Oxfordshire brothers dreaming of local success with star youngster Sir Oreo

Share This Post

Two brothers who quit their shopfitting careers to become professional greyhound trainers at Oxford Stadium have high hopes of landing one of the venue’s biggest prizes this month.

Chris and Phil Hamblin transformed their Mapledurham-based warehouse from a fitting unit into purpose-built kennels complete with paddock space, a swimming pool, kitchen and a racing office in December 2021.

Almost two years on from their unconventional career change, the pair have their eyes set on a first Category One success with kennel star Sir Oreo.

The 19-month-old dog qualified for this year’s RPGTV Cowley Puppy Collar on Friday and is one of 24 greyhounds in with a chance of scooping the competition’s £10,000 first prize.

He enters Round One in perfect form having won all three starts to date with a personal best time of 26.91 seconds over Oxford’s 450m trip – an average speed of 37.41mph. Despite the excitement, Chris is approaching Friday’s Round One qualifier with a level head.

“Everyone at the kennel is excited by his potential,” said Chris. “We knew he had ability when he first arrived during the summer, but his trial times left us a little open-mouthed and he’s won all three races since.

“Friday is without question the hardest race of his career to date and he’ll likely need a career best to keep the run going. But he has the inside draw which is what he’s become accustomed to, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed for another lightning start.

“So far we’ve only ever seen him run with daylight in front of him. We’ll learn a bit more about him when he hits traffic or needs to think about his positioning during a race.”

Joining Sir Oreo in Heat Two of the RPGTV Cowley Puppy Collar opening round are Droopys Dingo, Bloos Boy Rapido, Signet Batman, Easy Molly and one of the competition’s favourites King Memphis.

The first three to finish the race will qualify for Round Two and go one step closer to emulating the heroics of last year’s champion FromPostToPillar – who has since won over £30,000 in prize money.

Chris added: “It’s a quality competition that attracts some of the UK’s most promising young greyhounds and to be represented by a runner is exciting.

“Greyhounds are routine dogs, so we won’t do anything outside his usual. He’s walked every day, eats well and has taken to our newly installed swimming pool nicely which hopefully gives him the edge needed.”

The 2023 RPGTV Cowley Puppy Collar begins on Friday night, October 13, at Oxford Stadium. Doors open at 5.30pm with the first race due off at 6.17pm.

Heat One: Golden Palace, Cat Island, Long Fellow, Romeo Firebrand, Droopys Crisp, Brinkleys Ginger.

Heat Two: Sir Oreo, Droopys Dingo, King Memphis, Bloos Boy Rapido, Signet Batman, Easy Molly.

Heat Three: Queen Leona, Ballymac Rocky, Annadown Paddy, BrentfordPenguin, Queen Dusty, Droopys Eddie.

Heat Four: Coppice Lottie, King Capaldi, Antigua Sun, Droopys Hanover, Distant Playboy, Lush.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

More To Explore