Greyhound racing enthusiasts were treated to a wonderful spectacle at the Devonport Raceway on Tuesday afternoon when outstanding chasers Damek and I'm A Fencer fought tooth and nail for Reg and Aileen Ivory Memorial honours.
After a titanic battle in the straight, Damek kept his astounding track record at the circuit intact, however I'm A Fencer lost no admirers and was extremely gallant in defeat.
The pair were locked together in battle for the majority of the feature, with only a length separating them at the wire, the 452 metre trip having been covered in the scintillating time of 25.36, only 0.23 seconds outside the track standard established in 2000 by the great Lilli Pilli Lad.
Had I'm A Fencer drawn inside Damek and led, the eventual result may very well have been reversed.
Damek ( Big Daddy Cool – World's Finest) has now won 29 of 36 lifetime starts and stakes of in excess of $71,000 and is unbeaten in seven trips north to the Devonport Raceway.
I'm A Fencer (Go Wild Teddy – Wooreddy) has won 14 of 23 lifetime starts and stakes of almost $24,000 and will prove to be a worthy rival to Damek in the future.
At the presentation ceremony, NWGRC Chairman Gary Sutton paid tribute to both chasers and thanked their connections for racing them at the meeting, enabling patrons to see two of Tasmania's finest in action.
Damek's owner-trainer Peter Phillips declared his chaser “a freak” at the conclusion of the ceremony and announced that the champion would continue to race in Tasmania in the future.
“He doesn't like travelling, refuses to settle and becomes very anxious away from home,” he explained.
“He just doesn't handle racing interstate, but who cares – he's doing the job here in Tassie and we just love him.”
“He's got nothing to prove anyway, so he will stay here and race in Tasmania.”
The owner-trainer described the thrill of winning the Reg and Aileen Ivory Memorial Classic as a very important milestone in his life.
“It's a big thrill for me – Reg and Aileen were legends here on the North West Coast, in fact they were legends all over Tasmania,” he declared.
While Damek has blotted his copybook in several interstate attempts however, his litter brother Decembrist provided a major upset by winning the recent $25,000 Richmond Derby in brilliant fashion.
Meanwhile the outstanding unbeaten young chaser Rybenbrook ( Bombastic Shiraz – Flick The Switch) continued on his winning way at the NWGRC meeting, winning for the sixth time in a sizzling 25.60.
The Jason Fletcher owned, Mick Stringer prepared chaser has created a huge impression since scoring on debut in January, winning by a staggering average of eight lengths on each occasion.
The David Crosswell prepared Galtee Again ( Meticulous – Who's Girl) also impressed at the NWGRC meeting, winning the Invitation by six lengths in a slippery 25.50.
The chaser has now won 11 of 23 lifetime starts and stakes of in excess of $14,000 and is certainly one to follow in the future.