6.2.22. The big news this week is, of course, that Stuart Buckland (pictured) has given his three months’ notice to Monmore Green. He has cited a disillusionment with racing six days each and every week but there is a lot more to it than that. We will know about the way forward this coming week. Will the assistant trainers take over and keep Watford Gap as a going concern or will we all be decamping elsewhere with our dogs? Watch this space and tune into RPGTV over the next two Saturdays.
Meanwhile, back on the running surface, SUPREME ODIN continues to show great early pace without winning. The wrong dog keeps turning behind Luigi and picking him up in the home straight. He needs just a little trouble in behind to top the podium again. It’s a difficult time of year for the early pacers. In January at Monmore no less than 41% of races were won by dogs not in front out of the second bend!
NODUFF ARIA is having a few weeks off. Fred has been running so well but keeps cramping solid. He would have won three of his recent races with ease before locking up solid at or before the last bend. We don’t want to risk injury so he’ll be keeping warm in the kennels for a while until the weather improves.
NODUFF BELLAGIO is also resting following her muscle tear sustained during her S1 attempt at a four-timer. Bonnie’s visit to the expert confirmed that the tear was to the muscle supporting the gracilis rather to the gracilis itself – which was good news – but she’ll still be off for six weeks before we know where we stand. To look at her bounce around you’d never know there was an issue! She still hasn’t come into season. She’s been moved to the kennel next to a bitch who is in season which may be an old wives’ tale but we’ll try anything!
NODUFF DUNES also had to have a couple of weeks off when she picked up an infection in a toe. That was quickly resolved by a course of antibiotics but we then had to wait for the drug to exit her system. Mia should be back for a trial again shortly.
NODUFF EXCALIBUR continues to be badly treated by the Racing Office. Despite protestations that they have no problems with Jock they very plainly do. He gets less runs than most of his contemporaries and they have to be chased to get him on the card at all. That, of course, is always a double edged sword and he has been penalised again; left in trap two in a very hot A2 with a much better, early paced A1 dog in one! The best we can hope for is that he isn’t injured at the bend.
NODUFF FLAMINGO is back on track following her seasonal rest. Raspberry is the keenest bitch in our kennel and was overjoyed at being back at the circuit. We know she’s not the fastest but she has a lovely attitude. As soon as she’s fit enough she’ll be having a six bend trial (assuming we can get one) as that is where her future lies.
Always in search of an excuse to come down from Edinburgh and visit, NODUFF GRAND moved kennels last weekend as I drove him to his new home with Jim Reynolds at Orchard Kennels in Essex. Following his surprise disqualification in early December there weren’t many options open to us but Jim agreed to take Wallace and to school him over hurdles and his education began this week. He’ll run graded hurdle events at Crayford when re-qualified and we’ll see whether he can finally live up to his potential. It’s too late for the Springbok this year (a satisfactory trial before Valentine’s Day is required) but there’s always the Grand National, he said highly optimistically!
NODUFF HACIENDA was amazingly full of beans last weekend after having one half of his broken toe removed. The bandages are now off and Ridley was pulling like mad for many circuits of the field. Hopefully his minor disability won’t affect his performance too much but it will be a few weeks yet before he can return and trial.
NODUFF IMPERIAL hasn’t come over from Ireland yet. She’s had a sore shoulder which has delayed the completion of her schooling. Absinthe, as she has been provisionally named, should be coming over soon.
NODUFF JOKER has however landed in the kennel. Rum should have been trialling this coming week but failed his POR drugs test. It transpires that a large number of lots sold at the Greyhound Trader Sheffield sales similarly failed their tests and the cause has apparently been narrowed down to knacker meat fed to the dogs in Ireland before their arrival. Rum went to the track on Thursday to give another sample. We are told that the GBGB are expediting the re-testing procedure but we won’t hold our breath given how long it took to get NODUFF HACIENDA on the track after his failed test.
We are pleased to also announce the latest addition to the Noduff kennel strength, Catch Em Mossie was bought out of the Thurles sales on Thursday having won his trial in 29.47. He is an unraced September 2020 dog and should be arriving in the UK this coming Thursday. He will be known as NODUFF KLONDIKE. The Secret Page will be updated as soon as we have a photo on Thursday.
MUSTANG HIGHWAY remains in Ireland on his month-long re-schooling expedition. Wilson has another three weeks or so to go before his return.
CHASING LANDY had a two week rest since when he has won a sprint trial (not bad for a six bend winner) and a decent four bend trial in preparation for the Monmore Winter Derby commencing next Saturday. Best of luck Cooper!