Nottingham and he also had the rest of the year off. Both dogs are doing well and, at the time of writing, Teddy has completed some quick sprint trials so hopes are high we’ll see them both back in action this year.
We had no luck in the Classic at Sunderland with Crossfield Hugo and The Other Bear going out in the opening round.
At Nottingham Karlow Turbo finished third in the Select Stayers, but Droopys Gold won again in a good prep race for the upcoming Puppy Classic.
Elsewhere Jumeirah Maximus landed his second hat trick of the year with two wins at Hove and one at Central Park. At Hove, Banabane was winning her share of Thursday night opens and Starring Storm came back from a long injury break to qualify for the Sussex Cup Final.
Sussex Cup night was a successful one for us with five winners but, unfortunately, Starring Storm could only finish fourth behind Shaneboy Freddie in the big final but it was nonetheless a huge achievement after nearly eight months off the track and his owners, The Honest But Poor Syndicate, were proud of him.
Our five winners included Sporting Dave (pictured), owned by Teresa and Big Dave Dyer who popped up at 14/1 in the Puppy Trophy Final and announced himself a dog to follow.
In a very busy month Cork Falcon made it into the Peterborough Derby semis, Droopys Gold won heat and semi of the Puppy Classic at Nottingham but finished third in the final behind surprise winner Wildfire Lord.
Forest Con didn’t make the Gold Cup final but he won on the supporting card becoming our 100th open winner of the year. Karlow Turbo was also a fast winner in the 684 metres open continuing his rich vein of form.
Crossfield Molly’s attempt to defend her Lowther Stakes crown at Towcester failed in the semi-final when she was unlucky not to make the final.
At Romford Starring Storm reached the final of the Champion Stakes and started joint favourite with Murrys Act after a 35.06 win in the semis. But he missed the break and finished fourth behind Kevin Boon’s star performer.
Karlow Turbo reached the semi-final of the Yorkshire St Leger at Doncaster.
We trialled several dogs at Central Park ahead of the Kent Derby. Unfortunately Forest Con (pictured) suffered a wrist injury which saw him absent for the rest of the year. Hopefully he’ll be back at some stage this year.
Droopys Gold and Silverhill Conor qualified for the Kent Derby final and we might have had three finalists with Crossfield Giles an unlucky loser!
Also at Central Park Ballymac Manix won his heat of the Grand National and then qualified for the final after finishing second to Razldazl Raidio.
Sporting Dave was entered for the Romford Puppy Cup and he made it through to the semi-finals when he was knocked over at the first bend.
We had seven runners at Central Park on Grand National and Kent Derby Finals night.
Frustratingly we left with only one winner. However, Sporting Dave was hugely impressive in the 480 puppy race winning in 28.51, just one spot outside the track record!
In the Kent Derby final Droopys Gold led but was caught by Bockos Alfie, and then the pictured Ballymac Manix (Vic) was clipped at the first bend in the National decider when he looked liked he might just lead round!
We decided to retire Vic and we’re delighted that he is now living happily at the home of one our former kennel hands Hayley Huntley and her family.
The RPGTV Henlow Derby got underway mid-month with Brinkleys Blaze, Droopys Gold (Bullet) and Crossfield Giles our entries. Giles won his heat, Bullet was second with Blaze eliminated. Giles blew out in the semis to leave Bullet to qualify for his third Category One final of the year.
King Elvis won the high class final with Bullet finding early trouble to finish fourth.
At Perry Barr Silverhill Conor and Karlow Turbo ran in St Leger trail Stakes but both finished lame. Conor’s wrist injury meant he joined Droopys Acrobat and Forest Con receiving stem cell treatment from top greyhound vet Daniel Doherty.
Sporting Dave ran in the Puppy Derby at Towcester. He won his heat, was second in the quarters but failed to make the final after being pushed wide off the last bend when in a qualifying position.
The pictured Banabane (Betty) started her defence of the Brighton Belle at Hove finishing when finishing second in the heats. We had four winners on the night including Droopys Perfect, a son of our former top stayer Droopys Posh, winning his sixth race in nine starts.
Betty won her semi-final but couldn’t become the first bitch to win back to back Brighton Belles finishing third behind Away Shelly.
Sporting Dave was quickly back to winning ways winning a Sky open at Nottingham in fine style.
The Coral Olympic was the final big competition of the year and we had four runners - Cork Falcon, Crossfield Giles (pictured), Droopys Gold and Sporting Dave.
Dave and Giles won their heats and qualified for the semis. We had to withdraw Giles because he injured a toe in the heat win and then Dave ran below par and was eliminated.
On the same night, the semis were run we won the Sussex Puppy Trophy Final with Droopys Nirvana, who looks a nice prospect for owners Con Boles, Scott Goodsir and Matt Sharp.
Droopys Acrobat delighted us with three good sprint trials at Hove culminating with a fast 16.20 run.
We ended what has been a great racing year with Crossfield Molly winning her retirement race and new intake Blue East a sprint on New Year’s Eve.
Winning the Derby means that 2017 will be very hard to beat in 2018 but you can be sure we’ll be trying our best!