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    Monday Round Up – Week 8, 2024
Monday Round Up – Week 8, 2024

Monday Round Up – Week 8, 2024

Askern waiting for the nod

Robert Watson is awaiting the final nod from Doncaster Council with the expectation of reopening racing at Askern "within 12 weeks."

The Doncaster promoter said, "Planning permission was passed on October 13 subject to us complying with three requirements: one related to a drainage plan, the second was an ecology report and the third was a landscape plan. We complied with all three immediately and have been waiting for the final go-ahead ever since.

"It has been very frustrating but I blame myself. Instead of seeking planning for a new project, I should have applied for a change of development while the old track was still racing.

"You live and learn but everything is sorted now. The new building is on site and ready to be erected. The hare system and hare rail are all done, we just need a running rail. Once we get the green light, things will happen very quickly. I would certainly expect to be racing in the summer."

Robert is hoping that by then, a change in GBGB rules would allow runners to race alternately between Askern and sister track Doncaster.

He said, "I understand that the rule is very close to being passed by GBGB. Providing that the form is in-date, it would enable dogs to switch between the two tracks. Everybody knows that the practice has always happened but tracks call them ‘inter-tracks’. A rule change would suit everyone and make a lot more sense."

In the meantime, Doncaster is going from strength to strength and attracting decent open racers for its Saturday night spot on RPGTV.

Robert said, "The track is probably in the best condition that I have ever had it; Doncaster form always holds up. The kennel strength continues to grow. I’ve built some more kennels at the back and we have trainers waiting to come into them. I won’t go into detail, but we have a number of new trainers waiting to join us, and plenty of quality too."

Doncaster racegoers might keep their eyes open on an exciting young British-bred litter bred by Jimmy Gaskin. The dog and four bitches are by Roxholme Nidge out of that fabulous staying bitch Hather Daisy. Just 15 months old, and all ‘Redbricks’, the star to date (after one four-bend trial) is Tulip with a 28.01 run for the 450m, with Rose, Haribo, and Lotus not far behind.

Judgement Night tweak

Hove Racing Manager Rob Abrey has made a subtle tweak to conditions for the Judgement Night meeting on May 4.

He said, "I thought that given we have two standard distances that are highly rated by the trainers, the 500 and the 515 metres, it might be an idea to have one race over each. I sounded out all the trainers and they were all up for it.

"We didn’t want to extend the competition, so we are dispensing with the ‘maiden’ division. That doesn’t prevent trainers entering a maiden in either race, but there isn’t a requirement for one. Apart from anything else, I thought it might be intriguing with trainers possibly trying to second-guess each other as to what runners they would enter for either.

"The best news of all, though, is that so far, it is looking as though as six of the top qualifiers (Mark Wallis, Liz McNair, Patrick Janssens, John Mullins, Kevin Hutton and Richard Rees) are all intending to take part, which would itself be something of a rarity. It is my first Trainers Championship meeting and I think it will be a cracker."

*Three probable members of the McNair team trialled over 500m at Hove this morning. They were King Memphis-29.15, King Combs-29.37, and Queen Shakira-29.19. The track was rated -30. Kennelmate Queen Libianca (29.90) was the only other hound to break 30.00 during the session.

Rob has also asked us to point out a series of £500 opens scheduled for Saturday March 2, to coincide with the GBGB Awards the following evening.

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