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    Tom Ready for the Open Road
Tom Ready for the Open Road
LINKS MAVERICK. Photo: Steve Nash. Source: greyhoundstar.co.uk

Tom Ready for the Open Road

Newcastle trainer Tom Heilbron is preparing to transition exclusively to open races, expecting to send out his last graded runner within the next month.

Heilbron explained, "We only have one graded dog at Newcastle now, and the owner is actively seeking to place the dog in another kennel. I have nothing against graded runners or Newcastle; it just isn’t what I want to do. My other business supports my lifestyle, and I don’t take a penny out of the kennel, so I'm fortunate to choose my path."

He added, "Within the next week, we'll have open race runners at Towcester, Sheffield, Doncaster, and Nottingham. We’ll also continue to support open races at Newcastle whenever they're held. Additionally, we have a litter at Bicester returning soon. I might follow Rab and Liz McNair's example by placing our youngsters with other Central Park trainers to gain experience and assess their potential before bringing them to Newcastle."

With a well-staffed team of three full-time and four part-time employees, plus Heilbron himself, the kennel is well-equipped to manage its operations.

"We have space for 47 dogs but will limit it to around 40. We've had a successful 18 months to two years and even have a waiting list for new dogs. I just want to enjoy it, and for me, that means focusing on open racing."

This weekend, the kennel has only one representative at Towcester: Glorious Tom, the sole survivor of the kennel’s seven first-round entries. The notable absentee is Links Maverick, who failed to show his true form last weekend.

"He showed nothing from the boxes or throughout the race. The symptoms resembled acidosis, but it persisted throughout the race, not just in the latter stages. We've had him checked by two different physios who found soreness but no significant injury. It’s a bit mysterious. I've heard rumors that a few other runners had issues after the races last week, so there might be a virus going around."

Heilbron concluded, "I would love to have a few runners on final night. Whether Maverick will be among them is still uncertain."

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