Christmas To Come Early At Wentworth Park This Saturday Night

As we approach the festive season, New South Wales’ premier track Wentworth Park will host their annual Group Three John Stollery Christmas Gift Series, with $25,000 to be presented to winning connections next week.

Last year’s final went to Greyhound of the Year winner Double Twist, who produced a sensational come from behind victory, which was also voted the 2013 Run of the Year.

Four competitive heats will be run and won on Saturday night, with the winner and runner up moving through to next week’s final.

Heat One:

Group One Vic Peters winner Lucy Lobster returns to Wentworth Park after a short stint in Melbourne and will exit from box seven for talented trainer Charlie Lamb. The daughter of Brett Lee and One Tree Hill exploded away from box five in the final a month ago, scoring by half a length in a time of 29.85. The tricky box draw won’t be of concern to connections, with her sizzling early split of 5.31, one of the fastest recorded in recent times.

Rue De Kahn returned to her winning ways at Gosford on Tuesday after a month spell, recording a sizzling time of 29.74 over 515 metres and is ideally drawn for trainer Dean Swain in box one. The daughter of Where’s Pedro and Shelbourne Dawn has notched up four wins from eighteen starts at Wentworth Park, including a flying personal best of 29.64.

Zipping Angel was brave in defeat last Saturday night at Richmond in a flying time of 30.55 over the 535 metre distance, beaten on the line by talented sprinter Addison Road. The Jason Mackay trained chaser has a brilliant chance to go one better this week with a favourable box three draw, and recorded a fast personal best time of 29.73 at this track back in August.

Heat Two:

Zipping Willow continues to uphold her status as the queen of Wentworth Park, winning four of her past five outings at the track in sub-30 time. The daughter of Goodesy and Sirocco Lass is another successful offspring of the famous Hallinan bloodlines, with her electrifying early speed surely to give trainer Jason Mackay plenty of confidence from box one.

Smokem Jimmy has an excellent Wentworth Park career record of two wins from three starts and clocked a sensational personal best time of 29.62 back in October. Exiting from box three, the son of Bekim Bale and Skates was gallant in defeat last Saturday at The Meadows in 30.27 and should be competitive in this affair.

Army Surplus has been very consistent of late, winning at Wentworth Park two weeks ago in a flying time of 29.61, before stepping up to the 600m at Gosford, leading all the way in 35.19. Box eight will prove testing for the Adam Wade trained chaser, however the son of El Grand Senor and Wacky Car Races has five wins from seventeen starts at the track and knows how to produce gutsy come from behind performances.

Heat Three:

Group One Melbourne Cup runner up Chica Destacada returns to Wentworth Park after a successful stint in Victoria and has a sizzling personal best at the track of 29.49. Despite exiting from the middle alley, trainer Doreen Drynan will have plenty of faith in her chaser, whose box manners have been superb of late. The daughter of Cosmic Rumble and Eluthra has seven wins from fifteen starts at the track and is the reigning National Sprint Champion.

Ritza Hattie produced a sensational return to form last week, finishing second behind superstar sprinter Zipping Willow in a fast time of 29.56. The Mark Gatt trained daughter of Bombastic Shiraz and Midnight Flare took plenty of ground off the winner, beaten just three quarters of a length and will only need some luck from box seven to figure heavily at the finish.

Queen Esther returned to the winner’s circle at her last start, saluting by three quarters of a length against FFA class in a time of 30.12. The daughter of Lochinvar Marlow and Fascinate Marina has been well below her best in recent times, with her reversal in form certain to give trainer Noelene Holloway plenty of confidence heading into Saturday night’s heat.

Heat Four:

Neville Brown’s King Cobber has a flying personal best of 29.60 at Wentworth Park and has recorded six wins from twenty-one starts at this track. The son of Swift Fancy and Dana Lou Lou comes into this heat off the back of a solid 29.92 win at Nowra and should get a nice run to the first turn with a lack of early speed in the race.

Despite Bessy Boo having failed to notch up a win since October, the Christine Proctor trained chaser always figures at the finish and will only need some room to move from the seven alley. The daughter of Bekim Bale and My Black Bess has nine wins from thirty three attempts at Wentworth Park, including a fast personal best time of 29.71.

Our Lady Di will exit from box eight for trainer Brian Tame and possess genuine early pace that should give her a lovely cart across from the wide alley. The daughter of Magic Sprite and Kinda Cocomama has two wins from fourteen starts at this track and should improve on her personal best time of 30.02 with a clear run.

The first heat will jump at 8.08pm EDST.

Tonight Tonight’s Owners Hoping Thursday Is The Night

In greyhound racing there is no such thing as a Rite of Passage. If there was, you would be hard pressed to find anyone who could begrudge the owners of Tonight Tonight their maiden Group victory in the final of the 2014 Dapto Puppy Classic on Thursday night.

Wollongong locals Brett Margerison and Brian Young have been long term supporters of the sport and pour a large part of their “hard earned” towards it. Their passion is undeniable and indicative of the type of owner that is a part of the fabric of greyhound racing.

ARG caught up with Margerison during his nervous wait at a crack at Group Glory and an alluring $75,000 pay day.

He explained what led them to purchasing the Garry Edwards trained daughter of Just The Best and Where’s Fancy (Where’s Pedro – Sweet Fancy) at the 2013 Auction.

“We are always looking at potential brood bitches and the (Dennis) Barnes line fit the bill,” he said

“Being out of an unraced sister to Fancy Dean and similar breeding to Zulu Zeus and Zulu Zircon, who were scorching around Bulli and Richmond at the time, we thought she was quite good value. Now its up to her to prove she is worth breeding with.”

Margerison and Young are both long term supporters of the auction concept and have often purchased multiple dogs, as fate would have it, that was not the case with Tonight Tonight.

“We only purchased one at this auction so to make the final alone is a feat in itself. In the past I think we’ve purchased around 6 or 7 with our best finish being 2nd in the consolation with a bitch called Dawn Glory. We have two currently at the breakers from the April auction just gone so fingers crossed.”

The 25kg blue fawn bitch, who is the only finalist yet to break their maiden status, surprised plenty last week when she took up a handy position early before finishing second to Rare Pearl. She has drawn the visitors box for the big final (box four) and Margerison is the first to admit that she is far from an odds on hope.

“She is a genuine 200/1 pop. It is a horrible draw outside Tommy’s (Tzouvelis) wide running bitch. The best we can probably hope for is to tuck in behind the one, two & three and hope the three causes carnage. She hasn’t got the class of the two, six or eight.”

While the glitz and glam of Group finals and big prize-money attached to it lures many to greyhound racing, it has been a long road to this point for Margerison who told of his first foray in to the fastest sport on legs.

“Our first dog was a pup we bought from an advertisement in the Greyhound Recorder by Captain Standby x Tango Tears making him a three-quarter brother to Bravest Tears and Cold As Ice. Unfortunately his biggest claim to fame was a gymkhana win at Dapto in 18.49, not 17.49,18.49! Needless to say he never made the track.”

Margerison now has greyhounds spread far and wide with chasers he owns or part owns racing in three states as well as a plethora of pups coming through.

“At the moment i have six in work, the best one I currently own is one that I race in partnership with Brian and my former neighbour Shane Fernie. It was his father Gaz that got us into the sport. The greyhound’s name is Gustavo Fring, he has won three from five in Victoria.”

“Brian and I are in partnership for Tonight Tonight and we own several together including Everlasting Gaze and Doomsday Clock, it is pretty obvious we’re Smashing Pumpkins fans.”

Young and Margerison have also had a lengthy association with South Coast mentor Garry Edwards, a man who is no stranger to top class bitches, including the ilk of More Space and Double Twist.

“We first raced a bitch with Garry called Midnight Curfew who I bought at the auction with Brian and his father George. George and Garry have been mates for years so George contacted Garry to train this bitch for us. She was handy and won four from 13 but was retired early with a toe problem. She is now a pet at George’s. It would be nice to get another major win for Garry, He is a terrific trainer and an even better bloke, but she’s no Double Twist.”

Margerison managed to encapsulate the angst and excitement of owning a runner in such a big race in seven simple words.

“I wish it would just hurry up.”

The 2014 Dapto Puppy Auction in Race Six on the card this Thursday night and is scheduled to jump at 9:14pm.

To view our preview of the race click here.

2014 Group Two Dapto Puppy Classic Final Preview

The time has come for the running of the 2014 edition of the Group 2 Dapto Puppy Classic. The race is scheduled to jump at 9:14pm (NSW time).

These runners went under the hammer at the 2013 Dapto Puppy Auction. At that particular auction, the top priced lot was for a Fabregas and I’m Exceptional puppy, which went for $14,000. That breeding doesn’t show up in any of the finalists but here is a look at the top price for each litter that features in this year’s final:

High Earner – Magic Capers: $12,000
Yahoo Omar – Bananarama: $8,100
Cosmic Rumble – Sky Fly High: $6,300
Spring Gun – Magic Fantasy: $4,600
Just The Best – Where’s Fancy: $3,400
Bekim Bale – La Pearl: $2,400
Cosmic Rumble – Dynamic Shiraz: $1,990
Bekim Bale – It’s Happy Hour: $1,400

The High Earner and Magic Capers litter was the second highest priced litter in the auction. Only one other litter above features in the top 20 lots sold on the day.

Magic Earner, who happens to be by High Earner and Magic Capers, is the fastest qualifier through to this year’s final courtesy of her 29.77 run last week.

Previous winners of this race include Electric Grace, Toll Security, Most Awesome, Bazwill, Miss Megastar, Here I Come, Adris Echo, Merciless Lu, Never Quoted, Jedd Lion, Vancouver Kiss, No Rules League (who was owned by Chris Bertinato, who has another finalist this year in Bertacious Bee), Magic Fantasy and last year’s winner, My Bella Rose.

Here’s a look at the chances of each of the finalists:

Box 1
Race Odds
$12.00
Heat Replay
 
Stilton Lucky
Trainer
Phillip Goodsell
Owner
Jason Bolwell
Prizemoney
$3,510
Last 10 Starts
4473242411
25 Months   Light Fawn   Dog   by   Cosmic Rumble - Dynamic Shiraz
Start Risky Running Rail Finish Good
Prizemoney Rating $319 Rating 90
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
11 2 2 2
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
18% 55%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
7 2 2 0
       
Box 1 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
0 0 0 0
ARG Comments: Has surprised everyone by winning his heat and final at long odds both times. Has drawn the red box for the first time and based on last week’s run, loves the rail. He could very well be the surprise packet of the series.

Best Dapto Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.09 30.09 5.50 5.50
Box 2
Race Odds
SCR
Heat Replay
 
Alderley Reform – SCRATCHED
Trainer
N/A
Owner
N/A
Prizemoney
N/A
Last 10 Starts
N/A
N/A   N/A   N/A   by   N/A - N/A
Start N/A Running N/A Finish N/A
Prizemoney Rating N/A Rating N/A
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
N/A N/A N/A N/A
       
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
N/A N/A
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
N/A N/A N/A N/A
       
Box 2 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
N/A N/A N/A N/A
SCRATCHED
Best Dapto Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
N/A N/A N/A N/A
Box 3
Race Odds
$7.00
Heat Replay
 
Spring Bonanza
Trainer
Tom Tzouvelis
Owner
Mix Brew Partnership
Prizemoney
$20,010
Last 10 Starts
1314111442
26 Months   Black   Bitch   by   Spring Gun - Magic Fantasy
Start Risky Running Rail Finish Good
Prizemoney Rating $1,334 Rating 97
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
15 7 1 2
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
47% 67%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 0 1 0
Box 3 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 0 0 1
Tom Tzouvelis (Trainer): “It’s a very even field and most have chances. I’m just hoping mine can handle the track better than she has in previous two runs and improve.”
Best Dapto Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
NBT 30.21 5.44 5.44
Box 4
Race Odds
$31.00
Heat Replay
 
Tonight Tonight
Trainer
Garry Edwards
Owner
Watta Fillup Syndicate
Prizemoney
$730
Last 10 Starts
XXXXX343632

24 Months

  Blue Fawn   Bitch   by   Just The Best - Where’s Fancy
Start Risky Running Rail Finish Good
Prizemoney Rating $146 Rating 89
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
5 0 1 2
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
0% 60%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
5 0 1 2
Box 4 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
0 0 0 0
Brett Margerison (Owner): “She’s a genuine 200/1 pop. Horrible draw outside Tommy’s wide running bitch. The best we can probably hope for is to tuck in behind the 1, 2 & 3 and hope the 3 causes carnage. She hasn’t got the class of the 2,6 or 8.
Best Dapto Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
NBT 30.32 5.55 5.55
Box 5
Race Odds
$11.00
Heat Replay
 
Lunar Sky
Trainer
Amy Bennett
Owner
Champion Syndicate
Prizemoney
$4,115
Last 10 Starts
6546365121
38 Months   Black   Bitch   by   Cosmic Rumble - Sky Fly High
Start Good Running Middle Finish

Strong

Prizemoney Rating $343 Rating 97
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
12 3 2 1
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
25% 50%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
10 3 1 1
Box 5 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
1 0 0 0

Amy Bennett (Trainer): “I have been in 5 of these finals and I think this one has the best quality and pups for years. It will come down to the jump. If she can get away cleanly with no interference she will have a chance to take it away. She will improve because of the limited work she has had going into the series.”

Best Dapto Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.01 30.01 5.42 5.42
Box 6
Race Odds
$7.00
Heat Replay
 
Magic Earner
Trainer
Jodie Lord
Owner
Asa Syndicate
Prizemoney
$12,630
Last 10 Starts
4613322731
30 Months   Black   Bitch   by   High Earner - Magic Capers
Start Fair Running Rail Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $601 Rating 100
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
21 5 5 4
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
24% 67%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 1 0 1
Box 6 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
3 1   1
ARG Comments: Flew around the circuit last week and a repeat of that effort will take out this race.
Best Dapto Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.77 29.77 5.44 5.44
Box 7
Race Odds
$9.00
Heat Replay
 
Bertacious Bee
Trainer
Gerald Kleeven
Owner
Paul Kleeven
Prizemoney
$128,865
Last 10 Starts
1113111131
29 Months   Blue   Dog   by   Bekim Bale - It’s Happy Hour
Start Good Running Rail Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $388 Rating 97
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
27 22 0 3
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
81% 93%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
1 1 0 0
Box 7 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
4 3 0 0

Chris Bertinato (Owner): “I think he’s well boxed, but think we are there to make up the numbers in the field. This is a very impressive field, the 2 dog has come all the way over from SA and wouldn’t come over for nothing if he knew he didn’t have a chance. The 8 dog, Rare Pearl, is all the rage but can see an upset happening. Amy Bennett deserves this race. If a local can win it will be great, but in saying all this if Bertacious Bee can sit near the leader going through the first turn he is in with a great chance as he is very strong.”


Best Dapto Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.42 29.42 5.00 5.00
Box 8
Race Odds
$2.30
Heat Replay
 
Rare Pearl
Trainer
Steven White
Owner
Glory Hounds Syndicate
Prizemoney
$5,415
Last 10 Starts
4122261121
25 Months   Black   Dog   by   Bekim Bale - La Pearl
Start Fair Running Middle Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $542 Rating 99
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
10 4 4 0
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
40% 80%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 1 1 0
Box 8 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
1 1 0 0
Steve White (Trainer): “He is well boxed. Jut need a touch of luck going into the first corner as he is a slow beginner.”
Best Dapto Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.83 29.83 5.59 5.59
1st Res
Race Odds
$31.00
Heart Replay
 
Magic Rama
Trainer
Lorraine Perrin
Owner
Chris Petersen
Prizemoney
$3,685
Last 10 Starts
4622435233
28 Months   White & Fawn   Bitch   by   Yahoo Omar - Bananarama
Start Risky Running Rail Finish Good
Prizemoney Rating $217 Rating 91
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
17 2 3 4
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
12% 53%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
7 0 3 2
Box Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
N/A N/A N/A N/A
ARG Comment: Will gain a start due to the scratching of litter-mate Alderley Reform. She is yet to crack a win at Dapto from seven attempts so isn’t likely to loom as the winner. She does possess some early speed which she will need to use to give herself any chance.
Best Dapto Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
NBT 30.17

5.45

5.58
2nd Res
Race Odds
$26.00
Heat Replay
 
Magic Knight
Trainer
Frank Hurst
Owner
Peter Brownlee
Prizemoney
$8,495
Last 10 Starts
1561511623
26 Months   Black   Dog   by   Magic Sprite - Sunlit Bird
Start Risky Running Rail Finish Good
Prizemoney Rating $447 Rating 92
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
19 6 3 3
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
32% 63%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
6 1 2 1
Box Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
N/A N/A N/A N/A
ARG Comment: Finished third behind fastest qualifier Magic Earner last week. Is risky at box-rise but can show pace. He has won six races from 19 so he has proven he can win races. An each way chance if he gets a run.
Best Dapto Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
NBT 30.25 5.44 5.50

This is a pretty even race in terms of the mix of speed and strength in the race.

The likely favourite will be Rare Pearl (8) who is well-boxed out wide. He was impressive last week, getting through the field to run away with a 7 3/4 length win in a personal best time of 29.83. The only concern is the lack of early pace.

Magic Earner (6) will also be in the betting after her impressive all-the-way victory last week. It was the best she had stepped and she clocked 5.44 to the first mark. She had box two on the occasion and now moves out to the dreaded box six.

Spring Bonanza (3) showed pace last week but the Queensland based bitch is still struggling to adapt to the tight Dapto circuit. She also likes to use the track so this may cause some interference to the chasers boxed in the middle.

Lunar Sky (5) will have to ping the lids to overcome the predicted interference. She is capable of a 5.42 first split and last week showed she had a bit of heart to stave off the strong finishing Bertacious Bee. It would be lovely to see the Bennett family finally get a winner in this race after making the final on so many occasions.

Bertacious Bee (7) handled the outside well last week and only missed out on winning his semi-final by 1/2 a length. With a touch of luck he could give trainer George Micallef his second Dapto Puppy Classic winner.

Much has been made of the fact that Stilton Lucky (1) has won at long odds his last two starts. He has the rails alley for the first time in his career and is aiming for a hat-trick of wins. He only broke his maiden two starts back so it would be a huge feat for him if he was able to pull this off.

Magic Rama (9) gets a run after the scratching of Alderley Reform (2). She has only won two from 17 and is yet to win at the track so she doesn’t look a realistic chance.

Tonight Tonight (4) is the maiden of the field and has not been done any favours by the box-draw. Her dedicated owners deserve a big win as they have invested heavily in the sport but they will need a lot of luck on their side.

Susan Absalom Appeal Clarification

In a ruling by the NSW Racing Appeals Tribunal on November 14, 2014, registered attendant Ms Susan Absalom had her appeal against a charge under GAR 86 (f) (iii) upheld.

Upon an amended plea on a charge under GAR 14 (6) the tribunal altered a period of disqualification to a suspension of six weeks.

Ms Absalom had her appeal deposit refunded and the respondent was to pay costs assessed at $5850+GST to the appellant.

Click here to view the full ruling from the Racing Appeals Tribunal New South Wales.

Sweet It Is Scorches In 2014 Summer Cup Heats

Champion bitch Sweet It Is went within a whisker of the Wentworth Park 720 metre track record, when she dominated Heat Two of the Group Three 2014 Summer Cup on Saturday night.

The four-time Group One winning daughter of Mogambo and Off Springer (Flying Penske – Skullring) stopped the clock at a sizzling 41.55, just 0.02 seconds outside the record held by Xylia Allen.

The 28kg black bitch, renown for her lightning run home, surprised many when she jumped well from box one and held down second place early before taking up the ascendancy at the post the first time and exploding away.

Once she had done that, it was more a matter of whether or not she could break the track record as opposed to winning the race.

In the wash-up, she scored by no less than 15 lengths from Zipping Rory (2) with Dusty Moonshine (4) 1 1/4 lengths further astern in third placing. Beks (5) grabbed fourth place to advance to the final.

The win takes the Darren McDonald trained super star’s earnings beyond $600,000, an amount which could easily grow by another $25,000 after the final next Saturday night. There is a little doubt that she is in the best form of her career, winning five of her last six races and the Group Three title looks to be at her mercy next week.

Earlier in the night, the Ron Bell trained Avondale Maurick upset his more fancied rivals to take out the opening heat in 42.57.

The son of Knocka Norris and Sirocco Pearl (Malfoy – Pacific Style) exited box seven in the lead early before he was challenged and headed by Joane (2).

Joane maintained the lead down the back straight, however as the field swung for home, she was under siege from a quartet of dogs including Avondale Maurick on the fence and Greta’s Rescue (8) out wide.

Avondale Maurick railed superbly into the straight and kicked clear to land the event by two lengths from the youngster Greta’s Rescue with Zipping Maggie (4) finishing the race off well to grab third. Joane managed to hang on for fourth and claim a spot in next Saturday’s $25,000 to-the-winner final.

Qualifier’s for the 2014 Group Three Summer Cup Final (in no particular order) are as follows;

Avondale Maurick (Ron Bell)
Greta’s Rescue (Rod McDonald)
Zipping Maggie (Peter Dapiran)
Joane (Christine Proctor)
Sweet It Is (Darren Mcdonald)
Zipping Rory (Bethany Dapiran)
Dusty Moonshine (Denice Warren)
Beks (Patrick Bouchier)

Reserves
Raramuri (Ian Morgan)
Pumped Up Zarr (Neil Staines)

Old Spice Scores A Sentimental Success

Despite having been training greyhounds for over two decades, few wins have meant as much to Hunter Valley conditioner Terry Priest than Old Spice’s tough victory in the Blue Paws Maiden final at Maitland on Thursday.

Although only beginning slowly from box five, the son of Lochinvar Marlow and Takeover Teddy was able to weave his way through the field and find a spot on the rails around the home turn. 

Once on the inside, Old Spice stretched out beautifully to snare the lead in the run to the line, scoring by one and a half lengths in 25.73 over the 450 metre sprint.

It was his second win in as many weeks after breaking his maiden the week prior in 25.53. Priest was relieved to finally see some wins on the board for his talented youngster.

“He had five starts before he won his maiden and he was placed in four of them, he is a bit of a slow beginner and he was just finding trouble. He started learning how to get through a field and it looks like the penny has finally dropped,” Priest said.

“He broke in really well at Richmond so we thought he would crack it for a win but until he actually does it you never really know for sure. He has always shown ability and he is very well bred, he is out of the mother of Mr Clydesdale, Takeover Teddy. It is a good line which produces good dogs and at this stage he looks like being the best in his litter.”

Seeing the promising black dog finally reach his potential is rewarding for Priest whose father, also named Terry, passed away 14 months ago. Priest’s father was involved in rearing of Old Spice’s litter and his mother Denise now owns the 29 kilogram chaser.

“Dad passed on just over 12 months ago after a work accident and these were the last pups he reared.

“Dad used to do all the rearing while mum and I focused on the training. His role over the past 10 years was getting them to walk on the lead and ready for me to start pre-training them.”

Old Spice was always a favourite of Priest’s father after he and his litter mates became sick at a young age. His dad’s bond with the pup, affectionately named Mr Tee, has ensured the greyhound now holds a special place in the hearts of the whole family.

“The pups nearly died at three months old, they got really sick, they got a virus and we didn’t know whether it was Neosporosis or Parvo and dad actually nursed them back to health by bottle feeding them.

“He named him Mr Tee and he was always out there cuddling him, he was his mate and so now he is special to us because when we look at him we know that dad did all the work with him.

“He loved him, he reared him and always said that he would be a good one and that he couldn’t wait for him to be racing.”

Due to their bond, it was only fitting that he would go on to race in honour of Terry Priest Sr.

“We were all sitting around the table not long after dad passed away. The dog had just been broken in and the reports were good.

“Old Spice got mentioned because dad always had the aftershave and once it came up, that was it, we all decided to put that down. We are very happy that he got the name.”

Terry said it is rewarding for the whole family to see Old Spice racing so well in his dad’s memory given that it is the last greyhound that he had assisted with.

“It’s been a thrill for all of us because of the time and effort dad put in to him. We realise that after him it will be a fresh start for us, he wasn’t involved with any of the others, so this litter is a big part of us and is very special.”

Priest, who currently has eight greyhounds in work, said that credit should also go to his mother who is an enormous part of the training team. He also expressed how having the dogs has been a massive help for her in this difficult time.

“If it wasn’t for the dogs I don’t know what mum would be doing. Me and mum work as a team and she puts a lot of effort into the dogs and they keep her going.

“I think they have helped her get over dad, she puts her head down and tries to get on with life, as you have got to. She is unbelievable and that’s the thing about greyhound racing, it keeps the family together and it helps you get over hard times.”

Terry, who trains from acreage at Sawyers Gully, said he may try his hand at full time training next year, but all that will depend on how much success he can have with Old Spice and his current team within the next few months.

For now he is just hoping to have a bit more fun with the chaser that is not just a greyhound, but a big part of the Priest family.

“I always worry that he will come home safe when he races but it is great for the family to know that we can race a dog in dad’s memory. It makes you want to get up early and get that dog out, give him a cuddle and get him racing.

“We don’t want to forget dad now that his gone so its great to have this dog. To see the tears in mums eyes, its a special moment and you have to savour those. It allows us to reminisce back to when dad was here with the pups.

“Its just great at the moment and we couldn’t be happier.”

The Gardens The First Track To Receive New Upgrade

Newcastle’s premier racing venue The Gardens will be the first track to undergo compulsory maintenance implemented by Greyhound Racing New South Wales, in response to improving track safety and welfare.

The track will receive a surface upgrade along with routine preventative maintenance to be completed next Monday and Tuesday, with the first trial session after the changes to be conducted on Thursday.

Newcastle Greyhounds President Alan Williamson believes the upgrades will complement the recent infrastructure redevelopment at the Sandgate circuit, in preparation for one of the club’s flagship events, the Group Three Newcastle Cup.

“Every track has been analysed by GRNSW and we are the first to have the improvements done.”

“The logic behind our upgrades as the building and other aesthetics works are completed ahead of the Newcastle Cup, a race we hope to promote up the ranks in years to come.”

“Although the interruptions to our venue are an irritant, nothing is more important than the welfare of the greyhounds and GRNSW ought to be applauded for this.”

Mr Williamson also advised that there will be no trials conducted Monday night or Tuesday morning and no race meetings scheduled for next week should be affected.

During September, all meetings at The Gardens were transferred to Gosford whilst the grandstand and other hospitality areas were refurbished.

The Gardens has been the subject of various upgrades in recent times, with the boxes shifted from 413m to 400m back in 2010, in an attempt to reduce the dangers associated with bend starts. The controversial catching pen was also restructured and moved further towards the top of the first turn, to reduce the high speeds in which greyhounds were forced to stop suddenly after a race.

2014 Group Three Summer Cup Heats Preview

Group staying racing hits the Harbour City this Saturday night when Wentworth Park hosts two heats of the Group Three Summer Cup.

With next week’s final worth $25,000 to-the-winner, there is a great opportunity for greyhounds to qualify. Only 13 runners will contest the two heats with eight advancing to the decider.

Here is a look at the two heats;

Race 3 – Schweppes Summer Cup Heat 1 – 8:08pm

1 – My Miss Diva (John James) - A winner of six from 34 who has done most of her racing in northern New South Wales. She has only won one race here from six attempts and is likely to need luck to feature.

2 – Joane (Christine Proctor) - A young run on type who has been consistent at Wentworth Park, winning three and placing in five of her nine appearances there. She has been sharpened up for this with a few runs over the sprint trips and could be a rough hope at double figure odds.

3 – My Boy Brodie (Mick Player) - A winner of just two races who comes into this having never raced over the longer trip. He is yet to win in town and faces a sharp class rise here. He looks hard to have based on that data.

4 – Zipping Maggie (Peter Dapiran) - A Wentworth Park Group winner who took out the Chairman’s Cup here back in September. She has the pace to lead and boasts a personal best at the track of 41.78. Her recent performances have been slightly below her very best but she did make the Group One Bold Trease final last week at Sandown Park. She drops in class here and has to be considered as one of the main hopes.

5 – VACANT

6 – Pumped Up Zarr (Neil Staines) - Grand old campaigner who has been in great form of late, winning his last three over this journey. He will be up challenging for the lead early and loves the track with seven wins from 13 appearances there. He is a big hope again in this.

7 – Avondale Maurick (Ron Bell) - Does not win out of turn with four victories from 20 goes at this trip. He is also yet to flatter on the clock with his best of 42.34 unlikely to be good enough to win this. Place chances appear his best hope.

8 – Greta’s Rescue (Rodney McDonald) - An interesting youngster who has been bought along slowly by astute mentor Rodney McDonald. Has done most of her racing in the country with a win and two placings from her four Wentworth Park distance efforts. She is likely to be a fair way back but, with a clear run, could well run into a placing.

Selections: 4-6-8-2

Race 4 – Schweppes Summer Cup Heat 2 – 8:29pm

1 – Sweet It Is (Darren McDonald) - The undisputed Queen of Australian staying races who notched up her fourth Group On win last week. She possesses a freakishly strong finish and will relish the small field. She will start at a very short quote here and should be winning.

2 – Zipping Rory (Bethany Dapiran) - A consistent Victorian chaser who returns after falling in a heat of the Bold Trease a fortnight ago. He did spear the lids to win a heat of the Chairman’s Cup here in a rapid 41.75 and is very capable when he lands on the lure. That has been his only placing in four starts at Wentworth Park which is some sort of concern.

3 – VACANT

4 – Dusty Moonshine (Denice Warren) - Talented local bitch who returns from a six week break for this series. She has won four from eight at the track with a best of 41.86 and is usually very close to the lead in her races. Given the right breaks, she is a knockout chance.

5 – Beks (Patrick Bouchier) - Another Victorian who comes into this after making the final of the Group One Bold Trease last week. His strike rate is only fair and he makes his Wenty debut here so he is the type that would have to be taken on trust in this heat.

6 – VACANT

7 – Luzaka Icon (Marien Sullivan) - A seasoned distance campaigner who only yields moderate results in easier classes than this. She will be well back early and is unlikely to trouble the class dogs in this race.

8 – Raramuri (Ian Morgan) - A young up-and-comer who takes the plunge into Group racing in this event. She has won three from eight over the journey and boasts a best of 42.15. This will be a real litmus test for her but she has the ability to run a place.

Selections: 1-2-4-5

Cyril Wilson Suspended For Caffeine Positive

Offences:

GAR 83 (2) (a): The owner, trainer or person in charge of a greyhound nominated to compete in an Event shall present the greyhound free of any prohibited substance.

Report:

Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) stewards have finalised deliberations on penalty following analysts’ reports of the finding of caffeine and its metabolites theophylline, paraxanthine and theobromine in the urine sample taken from You Ess Marshall after that greyhound won the Twin Towns Maiden Series Final (420m) at Tweed Heads on 28 June 2014.

Consistent with the protocols established for dealing with such matters under the GRNSW Prohibited Substance Penalty System, trainer Cyril Wilson was advised of the reports received from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory and Racing Analytical Services Ltd Victoria, via written notification of the laboratory findings.

Mr Wilson had advised GRNSW of the probability of the reports having occurred due to the administration of EPO Canine, which testing had shown to contain caffeine. A product warning notice had been distributed by GRNSW in June 2013 in relation to the possible dangers of use of this product close to race day.

Following alternate correspondence Mr Wilson pleaded guilty to a charge under GAR 83 (2) (a) of having presented You Ess Marshall for the event other than free of any prohibited substance in that the urine sample taken from the greyhound after the event was found to contain caffeine and its metabolites.

After GRNSW had considered submissions from Mr Wilson on penalty, he was suspended for a period to expire at midnight on 25 January 2015. The period of suspension commenced from 20 October 2014, cognisant of Mr Wilson’s voluntary withdrawal from the industry upon original notification of the penalty proposed.

In considering penalty, stewards took into account his guilty plea, previously unblemished record in more than 30 years of training, a lack of any significant wagering on the event, previous penalties relevant to this substance, his personal circumstances and the effects that such reports have on the image of racing.

Notwithstanding those factors, the requirement for a penalty to be imposed in circumstances where a measure of negligence had been identified as a possible factor in the reports also had to be considered.

Under GAR 83 (4), You Ess Marshall was disqualified from the event in question and the placings amended accordingly.

Mr Wilson was advised of his right of appeal.

Patrick Wood Disqualified For Ten Years

Offence:

GAR 83(2)(a):The owner, trainer or person in charge of a greyhound nominated to compete in an Event shall present the greyhound free of any prohibited substance.

Report

Greyhound Racing NSW stewards have concluded an inquiry into analysts’ reports of the finding of amphetamine, 4-hydroxyamphetamine, caffeine, theophylline, paraxanthine, and theobromine in the urine sample taken from Feedback Icon after that greyhound won the Mount Franklin Maiden Heat (520m) at Dapto on 17 July 2014.

Feedback Icon’s trainer Patrick Wood failed to appear at the inquiry despite a direction to attend from stewards. As a result, the inquiry proceeded in Mr Wood’s absence.

Evidence was taken from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory’s (ARFL) Dr Adam Cawley. Written evidence was submitted from the ARFL, Racing Analytical Services Victoria and GRNSW investigator Bill Beekman.

During a kennel inspection conducted at Mr Wood’s premises, admissions were made of administration of an amphetamine tablet and a spoonful of coffee two days prior to the race. These admissions however were refuted by Dr Cawley with the levels of the amphetamine being in excess of five times greater than that ever returned to the same substance, which was consistent with a race day administration. Similarly the detected levels of the caffeine and its metabolites also supported race day administration.

After failing to attend the initial scheduled inquiry, Mr Wood was charged by correspondence with a breach of GAR 83(2)(a), and directed to formally lodge a plea with respect to the charge. Mr Wood also ignored this direction, with stewards in recognition of his admissions lodging a plea of guilty on his behalf in his absence.

After considering all the evidence, stewards disqualified Mr Wood for a period of ten years.

In determining penalty, stewards took into account Mr Wood’s record whereby in the lone three urine samples taken from greyhounds trained by him, this was the third occasion he had been found guilty under the prohibited substance rules. Stewards also factored in the excessive level of the Category Two substance under the GRNSW Penalty Guidelines, the lack of contrition shown by Mr Wood for his actions, and the general deterrence for similar behaviour, enforcing GRNSW’s policy of drug free racing.

Under GAR 83(4) Feedback Icon was disqualified from the race and the placings amended accordingly.

Mr Wood was advised of his right of appeal.

ARG Opinion:

Great to see GRNSW putting their foot down and acting with authority on such a major issue. With such a high level reading it is pertinent that they set a precedent for all other participants that disregarding the rules of greyhound racing will not be tolerated. Mr Wood refusing to appear at the inquiry or enter a plea further emphasises his wrong doing and disregard for the sport and makes him a prime example of the type of person we do not need in the greyhound racing industry. In ARG’s opinion, three positives from just three swab samples should see him banned for life, but, we guess a decade is a good start.

Susan Absalom Disqualification Reduced

Offences:

GAR 14 (6): A person who on demand being made by a member of the Controlling Body pursuant to sub- rule (5) fails or refuses to furnish his correct name and address, shall be guilty of an offence.

GAR 86 (f) (iii): A person (including an official) shall be guilty of an offence if the person engages in, publishes or causes to be published, broadcasts or causes to be broadcast, the use of any contemptuous, unseemly, improper, insulting, or offensive language, conduct or behaviour in any manner or form towards, or in relation to the Controlling Body, or a member of the Controlling Body.

Report:

Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) advises that the NSW Racing Appeals Tribunal has ruled on the appeal of registered attendant Ms Susan Absalom against penalties imposed by GRNSW stewards for breaches of GAR 14 (6) and GAR 86 (f) (iii) following an incident after the Richmond meeting on 7 May 2014. Ms Absalom had pleaded not guilty to the charges following an inquiry on 17 June 2014.

Ms Absalom appealed against the penalties imposed on her of a four month disqualification on each charge. The appeal hearing was conducted on 14 November 2014.

Upon an amended plea on the charge under GAR 14 (6) the tribunal altered the period of disqualification to a suspension of six weeks. The appeal on the charge under GAR 86 (f) (iii) was upheld on technical grounds.

The tribunal ruled that Ms Absalom’s appeal deposit be partly refunded.

ARG Opinion:

Without knowing specifics of the situation, it is hard to pass comment on the severity of the sentence originally handed down by Greyhound Racing New South Wales, although it does seem harsh to impose a four month disqualification when other cases of misconduct have simply resulted in fines. However, it is not the first time that Ms. Absalom has been involved in an inquiry. In 2012 she was at the centre of a racing integrity investigation after making comments at a Wentworth Park meeting towards members of GRNSW.

2014 Group Two Dapto Puppy Classic Semi Final Preview

The Group Two Dapto Puppy Auction series has rolled around for another year with the heats taking place last Thursday night at Dapto. The three week series now moves to semi-finals stage this week and the final will be conducted a week later on Thursday, 4 December.

The race is open to greyhounds sold through the 2013 Dapto Puppy Auction. A total of eight heats were conducted with Sokyo, a black dog by High Earner and Magic Capers (Spiral Nikita – Undermatched) the fastest heat winner in 29.82.

The list of heat winners last week looked like this:

Heat One: Le Burglar (High Earner – Magic Capers) – 30.21 (Pauline Moran)
Heat Two: Sokyo (High Earner – Magic Capers) – 29.82 (Christine Oldfield)
Heat Three: Colt Rocket (Cosmic Rumble – Sky Fly High) – 30.37 (Amy Bennett)
Heat Four: Enchanted Molly (Cosmic Rumble – Miranda Molly) – 30.14 (Loretta Rice)
Heat Five: Kichiro (Cosmic Rumble – Miranda Molly – 29.92 (Leon Bozovitch)
Heat Six: Ella Has Class (Bekim Bale – Bralyn Ella) – 29.91 (Dean Swain)
Heat Seven: Stilton Lucky (Cosmic Rumble – Dynamic Shiraz) – 30.36 (Phillip Goodsell)
Heat Eight: Alderley Reform (Yahoo Omar – Bananarama) – 30.14 (Terrance Cahalan)

Here’s a preview of each of the main chances in the semi-finals. The first two from each semi-final will go through to the $75,000 to-the-winner final.

Semi-Final One – Group 2 Dapto Puppy Classic – Race 4 at 8:35pm (NSW time)

Three of last week’s heat winners feature in this semi-final – Alderley Reform (1), Ella Has Class (4) and Kichiro (6). Of those three, Ella Has Class recorded the fastest time in the heats. She showed a nice even mix of pace and strength to win from box four last week, the same draw she has in this semi-final.

Kichiro was not far behind Ella Has Class on the clock but he had the much more favourable box two draw on that occasion and now moves out to the undesirable box six draw. He will have to try an outpace Magic Knight (8) and Ella Has Class (4) who both recorded 5.44 to the first mark last week.

Alderley Reform (1) was only steady out last week, with a 5.64 first section but once he hit the lead he ran away with a 6 1/4 length victory. He has drawn the good box and will need to use it to put himself in a handy position.

Magic Earner (2) may be improved by a look at the track and a draw closer to the rails. The Jodie Lord trained chaser is a litter-mate to Sokyo and was having her first look at the track last week from box seven, finishing five lengths third behind Sokyo. She has four career wins including two at Wentworth Park.

Christine Oldfield’s runner Angsana (7) may also find herself improved by a look at the track. Prior to her Dapto start in the heats, the Collision and Dusty Retreat (Spiral Nikita – Undermatched) chaser had been racing down in Victoria. She finished 1 1/4 lengths behind Stilton Lucky in the heats.

Semi-Final Two – Group 2 Dapto Puppy Classic – Race 5 at 8:55pm (NSW time)

No heat winners have found their way into this semi-final. Lunar Sky (3) has just the two wins from 11 starts but the Cosmic Rumble and Sky Fly High (Big Daddy Cool – Token Melody) chaser raced well last week, finishing 3 1/4 lengths behind Sokyo from box three. Once again she is well boxed and if she can repeat her 5.42 first section, she should be able to lead this race.

The main danger is obviously the highly talented and well performed Frattini (5). She has won eight from 16 in her career and has recorded a best time at Dapto of 29.63. She wasn’t able to show pace last week from box four, eventually scrambling home for third, 8 1/4 lengths astern of Alderley Reform. The box draw is the worry for her.

Barcelona Star (7) is the lightly raced improver. With just five starts under her belt, the Fabregas and Suddenly (Bond – Bothing) greyhound has had two wins and a placing. Her wins have been at Gosford (29.91) and Dapto (30.04). She was fourth from box eight last week and will need to improve on that effort to come out on top here.

Bertacious Bee (8) has won from box eight at Dapto in 30.15. He finished fourth last week behind Enchanted Molly from box seven, beaten 5 1/4 lengths.

Semi-Final Three – Group 2 Dapto Puppy Classic – Race 6 at 9:15pm (NSW time)

A further three heat winners step-up in this semi-final including fastest heat winner Sokyo (6). Box six may concern connections but the pacey black dog has won four from four at the track and sped along the first section in 5.41 last week. His best first section at the track is 5.40 so he is consistent in that respect. If he can get a clear run into the turn he should qualify for a place in the final. The only concern is the runner in box five, Cleaning Money (5) who has run similar times to the first mark at Dapto. If Cleaning Money can take the lead, he is in with a good shot of taking out the race.

Spring Bonanza (1) has won seven from 14 for visiting Queensland trainer Tom Tzouvelis. The Spring Gun and Magic Fantasy (Premier Fantasy – Le Royale) chaser had her first start at Dapto last week, contending with the difficult box six draw and running fourth, five lengths behind Stilton Lucky. Prior to the run last week, Spring Bonanza had been winning around Ipswich. The move to box one should help.

Mo Keeping (3) has spent a bit of his short career in Victoria and hs come back to NSW for this series. He has shown plenty of pace in his wins at Bendigo and Warragul. He wound up 2 1/4 lengths third behind Enchanged Molly last week from box five.

Stilton Lucky (4) got lucky last week to win at massive odds of $62. In the process he broke his maiden. It was his 10th start and he is unlikely to win two in a row.

Colt Rocket (7) did well to win last week but will find it tough from the wide draw trying to cross Sokyo and Cleaning Money (5).

Semi-Final Four – Group 2 Dapto Puppy Classic – Race 7 at 9:38pm (NSW time)

The remaining two heat winners Le Burglar (5) and Enchanted Molly (4) line-up in the final semi-final. It will be an interesting run into the first turn between these two chasers. Enchanted Molly zipped out of box one last week to lead all the way with a fast 5.39 first section. Le Burglar also had the box one draw last week and clocked a 5.40 first section. Le Burglar is the better performed and experienced of the two chasers with a fast win at Wentworth Park already under his belt. Enchanted Molly has won both of her career starts with her maiden win coming over the shorts at Nowra.

If Doozy (3) can improve her start she might factor amongst the top three placings. She narrowly went down to Enchanted Molly last week, after a moderate beginning from box three. She has won just one from nine but is a sister to the highly fancied Sokyo. She is trained by Luke Azzopardi.

A Steve White trained chaser can never be underestimated and he has Rare Pearl (6) in box six. Rare Pearl has won three from nine and has been placed on four other occasions. She had her first start at Dapto last week, finishing second behind Colt Rocket. Naturally, there needs to be improvement on that run but if she runs up to her recent performances at Richmond (30.53 and 30.36), she will be hard to beat.

Bella Senora Scores A Sentimental Victory

They say that a dog is a man’s best friend and Bella Senora has proven to be precisely that for her trainer, Adam Wade. Sadly, Wade recently lost his beloved wife Karen and on Wednesday night his gallant chaser did her best to cheer him up, as any best friend would, winning at Bulli in a slick 22.62.

The fawn bitch began cleanly from box four and quickly gathered speed in the early stages, stretching out to score by a widening six lengths at the finish.

Wade said that he thought his brilliant chaser had a great shot going into the event and agreed that she may have had a little extra help getting across the line.

“There might have been a bit of divine intervention”, Wade said.

“I thought she had a really good chance, she has been going very well. I’ve kept her to the 400s and she is racing very strongly and keenly at the moment.”

Wednesday’s win was Bella Senora’s fourth victory from her last five starts since returning from an injury sustained at Wentworth Park in August.

“She broke down and pulled up, she did an egg muscle and then tore her shoulder muscle.

“It was a bit of a blessing in disguise because it forced me to give her eight weeks off, a bit of a break and some time off. It was never a career threatening injury, she probably could have come back a but quicker, but we just thought we’d give her a lengthy spell at the same time.

“She has always been quick but I think she has come back as a better bitch.”

The triumph took Bella Senora’s record to 13 wins and 10 minor placings from 35 career starts. The 27 kilogram speedster has won on five different tracks including two victories at Wentworth Park. Wade has enjoyed a great run with the daughter of El Grand Senor which he owns and bred from his handy racer Wacky Car Races.

“Wacky Car Races was out of my bitch Scar Crash which was one of my first dogs, she (Scar Crash) wasn’t very good on the track but it turns out that her breeding has been phenomenal. Her first litter won around 70 or 80 races and one of those from the litter was Wacky Car Races.

“Wacky Car Races was a very good bitch. I think she only won three from ten races, she did her stopper bone and broke down. We kept her for breeding and this has been her first litter and they have been very successful for us.”

Wade, who has been training for the past 10 years, has about 60 greyhounds on his Kings Langley property with 18 of those currently in work. He looks set to have a busy time ahead with the next litter out of Wacky Car Races, which was a repeat mating to El Grand Senor, presently 17 months old.

He also has Bella Senora’s litter mates Army Surplus and Peta Pitstop in work. Army Surplus has been a good money spinner for Wade and won in a blistering 29.61 at Wentworth Park last night, whilst Peta Pitstop has won five from 15 and is set to return to the track next Wednesday at Richmond after two months on the sidelines.

“I think Peta Pitstop is quicker. She was out for six months, she broke a bone in her hock, and I got her back to win a few in a row and then she was leading at Dapto and hurt herself and pulled up. She is now back and trialling very quickly.”

While Adam no doubt faces a challenging time ahead, he is thankful to the assistance from his family, in particular his brother Paul and daughter Emma, who help him out with the greyhounds.

“It is a real family affair, it always has been, we are a fairly close knit family.

“It is tough… (but) you have got to keep going on. The dogs have got to eat, the dogs have got to walk, the dogs have got to trial and the dogs have got to race. It is just life going on.”

Provincial Veteran Yo Cool Maxie Hangs Up The Collar And Lead

We always hear when the champions of the track retire after the curtains close on their dazzling careers on the Group racing stage. However, it is not to often we get to recognise and applaud the careers of the iron dogs that race week in, week out.

Yo Cool Maxie was never a champion, but a tougher campaigner you will struggle to find. The son of Big Daddy Cool and Be My Girl has been one of the most consistent chasers in New South Wales in recent years and, as of Wednesday, his racetrack career is now over.

Trained by Barry and Roz Evans of Moonbi, Yo Cool Maxie faced the starter on 110 occasions and amassed the fantastic record of 32 wins and 35 minor placings.

Roz said that they decided to retire their kennel star after he led at Maitland Wednesday before fading to finish fourth, after which it was discovered that he had sustained an injury.

“He actually ran the fastest first section of the day. He led around the home turn and half way down the straight he baulked and steadied up, running fourth. He tore his groin”, Roz explained.

“He tore it quite badly and he’s only a month off turning five. We had pretty much decided we would call it a day soon and I think the groin injury just made our mind up, it was just the final thing”.

Yo Cool Maxie, affectionately known as Scooby, was bred by Roz and Barry and is owned by the Scooby Six Syndicate, managed by Pete Hyson. He is from a fantastic litter which also includes Little Ed, the former 400 metre track record holder at Maitland.

“Scooby wasn’t the fastest in his litter, Little Ed was, but he was the soundest dog and he was more versatile, he just kept going.

“He won the Armidale Cup, the Gold Collar at Maitland and he broke two track records, one at Gunnedah and one at Armidale, all this year or late last year.”

Yo Cool Maxie won on seven different tracks throughout his career with his last victory being a 22.61 triumph at The Gardens in August.

Roz and Barry, who have been together for 30 years, have endless memories of ‘Scooby’ on the racetrack, but rate two of his victories as being particularly special.

“When he ran 29.94 on the Paws of Thunder night at Wentworth Park. He ran a faster first and second section that night than the winner of the Paws of Thunder did.

“That Paws of Thunder night and when he won the Gold Collar at Maitland this year stand out.

“His brother, Little Ed, had won it (Gold Collar) two years before in 2012 and Yo Cool Maxie ran second to him that year. It is rather unique that two litter brothers could win the Gold Collar and especially being two years apart, I don’t think it had ever been done before.

“There were a lot of nice races that he won, but those two are definitely standouts for Barry and I.”

Roz and Barry are especially thankful for the assistance shown to them by veterinarians Peter Yore, John Newell and Reece, from their local clinic on Piper Street, for all their efforts in keeping Yo Cool Maxie healthy and sound throughout his career.

As for what lies ahead for Scooby, Roz said that he will live out his life in luxury at their home with lots of pats and the odd ice-cream.

“As a dog he is very much loved by all of our family. He has a huge personality, but he is a quiet little dog.

“He has lots of funny little ways about him that endears him to people and the children love him, of course, because he is so quiet.

“Scooby is everyones darling and we would never not have him here, he would fret to death.”

And how would Roz sum up the incredible ride Yo Cool Maxie took them on? Two words.

“Absolutely delightful.”

Finn’s Track Record Deja Vu

You could be forgiven for having a serious case of Deja Vu whilst watching race three at Maitland today, as Cranebrook trainer Melinda Finn claimed her second track record in a matter of weeks, this time over the 450 metre distance. In a heat of the Maitland Future Stars series over 400m three weeks ago Finn’s promising youngster Winsome Jacko achieved what no greyhound in history had done prior and broke the 22 second mark, recording a sensational time of 21.98.

Today however, was all about superstar prodigy Winsome Prince, who notched up his eighth win in style by thirteen and three quarter lengths and kept his perfect career record in tact. Despite being third away best away from box six, the only son of Barcia Bale and Winsome Shiraz showed electrifying pace to whizz past early leader Most Arrogant, recording a sizzling second sectional of 18.07, with a speedy run home of 6.72. The overall time of 24.79 was astonishingly 0.08 seconds better than Paw Licking’s previous track record of 24.87, set in a heat of the Maitland Cup back in March.

After being forced to scratch in a fifth grade final at Maitland three weeks ago, Finn was confident her charge would perform better than his previous personal best time of 25.07.

“I was disappointed when I had to scratch him from the final at Maitland because I thought he would’ve gotten close to the record that day, but it worked out well.”

“I haven’t had a chance to watch the replay yet, but he looked to have jumped good from box six.”

Winsome Prince will now make his anticipated debut at Wentworth Park next Friday in the Maitland to City Final and is guaranteed to attract plenty of attention as we witness the rapid rise of this truly gifted chaser.

Turtle Jett Emerges From Her Shell

This time last year, Hunter Valley businessman Adam Ramage had no idea his life would soon be dominated by greyhounds. In fact, Ramage, a shop owner from Neath, originally had no intentions of having greyhounds of his own.

“I actually bought a greyhound for my nephew to train, he’s right into it,” Ramage explained.

“It all started from there, I took over myself and I have loved it ever since. It’s an addiction. Getting up at five o’clock every morning with them, putting them on the walking machine, feeding them, it’s just something I love.”

Taking out his trainer’s licence just six months ago, Ramage originally started off with just one in work before his hobby soon expanded. He recently purchased a lightly raced bitch, named Turtle Jett, from Greta trainer Chad Garrard.

Turtle Jett had the modest record of six starts for a win and a third when she was bought by Adam. At her sole victory she had recorded a steady 16.39 win at Wentworth Park, while she had been beaten by a combined total of 52 lengths in her other five appearances. While her record was less than ideal, Ramage saw promise in the black bitch.

“She is probably the quickest beginner I have seen. I saw her early speed coming out of the boxes, she had won at Wentworth Park over the 280 and I thought that I would try and make her a 400 dog, even though she had terrible times over the 400.”

Ramage took the daughter of El Grand Señor and Charlie Cheetah to Richmond for her first start under his care last Wednesday.

At just his sixth start as a trainer, Adam was stunned when Turtle Jett exploded from the boxes and led all the way in a handy 22.93 over the 400 metre sprint, not a bad effort for a chaser which he initially didn’t think would be able to run out the 400 metre trip.

“I still can’t get over it. I couldn’t keep my eyes off the race, I forgot to go around to the catching pen.

“I couldn’t see her (Turtle Jett) but then I looked over at my wife in the crowd she was cheering and jumping up so I knew (she had won). It was awesome, surreal. It made all the effort that I have put in worth it.”

Adam attributes the rapid improvement in Turtle Jett with the fact that he only has a small team in work, allowing each greyhound to receive more love and care.

“I obviously don’t know enough to be able to determine what it is but a lot of people say the one on one training helps. The less dogs you have in the kennels, the more attention they get and I’m a firm believer if I look after them well that they will look after me.”

Winning aside, Ramage said the most rewarding part of Turtle Jett’s victory was seeing the improvement she has made on the track.

“I have taken a couple on that people didn’t want and I have made their times a lot better than what they were.

“Racing them is just showing the benefits of what you can do with them and how you can change them.

“Once you put them into the race and you see them run a better time, I don’t care if they come last, I’m happy.”

Turtle Jett will head back to Richmond this Wednesday with the race she won last week being a heat of a fifth grade sprint series. Win, lose or draw in the final, Ramage said he and his wife Chloe are now hooked on greyhound racing and can’t foresee giving away their newfound passion and love anytime soon.

“I just love the animal. Spending time with them when you are training them is what you get the excitement out of.

“I forgot that I won prize money for winning, I didn’t even think about that until I was driving home.

“I don’t do it for the money, it’s just for the love.”

Proctor’s Master Stroke In Future Stars Final

All eyes were on new Maitland’s new 400m track record holder Winsome Jacko in the Brodie Wells Electrical Future Stars Final, with the son of El Grand Senor and Ramblin’ Ruby starting from box six at the skinny odds of $2.30. Finn’s other runner Winsome Mission was also well supported by punters at $4.50.

Locally trained runner Gauge This was best away at box rise, with Christine Proctor’s Master Gee and Robert Green’s Lord Licrick positioning themselves nicely behind the leader heading around the turn. Finn’s three runners missed the jump and became entangled with inside runner Lord Gee, forcing them back through the field. It became a fierce battle upfront when Lord Licrick made his move on the outside, taking the lead halfway down the straight from Gauge This and Master Gee, who was making good ground. Heading for home it became a line of three runners, with Master Gee prevailing by a head over Lord Licrick in a smart time of 22.61. Early leader Gauge This finished a neck away in third position and Winsome Jacko flew home to run fourth. Scenes of jubilation erupted in the catching pen following the event, with Christine Proctor and husband Allan celebrating winning an event they’ve desired for many years.

“I’ve been trying to win this race for a long time so it’s a dream come true,” said a delighted Christine.

“It was so tight at the finish and I was so happy when I heard my dog had won, I couldn’t believe it.”

Master Gee impressed on debut in a heat of the series last week, clocking a brilliant time of 22.38. After coming up with box seven in the final, Proctor knew her charge was going to have to produce something special to beat a red hot field of chasers.

“When you’re up against so many good dogs and the new track record holder, I knew it was going to be a very hard race.”

The son of El Grand Senor and Oh Em Gee will now make his way to Bulli, where Proctor will work him through the grades and hopefully get some more pleasuring results.

“My plan at this stage is to take him to Bulli and see how he goes. I was very pleased with how he went in this series, so it will be good to see what he can do at other tracks.”

Proctor and Master Gee’s owner Christopher Black are now $8,000 richer; thanks to the prizemoney kindly donated by the race’s new sponsor Brodie Wells Electrical.

This series has produced some of the most promising pups in the state of New South Wales, with Melinda Finn’s new track record holder Winsome Jacko a star on the rise, whilst Master Gee, Lord Licrick and Gauge This are three greyhounds everyone should enter into their black books and keep a close eye on in the near future.

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Fletcher Knocking On The Door of A Group One Victory

Appin trainer Jason Fletcher is closer than ever to his dream of winning a Group One final, with talented sprinter Xtreme Knocka the fastest qualifier for Saturday night’s Vic Peters Classic.

Exiting from box two last week, the son of Knocka Norris and Misty Fields began moderately before mustering good pace to lead into the first turn, saluting by three and a half lengths in a flying time of 29.56.

“It was a terrific run last week. He got some room to move and everything worked out well,” said Fletcher.

Fletcher isn’t as optimistic about Xtreme Knocka’s chances this Saturday night, after coming up with a difficult box eight draw.

“Box three and box eight were left when it came to our turn to pick and unfortunately we got eight. I’d love him to be stepping out in a different coloured rug on Saturday, but I’m just hoping the dogs on his inside help him get across.”

Despite the obstacle of overcoming box eight in the final, Xtreme Knocka recorded a speedy run home of 11.69 on Saturday night and can figure at the finish, if he’s close enough.

“I was very pleased with his run home and if he’s chasing a dog that’s not so strong, I’d be confident of his chances. John Finn’s dog (Anything Less) is very strong and if he gets a chance I don’t think anything will run him down.”

Xtreme Knocka has been one of the surprise packets of this series, coming into the heats two weeks ago with eight career wins under his belt, including a speedy 28.73 performance at Bulli over 515 metres.

“After he won at Wentworth Park in 29.82, I decided to take him away from the track and he won a couple at Bulli and ran a very good second to Evil Punk over the 600m at Dapto.”

“He’s always had plenty of ability, but just had to learn to run with seven other dogs.

Finishing second in his heat behind Cosmic Angel in 29.88, Fletcher was confident in his greyhounds’ ability to get the job done in the semi final from a favourable box draw.

“It definitely did surprise me how well he went last week. I was very happy with his run home, but there’s a lot of strong dogs in the final this week and he will need to do everything right to have a chance.”

“He really enjoys racing at Wentworth Park and has grown in leaps and bounds over the past few weeks.”

After a flying 26.13 performance trial at Bulli over the 472 metres back in March, Xtreme Knocka headed to Jason Thompson’s kennels in Victoria and notched up a handy maiden victory at Sandown Park over the 515 metres in a time of 29.85.

In July Xtreme Knocka transferred to Fletcher’s Appin kennels and has blossomed since, wining six of thirteen starts, with an overall career record of nine wins from twenty three attempts.

Marlow Man Bursts Back To His Best

The Anne Foley trained Marlow Man finally lived up to his enormous promise on Monday night at Wentworth Park, scoring an emphatic victory in a sprint series heat, clocking a slick 29.82 over the 520 metres.

The son of Lochinvar Marlow and Gembaz had shown plenty of potential early in his career at Maitland, posting a hot 22.44 run in November last year at just his seventh start.

That victory was his last prior to Monday night with an array of injuries keeping him from putting his best paws forward on the track.

“He started off with a bang and we had high hopes for him, but these things are sent to try you and you have to just keep going”, Foley said.

“It took him eleven months to win another race. He pulled a toenail right out and that took a couple of months to heal and then he was ripped apart in a yard accident.”

Anne and her husband Barry, who train from their residential property in Maitland, showed great faith in their black speedster and he now looks set to repay them for the love and care shown to him during his recuperation.

Foley was delighted with the win and time but said she always knew that Marlow Man had enough ability to develop into a handy city-class performer.

“I always thought the shorter straight at Wentworth Park, opposed to the long straight at Maitland, would suit him and I always thought he was capable of breaking the 30 at Wenty.”

“Earlier in his career, his style was to jump steady and to then burst away. It has taken a long time to get him back to where he was at the start.”

Affectionately named Bobby after Anne’s close friend Bob Brown, Marlow Man is not only a highly exciting chaser, he is also a much loved companion of eight-year-old Zac Shoesmith.

Zac, whose parents are family friends of Anne and Barry, was given a share in Marlow Man as a pup and he now races under the ownership of the ‘Our Boy Zac’ syndicate. It’s a certainty that there was nobody cheering louder on Monday evening than the youngster from his Heddon Greta home.”

“I gave Zac a share in Bobby for his sixth birthday and my hope when I gave it to him was that the dog would win some races. He went over $10,000 on (Monday) night so Zac has now won over $2,500. We are going on a cruise next February now because of Bobby”, Anne explained.

“Naturally enough he is too young to have a license and he couldn’t be a registered owner. The way around it was to call it the ‘Our Boy Zac’ Syndicate, it puts Zac’s name in the race book and that’s all he ever wanted to see.”

Anne says that each and every race that Marlow Man wins is special to her because of the joy it brings to young Zac, who suffers from haemophilia.

“With his haemophilia it gives him an interest in life. His illness prevents him from playing sport, so this is his sport.”

“He is absolutely devoted to Bobby. He doesn’t even talk about the other dogs in our yards, it is just all Bobby.”

It has been a tough year for the Foley’s who lost their outstanding youngster Zac Marlow at Richmond in February. While it has taken a while, things now appear to be looking up for Anne and Barry who recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary.

“Even though it has been a long time in-between drinks it has been well worth the wait and he (Marlow Man) has given us so much joy. We are hoping the best is yet to come.”

“The bad times outweigh the good times but when the good times come you grab them with both hands and enjoy them.”

Marlow Man will head back to Wentworth Park this Friday for the Sprint Series final where he has drawn box seven. It will be a tough assignment for him against proven performers Zipping Tarn, Knocka’s Return, Watto Lotto and Encapsulate, but Anne remains optimistic.

“He has box seven in the final. It’s a hard final, finals are always hard to win, but he doesn’t mind being out there. We are just hoping that all those little injuries are behind him now and he can kick on.”

Win, lose or draw on Friday, as long as ‘Bobby’ comes home safe, there will be a smile on the face faces of Anne, Barry and one special little boy.

“Every time you put him around you just hope nothing happens to the dog. You just know that excitement that Bobby gives him, he has made an eight-year-old boy’s dreams come true.”

zac and marlow man

Anne Foley, Marlow Man are joined by Zac and Taylah Shoesmith.

Finn’s Triple Threat in Maitland Future Stars Final

This Thursday afternoon at will see the running of the Brodie Wells Electrical Future Stars final at Maitland, where an alluring $8,000 awaits the winner.

Cranebrook trainer Melinda Finn has three talented chasers engaged, with new 400m track record holder Winsome Jacko her best hope from box six. The son of the El Grand Senor and Ramblin’ Ruby sent tongues wagging during the heats last week, clocking a sensational time of 21.98. Finn also has two other lives chances in Winsome Mission, who recorded a sizzling time of 22.20 and Winsome Bluey who qualified in 22.51. All three greyhounds will line up side by side from boxes four, five and six.

Londonderry trainer Christine Proctor’s chances were given a boost when the box draw was released yesterday, with smart youngster Lord Gee coming up with the inside alley. The son of El Grand Senor and Oh Em Gee was superb last week, clocking a fast time of 22.45 from box three. Proctor’s other finalist Master Gee will face a tough test from box seven, however he did display good early pace last week to cross and lead throughout from box eight in a flying time of 22.38.

Brodie Wells Electrical Future Stars – Maitland 400m:

Box One – Lord Gee (Christine Proctor): Despite missing the start last week, is perfectly drawn in box one to take advantage of a rails run. Recorded a fast time of 22.45 last week, with a sensational run home of 6.58.

Box Two – Gauge This (Walter Simmons): Did everything right last week from box six and can improve on the clock after suffering some interference heading around the turn. Clocked 22.73 in his heat and will be given every chance from a favourable draw.

Box Three – Lord Licrick (Robert Green): Showed great acceleration last week to get across from box seven, clocking a speedy time of 22.51, with an impressive run home of 6.68. A genuine railer who should take advantage of this box draw and put himself into the race in the latter stages.

Box Four – Winsome Bluey (Melinda Finn): After stumbling at the start, railed underneath the leader on the home turn to clock a fast time of 22.51. Will need to significantly improve his box manners after coming up with a difficult draw.

Box Five – Winsome Mission (Melinda Finn): Was brilliant last week from box six in a sizzling time of 22.20, with a flying run home 6.55. A poor box draw won’t help his chances after a slow start last week, however look for him to flash home at the finish.

Box Six – Winsome Jacko (Melinda Finn): Labelled a superstar after breaking the track record last week, clocking a blistering time of 21.98. Box six will be the only concern for his trainer, however if he gets any room to move early we should see him salute in fine style and carve out another impressive time.

Box Seven – Master Gee (Christine Proctor): Recorded a sensational time of 22.38 in his heat last week and mustered good early pace from box eight. Will be right in this with a repeat performance of last week and is drawn inside a risky beginner.

Box Eight – Airbourne Miss (Allan Mcgowan): Produced the biggest upset from the heats last week from box five, recording a smart time of 22.69 and a sizzling 6.59 run home. Being a risky beginner wont help her chances getting across from the wide draw, however she showed good stamina and can figure at the finish.

The final will be run and won at 6.02pm EDST.

Finn Steals The Show At Maitland

It was well and truly ladies day at Maitland yesterday afternoon, with astute female trainer Melinda Finn dominating the Brodie Wells Electrical Future Stars heats, notching up three winners and a track record in the process. No greyhound in the history of racing at Maitland had broken the 22-second barrier, until yesterday.

Winsome Jacko went into heat three well supported by punters at $1.80 and despite a slow exit from box eight, showed a brilliant turn of acceleration at the top of the turn to streak away by six and a quarter lengths in an astounding time of 21.98. The previous record of 22.11 had been held by Barry Evans’ Little Ed since March of 2012, who fittingly took out the GBOTA Sprint Series Final and was trackside to witness his record fall. Jason Mackay’s talented chaser Zipping Midge battled on gamely, however this truly gifted greyhound is undoubtedly racing’s newest sensation.

“He didn’t begin that well, but I was really glad he had box eight and got plenty of room to move,” said delighted trainer Melinda Finn.

“I expected him to go well because he’s been trialling very fast there, but probably didn’t expect him to break 22 seconds.”

The son of El Grand Senor and Ramblin’ Ruby will be joined by litter mates Winsome Mission and Winsome Blue, who were outstanding in their respective heats, clocking times of 22.20 and 22.51. Winsome Mission jumped from box six and emulated his brother’s turn of speed to round up the early leaders, clocking a flying run home of 6.55. Winsome Blue stepped out in the final heat from box one and took full advantage of an inside draw. Railing underneath his rivals, the 35kg heavyweight took the lead half way around the turn, saluting by three quarters of a length at the finish.

“The whole litter is very fast. Winsome Mission broke in the best and I was really happy with how he came out. When you breed them, break them in and train them, it gives you a real kick when they perform like this.”

Finn could be forgiven for planning well and truly ahead of next week’s final, with the Cranebrook trainer illustrating her desire to nurture her talented youngsters through the grades.

“They’re only 18 months old and I don’t want to rush them yet. I’ll just work them through the grades at different tracks, because there’s plenty of time for the big races.”

Londonderry trainer Christine Proctor also had a memorable afternoon at the Hunter Valley circuit, notching up two heat winners with litter brothers Lord Gee and Master Gee. Lord Gee stepped out in the opening heat from box three and after a moderate getaway, railed underneath the leaders to salute by one and three quarter lengths in 22.45. Master Gee started from box eight in heat six at skinny odds of $1.60, and rewarded punters enthusiasm, virtually leading all the way in a flying run of 22.38. The 34kg heavyweight by El Grand Senor out of Oh Em Gee is a definite star on the rise and will be well supported once again in next week’s final.

Lord Licrick for owner-trainer Robert Green came into this series after a very impressive 22.69 performance trial at Richmond and didn’t disappoint from box seven, clocking a smart time of 22.51. The son of Oak’s Road and Myron’s Angel saluted by three and a quarter lengths at the finish, with a solid run home time of 6.68.

The biggest upset of the day came in heat seven, when $17.30 outsider Airbourne Miss began well from box five and brushed off his rivals at the top of the turn, scoring by three and a quarter lengths in a smart time of 22.69. Owned and trained locally by Allan Mcgowan, this talented son of Knocka Norris and Dis Low Kate clocked a sizzling run home time of 6.59 and thoroughly deserves his place in next week’s final.

The box draw for next Thursday afternoon’s $8,000 to the winner final will be released on Monday.

Future Stars On Show At Maitland

Eight heats of the Brodie Wells Electrical Future Stars Series will be run and won at Maitland this afternoon, with some outstanding prospects on debut over the 400 metres. This extremely popular event will again carry a winner’s purse of $7,000, which will be presented to winning connections next Thursday.

Key Performers:

Shelby Thunder (7) will make his debut in heat one from for trainer Deen Parkinson after an impressive 22.73 performance trial at the track last week. Leading all the way from box five, this impeccably bred son of Cosmic Rumble and Cindeen Shelby will be well supported by punters, despite exiting from box seven. Shelby Thunder appears to have inherited some of his mother’s notable early speed after clocking a fast first sectional of 5.31.

Gauge This (6) and Harry Bailey (8) will step out in heat two, with both greyhounds recording an outstanding time of 22.68 in their respective performance trials at Maitland. Walter Simmons’ Gauge This is a son of Lochinvar Marlow and Hail Queenie and was brilliant last week, leading all the way and scoring by five lengths at the finish. Harry Bailey is another promising youngster from renowned breeders Brett and Deborah May, with the son of Brett Lee and Daydream prepared by astute trainer Anthony Azzopardi. Exiting from box five last week, Harry Bailey saluted by two lengths and recorded a fast early split of 5.28, which will help him get across from the wide alley.

It wouldn’t be a maiden series without Martin and Fiona Hallinan making an impact and Zipping Midge (1) is looking to do just that in heat three. The daughter of Fabregas and Zipping Jewel sizzled around Maitland two weeks ago in 22.65 and is certain to be familiar with the 400m distance, being prepared by master Hunter Valley trainer Jason Mackay. In-form trainer Melinda Finn will be looking to continue her winning ways with Winsome Jacko, who will exit from box eight in the same heat and comes off a flying 26.19 performance trial at Bulli. This son of El Grand Senor and Ramblin’ Ruby will certainly test this field at the finish.

In heat four, Winsome Jacko’s litter mate Winsome Mission will start from box six after a brilliant 25.50 performance trial over the 450m two weeks. Trainer Melinda Finn has decided drop the son of El Grand Senor and Ramblin’ Ruby back in distance and he will have to overcome a tricky draw to figure prominently in this event.

Finn will again unleash another talented prodigy from El Grand Senor and Ramblin’ Ruby in heat five, with Winsome Warrior (6) simply outstanding at Richmond on Saturday night, recording 22.66 over the 400m and blitzing his rivals from box seven. Despite another awkward box draw, this greyhound illustrated blinding speed in his only trial and should post a smart time with a repeat performance. Looking to upset the favourite with be Lord Licrick (7) for owner-trainer Robert Green. This son of Oaks Road and Myron’s Angel performance trialled a month ago at Richmond and was equally impressive over the 400 in 22.69. Green will be confident with his charges chances, particularly being drawn inside a slow beginner.

Christine Proctor has another live chance in heat six with Master Gee (8), who clocked a sizzling time of 22.56 at this track in a performance trial last month. The 35kg son of El Grand Senor and Oh Em Gee destroyed his rivals by nine and a quarter lengths from box five and makes his racing debut from box eight.

Two outstanding prospects will line up in the final heat of the day, with Melinda Finn’s Winsome Bluey exiting from box one. The son of El Grand Senor and Ramblin’ Ruby finished second to Winsome Jacko in a performance trial at Bulli two weeks ago, clocking a fast time of 26.25 over the 472m. The 36kg heavyweight showed a great turn of acceleration and should handle this track and distance with ease. Beautifully bred chaser Petal Sannette also finished second in her only performance trial to date, clocking a speedy time of 22.71 earlier this month at Maitland. The Kevin Johnson trained daughter of Cosmic Rumble and Bloss Sannette battled on gamely behind Zipping Midge and expect a big showing from box two.

All eight heat winners will move through to next week’s $7,000 final, which was won last year by Devine Awe in a time of 22.52 for local trainer Pat Parrelli.

Gosford Witnesses Second Track Record In Three Weeks

It was a case of deja vu at Gosford tonight with another track record falling, this time over the 400 metres. Tracey Bruce’s talented sprinter Cawbourne Havoc returned from a 12-week spell and shattered the previous record held by All Tommie, clocking 22.47 in an astonishing display.

This beautifully bred son of Brett Lee and American Spot reduced the record set in 2012 by 0.14, with a sizzling early split of 10.50 and an equally impressive run home time of 12.00. Bruce was elated with the performance, which she watched with her family at their Hunter Valley property.

“I couldn’t believe it when I saw the time. The kids and I were cheering for him to win and I was so happy he did, then when I saw the time I started to cry.”

“I wasn’t sure whether the I’d read the time correctly and my ten year old kept saying it was right.”

Exiting from box seven in the Masters event, Marie Burton’s Soaring Eagle was made the $1.80 favourite from box one, however the race was all over in a matter of seconds once the black and white flash jumped straight to the lead and gapped his rivals by six lengths at the finish.

Cawbourne Havoc had his last race start at The Gardens back on July 18, where he finished last over the 515 metres after finding a heap of trouble. Bruce acknowledged that despite a hindering wrist injury, the talent this greyhound possesses is simply stunning.

“He has broken track records before but only in trials so unfortunately it doesn’t count. He’s such a beautiful dog and nothing ever worries him. The cat can walk past his kennel and he won’t even move.”

Cawbourne Havoc recorded his fifteenth career win tonight from start number forty one and appears to be showing no signs of slowing down even at three and a half years of age.

“He has terrible wrist problems and that prevents him from racing all the time. He always does well off a spell and I couldn’t be happier at his age to still be running such fast times.”

Bruce is an extremely family orientated woman and was quick to acknowledge the hard work her husband Jarred and son Chase put into their training operations.

“I’m just so happy for my husband and son Chase. He always talks about track records, even if he doesn’t know the person and he gets so excited when a dog breaks the record. I can only imagine how he’s feeling right now.”

“My husband and son do all the hard work going to trials and the race track, whilst I stay at home and focus more on the fitness side of the dogs. We haven’t had much luck lately so hopefully this is the start of a good run.”

This victory was made even more special with Bruce’s father recently having major heart surgery, with early reports the operation was a resounding success.

In what is a wonderful reward for perseverance and hard work, greyhound racing is always capable of providing a moment of jubilation that can put the biggest smile on someone’s face even in the most testing of times.

Finn’s Prince Rules At Maitland

Winsome Prince further enhanced his reputation as one of the most exciting youngsters in New South Wales with a dominant performance in a 4/5th grade heat yesterday at Maitland.

Trained by Minnie Finn, the son of Barcia Bale and Winsome Shiraz stepped evenly from box eight before mustering pace and assuming the front around the first turn.

Once in the lead it was a case of times and margins as the black chaser sprinted to the line four-and-one-quarter lengths clear in a sizzling 25.07.

The victory was his seventh from as many starts, with a barnstorming success in this year’s Group Three Dapto Maiden also among those wins.

Finn made the trip up to the Hunter Valley circuit from Cranebrook, near Richmond, expecting a good performance from her exciting pup.

“We thought he would go alright because he was well boxed out in the eight”, Finn said.

“He has usually got good speed, that is why he is going so well. He didn’t come out all that good yesterday and he had to put the pedal to the metal to get to the front.”

Winsome Prince had trialled at the track on Monday in preparation for his Maitland debut, clocking a nearly identical time of 25.05.

Based on this, Finn said that she was originally a little disappointed with the time recorded on Thursday.

“I thought he would have went quicker and we were a bit disappointed with the time but he cracked an outside toenail, so that could have been the problem.”

Finn is optimistic that the cracked toenail will not cause a setback to her star sprinter and that he will be able to take his place in next week’s $1500 final.

However, she is not prepared to risk him if there is any uncertainty closer to race day.

“At this stage we are hoping (it will be ok), but we will just see how he goes through the week. If it is not right we will have to scratch him.”

It is the perfect time of the year to have an exciting young dog in your kennel, with the Group One Vic Peters heats being run at Wentworth Park this Saturday.

Despite the allure of the $75,000 winner’s cheque, Finn decided to steer clear of headquarters and the big one to allow Winsome Prince some more time to mature.

“He is not experienced enough, he would have been giving a lot away (to the other dogs). If we had a bit more time to school him around there we might have gone in it but we didn’t have time to trial.”

“We have a good opinion of him, he is a fast dog and he has got speed but he is only young.”

“That’s why we took him to Maitland and haven’t taken him to Wenty yet, we just wanted to get a bit of age on him and let him find his feet and then we will head to town.”

If he is fit and well by next Thursday, Winsome Prince looks to be the leading contender heading into the final, although it will be a harder task than his heat. The other qualifier was taken out by Remember Ross in a quick 25.17.

Finn said she is not too concerned about the box draw for the final which should be released on Monday afternoon.

“It doesn’t really matter where he is drawn as long as the dogs either side of him don’t go left or right.”

“He had bad boxes at Dapto and could handle them so it is just a matter of getting left alone for those first few strides and then he has got the pace to take off.”

Finn is contemplating taking Winsome Prince to the city after next Thursday to see if he can handle the step up in grade. With his combination of speed, strength and field sense, all signs at this early stage indicate that he should turn into a top class chaser down the track.

“We will probably take him to Wenty and give him a couple of trials before we put him in around there.”

“We are excited about him- and that’s why we are taking him along slowly, he is only young.”

“At this stage he is going good. He still has to take the big boys on down the track but he is ticking all the boxes so far”.

$20Million For Greyhounds Hinges On NSW Inquiry Outcomes

A $20m war chest can be delivered to the NSW greyhound racing industry, provided a wagering tax cut is rubber stamped by the Baird government.

This was just one of a raft of improvements recommended from a 12 month Parliamentary Inquiry into the ailing sport’s fortunes.

The government-appointed Select Committee found clear evidence that greater communication should exist between stake holders and the governing body, GRNSW. To this end, GRNSW has been asked to report back to the Government in six months with an expectation of a greater consultative process.

Similarly, the government remains uneasy about GRNSW’s accountability in the marketplace and seeks a working party’s input to establish the merit of the current administration.

However, separating the froth and bubble from the 18 recommendations, which were tabled to the government, indeed, is proving harder than extracting a wisdom tooth.

Rather than rubber stamp the Select Committee’s extensive wish list, the Government has provided “in principle support” for many of the critical reforms.

Greyhound Inquiry Chairman Robert Borsak was not phased by the government’s reponse.

“They did the best they could, under the circumstances,” Borsak said.

“It was always going to be a tall order but their support to our recommendations are critical to the overall process.”

While industry-wide consultation was a big ticket item to emerge from the Inquiry, the establishment of an Integrity Commissioner also went hand in hand with the Select Committee’s recommendations.

Sydney Cup To Provide The Gauge For Dusty Moonshine

When Goulburn trainer Denice Warren slips the pink stretch vest on to Dusty Moonshine for Saturday night’s Sydney Cup at Wentworth Park, there will be more than Group Three glory or the $25,000 first prize at stake.

Warren’s 29kg blue bitch could earn herself a trip to Victoria to pursue further spoils if she manages to prove her worth against quality opposition on Saturday night. The Group Three final will provide the perfect litmus test that sways the decision either way.

“The Victorian stayers are just miles ahead at the moment,” Warren told ARG.

“They have a great crop of greyhounds and if Dusty Moonshine wants to compete against them in their own backyard, she is going to need to show us that she is good enough here.”

Dusty Moonshine’s breeding needs little introduction. She is by El Grand Senor out of Kiacatoo Pearl (History Lesson – Naughty Thoughts), which makes her a half sister to Wentworth Park track record holder Shakey Jakey.

Dusty Moonshine has set two track records herself, both over the longer trips at Gosford and Dapto. However Warren is yet to be convinced that she is ready to race in elite company.

“She may be just a length or so off being a genuine Group dog, she can tend to have a little bit of a flat spot in the middle of her races. For her to earn a trip to Victoria and for this little old lady to go on a drive down the highway, she needs to prove it to me here.”

Warren is grateful that the owners of Dusty Moonshine have shown loyalty to her and appreciates the opportunity that she has with such a talent.

“I have told them that if they want to send her to a Victorian trainer or give her a go with someone else that they can, but they have said that they want her with me. They said it has taken long enough for them to get me a good one and that they are not going to take it from under me.”

Warren’s late father Frank Day had great success with harness racers and Warren says she has seen the liberties that successful trainers and it allows her to appreciate how hard the work can be when you do not have those same luxuries.

“My Dad had some very good horses, sometimes it would be nice to just have good ones keep coming in the front door and out the back door. He had two Miracle Mile winners. But reality is that most of the dogs you get are going to have their problems, you just have to put in the hard work and do your best.”

Dusty Moonshine finished third to Zipping Rory in her heat last week. Warren says she is capable of better.

“I think the small field may have helped Zipping Rory get to the front. Dusty Moonshine may be able to lead this week and she is a much better dog when she is on the bunny.”

Warren summed up the opportunity to compete in the final in optimistic terms and hinted that the outcome is literally in the lap of the Gods.

“You really just have to be grateful that you are there and that you are in with a chance, I’m crossing my fingers. We are just hoping she can do it, I’ll have to go to church on Saturday to try and help her out.”

The Sydney Cup is Race Eight at Wentworth Park and scheduled to jump at 9:47pm.

Hodges And Board Dominate Coonamble Carnival Maiden Heats

The October long weekend always promises to be a memorable one at Coonamble Greyhound Club, with the running of the annual Maiden series, with $10,000 presented to winning connections on Monday afternoon.

Thirteen heats were conducted on Saturday afternoon; with some brilliant first-up performances include debutant Spring James, who recorded a fast time of 17.42 over the 301m distance. Trainer Gregory Board made every second of his four-hour trip from Orange worth it, successful with three of his four starters and a second placing. Spring Marcus will join Spring James in the final, after clocking a smart time of 17.68 in heat one.

South Penrith trainer Michael Hodges also had a memorable afternoon, with two impressive winners making Monday’s final and Dance On Air clocking the next best of the day in 17.63. Set It Off will also represent the Hodges kennel in the final, with a strong heat win clocking 17.65. Other heat winners included Lady Jay for Karen Sanderson (17.67), Duck Down Valley for Desmond Winter (17.71), Freak Show for Terry Callen (17.71), Head High for Dave Pringle (17.73), Just Missed for Shannon Ellis (17.76), Spring Major for Gregory Board (17.79), Local Fatboy for Michael Hodges (17.83), Lorian Bolt for Barry Coyte (17.95) and Nosey Morgan for Byron Phillips (18.07).

The fastest eight winners move through to Monday afternoon’s Global HR Final, with the winner taking home $10,000.

The weekend’s proceedings kicked off on Friday with two non-tab meetings in the morning and another at night. A huge crowd was in attendance to witness three heats of the Multicam Routers 530m series, with Dave Pringle’s Grader Jack recording a sizzling time of 30.55.

Friday evening’s meeting saw two heats of the 21st Century Meats run and won over the 400m, with Dennis Barnes chaser Rockin’ Fancy the fastest heat winner in a time of 23.16. The beautifully bred son of Spring Gun and Flash Fancy recorded his third win from start number five and will be very hard to beat in Monday’s $2,000 final.

Two heats of the www.australianracinggreyhound.com series for greyhounds with no more than five career wins were held over 530m, with Dennis Barnes successful once again. Fancy Lola clocked a brilliant time of 30.51, giving the Cudal trainer another strong chance of taking out the final worth $2,000 to the winner.

Six best eight races were conducted on Friday, with Most Arrogant for Len Haaring taking out the $1,000 Tony Reilly Memorial Final in 17.59, recording her fourteenth career win. Dennis Barnes notched up another winner with All Too Fancy victorious in the Coonamble Bowling Club Final over 400m, worth $1,000, whilst Allen Ivers took out the second Coonamble Bowling Club Final over 530m with She’s Ayce, and collected $500 in prizemoney. The final two races of the day saw Sapphire Madam for Shannon Ellis take out the Heikens Supa IGA Final over 301m in 17.52 and Wiley Warhorse triumphant for Kevin Buckley in the Terminus Hotel Final in 23.36, with both trainers collecting $500 for their efforts.

Saturday morning’s meeting included the running of the Rocky Ridge Farm Final over 400m, with first reserve Uniting Cargo saluting for trainer Ron Steel in 23.50. Two heats of the $2,000 Coonamble Shire Council Cup were also conducted over 301m for greyhounds with one to five wins, with Peter Dunne’s Never Looked clocking the fastest heat time of 17.59. Four heats of the Woy Woy Poultry Super Maiden Series were also run and won with He’s Zarr Badger for Colin Miller recording the fastest time over the 400m of 23.10.

Racing will recommence on Monday morning at 9am, with all the big finals to be decided in the afternoon, starting at 1pm.

Below are some snapshots from a packed Coonamble Carnival on day one. Thanks to Terry Callen!

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Susan Absalom Disqualified After Richmond Incident

Offences:

GAR 14 (6): A person who on demand being made by a member of the Controlling Body pursuant to sub- rule (5) fails or refuses to furnish his correct name and address, shall be guilty of an offence.

GAR 86 (f) (iii): A person (including an official) shall be guilty of an offence if the person engages in, publishes or causes to be published, broadcasts or causes to be broadcast, the use of any contemptuous, unseemly, improper, insulting, or offensive language, conduct or behaviour in any manner or form towards, or in relation to the Controlling Body, or a member of the Controlling Body.

Report:

The Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) Integrity Department has finalised deliberations on penalty after registered attendant Susan Absalom was found guilty in relation to two charges emanating from an incident at the Richmond Race Club meeting on 7 May 2014.
GRNSW Integrity Officer Norm Becroft delivered a report on the incident on the evening of 7 May 2014, detailing the incident said to have occurred at or around the kennel block at Richmond at around 6.45pm.

An inquiry was conducted over two days on 17 June 2014 and 3 September 2014. Evidence was taken on 17 June from Ms Absalom, who tendered a written statement, Mr Becroft, Leroy Della Casa and Mr Warren Absalom. Application for assistance by Dennis Carl on behalf of Ms Absalom on 17 June was denied however recourse to adjournments to seek support and advice at any stage was granted. At Ms Absalom’s request the 17 June proceedings were recorded on video as well as audio.

After consideration of the evidence given on 17 June Ms Absalom was asked at the hearing on 3 September to answer a charge under GAR 14 (6) of having furnished a false name upon request by Mr Becroft as an official of the Controlling Body.

Additionally she was also asked to answer a charge under GAR 86 (f) (iii) of having engaged in the use of insulting behaviour towards a member of the Controlling Body in that she directed words towards Mr Becroft in a loud and insulting manner.

Ms Absalom pleaded not guilty to both charges. After consideration of the further submissions from Ms Absalom, Mr Della Casa and Mr Absalom, both charges were confirmed. She was then given time to prepare written submissions, references and other material for consideration in any penalty.

After consideration of this material, Ms Absalom was advised on 2 October 2014 of the decision to impose a period of disqualification of four months on both charges. This means that she would be free to apply for registration as of 1 February 2015. She was advised of her right of appeal.

In considering penalty weight was given to the adverse effects such public behaviour has on the image of greyhound racing, the fact that this is the second such charge Ms Absalom had been found guilty of in the past two years, her behaviour during the course of the two hearings, her failure to acknowledge the offences through the not guilty pleas, the need for industry and employee protection from such behaviour, and the expectation that a leading industry official carries a burden of responsibility to the industry above that of normal standards.

Mitigating these factors were Ms Absalom’s contribution as a honorary Greyhound Breeders, Owners and Trainers Association official over a long period, and references of support from other industry officials and participants.

Avondale Al Smashes Gosford Track Record

Beau Hedley’s boom youngster Avondale Al is the new Gosford 515m track record holder, after a devastating performance last night, clocking 29.14.

The son of Mogambo and Avondale Miss came tantilisingly close to breaking the record last week, clocking 29.31 and missed out by just 0.01 of a second. Stepping out in race ten, this gifted chaser began brilliantly from box three, recording sizzling sectionals of 4.39 and 16.57, with a run home time of 12.57. The black flash set the Central Coast track alight, scoring by twelve and a quarter lengths, annihilating the previous record held of 29.30 held by Lochinvar Curl, since May 2012.

At just his second race start tonight for part owner’s Beau Hedley and Mick Brown, Avondale Al set tongues wagging last week on debut, with many people predicting the record would go this week. Trainer Hedley was “over the moon” with his charges performance last night and there’s no doubt this pup who is just 23 months old, has an enormous future on the race track.

“I told Mick after he trialled at Gosford in 29.37 that you know this dog will probably run 29.10. We are off to Wenty now and if he can stay unbeaten I will put him into the Vic Peters”, explained Hedley.

Avondale Al’s dam Avondale Miss was no stranger to success herself. She held the Gardens 400m record and won fifteen races from twenty seven starts for trainer Jason Mackay. Her first litter to Mogambo also includes Avondale Storm, who was very impressive at Maitland on debut two weeks ago in 25.49 and is engaged at The Gardens this Saturday night over 515m. Avondale Miss had nine pups to Collision back in January and is currently in pup to Swift Fancy.

Country Racing Set To Take Centre Stage At Coonamble

The Coonamble Greyhound Racing Club has a very long and successful history. For over forty years the club has held the biggest non tab carnival in Australia.

Trainers come from all over the country to try their luck over the three days of racing. The biggest race on the calendar is the maiden 301, which this year is sponsored by Jamie McHugh and his company Global Hr. Jamie grew up in Coonamble and still has family in the town and involved in the club. The heats are on the Saturday, with the final on the Monday.

Jamie and his brother Leith also sponsor the Shinner Ryan Memorial race which is in memory of Shinner, who was the caller for many years. Another memorial race on the program is the Tony Finlay Memorial. Tony served as secretary for over 30 years and was instrumental in making the club what it is today.

Coonamble is a small regional town with a population of 3,000. It’s a farming community located on the banks of the Castlereagh River and is situated 1.5 hours north of Dubbo.

The whole town looks forward to the carnival, with many local business sponsoring the club and most of the locals attending the carnival. With eight bookmakers and a full bar and canteen available, it’s a great weekend out.

This year Coonamble has a new promotion thanks to the sponsorship of Brad Canty, who is sponsoring the Canty’s Coonamble Cash. Following kennelling and prior to the running of the first race at all of the race meetings over the carnival, a runner will be drawn from that meeting on track. The greyhound’s connections will receive $500.00 cash. If that greyhound wins its event connections will receive an additional $2,000.00 cash.

Over the years there has been some spectacular greyhounds run in the carnival. The first runner to win the maiden was Zeiton in 1973 in a time of 18.15. The best time for this event was in 2010 with Press Statement running a record breaking 16.96. The winner last year was Maloo Keeping, trained locally in Dubbo.

Another highlight of the carnival is the calcutta, which is held at the Terminus Hotel. After the calcutta there is a bbq and get together at the track to watch the NRL grand final. All trainers and connections are invited to attend this free afternoon.

An event of this size does not happen overnight. The carnival involves a great deal of work, both behind the scenes and during the carnival. The executive and the committee would like to thank all the sponsors and volunteers for all their hard work.

The carnival is a good example of country racing at its best and we hope to see you all there.

Editors Note :

Transport information for those attending this fantastic carnival. Your best options are to either drive to Coonamble, or if attending in a group you can fly into Dubbo and hire a car from there, which is an affordable option.

ARG is also proud to be sponsoring a 530m Best 16 event at the Carnival for greyhounds with no more than five wins.

Please open the link below for information on what will be a great time for all those in attendance.

Coonamble-greyhound-carnival2014 (Final)

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