Express & Star

Funny Freddie’s a serious contender

Monmore Green trainer Chris Fereday hopes Funny Freddie can pull off an upset in the final of a British Greyhound Breeders’ Forum competition tonight.

Chris Fereday, centre,with Funny Freddie.

Fereday, who lives near the Wolverhampton track and has his kennels in Walsall, has Freddie running in the £3,000 British Bred Stayers showpiece at 8.03pm.

The three-year-old – the winner of six races so far in his career – came second in its heat last weekend to get through to the final and looks unlikely to come out on top over 630m given the strength of the field.

Fereday, though, is keeping his fingers crossed for a surprise, having enjoyed a solid start to the year.

“The year hasn’t started too bad for us – Funny Freddie has got into this final,” said Fereday.

“It was his first time over the six-bend trip, so we’re over the moon with the way he ran.

“We weren’t expecting him to hit that sort of time (38.42secs), so hopefully he can improve a bit more.

“It’s an outside chance as Elizabeth McNair has three decent stayers in the race – Queen Pink did 37.80secs so that’s a flying run.

“But you can never say never. If he traps out and shows good pace early on, you never know.”

Fereday is the sole home trainer in tonight’s Category Two Open final.

Monmore hosts its first Category One Open finals of 2023 next month as the Winter Derby and Puppy Derby events come to a head on March 4 and 18 respectively.

Fereday would love to be triumphant in such an event and sees tonight as a chance to keep building momentum.

“It’s exciting times ahead. We’ve had a few winners this month, Open winners,” said Fereday.

“The dogs are running well and fingers crossed, we can keep it going.

“Last year was not as good as our first at Monmore, but we have a new team at the kennels and things are going well.

“We want to do well here at Monmore first and foremost, and then in the Open scene with some good dogs.”

He added: “It’s hard to break into Category Ones, but that’s the aim, the goal.

“To win a Category One final, that’s where you make your name.

“We’ve been in a couple before, but to win one, that would be the dream for us this year.”