He may carry the race moniker of Walk Hard, but let me tell you, he can run hard, and fast as well.Â The recent Warragul Cup winner flew around Warrnamboolâs Wannon Park on Wednesday night and in doing so set new figures for the 450 metre journey, recording an exceptional 24.84 seconds, his second track record performance of the year.
Jumping well from the red box, the big black sprinter held out the early challenge of National Time at the first corner and worked to a clear lead as the field swept onto the circle.Â Utilising his customary strength, Walk Hard quickly began to put some distance between himself and his rivals as he made his way to the home corner, racing powerfully to the line to score by five and a quarter lengths from National Time, with a further eight lengths to Ten Aces in third.
This performance saw the three and a half year old surpass the previous mark held by superstar Black Magic Opal of 24.87 seconds, set on the 31st of October last year.
The black flyer now holds two track records, at Warragul over the 460 metres, and now Warrnambool over 450 metres, and if current performances are any indication, the best may still be to come.
While most chasers at his age may be considered by many pundits to be reaching the twilight of their racing career, it seems Walk Hard is completely ignorant of the fact, as he really looks to be in the best form of his racing life. Not only has he won five of his last six outings, including a Warragul Cup victory, his only unplaced effort was in the Group 3 Healesville Cup, where he sustained severe interference and finished sixth.
Perhaps a key to his longevity is due to him only having competed on only 38 occasions, for a greyhound of his age, this would certainly put him into the lightly raced bracket.Â His record from those 38 starts is simply superb, 19 wins, nine seconds and three thirds, missing a place on just seven occasions and racking up more than $120,000 in stake earnings.
Injury has definitely played a part in Walk Hards career, at times he has been spelled with no guarantee of a return to the race track. His trainer Nicki McCrae has never lost her faith in her grand chaser and must receive much kudos for returning him to racing in such great fashion. She has indicated his next target looks like being the Golden Easter Egg series in Sydney to be run over three weeks beginning on Saturday the 5th of April.
While the son of Bit Chilli and Miss Bling is no stranger to racing in elite company, it will be fascinating to see how he handles the sometimes difficult Wentworth Park track when he heads north for a tilt at the 2014 Golden Easter Egg.
Whichever event he tackles next, Walk Hard has etched his name not only in to the record books, but also into the hearts and minds of greyhound followers everywhere. His tenacious spirit and will to win has endeared him to all who follow the long tails and his gutsy comeback from injury has us all yearning to see him and his trainer enjoy further success.
The Temora meeting on Sunday has been given TAB coverage and will showcase the $10,000 to-the-winner/GBOTA Temora Cup final. The Cup is run over a distance of 457 metres on the one turn track. Last year the Temora Cup was taken out by Dana Hayley.
The heats for the Cup race were action-packed with the track record falling not once, but twice. Prior to the Cup heats, the track record of 26.09 was held by the Mark Wilcox trained dog, Buster Shiraz.
The first greyhound to lower the mark was the Alan Pringle trained My Kinda Music. The black bitch by El Grand Senor – Ice Dancer (Spiral Nikita – Herron Quay) clocked 25.95 in heat one.
However, the record wasn’t out of Wilcox’s hands long, as his brindle chaser Knocka’s Return went just a shade better, stopping the clock at 25.94 in heat two. The dog by Knocka Norris – Winning Shiraz (Bombastic Shiraz – Winning Smile) is the brother of former track record holder Buster Shiraz.
The Temora Cup is race eight on the card and jumps at 8:07pm. Here’s a look at the chances of the finalists.
Box 1: Release The Heat – Jason Platts
Jason Platts’ four-year-old by Slater – Rosey Rita has seen plenty of racing in NSW and Victoria and has notched up 22 wins. He won his heat last week in 26.12 at his first race start at Temora. It was the first race he had won since October last year. He is drawn perfectly in box one, with seven wins coming from the rails draw. He also had this alley last week. The query is whether he can overcome the hot youngster drawn next to him.
Box 2: My Kinda Music – Alan Pringle
If you are looking for a greyhound to follow, this is the one. My Kinda Music has just turned two years of age and has started her career with a bang. She’s won seven of her ten starts. She has only been unplaced once and that was only because she fell in a race at Bathurst. She is a speedy bitch with fast wins at Bulli (22.30), Richmond (22.32) and Bathurst (17.65) to her name. As mentioned, she also broke the track record last week, winning her heat by four and a half lengths at her first go at the track. She looks the one to beat.
Box 3: Ay Grade – Denice Warren
Ay Grade is an experienced chaser trained by Denice Warren. The black dog by Vapour Whirl – Tasha’s Girl has 11 wins from 43 starts and has been showing some good, consistent form lately. He ran second in his heat behind Perfect Chance and clocked a fast 26.03 for the run. He hasn’t taken a liking to box three in his career, winning just once from nine starts out of the box. He has placed five times from the draw and can be considered a place chance.
Box 4: Accelerant – Peter Presutto
Victorian chaser Accelerant made the long trip to Temora worthwhile for trainer Peter Presutto, qualifying for the final after running second to Release The Heat. The Collision – Drama Queen dog has some fast wins on the Victorian circuit. He is a good beginner and should improve on last week’s run.
Box 5: Pleiades – Lorraine Roy
Pleiades is a talented chaser that needs some room in the early stages in order to explode. The Cosmic Rumble – Special Osti dog hasn’t drawn well in the squeeze box. He recently resumed racing after a short month spell. Prior to the spell, he and been running over 600 metres at Dapto. The Lorraine Roy trained chaser won his heat in 26.98 last week but will face a tougher task this week.
Box 6: White Spyro – Craig Davis
Victorian White Spyro is a very young greyhound that has done well to qualify for the Temora Cup final. The white and black bitch by Disintegrate – Hanify’s Elite is just 22 months of age and has had 11 starts for three wins. She is a reliable beginner but will face a test from box six. Trained by Craig Davis, White Spyro was the slowest of all the heat winners, recording a time of 26.23.
Box 7: Knocka’s Return – Mark Wilcox
Goulburn Cup winner Knocka’s Return loves a wide draw and wore the black rug last week en route to his record breaking victory. He hasn’t been unplaced in his last ten starts and is a big hope for the final. The one turn tracks suit him right down to the ground.
Box 8: Perfect Chance – Lorraine Roy
Lorraine Roy’s second finalist, Perfect Chance, won his 30th race last week in the heats and clocked a flying 26.01. The Bombastic Shiraz – It’s A Chance dog has faced the starter 58 times and raced at Temora three times for a win and two placings. He had the rails last week and now makes the move out to the wide draw, from which he has won two races. He’s a fast dog and is the other chaser outside of My Kinda Music and Knocka’s Return that has a big shot at the major prize.
First Reserve: Cosmic Apache – Rodney McDonald
Rodney McDonald trained last year’s Temora Cup winner Dana Hayley. He trains first reserve, Cosmic Apache, who ran second in the heats behind Knocka’s Return. The Cosmic Rumble – Dana Betty dog was beaten by just over three lengths. If he gains a start, he may struggle as he isn’t always the best away.
Second Reserve: Pantone Green – Margaret Keys
Pantone Green is a fast beginner but has been out of form in its most recent runs at Bulli, Gosford and Wentworth Park. The Magic Sprite – Wind It Up dog struggles to run out a strong 472 metres at Bulli so the distance will again test if he gets a start. Trained by Margaret Keys, he ran second to My Kinda Music in the heats, beaten four and a half lengths.
The three major players in the race are My Kinda Music (2), Knocka’s Return (7) and Perfect Chance (8). If any of these dogs lead, then the race looks all but over. Release The Heat (1) is drawn well in box one, but only won for the first time in a number of months last week. Ay Grade (4) and Pleiades (5) will need some luck in the early stages to factor, but are place chances. White Spyro (6) looks a little out of her depth, but it’s a credit to her ability that she has made the final after limited career starts and she looks to have a bright future. Accelerant (4) is the unknown factor. If he improves on last week’s run he has a shot.
The strength of the Victorian Country Cups circuit goes on display again this Saturday night when the final of the Group Two 2014 Horsham Cup takes place.
Four quality heats were held last Tuesday over the demanding 480 metre trip, with some of the state’s most consistent performers advancing to Saturday night’s final.
Unfortunately last year’s winner Peter Rocket has had to withdraw from the final due to injury, but his place will be taken by Group One Silver Chief winner Ollie Bale. The eight finalists have won no less than 113 races between them, so they certainly know what is required when it comes to chasing.
Youngster Warrior King was the fastest qualifier of the four heats, stopping the clock at 26.75. That time is just 0.07 outside the long-standing track record set by Crash back in 2004.
ARG spoke to connections of every greyhound involved to get an insight into how they believe their charges will fare in the $43,750 to-the-winner event.
The race takes place at 6:39pm.
Let’s take a look at the race in detail;
|Comments: Tom Dailly (Co-Trainer)Â - “It was a tough run in the heat after his triple somersault Saturday night. He has drawn nicely and will hopefully get a clear run. We know he will be strong to the line. Crump will be hard to beat getting a clear run from the eight.”
|Comments: Tom Dailly (Co-Trainer) -Â ”He gets out good but lacks early pace. He is similar to Hawk Alone and will need a clear run.”
|Comments: Jamie Ennis (Co-Trainer) – “Box three looks okay, the only concern is Musquin Bale, who drew directly outside us last week and he did come out but probably stays straight. If anything, he uses the track a little bit and gave us a chance to drive through. If I have a concern this week, that would be it.”
|Comments:Â Lyn Smith (Trainer) – “She hasn’t had a lot of luck with the box draws, but what can you do. She’s pulled up great and is jumping out of her skin. I couldn’t be happier with her at the moment. She has got to do everything right, she’s only really running for luck. You are basically there, hoping that somebody else makes a mistake. She’s not blessed with any early pace, she’s basically in the hands of what the other dogs around her do. She loves the track, she hasn’t been out of the money on the track and she hasn’t been out of the money out of box four either.”
|Comments: Jason Thompson (Trainer) – “He is in another final. He’s obviously going well, it was a very good heat run but he just can’t draw a box in all of these finals he gets in. This dog has never had any luck in his whole career. He’s had 43 starts and drawn the red twice and he’s a desperate railer. If you watch his heat win, he railed his ears off turning for home and that’s all he wants to do. It’s very disappointing to continually get bad boxes with, what I think, is a pretty good dog. He had to show a fair bit of tenacity. I know Warrior King went two lengths quicker then him but I think his run was every bit as good as his given the circumstances. I think he is as good as anything in the final and if he can somehow find the front, he will be very hard to beat, but from box five it’s going to be hard again.”Â||
|Peter Rocket – SCRATCHED||
|Comments: Tom Dailly (Co-Trainer) – “He is a good honest chaser that tries 100%. He has good early pace and will need to clear out early to be a winning chance.”
|Comments: Troy Iwanyk (Trainer) – “He injured himself in Perth. It was an injury enforced break and we fixed a few things up with him and got on top of a few injuries and I think he’s come back from the break a lot better but he was probably still underdone going into that race, so I am hoping that he can find a bit more on Saturday. He’s pulled up terrific, he has absolutely pulled up a treat. That was his main concern, he’s come up good, I’ve just got to hope he comes out of the boxes a bit better on Saturday night. Box eight looks to be ideal for him but you never know how these races are going to pan out. He had box eight in the Warragul Cup and that ended up being the undoing of him, he just got interfered with as the dogs in front of him collided. It can always work against you but it does give him his chance to stay off the track and do his own thing.”
|Ollie Bale (Box 6)
|Comments:Â Group One Silver Chief winner with a big motor who will need some luck from the draw but could be running on.||
|Comments:Â Looks tested against these dogs and will need luck if gaining a start. Place chance looks best.
The race is not flushed with early speed. Musquin Bale (2) or Empire Allen (7) could well find themselves in the early lead. Hawk Alone (1), Warrior King (3), Innocent Til (5) and Ollie Bale (9) will be four dogs that look to muster up early and vie for a good position. The key for them is avoiding interference in the run to the turn.
Evie’s Entity (4) is the only bitch in the race and has a real penchant for the track. She is another who will need room early in the hope that she can secure a clear run to get a crack at them in the home straight.
Crump (8) looks perfectly boxed out wide and could well get a clear run around the field to unleash his customary withering burst to the line in the long Horsham straight.
A case can be made for almost every runner in the race with the box draw appearing to suit Crump and Hawk Alone. Luck in the running will be everything with the winner certain to be the dog who makes the most of the opportunities they are afforded. This final promises to be an absolute cracker.
Wentworth Park Greyhounds Race 6 Box 2 Spiral Jill, 8.58pm
All the hype is around the three Queensland runners engaged in this. Hall of Fame trainer Rob Ball has decided to bring three of his in-form team to Wentworth Park, in preparation for a crack a the Golden Easter Egg. Rascal Flash, Bellagio Lad and Swift Opulence have drawn boxes one, four and six respectively. But with only Bellagio Lad having a had a run on the track, I’m willing to lay all three.
Spiral Jill is in solid form and has broken 30.00 here. Jill has had ten starts for three wins and four placings on the track, and should be able to get forward early in this. If she can clear box one runner Rascal Flash she looks the one to beat here with track experience on her side.
Punters should be able to find odds of around $6.00 about the daughter of Black Enforcer. As for the Queensland trio, I’d prefer to watch them go around, before placing a wager on them.
Ipswich Greyhounds Race 6 Box 4 Jonathan’s Hope, 4.39pm
I’ve got quite an opinion about this young dog, and he’s really starting to put it all together now. He won well last start at Albion when an odds-on favourite. He’s yet to race here, but he looks the one to beat, and he should be well suited to the Ipswich circuit. Box four shouldn’t worry him, and he should one of the first into stride. A lot will hinge on the first turn here, so he does need to get around it safely and within striking distance. He’s more then capable of running 30.70 here if pings, and things go his way.
Box one runner Ausphil Girl and box three runner Mungunyah look the dangers, so keep them safe.
Punters looking for value should find it with a boxed exacta of the three main hopes.
Best of Luck
$$ Another Day Another Dollar $$
The DaptoClub has been innovative with its puppy and the racing series that stems from that auction and itâs a shame that an incident occurred prior to the $10000 Puppy Classic Final last Thursday night. The Amy Bennett trained Little Elsie escaped from its kennel prior to the race and was free within the kennel bay. Innovation isnât required to stop this happening again in the future.
This might seem like a relatively minor incident, but it isnât. There are many problems that can arise from this. I was speaking to a trainer that frequents the Dapto track and has had this occur to one of his dogs in the past. He asked to be left out of this article and not be identified. His response to me in regards to his dog escaping on a prior occasion, and Amyâs dog escaping on the night in question was, âYouâve got your story all wrong the kennel bays are padlocked and sealed. Amy’s dog and mine only got out of the holding kennels. No damage done. They can’t lock every kennel as it would take forever to unlock and get all the kennels.â
No other word can describe it.
How can a trainer think that a dog escaping its holding kennel isn’t a serious situation? I would love to see trainer reactions if two dogs escaped in the one race. Can I buy tickets to be a fly on that wall?
What Iâm suggesting isnât a kennel rebuild, nothing of the sort. How hard can it possibly be to padlock each individual kennel? Itâs surely a situation that is in need of fixing, and now. Victoria manages to run a smooth ship on raceday with each kennel being secured with a padlock, why canât something so simple be adopted in NSW. The dogs are what makes the industry, itâs imperative that all measures are taken to keep them safe and secure.
If the purchase of padlocks is a prohibitive cost due to the fact that there is so many tracks in NSW, then they could always be secured using the method in SA. We approached GRSA CEO Matt Corby, who advised that in SA individual kennels are secured, “Yes, we use what we call a padlock security seal on each individual holding kennel. It has to be removed with wire cutters to release the greyhound at the appropriate time.”
We approached the GRNSW for comment and they replied to us with the following in a professional and speedy manner,
“GRNSW is aware of the incident where a greyhound managed to get out of its kennel.Â The incident can clearly be observed from one of the four security cameras strategically located throughout the kennel block.Â In the incident, the greyhound remained confined to the kennel bay. It has not been conclusively proven that the kennel condition is the reason for the greyhound exiting its allotted kennel.Â GRNSW has not been advised previously of such an issue at Dapto and refutes your claim that the kennels are substandard.Â Notwithstanding this, we have advised the Dapto club to review the security of each kennel found at the club.”
I have a question in relation to this statement. The GRNSW comments that the incident could be observed on a strategically located security camera. However when the trainer of Little Elsie, Amy Bennett, approached the stewards in the stewards room after race five and was informed that there was no actual footage of a direct kennel bay. So which one is it?
One of the terms used frequently for the betting public by Bruce Teague is âthe customersâ. I think this is a situation where the customers have been neglected in an astonishing way. If a horse is vetted at the barrier, everyone is alerted. If a horse is vetted in the mounting yard, everyone is alerted. How this was kept from the customers I will never understand. Surely there must have been some announcement so that the punters werenât kept in the dark.
Another thing of note is that the incident didnât even manage to make its way into the stewards report. Interesting. The dog was jumping at the door and was obviously disadvantaged by the incident. The trainer wasnât happy with what had taken place, and I canât blame her. But it didnât seem worthy of a mention. Not even the other trainers on the night knew it had occurred.
When Warrior King sizzled around the Horsham 480 metre trip in the first heat of the 2014 Horsham Cup, he surprised plenty of people by stopping the clock at 26.76. Co-trainer Jamie Ennis was not one of those people.
This Saturday night, at just under two-years-of-age, the son of Turanza Bale and Flamenco (Where’s Pedro – Zarbo) takes his place in a Group Two final.
But it wasn’t instant success for the youngster, who has only started to fully realise the potential that he exhibited as a pup in the last six weeks. He has now won five of his last six race appearances and taken his overall record to eight wins from 20 starts.
Ennis told ARG that, although the emphatic heat win was no shock, his maturity in recent times certainly has been.
“I wasn’t surprised by his actual ability or the time but I have been by his his attitude,” he said.
“In the last four or five weeks he has really lifted a notch as a race-dog. Before that, his record didn’t attach to his ability, blaming mainly bad box draws and just getting tangled up and not beginning as well as we would have hoped for.”
Besides a run of average boxes early in his career, another reason that Warrior King has slowly put it all together could be the fact that he is still very young. As Ennis explains, it is a catch-22 situation with a precocious pup when choosing whether to race them young or hold them back and keep trialling.
“It’s a bit funny, you have a look at a lot of good dogs. The one’s that possess a lot of ability, they normally start at a bit younger age. He sort of came to hand pretty quick and showed a lot of natural ability. He got to the races probably three quarters educated instead of us taking our time to educate him fully to have a terrific record on his CV, but sometimes that can work against you too. You go to field trials and there’s no-one there to run against you anyway, so you may as well go to the races. He kept drawing bad, he’d go to town and he is desperate for the fence and just kept drawing seven or eight.”
Now that Warrior King looks to have made the transformation into a professional competitor, Ennis hopes that the form continues and that the 35kg red brindle dog develops into a regular in these types of races.
“We just hope he can keep racing at the level he has been racing at. If he does, he is going to be a more-than-handy dog. His previous record suggested that he was probably going to be a bit of an enigma. He used to have a few outs, but now it seems he has put it together and he is putting his head down and boxing a little bit better. He has just been a better race dog lately and his potential is starting to come through.”
Should the run continue, Ennis has his eye on a trip to the Sunshine State next month for his promising dog and also says that further down the track, he may well race over more ground.
“He is a very strong dog. I would say he will probably end up racing over 600 later in his career. It’s just that the options are so good at the moment. There’s a lot of good races coming up. He probably will nearly have to win or run a really good race to say that he is good enough to chase the Easter Egg. At such a young age, it’s probably too hard, but sometimes with travelling and dogs, they do tend to grow up a bit and it’s a different track for them. I am keen to get him to the Queensland Derby though, later on in April, that’s what I would say is his main target after this.”
Ennis was also responsible for the tutelage of Warrior King’s regally bred dam, Flamenco, but says there is not a lot that the pair have in common.
“There’s not really many similarities, she was a funny little bitch. She was very quiet and wasn’t the bravest soul in the world. Hence that she didn’t have many starts, but her record was good. She was a stayer, I wouldn’t say she was a superstar, but she had ability and with her attitude, she was probably always going to be a better brood-bitch with her breeding.”
When it comes to this Saturday night’s final, Ennis says there could be one small hurdle to deal with early on in proceedings.
“Box three looks okay, the only concern is Musquin Bale, who drew directly outside us last week, but is inside us in the final. He did come out last week but probably stays straight. If anything, he uses the track a little bit and gave us a chance to drive through. If I have a concern this week, that would be it.”
Win, lose or otherwise, the name Warrior King may be worth scribbling down in the black-book as one to keep a close eye on in the future.
The 2014 Golden Easter Egg is just around the corner and ARG will bring you all the coverage for the biggest greyhound race in NSW.
The heats for the Egg take place on the 5th of April, with the best 80 greyhounds plus reserves earning a spot to feature in the big series.
The order of entry will see priority given to those greyhounds that have won Group races in the year leading up the race (eg. Maturity, Perth Cup, Australian Cup etc), greyhounds graded one to three at Wentworth Park Saturday meetings and winners of Preludes.
Here’s a look at the first round of Preludes. The winner of each will be given priority in the order of entry for the Golden Easter Egg heats.
2014 Group One Golden Easter Egg Prelude 1 – Race 4 at 8:30pm
My Boy Snoop (5) is a young up-and-comer for Anthony Azzopardi. The white and black dog by Where’s Pedro – Daydream has had just 10 career starts and already has a win at Wentworth Park from this box in 29.92, which is the fastest personal best time of all the dogs in this race. However, he has been unplaced in his last three runs.
Glama Pak (1) performs well from an inside box and has won three of her last five starts. She is fresh for this race, returning from a three month spell. Zipping Logan (4) has plenty of experience at Wentworth Park and has four wins at the circuit. His best time of 29.99 came back in early February. If he has some luck in the early stages, he’s in with a chance. Kristy Sultana’s Ruffonic (6) has only been unplaced once in six starts at Wentworth Park. The Fear Zafonic-Rumjungle dog has been performing well at Bulli in recent runs. He is yet to win from box six.
2014 Group One Golden Easter Egg Prelude 2 – Race 5 at 8:52pm
Zipping Tess (4) is fresh off a win in the recent Bathurst Gold Cup and will be looking to repeat the 29.79 effort she put in from this box at Wentworth Park back in March last year. A lot of her recent racing has been in much harder class in Victoria, so she is sure to relish the return to a slightly easier class.
Harry Sarkis brings Stunning Ashberg (1) to town for the first time after a strong win at Bathurst two starts back. The Collision – Hot September bitch is strong and should handle the track. She has had nine starts for three wins and two placings.
The superbly bred half brother to Double Twist, Someone Tifi (5), has had just five career starts for two wins and a place. Both wins have come at Dapto, leading all the way. This will present as a test for him early in his career. Lady in Black (3) could lead the race from the suited draw. She is yet to win at Wentworth Park from four starts but has placed on two occasions.
2014 Group One Golden Easter Egg Prelude 3 – Race 7 at 9:28pm
Woods (3) has won six races at Wentworth Park and is a handy dog on his night. His best time is 30.05 and he is generally well away at box rise. Gibbonator (1) has found trouble at his last two starts at Wentworth Park but prior to that, had won in 30.15, leading for the better part of the race. Although he has a good record from box two, he has not won from box one.
Mirror Reflecton (2) has found some form at Wentworth Park recently, placing in his last three starts at the track and winning last week in 30.27. Solar Pak (4), a half sister to Double Twist, is also a last start winner at the track in 30.03 and if the fawn chaser gets away well, which she has shown she is capable of, she will be hard to catch.
Rexroth (5) is a very consistent dog that has won at the track in 30.10. His consistency is such that he is up there as an each way chance.
A star-studded line up of greyhounds will battle it out in four competitive heats of the $40,000 Group Two Richmond Derby this Saturday night.
Conducted over the testing 535m distance, this prestigious event will celebrate its 41st running this year with past winners including; Cyrus The Virus, Stately Bird and last yearâs victor Jagger Swagger, who is nominated for 2013 Greyhound of the Year.
Heat One – Race Three (7.26pm)
Ritza Raider (8) comes into this race with superb form on the board, having only been unplaced once out of sixteen career starts. The son of Bombastic Shiraz and Midnight Flare was very impressive at Wentworth Park two starts ago, saluting comfortably from box eight in a respectable 29.93. The Mark Gatt trained chaser made his debut at Richmond back in October last year and clocked a slick 30.47.
Gattâs other star chaser Gradence (4) returns to the racetrack after a month-long hiatus and comes fresh off his sensational Group Three Bulli Gold Plate Victory over the 472m distance. The winner of twenty-two races had an outstanding month of January, notching up two other feature races wins in the Gosford Gold Cup Consolation and âThe Collersonâ Paws of Thunder Consolation at Wentworth Park. The son of Vapour Whirl and Dingâs Rocket has a speedy personal best of 30.61 at the track and can trouble this field with a clear run.
Litter brother to Group One winner Belfast Johnny, Belfast Kaiser, is drawn ideally near the rails and recorded three straight victories during February, including a quick 30.67 at this track. Trained by Troy Vella of Blacktown, this greyhound possesses the genuine early pace to feature heavily at the first turn. The son of Cosmic Rumble and Wongawilliesue has won two from four at Richmond thus far.
Heat Two – Race Five (8.14pm)
Evil Punk (5) is unbeaten at the Richmond circuit, with five starts for five victories and a blistering personal best of 30.35. This greyhound has been airborne at present, finishing runner up in the Group One National Derby last month, clocking a fast personal best of 29.59 over the 515m. The son of Collision and Punk Angel has the early pace to overcome the middle box and give trainer James Coyle another group final berth.
Ritza Ryder (4) is in fantastic form at the ripe old age of four, and has only had two starts at Richmond for a speedy win in 30.57 back in February of 2012. Exiting from box seven will suit the winner of twenty-two races, with his best work produced at the finish. Another prodigal son out of sensational broodbitch Midnight Flare, Ritza Ryder could easily take out this heat in smart time for trainer Mark Gatt.
Hunter Valley trained sprinter Cawbourne Havoc (3) will be looking to secure his fourth consecutive win after some quality performances at Wentworth Park in 29.84 and 29.85 in FFA class. The son of Brett Lee and American Spot has only had the one start at Richmond, however is perfectly drawn to get the fly in this race and secure the win.
Heat Three – Race Six (8.34pm)
Two-time Group One finalist Boyce Road (7) returns to his stomping ground after unsuccessful trips to The Gardens and The Meadows during February. This gifted chaser by Collision out of Mystic Pace has drawn ideally out wide and is set to return to his best for trainer Mark Gatt. Boyce Road has a superb Richmond record, having won four of his five starts over the 535m distance, with a fast personal best of 30.48.
King Cobber (4) is yet to be unplaced at Richmond and recorded a flying time of 30.48 last November. The Frank Hurst trained greyhound by boom sire Swift Fancy, has been successfully racing around the Bathurst circuit of late, placing third in the Bathurst Gold Cup last month.
Like A Boss (2) stepped up to the 600m distance at Dapto last week and saluted in fine style, clocking 35.00. Despite just the one victory at Richmond, a slick personal best of 30.64 and an ideal box two will see this greyhound run a cheeky race for trainer Frances Harris.
Heat Four – Race Seven (8.52pm)
Red Road (6) is another greyhound from the highly-talented Collision x Mystic Pace litter and relishes the Richmond track, having stepped out on debut during October last year and clocked a sizzling 30.22. He has drawn awkwardly in box six, however only needs some room early to clock a blistering time once again.
Clay Mullenâs star chaser Fast Archer (7) returned to his brilliant best at Wentworth Park two weeks ago, clocking a flying 29.61. The son of Collision and Clay Model will be searching for his first victory at Richmond, after finishing second twice from three attempts.
Father Skeeta (5) has an excellent record at the track, having won three races from seven starts and two minor placings. The Leslie Dennis trained son of Ashton Galilee and Madam Jessie recently recorded three straight wins and despite box five proving a difficult task to overcome, this greyhound shows good early pace and his three recent victories came from boxes 5, 8 and 6 respectively.
Young trainer Glen Price was lucky enough to have his new chaser Cosmic Wild involved in the final of the Great Weston and is now targeting Mandurahâs Prime Trophies Kanyana Cup with his talented sprinter.
There will be six heats run over the 490 metre distance, with 48 greyhounds competing for their rug in the $5,000 to the winner final.
Son of Cosmic Rumble â Abbadale Elle, Cosmic Wild, is in the fourth heat of the night jumping from box seven.
âBox seven is not an ideal box to have, but he is normally a reliable beginner, so that could work in his favour. Looking at the race book there isnât too many that can lead with him apart from the two (West On Abba).â Glen Price explained.
âLindaâs dog Bekim Maxim in the eight is the dog to beat in heats, if my dog begins the eight will probably get a nice cart into the race, he is probably a little stronger then me too. If he begins well I would give him the run of the race then Emily Frazerâs dog from the two.â
âI think Cosmic Wild can go very close to winning but he has to begin and cross to the front.â
Across the board in the Caning Trophy heats there is a genuine spread of short course talent.
Heat One (6.59pm Perth Time):
Andrew McLarenâs Lochinvar Cruise is set to jump favourite despite wearing the green rug. The red fawn dog has had all his seven wins at Mandurah over 400 metres, he has stepped up in distance to the 490 on two occasions without a win. His form suggests that he is in with a good chance if he doesnât get too tired on the home straight.
Wreck Monelli for David Hobby is currently paying $5.00 to take the race out from box three. He isnât the best beginner and is yet to have a win over 490, but he has tasted success over Northamâs 509 distance, which should see him coming home well.
West On Miffy is jumping from box eight for trainer Linda Britton paying $6.50. The little black bitch is also winless over this distance but she has managed to win over the 530 metres at Cannington. She is bred to be fast so it is hard to count her out of this race.
Heat Two (7.17pm, Perth time):
John Iwanykâs Uncle Si (box four) and Linda Brittonâs Private Notes (box five) both hold $3.00 favouritism coming into the heats. Uncle Si has spent the majority of his career over Mandurahâs 490 metre distance which should hold him in good stead. Although he has only had three wins so far they have all been best of the night performances.
Private Notes is lining up for her sixth career start and her second time over this distance, her first time being her qually where she ran third. Her times havenât been outstanding but she did go near best of the night over 400 a few weeks back.
Hallpack Tommy for David Hobby is jumping from box three paying $5.00 for the win. He has had all his 18 starts over 400 at Mandurah, excluding his last start where he finished fifth over 490. The run last week should give him a helping hand this week.
Heat Three (7.37pm Perth time):
Andrew McLaren currently holds favouritism for the second time in the Kanyana Cup heats, this time with El Deseo (paying $3.00). The black bitch has won three of her four races over Canningtonâs 530 metre trip which should see her coming home strong. She broke through for her first Mandurah victory over 490, giving her every chance of winning the race from box two.
Rampant Lion would be one of the stronger chasers heading into the race; he has had a large handful of his starts at Cannington as well as Mandurahâs 490 distance. Box six does him very little favours but canât be forgotten about, paying $4.00 for the win.
Hammer Chaser for Christine Bennett is jumping from box one paying $6.00 for the win. The black dog has been in good form of late at Mandurah over 490, giving him a good chance of snatching the victory if he sticks to the rails.
Heat Four (7.57pm Perth time):
Linda Brittonâs Bekim Maxim is $2.00 favourite wearing the pink rug. This talented youngster isnât know for his box manners, but is strong on the run home considering he runs Canningtonâs 530 metre distance out well.
West On Abba for Emily Frazer is another youngster that continues to improve. She is a last start winner over this distance in a best of the night performance therefore is hard to not give her a chance of winning the race.
David Hobby has Jaguar Monelli jumping from box three. She has been beaten by some very good dogs in her short career and canât be ruled out of this race. She has raced and won over both the 530 and 490 metres.
Heat Five (8.12pm Perth time):
Prang Monelli is odds on favourite paying $1.70 from box two for David Hobby. He is searching for his fourth consecutive win over the 490 metres. The brindle dog ran a personal best time of 27.28 two weeks ago, which is why he has the respect of the punters in this race.
Jamie Marshâs Ambitious Gem is jumping from box three. The blue dog has been running over 400 metres which is where he got his four wins from. The step up in distance for the first time could test him but he is worth watching out for.
Heat Six (8.27pm Perth time):
Golden Gossip for trainer Christine Robartson is jumping from box two, currently paying $2.20 for the win. The red brindle bitch has a super impressive record, winning five of her six starts and running second in the other. Most of her wins have been over 405, but two starts back she won on her 490 metre debut.
Sailing Solo has recently done most of his work at Cannington for trainer David Hobby and this week he is back at Mandurah jumping from box one. He has been beaten by some good dogs in his past few starts and there are question marks over whether he is up the running the 490 metres after having a few weeks off.
Linda Britton has Waiterâs Eye jumping from the pink box paying $6.00. The big black dog isnât known for his early speed, which could cause him a bit of trouble if he is too far behind. He is running in his second start back from injury, winning previously over 405.
âThere is at least three of four dogs in every heat that can do some damage. Prang Monelli off the two has gone 27.30 and on his night he is good. El Deseo of Andrew McLarenâs can run 27.60âs, so itâs in with a chance. If Prang Monelli can run what he can off the two he should be the dog to beat in this series.â Glen Price said.
Price is in his first month of training with his kennel of 18 dogs and has already produced his first quinella, which happened to be his first win as a trainer too.
âMy biggest moment so far would probably be getting Cosmic Wild into the Great Weston because I wasnât expecting it. I also had one make it into the maiden final so making a couple of feature races early on was a bit of a buzz.â
Price has worked for a number of trainers since his introduction to the greyhound industry through his father including; Peter Sayer, Linda Britton and more recently Dan Biddle. He has been in the greyhound industry for about 13 years after being introduced to greyhounds when his father decided to by one after previously being involved with racehorses.
âI got the bug with the greyhounds more then I did with horses and it just grew from there. It just seemed to stick with me.â
âI had a couple months away from the industry to refresh the batteries, seeing if there was anything outside of greyhounds that interest me, eventually I found my way back into the dogs through Linda Britton. I was originally meant to do only a couple of weeks and that turned into a year.â
When Price was 18 he had a short stint as a trainer because the timing wasnât right and commitment to the dogs was an issue, so young Price decided to work for another trainer. Over the past few years Price found himself working with Dan Biddle who gave him two options, because he believed Price had nothing more to learn from him. Either go and work for another trainer or bite the bullet and become a trainer himself. A month into taking the later advise Price is happy with his decision.
âI have learnt you have got to be patient in this game, you make mistakes along the way, do what you do and make sure the dogs are healthy and injury free and believe you can train.â
âI have noticed along the way that you canât really plan what you do with the dogs too far in advance because you plan something and it will go a different way, so I take it day by day, week by week and month by month, dog by dog.â
âWhat I want to do is earn respect from other trainers and owners and hopefully win some Group and feature races along the way.â
On Friday night in Cosmic Wildâs second finals stint, the heats of the Kanyana Cup, he has the chance to step up against some handy chasers and aid in development of respect his trainer Glen Price strives for from other trainers.
NSW Stewards today inquired into an alleged incident said to have occurred in the kennel block of the Wentworth Park Greyhound track on the evening of 17 January 2014.
Evidence was taken from trainer Kenneth Burnett, attendant Tess Simmons, kennel supervisor Martin Wright and registered owner-trainer Amanda Brunton. Footage of the kennels on the night in question was shown to the inquiry.
Mr Burnett was found guilty of the offence of misconduct under GAR 86 (o) in respect of alleged harassment and impeding the normal duties of Ms Simmons prior to the running of Race 8 on the night in question.
Mr Burnett was subsequently suspended for a period of three months and fined $200. Under the provisions of GAR 95 (3) the suspension was suspended in full on the condition that he does not reoffend under the conduct rules in the next 12 months.
Mr Burnett indicated that he will appeal the decision and penalty.
Albion Park Greyhounds Race 3 Box 6 Absolute Boss, 7.25pm
This dog looks the one to beat here tonight, after narrowly going down last Thursday night here. He drew box six last week as well, so don’t be put off by the box. Barbella and Luck As Ell should be the first two out of the traps, and they will likely drag the Boss across with them. He’s run a PB of 30.07 and looks to be in that same form presently. In a race that looks quite even on paper Abosolute Boss should start at odds of around $5.00, and looks a genuine winning chance.
The danger could be the in and out customer Betty’s Memory. She’s drawn the red and will get the run of the race. She generally gets away from the boxes well, but has quite a flat spot mid race. If she’s gets overtaken mid way through she generally gets beat. But if she manages to hold the lead in the middle stages, she’s mighty hard to beat.
Keep her safe at odds.
Angle Park Greyhounds Race 5 Box 8 Suntory Gold, 8.40pm
Suntory Gold’s run on Monday night was brilliant when getting beat by Wonder Whirl in fast time. She drew the five on that occasion and was spat out the back early on. She comes up with the pink box here tonight and should get a far better run in the early stages of the race. She looks to be a very powerful bitch and the 600 looks perfect.
Wonder Whirl has again been drawn in the same race, and will be the hardest to beat. She should go forward early and take plenty of catching. If Suntory Gold can stay in touch early she should find herself threatening Wonder Whirl late.
Dapto Greyhounds Race 3 Box 3 Madame Nikita, 8.12pm
Shocking race with some really slow dogs engaged. Madame Nikita looks the clear and outright winner, based on her past performances at Richmond. She should take up the early lead, and once in front, be near impossible to catch. It’s nearly impossible to make a case for the others, and as long punters can secure, odds of around even money, then Madame Nikita looks the easy money bet of the night.
Hobart Greyhounds Race 10 Box 1 Sandy’s Pick, 10.50pm
Sandy’s Pick is a non winner, but surely tonight’s race is the one she brings up win number two in. She’s in great form at present, running 8 placings in her last 10 starts. But she has a tendency to not want to find the line first. From box one tonight she should bounce straight on the lure and just win. Her PB of 26.43 is solid enough, and tonight’s race is hers to loose.
Adelina Pines could be the danger if she gets toward early and races on the speed.
Sandown Greyhounds Race 8 Box 1 Surf Mail, 9.35pm
Box one is never the best box for the flying Surf Mail, but he’s fourth up from a spell and should be ready to fire. He’s a tremendous dog with a big motor and since he was sent to Victoria he’s grown another leg. He has a flying PB and will only need luck around the first corner to win this tonight.
The inside dogs in the race appear the main hopes, so punters should look to base their exotics around them.
Best of luck
$$ Another Day Another Dollar $$
We all know about the dominating win by Buckle Up Wes in the rich Australian Cup last Saturday. Then a day later Tasmanian pacer Beautide took out the Interdominion Championship at Sydneyâs Menangle Park. But there is one more.
Also on the weekend Tasmanian cyclist, 21 year-old Amy Cure, scored a gold medal at the World Championships in Columbia. Her win in the 25 kilometre points race came after picking up two bronze medals with her team. The Hobart Mercury reports that Cure has a contract with the Belgian Lotto-Belisol Ladies team for the coming European season.
Thatâs a lot of excitement for the Apple Isle.
If only they could smarten up their sectional timing information in greyhound races, they may have a future down there. Yes, they are still telling lies by assigning the leaderâs time to the wrong dogs. This is really strange in another way as the local organisation is leading the way in experimenting with GPS tracking using the saddlecloth on thoroughbred racers to do the same job. When perfected, the system could easily be transferred to greyhounds and then provide sectionals for all runners, not just the leader (whoever that is).
Currently, Tasmanian results offer no running orders during the race and show the sectional time against the winnerâs name, regardless of whether it was responsible for it. Both would discourage intending punters, to say nothing about destroying the integrity of racing data.
This is far from the stateâs only challenge. Its income is tied to the TattsBet operation which has been suffering from a diversion of business to the bigger Tabcorp TAB across the Bass Strait. Critically, Tatts problems are even bigger in its home state of Queensland where it is still battling with Racing Queensland over commission payments worth $100 million-plus and its overall tote business is shaky.
The key to Tatts fortunes will be the ability of the three codes in Queensland to improve their products. All have been in decline over the last decade as horse and dog numbers dwindle and field quality suffers. Short fields and low standard races are now the norm at major Albion Park meetings. Tatts management itself is frequently under fire in local media for sloppy handling ofoffers, where online bookies are making big gains.
The Tatts group is fortunate to be able to rely on growth in its non-racing sectors but that will be of no help to greyhound punters looking for better deals. Clearly, their only hope is that eventually the creation of a national betting pool will make all the troubles go away.
THE MONEY TRAIL (1)
We mentioned the Cup heats at Horsham a couple of days ago, and the risks involved in punting on them. Of the dogs that had raced in the previous few days, only one was a winner â Innocent Til, which got a bit of a belting in the Australian Cup final on Saturday from Hallelujah Henry. Two others were scratched, which contributed to all heats running with empty boxes because there were no reserves.
But there are more oddities.
Horshamâs usual Win pool on the NSW TAB is about $10,000 but sometimes more. Two weeks ago it averaged $9,983. First Four takings are also quite good. Its Tuesday twilight slot is reasonably popular, considering it is not known as a prime time of the week.
Last week was different. In its wisdom (it may well have had reasons that are not obvious) GRV shifted the graded meeting away from the normal slot to Wednesday evening. In its place, Horsham ran an all-maiden meeting containing the usual lot of triers and never-rans.
Guess what. The maiden meeting averaged only $6,940, indicating punters were not amused and maybe went across to the trots or the gallops.
How about the new Wednesday time? No better. It averaged $6,972 for a fairly useful graded program, which is a bit worse than attracted by whatever club normally occupies that slot. Anyone used to the Tuesday timing would have been put out by the change â or maybe they just donât like later starts.
Then this weekâs Cup heats meeting got shifted from twilight to night, but still on Tuesday. How did that go? Not too well, considering the high quality of the dogs and the $5,000 first prizes for the Cup heats. It averaged only $9,020, or below what the run of the mill twilight meetings pull in. And next Saturday, three of the finalists will be having their third race in eight days. Dunno about that.
Going back to the Cup heats, they averaged $9,887 on the Win tote whereas the other eight races averaged $8,309. However, the latter group included two post 10pm races which drew poorly, and five of the eight were maidens. Much of a muchness?
Of course, another challenge was that there were four other clubs running at night, but only three in the twilight zone. Aside from late night issues, the revised time put Horsham into heavier traffic.
Why does GRV keep playing musical chairs with race dates and times? It never pays off, regardless of whether they get more locals to turn up to the meeting. People like consistency, both from their dogs and from meeting programmers.
(Of course, Victorian TAB takings were about 70% larger than those above but the picture is much the same. In any case, under current arrangements, the home state also benefits from what happens on their meeting in other states).
THE MONEY TRAIL (2)
Last weekend NSW punters spent 17% more on the Win pool at Fridayâs Wentworth Park meeting than at the higher quality meeting on Saturday. No doubt some would have been attracted to the three big races at The Meadows on Saturday night. Even so, the downturn was not noticeable in First Four pools which were quite high at Wenty. The short fields might have had an influence â six on Saturday versus only two on Friday â but that was not reflected in those First Four pools. Who knows? Itâs all a mystery.
More obvious were the wild variations from race to race, no doubt in sympathy with delayed trotting starts and race clashes generally. More proof that it is a turning into a mugâs game – literally.
GRNSW has claimed big increases in turnover during the July-December period but the more important information would be a rundown on where all this money came from. How is the punter profile changing?
And why are more punters taking extortionate Fixed Odds prices rather than demanding better offers from their betting operators? That would never happen in a robust on course ring. Unfortunately, they are pretty much a distant memory. All the more reason for racing authorities to keep track of who is betting what and where.
GRNSW is about to come up with a new strategic plan, but how can they do that properly if they donât know their customers? It will be no good asking trainers, as the chairman has just announced she will be doing, because they wonât know either. It will also be no good asking betting operators because they all have different policies, different products and different client bases. The answers will come only from proper research programs â of both the public and the punters.
Hopefully, that task will be better organised than the last GRNSW survey â conducted for it by a consultant â which was tasked with working out a new formguide design. Since that turned out to be too elaborate, too flowery, too cumbersome and too hard to read, letâs hope they can do better in the future.
And, no, I am not impressed with readership figures which GRNSW occasionally trots out. They measure only who opened a particular section of the website. They tell you nothing about how the information was used.
The magnificent 2014 Australian Cup trophy was on display for all to see at Tuesday’s NWGRC meeting conducted at the Devonport Raceway.
In recent days the trophy has been shared around by the proud owners of Buckle Up Wes and their families. Part-owner Sharon Sutton was in attendance at the meeting for the purpose of firstly âdoing a John Singletonâ and shouting the bar and letting the general public view the trophy.
The success of Buckle Up Wes will do wonders for theindustry in Tasmania and in particular the North West Coast region, the home of the Johnson and Sutton families.
Meanwhile two heats of the annual feature, the Reg and Aileen Ivory Memorial Classic, were conducted at Tuesday’s meeting and the $5,700 final will be conducted next week.
No doubt the Ivory family would have been extremely proud of their grand-daughter Sharon, had they been around in this day and age to participate in the Australian Cup celebrations.
Launceston’s Grubb family qualified litter-mates Sing The Song and Quick Advance for the Ivory Memorial Classic, when they ran the quinella in the first of the heats.
Quick Advance led from box one, but was collared in the straight by the bitch Sing The Song, which recorded a time of 25.51 in winning the 452 metre affair.
Buckle Up Brett, from the Johnson kennel, filled third berth and along with the fourth placegetter Captain Thomas, has earned the right to contest the final.
The second heat was taken out by the smart chaser Hellyeah Bolt, which proved to be too strong in the concluding stages for Golden Sage and Woodleigh Doll in the time of 25.47.
Oscar Ralph, an occupant of Maurie Strickland’s Bracknell kennel, finished a close up fourth and will also join the fight for the big bucks on offer.
Robert Grubb, who along with his son Robin, tends to the superb High Earner â Stylish Moon litter, is of the opinion that Sing The Song will be suited in box 7 next Tuesday.
âShe likes it out wide and will give a great account of herself, with Anthony Bullock’s dog Hellyeah Bolt the obvious danger,â he explained.
âWe have probably won fifty or sixty races with members of this litter and Sing The Song is the quickest, although the ill fated Kiss Me Elvis, which broke a leg, also had an abundance of speed.â
Meanwhile the Brian Crawford prepared Alvin Benz appears to have turned the corner and was very impressive in winning The Advocate Grade 5 (580 metres) event at Tuesday’s meeting.
Raced by Crawford in partnership with his son Justin, the son of Big Daddy Cool has now won two races in succession and is finally revealing his true potential.
The chaser put six lengths on his rivals while running a personal best time for the journey of 33.04 and is one to follow in coming months.
$5,700 REG AND AILEEN IVORY MEMORIAL CLASSIC (452 METRES)
1. Hellyeah Bolt Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Anthony Bullock
2. Woodleigh Doll Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Dennis Wood
3. Captain Thomas Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Alison Walker
4. Buckle Up Brett Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Gary Johnson
5. Golden Sage Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Butch Deverell
6. Quick Advance Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Robin Grubb
7. Sing The Song Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Robert Grubb
8. Oscar Ralph Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Maurie Strickland
9. Stylish Abbey (Em 1) Â Â Â Robin Grubb
10. Gracie (Em 2) Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Donna Goodluck
The Maitland Supporters Club Gold Collar has been a prestigious event held for many years over the 400 distance, with an impressive line up to step out in tomorrows $5,000 final.
Some talented short-course sprinters participated in the four heats conducted last Thursday. Locally trained chaser Splash About took time honours for Weston trainer Paul Roderick, clocking a speedy 22.61. Racking up his 20th career win from 55 starts, the son of Elite State and Lee Kate recorded his second consecutive win and his fifth victory at Maitland from nine starts. Rose Sannette went in as the $1.70 favourite, however had to settle for second place as Splash About began beautifully from box one and led throughout, scoring by one and three quarter lengths.
Heat one went to second favourite Vanessaâs Flame for trainer Peter Lagogiane, who made the two and a half hour trip from Llandilo and wasnât disappointed as his charge weaved his way through the field to salute by a length in a solid time of 22.71. This promising greyhound by Paddyâs Flame out of Big Girl Vanessa has only tasted defeated once out of five career starts, and has already recorded some slick personal bests at Richmond (22.63) and Bulli (22.57). Vanessaâs Flame was very impressive at his first Maitland start and expect plenty of improvement on the clock in the final.
Carol Hudson unleashed another talented greyhound from the highly-successful Magic Sprite x Awesome Opal litter in heat three. A litter sister to superstar Black Magic Opal, Glamorous Opal grabbed early leader Secret Touch in the home straight to streak away by three and a half lengths in a fast 22.68.
The final heat was won by four year old Yo Cool Maxie for trainer Barry Evans. Coming off an outstanding victory in the Armidale Cup, the son of Big Daddy Cool and Be My Girl notched up his 27th career win from 90 starts and won plenty of admirers with his performance on Thursday. The grand old campaigner ran down Richmond Cannonball winner Set and Match, to salute by one and half lengths in 22.84.
This weekâs final winner will etch their name in the history books of a race that is highly respected and yearned by many in thefraternity.
Maitland Supporters Club Gold Collar Final 6.17pm (EDST)
1. Secret Touch â Neville Stokes
2. Vanessaâs Flame â Peter Lagogiane
3. Yo Cool Maxie â Barry Evans
4. Splash About â Paul Roderick
5. Barbâs Kiwi â Warren Kelly
6. Rose Sannette â Kevin Johnson
7. Glamorous Opal â Carol Hudson
8. Set And Match â John Grief
Flying Brinnie scored an amazing win over 500 yards (457 metres) at Lismore in 1949. After turning around in the boxes, Flying Brinnie was left hopelessly at the start and looked to have no chance, but caught up to the field and when they ‘jammed’ at the halfway point she gained a run through along the fence, going on to score by a length in 28.8, the slowest time of the night. The best of the night was 27.7.
Kirsty’s First won the 1986 National Distance Championship final, run over 704 metres at the Gabba. The Queensland star defeated NSW champion National Lass (who had won her previous 14 successive starts). Victorian champion Bold Trease was fifth.
Bogie Leigh, from Queensland, defeated Monster’s Inc by three lengths to annex the 2004 Australian Cup in a race record 29.92 for the 525 metres at the Meadows.
Spring Gladiator won the 2006 Bathurst Gold Cup by just over five lengths and earn his connections $10,000 first prize money, double what it had been the previous year.
Oakleigh Cola took out the 1959 NCA Australian Championship, run over 580 yards (530 metres) at Wentworth Park, defeating Rodney Hill and Ravada. Champion sprinter Magic Babe could only finish fifth, but after the race was found to be injured and was forced into retirement, having won 26 of 56 career starts, including four victories in five meetings against the superstar Rookie Rebel.
Beckley Park , Geelong, opened for racing in 1980. It would housein Geelong for the next 30 years. Tempix set the time standard for 457 metres, running 26.30.
Black Aztec scored his maiden victory, at his first race outing, up the straight at Appin, in 1980. He went on to an illustrious career which included wins in the Melbourne Cup and Hobart Thousand.
Matelot notched his 12th consecutive victory, over 544 metres at Cairns, in 1990. He was beaten into fourth place at his next outing, a heat of the Cairns Cup.
Oak Queen scored by 17 lengths in a new track record time of 43. 12/16 over 785 yards (718 metres) at Launceston in 1959 in a heat of the Launceston Distance Championship.
New Zealand trainer John McInerney trained the quinella when his two Kiwi charges Anna Lee Whisky and Winsome Gem ran first and second in the 2006 Sister City Cup, held at Angle Park.
Gracious Elect won his seventh consecutive race when he annexed the final of the 1949 President’s Handicap over 300 yards (274 metres) at Beenleigh. He defeated Lucky Diann by half a length. He had earlier made it six on end when defeating Lucky Diann by half a length in his heat, run earlier in the day.
Bogie King won the 2011 Queensland Derby for trainer Ryan Ayre, defeating Yowyeh, High Interest and He Knows Uno (fourth).
Zoom Top won the 1970 Singleton Gold Cup by just over a length from Bunyip Bint. The victory was Zoom Top’s 68th, and last, of her illustrious career.
Pororoca defeated Superman by almost two lengths in the 2006 Interstate Challenge, run over 530 metres at Cannington.
The continually successful Pringle line looks to have produced another star in the making.
Master Shot (Brett Lee – Midnight Movie) obliterated the existing 450 metre time standard at Bathurst on Monday afternoon in a performance trial.
It was the first time Master Shot was produced before the public on a race track and he certainly opened eyes when he recorded a blistering 25.31, winning the trial by over 15 lengths. His time was breathtaking considering that the track record is 25.60.
The 22 month old dog was fast away and recorded a flying 15.10 to the first mark.
“We have been getting him ready for a while. We have got him up and going to show him off and show what he can do. He is a good pup”, David Pringle told ARG.
“He’s very exciting. It’s a once in a 20 year dog for us, we breed a bit and bred his mother.”
Pringle confirmed that the dog has already been the subject of a big six-figure offer after the trial, but Pringle has no plans to sell the dog at this stage.
“We knocked that back. You don’t breed and then get a dog like this and just sell it. He might never make half that money, but it’s the excitement of having a dog like him.”
The big Wentworth Park Maiden series is fast approaching, but Pringle is unlikely to set the dog towards that series.
“We will stay away from Wentworth Park because it’s the best track to stuff young pups. You can draw box five in that maiden race and make a good dog look bad. We are just going to keep working him and we might put him in a few more performance trials and go to Maitland and Bulli and just let people see what times he can run.”
It is more than likely that Master Shot will end up in Victoria with master trainer Jason Thompson. Pringle has sent another talented chaser, Warehouse Mouse (Where’s Pedro – Fancy Jaffa), down to Thompson in recent times and couldn’t be happier with how he is going.
“Jason is doing a brilliant job with him. In my opinion, Jason is probably the best trainer in Australia at the moment. When he got the dog I told him this dog is a good dog but he could probably go better. He’s done a terrific job with him. He’s had about nine starts with him and only been unplaced once. He’s been racing top grade dogs as a pup and the times he’s been trailing have been phenomenal. He’s only a couple of hundredths behind Phenomenal in trials. It’s just that he’s a terrible beginner. Jason’s a good trainer and will work him out. This dog (Master Shot) will end up down there. Jason will end up getting him. There’s no money up here. The money’s down there and he can turn dogs like this into stud dogs.”
Even though its unlikely that NSW racegoers will see Master Shot at Wentworth Park in the maiden series, a couple of Pringle dogs will still be there.
“There’s a couple more coming along as well. We are taking a couple to Wentworth Park. They are different sorts of dogs. These other couple of dogs, they are just real tough gritty sort of dogs that will take a bashing and still keep coming. They are Collision dogs and in their performance trials they will open a few eyes as well. They are a bit slow early and Wentworth Park may not suit them but we aren’t too worried about them. They’re going to get a bit of ground, probably go six or seven hundred.”
The Pringle’s tried and true method of breeding top notch greyhounds continues to shine. It will be interesting to see how Master Shot comes along. He may well be the next potential star to hit thescene.
A loam scorching win by Warrior King was the highlight of four heats of the 2014 Group Two Horsham Cup on Tuesday night.
The Brooke Ennis trained dog ran a rapid 26.75 to set the time standard for Saturday night’s final. The run was just 0.07 seconds outside the long standing track record, which was set by Crash way back in 2004.
The four heats served up some quality chasing and have set the stage for a great final in just four days time.
Here is how the action unfolded;
Race Five – 2014 Group Two Horsham Cup – Heat One
Warrior King (1) shaved nine lengths of his last-start Horsham victory when he took out the first heat in impressive style over a hot field.
The son of Turanza Bale and Flamenco registered a slick 26.75 en route to his fifth win from his last six outings for trainer Brooke Ennis.
Australian Cup finalist Musquin Bale (2) speared the lids and looked like he may dominate the race early. However Warrior King mustered pace and drove under the early leader to forge his way to the front.
From that point, it was a strong display of front running from the 35kg red brindle chaser who scored by 2 3/4 lengths.
Musquin Bale held onto to second place to qualify for Saturday’s final with Clone Your Own (3) finishing well for third.
Race Six – 2014 Group Two Horsham Cup – Heat Two
Crump (6) showed the benefits of a short freshen up to score a dominant win in the second heat for Pearcedale trainer Troy Iwanyk.
Recent Group One Rookie Rebel winner Hawk Alone (1) began well to lead from Campaspe Will (4), Humphrey Bale (5) and Stagger (7) early on in proceedings. Crump was last to leave the boxes in his customary tardy style.
While the battle for the lead took place, Crump balanced up and whisked around the field, going from last to first in the twinkling of an eye.
From that point it looked a question of “how far?” for the 35kg black chaser. The further they went, the further Crump got away, which is no mean feat when Hawk Alone is chasing you.
Crump saluted by a cool 6 1/4 lengths in the time of 26.89 and could well be better for the hit-out. Hawk Alone held down second place with Sisco Good filling third.
Race Seven – 2014 Group Two Horsham Cup – Heat Three
Innocent Til (8) had to dig deep to take out the third heat in a display of tenacious chasing.
The son of Premier Fantasy and Proven Polly stopped the clock at 26.89 to book his place in the final for astute Pearcedale mentor Jason Thompson.
Empire Allen (1) was first to leave the traps from the inside with Ollie Bale (4) very handy in second place.
Innocent Til left the boxes near the tail of the field but mustered plenty of pace to zip up to second, appearing to have the race at his mercy.
Empire Allen had no intentions of handing up the ascendency and the pair battled tooth-and-nail down the straight before Innocent Til, who had worked his way to the fence, gained the upper-hand in the last hundred metres to surge away and score by three lengths.
Empire Allen clung on to second place from a fast-finishing Ollie Bale.
Race Eight – 2014 Group Two Horsham Cup – Heat Four
Defending Horsham Cup champion Peter Rocket (8) won the final heat to ensure he had the chance to go back-to-back this Saturday night.
The Keith Hellmuth trained son of Where’s Pedro and Belron Blue registered 26.92 in a tough win.
Peter Rocket found the front early with the race favourite Evie’s Entity (4), a bitch known for her strong finish, landing in second place and looming as a large threat to the leader.
By the home turn, the pair had cleared right out from the field and settled down for a soul-stirring battle for the length of the straight. Evie’s Entity tried her heart out, but Peter Rocket fought on resolutely to hold her at bay, winning by half-a-length on the line.
Evie’s Entity secured her place in the final finishing second and Sisco Rage finished third.
The box draw for Saturday night’s big final is as follows;
1 – Hawk Alone – Andrea Dailly
2 – Musquin Bale – Andrea Dailly
3 – Warrior King – Brooke Ennis
4 – Evie’s Entity – Lyn Smith
5 – Innocent Til – Jason Thompson
6 – Peter Rocket – Keith Hellmuth
7 – Empire Allen – Andrea Dailly
8 – Crump – Troy Iwanyk
9 – Ollie Bale – Andrea Dailly
10 – Sisco Rage – John Galea
If this was in Queensland they might get upset. Only good news is allowed there under the current management. But itâs in Victoria, so thatâs alright.
Beware. Tonightâs Horsham Cup heats involve 32 dogs, some of which will then go on to the final only four days later.
Of these starters, five raced six days ago, seven raced five days ago at Sandown and three raced three days ago at The Meadows. On the other hand, a couple have been off the scene for over a month.
The 480m is always a tough but fair trip. Even dogs coming off 500s in town can find it hard to finish off there.
How will they stand up to the task? Which dogs have the greatest endurance? And will the lucky eight finalists be fully fit on Saturday night?
Horshamâs usual fans might also be concerned about the shift from twilight to night timing. They have tried that before and, while oncourse takings were good, offcourse business was relatively poor.
Thatâs a lot of negatives, yet GRV keeps doing things like this.
Horsham transforms into the epicenter of top-class Victoriantonight with four heats of the Group Two Horsham Cup taking place.
The event will be held over the 480 metre trip at the picturesque circuit nestled on the sandy banks of the Wimmera River, with the final worth a cool $43,750. The first two in each heat will qualify for the big final and they face a short turn-around with the final taking place this Saturday.
The four heats are jam-packed with quality greyhounds including Australian Cup finalists Innocent Til and Musquin Bale, Rookie Rebel winner Hawk Alone and last year’s Horsham Cup winner Peter Rocket.
Here is a look at each heat;
Race 5 – Oscar Furniture Horsham Cup Heat 1 – 8:09pm
The Cup kicks off in grand style with a sensational first heat. Recent Australian Cup finalist Musquin Bale (2) has been racing in terrific heart. Before a fifth placing in last weeks final behind Buckle Up Wes, he had strung three on end, including a 27.17 win at Horsham at his first start at the track.
The talented Zulu Zircon comes into this off a rapid 24.95 win at Shepparton for Pearcedale mentor Jason Thompson. The lightly raced dog has won eight of his 15 career starts and has his first start at Horsham in this heat.
Gold Town (5) returned to form last week with a barnstorming win at Sandown. He has registered 27.13 here in the past and, if he is afforded any room, could be flying home.
Vapourash (4) has won twice at Horsham with a best of 27.09. He made a recent appearance in the Healesville Cup Final, which he followed up with a win at The Meadows in 29.98.
Of the others, Clone Your Own (3) is consistent and will be running on at the finish, while Zambora Storm (6) may also race well at his first look at the track.
Jordan Allen (8) may not be quite in the same class as some of the aforementioned dogs, but does have a great record from the outside alley. Warrior King (1) has won four of his last five including a last start win here in 27.47.
Race 6 – Oscar Furniture Horsham Cup Heat 2 – 8:27pm
Heat Two will see Crump (6) return from a short break after a third in a heat of the Perth Cup. He has had one go at the Horsham circuit for a second. Expect him to unwind a withering burst in the home straight.
Recent Rookie Rebel winner Hawk Alone (1) has been racing between the 500 and 600 metre trips of late and comes off a fall at The Meadows last Saturday night. He is another who is likely to need some room in running.
Stagger (7) is a veteran of 109 starts and has an imposing Horsham record. The Gary Selkrig trained dog has won seven from ten at the track including a best of 26.91. He may be getting on in age but is still racing very consistently and cannot be discounted in this heat.
Humphrey Bale (5) is a young chaser who could go close to leading this race. He has won five from 14 and was placed behind Dyna Nalin two starts back. The lack of early speed in the race could suit this speedy conveyance.
Jewel Bale (8) is an up-and-comer with a good record from the outside box. She could well be on the speed and put herself in the race as a result.
Campaspe Will (4) can also show early pace on occasions. The youngster, who is not quite two-years-old yet, has won six of his ten career outings and is a dog on the rise.
Zambora Power (2) has been a little below his best of late and will need to find form to be competitive, while Sisco Good (3) will probably need some luck to feature.
Race 7 – Oscar Furniture Horsham Cup Heat 3 – 8:50pm
The third heat showcases recent Australian Cup finalist Innocent Til (8). The son of Premier Fantasy and Proven Polly has won 24 of his 42 starts and has his first Horsham start in this race. He looks the one to beat.
Deadly Vane (6) is a recent Warragul Cup finalist who has won eight of his 15 career starts. He has only had one start at this track and trip and had no luck on that occasion, but he has the ability to feature.
Ollie Bale (4) has plenty of talent and will be right in the finish if he can avoid trouble. Look for him to be flying late.
Ontario Lady (5) has won four from eleven at Horsham including a best of 27.11. She may be up in grade for this race but is certainly capable of filling a place.
Sisco Rocket (3) and Tyranimo (7) face a steep class rise and will struggle against the calibre of dogs like Innocent Til.
Race 8 – Oscar Furniture Horsham Cup Heat 4 – 9:09pm
The final heat is another gem of a race and features last year’s winner Peter Rocket (8).
Peter Rocket is a consistent top-line performer who has pocketed over $300,000 from his 64 career starts. He is undefeated at the trip with two-from-two and a slick best time of 26.83. He is the dog to beat here.
Prue Bale (6) is a speedy bitch who should find herself somewhere near the lead. The daughter of Go Wild Teddy and Zambola Bale has saluted in 10 of her 33 career starts and is likely to be thereabouts again in this one.
Evie’s Entity (4) is a strong bitch with a penchant for the Horsham circuit. She is coming off an unplaced run behind Keybow in a heat of the Australian Cup and should find this a little easier. If she reproduces her best of 26.94 she will be in this up to her ears.
Outside of those three the others look to be tested. Sisco Rage (1) comes back to the 480 metre trip after two middle distance wins and may run on. Tick Bale (5) has won at Horsham but will need to go a lot quicker than his best of 27.39, while Colonel Destini (7) has only won two from 25 and looks out of his depth.
It promises to be a great evening of chasing at Horsham and the quality of the runners engaged again highlights the strength of the Victorian country cups scene. The final is sure to be well and truly worthy of its Group Two status.
Attention owners and trainers – Racing Queensland Wants You! Much like the famous posters of James Montgomery’s ‘Uncle Sam’, and Alfred Leete’s ‘Britons Want You’ – Monday nights Albion Park race card further highlighted the despair facingin Queensland.
The past twelve months have been challenging (a lot longer I know). Queensland racing has struggled to attract quality fields to its Albion Park Monday and Thursday night programs over a long sustained period of time. This was highlighted again on Monday night where the club could only produce 8 races – most of which had short fields. Two maidens, one novice, one 600m 5th grade event and four 520m 5th grade heats. 73 total nominations. 6 dogs not required (how?).
Racing Queensland has two premier nights of racing – Monday and Thursday, where prizemoney sets the standard. Saturday at Ipswich has been very successful in the short term and could be partly to blame for the decline at Albion Park, however the problems facing RQ in regards to race fields has been going on for a lot longer than the past few months that Ipswich have provided Saturday night racing.
The quickest solution is to change race programming. The archaic program scheduling to have only 520m (and further) races on Monday and Thursday needs to change immediately. We simply don’t have the number of dogs to provide the product required. Breeding has changed and we only have ourselves (the industry) to blame – we wanted fast dogs. We bred with speed dogs – the problem with the fast dog approach is that not all of these fast dogs can run a strong 500 meters.
We cater for these speed dogs over shorter distances at other times for less money. These dogs race away from the spotlight. Albion Park meetings on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays have at times events made up over 331m, 395m, 520m, 600m and 710m. Surely it’s time to introduce these events to the premier nights of racing? We should reward the quality in these events with their chances at decent prizemoney on a Monday and Thursday.
It’s been done in the past. Look at the successful Thursday night back on the 20th of June 2013. Albion Park hosted one of the best nights of the year – with increased prizemoney and events scheduled over all track distances. I’m not a turnover expert, but the betting pools that night seemed very good. The reason was simple, the product on display. RQ needs to provide the product to attract the consumer.
The Victorian greyhound industry appears to be thriving and participation is fantastic. Race days are highlighted by full 12 race programs with eight dog fields and large crowds. The clubs attract the consumer with themed nights, competitions including shares in pups, a great media commitment and access to the product. It’s thriving. Its amazing to think that Queensland and Victoria have the same product – so why can’t we have the same success. Queensland has the product so how do we capitalise on it?
has outlined many of the problems facing RQ in the past, including its lack of transparency, poor prizemoney, poor fields for feature race nights, and the Logan track debacle. The We Run As One campaign has failed to gain the momentum it hoped for. Again – the greyhound industry takes the back seat while the horses drive and harness rides shotgun. It’s time we help sell the product. It’s time we make our voices heard…
How do we encourage new participants?
How do we fix poor race fields, nomination counts and race scheduling?
How can we promote growth?
How should Racing Queensland prioritise theindustry?
Paw Note – The Track -
The uncertainty surrounding the proposed new greyhound track needs to be addressed. The most recent correspondence received from Racing Queensland was on the 14th of February 2014 – an email sent to participants outlining a competition to encourage participants to name the new Logan track. The competition entries close on the 12th of April prior to the April board meeting.
The email states – “Racing Queensland have been working hard behind the scenes following the announcement in September that greyhounds would have a new $12 million home in Logan (currently known as Cronulla Park).”
This email, like news before it, continues to dangle the carrot in front of participants – it’s a very long stick. Racing Queensland have been promising the new track at Logan for years and it’s been on again and off again like a bad Hollywood romance. What RQ need to do is provide transparency – what is happening? What is the delay? When will building commence? What will the track feature? And when can we expect to race? Only once we have transparency will participants be able to plan their future involvement and assist in future growth.
Ted Medhurst answers the phone and after the introductions he simply says, “you little beauty Wes!”
That statement symbolises the excitement Medhurst has felt since Buckle Up Wes, a dog he trains in Tasmania, won the 2014 Group One Australian Cup at The Meadows on Saturday night.
“It was just a dream come true. You watch it happen to others, and to have some small involvement with St Pierre, it was just incredible, but to be there on Saturday evening and be part of it, it was just sensational” Medhurst told ARG.
“When he led it was, I must say, just mayhem. The part owner Robyn Johnson was standing with me and we just started barracking for him, which I never do. I never barrack and that’s why my voice is hoarse the way it is, I think I’ve barracked myself hoarse.”
Buckle Up Wes led the field for the Australian Cup but Medhurst was well aware that a race isn’t over until the dog has passed the finishing post.
“You just thought deep down he’d win, but being in racing for so long, until they get across the line you’re just never sure. When he went across the line the feeling was just of total elation.”
Immediately after the race, the celebrations started, with Medhurst recalling the jubilation felt by all involved.
“There was a lot of embarrassing jumping around and hugging after the race I can tell you. It is something that won’t ever leave you, that feeling. It’s just there forever, it’s great.”
Wes wasn’t forgotten in the celebrations either.
“He’s a very good boy and he got treated accordingly. He had a million pats and kisses. Having said that, when he got home yesterday all he wanted to do was get fed. His number one love is food and that was all he was waiting for.”
Medhurst commended the atmosphere at The Meadows on Saturday night and said it bought back some good memories of the ‘old days’.
“The atmosphere was huge. In Tassie we’ve sort of lost that. Our tracks are inside galloping tracks that are inside trotting tracks. Back in the old days we had that. At the old Launceston track you could lean over the fence and touch them. I grew up with that sort of atmosphere and back in them days the crowds were massive. But Saturday night bought back a lot of that. The crowd and Marg Long and her committee were just sensational and looked after us before and after the race.”
Medhurst indicated that the preparation and lead up for Buckle Up Wes was good in that the dog had built some confidence coming into the final, despite missing out on making the Launceston Cup final in February.
“It’s just meant to be. Everything happens for a reason and it just all fell into place. He probably had his confidence up after winning in the consolation of the Launceston Cup and he went sensational and then in two runs at The Meadows he just improved enough to be where he had to be. He travelled well and it couldn’t be more perfect.”
Medhurst noted that it’s has been a big month for him and Debbie Cannan, who handled Buckle Up Wes on Saturday night.
“It’s been a pretty big month. We won the Maiden Thousand, Launceston Cup (Varcoe) and Bell Haven’s had a heap of pups. She’s a mummy now and she has 11 little tykes running around. She’s as good a mum as she was a race dog too. She went to Kinloch Brae, an imported dog.”
Bell Haven was a star stayer for Medhurst and it was Medhurst’s regret at not watching her race more often that led him to attend The Meadows on Saturday night to watch Buckle Up Wes.
“What I probably regret is not going over to watch her (Bell Haven) race more often. A couple of weeks ago before the series started, I said if Wes makes the final, I’m going this time. I’m so glad I did.”
Buckle Up Wes has pulled up well after his big win and he will now have a short spell and then begin preparations for the Golden Easter Egg.
“He’s ready to go again. I’ll give him a little let up and prepare him ready for the Easter Egg at Wenty. He’s had pretty full on racing since December and I’ll just ease up for a week or ten days and then we’ll get him ready again.”
Winning an Australian Cup is a huge achievement and one that will see Buckle Up Wes’ name etched onto the illustrious honour roll for eternity and it’s only fitting to finish with one last quote from the trainer of the Group One champion.
“He just showed the other night to the rest of Australia what we knew he had. It’s good that that’s happened.”
Once in while a young dog appears on the scene and instantly captures the imagination of all who aspire to the pinnacle of our sport.Â One such greyhound is Shot To Bits, who broke the Bendigo track record over 500 metres at just his third start last Friday in a maiden final.
Trainer Paul Ryder has only two greyhounds in work, so for one to break a track record is no mean feat.Â It also reinforces the belief that hobby breeders and trainers can still compete with the professional full time trainers, in what is a super competitive racing environment.
The âbuzzâ about Shot To Bitsâ talent saw him start a pronounced favourite at all three outings, and on this occasion it was to be on show for all to witness.
After a slow start, the son of Bekim Bale was second last after the first 50 or so metres, but then quickly found the rail and began to charge strongly through the field.Â He found the front past the short (320m) boxes and quickly increased his margin as the field travelled towards the home turn.
However, it was to be Shot To Bits’ last section which really had the tongues wagging after the event.Â While a run home of around 13.00 seconds is considered good over the 500m trip, to finish off in 12.54 seconds is simply unheard of.Â The overall time recorded byÂ Shot To Bits was an electric 27.66 seconds, eclipsing the previous mark of 27.76 seconds held by Corridor, set in December last year.
Indicating his strength, Shot To Bits final winning margin was over 18 lengths. Second home was Kandy Kid with Fearsome Mint finishing third.
The pedigree of this potential top liner is also worth delving into a little deeper.
By Bekim Bale, who is really starting to make a name for himself as a sire, out of a bitch called Eye The Tiger (Surf Lorian-Bogie Benz), Shot To Bits has blue bloods on both sides of his ancestry.
His Dam finished her race career with only a moderate race record, winning 4 from 25 starts in Queensland. As a brood, Eye The Tiger has produced a couple of handy types in her first litter to Collision, including Kenso Karoo and Fyre Out, while Shot To Bits is from her second litter.
Eye The Tiger has a strong family tree as she is a full sister to Bogie Blaze, who made a number of Group Finals in Queensland and finished runner up in a Lismore Cup Final.Â While her litter sister, Bogie Skye, has been an outstanding brood bitch, producing a number of Group finalists including Bogie King, Bogie Beltah and Withcott Warrior to name a few.
ARG spoke to trainer Paul Ryder and asked him about his involvement inand his thoughts on his kennel star Shot To Bits.
âI have only held a trainers licence since August last yearâ, Paul explained.
âMy brother and father had been involved in, and had enjoyed some success, being able to get a greyhound into the Sandown Sapphire Final, and I thought I might try my hand at the sport as well. I havenât been able to wipe the smile off my face since Fridayâ, he said, when speaking about the track record effort of Shot To Bits.
âHe has pure desperation for the rail and I am confident he will get a good 600 metres, any further than that is an unknown at this stage.”
When queried about the fall of his potential star on debut at Sandown, Ryder was frank in his assessment.
âI thought at the time that he may have to be put down, as he fell so heavily, but he came through without any major damage. Rob Tartaglia has been fantastic in helping me getting Shot To Bits back to the track and racing well, I cannot thank him enough.â
âHe has never shown brilliant speed from the boxes, but I think there is some improvement there, as he can begin a lot better than he did on Friday. I have had a couple of offers for Shot To Bits, when he broke in, however nothing of recent times.â
âI whelped the litter and had Shot To Bits and his brother Volksjager Blue since birth and I am not all that interested in parting with either of them.”
When asked about future race plans, the rookie trainer said he had nothing in particular set out for Shot To Bits, other than to keep working his way through the grades, and hopefully on to bigger and better things.
If having a track record to your credit after only three starts is anything to go by, we should be hearing a lot more about Shot To Bits as he continues on his racing journey.
Albion Park Greyhounds Race 2 Box 3 Giggling Panther 7.05pm
I watched this bitch in a heat of the Vince Curry and she’s got her fair share of her ability. She was flogged in her last two starts at Ipswich, but she still looks a great chance here based on the great run in her first start. She’s only a fair beginner, but could get the run of the race up the inside of a few here. She’s quite strong and with a little bit of racing luck she could fill a hole.
Great eachway bet.
Box six Le Sirenuse and box eight Skuzi are the main dangers, but will need to navigate their way across from the outside. Both dogs have ability, but aren’t speedy beginners so luck will be required in the early part of the race. Box one runner Brodie’s Memory has the red and she’ll be greatly benefited by it.
Punters looking to take exotics, could try boxing the four selections up in a trifecta.
Angle Park Greyhounds Race 3 Box 1 Nevada Smith, 7.21pm
Tough race here but as I often say boxes win races, and Nevada Smith as come up with the cherry here. He’s only a young dog, but has been racing well and has recorded a PB of 30.11 here, and with a clean jump he should be able to lower that mark. There is however four or so other winning chances, so make sure a price of $3.00 or more is secured. Winbrook and Regal Looper look the main two of the four dangers, but both dogs will be spotting Nevada Smith a lead, so they will have to be at their very best to run him down.
Launceston Greyhounds Race 4 Box 1 Shotgun Willy. 8.39pm
This race is a foregone conclusion, with box eight runner Whodat Lass a graded certainty. She’s got panels on this field and should win by the length of the straight. Shotgun Willy has been racing well over his last couple and should fill second place. I suggest followers take all the exotics with Shotgun Willy to run second. He’s run on nicely in his past two starts and has come up with the red box here tonight, so he should get a soft run if he exits the box quickly. The only other chance looks to be Greysynd Merry, she’s a race hardened old dog and loves to run a place, so she looks the only other chance based on exposed form.
Shepparton Greyhounds Race 3 Box 8 Trail Blazing, 7.48pm
Most of the money should come for box four runner Optimus Bart, but he was disappointing last start and I can’t have him again tonight. Trail Blazing looks well drawn out in the pink and looks to be a promising young pup. He battled on well last start at Sandown and should get plenty of room here tonight. He appears quite strong and will only need to get away and wind up on the outside to threaten these here tonight.
He should start at odds of about $7.00, so he’s a solid eachway bet if he does.
Best of Luck
$$ Another Day Another Dollar $$
Pappa Gallo (3) made the most of his opportunities to land the $25,000 to-the-winner Group Three Cosmic Chief GRV VBIS Maiden Final for trainer Mario Cortese at The Meadows on Saturday night.
The son of Bekim Bale and Bella Ebony (Big Daddy Cool – Ashton’s Girl) emphasised the advantage of being in front when he speared the lids to lead the first section in 5.18.Â Dewana Lass (1) also began well and it was that duo who raced away into the back straight by virtue of avoiding a world of trouble back in the field.
Pappa Gallo remained about three-dogs wide as they raced into the back straight with Dewana Lass a length behind on the fence and poised to strike.
Exiting the back straight the scenario remained the same. Pappa Gallo scouted three wide leaving plenty of room for Dewana Lass to drive through, should she be good enough to do so.
Race favourite Mepunga Hayley (8) had been caught wide further back in the field from the outset but emerged from the pack in a hurry to set up one last crack at the two leaders.
As they swung for home, both Dewana Lass and Mepunga Hayley hooked to the outside and began to unleash withering runs home, but Pappa Gallo found too much and held on to win in 30.31 by a length from Dewana Lass, withÂ Mepunga Hayley a further length away in third.
Of the beaten brigade, Punk Pirate (5) was desperate to get to the rail and, after beginning moderately, speared left. Both Hession Boots (4) and Venom’s Lad (2) fell victim to Punk Pirate’s penchant for the paint and loss valuable early ground.
As expected, Premier Woofie (6) was away slowly and then found a myriad of trouble on the first turn which all but ended his chances of winning. Lead Into Demise (7) was caught wide for a long part of the journey and, as a result, struggled to get into the race.
Pappa Gallo’s victory was the second of his five start career and, with the advantage of VBIS bonuses, he has already earned $39,630 in prize-money.
His next race will be at Sandown this Thursday when he graduates to fifth-grade company from box seven in the final event on the card.
According to Greek philosopher Aristotle long, long ago, ânature abhors a vacuumâ and tries to fill it up. As it happens, a bloke named Einstein and a few others have since disproved it. In fact, they claim that a vacuum never really exists.
Well, I know one. I would suggest that the state of the art in track design is as near as you can get to a vacuum â or a nothingness, as scientists might like to term it. Arguably, never in the history of mankind has so much been spent by so many to create outcomes where no-one knows what factors cause which results.
Yes, there has been a small amount of work done by vets on the effect of various turn cambers on injury rates (work that is apparently continuing in studies commenced in WA and SA and being carried on within GRV). As a result, various numbers are sometimes adopted when specifying banking angles.
But even if track builders happened on the perfect turn shape, that goes nowhere near the need to mesh those numbers with many other factors that go into the end design package. For example, where does the âturnâ start and finish, what are the transition gradients and what effect does the turn radius have on the outcome? Is the turn a small or large part of the arc? Where should boxes be placed and how should they be constructed? Do different lures have any impact? What about hard or soft track surfaces, which have attracted studies in America but not here?
And, to take some specific examples, why do we see cleaner racing at Hobart and Mandurah than anywhere else in the country? Why do we not see that on all the expensive rebuilds of one-turn tracks in Victoria, where interference is common on turns, especially for the 400m bracket of races? Is that avoidable or not?
This subject came to the fore three times in NSW, first when the 413m boxes at The Gardens had to be shifted after the new track had been designed by âexpertsâ (as NCA claimed), then when the GBOTA modified the 400m start at Gosford some months after receiving advice (which it rejected) to move it to a more favourable position, and again in 2010 when GRNSW authorised another $50,000 to be spent on cutting away the first turn at Maitland on the ground that it had been a successful move elsewhere. No it hadnât. This sort of change had failed at Wentworth Park, Bulli, Launceston and Cannington where it confused dogs, increased interference and biased the tracks. It did the very opposite of what was intended â it created less fair races. Why give the box one dog a greater advantage than it already has?
Strangely, Maitlandâs remedial work paid no attention to its home turn where dogs are regularly thrown to the outside. And that was on a recently re-built track.
In other words, whether GRNSW was guessing or telling porkies, or both, it failed the practical tests. The Maitland change increased the proportion of winners coming from boxes one, two and eight.
Similarly, why would Victorian authorities have spent (in todayâs money) over $20 million on The Meadows to build one of the most heavily biased tracks in the country, and also forget to put in a grandstand? (For those who have not visited, it has no grandstand at all, only a small balcony which is restricted to people who rent out the upstairs dining area).
WA people were advised not to cut away the first turn at Cannington, yet went ahead anyway and so created a huge bias in favour of the rails box, and also some for box two. That change has decided major Group races. Much the same thing occurred at the new Mandurah track but, happily, they identified the problem and fixed it.
Anyway, now is the time to do what this column has been rabbitting on about for years. The industry must invest in an expert panel to study current practices and all the options in order to come up with reliable track design parameters.
That panel would consist of three people: a veterinarian, an engineer and a biomechanical expert, all preferably with some greyhound exposure but independent of racing authorities. They would be charged with taking a year to study the subject and given, say, $1 million to do the job.
They would look at box styles and their positioning, lure types, surface quality, gradients and turn radii and establish the relationship between each. The aim would be to achieve a result which maximises the chances of each runner and minimises the level of interference.
At its simplest, this is what your local golf pro does when he videos your swing. It is what experts at the Australian Institute of Sport do for a multitude of different activities. It is why swimming coaches get up at four oâclock every morning to videotape how the kids do it. It is why football clubs attach GPS stickers to the jerseys of their players to see where and how they run, and what causes injuries. The technology is highly sophisticated and widely available.
Indeed, attaching the GPS marker to a dogâs vest would bring into play the second of the two major aspects of racing. One is the physical structure of the track and its equipment, the other is the nature of the dogs using it. Without jockeys or drivers, greyhounds just do their normal thing, perhaps coloured a little by their past experiences. Those habits must be defined in the context of the race before them.
There are crazy dogs, neat dogs, unlucky dogs, big and small dogs, good and bad beginners, frightened dogs, railers and wide runners. Like people, every one of them is different. Catering for all that is not an easy job and it would take months to gather evidence, analyse it and come up with optimal solutions. Thatâs why we need some highly qualified people and plenty of time to do the job. The âsheâll be rightâ attitude has never worked, and never will.
Athletes run in lanes or risk disqualification. Tennis players and cricketers have to watch the lines, too. Competitors in any sport must abide by the rules or suffer the consequences. Yet, aside from fighting, greyhounds can get away with blue murder, probably harming themselves as well as their fellow competitors in the process, and have it all put down to the luck of the game. So it is, but man controls much of that luck, or can if he wants to.
The end rewards are big – less interference, fewer injuries and some encouragement for the punters to invest more and more often. Spending a million to do that is peanuts by comparison with the amount thrown away in building crook tracks â and then sometimes re-building them with the same faults.
It would be a bonus that the effort would counter many of the objections of the anti-racing lobbies, which can be expected to rise and rise in years to come. That makes it a win-win program.
It would be the best investmenthas ever made. In fact, we might even be able to sell the secrets to other countries.
WHAT WAS THAT AGAIN?
âBuckle Up Wes crossed to the rail soon after the start checking Innocent Til, Hallelujah Henry and Musquin Baleâ. That was the advice in the stewardâs report on the Australian Cup.
Not in my eyes. If Buckle Up Wes (7) brushed with Musquin Bale (6) at the start it was very minor and, in any event, the latter had come out awkwardly and slowly. But Wes had nothing to do with the other two dogs as it roared to the front, perhaps brushing Kiss Me Ketut (1) as they rounded the turn. The other dogs all did their own damage in an otherwise messy race. âMessyâ is quite normal at The Meadows, of course.
Why do Victorian stewards make up these stories?
For all the joy and financial reward that a Group One Victory brings, a win in such a race can also throw up the odd conundrum.
Norm Rinaldi now faces one of those headaches as he battles with the decision of whether or not to retire his five-time Group One winner Destini Fireball.
Heading into Saturday night’s Super Stayers at The Meadows, Rinaldi had planned for the race to be the big white and black dogs swan song. However, after the son of Where’s Pedro and Greys Destiny won the race for the second year in a row, Rinaldi is toying with the idea of keeping the rising four-year-old racing for a little bit longer.
Right now Rinaldi is just savouring the win, one which he says was quite emotional.
“It was pretty special, he is a fantastic dog, it was a pretty strong field against some young dogs,” Rinaldi said.
“He showed some pace and actually got in underneath a dog. It is normally them getting in underneath him. He saw a bit of an opening when Dyna Kayla went wide and got straight in under there, it was a pretty good run.”
The win was a popular one with the fans trackside, with the big Meadows crowd raising the roof as the 36kg chaser crossed the line.
“We celebrated, it was a pretty popular win, everyone was yelling their heads off when he came over the line. They all got behind him, he is pretty popular the big boy.”
Rinaldi says that his gamble on importing American brood bitches Greys Destiny and Greys Lemon Ice has panned out better than he could have ever dreamed it to.
“I couldn’t have ever imagined something like this, you just don’t. We just thought we’d put the process in place, I loved the strength of the American bitches, I just thought we’d mate them to the Australian dogs. The Australian dogs are the best in the world, there’s no better dogs in the world. I thought we’d mate them and just see what comes out, but I never thought we’d have the success that we have with that litter, we have been very lucky.”
The win was the 25th of Destini Fireball’s career and took him over the $600,000 mark in career earnings. Rinaldi says it was right up there with some of his best performances.
“I would have to rate that as one of his best wins. When you look at the selections and the betting, he wasn’t in it. We thought he was well and truly in it, but the rest of them didn’t think he could do it again. He’s a pretty hard dog to keep down.”
When it comes to retirement, Rinaldi is finding it a tricky decision to make, especially with the recent form of his kennel star being close to some of the best of his career.
“It’s a difficult decision now because that was a pretty handy time he ran. At the moment he’s really hitting his straps, it is a hard decision.”
“I really don’t know what I will do, I’m just sort of thinking about it at the moment. I’ll have a few days to try and clear my head and give it a bit of thought.”
If there is anything that will sway Rinaldi’s decision, it may well be the lack of races available for Destini Fireball.
“There’s not that many races around for him and they don’t race that regularly, the stayers, that’s the problem. You have got to go to Sydney and that sort of thing, it is just a lot harder with stayers, trying to chase races.”
One decision that Rinaldi is sure of, is the retirement of Destini Fireballs’s brother General Destini. After falling in the race after his brothers big win, Rinaldi decided that the veteran of 79 starts had earned a rest.
“That was definitely the General’s last race. He’s done enough.”
“He’s ok after the fall, he’s good, he bounced back up. He has competed in so many races that dog and he’s never been knocked off his feet. It’s a rotten start on that bend, you’ve really got to get on the inside or get clear of them.”
With both dogs destined for the breeding barn, the inevitable question of a possible stud fee came up.
“We haven’t gone that far yet. I’m concentrating on my racing dogs, this business of retiring and going to stud has been far off my mind. Then you’ve got to start thinking about drawing straws and putting a price on them and that sort of thing, it’s a whole new chapter.”
Rinaldi will now turn his attention to the second generation of race dogs from his American broods.
“We have a couple of young dogs coming through now, we will be starting them off at Horsham. They are only very young these dogs, but they are showing pretty good results at the moment. I’ve got a couple in on Tuesday again.”
“Hopefully they turn out well, they’ve got a big hole to fill if these two boys retire. I’ll be looking for my next two to come up, but I think it will be a while.”
Due to the success of our “Question Time Podcasts” with Tom Dailly, Rob Britton and Jason Thompson, we have been lucky enough to organise some time with the worlds premier breeder and owner, Paul Wheeler.
We will be sitting down with Paul on the 13th of March at Sandown for what promises to be an extremely interesting podcast.
What makes these podcasts unique is the involvement of you, our readers.
Send your questions in via one of the following options -
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Get involved and take advantage of a rare opportunity to ask questions of an undoubted industry leader.
Ireland’s most prestigious coursing title, the Irish Cup; was first run in 1905 won by Mr R Phelan’s Peerless De Wet, who beat Charon’s Choice in the final. Over the following 109 years, the race has been abandoned on four occasions and hosted by other clubs seven times, but it is undoubtedly associated with Limerick, the County Limerick Coursing Club, and the Earl Of Dunraven.
Historically the Irish Cup was run on lands owned by the late Earl Of Dunraven at Clounanna, near Adare. By all reports, the coursing grounds where a challenging open space with undulating turf and even a drainage channel within. The event was held over such a distance that was challenging to the most balanced and good-winded of greyhounds, and it was the event most dear to the heart of the Seventh Earl Of Dunraven, Thady Wyndahm Quinn; that he tried to win the Cup over many decades.
The Earl of Dunraven inherited his title of Irish peerdom when his father the Sixth Earl of Dunraven passed in 1965. The Earl inherited the many acres of land known as Adare Manor and Kilgobbin House, that included the lands of Clounanna where the Irish Cup had traditionally been held.
Through the financial pressures of maintaining the huge estates, Adare Manor was sold in 1985, and ultimately the fabled coursing ground known as Clounanna became unavailable for the Irish Cup. The event was moved to Tralee for a number of years, before the County Limerick Coursing Club brought it back to Limerick Racecourse at Patrickswell, where the cup can be enjoyed by coursing enthusiasts today.
Despite the late Earl’s passion for coursing and the Irish Cup, it wasn’t until the time honoured event had been moved from the Earl’s lands that in 2005 he finally won his much cherished coursing cup with his greyhound Castle Pines. Coursing die-hards we spoke to who witnessed the win first hand in 2005, say it was one of the greatest moments of the sport they have ever seen, with the much loved Earl and the crowd clearly behind Castle Pines in the final with rapturous scenes in the aftermath.
The Earl, who had suffered polio as a child and had been wheelchair bound, passed in 2011 leaving behind his wife, the Countess Of Dunraven and his only daughter Lady Ana Johnston. The title of the Earl died with him, as he had no male heir to carry the title forward.
The 2014 Irish Cup saw 64 of Ireland and the UK’s best coursing greyhounds each pay the equivalent of $660 to enter and be eligible for the $125,000 to the winner prize money, and the time honoured cup. And there was no shortage of greyhounds lining up for their chance with at least another six greyhounds denied entry by the Irish Coursing Clubs ranking system.
Fittingly though, it was a greyhound deeply associated with Earl Of Dunraven who started favourite for the first round of 2014 Irish Cup on Friday. Newinn Wonder, nominated by the Countess Of Dunraven and daughter Lady Ana Johnston; went to the slips for the first round of the 2014 Cup as a firm favourite for the late Earl’s family.
Eshwary Leader was well supported in early betting after being pre post favourite for this years Derby and coursing well at the arduous National Meeting at Clonmel just a month earlier. Last year’s winner Carricktobin Lad was on the third row of betting, looking for back to back fairy tale wins for battling trainer Billy Kehoe and nominator Tony Redden. To emphasise the challenge ahead of Carricktobin Lad, he was looking to become the first dog since Lusty More in 1976 to defend the Irish Cup, only the third since the first running in 1905 to win back to back Cups.
Sir Mark Prescott’s Make Peace was starting on the fifth line of betting, but it was not for lack of knowledge behind the blue brindle and white dog that saw him down in the market. Sir Mark Prescott, is well known amongst racing circles in the UK as a horse trainer of considerable note, and as the driving force behind the famed Waterloo Cup, which unfortunately fell fowl of animal welfare pressures in 2005, thereby ending 169 years of tradition.
Popular sentiment, but not the punter’s hard earned, sat with the only bitch in the 64 strong field, Catunda Magic. The blue brindle daughter of Mafi Magic and Miss Solitaire’s best credentials were the fact she was a kennel mate of cup favourite Newinn Wonder, but a horror draw meant she would meet him in the second round giving credence to the long odds she had to win her way through all six courses.
The opening round of the Irish Cup saw few surprises but fewer standouts from the top quarter of the draw. Best performed were Hi Black Jack, Sturdyandstaunch and Game Miller. Journey Of Life was a very fortunate round winner after winning a contentious decision and receiving the judges flag.
For the novice live hare coursing spectator, the judge awards the course by raising a red or white flag to represent the winner. The greyhound with the red collar always starts form the left of the slipper, while the white collar always starts to the right. Unlike track
The second quarter of the draw saw Newinn Wonder set the time standard of the first round, running 10.66 between the marks, almost a full length quicker than his nearest rival. In Cahoots also impressed advancing over Go Conquer, while the only female in the field Catunda Magic; set up a second round meeting with the favourite after winning her first round over Cuine Boy.
2013 winner Carricktobin Lad won his opening course of the first round but was not impressive in his action or time. Second favourite Eshwary Leader ran a 10.71 to raise the red flag and set up a second round clash with Carricktobin Lad raising alarm bells for connections. However Eshwary Leader’s connections had their own concerns as his course was not without controversy as the hare doubled back in to the field and caused the greyhound an arduous further chase after the course had been decided. It was an expression of energy the second favourite didn’t need at this early stage of competition.
Needham Danger staked his claim for the ultimate prize winning his course comfortably in 10.73, while Needham Simple proved he would be no pushover raising the white flag in 10.81. Latest Trick proved the consistency of the third quarter of the draw running 10.84 in icy cold conditions and hard rain and sleet.
The final quarter of the draw produced another gut busting course for one of the main fancies when Phoenix Frankel upset Tilford Tom in a close course, but had to contend with a hare that didn’t head straight for the escape tunnel, requiring an exhibition of chase over a much longer period of time than preferred.
Mr Blonde impressed, running 10.80 to win, and set up a second round course with Legion Express who was determined after getting a run as reserve and raising the flag. Yippee Kiyay was another who looked very good winning while Make Peace justified his backing running a flying 10.80 as the final course of the first round and securing outright second favouritism for his nominator Sir Mark Prescott.
It was an easy day for the Irish Cup contenders, with only the one course necessary. All winners returned on Saturday for the second and third rounds, while losers were eligible for entry in to the Irish Purse, but it was the cup dogs all the talk was about who would have to produce their best of five further courses to be called the 2014 Irish Cup winner and add their name to the immortal honour roll of winners.
A duller sky and cool conditions of just four degrees greeted contestants on Saturday morning for the second and third rounds of the cup, but the gusty headwind and rain that had tested on day one had all but abated.
The first quarter of the draw had seen little attention from punters and bookies had firmly wound in Newinn Wonder’s chances to 5-2 to win the cup from the second quarter of the draw, dominating the upper half of the cup chances. The bottom half of the draw was a little more open with bookies unable to separate Eshwary Leader, Needham Simple and Make Peace at 6-1.
As expected the were no real upsets from the upper quarter of the draw with Fleetwood Nova and Crafty Boohoo setting up a third round clash in 10.69 and 10.75 respectively. Journey Of Life upset Game Miller in a debatable course getting the flag in 10.68. Sturdyandstaunch looked very impressive beating We Have Bob in 10.75.
The second quarter of the draw featured the Countess’ greyhound and cup favourite Newinn Wonder and he didn’t let supporters down, winning comfortably in a flying 10.51 over the sole bitch and kennel mate Catunda Magic. Kingdom Call however set up a tantalising third round clash with the favourite pulling out a stunning 10.57 victory over young pup Crafty Yahoo.
Other runners to advance from the second quarter of the draw were Wyken Power in 10.68 over In Cahoots; and Barefoot Magnus who raised the red flag over Corriga Rebel in an identical 10.68.
The opening course of the third quarter was to be a tantilising clash between second favourite Eshwary Leader and last year’s winner Carricktobin Lad, but the match race never eventuated with Carricktobin Lad pulled out after his disappointing first round win, and Eshwary Leader given the bye. However Eshwary Leader didn’t cop the easy run, and put in a very good 10.61 solo effort to advance to the third round.
Needham Simple showed his first round run was no fluke, putting in an outstanding 10.47 run to raise the white flag over Coyote and take time honours for the second round of the cup. Latest Trick was an extremely lucky winner with the judge raising his flag as the winner over Needham Danger despite being beaten for speed and chase at vital stages in a close battle, officially being recorded as a 10.57 winner.
In the final course of the third quarter Grayacre Star did enough to get past Skellig Sunrise who couldn’t produce his first round form and was easily beaten in 10.58.
But it was the bottom quarter of the draw where all the interest was held outside the favourite, and as usual the Irish Cup did not disappoint with the first sensation being the non arrival of Pheonix Frankel in the slips, giving Cracking Jet the “walk”; running 10.69 solo to advance.
Mr Blonde bolstered his supporters confidence with a dominant performance over Legion Express, raising the flag comfortably and running 10.58 to put him right in to calculations for the quarter finals. Yipee Kiyay produced another business-like performance putting Coolvackagh away in 10.64.
The greyhound from the bottom of the draw, Make Peace made light of his second round course leading Dale Pinnochio by several lengths and holding the margin comfortably on the time section of the course, winning in a sensational 10.48; but warning signs emerged when he knuckled pulling up to the end of the slip and walked away from the course favouring his offside front leg slightly. The drama went largely unseen by punters and bookies alike, sending Make Peace to his third course as a solid equal second favourite to win his way through form the bottom of the draw.
After the lunch break greyhounds and coursing fans alike were greeted with sunnier conditions, but a gusty breeze prevailed for participants. The betting was all centred around Newinn Wonder in the top half of the draw and split between Eshwary Leader and Make Peace in the bottom half of the draw to advance to the finals.
The opening course of the third round set the tone for the round, with an upset right off the bat when Fleetwood Nova raised the red flag over the favoured Crafty Boohoo in 10.76. In the second slip, the lucky Journey Of Life continued his charmed run getting up over the promising puppy Sturdyandstaunch conclusively in 10.69.
The third course promised much with booth Wyken Power and Barefoot Magnus running identical times to meet in the third round, but the match race never eventuated with Wyken Power controlling the course from the outset and cruising to a comfortable victory in 10.76.
The fourth course and the last of the upper half of the draw saw Newinn Wonder justify his perpetual favouritism, putting paid to Kingdom Carl easily depute the fact the two had run similar second rounds times. Newinn Womder kept the dream of the late Earl and his family strongly alive running a scintillating 10.48 to take time honours for the third round by over a length and half from his closest rivals.
Second favourite Eshwary Leader did a tradesman-like job of promising puppy Needham Simple belying the time difference between the two to cruise to a red flag victory in the second best time of the round, running 10.59. Latest Trick continued his chambered run accounting for Grayacre Star in 10.67 to set up a fourth round clash with Eshwary Leader.
Cracking Jet couldn’t capitalise on his second round bye coming up against Mr Blonde who put himself right in to finals calculations dominating the course from the slips and cruising the the finish in an equal second best time of the round in 10.59.
The final course of the third round saw Yippee Kiyay leave the slips from the red collar against Make Peace from the white and the betting suggested Make Peace would raise the white flag, but it was not to be. Make Peace left the slips balanced, but immediately was under pressure and could not make ground against Yippee Kiyay. The small injury seen in his stumble in the second course was obviously starting to tell and valiant though he was, Make Peace could not bridge the gap, chasing Yippee Kiyay to the line with the winner recording a good 10.62 that would normally have seen Make Peace raise the flag.
The stage has now been set for the final day of the 2014 Irish Cup and $125,000 and immortality awaits the winner. Ahead of the 16 combatants is a further three tests of strength, speed and stamina; along with the inevitable ice cold Patrickswell winter weather and a crowd of several thousand coursing supporters.
At the centre of that noise and passion will be Newinn Wonder, who will head to the third day of the Irish Cup as the bookmakers favourite, and perhaps the sentimental favourite with the Countess and her daughter racing their charge for the glory the late Earl could only enjoy once.
2014 Irish Cup Coursing Quarter Final Draw
|1st Rd Time||2nd Rd Time||3rd Rd Time||Red Collar||vs||White Collar||3rd Rd Time||2nd Rd Time||1st Rd Time|
|10.97||10.69||10.76||Fleetwood Nova||Journey Of Life||10.69||10.68||10.94|
|10.92||10.68||10.76||Wyken Power||Newinn Wonder||10.48||10.51||10.66|
|10.71||10.61||10.59||Eshwary Leader||Latest Trick||10.67||10.57||10.84|
|10.80||10.58||10.59||Mr Blonde||Yippee Kiyay||10.62||10.64||10.88|
will be covering all the final day of the 2014 irish Cup of coursing in detail, including video footage of the finals plus the highlights from days one and two.
Buckle Up Wes (7) is the 2014 Group One Maurice Blackburn Australian Cup champion.
The Tasmanian trained dog by Collision – Everlong Bale (Primo Uno – Shique Bale) led all the way for a remarkable 29.74 win.
Before the race, it was up in the air who the actual leader would be as plenty of chasers in the field possessed early speed.
When the lids lifted, Musquin Bale (6) began tardily and this gave Buckle Up Wes breathing space in the early stages. He charged down the home straight and was able to cross Kiss Me Ketut (1) going into the first corner.
Race favourite Keybow (2) didn’t step well and copped a check from Dyna Nalin (3) just a couple of strides out of the boxes. He was also clipped from behind, momentarily losing balance on his back legs. His strong chasing instincts allowed him to balance up quickly and by the time he was around the first turn, he had moved into fourth position. At this stage, Buckle Up Wes had at least six lengths on the chasing pack, which was led by Kiss Me Ketut and Marcus Joe (8).
Keybow shook off Kiss Me Ketut and Marcus Joe and quickly set off after Buckle Up Wes. Rounding the home turn, it looked like Keybow may grab the front-running Taswegian up the home straight, but the 31kg black chaser stuck on solidly to record his 21st career win. Dyna Nalin (3), who was last in the early stages, came from nowhere to finish third, five lengths off the winner. It was a fantastic run considering how far back he was at the start of the race.
Of the others, Kiss Me Ketut found trouble down the back and ended up finishing seventh. Sixth placed Marcus Joe was up in third in the early stages of the race but was checked by Kiss Me Ketut down the back straight and immediately after that he was involved in some interference with Innocent Til (4), who ended up finishing at the tail end of the field. Hallelujah Henry (5) didn’t get a clear run after leaving the boxes but tried his heart out to finish fourth. Musquin Bale, after the tardy start, was fifth.
Buckle Up Wes, who is trained by Ted Medhurst, had run a place in his last ten starts and ran a placing in the recent Group One Paws of Thunder at Wentworth Park, so his form was spot on. With the addition of $250,000 to the kitty, Buckle Up Wes has now earned $324,000 for connections.
Destini Fireball (2) ensured that his swan song was one befitting a champion by taking out the Group One Super Stayers at The Meadows on Saturday night.
The son of Where’s Pedro and Greys Destiny took his career earnings past the $600,000 mark winning the event for the second year running for Lethbridge trainer Norm Rinaldi.
At just under four-years-old, the veteran rekindled some of his best form, stopping the clock at 42.57 en route to his 25th career victory.
As expected, Whodat Knockin’ (3) was the early leader with the race favourite Dyna Kayla (6) beginning very well to sit second in a handy position. Destini Fireball was third as they passed the post the first time.
Leaving the straight, Whodat Knockin’ continued to carve out time up front while Destini Fireball railed under Dyna Kayla to sit in second down the back.
Off the back, the 36kg white and black chaser cut an imposing figure as slowly, but surely, he cut down the leading margin and appeared to have the leader covered. The danger was still Dyna Kayla, who was expected to finish hard.
Rounding the turn, the grand old veteran hit the front and the large crowd made plenty of noise as they willed the old-stager to a fitting farewell in a soul-stirring final hundred metres.
As hard as Dyna Kayla tried, she was unable to cut down the margin and finished second, a length behind Destini Fireball. Dyna Willow (7) rattled home for third after a tardy beginning hampered her chances of being any real chance.
Of the beaten brigade, Hala Belle (1) left the boxes well but could not quite match motors with Whodat Knockin’ and Dyna Kayla. Lethal Three (4) was away slowly and struggled from that point. Maddison Dee (5) was another who couldn’t keep the pace early and found herself a long way back in the run with too much ground to make up, while Sweet It Is (8) found trouble early and ran on well to finish fourth.
The curtain falls on an illustrious career for Destini Fireball who will now embark on a stud career. In total, he raced on 61 occasions for 25 wins, 10 seconds and 7 thirds, earning $626,170 along the way.