Tasmanian Nats Sprint Heats Start Monday
Written By Kevin Pitstock Tuesday 5th August 2008
Despite the fact that those in charge of Tasmanian Greyhound Racing are
backward and inept uncooperative toward us at Australian Racing Greyhound, the Tasmanian leg of the Nationals gets underway next Monday at Lauceston.
The aptly named First Innings, which is part-owned by Australian Cricket Captain Ricky Ponting, raced back into Rapidvite National Championship calculations with a brilliant all the way win at Launceston last night (Monday).
First Innings, has always shown ability, winning 15 races from 35 starts and was an odds on favourite for the group one Hobart 1000 at the end of 2007, when he was considered Tassie’s best chaser.
The night drew a big crowd including, Ponting and most of his Australian team-mates, who were buoyed by a 114 run victory earlier that day over New Zealand at Bellerive Oval, where Ponting scored an unbeaten 134. But the pressure of the night and the huge crowd may have got to First Innings, which finished down the track.
Since then, First Innings’ form has tapered off somewhat, but he bounced back to his best with a dazzling display at Launceston last night, just in time for the Tasmanian Rapidvite National Sprint series which starts at the same track next Monday night.
But it will be no easy task for First Innings, with Butch Deverell’s superb litter by Collide out of Eden Rose the ones to beat, headed up by Big Moose.
Big Moose is back in Tasmania after a campaign in Queensland, where he was a gallant 2nd behind El Galo in the group two Gold Coast Cup. A clear last early, Big Moose made up many lengths to run past all but the winner, earning high praise from his caretaker trainer Tony Brett.
“He’s a really good dog,” said the champion Queensland mentor.
“He can gallop…..he’d definitely measure up to group class for sure.”
Big Moose rounded off his Rapidvite Nationals preparation by trialling after the last race at Launceston last night and proved he was on target, running sections of 5.09 seconds and 17.53, with a slick overall time 29.90 for the 515 metres.
“Probably the hardest to beat will be the others from his litter,” Brett added, referring to Big Moose’s siblings, Akka Boy and Beejay’s Delight, which are also well credentialed to represent Tasmania.
Akka Boy is a winner at group two level, taking out the Launceston Cup, whilst Beejay’s Delight upset his more illustrious brothers in the Tasmanian Derby, which the littermates trifected.
But history is against the Tasmanian, with only one National Grand Final champion coming from the Apple Isle. Busy Vintage was victorious in 1984 at Sydney’s now defunct Harold Park circuit.
The Tasmanian heats will be conducted at Launceston next Monday night, August 11 with the final the following Monday, August 18.
A representative from every state of Australia will qualify for the $50,000 to the winner Grand Finals of the Rapidvite National Sprint and Distance Championships at Sydney’s famous Wentworth Park circuit on Saturday, August 30, hosted by the NSW GBOTA.