Norahmac Racing Club & Kennels

Professional Greyhound Trainer, Racing Kennel & Owners Club

Cash is King for locals in the 2011 Wimbledon

Greyhound Derby Final

The Semi-Final
Cloheena Cash in the 2011 Derby semi final: Screams of delight, post-race, as the second placing is announced. In an eventful heat, ‘Johnny’ gets knocked back twice rounding the first bend but stays on courageously and determinedly to snatch second spot and secure a place in the 2011 final. This, much to the delight of the virtually delirious kennel team, heard off screen during the Sky presentation post-race review.
Sky interview
Post race interview with Norah: A clearly delighted Norah, who can’t stop grinning, as she realises she has a Derby finalist. It’s Norah’s overwhelming ambition to win the Greyhound Derby and ‘under-dog’ Johnny’s effort to secure a final place was the stuff of which dreams are made.
The Kennel Team Celebrating Derby Final Qualification
A delighted Norah, Gemma, Tim, Kate with Charlotte celebrating ‘Johnny’ Cash’s Derby qualification. Interviewed by Sky’s Julie Collier, there’s no doubting the team’s pride and joy having a kennel represenative in the sport’s highlight of the year.
Ladies Who Lunch or, in Norah’s case, do lettuce!A celebratory afternoon at London’s Oxo Tower restaurant with the three female finalists talking up their chances with Sky’s Julie Collier. Into the mix, and it being Norah, the Queen of Wimbledon also had some interesting insights to share about men, love and marriage!

A Greyhound Racing Fairytale

In the beginning…

The son of Crash came to Norah as an unraced pup from Ireland, about eighteen months old.  Alan Woods, an owner in the past, asked Norah if  she’d take him and see how he turns out. Alan shares ownership with members of the Thornton family; Peter, Bill and Dawn. Though behind the scenes Gary Thornton (Dawn’s husband) is most enthusiastic. Tony Morris is the other member of this triumphant troupe.

Early history…

2011 Derby finalist, Cloheena “Johnny” Cash

For much of his early time at the kennels ‘Johnny’ was very difficult to strengthen up.  He was a terribly faddy eater and Norah found herself relying on the local Waitrose products to feed the youngster, who earned the nickname  ‘Little Weed’ back then. More recently,  his kennel name has evolved into ‘Johnny’ more in keeping with a dog who hits all the right notes.

The May ’08 white and black finally got off the mark at the seventh time of asking, winning a relatively humble A5 graded race at Norah’s home track, Wimbledon, in December 2009.  However, an eye-catching time of 28.05 (over the then standard 460metres) saw the rising star raised two grades. The first sign of future possibilities.

The tougher opposition kept Johnny out of the number one position for another two months. He then hit form with a bang, notching a double with back to back wins in February 2010. The latter victory, again following a double hike in grade.

A varied spring campaign, including the Peterborough Puppy Derby, was followed by a tilt at the 2010 Wimbledon Derby in which ‘Johnny’ ran with great credit, reaching the quarter final stages.

An hat-trick of A1 wins in September 2010 was followed by a complete break through the winter.

2011 Campaign, and  through to the Derby Final…

Rising three, Cloheena Cash returned to the track a stronger individual in March, hitting form with a trio of April victories – a prelude to his 2011 Derby campaign.

‘Johnny’  improved with almost every run in the 2011 tournament and his gutsy performances stole the show from some more high profile competitors.

Norah in the endless number of interviews Derby week focussed on the local support for Cloheena Cash, ” It was a wonderful feeling with the whole crowd, seemingly, behind our local runner.”

“I really want to thank them for this wonderful support. It’s still a great result for Wimbledon having one of their own in the final. Even if  ‘Johnny’ doesn’t know what the fuss is about, it’s such a boost for my kennel team!”

The Final proved too stiff a task for the Burhill-kennelled hero though a gallant run meant he went down fighting. Next year for Norah maybe – and a norahmacracing club owned hound perhaps?

Epilogue: Following a reoccurence of a shoulder injury in summer 2012 Norah retired Johnny and he will live out the rest of his days with Norah  and her other retired hounds.