3 MAY 2015 at The Whippet Meadow, Detling. 150 yards straights; veterans ½yd/lb & yd/yr.
Fitting that following the loss of the Moreton venue – it turns out the Cricket Club needed the ground to accommodate a fellow club – we revert to one of our old secondary venues as a neutral ground. Historically, Maidstone and East Anglia have done such duty in past years, both with honour.
Huge credit is due to Ray Pond and his team for overhauling the venue. The bend track is back to form already, the old standby (mushroom compost) has given a wonderfully spongy surface all the way round and although I’m biased (well I was there when Alf Barnard set up the bend in early 2000!) it gives a very fair test of a bend-racer.
But back to the straights for the first Champs. A fine, but typically for mid-Kent a dry blustery spring day with firm going after a similarly dry spring. The Maidstone track run in reverse, SSW to NNE towards the M20 to give a slightly uphill track. With the wind, the WCRA marquee set for take-off. But somehow, tethered by dog and held down by human, it stayed.
Very pleasing to report for Roy Winrow that his Dollybyrd was made up the WCRCh in the 16lb group, followed by half-coats for Great Fun and Vino. Polly Flinders, who was looked after last year as still a youngster, was “made up” in the 22lb final, an impressive winner and very much in the mould of Gavin and Dawn’s Nippy Girl.
An emotional win for the new WCRCh Satin Sunshine. Dave Brown put his heart and soul into pedigree whippet racing, it was a tough day for Carol and family but Dave, this was one for you.
The 26lb, 28lb, 30lb and 32lb groups were triumphs for the old-school racing breeders Trish Billingham, Linda Turner and Jean Goode. Trish’s Fenland Whisper gaining her half in the 26lb group, and Pat Gant getting Scallywag made up to WCRCh in the 28lbs. Her Nip ‘N Tuck won the 30lb class for his third weight class win – and then the Burseys’ Markamy’s Red Fred gained his title at the very first time of asking. Well done.
In the Veteran Crowns, Summerleaze Bay, always a classy individual, gained his second WCRA weight class to win the 6/7yrs 20lb group. Angie Parker almost had two winners, Sapphire’s Queen’s Topaz a standing dish in the 25lbs (surely one of the greats) but her sister Sapphire’s Gem, moving up a weight class to avoid her sister, found a genuine 26lb WCRCh (Game On) too hot to handle. Always tough when going up a class – but us at the finish line savoured a good race. This was a tough final; and Game On the only whippet today to win the “full set” WCRCh and VC.
The two senior veteran finals were won by Gavin Cairns’ Pretty Color and the Moores’ Blade Bunny, both decent campaigners in their own right and certainly up to the standards of other senior winners.
Pleasing to note that even with the Superstars presentation, which always makes us late at the first Champs, we finished racing at half-past four with only the one race re-run. Well done to Ray and his team.
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