Noduff Excalibur


whelped 27.9.19

Form (GBGB)

Form (GR Ireland)

Pedigree (Greyhound-Data)

Race videos are listed at the bottom of this page

LACKEN PUMA is one of the older dogs we’ve bought. Whilst still a puppy, he would lose that status in September 2021 so we would only have a handful of races with him before that happened. Spotted at Kilkenny sales, he recorded a 4.23 split, by far the fastest sectional of the session and better than his own previous best of an already impressive 4.34. To put that into context, no greyhound had recorded a faster sectional time at the venue in the previous two years let alone on very slow going!

Jock joined us as NODUFF EXCALIBUR and would start his Monmore Green career over the sprint distance in the hope, if not the expectation that he would show the same early pace in England as he had done in Ireland. He showed when recording 29.18 in his 525 yard sales trial that he got the four bend trip well enough and his early pace should have held him in good stead when turning to Monmore’s 480 metre trip.

Jock’s first sprint trial saw him record a time of 15.70 on his very first look at Monmore, taking a rails to middle course. He followed that run by winning three dog trials in times of 15.49 and 15.58 which made him very competitive in D1 races. We were also looking at minor sprint opens for him thereafter.

Indeed, Jock was pitched in at the deep end on his UK debut running from an unsuitable trap in a very hot open sprint on Monmore Gold Cup semi-final night. It wasn’t surprising that he didn’t show his usual trapping speed as his was the penultimate race so he had a very long kennel. He also tried to get across to the rails from the four box and it wasn’t until the end of the second bend that he did so, running on when he had the benefit of the rail. An almost impossible introduction but he would doubtless do better especially if drawn nearer to the fence.

We let Jock have five sprint outings, the first four in D1. He came a close second in a tough D2 improving his times on each occasion. He was then qualified to race over four bends. Rather than trial he was entered into a maiden open and ran with enormous promise showing great early and contesting with the odds on favourite until being baulked. He checked at the sough where he thought the race would be over but kicked on remarkably well when the other dogs continued. In the end he was beaten by just 3.5 lengths in 29.20 having all but stopped!

Jock was then the most unlucky greyhound. As at the end of November 2021 he had twice gone well under 29 seconds but found one too good on each occasion. He was also prone to missing the break at Monmore Green which isn’t helpful in A2 when you need to be close to the pace! When finally dropped to A3 he went off hot favourite but found a lot of trouble and came home a little sore. A couple of weeks’ rest ensued. Jock’s elusive first win surely wouldn’t be far away.

Indeed that was the case. On New Year’s Eve 2021 he forced his way into the lead at the first bend only to let a rival up his inside at the third which held him up sufficiently to be overtaken by a strong-staying wide runner. The following race however he not only led at the second bend but fended off all comers to record his first win. Onwards and upwards Jock!

Jock won twice since in A3 and A2 and became an A1 regular. On 16.4.22 he got to within a half length of a chucked-in favourite in 28.80 – the fifth time he’d recorded times in the 28.80s. That elusive top grade win finally came on 21st April 2022 when he clocked 28.57, leading all the way to hold on by a neck. Jock then followed that up with a second all the way success in an improved 28.50. He seemed to be thriving on regular weekly runs.

You can’t stay in peak form forever though and Jock built up a losing run of six, dropping to A2 in the process. Having been getting a run every week that then stopped and he was upped to open company after an inexplicable gap of sixteen days leaving him with an impossible task. By September 2022 Jock had been dropped to A4 and he found that very insulting. He went off 5/4 favourite and thrashed the field. Four A3s later he took the plaudits again, winning in 28.77. His running style was starting to change. He was showing less early pace, conserving his stamina and finishing strongly.

Four A2s later and into November 2022, he won again, this time picking up a finished well comment from the grader for the first time in his career. Back to top grade! He was narrowly beaten in 28.74 then started to find more and more trouble that his early pace had previously avoided for him. In advance of Jooles Slater moving to Towcester we entered him in three four bend opens there. He was runner up in the first but the second and third were too hard for him. We gave him a six bend debut at Monmore to see if we would get the trip. He appeared to but was seven lengths off the winner. The following morning Jock was found to have a soft tissue injury which would have him on the sidelines for a few weeks. After that it would be back to four bends at Towcester having ‘graded in’ by virtue of his open races there.

Sadly, Jock never got to run in a graded race at Towcester. He had a four bend trial, which went extremely well, but he was cannoned into at the pick up by one of our own dogs – Noduff Imperial – and he sustained a stopper bone injury. At his age there was no way back for Jock who had to be retired but with the accolade of being our most successful graded dog to date; having won twice in A1 recording times in the 28.50s.

Jock has always been a favourite in the kennels and consideration was given to having a litter by him but a change in circumstances led to a journey to Elaine Parker’s yard at Sheffield and finally to the seaside at Scarborough and to his retirement sofa. A great dog who will make someone a great pet.

Noduff Excalibur’s race videos in date order