Monday, July 11, 2005

Flying Frank is back...

Had a bit of a lie in on Saturday, tucked into my bowl of Frosties (me and Tony are old mates), settled down in front of Ministry of Mayhem, nothing unusual there.

Suddenly Jono comes bounding into the kennels clad only in his extra large M & S Y-fronts. He does that sometimes when he's a bit frazzled (or when he's had a big night on the Guinness). One of the other dogs barked to me that he could see a Colemanball which I thought was quite amusing.

Anyway, he came over to me and said I was running tonight. I wasn't at all prepared and I think that was probably in Jono's mind, he knows now that if I spend too much time thinking about my next race it gets me over nervous and affects my form.

He's like that is Jono: not only a great trainer, but his psychological approach to greyhound racing in my opinion is second-to-none. He continues to set new standards in his study of the mental side of the sport which is more important than most people think. He's the Arsene Wenger of the dog world in my opinion. Just the other day, after I'd trailed in fifth and felt quite down, he took the time to sit with me and remind me of his faith in me and how he believed I could be the best greyhound in the world if I wanted it enough.

And before I knew it I was there in the traps in the 8.39 at Walthamstow, running over my new preferred longer distance of 640 metres - with my mind right. But I was up against some stiff competition in the Zenon Security Trophy and dogs that had run nearly a second faster than me over that trip. Running for the first time out of Trap 1, I got off to my best ever start, hitting the first bend in third place. This time there were no bumps or baulks and I was - like it says on the tin - flying. With 200 metres to go I eased into second place and approaching the finishing line I was gaining, but alas not quite in time. I finished in 40.09 seconds (0.08 seconds behind the winner), comfortably the best performance of my puppyhood.

Whilst the Flying Frank of old would have celebrated with a glass or three of Monkey Shoulder, a great new whisky I've discovered (check it out at, the new Flying Frank went home, had his bowl of water, played a bit of barkgammon with his dog pals and was tucked up in bed before midnight. Dreaming of glory.

Peace. Love. Woof.

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