I got a syndicate of lads together to buy Maureen from the previous owner who, after just reading this thread I preusme is asfarasyoulike.
Just going to clarify a few things:
I personally am employed by PP but the dogs are in no way connected to them - much like Ian St Pier etc have dogs that are no way connected to the firms that employ them.
I couldn't justify paying 30k for a greyhound at the moment when I don't even own a car (!) so I clubbed together a quarter of that and own 25% of her. The other 75% is split between 3 people who I know from owning a few dogs at June's kennel all of which were of graded ability - i.e we all own 25% each. All have been involved in greyhound racing their whole lives (I'm a relative newcomer) and are true 'doggy people'.
We decided at 30k she was a buy we'd probably make a small loss with overall - but most importantly have a bit of fun.
We've considered various plans with her. Australia being one of them trying to get into the Sapphire Crown at the start of May but that appears to be a non-runner due to the fact she hasn't had certain jabs required over there. She'll likely be campaigned in UK and maybe Ireland and we've lined up some tentative plans for her the first of which is a non-Sky support race on the Newcastle Sky card. She's been offered a place in the Invitational but we are unlikely to accept as the plan at the moment is to keep her to bitches race (believe she's won 11 out of 12 of these but don't quote me on that).
I personally was a huge fan of Shaws Dilemma. Maureen reminds me of her in the way she's pure class who rarely lets you down. Shaws has had some cracking little pups and we're hoping Maureen does the same.
I wouldn't put anybody off the 100/1 for the Derby because she definitely runs if sound. The 250k 1st prize was a factor in paying what we did for her. She'll likely go down the Monmore route for the bitches comp and try to win that like she did last year.
I'll try to keep you all updated on her progress if you wish?
I'm delighted that she is to be trained by June who, for me, embodies what greyhound racing is all about. A woman who, almost single handedly, gets up at 6am everyday and spends 17-18 hours immersed in her greyhounds before going to be bed and doing it all over again. A few years ago when I caught the greyhound racing bug I spent all the money I had on a dog and re-named him Crede Signo (the Latin motto on Rochdale Football Club's badge). After a few weeks I went to meet June at the kennels and asked what she thought of the dogs prospects of running in Open Races. She said to me deadpan ... 'he's nowhere near that good and you've paid too much for him'. And it's that reason I trust her implicitly. June tells you straight. I hope Maureen helps give June the motivation to keep fighting the good fight after a bad year last year with injuries in the kennel.
I hope Maureen works out and with a bit of luck she'll be back at Belle Vue next December to retain her crown before a long and happy retirement.
Finally, a quick word about Mark Wallis. I didn't speak to him personally but one of the guys who organised the pickup did and he was extremely polite, telling us all about Maureen over a 30min call and advising on what to do with her. In what must have been difficult circumstances he proved he is a REAL credit to the sport.
I also found her former owner Paul to be a genuine fella who is mad about the bitch and whose family came over to pat and chat to her before her trial at Newcastle a few days ago. I wish both Paul and Mark well.
METRO JACK will miss his intended first race tonight at Newcastle for June McCombe due to being withdrawn - Inelegible under GBGB racing rules.
CASHEN MAUREEN will be having her first start for Team 'McCombe' and I'm told if Newcastle are racing on time there is a slim chance the race can/will be shown live on SKY at 9.24 - Tonights SKY coverage starts at 19:00 and goes off air at 21.30.