Major Mission’s 2009 Warragul Cup At Only His Ninth Start

Written By Tuesday 3rd February 2009  

Major Mission is the first greyhound to annex the Warragul St. Leger – Warragul Cup.

The Tony Attard-trained flyer claimed a $26,000 first prize in the Group 2 Lion Quality Products Warragul Cup (424m) on Friday night.

In the final, Major Mission ($4.60) defeated Jarvis Bale ($8.60) by two and a half lengths, with Taipan Bale ($2.80F) one and a quarter lengths away third in 23.91sec. (Jarvis Bale and Taipan Bale are prepared by Graeme Bate.)

Then followed: Diamond Salute ($33.90), All Or Nothing ($22.80), Shameless ($25.90), Vee Man Vane ($3.20) and Kay Ess Penny ($15.10).

It was Major Mission’s fifth win from nine starts, and his stakes spiralled to $37,790.

Owned by Robert Smith, Major Mission clocked 23.97sec winning the Warragul St Leger on September 30 last year.

Greyhound racing is a family affair in the Attard household, as son Mark also helps out with the training duties, and as it turned out Mark was instrumental in making sure Major Mission was “race ready” for his Warragul Cup win.

The Attard’s were in a race against time for the $26,000-to-the-winner final due to injuries sustained in winning a heat of the cup five days earlier.

But Mark Attard, who assists his father Tony in the training of Major Mission, went beyond the call of duty to ensure the flyer lined up for the event, in which he defeated the Graeme Bate-trained pair of Jarvis Bale and Taipan Bale in 23.91sec.

Attard not only “machined and iced” Major Mission “on the hour” during the week, he also walked him along the beach near the family home at Altona Green during the prevailing heatwave – at 2am and 6am!

“I didn’t have much sleep for a few days, but we’re so proud of him… He’s all heart,” Attard said.

And there was also high drama just getting to the track on final night, with the mercury bubbling at 44 degrees Celsius.

“A car had caught fire on the Monash Freeway, and we had to pull over due to the traffic congestion,” Attard said. “We got him out of the trailer, gave him a good drink and kept him under the shade of an overpass for around 10 minutes.”

Unfortunately Major Mission will be off the scene for around a month after dislocating a toe on his left hind leg and straining his right hip muscle in the final.

And Tony’s wife, Carmel, due to the oppressive heat conditions stayed at home on final night – along with her daughters Irene and Karen, and niece Crystal – to care for Renee’s Special and First Commander, who are the dam and litter brother of Major Mission.

“We’ve been battling for a long time… But all the hard work has finally paid off and we’re still on cloud nine,” Carmel said.

“I had the air conditioning on and was babysitting ‘Girly’ (Renee’s Special), who was in the lounge, and ‘Scooby’ (First Commander), who was in the kitchen.

“I was hugging him and crying… He probably thought what the hell is happening.

“It’s a lovely feeling… We’ve been waiting for this for a long time.”

Renee’s Special is currently in pup to Big Daddy Cool and due to whelp on February 17.

Major Mission’s litter sister Hybrid Theory won the 2008 Group 1 Laurels and 2008 Warragul Oaks , and an older half-brother, Xrate, was a finalist in the 2006 Group 2 Traralgon Cup and a reserve for the 2007 Group 2 Warrnambool Cup . He was scratched from the 2006 Group 2 Ballarat Cup.

His sire , Bond, was a champion New South Wales sprinter who holds the Sandown Park 515-metre track record of 29.38sec.

After the placed runners the field finished in the following order Diamond Salute ($33.90), All Or Nothing ($22.80), Shameless ($25.90), Vee Man Vane ($3.20) and Kay Ess Penny ($15.10).

Major Mission is a Fawn dog whelped August 2006 by Bond from Renee’s Special (Black Shiraz x Brilliant Red). He is raced by Robert Smith and trained by Tony Attard of Altona Green. Major Mission has now had nine starts for five wins and two placings and the $26,000 first prize for the Warragul Cup took his over all stake earnings to $37,790.

Records of past Warragul Cup winners are bit sketchy, however we do know the first cup run under non propriety racing was won by Melbourne Cup winner Rocketeer and again in 1958 as a lead up race to the Melbourne Cup Marine Jet completed the double.

In the 50’s Warragul was a very popular Saturday afternoon meeting that later moving to Friday night racing for many years. The race has been won by some of the sports finest sprinters and listed below is the honour roll as we currently know it.

Warragul Cup Honour Roll

  • 1956 Rocketeer
  • 1958 Marine Jet
  • 1960 Flash Dasher
  • 1962 Coma’s Pride
  • 1969 Sunday Punch
  • 1970 White Post
  • 1971 Red Velore
  • 1972 Make The Scene
  • 1973 Half Your Luck
  • 1974 Sylvan Prince
  • 1975 Plain Stage
  • 1976 Golden Spur
  • 1977 Simon’s Twin
  • 1978 Newmore Glenn
  • 1979 Glen’s Elect
  • 1980 Tempix
  • 1981 Shamrock Flight
  • 1982 Sartorius
  • 1983 Salem’s Pride
  • 1984 Chariot Supreme
  • 1985 Broken Cup
  • 1986 Chariot Of Gods
  • 1987 Peppaloa
  • 1988 Trumbry Ace
  • 1989 Hua
  • 1990 Pure Talent
  • 1991 Sheedy
  • 1992 Brudge
  • 1993 Indoor Boy
  • 1994 Gipsy General
  • 1995 Bonjase
  • 1996 Best Of Bev
  • 1997 Applaud
  • 1998 Hotshot
  • 1999 Fibba
  • 2000 Labyrinth
  • 2001 Big Smig
  • 2002 Carlisle Jack
  • 2003 Knockabout Wok
  • 2004 Puzzle Prize
  • 2005 Sun Hero
  • 2006 Vapour Whirl
  • 2007 Magnificent Love
  • 2008 North Sea
  • 2009 Major Mission
Kevin Pitstock Kevin Pitstock (10470 Articles)

Kevin is a second generation greyhound industry participant with over 40 years experience as a greyhound owner, breeder, trainer, syndicator, broker and journalist. Kevin founded Australian Racing Greyhound in 2007 and fulfils the role of Editor of ARG 's expanding team of journalists. Kevin brings a wealth of background knowledge and external experience to Australian Racing Greyhound, that coupled with his intimate knowledge of greyhound industry and a large and diverse range of industry contacts; brings a unique perspective and insight to Australian Greyhound Racing.