Viking Jack Wins On an Emotional Night at Sheffield

They say life is a roller coaster, well it is with Jack and it has been this week, and it is only Tuesday! Last week Jack stumbled and went out of the Three Steps to Victory, but ran amazingly well to catch up. On Monday we heard the sad news that Devilfish had died and then tonight, Jack was the sunshine after the rain….

Well backed all day, our members were on, Racing Post Readers were on and everyone I spoke to at Sheffield was on! It was a monster gamble, 9/2 in to 5/2. Job done! Win and you’re in, well we did win and we are in!

It means so much to me personally to win a big race at Sheffield, I love Sheffield, I am a local boy and I first went to Sheffield in 1984, over 30 years ago. My Grandad took me there the first time, now the dog that carries his name gave me a night I will never forget!

Thank you to Jim, he deserves to win The Derby, along with Mick and the whole team they are the reason Jack is such a top dog, good dogs need good trainers! The William Hill sponsorship of the Derby is superb, the win and you are in trial stakes are superb, and as I said I started my career as Marketing Manager for William Hill, 20 years ago, many things came together for me on Tuesday night!

Jack didn’t trap that well, but boy he showed some pace, and remember he is NOT YET THREE! So he is reaching his peak and the next few months could be very exciting!

What a superb night and I am so pleased for everyone who was on, a big gamble and Jack Delivered!

See you at Wimbledon!

Sad Day For Greyhound Racing

It was a fairytale, Salad Dodger wins the Derby at Wimbledon, a few months later the rookie trainer Bruno Berwick has been hit with a fine of several thousand pounds and banned from the sport for six months.

It was reported in the Racing Post…

DREAMS do come true. Bruno Berwick, a bricklayer, brought a modest British-bred grader that cost him and physio Ron Mills £2,000 to win the world’s greatest and ­richest race – the £200,000 William Hill Derby.

It was indeed a great story, providing the sport with a wonderful story, at a time when it needs as much good publicity as it can get! What great TV it was too…

There is no better way to announce yourself as a trainer to be reckoned with than to land the greatest greyhound competition of them all. That was in May 2014. now only 7 months later the dream headlines have become a nightmare for the man behind the miracle win.

Today the Racing Post are reporting…
DERBY-winning trainer Bruno Berwick is considering his future after being slapped with a six-months ban by the sport’s disciplinary committee.

Berwick faced an inquiry after one of his greyhounds, Mays Goodluck, had tested positive for benzoylecgonine, the main metabolite of cocaine, in a graded race at Perry Barr on October 3.

Having been found guilty by the committee, Berwick was also fined £2,000. “I can’t believe what’s just happened,” he said. “I’m disgusted, dismayed and disappointed by this decision, which smacks of inconsistency in light of other recent high-profile cases.”

Berwick, who maintains his innocence of administering the drug, represented himself at the hearing. He continued: “I went down there hoping my innocence would be recognised. I’ve no idea where this minute trace came from and I wasn’t prepared to make up a story blaming a kennelhand or anything like that.

“I’ve nothing to hide, told the truth and have been hammered for it.”

It may smack of inconsistency but perhaps the GBGB are finally waking up to the need for deterrents to stamp out drugs from the sport. The recent Panorama programme was embarrassing for the sport and now the trainer who hit the headlines for the right reasons has  hit them for all the wrong reasons.

Whilst not for one moment am I suggesting that there was anything untoward with the victory of Salad Dodger in the Derby, a previously modest grader coming from nowhere to win the Derby, but the unfortunate consequence of this is it will inevitably cast a shadow over that victory! I have already heard people questioning it!

I have no idea about the details of this case, but Cocaine is a class A drug, it is illegal in society, never mind in greyhound racing. What on earth is it doing in a racing dog’s system? It may be there by innocent means but clearly the GBGB panel of experts do not think so. It came from somewhere and got in to the dog somehow!

There is no suggestion that there has been any cheating going on, I am accusing no one of anything, BUT there are unwanted headlines today and a very sad shadow has been cast over what was an otherwise amazing sporting story, not just for greyhound racing, but for UK sport as a whole!

Greyhound Racing needs to get through the next few years and this sort of headline is the last thing we need. We need tougher penalties and I hope that there is no more slap on the wrists and consistency is applied and we see less of these doping related headlines!

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