Leading greyhound trainer Nathan Hunt discusses some positive news off the track as well as a look at his weekend runners.
- Ballyard Hilary runs at Hove on Saturday.
- Grays Cup Winner heads to Nottingham on Monday.
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Nathan Hunt Column December 3
Nathan Hunt is one of the leading greyhound trainers in the country. In his latest column, which is published weekly on the oddschecker website and social media channels, Nathan discusses the recent investment in the sport by ARC and GVC whilst also looking ahead to Ballyard Hilary’s debut for the kennel at Hove on Saturday and Grays Cup Winner’s run in the National Stakes at Nottingham on Monday.
Ballyard Hilary runs at Hove on Saturday
Ballyard Hilary is having her first run for me in the Brighton Belle Trial at Hove on Saturday. She trialled there Saturday and led to the bend against two good dogs. She put in a pretty reasonable time and I think she can still improve. It was her first run for us having just had one run in Ireland. I think she will need the run, but hopefully, she goes well and then we will aim for the Brighton Belle the week after. She took to the track pretty well. I gave her another trial at Romford yesterday and we’re hopeful of a good effort.
She is an exciting talent and her brother is Ballyard Ricki who ran in this year’s Greyhound Derby. Hopefully she can progress for us like him and Saturday’s contest is a good starting point. We may have another couple of runners in the Brighton Belle when the competition begins next week.
Grays Cup Winner heads to Nottingham on Monday
Grays Cup Winner heads for the National Sprint at Nottingham on Monday. He won the week before last and I have kept him fresh since then for the competition. He is really well within himself and hopefully he has a good chance there. He is an older dog and he will be up against some talented dogs. However, you never know with sprints and if he can keep showing good pace from the boxes then anything can happen.
It was his first win at Nottingham recently and considering how fast he is, it was surprising that he had never won there before. It was his first run for a while since his return from injury. He had been running well, but it was good to get a win.
We’ve had a really positive news week off the track
There are 10 new Category One competition at Arena Racing Company tracks and then yesterday the four GVC Ladbrokes/Coral tracks which are Monmore, Romford, Hove and Crayford have announced that they will have 16 Category Ones at their tracks along with Category Twos. That is really good for the sport. The Winter Derby has moved to Monmore in February which will run alongside the Puppy Derby, so hopefully we will have Ballyard Ricki back for the Winter Derby and a couple of pups for the Puppy Derby. Moving the Winter Derby to a more central location in the country like Monmore will entice more northern trainers to get involved and also gives owners a good incentive for owners.
It’s great stuff from both ARC and the GVC to be invest lots of money into the sport and it’s really important at a time like this to have more investment into the sport. There are now 26 Category Ones to target next year which is fantastic. There are now incentives to go and buy dogs and get involved in the sport. If the GBGB can now work with that, they can produce a fantastic calendar. It’s great for a young trainer like me to have plenty of more big races to target and hopefully we’ve got the dogs good enough to go for those type races.
The Greyhound Derby was fantastic this season and Nottingham have once again put their name forward along with Central Park and Towcester. Nottingham have stepped in the last couple of years and I think it would be harsh to take it away from them if they have all the sponsors ready.
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