OUT AND ABOUT.
Today's operation is now owned and run by brothers Ron and Dave Coventry (RDC Promotions) who once used to operate Crayford's stock cars.
I'd popped along for the first final in the Greyhound Board's new Owners Bonus Series - which sees a pounds 1m additional spend through regular graded heats and finals at every track, with proper trophies and presentation jackets too.
Mildenhall cost more than budgeted when calling a deadheat between Blackrose Pip and Butts Champ when the old Rye House camera failed. RM Michael Hill, as thorough a pro as there is in the game, was furious - and that alone was good to see. There is a pride in place at Mildenhall, the entire team cares, and I loved the way Barbara Thomas and Susan May in the racing office dealt with queries while selling admission tickets through a window.
Bela Szabo worked hard out on the track, and the racecard is good - colourful and lovingly produced. The website to look for is mildenhalldogs.co.uk, but best of all is the grub.
Assistant trainer Lee Gifkins rates it Kinsley quality - greyhound racing's equivalent to three Egon Ronay stars - and everyone raved about the fish 'n' chips and chef Peter O'Toole. And there, in the buffet, was Dave Coventry, serving up in the style of Kinsley's John Curran ie.
behind the counter.
He says they took over the stadium three years ago, and juggle speedway, stock cars and greyhounds. "It's 24/7 but we have fantastic local support, particularly from the greyhound people."
In December the track will race Friday and Saturdays, and then go Friday/Sunday after Christmas through to March (1pm start for Sunday lunch).
It can be confusing, but the basic schedule is otherwise Tuesdays and Friday - although it's Tuesday off for 'maintenance' this week ... ie. Hill is taking a holiday!
Do take the place in if you can. It's real, and everyone loves their greyhounds. Fair play to a stock car man getting
Butts Champ (T6) dead-heats with Blackrose Pip (T1), with Saleen Scart in third