All Hail The Newest Sensation In Greyhound Racing

Brilliant youngster Hooksy appears to be greyhound racing’s newest up and comer, after a magnificent debut performance at Wentworth Park last night in a heat of the Group Three New Sensation.

The son of Hondo Black and Uno Witch blew his rivals away by thirteen and three quarters lengths, sizzling around the 520m distance in a time of 29.44.

Trained at Tatura by Tanya Auld, Hooksy is now the heavy favourite to take out the $25,000 to the winner series, after seven competitive heats were conducted last night.

Heat one went to Dad’s Ambition ($6.10) for Peter Mccann in 30.40. Devine Vegas led the way for a majority of the race, before the 35kg son of Cosmic Rumble rattled home in the latter stages to score by half a length. $2.70 favourite Classy Sahara failed to get across from the wide draw and finished in fifth place.

Peter Lagogiane took out heat two with promising youngster Raincheck ($7.90). A litter brother to previous heat winner Dad’s Ambition, Raincheck mustered good pace to cross the field after an average start to lead throughout in 30.21. Favourite runner Invictive finished fifth after finding early trouble.

Favourite backers were finally rewarded in heat three when Cawbourne Whip ($2.10) put in a solid performance, scoring by two and a half lengths in 30.12. The Jodie Lord trained chaser had an early battle with Fashion Princess and Mike Lowrie, before streaking away up the home straight, clocking a respectable 11.93 run home.

The heavily backed Silent Effective justified his short odds of $1.90 in heat four, with an excellent performance from box one, clocking a flying time of 29.54. The Darren Sultana trained greyhound had huge wraps placed on him after a near record 24.93 win at Maitland last month and will be a strong contender in next weeks semi-finals.

A member of the highly-talented Daydream litter, Fusaichi Kahn ($8.00) made the trip down from Queensland with trainer Glenda Dart and put in a beautiful display in heat five, leading all the way in a fast 29.71. Short-priced favourite My Kinda Music ($1.90) failed to fire from box seven and finished fourth.

The final heat went to another outsider in Lacey Lois ($9.80) for Peter Acers, leading all the way from box seven in 30.27. Favourite runner King Odessa was gallant in defeat, finishing second behind the winner by three and a half lengths.

2014 Group One Golden Easter Egg Heats Preview

The heats of the Group One Golden Easter Egg kick-off on Saturday night. The three-week series will see 10 heats conducted on Saturday night followed by four semi-finals next week.

Notable absentees from the heats include Black Magic Opal and Paw Licking, who are setting their sights on the Bendigo Cup.

Recent Australian Cup winner Buckle Up Wes has made the journey up, and it will be interesting to see if he can nab the rich Australian Cup and Golden Easter Egg double.

Alongside the Australian Cup, the Golden Easter Egg is the richest race on the Group racing calendar, with a grand sum of $250,000 awarded to the winner.

Last year’s winner was Grigorieva Bale and other previous winners include Mancunian Girl, Tenthill Doll, Rapid Journey, Brett Lee, Bogie Leigh, Paua To Burn and Cosmic Rumble.

Here’s a look the main chances in each of the 10 heats:

Heat One – Group One Golden Easter Egg (Race 1 at 7:28pm)

Grand chaser Dyna Nalin (1) headlines the first heat. The Paul Stuart trained dog loves box one and trialled 29.65 last week at Wentworth Park. He lacks the early speed of some of the other runners in the race but you can never under-estimate class and if he gets even just a tiny bit of luck, he’s well and truly in this.

Chica Destacada (4) is only young but has shown plenty of ability. She has three wins from four starts at the track and distance with a best of 29.73. She has shown good box manners at the track, which she will need to use to overcome box four.

Victorian chaser Allen Eryk (8) appears to be well drawn out in box eight, as he has had two wins and a placing from three goes wearing the pink rug. The Jarvis Bale-Greta Bale (Where’s Pedro-Gold Rush Bale) dog has won four of his last five around The Meadows and Sandown over the longer trip. This will be his first start at Wentworth Park.

Fast Archer (7) has a load of early pace and won a free-for-all last week at the track from box seven. He recorded 29.75 leading all the way. He’s been hit-and-miss at box rise in recent times and needs to repeat last week’s efforts to take this out.

Rough each-way chances are Pride Of Mykonos (2) and Make A Fifty (3). Both won Preludes (at double figure odds). If there’s any trouble in the race, they may be the ones that benefit.

Heat Two – Group One Golden Easter Egg (Race 2 at 7:50pm)

Iona Tokyo (3) has drawn well near to the fence. His box manners have been brilliant and he is a last start winner (back on 1 March) in 29.71. He has gone 5.34 to the first mark previously, the best of any dog drawn in this race. Iona Tokyo is trained by Francois Sidrak and is by Swift Fancy-Iona Habit (Fenceline-Dancing Habit). She is a litter sister to Paws Of Thunder winner Iona Seven.

Another chaser that has been showing good box manners since a return from a spell is Kulu Special (2). The Anthony Azzopardi trained bitch is just 24kg and has won two from two at the track. Last week she recorded her best time of 29.72.

Queenslander Yogi Blue (5) has had the advantage of a few looks at Wentworth Park and was a Prelude winner in 30.03. The box draw hasn’t been kind to him as he has only had the one career win from box five.

Where’s The Surf (7) won here last week for Darren McDonald, drawing away to win by over six lengths in 29.71. He had the suitable rails draw on that occasion and now needs to contend with the wider draw.

Varcoe (8) failed in the Maitland Cup heats after beginning terribly. He has trialled here in 29.92 in preparation. If he doesn’t begin he will find it hard to crack a top spot in this heat.

Prue Bale (4) is also worthy of some consideration. She is a last start winner at The Meadows and showed handy box manners to lead. She has had a start at Wentworth Park but failed to run a place.

Heat Three – Group One Golden Easter Egg (Race 3 at 8:07pm)

National Futurity winner Rue De Kahn (1) will get every chance to lead from the nice draw. She is drawn next to Gradence (2) who is a slow beginner. The Where’s Pedro-Shelbourne Dream (Boherduff Light-Queen Survivor) bitch has three wins at the track and a best of 29.79. She looks to be one of the main chances.

Apollo Reign (4) has not missed a place since returning from a five month spell. His win at Richmond in March was a flying 30.43. He ran third here to Hellyeah Bolt last week and is definitely a place chance.

Edge (7) has not long returned from a two month spell and should be nice and fresh. He won at The Gardens last week in 29.52 and loves Wentworth Park, where he has won seven races. His best is 29.68 and if he shows the early speed we know he has, he should go well.

Crash Model (8) won a Prelude in 29.87 from box one. She has five wins at the track but goes better from the inside.

Heat Four – Group One Golden Easter Egg (Race 4 at 8:28pm)

Local chaser Mexico City (1) is well drawn and Mark Gatt will be hoping his chaser can get close to his best of 29.58. The Where’s Pedro-Physical (Surf Lorian-By Request) dog has had two runs back since a four month spell. He ran third in a Maitland Cup heat last start.

Crawf’s Bread (6) is a handy Victorian chaser visiting Wentworth Park for the first time in his career. He is a consistently good beginner and will need to begin here at Wentworth Park from the poor draw. He has been racing dogs like Innocent Til and Dark Warrior, so he can handle the class of dogs in this heat.

Warrior King (5) is a talented Victorian youngster who ran second at Wentworth Park in a Prelude. He has been showing some early speed in recent racing and is very strong. He was a placegetter behind Crump in the Horsham Cup and will need luck from the squeeze draw.

Winsome Charlee (8) ran a place in last years Egg final and makes her first race-track appearance since June 2013. She clocked 30.35 here in a trial last week and will need to improve off that to get anywhere near her best of 29.66.

Tricky Jade (4) has not won since December last year but she clearly has a lot of talent. The Martin Hallinan bred and trained bitch has a best of 29.56 at Wentworth Park. Her problem is that she hasn’t been showing any early pace in her three most recent starts.

Heat Five – Group One Golden Easter Egg (Race 5 at 8:50pm)

Star chaser Keybow (2) is the class act in the fifth heat. The Group One Perth Cup winner and Australian Cup placegetter trialled 29.62 here in preparation and he should prove too good for this field.

Recent Group Three Nowra Summer Puppy Classic winner Stilton Blue (5) has drawn box five and has been flying around Nowra, with a near track record breaking run just over a fortnight ago. He has a best of 30.23 at Wentworth Park, which you think he would need to improve on to be a chance.

Healesville track record holder Frosty Jay Jay (6) is a fast animal but he lacks the early toe. He ran fifth here to Dark Warrior last week, finding trouble. The one thing in his favour is that he appears partial to wearing the green rug, winning two from three out of the box.

Veyron Bale’s (4) recent form has been ordinary but a change in scenery may prove good for him. Last time he came to Wentworth Park (January this year) he scorched around the Glebe circuit in 29.50.

Tomac Bale (8) loves box eight and is coming here with a short spell under his belt. Interestingly, he has recently changed hands and left Wheeler’s ownership and is now trained by Luke Azzopardi. He failed at Wentworth Park in January and will need to improve on his recent form to be any sort of chance.

Heat Six – Group One Golden Easter Egg (Race 6 at 9:07pm)

Ken Burnett’s Double Trigger (4) will be advantaged by his experience and form at the track. His most recent win was on the 15th of March and it came at the track in 29.68. He has six wins in total at Wentworth Park and has brilliant early speed.

Jason Thompson and Darren McDonald trained chasers can never be overlooked and both have chasers engaged in this heat. Thompson has Boris Fields (5), a dog that has won two races at Wentworth Park with 29.54 his best time. He needs some room to move, which may be tricky from box five. McDonald has the speedy There’s A Earn (6), who ran second last week at Wentworth Park to Yogi Blue and should be improved by the look at the track.

Strong finishers Ritza Hattie (2) and Ollie Bale (3) are also in with a chance but their fortunes will lay with the all important start, as both will need some luck in the early stages. Tee Brady (1) is also worth some consideration from the rails alley.

Heat Seven ‚Äď Group One Golden Easter Egg (Race 7 at 9:30pm)

Innocent Til (8) has again drawn a wide box but he has a good record from box eight, with seven wins. He has won four of his last five starts and was recent runner-up in the Horsham Cup. He has had the one start at Wentworth Park and didn’t run a place. However, he cannot be ruled out based on that. He has loads of talent and a win wouldn’t surprise.

Warragul Cup winner Walk Hard (5) makes his first visit to Wentworth Park under race conditions. He trialled last week in a fast 29.68, but he needs some room early in order to muster pace and that might be difficult from the draw.

Evil Punk (4) fell at his last start here at Wentworth Park and it remains to be seen how he will react this week after that. He is a talented local chaser trained by James Coyle with a best of 29.70.

Boyce Road (2) is a very handy youngster with three wins at Wentworth Park to his credit. He is already a Group race finalist and has recorded 29.69 at the track. He’s tardy at box rise and that might cost him at this level.

Fort Allen (6) has been racing consistently in Victoria and makes his first appearance at Wentworth Park. The Andrea Dailly trained chaser is an excellent beginner and that should put him in this race.

Heat Eight ‚Äď Group One Golden Easter Egg (Race 8 at 9:50pm)

We have to wait until the eighth heat to see Australian Cup champion Buckle Up Wes (3) go around. He has had a short spell since his big win and had a tune-up at Hobart last week, winning in the fastest time of the night. He has taken to Wentworth Park well in the past, with three wins and a place from five starts. He ran third in the Paws of Thunder final in January and has a best of 29.65. He will be hard to hold out.

Horsham Cup winner Crump (6) has drawn off the fence in box six. He trialled in 29.85 last week and this will be his first start at the track under race conditions. If he can negotiate the turn safely he could turn this into an interesting race, as he is very strong.

The Victorian trained Tonk (1) debuted at Wentworth Park on 15 March in a flying 29.57. This heat is a rise in class from the field he met two weeks ago but if he runs up to that performance he will be up there.

Awesome Project (8) is a former NSW chaser now in the hands of the astute Darren McDonald. He is risky at box rise and will need to do everything right from the wide draw.

Heat Nine ‚Äď Group One Golden Easter Egg (Race 9 at 10:12pm)

Richmond Derby winner Red Road (6) gets a chance to strut his stuff in the ninth heat. He has 11 career wins from 15 starts, with three of those wins coming at Wentworth Park. He has a best of 29.54 and displays generally good box manners. He just has to steer clear of any interference from the bad draw to take this out.

Calm Model (5) is returning from a long six month spell so should be fresh for this. She has two wins at Wentworth Park, with a best of 29.70.

Rookie Rebel winner Hawk Alone (1) has drawn his box. He is a strong 500 metre chaser who will be looking to pounce if he has a clear run.

Maitland Cup finalist New Gleam (4) has had the one start at Wentworth Park for a 30.01 win. He recorded a first section of 5.38 and if he can do that again he is a big chance of being near the lead.

Cawbourne Havoc (2) has 10 wins at the track and his experience will put him in good stead. He is a leader and could very well take this out at good odds.

Heat Ten ‚Äď Group One Golden Easter Egg (Race 10 at 10:35pm)

Hellyeah Bolt (8) has excelled at Wentworth Park and has a best of 29.92 from box eight. He has won four in total from the box and looks hard to beat.

Hellyeah Bolt’s immediate danger is drawn directly inside him. Billy Buzzard (7) has been very consistent of late and has recorded a flying 5.32 to the first mark this year. If anyone can upset the favourite, it is Billy Buzzard.

Bathurst Cup and Prelude winner Zipping Tess (3) has been pinging the lids in her last few starts but failed to do so at Maitland. Her Prelude win came here in 29.79 and she is certainly capable of performing well from the decent draw.

Dark Warrior (4) was impressive winning a Prelude two weeks ago in 30.06. He could only manage fifth from box three here last week and will need to improve to feature.

Youngsters Aiming To Become Racing’s Newest Sensation

Heat One:

Classy Sahara (7) will step out in heat one for trainer Jason Magri from box seven, after a very impressive performance at headquarters last Saturday night, clocking a fast 29.81. This son of Where’s Pedro and Magri’s talented race bitch Helena Star has an excellent Wentworth Park record of two wins and four minor placings from seven starts, and will be hard to beat if he steps cleanly from the wide draw.

Bouchard (5) will make her debut at the track for trainer Shaun Evans, coming off good form at Dapto where the daughter of boom sire Bekim Bale recorded a speedy 29.85 last month. Despite exiting from the squeeze box, this bitch has decent box manners to compensate the poor draw. Dad’s Ambition (2) was impressive last Monday night at Wentworth Park against easier opposition, scoring in 30.09. The Peter Mccann trained chaser has drawn ideally and will run a cheeky race.

Heat Two:

Jason Magri is set to go back to back in heat two with promising youngster Invictive, who will exit from box eight. Another offspring of Helena Star, this greyhound has a terrific record at Wentworth Park, having recorded four victories and five minor placings from twelve starts, with a personal best of 30.05. Jorelle (2) has been on fire lately for trainer Andrew Bayliss, winning five from ten and won her only start at Wentworth Park back in February. This daughter of Collision and Perfect Model has genuine early pace and will definitely improve on her personal best of 30.41 if she begins well.

Zola Icon (1) has the coveted red rug and recorded a solid 29.98 personal best last month for trainer Robert Sullivan. Despite her inconsistent box manners, the daughter of Mogambo can produce a good performance if she begins well. Raincheck (7) for Peter Lagogiane has been racing very consistent of late, having been in the placings her past ten starts and was impressive at Gosford last month in a respectable 30.20.

Heat Three:

Irondale Bravo (6) sizzled around Gosford last week in 29.66 and will make her debut at Wentworth Park for trainer Darren Sultana. The daughter of Collision and Luci Tee has a good record from the outside boxes, having won two from five starts and will only need a clear run to test this field.

Cawbourne Whip (4) is resuming at headquarters for Jodie Lord after an unsuccessful campaign at The Gardens in February. The daughter of Dyna Lachlan has an excellent record at the track with two wins from three starts and a personal best of 29.98. Fashion Princess (1) has record mixed form of late, however the inside draw will be a huge advantage for this daughter of Where’s Pedro, who has a solid personal best of 30.06.

Heat Four:

Hooksy (3) is an outstanding prospect from Victoria, recording victories at his past three outings at Sandown Park, with a blistering personal best time of 29.15. The Tanya Auld trained son of Hondo Black and Uno Witch is a serious contender to take out the series after an impressive 29.68 stewards trial last week at Wentworth Park. Bottom Dollar (2) is undefeated after four career starts around the one turn circuits of Victoria and is nicely drawn in box two. The son of Bombastic Shiraz will be making his debut around the circle for trainer Glen Rounds and possesses good early pace to be competitive in this event.

Bekim Keeping (4) has been very consistent of late with a solid win at this track in 30.07 two weeks ago. Despite his lack of early pace and awkward box draw, he has a big motor and look for him at the finish.

Heat Five:

Silent Effective (1) is one of the hottest young pups in the state at present, recording scintillating times at Maitland (24.93) and Nowra (29.73), with a solid 30.28 win at Wentworth Park last month. The Darren Sultana trained son of Cosmic Rumble and Best Percentage is a risky beginner, however only needs some room to move to make an impact.

Sir Redmond (3) is impeccably bred, by Where’s Pedro out of Daydream and stunned racegoers last week at The Gardens, notching up his maiden victory over the 515m in a near record 29.37. Trainer Brett May will be hoping for a repeat performance on debut at Wentworth Park tonight from a handy draw. Litter brother My Boy Snoop (6) will exit from box six for in-form trainer Anthony Azzopardi and flew around this track in a steward’s trial last week, clocking 29.70.

Heat Six:

My Kinda Music (7) has won her past seven straight and nine from twelve starts overall. The son of El Grand Senor and Ice Dancer made her debut at Wentworth Park last week for trainer Allan Pringle, recording a speedy 29.89. Another member of the talented Where’s Pedro and Daydream litter; Fusaichi Kahn will make the trip down from Queensland after an impressive 29.88 performance at Albion Park.

Doonside Dani (2) has won her past three outings and will be looking to keep her perfect Wentworth Park record intact, after recording her second victory at headquarters in February, clocking 30.18. Waymore’s Blues has his first start for in form trainer Toby Weekes after being purchased after his last start at Maitland. He will be the main danger to the favourite and will only need a little bit of early luck to pose a serious threat.

Heat Seven:

King Odessa (3) was gallant in defeat last week in 29.91 and will be highly competitive in this affair from a good box draw. Trained by Kristy Sultana, this son of Where’s Pedro and Supreme Odessa has only been unplaced once at six attempts at Wentworth Park and has a respectable personal best of 30.05.

Lacey Lois (7) has a solid Wentworth Park record of one win and four minor placings from six starts, with a personal best of 30.34 and Wilson’s Dream (6) drops back in distance after an impressive win at Richmond over the 618m last week, and will make his debut at Wentworth Park. The Harry Sarkis trained chaser can test some of these runners who lack strength.

Dyna Willow Delights Wheeler

Dyna Willow left us in no doubt that she is the current Queen of staying racing at Wentworth Park on Saturday night after taking out the Group Three Gold Cup.

The dynamic daughter of Collision and Horizon Bale (Stately Bird – Vodeena Bale) seared around the harbour-side complex faster than anyone has gone before in a race. Ever.

She stopped the clock at 41.74, some 0.07 quicker than champion bitch Miata, who went on to be Australian greyhound racing’s biggest earner.

Dyna Willow had produced some great efforts at the track in the past and always threatened that if she could put it all together, she would produce something special. That is exactly what happened on Saturday night.

ARG was lucky enough to talk to Dyna Willow’s owner Brendan Wheeler, who’s father Paul bred her. He was particularly pleased to see his 28kg bitch fulfill her promise.

“It was great to see it happen. Earlier in her career, when she stepped up, she was sort of bullet-proof out of the boxes and she lost that for a little while, but to see her sitting up second and so close on Saturday night, you knew something big was going to happen.”

It was Dyna Willow’s third Group victory in her 44 start career, all have been at Wentworth Park, something that Wheeler does not mind at all.

“I really don’t know why but she is phenomenal at that track, she just seems to be a different dog and with the big money coming up there we don’t mind that.”

One quality that Dyna Willow oozes is consistency, something that can be a rare commodity in the staying ranks. She has the ability to lead all the way or miss the start and still find a way to win the race. Wheeler says it is a trait that he admires about her.

“It’s good knowing that no matter what happens in the race that she is always going to keep coming and give it her best. I think only pretty severe checks in races have kept her out of the money too, she has been fantastic.”

In a recent podcast with ARG, breeder Paul Wheeler said that breeding staying types was something that he had made a conscious effort to do. Dyna Willow is one result of those efforts as Brendan Wheeler explained.

“Horizon Bale might normally be the type of bitch that you take to a shorter, speedier type of sire, but Collision seems to throw you stronger dogs, so that is what we are sort of going for now, five-hundred and beyond. That is sort of where the money is these days.”

There is also the chance of more Dyna Willow types down the track with her next litter.

“I’d like to think there will be something similar in the next litter to Bekim Bale, he seems to be throwing some strength so far so it would be nice to think there is.”

With the likes of Dyna Kayla and Dyna Willow currently prominent in the Group staying ranks, Wheeler also notes that it seems to be the female variety that they have more success with over longer trips.

“For us bitches definitely seem to make better stayers than dogs, particularly in recent years. We have sort of had more stayers than we have ever had in the last four or five years and the majority of them have been bitches. So definitely in our line the bitches seem to be the strongest. We have got a kennel full of brood bitches here that were all 600 metre or 700 metre dogs. Not too many of the dogs make it, even the ones that sort of look like they might often fade out after six-hundred.”

Dyna Willow has certainly etched her name into the annuls of staying racing, particularly in Sydney, and there is no reason why that success will stop any time soon.

Shoulders Stands Tall

Hunter Valley breeders Brett and Deborah May have unleashed another potential superstar on the racing circuit, with Shoulders ultra-impressive once again at Wentworth Park on Friday night. The son of May’s own breed of Cosmic Rumble and Bit Stressed, recorded his straight third win and kept a perfect career record in tact, saluting by eight and three quarter lengths in a sizzling time of 29.73.

Shoulders stepped out on debut for Londonderry trainer Anthony Azzopardi at Dapto two weeks ago and flew around the 520m, clocking 29.77. May couldn’t believe what he was about to witness the following week as his 33kg chaser clocked a near record 29.49, at just his second career start at Dapto.

“Deb and I sat at home and watched it and I couldn’t believe what I saw. Deb was in tears after the race and I jumped on the internet to see what the record was and he was only 0.05 away from breaking it.” said Brett May.

“The whole litter are very keen and Shoulders has been a natural from day one.”

It hasn’t all been smooth sailing for the 21-month old youngster, with May seriously doubting whether his prodigy would even make it to the race track.

“He broke his shoulder pretty bad during education and he was on three legs for about six weeks. We had to put a lot of hard work into rehabilitating him and it got to a point where he couldn’t even stand up. Deb would have to carry him in and out of his yard.”

“That’s where he got his name from, I used to always call him shoulders.”

“I’m very excited at what his done so far and couldn’t be happier with how he’s going.”

“Anthony (Azzopardi) is a great trainer and friend. He took some dogs for us when we got a bit snowed under a few years ago and my plan from then was to get a fast dog to reward him for all he’s done for us.”

Shoulders next assignment will be the Group Three New Sensation heats this Friday night at Wentworth Park, with the final to be run on Easter Egg night and connections collecting $25,000 for their efforts.

Shoulders dam Bit Stressed is starting to emulate the breeding success of her sister Daydream, by producing some very talented offspring. Freddo Pedro came from her first litter to Where’s Pedro in 2010, recording solid personal bests at Bulli (400m, 22.64) and Wentworth Park (280m, 16.18). Michelle My Bell, trained by May, is by Pure Octane and has a flying personal best of 29.67 over the 515m at The Gardens.

“Unfortunately Bit Stressed can’t have anymore litters, but we are going to breed with her daughters Michelle My Bell and Sister Mertens.”

“Bit Stressed was a super race bitch and produced her best towards the end of her career. She fell in the final of the 2010 Black Top at The Gardens and we decided to retire her and Daydream as well while they were both young.”

Bit Stressed notched up eleven wins from thirty-three career starts, clocking flying times at The Gardens (515m, 29.63) and Richmond (535m, 30.52). The daughter of Bit Chili and Stresa made two group finals; the Group Two Black Top and Group One National Futurity, won by her sister Daydream.

Daydream has established herself as a proven producer over the past few years, with her most successful offspring including Dark Assassin, winner of 2012 Group Three Dapto maiden final, Brock The Rock (Richmond 535m, 30.64), Kobi Jay (The Gardens 515m, 29.47) and Mr. Beau (Wentworth Park 520m, 29.81). Daydream’s second litter to Where’s Pedro produced Fusaichi Kahn (Brisbane 520m 29.88), My Boy Snoop (The Gardens 515m 29.56) and Sir Redmond (The Gardens 515m, 29.37.)

Daydreams third litter of eleven to Brett Lee will be sent to the breakers in the coming weeks and her most recent litter to Magic Sprite, are guaranteed to attract plenty of interest from greyhound enthusiasts.

Paw Licking And Kel Greenough Chasing More Success After Maitland Cup Win

Roger (Paw Licking) is sun-baking when ARG calls Kel Greenough to discuss Paw Licking’s big win in the Group Two Maitland Cup on Thursday night.

Greenough prepares Paw Licking from his Pearcedale base in Victoria and when arriving home off the plane after Thursday’s win, he was greeted by a news crew.

“I got back good. The thing was though, the news people were there at the airport waiting for me sticking a camera in my face. I wasn’t prepared for that”, Greenough said.

Paw Licking has generated plenty of interest with his winning ways and he started favourite for the Maitland final, with Greenough pleased his charge could pull off the win.

“You just don’t like to lose when you’re the favourite. People sort of half expect you to win and when you don’t win it’s a big come-down. I found all the people terrific. Most people were very friendly and welcomed an inter-stater with open arms.”

It was an even better night for owner Allan Lang, who rarely gets to see his dog race in the flesh as he is based in Casino. He caught the train down to witness Paw Licking’s 30th win.

“The owner came down by train. He had a nine hour trip from Casino to Maitland. He has only came down to see him race once, which was for the Temlee and he got run down on the line in the Temlee. He was enjoying the moment at Maitland. Knowing what Casino runs for and knowing what the dog has earned he knew he had to send the dog to Melbourne and I was just the lucky one to get the phone call. I think he said he was running for 700 or 800 at the time in Casino. He’s been a pleasure to train for and never given me one day’s grief.”

Paw Licking has physically pulled up well after the run and has recovered from the travel. His next task at this stage looks to be the Bendigo Cup.

“He was fine. The travel just took a little bit out of him. I’ve just got him out here at the moment enjoying the sun and lazing about, he likes doing that. If he had to race next week he could. It’s just a matter of picking out this next race. We don’t try to run him too much in-between if we don’t have to. He will go on towards the Bendigo Cup.”

Obviously the next big Group race on the calendar is the Golden Easter Egg, but Greenough has elected to skip the series with Paw Licking.

“I spoke to Allan about it and he just said do what you like. I just think the three runs at Wenty are probably not in the best interests of the dog. While I would love to win an Easter Egg with him I don’t think it’s the right situation. They used to give Group One dogs one week off, which would happen to suit him, and they were exempt from going through the first round and went into the second round. That would have made a difference but they put it back to a three week series which makes it tough for interstate people so we decided against it.”

“As a trainer, when you have to do it, it turns into four weeks as you have to do a trial. So its a trial and three races if you are lucky enough to get through each week, which turns into a very tough ask over a four week period. I don’t think people realise its not easy to get away from home that many times. You certainly cant stay away for a month otherwise you don’t have a spouse! But every state has its own rules so you’ve just got to go with it.”

It has also been reported that Black Magic Opal will be giving the Easter Egg series a miss, setting up a nice clash with Paw Licking at Bendigo.

“I believe Black Magic Opal will be going to the Bendigo Cup too. That will be a good clash. I think they’ve clashed four times with two wins each. It will be an interesting clash and great for the public, although I would rather not run against him.”

One thing is for sure, the Golden Easter Egg’s loss is set to be Bendigo’s gain with Paw Licking certain to scorch the loam at a circuit that suits his style to a tee. Don’t be surprised to see “Roger” with another Group win on his already impressive CV very soon.

Stilton Blue Wins 2014 Nowra Summer Puppy Classic

Stilton Blue (4) has taken out the $25,000 Group Three Nowra Summer Puppy Classic at the Shoalhaven greyhound circuit on Saturday evening.

He went to the boxes as the clear favourite and didn’t disappoint, leading all the way to win by six lengths in 29.88. The blue dog by Where’s Pedro – She’s A Player (Go Wild Teddy – Nimuay) recorded fast sections en route to his victory.

Leica Destiny (3) and Solar Pak (1) also began well but Solar Pak lost all momentum after she galloped across the heals of Leica Destiny and raced wide, checking Hollie Anne (5).

Someone Tifi (6), Highbury (7) and Quick To Go (8) came together at the start with Someone Tifi and Highbury worst affected. Highbury was also hampered on the first turn by the incident involving Solar Pak and Hollie Anne as he was forced wide.

After a moderate start, Gold Buccaneer was able to finish over the top of Leica Destiny to seal second. Leica Destiny was third, one length behind Gold Buccaneer.

Stilton Blue now has eight wins for trainer Philip Goodsell and owner Jason Bolwell. The Group Three win brings his prize-money to $35,000 and a bright future looks to be on the cards.

Dyna Willow Wins Betfair Gold Cup And Smashes Track Record

Australia’s most consistent stayer, Dyna Willow (6), added two more strings to her already impressive bow by taking out the Group Three Gold Cup at Wentworth Park on Saturday night and smashing the track record in the process.

Beginning smartly from box six, Dyna Willow landed second behind early leader Born Ali (3). The two set the early pace with Born Ali holding a three length lead past the post the first time.

By the time they headed into the back straight, Dyna Willow had whittled the lead down to a length and loomed large.

Down the back, the daughter of Collision and Horizon Bale (Stately Bird – Vodeena Bale) put on the after-burners and opened up a margin on the field in the twinkling of an eye.

The further they went, the further the 28kg red-brindle bitch got away, eventually winning by 8 3/4 lengths in an imperious display of chasing.

She stopped the clock at a sizzling 41.74, shaving some 0.07 off the previous track record held by champion bitch Miata.

Born Ali hung on for second with Lucy Wires (1) coming from the clouds to finish third.

Of the beaten brigade, Cawbourne Looney (2) began slowly but put on a brilliant display of mid-race pace to get to third, only just being nudged out of the placings on the line. Eleazar (4) did not show her usual early speed and found herself very wide on the track. As a result she was never in the hunt.

Avondale Maurick (5) began well and ran as well as he can but was simply outclassed, finishing seventh. Destini Fireball (7) landed in fourth early and was very stiff not to run second after running into the back of Born Ali as he was about to pass her swinging for home. Suits Us (8) also ran a gallant race, looming as a solid place chance on the home turn before finishing fifth.

The win takes the Steve Collins trained Dyna Willow’s career record to 18 wins from 44 starts and over $230,000 in prizemoney.

Tifi And Chris O’Brien Search For Success In Nowra Puppy Classic

Nowra trainer Chris O’Brien will rug up two runners in Saturday nights Group Three Nowra Summer Puppy Classic. The two finalists, Solar Pak and Someone Tifi, are litter-mates bred by O’Brien and they will line up from boxes one and six respectively.

Solar Pak and Someone Tifi were whelped in January 2012, so they are just over two years of age. They are by Mogambo and out of fantastic broodbitch Tifi (Bombastic Shiraz – Chili Berger).

Many would recognise Tifi’s breeding. An earlier 2005 mating of Bombastic Shiraz – Chili Berger produced stud dog Bit Chili. Tifi was whelped in 2006 and is a litter sister to handy performers Did I Entertain and Danny Phantom. Tifi herself was a very versatile bitch, winning over 500, 600 and 700. She has numerous Wentworth Park wins to her name, but it’s her legacy as a broodbitch that she will be most remembered for. She most recently took out the 2013 NSW BroodBitch of the Year award for the feats of her famous daughter Double Twist (Where’s Pedro – Tifi).

“She was a pretty good racer, she could sprint and stay, but she is a better broodbitch”, O’Brien said.

There’s a nice little story behind Tifi and how she ended up in O’Brien’s kennels. It all came about after the death of close friend John Chapman and a greyhound called Chappo.

“A good friend John Chapman died and I got a greyhound and named him Chappo in honour of John. A few of John’s friends, who I didn’t know that well at the time, all started coming to the races to watch the dog as a way of paying their respects to John. Anyway, they ended up wanting a greyhound and approached me. I said that we should buy a well bred bitch that could be used as a broodbitch later on. It was at the time Bit Chili was around and John Tyrell had a litter advertised. He had two bitches and I went out and chose Tifi. We picked her up for $3,500.”

For O’Brien and the syndicate it was a very big thrill to breed Double Twist.

“We are happy to sell them as it provides us with a dividend. It was amazing to breed Double Twist. She is one of the best dogs I’ve seen with her chase and tenacity at just 25kgs. She has real good track sense and is just a great little race bitch.”

Solar Pak and Something Tifi are by Mogambo (Where’s Pedro – Zarbo). O’Brien decided to use Mogambo to see how breeding strength to strength would go.

“I wanted to see how it would go breeding strength to strength. I wasn’t sure what would happen and as it turns out we’ve ended up with strength. The best one looks to be Solar Pak and we should see the best of her over more distance. Someone Tifi is quite strong. We had him paid up for the Puppy Classic so threw him in. He’s made the final but I’ll be looking to step him up to 600.”

The next lot of Tifi’s are 15 months old and the robust Collision youngsters are being prepared for break-in. The line also looks set to continue with Tifia, the 2012 Group Three Magic Maiden winner at Wentworth Park, set to be bred with Where’s Pedro. Tifia is out Tifi’s first litter, which was by Collision.

“Tifia has finally come on season, we’ve been waiting for 16 months. She will be going to Where’s Pedro.”

In the meantime, O’Brien will be hoping one of his Mogambo chasers takes out the Group Three Nowra Puppy Classic on Saturday night, as it will add another Group winner to Tifi’s already impressive list.

2014 Group Three Gold Cup Final Preview

The final of the Group Three Gold Cup forms the piece de resistance of a great card of chasing at Wentworth Park on Saturday night.

Victorian visitors look to have one paw on the trophy and the $25,000-to-the-winner prizemoney cheque.

Four invaders from down south qualified for this week’s final and form the popular quartet to win the race in punters (and many experts) opinions.

Will the trophy be heading interstate for the second straight year? Or can a local spring an upset and keep the cash in New South Wales

Let’s take a look at the race in detail;

Box 1
Race Odds
$3.20
Heat Replay
 
Lucy Wires
Trainer
Robert Britton
Owner
Geoffrey Collins
Prizemoney
$125,770.00
Last 10 Starts
1514116562
36 Months   Dark Brindle   Bitch   by   Flying Penske - Okgo Box To Wire
Start Slow Running Middle Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $4,492.00 Rating 99
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
28 13 5 2
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
46% 71%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
9 3 1 2
       
Box 1 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
3 3 0 0
Comments: Rob Britton (Trainer)¬†-¬†“I’m happy with the box-draw. I’ll be disappointed if she doesn’t run a real forward race from box one. But we have still got to beat a pretty good field. In the past she has probably began better from in near the fence and it is a long time since she has been drawn there. I’m hoping it will make the difference. But Dyna Willow has had the wood on her we have just got to hope that we can turn it around.”

Best Wentworth Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
41.82 42.21 16.15 16.55
Box 2
Race Odds 
$9.00
Heat Replay
 
Cawbourne Looney
Trainer
Jodie Lord
Owner
H Gilbert, S Byrnes, A Baker
Prizemoney
$57,030.00
Last 10 Starts
1577312164
37 Months   Black   Bitch   by   Trewly Special - Book Of Days
Start Risky Running Middle Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $1,188.00 Rating 93
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
48 14 5 8
       
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
29% 56%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
18 8 1 1
       
Box 2 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
4 1 0 0
Comments: ARG opinion is - A winner of eight at this trip who has broken the magical 42-second barrier here before. Runs her best races when she is on the pace which may not be easy to do in this type of field.

Best Wentworth Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
41.92 42.66 16.08 16.59
Box 3
Race Odds
$4.00
Heat Replay
 
Born Ali
Trainer
Robert Britton
Owner
Noel Mugavin
Prizemoney
$239,875.00
Last 10 Starts
8114118711
39 Months   Black   Bitch   by   Velocette - Born Princess
Start Excellent Running Rail Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $3,286.00 Rating 99
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
73 20 16 6
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
27% 58%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
3 2 0 0
Box 3 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
7 2 2 0
Comments: Rob Britton (Trainer) -¬†“She could lead all the way, absolutely. She has been going terrific. You can’t been front runners, they don’t need luck, they just need to be good enough. Overall,¬† I’m happy with the way it has all panned out and confident that both dogs should run up to their ability, wether that is good enough, time will tell I guess.”

Best The Meadows Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
42.35 42.41 16.16 16.16
Box 4
 Race Odds
$17.00
Heat Replay
 
Eleazar
Trainer
Dean Swain
Owner
Brian Allan
Prizemoney
$30,630.00
Last 10 Starts
2321617123

28 Months

  Brindle   Bitch   by   Bit Chili - Cool Poss
Start Fair Running Middle Finish Fair
Prizemoney Rating $1,056.00 Rating 89
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
29 7 11 4
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
24% 76%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
5 2 0 1
Box 4 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
1 0 1 0
Comments: ARG opinion is - Likely leader who struggles to run out the 720 metres at Group level. Could put a space on them and with luck be right there at the finish. Will need things to go her way in the last hundred metres.

Best Wentworth Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
42.32 42.43 16.05 16.05
Box 5
Race Odds
$41.00
Heat Replay
 
Avondale Maurick
Trainer
Ronald Bell
Owner
Keenaz syndicate
Prizemoney
$20,835.00
Last 10 Starts
7526114163
37 Months   Red Fawn   Dog   by   Knocka Norris - Sirocco Pearl
Start Good Running Rail Finish

Good

Prizemoney Rating $695.00 Rating 87
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
30 9 5 4
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
30% 60%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
7 1 2 0
Box 5 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
1 0 0 1
Comments: ARG opinion is - Looks a little out of his depth in this race. He is a fifth grader who is just starting to forge his way in the staying ranks and has only won two races beyond 700 metres. He comes up against some of the best in the country here and faces a gargantuan task.


Best Wentworth ParkTimes
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
42.68 42.71 16.28 16.28
Box 6
Race Odds
$3.80
Heat Replay
 
Dyna Willow
Trainer
Steven Collins
Owner
Brendan Wheeler
Prizemoney
$206,050.00
Last 10 Starts
1341127131
33 Months   Red Brindle   Bitch   by   Collision - Horizon Bale
Start Good Running Middle Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $4,792.00 Rating 100
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
43 17 6 6
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
40% 67%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
5 4 0 0
Box 6 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
8 4 2 0
Comments: Tammy Collins (Kennel Representative)¬†-¬†“She is going well. We are hoping fro a little luck from box six in the final. We will see what happens. Most of all we just hope she gets around safely.”

 


Best Wentworth Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
41.92 42.04 16.14 16.34
Box 7
Race Odds
$6.00
Heat Replay
 
Destini Fireball
Trainer
Emilio Rinaldi
Owner
Emilio Rinaldi
Prizemoney
$631,095.00
Last 10 Starts
3283254112
48 Months ¬† White & Black ¬† Dog ¬† by ¬† Where’s Pedro - Greys Destiny
Start Good Running Middle Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $10,179.00 Rating 98
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
62 25 11 7
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
40% 69%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
5 1 2 1
Box 7 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
9 4 0 3
Comments: ARG opinion is - Veteran chaser who is as dour as they come. He should land in the top four or five and will just keep coming which a consistent pace throughout. If he is afforded the slightest amount of luck, he will be right in this race.

Best Wentworth Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
42.28 42.52 16.25 16.29
Box 8
Race Odds
$35.00
Heat Replay
 
Suits Us
Trainer
Kenneth Burnett
Owner
Alison Beavis
Prizemoney
$55,260.00
Last 10 Starts
3452632313
50 Months   Fawn   Dog   by   Bombastic Shiraz -

Supreme

Dancer

Start Good Running Rail Finish Good
Prizemoney Rating $906.00 Rating 88
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
61 15 11 4
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
25% 66%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
18 3 3 6
Box 8 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
9 2 2 1
Comments: Ken Burnett (Trainer)¬† -¬†“I’m quite happy sitting out in box eight, it is a hard race but I’m happy. It’s not going to be an easy race for him but personally I think he has going the best I’ve seen him go. He had a testicle up in his groin that we got cut out. Since we had that removed, he has come back a fair bit better. I think they will push down on the inside dogs, so if he stays out wide he might get a bit of a fly, if he does, well, you just don’t know, he’s racing pretty good. He came from a long way back last week, you can’t see it on the video but if you see the head-on from the boxes, the three cam straight left and knocked him down. As he went into the corner he was getting prettied up by the rest of them. I’m rely happy with the way he is going, but as you know, it’s a hard race, those Melbourne dogs are hard to beat. Anything can happen in a final, we are there and he is feeling good so we will see what happens.”

 

Best Wentworth Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
42.45 42.66 16.12 16.65
1st Res
Race Odds
$34.00
Heart Replay
 
Shoe Laces Lady
Trainer
Lesley Green
Owner
Lesley Green
Prizemoney
$25,980.00
Last 10 Starts
4828881225
32 Months White & Blue     Bitch   by   Cool Effort - Thing Ona String
Start Good Running Middle Finish Fair
Prizemoney Rating $684.00 Rating 88
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
38 10 11 2
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
26% 61%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
3 1 0 0
Box Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
N/A N/A N/A N/A
Comments: Will be longs odds if she gets a start. Her best is an average 42.77 at Wentworth Park and she will need solid improvement to factor in the placings. 
Best Wentworth ParkTimes
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
42.77 42.77 16.32 16.47
2nd Res
Race Odds
$11.00
Heat Replay
 
Dyna Kayla
Trainer
Andrea Dailly
Owner
Brendan Wheeler
Prizemoney
$114,140.00
Last 10 Starts
1611112325
29 Months   Blue   Bitch   by   Surf Lorian - Amity Bale
Start Good Running Middle Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $6,339.00 Rating 95
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
18 10 3 1
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
56% 78%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
1  0  0 0
Box Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
N/A N/A N/A N/A
Comments: Up and coming stayer who has been placed at Group One level.
Best Wentworth Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
42.80 42.80 16.51 16.51

Eleazar (4) and Born Ali (3) look the probable lamp-lighters in the race. The key for Born Ali will be staying clear of Eleazar. If she can do that, she is going to give them plenty to catch.

Lucy Wires (1) is drawn well and if she can come out in the top few she is likely to blow them away. The concern for her is that she can be tardy early and has a tendency to leave herself with too much to do.

Dyna Willow (6) is the consumate professional and can put herself in the race either from on the pace or off it. She is the most consistent bitch in the race and has to be strongly considered.

Despite having better form from inside draws, old-stager Destini Fireball (7) hasn’t gone too badly from box seven in the past either. He is a recent Group One winner who will just keep bobbing along on the pace. If he gets his chance he will take it.

Of the others Suits Us (8) is racing in great heart and from the wide draw could be in top top few at the finish, while Cawbourne Looney (2) has performed well at the track in easier races in the past. Both are locals who are very experienced at the track. They will need to produce their very best to win the race.

Wentworth Park Greyhounds Tips & Betting Preview March 29th 2014

Race 1 – 520M Grade 5 – 7:28PM

Dyna Geldof was handily placed here from this draw last week and he is sure to benefit from his first look at the track. With slow beginners drawn outside he should lead throughout. If you can get better than $2.20, load up with one of our Bonus Bets.

Haves will get a long way back early but with a clear run off the back, he may be able to put some pressure on Dyna Geldof in the run home.

Bojack Kahn is promising but he may need a look at the track.

Top Four :    1 Р6 Р3 Р2

Suggested Bet:

Trifecta: 1/2,3,6/2,3,4,5,6,7 ( $12 for $1)

Trifecta: 1/3,6/2,3,4,6 ($6 for $1)

Race 2 – 520M Grade 5 – 7:50PM

Invidious is an explosive youngster who should have enough early toe to avoid bother and feature in the finish. Coming off a slick 26.35 Bulli win, the Jason Magri trained chaser should run sub 30 seconds if he can avoid early interference.

He’s Rising Fast has the right draw and if he can step on terms he should be in the mix at odds.

Swan’s Mavis will be well supported, but she has been missing the start of late and she will face a stiff task from the middle pin.

Top Four :    5 Р1 Р6 Р3

Suggested Bet: Invidious to win with $250 Free at Sportsbet.

Race 3 – 520M Grade 5 – 8:08PM

Zambora Magic is normally a reliable beginner and since joining the Frank Hurst kennel he has scored two emphatic wins. If he can repeat his 5.50 first sectional from his January win here, he should lead throughout again.

Francois Dryva is the obvious danger but he must ping to win and he does his best racing from an inside draw.

Soaring Eagle is the blowout hope. Ideally drawn and should be around the $8 to $10 mark.

Top Four :    3 Р8 Р1 Р6

Suggested Bet: Quinella 3 to Rove with 1,6,8

Race 4 Р520M  Mixed 4/5 Р8:30PM

Healyeah Bolt beat a classy type here last week and if he can ping the lids again he should make every post a winner. He should be around the even money mark, which is a good price considering the form he is in.

Electro Storm was far from disgraced here last week and he tends to do his best racing at Wenty. He normally musters pace very quickly and he should find himself in contention throughout.

Fruity Shiraz has loads of ability but she does rely heavily on luck in her races.

Top Four :    7 Р2 Р3 Р1

Suggested Bet: Hellyeah Bolt to win at even money or better

Race 5 – 520M Grade 4 – 8:50PM

The highly promising Kulu Special returned to form here last week with a strong 30.05 win. Now in the Anthony Azzopardi kennel he will continue to improve and I expect him to cover the 520m tonight in around 29.80.

Liara Allen is a strong Victorian chaser who should get a nice sit early and she will make her presence felt late in the race.

Ritza Raider has plenty of talent but he can bomb the start at times and is worth risking in this strong affair.

Top Four :    2 Р3 Р5 Р7

Suggested Bet:

Trifecta: 2/3,5,7/Field ($18 for $1)

Trifecta: 2,3/2,3,5,7/Field ($36 for $1)

Race 6 – 520M Special Event – 9:08PM

Frosty Vintage pinged the lids and reeled off a blistering 5.34 sectional when winning here last start. If she can repeat that sectional she will lead clearly and prove hard to reel in when running sub 30 seconds on the lure.

Classy Sahara is sure to be in the firing line throughout and she is bursting to win again. Looks to be a good quinella

Von Ryan finally got the breaks in his heat win, but tonight he may not be so lucky.

Top Four :    4 Р3 Р1 Р2

Suggested Bet:

Trifecta: 3,4/3,4/Field ($12 for $1)

Trifecta: 4/1,2,3/Field ($18 for $1)

Trifecta: 3,4/1,2,3,4/1,2,3,4,5,6,8 ($30 for $1)

Race 7 – 520M Open Grade – 9:27PM

Fast Archer looked a little disappointing here last week, however he tends to race better when drawn out wide. Tonight he gets a favourable draw and with slow beginners drawn either side he can return to the winners list.

Magic Display has won three of five tries here and she is also blessed with early speed. She is likely to settle in the first three and be a major player.

Ritza Ryder is the class act but he has seen better days and times will be tough from the middle pin.

Top Four :    7 Р5 Р2 Р6

Suggested Bet: Fast Archer to win, should be around the $5.50 mark with Sportingbet.

Race 8 – 720M Open Grade Final – 9:50PM

Lucy Wires hit the line strongly in her heat and from the coveted rails draw she should find herself settling much closer to the speed tonight. She has recorded 41.82 here previously and a repeat of that sees her winning tonight.

Cawbourne Looney has a ridiculous amount of talent, but she does have plenty of demons. If she is switched on tonight she can loom as a big danger.

Dyna Willow is all class but from her poor draw tonight she could get too far back and find the task beyond her.

Top Four :    1 Р6 Р2 Р3

Suggested Bet: Lucy Wires to win, should be $2.80 or better, load up

Race 9 – 520M Grade 5 – 10:12PM

In a race which features plenty of front runners, the value looks to be with the back markers. Cawbourne Power looks drawn to get a perfect sit initially and if he is within striking distance off the back he will prove too strong.

Vinny Kreuger is another chaser expected to hit the line solidly. He has previously won here in handy time and with some luck early he should be in the mix.

Army Suprlus and Logan John are expected to lead but they will be paddling in the last 50m.

Top Four :    3 Р4 Р2 Р1

Suggested Bet: Cawbourne Power, Vinny Kreuger both for the win, have more on Cawbourne Power.

Race 10 – 520M Grade 5 – 10:35PM

We have to wait all night but Where’s The Surf looks the bets of the night from box one. After having his first look at the track last week, he is sure to have derived a lot of benefit and it’s easy to see him scoring an all the way win.

Envy is ultra consistent and from an inside draw she should get the drop on the early leader Where’s The Surf. I don’t think she can reel in the leader but she looks a solid quinella hope.

Belfast Kaiser has scored some sizzling wins of late but he will have a tough time crossing from out wide.

Top Four :    1 Р2 Р3 Р7

Suggested Bet: Put a chunk of your winnings on Where’s The Surf and save on the quinella with 1 to rove with 2,3,7.

 

 

Quaddies

2/3,4/1,2,5,6,7/1,2,6 (($30 for $1)

2/1,2,3,4,6/1,2,5,6,7/1,2,6 ($75 for $1)

2,3,5/3,4/1,2,5,6,7/1,2,6 ($90 For $1)

Paw Licking Dominates Maitland Cup 2014

The ever-impressive Paw Licking (8) has done it again, this time taking out the Group Two Maitland Cup on Thursday night.

Displaying his customary impeccable box manners, Paw Licking was the clear leader out of the boxes and was never headed, recording 25.05 on a rain affected track.

After being kept fresh in the lead-up, Natural Player (3) was able to lob in a handy position and went extremely well to finish three and a quarter lengths behind Paw Licking. Rose Sannette (1) kept her good record from box one intact, securing third spot by a nose from the fast finishing Gradence (7).

Paw Licking was the hot favourite before the race and trainer Kel Greenough was relieved that the Elite State – Kingsbrae Di (Solve the Puzzle – Pretty Jacalyn) could pull off the win.

“It’s hard enough having the dog that’s the favourite, everyone expects him to win. There’s a lot of pressure when people expect you to win a race. It’s all well and good if you win it but if you don’t win it, it’s more of a relief really to come up here and win,” Kel said after the race.

After the stressful experience of being left in a crate for hours on the return trip to Melbourne after the heats last week, Kel ensured Paw Licking was prepared for any mishaps his week, flying to NSW on Tuesday to make sure Paw Licking was settled before the race.

The Maitland Cup victory is the 30th career win for Paw Licking and he has now amassed over $380,000 in prize-money. There’s a few big races coming up that Paw Licking could potentially target, including the Golden Easter Egg, Warrnambool Classic and the Bendigo Cup.

Jason Mackay – Question Time Podcast

Jason Mackay joined us tonight for another edition of our Question Time Podcasts.

It is a extremely interesting interview, with Jason discussing the direction of GRNSW and advising trainers just starting out within the industry.

ARG would like to thank Jason for his time tonight at the Maitland Cup.

Group Two Maitland Cup Final Preview

Eight chasers line up at Maitland on Thursday night to contest the final of the Group Two Maitland Cup over a distance of 450 metres. Paw Licking set the standard last week, breaking the track-record and becoming the fastest qualifier through to the final.

He will start as the obvious short priced favourite and is currently showing Fixed Odds of 1.45 at Sportsbet, with Natural Player and Rose Sannette sharing the second line of betting at 6.00.

Here is a close look at the form of each of the finalists.

 

Box 1
Race Odds
$6.00
Heat Replay
Rose Sannette
Trainer
Kevin Johnson
Owner
Kevin Johnson
Prizemoney
$32,650.00
Last 10 Starts
1221113241
37 Months White & Black Bitch by Cosmic Rumble - Sarah Sannette
Start Good Running Middle Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $1,256.00 Rating 97
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
50 26 13 7
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
52% 92%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
12 4 5 2
Box 1 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
10 7 3 0
Comments: ARG opinion is - Very consistent race bitch who has her favourite draw. She will be competitive from the draw and is an each-way chance.
Best Maitland Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
25.17 25,25 N/A N/A
Box 2
Race Odds
$9.00
Heat Replay
Fire Elusive
Trainer
Jason Mackay
Owner
Mark Moroney
Prizemoney
$18,030.00
Last 10 Starts
6151784411
26 Months Blue Dog by El Grand Senor - Cathella Ice
Start Risky Running Middle Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $668.00 Rating 97
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
27 11 2 3
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
41% 59%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
5 3 1 1
Box 2 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
5 3 0 1
Comments:¬†Jason Mackay (Trainer) – “It’s common sense when a dog breaks a record and runs near-record or record sections that it will be real hard to beat. I sort of don’t worry too much about the opposition, I am more focused on him. I think he’ll be a good chance. He will go in with probably a little bit of improvement in him which he probably has to do to try and win the race.”
Best Maitland Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
25.12 25.12 N/A N/A
Box 3
Race Odds
$6.00
Heat Replay
Natural Player
Trainer
Mark Wilcox
Owner
Mark Wilcox
Prizemoney
$12,645.00
Last 10 Starts
7111114111
36 Months Blue Brindle Dog by Knocka Norris - Winning Shiraz
Start Good Running Rail Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $632.00 Rating 96
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
20 16 1 1
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
80% 90%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
3 2 0 0
Box 3 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 1 0 1
Comments:¬†Mark Wilcox(Trainer)¬†- “I¬†think he will go all right if he is left alone early and he can get into a good position. He was caught wide a bit last week. After the run last week we had a few little issues with him.¬† We’ve just kept him fresh this week. It’s all got to do with the start there Thursday. There’s a bit of speed around him. The eight looks the one to beat.”
Best Maitland Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
25.21 25.27 N/A N/A
Box 4
 Race Odds
$26.00
Heat Replay
Miner’s Moss
Trainer
Mathew Reid
Owner
Dennis Reid
Prizemoney
$20,290.00
Last 10 Starts
1251151561
32 Months Black Dog by Magic Sprite -

Bellbird Park

Start Good Running Rail Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $507.00 Rating 93
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
40 16 7 4
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
40% 68%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
3 2 1 0
Box 4 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
3 1 0 1
Comments: Dennis Reid (Owner) – “I think the eight is an absolute certainty and the six dog will run second. We are just hoping to get a place. We don’t think we can win it.”
Best Maitland Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
25.28 25.29 N/A N/A
Box 5
Race Odds
$41.00
Heat Replay
Magic Diore
Trainer
Garry Streatfield
Owner
Garry Streatfield
Prizemoney
$16,605.00
Last 10 Starts
4316313581
38 Months Black Bitch by Magic Sprite - Avon Lee
Start Fair Running Middle Finish Good
Prizemoney Rating $449.00 Rating 89
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
37 12 2 7
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
32% 57%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 1 0 0
Box 5 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
4 1 0 1
Comments: ARG opinion is - Heat winner at long odds and will need luck from this box draw.
Best Maitland  Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
25.46 25.46 N/A N/A
Box 6
Race Odds
$17.00
Heat Replay
New Gleam
Trainer
Darren Russell
Owner
Wayne Brookman
Prizemoney
$26,545.00
Last 10 Starts
5211122322
32 Months Black & White Dog by Fear Zafonic - Joy Esme
Start Good Running Middle Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $1,062.00 Rating 95
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
25 9 9 3
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
36% 84%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
4 1 3 0
Box 6 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 1 1  0
Comments:¬†Darren Russell (Trainer)¬†- “I think he will go all right. I’m actually happy with the box draw. His last couple of runs at Maitland he has had the red box and cut right down on the fence and probably cost himself two to three lengths in the run to the first corner. Hopefully out there he will go straight. When he had the four there he went 25.12 and went straight as a die. He has pulled up enormous from last week.”¬†
Best Maitland Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
25,12 25.22 N/A N/A
Box 7
Race Odds
$15.00
Heat Replay
Gradence
Trainer
Mark Gatt
Owner
Joseph Scerri
Prizemoney
$128,945.00
Last 10 Starts
2412131331
46 Months Black & White Dog by Vapour Whirl - Ding’s Rocket
Start Slow Running Rail Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $1,573.00 Rating 94
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
82 23 17 21
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
28% 74%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 1 0 0
Box 7 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
10 5 3 1
Comments:¬†Mark Gatt (Trainer) – ¬†“Paw Licking will be really hard to beat. I’m just hoping he gets a clean run and flashes home and maybe we can run into the money somewhere. He has been hitting the line really good. He is just a consistent dog. We are just hoping he gets a clean run and maybe run a a place. You never know, there could be a bit of trouble and he could get up for the win. We would be wrapped if he could run a place.”
Best Maitland Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
25.32 25.32 N/A N/A
Box 8
Race Odds
$1.45
Heat Replay
Paw Licking
Trainer
Kelvyn Greenough
Owner
Allan Lang
Prizemoney
$341,850.00
Last 10 Starts
2112312221
36 Months White & Black Dog by Elite State - Kingsbrae Di
Start Excellent Running Middle Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $6,703.00 Rating 100
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
51 29 11 3
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
57% 84%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
1 1 0 0
Box 8 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
8 5 1 2
Comments: Kelvyn Greenough (Trainer)¬†-¬†“I never get over confident in any race. I know it’s a dog race and anything can go wrong but he’s certainly in there with a chance. The dog is fine, there’s no dramas at all.”
Best Maitland Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
24.87 24.87 N/A N/A
1st Res
Race Odds
$17.00
Heart Replay
Waymore’s Blues
Trainer
Glenn Rounds
Owner
Glenn Rounds
Prizemoney
$22,135.00
Last 10 Starts

1512315362

26 Months Black Dog by Collide - Casey’s Angel
Start Fair Running Middle Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $1.383.00 Rating 93
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
16 7 3  2
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
44% 75%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
1 0 1 0
Box Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
N/A N/A N/A N/A
Comments: Very unlucky not to have scored a spot in the final. If he gets a run, he is a natural improver and looks and each-way chance.
Best Maitland Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
25.30 25.30 N/A N/A
2nd Res
Race Odds
$26.00
Heat Replay
Magic Marlow
Trainer
Allan Woodward
Owner
Allan Woodward
Prizemoney
$611,190.00
Last 10 Starts

6283611122

27 Months Black Dog by Lochinvar Marlow - Gembaz
Start Good Running Middle Finish Good
Prizemoney Rating $509.00 Rating 90
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
22 5 8 3
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
23% 73%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
7 2 3 0
Box Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
N/A N/A N/A N/A
Comments: Went well last week. Has been beginning consistently of late. He will need to draw well if he is to factor in the business end.
Best Maitland Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
25.30 25.30 N/A N/A

 

If Paw Licking (8) repeats the effort from last week, he will be winning. The main dangers appear to be the inside division consisting of Rose Sannette (1), Fire Elusive (2) and Natural Player (3). Rose Sannette rarely runs out of a place and she has a love affair with box one. Fire Elusive went very well last week and is open to improvement, while Natural Player has been kept fresh for this. He is a very fast dog and is a track-record holder in his own right (over 350 metres at Goulburn).

New Gleam (6) looks to be positioned well. The greyhounds on his immediate inside, Miner’s Moss (4) and Magic Diore (5), will both be looking for the fence and he has a slow beginner, Gradence (7), drawn on his outside. His trainer is hoping he runs straight into the turn and if he does, he is rated a good chance. Gradence (7) is a slow beginner but manages to work his way well through a field. He is another that is an each-way chance, especially if there is a bit of interference in front of him. Miner’s Moss and Magic Diore will need luck to feature from their respective draws.

The race jumps at 9:58pm. All eyes will be on Paw Licking to see if he can claim the Maitland Cup and shave a little more off the track-record in the process.

A Wrap Of The Nowra Summer Puppy Classic Semi-Finals

The field is now known for the Group Three Nowra Summer Puppy Classic final to be held on Saturday, 29 March.

Local trainers Philip Goodsell and Chris O’Brien have both qualified two for the final. Goodsell’s two runners are litter-mates, as are O’Brien’s two.

Semi-Final One – Group Three Nowra Summer Puppy Classic

The margin of a neck-by-three-quarters was all that separated the first four in the first semi-final. Leica Destiny (1) was well served by the inside draw, leading the field down the back. However, she had Highbury (3) on her hammer. He went one better then last week and finished too strongly for Leica Destiny. Solar Pak (2) was also up there and secured third spot. Race favourite Stilton Blue (8) was forced wide at the first turn but managed to get through unscathed and fill fourth, gaining a spot in the final.

Highbury, trained by Paul Roach, recorded 30.26 in his third career victory from 13 starts.

Semi-Final Two – Group Three Nowra Summer Puppy Classic

Charles Dalton’s Quick To Go (6) was just that from box six, leading all the way to crack her maiden and record the best time of the two semi-finals; 30.04. On a wet track, it’s always an advantage to lead and she won comfortably by three lengths. Hollie Anne (1) did all the chasing behind Quick To Go and she has earned a spot in the final alongside her brother Stilton Blue. Quick To Go and Hollie Anne were 11 lengths in front of the rest of the field, which suffered varying degrees of interference. Gold Buccaneer (7) and Someone Tifi (8) were able to finish in third and fourth respectively and fill the last two spots in the final.

The field for the $25,000 race is:

Quick To Go – 30.04 (Charles Dalton)
Hollie Anne – 30.22 (Philip Goodsell)
Highbury – 30.26 (Paul Roach)
Leica Destiny – 30.28 (Susan Sundstrom)
Solar Pak – 30.30 (Chris O’Brien)
Stilton Blue – 30.31 (Philip Goodsell)
Gold Buccaneer – 30.75 (James McFarlane)
Someone Tifi – 30.86 (Chris O’Brien)

First Reserve: Power Of Will – 30.43 (Garry Edwards)
Second Reserve: Gone Ratty – 30.96 (David Mott)

The Cream Rises To The Top In Betfair Cup Heats

Victorian greyhounds continued their dominance of top-level staying events by running the quinella in both heats of the Group Three Betfair Cup at Wentworth Park on Saturday night.

The “Mexicans” will represent half the field in next week’s $25,000 to-the-winner final and look to hold all the aces for the big race.

Here’s how the two heat’s panned out;

Heat 1

The Rob Britton trained bitch Born Ali (4) led from pillar-to-post in the first heat in a stylish exhibition of front-running. Beginning flawlessly from box four, the daughter of Velocette and Born Princess (Whiskey Assassin – Born Lucky) quickly put a space on the field, carving out a first section of 16.16.

If there was any worry for Born Ali, it was the fact that event Group One winner Destini Fireball (5) was parked on her hammer and poised to strike. Everywhere that Born Ali went, Destini Fireball followed just a length behind. As they swung for home, it looked as though the old-stager may overhaul the leader, but the Group One Galaxy winner found too much, railing well and finishing the race right off to win by 1 3/4 lengths in 42.41.

Suits Us (2) made terrific ground mid-race to land third place, with Cawbourne Looney (6) finishing strongly in fourth to secure a spot in next week’s final.

Favourite, Dyna Kayla (8) was last away and took a long time to find the fence, covering plenty of extra territory. She could only manage a tiring fifth and is second reserve for the final.

Heat Two

Classy stayer Dyna Willow (7) was simply too good in the second heat, winning by 2 3/4 lengths and setting the time standard of 42.04 in the process for trainer Steve Collins.

Eleazar (1) found the early lead from Avondale Maurick (2) with Dyna Willow working her way to third. Down the back it looked a race in two with Eleazar giving Dyna Willow plenty to catch. But the class of Dyna Willow became more evident as the race wore on and she looked to have it won as they headed for home.

If there was any danger, it was her fellow Victorian Lucy Wires, who is known for her withering finishing burst, who started to emerge from the pack. But Dyna Willow staved off the challenges, holding them all at bay in a polished performance.

Lucy Wires rattled home for second giving Rob Britton two finalists, while Eleazar clung on to third place. Avondale Maurick managed to keep fourth position and gain a start in next Saturday’s final.

The box draw for the final is as follows;

1 – Lucy Wires – Rob Britton

2 – Cawbourne Looney – Jodie Lord

3 – Born Ali – Rob Britton

4 – Eleazar – Dean Swain

5 – Avondale Maurick – Ron Bell

6 – Dyna Willow – Steve Collins

7 – Destini Fireball – Norm Rinaldi

8 – Suits Us – Ken Burnett

Reserves

9 – Shoe Laces Lady – Lesley Green

10 – Dyna Kayla – Andrea Dailly

Review Of Round 3 Of The Golden Easter Egg Preludes

Greyhound racing at Wentworth Park on Saturday night witnessed three more Preludes of the Golden Easter Egg series. With just a couple of weeks remaining until the start of the series, trainers are aiming their charges at the Preludes in order to gain a spot in the heats. Here is a look at what happened in each of the Preludes on Saturday night.

Golden Easter Egg Prelude One

Hellyeah Bolt (8) made the trip to Sydney worthwhile for trainer Anthony Bullock, taking out the first Prelude in 29.92.

Where’s The Surf (5) began beautifully from the middle draw and looked to have the lead going into the first turn but Hellyeah Bolt used box eight to perfection. The black dog by Dyna Lachlan – Flash Diamond (Elite State – Chinatown Babe) began well and was able to muster pace on the outside and sweep to the lead around the catching pen. From that point on, he was in control and won by two and three quarter lengths from Where’s The Surf. Apollo Reign (2) worked himself into third.

Golden Easter Egg Prelude Two

After a solid run last week from a not-so-perfect draw, Yogi Blue (2) was able to put himself in the winner’s circle this time around in a time of 30.03.

Long odds chance Lacey Lois was the early leader, with two lengths on the field down the back. Race favourite There’s A Earn (4) was the victim of a poor draw, struggling to get a clear run until he had rounded the first turn. Meanwhile, the Peter O’Reilly trained Yogi Blue (2) had the perfect sit on Lacey Lois and swept past her approaching the final bend. There’s A Earn was also in hot pursuit, but it was Yogi Blue, a dog by Cool Effort – Opal Assassin (Whisky Assassin – Zane’s Girl), that emerged victorious by three-and-one-quarter lengths over There’s A Earn. Lacey Lois (1), the early leader, hung on for third.

Golden Easter Egg Prelude Three

Despite it being his first look at the track under race conditions, Darren McDonald’s Dark Warrior (7) was able to secure his 31st career win in the third Prelude.

The black dog by Where’s Pedro – Shanlyn Supreme (Token Prince – Shanlyn Maddy) chased his heart out to sneak away from Dyna Geldof in the closing stages. He and Dyna Geldof (1) were stride-for-stride turning for home, with Dark Warrior doing all the extra work on the outside. The final margin was two-and-a-half lengths and the final time was 30.06. Where On Earth (2) filled the other minor placing. Frosty Jay Jay (3) didn’t factor after shifting wide at the first turn and copping interference.

As with the Preludes in the earlier weeks, Hellyeah Bolt, Yogi Blue and Dark Warrior will all receive priority entry into the heats of the Golden Easter Egg series.

2014 Nowra Summer Puppy Classic Heads Into Semi-Final Stage

The Group Three Nowra Summer Puppy Classic now moves into the semi-final stage with two semi-finals to be conducted on Monday afternoon at the Pinebowl circuit. The first four from each heat will progress to the final to be held on Saturday, 29 March.

Semi-Final One – Group Three Nowra Puppy Classic (Race 5 at 4:06pm)

Flying heat-winner Stilton Blue (8) has drawn the outside in the first semi-final. If he runs the first section he did last week he should have no trouble crossing the field. However, he has had three starts from the box without notching up a win. Based on overall times at the track, he is the one to beat.

Trainer Sue Sundstrom will be happy with the rails draw for Leica Destiny (1). She overcame box six last week to win in 30.37 and ran 4.34 to the first mark. She will need to lead to be a chance.

Highbury (3) competed very well last week, running second behind Stilton Blue and recording 30.03 in the process. He is a place chance based on that performance.

Solar Pak (2) is a Wentworth Park winner in 30.03 and is capable of running time on the bunny. With two wins from box two she can put herself right in the race.

Of the others, Power Of Will (4) looks a chance of claiming a spot in the final. He finished fourth on debut last week and is the likely improver.

Semi-Final Two – Group Three Nowra Puppy Classic (Race 7 at 4:46pm)

The runners engaged in the second semi-final would count themselves lucky, as every single heat winner from last week has been drawn in semi-final one. Only three dogs in this field ran a place last week.

Someone Tifi (8) showed good heart to finish second to Dark Seeker after suffering interference at the first turn last week. The half-brother to NSW Greyhound of the Year Double Twist is yet to record a win at Nowra, but has shown he can win from box eight as he has won from his only start from the box (which was at Dapto).

White Pointer (5) ran a good second behind Leica Destiny last week and will be improved after having a look at the track. Based on his run last week, he looks a chance to fill a top four spot.

Gold Buccaneer (7) has shown he can run time, with a fast 22.50 steward’s trial at Bulli in November last year. He has since gone on to win two of his 10 career starts and placed on five other occasions. He couldn’t get across from box eight last week and isn’t drawn much closer to the fence this week.

Stilton Blue’s sister, Hollie Anne (1), is very strong and her two most recent wins at Nowra have been over the 630 metre distance. In an open race, she is worth some consideration.

Quick To Go (6) is the big query in the race. The Collision – My Hot Fantasy bitch is still a maiden after three starts and was unlucky to run into Stilton Blue last week, running fourth. In the process she was credited with a finishing time of 30.24. If she can repeat that effort and run the same 4.35 first section, she just might crack her maiden.

The other runner in the race with sound early speed is Thunder Clay (4). He is yet to win over the 520 metre distance after six attempts, with his only two career wins coming over the 365 metre trip. He will need to lead and hope for some interference behind him in order to get away with this race.

Victorian Raiders Headline The Betfair Cup Heats At Wenty

Over 40 years of staying history at Wentworth Park will begin its next chapter on Saturday evening, when two heats of the Group Three Betfair Gold Cup will be held over the lung-busting 720 metres at the Harbour City venue.

First held in 1966 on the grass track at Wenty, the event has had some notable winners in the past, none more so than Zoom Top, who went back-to-back in 1968 & 69.

Other winners include Miss High Lo (1974), Mercia Bale (1980), National Lass (1986), Ringside Fire (1998), Pearl Larricki (2001) and Miagi (2008).

Slick Lee became only the second greyhound to win the event twice when she took out the event in 2011 & 2012. Bell Haven, who has recently had her first litter of pups to Kinloch Brae, won last year’s race.

The top four from each heat will advance to next Saturday’s final worth $25,000 to the winner.

Here’s how the two heats look;

Race 7 – Betfair Cup Heat 1 – 9:27pm

The first heat features a triple-threat of proven Victorian Group performers, who will well and truly test the locals.

Destini Fireball (5) comes off a recent Group One win in the Super Stayers at The Meadows. Trainer Norm Rinaldi had toyed with the idea of retirement to stud duties for his four-year-old chaser but has decided to press on given his recent form. His last trip to this track saw him finish second in the final of the Summer Distance Plate and he has registered a slick 42.28 in the past. The veteran will need to be on his best behaviour from this draw.

Born Ali (4) won the Perth Galaxy in early February before a couple of below par runs at The Meadows. A three week break saw her return in style with a zippy 34.21 win over 595 metres at Sandown Park. She has a best of 42.35 here and will probably benefit from the run.

Precocious bitch Dyna Kayla (8) has finished second in two recent Group One finals in Victoria. It’s a big achievement given the fact that she will only face the starter for the 18th time on Saturday night. She has to deal with the extreme outside draw and her recent box manners have only been fair. If she can begin on terms, she is right in this.

Cawbourne Looney (6) has a great record at Wentworth Park, winning eight from 17 at this track and distance and breaking the magical 42-second mark in the process. Her best runs seem to be when she leaves the boxes in the first half of the field, so her initial position when the lids fly will be all important.

Quell Bale (3) is another Victorian who makes her staying debut in these heats. She has some okay middle distance form but her recent runs give the impression that she is out of her depth here. If anything, the fact that she might find herself closer to the front that she is used to may be a bonus.

Blossom Dior (1) looks the best of the rest. She has won three from 13 at this trip and has a best of 42.24. Her record from the inside is sensational with eight wins from 14 outings. The main concern is that she has only managed one placing since her last win here in early February. This race will test her.

Suits Us (2) is a last start winner at the track in 42.46, but his wins are well spaced. He is also a run-on type dog who will need some luck to feature.

Billy Hooper (7) is yet to win over this trip in eight attempts and it would be a shock if he was to open his account in this race.

Race 8 – Betfair Cup Heat 2 – 9:50pm

More raiders from the south highlight the second heat, with dual Wentworth Park Group winner Dyna Willow engaged along with Sydney Cup winner Lucy Wires.

Dyna Willow (7) has won two group events at this track in just four appearances. She has a real affinity with the venue and has stopped the clock at 41.92 in the past. She is versatile and can lead or come from behind and has class written all over her. She is one of the big-guns in this series.

Lucy Wires (6) won the Sydney Cup at this track and has also flown around here in a near record time of 41.82. She has a tendency to get way back in her races, but if she is parked anywhere in the first half of the field, expect her to be right in the finish.

Set To Shine (3) is an ultra-consistent local chaser who should be in the top few throughout the run. She is as dour as they come and also begins reliably, so expect her to be racing in the first quartet of the field throughout.

Queenslander Wag Tail (4) returns to interstate group racing after an ill-fated trip to Victoria that saw her fall in a heat if the Super Stayers. She then returned to the Sunshine State where she reeled off two impressive victories. She has earned another crack at the big time and it will be interesting to see how she measures up.

Eleazar (1) has landed two nice wins at Wentworth Park since moving from Queensland back in January. She has been a model of consistency in her 28 start career and has registered a personal best of 42.35 at the track. She is another who does her best work when she lands on the speed, so the first hundred metres will be crucial for her.

Shoe Laces Lady (8) is another Queensland visitor who has won here in the past in an average 43.05. She has finished second behind Wag Tail at her last two outings and may be a couple of lengths off the better dogs in this race.

Avondale Maurick (2) is a lightly raced three-year-old with a good strike-rate. The 33kg chaser has only won two races over the longer trips, with a best here of 42.65. He looks to be worth risking in this one.

Little Red (5) appears to be thriving over the staying journeys, but looks tested against the top-liners in this race. Her run two starts back has some merit with a 42.46 win here, but she has won just five of 42 career starts and will need to go a lot quicker to win this.

There is plenty of class spread very evenly over the two heats, which sets the stage for a quality final next week.

Will the Victorians continue their stranglehold over the staying trips? Or will it be a local or Queenslander who rises to the top?

Paw Licking Sets New Track Record In Maitland Gold Cup Heats

Maitland hosted seven heats of the Group Two Maitland Gold Cup on Thursday afternoon. The highlight was Paw Licking’s track record-breaking run in the fourth heat. The record was previously held by Exclusive One and was set in May 2012. Other dogs to hold the record include Pororoca, Knocka Norris and Barcia Bale, so Paw Licking places himself in some illustrious company.

The seven heat winners and the fastest second qualified for the final, which takes place at Maitland next Thursday night.

Heat One – Group Two Maitland Gold Cup

Magic Diore (1) upset the favourite Chica Destacada (5), who could only manage fourth. Magic Diore wasn’t given much chance pre-race, starting at odds of $21 on the tote. The Magic Sprite – Avon Lee bitch had to work hard for the win and she finished too strongly for El Silverado (7) and Vanessa’s Flame (8), winning by one length in 25.46.

Heat Two – Group Two Maitland Gold Cup

Fire Elusive (2), for Jason Mackay, was too good in heat two. He led a few strides out of the box and secured a three-and-a-half length victory in a fast 25.12. Mr Babicci (3) didn’t begin well enough and finished third, while Nosey Rozy (8) was last early, suffered some interference and flew home to finish second. Zipping Tess (7) was unable to put herself into the race from the wide draw.

Heat Three – Group Two Maitland Gold Cup

Rose Sannette (1) lived up to her reputation as a box one specialist when she won heat three in 25.25 from the rails draw. She led from start to finish and won by an increasing seven lengths for trainer Kevin Johnson. Lil Miss Sparkle (8) went well on her return from a spell to finish second and Bella Senora (3) filled the other minor placing.

Heat Four – Group Two Maitland Gold Cup

Paw Licking (4) looked the stand-out and he proved it with a track record-breaking run. Beginning sweetly from box four, he hit the lead and let loose. The track record of 24.88 was lowered down to 24.87 and he will be the favourite for the final next week. New Gleam (1) was five lengths away in second and Yo Cool Maxie (6) was another four-and-a-quarter lengths behind in third.

Heat Five – Group Two Maitland Gold Cup

Gradence (5) worked his way from last to first over the course of the 450 metre trip. He has an uncanny knack of working his way through a field and that was on display again in this heat. He was last from box five early, worked himself into fourth around the turn and then unleashed his flying finish down the outside of the track to nab early leader King Sapphire (2) mid-way up the home straight and emerge the one-and-a-half length winner in 25.32. King Sapphire held on for second from Bojack Kahn (3).

Heat Six – Group Two Maitland Gold Cup

A head separated the first two place-getters in the sixth heat, with Miner’s Moss (6) just lasting from a fast finishing Waymore’s Blues (8) in 25.29. It was an unlucky result for Waymore’s Blues, who just misses out on making the final. He will be the first reserve. The Mark Gatt trained Mexico City (2) finished third after pushing strongly for the lead in the early stages. Tasmanian raider Varcoe (4) began terribly and was never in it.

Heat Seven – Group Two Maitland Gold Cup

Magic Marlow (2) was best served at box-rise and held the early lead, but wasn’t good enough to outlast Natural Player (8) who showed great field sense from box eight. Natural Player stayed away from trouble on the outside and when turning for home, switched to the rail to run down Magic Marlow and win by half-a-length in 25.27. Ridiculousness (1) recovered from a heavy bump with Splash About (3) to finish third.

The qualifiers for the final, in order of time, are:

Paw Licking – 24.87 (Kel Greenough)
Fire Elusive – 25.12 (Jason Mackay)
New Gleam – 25.22 (Darren Russell)
Rose Sannette – 25.25 (Kevin Johnson)
Natural Player – 25.27 (Mark Wilcox)
Miner’s Moss – 25.29 (Mathew Reid)
Gradence – 25.32 (Mark Gatt)
Magic Diore – 25.46 (Garry Streatfield)

First Reserve – Waymore’s Blues – 25.30 (Glenn Rounds)
Second Reserve – Magic Marlow – 25.31 (Alan Woodward)

Round Three Of The Easter Egg Preludes

As the Group One Golden Easter Egg approaches, the quality of the preludes increases. This week we see some handy Victorian’s trained by Darren McDonald, and the Healesville Cup winner and track record holder Frosty Jay Jay making an appearance.

Three Preludes will be conducted at Wentworth Park on Saturday night, on a card that features two heats of the a Group Three Betfair Cup, which ARG is also previewing.

Golden Easter Egg Prelude 1 – Race 4 at 8:28pm

Darren McDonald’s first runner of the night is Where’s The Surf. The blue Where’s Pedro – Nova Surf (Surf Lorian – Nova Keroma) dog has won his last two at Traralgon and has won nine from 24 overall. He is a good beginner who likes the rail and he will need to lead from the awkward draw. He comes up against well-performed Tasmanian Hellyeah Bolt. The Anthony Bullock trained chaser steward’s trialled at Wentworth Park last week in 29.89. He has won five of his last nine and 18 from 29. He is also handy out of box eight, winning three from four.

Manyana Pearl (6) has won her last three on the trot, including a last start 29.95 at Wentworth Park in a fourth and fifth grade. She has been beginning well of late and with a first split of 5.39, could very well lead the race.

Apollo Reign (2) is a strong dog who won at Richmond in a fast 30.43 last start. He can find some trouble early and can’t afford to give some of these a head-start.

Of the others, the superbly bred dog by Brett Lee – Cindeen Shelby (Bombastic Shiraz – Proper Shelby), Quite Ready (1), has box one and has won two from three at Wentworth Park, including a last start win in 30.00 from box six. He can be risky at box-rise. Knot Tellin Ya (3) and Retiring (4) have been around the track plenty of times, which may assist them, but their recent form has been patchy. Gibbonator (7) has contested the last two rounds of the Preludes and isn’t having much luck and looks to have a tough ask from the box.

Golden Easter Egg Prelude 2 – Race 5 at 8:47pm

Queenslander Yogi Blue (2) gets another chance this week from box two. He had box eight last week at his first look at the track and finished a respectable fourth behind Make A Fifty. He’s got four wins from box two and after a look at the track, will be improved.

Classy There’s A Earn (4) is McDonald’s second runner engaged in the preludes. A litter-mate to Where’s The Surf, he has had seven wins from 12 starts and has won his last three (two at The Meadows and a fast 29.40 at Sandown). He’s got early speed and is a good beginner and is definitely one of the chances.

Two more Queenslanders, Rascal Flash (3) for Ron Ball and Raging Obsession (7) for Selena Zammit are also engaged. Rascal Flash finished last at Wentworth Park from box one earlier this month and will need to improve on that. Her Albion Park form is good and she has won 11 from 24. Raging Obsession has won 12 from 24 and is having his first look at Wentworth Park. He is good from an outside draw and can run, having broken 30 at Albion Park.

Cawbourne Bugsy (8) appears the best of the local chances. She has had two wins at Wentworth Park and ran 29.77 last week from box two. Her form from box eight isn’t inspiring, with two starts from the pink reaping no reward.

Golden Easter Egg Prelude 3 – Race 6 at 9:10pm

This is a very tough race with a number of talented Victorian’s and the white and fawn flash Frosty Jay Jay (3). Frosty Jay Jay has returned to Renald Attard’s kennels after a highly successful campaign with Kel Greenough in Victoria. He is well-performed on the bigger tracks, so it will be interesting to see how he handles the difficult Wentworth Park.

Fellow Queenslander, Swift Opulence (4) is drawn on Frosty Jay Jay’s immediate outside. She is a good beginner and handled her first look at Wentworth Park well, winning in 29.86. If she repeats that, she will be hard to beat.

Dyna Geldof (1) has drawn box one for the first time in his 21 start career. He has good wins around Geelong and The Meadows and should go well at his first look at the track.

McDonald’s final runner of the Preludes is Dark Warrior (7). The black dog by Where’s Pedro – Shanlyn Supreme (Token Prince – Shanlyn Maddy) has 30 career wins but is having his first start at Wentworth Park. He is a very consistent beginner and has won five times from box seven.

Maitland Gold Cup Heats This Thursday

Group racing heads to the picturesque Hunter Valley on Thursday for the heats of the Group Two Maitland Gold Cup.

Seven heats of the $40,000 race over 450 metres have been drawn with the final taking place on Thursday, 27th of March 2014.

Heat One – 2014 Group Two Maitland Gold Cup (Race 1 @ 4:37pm)

Last start Golden Easter Egg Prelude winner Chica Destacada (5) lines up from the squeeze draw. This will be her first start at Maitland, but if she shows the form she has been showing at Wentworth Park and Richmond, she is a big hope of progressing through to the final.

Vanessa’s Flame (8) is only lightly raced but has won five of his seven career starts for Peter Lagogiane. He has had the one start at Maitland over the distance for a win in 25.33, which was last week. Prior to last week’s run, he had been running over 400 metres at Bulli and Richmond.

Another lightly raced dog that is talented is El Silverado. The El Grand Senor – Indiana Showgirl dog has had seven starts for three wins, with one of those wins coming at Maitland in 25.67. He has won from the box but is risky at box-rise, but can begin well if he wants to.

Of the experienced brigade, Glamorous Opal (4) stands out. The Carol Hudson trained bitch by Magic Sprite – Awesome Opal has a win and two placings from four starts over the Maitland Cup distance. Her best is 25.36 back in March last year and her current form is good, having been unplaced just once in her last ten starts. She has been racing in non-graded company at her last two starts over 400 metres at Maitland, running third to Yo Cool Maxie last week, beaten just two lengths.

Heat Two – 2014 Group Two Maitland Gold Cup (Race 4 @ 4:57pm)

This is a really hard heat, with a lot of talent engaged. The flying Mr Babicci (3) Will be making the trip down from the North Coast to contest heat two. The Collision – Dulcinea dog has been zooming around the 395 metre trip at Albion Park (breaking the track record in the process) and the 420 metres at Lismore. He loves box three, winning four from six. This will be his first start at Maitland and a small step up in distance for him.

Drawn next to him is fellow North Coast dog Sudoku Rebel (4). The James Gallaway trained chaser won at Maitland last week in 25.07. He had the suitable outside draw last week, but moves to a less than ideal box for this heat.

Bathurst Cup champion and last start Wentworth Park winner Zipping Tess (7) lines up from box seven. She had her last start at Maitland over this distance back in March last year, running third. She is yet to win from box seven, but in her last two runs she has displayed brilliant box manners which will be of great assistance to her in this heat.

Talented Disintergrate bitch Nosey Rozy (8) makes a long awaited return to racing after sustaining an injury back in October last year. She has won nine from 12 with one of those wins coming at Maitland in 25.31. She has scorched around Bulli in the past and has a win from box eight.

The Jason Mackay trained Fire Elusive (2) is well drawn in box two and may be the one capable of upsetting the other fast dogs in the race. He is well boxed on the inside and won here last week in 25.18. His box manners are mixed but he has won 10 from 26.

Heat Three – 2014 Group Two Maitland Gold Cup (Race 5 @ 5:17pm)

Jason Thompson’s Zulu Zircon (5) clocked 25.06 in a steward’s trial last week at Maitland. He is a recent Healesville Cup place-getter and contested the heats of the Horsham Cup. If he can run up to his trial, he will be hard to beat.

Rose Sannette (1) has seen Maitland plenty of times and is a box one bandit, winning six from nine. Her best time at Maitland is 25.17. The Cosmic Rumble – Sarah Sannette bitch has had 25 wins from 49 starts and is more than capable.

Warragai Boy (2) has taken to Maitland well with two wins from three starts over the 450 metre distance. His best is 25.32 and he loves box two.

Bella Senora (3) has also had two wins from three starts at the track with a best of 25.26. Her recent form has been a bit erratic around The Gardens and Wentworth Park.

Prince Tanga (4) has had seven starts at Maitland for three wins and three placings. He isn’t the best away and needs room to muster, which he may not get from this draw although his best time of 25.23 came while wearing the blue rug.

Lastly, the speedy Lil Miss Sparkle (8) has had three months off racing after failing from box one in a heat of the Goulburn Cup. She is great off the outside and has two wins at Maitland and a best of 25.25. She needs to lead to win.

Heat Four – 2014 Group Two Maitland Gold Cup (Race 6 @ 5:37pm)

Victorian star Paw Licking (4) is the headline act for this heat. If he displays his customary early toe he is sure to qualify for the final. He’s been placed in the Australian Cup, the Healesville Cup, Warragul Cup, and won the Hobart 1000 in track record time in the lead-up and is clearly the classiest runner in the race.

Local favourite and veteran Yo Cool Maxie (6) has been in great form, running track records at Gunnedah and Armidale in the lead-up to his recent Maitland Gold Collar win earlier this month over 400 metres. He has won nine from his last 10. He races in similar fashion to Paw Licking so they will be matching motors into the first turn. He has three wins over the 450 metre distance with a best of 25.24.

Zipping Logan (3) is a strong dog that ran second in the Group Three Cyril Rowe Plate at Bulli earlier this year. He hasn’t got the pace to match it with Paw Licking, but may be thereabouts if there is some strife up front.

New Gleam (1) loves the red rug and has won here at Maitland in 25.12. It wouldn’t surprise if he pulled off the upset. Devine Vegas (8) has only been unplaced once at Maitland but has not won from the outside after four attempts.

Heat Five – 2014 Group Two Maitland Gold Cup (Race 7 @ 5:57pm)

Classy veteran Gradence (5) gets to strut his stuff in heat five. The strong dog by Vapour Whirl – Ding’s Rocket isn’t a great beginner, but he has still managed to win 22 races despite this. He won the Group Three Cyril Rowe Plate at Bulli this year, finishing over the top of Zipping Logan from box one. The concern here is the draw. He has only managed one win from the squeeze box in his 81 start career.

Zipping Willow (6) returns to NSW after an Australian Cup campaign. She didn’t factor in the Australian Cup series but managed a 30.11 win at The Meadows on March 8. She has a fast 29.59 Wentworth Park win to her name and has won over the 400 metres at Maitland recently in 22.42. She is in with a big show if her box manners don’t let her down.

Bojack Kahn (3) is an interesting runner from box three. He’s has just the five starts for three wins and two placings. He has won from this box in 25.70, but his best time is 25.35. He needs to handle the step up in class and experience to feature.

Kilkenny Babe (4) may be best served by having a slow beginner on her outside. She is a good beginner with two wins at Maitland and she ran third in a non graded event here last week, and has a best of 25.31.

King Sapphire (2) has hit a bad run of form his last three starts but prior to that had been performing consistently in fifth grades. The last three starts have been in a non-graded event at Maitland and fourth and fifth grades at Wentworth Park. This indicates he may struggle with the jump in class. He has won three at Maitland and has a best of 25.35.

Heat Six – 2014 Group Two Maitland Gold Cup (Race 8 @ 6:17pm)

Launceston Cup winner Varcoe (4) has the chance to prove himself on the mainland after stewards trialling in a very quick 24.98 last week. The El Galo – Magic Dust dog has only been unplaced twice in his 19 start career. He has to contend with handy Victorian Waymore’s Blues (8). The Collide – Casey’s Angel dog trained by Glenn Rounds has seven wins from 15 starts. He hasn’t been beginning well at Ballarat, The Meadows and Sandown Park in his last three starts but prior to that had been beginning well. He has two wins from box eight.

Mexico City (2) won a free-for-all at Bulli last start clocking a flying 22.38 over the 400 metre trip. He is also a multiple Wentworth Park winner including a scorching win in 29.58. If the Where’s Pedro – Physical dog begins on terms he will be hard to run-down.

Of the others, Jake’s Run (5), Miner’s Moss (6) and Devine Awe (7) have all recorded wins over the distance but are rising in class.

Heat Seven – 2014 Group Two Maitland Gold Cup (Race 9 @ 6:37pm)

Mark Gatt has drawn the prime box with talented chaser Ridiculousness (1). With four wins from five starts, the Collision – Wonderous dog looks to have a bright future. He’s had two starts at Maitland for two victories and a best of 25.23. He is coming up against much more experienced dogs and this may work against him.

Glenreagh Rocket (7) won the free-for-all event at Maitland on March 6 over the 450 metre distance in 25.18. Garry Streatfield’s chaser has 22 wins from 50 starts and is a consistent beginner. Drawn on his immediate outside is Natural Player (8). Natural Player is part of the fast and successful Knocka Norris – Winning Shiraz litter trained by Mark Wilcox. He has the 350 metre Goulburn track record against his name and won at Maitland last week in 25.21. He has a perfect record from the pink, winning three from three.

Splash About (3) has been around Maitland a few times in her 56 start career. Over the 450 metre distance she has three wins from four attempts and recorded her best of 25.19 back in May 2012. Her most recent racing has been over the sprint trip and this will be the first time she has raced over this distance since August last year.

The heats feature a nice mix of experienced chasers and youngsters looking to make their mark. A comprehensive wrap of the heats will be available on the ARG website later this week and ARG will be providing a complete preview of the big final scheduled for next week.

Exciting Youngster Red Road Wins The 2014 Richmond Derby

Thirlmere trainer Mark Gatt was ecstatic to have notched up his second group win of the year with his promising pup Red Road. The son of Collision and Mystic Pace was brilliant in the Group Two Richmond Derby final on Saturday night, with Gatt and owner Edwin Kingswell collecting a cool $40,000 for their efforts.

Exiting from box one, the winner of eleven races stepped beautifully from the inside alley and led throughout in a smart time of 30.34.

‚ÄúIt was good to see him begin that well. I kept him fresh hoping he would come out like that and he did and now I‚Äôm just hoping he can jump like that consistently‚ÄĚ, said Gatt.

Runner up Evil Punk lost no admirers, cutting the winning margin to just three quarters of a length, stamping his authority as one of the in-form chasers in New South Wales.

‚ÄúTo be honest it didn‚Äôt surprise me he got that close to my dog (Red Road) at the end. He‚Äôs in really good form at the moment and I was worried about him heading into the race.‚ÄĚ

Gatt also lined up three other finalists, with Ritza Raider finishing fourth, Boyce Road fifth and Ritza Ryder sixth.

‚ÄúRitza Raider ran a good race; he just didn‚Äôt have the pace to go with them. Boyce Road got into a heap of trouble and never got himself into contention and Ritza Ryder was a little disappointing, but it was still a good effort that he made the final.‚ÄĚ

All four runners from the final, plus Gatt’s other kennel stars Gradence and Ritza Hattie, will head to the Glebe circuit next month to contest the $250,000 Group One Golden Easter Egg series.

‚ÄúAll four from the final, plus as many I have that I can get right for the race I‚Äôll put in the heats. It will be a very competitive race, but hopefully I get some luck and have some in the final.‚ÄĚ

Gatt’s two-time Group winning bitch Ritza Hattie is on the comeback trail after suffering a hip injury prior to the Group One Australia Cup heats last month. The daughter of Bombastic Shiraz and Midnight Flare will be a force to reckoned with after clocking a flying 29.79 personal best at headquarters back in November of last year.

 

A Review Of The Nowra Summer Puppy Classic Heats

The Shoalhaven Greyhound Racing Club hosted three heats of the Group Three Nowra Summer Puppy Classic on Monday afternoon.

The race is for greyhounds whelped between 1 January 2012 and 30 June 2012 and puppies are nominated for the race at 12 months of age.

The winner receives a nice pay-check of $25,000 at the end of the series. The heats have been conducted with the semi-finals on next week.

Here’s how the three heats played out.

Heat One – Nowra Summer Puppy Classic

In a messy race, it was outsider Dark Seeker (1), trained by Dale Hall, who took out the first heat by two and a half lengths in 30.58. The black dog by Dyna Lachlan – Hayley Boo (Primo Uno – Emmalana) had been well beaten in his only race start at the track back in early February. The superbly bred Someone Tifi (4), who was hampered running into the first corner, managed to secure second spot and a place in the semi’s. Thunder Clay (2) filled the last of the minors and Jack Finn (3) completed the first four.

Heat Two – Nowra Summer Puppy Classic

A flying performance by Stilton Blue (4) caught the eye in heat two. The Where’s Pedro – She’s A Player (Go Wild Teddy – Nimuay) speedster stopped the clock at an absolutely scorching 29.57, winning by seven and a half lengths. The Philip Goodsell trained greyhound had smart sectionals throughout and displayed brilliant box manners and the final time would have to be in the top times recorded around the 520 metre Pinebowl circuit. He’s had a pretty good start to his career, winning seven from 14 and is already a Wentworth Park winner. Highbury (7) and Solar Pak (1) fought out the minors and Quick To Go (2) was fourth.

Heat Three – Nowra Summer Puppy Classic

Leica Destiny (6) led all the way to claim the last heat for Susan Sundstrom. The black bitch by Dyna Lachlan – Destiny (Collision – Leba Com) ran 30.37 and defeated White Pointer (2) by two lengths. Power of Will (4) was half a length behind White Pointer, with Stilton Blue’s sister Hollie Anne (5) finishing fourth. Both encountered trouble at the first turn to produce solid runs. It was Leica Destiny’s eighth win from 17 starts and her first at the track.

The semi-finals will be conducted on Monday, 24th of March and ARG will be providing a full preview of the semi-finals when the fields become available.

NSW Greyhound Of The Year Shock

Double Twist and Jagger Swagger were announced as the joint winners of the 2013 NSW Greyhound of the Year title in a ceremony held at Luna Park in the Harbour City on Friday evening on the 14th of March.

The result overturns almost half a century of award convention: that is, that there can only be one greyhound awarded the prestigious Greyhound of the Year title.

For this writer the change to that convention is actually welcome. The NSW Greyhound of the Year award was the first of its kind in Australia; indeed, for the first time, greyhound racing led the way on the gallops, with horse racing only introducing a Horse of the Year title after NSW. Inaugurated by the NCA in 1965, the first winner was the stayer Blue Autumn.

Then, in 1966, the judging panel quite correctly could not split the mighty stayer Rose Moss and the brilliant sprinter, Roman Earl. So, the 1966 Greyhound of the Year title was shared jointly.

For some strange reason, the idea of another joint winner was taken off the table and it was decided there would only ever be one winner per year. Now, in 2014, that convention has been overturned.

Back in the days when Sydney had two city courses (Wentworth Park and Harold Park), there was an unwritten rule that a greyhound needed to have won at Wentworth Park (run by the NCA, the club which had instituted the award in the first place) as well as Harold Park (run by the GBOTA, with whom there was an, at times, very unhealthy rivalry). In 1970 this unwritten rule saw the great stayer Travel Rev miss out to the very versatile Tara Flash.

Thankfully, that silly convention fell by the wayside in 1977 when Smooth Keith took the award, never having raced at Wentworth Park.

It’s just sad that the convention of not having dual winners between 1967 and 2012 has meant Woolley Wilson’s name does not appear on the winner’s board for 1973.

Woolley Wilson had been a deserved finalist in 1972, but lost to former Victorian, Ragsie.

In 1973 Woolley Wilson was again a finalist and the panel of eight jury members were deadlocked at four votes apiece for Woolley Wilson and Victorian stayer, He’s Some Boy. Instead of allowing the dead-heat, the panel was asked to deliberate further to come up with a single winner. He’s Some Boy emerged victorious.

In 1988, Kirsty’s Charity got the nod over See Yah in yet another extremely close contest.

Surprisingly, the press release for announcement of the 2013 NSW Greyhound of the Year made no mention of the dual 1966 victors.

Red Road Simply Brilliant In Group Two Richmond Derby Final

Once the lids flew in last night’s $40,000 Richmond Derby Final, it was game, set and match for Thirlmere trainer Mark Gatt, after Red Road stepped beautifully from the inside alley to lead all the way in a fast 30.34.

Gatt went into the race with four finalists, with Red Road his best hope from box one. Punters were very keen on the youngster by Collision x Mystic Pace, who started at just $2.00. Second favourite Evil Punk ($4.80) was very gallant in defeat for trainer James Coyle, reducing the winning margin to three quarters of length at the finish. The $21 outsider Manyana Groper battled on gamely to finish third.

The $2.00 starting price for Red Road was significantly less than the $2.50 Fixed Odds offered at Sportsbet during the day. Punters that took advantage of the $250 Free Bet are giggling.

Red Road’s sensational race record now sits at eleven wins from fifteen starts, with last night’s victory taking his prizemoney total to an astounding $74,340. The dominant owner-trainer combination between Mark Gatt and Edwin Kingswell looks set for another successful year, with next month’s $250,000 Easter Egg firmly in the team’s sights.

Three More Easter Egg Preludes Finalised At Wentworth Park

A stormy Sydney back-drop set the scene for three Preludes of the Group One Golden Easter Egg at Wentworth Park on Saturday night.

Chica Destacada (3), trained by Doreen Drynan, started as the $1.70 favourite in the first Prelude and more than justified the short starting price, winning by seven lengths. She stepped with the field and had plenty of room on her inside to muster pace and get to the corner, just in front of Triumphant One (7). The black bitch by Cosmic Rumble – Eluthra (Most Awesome – Buena Sarah), ran right up to her best, recording 29.74 for the 520 metre journey. Triumphant One, who pressured Chica Destacada in the early stages was pipped on the post by the fast finishing Zipping Delta (4). It was a run and a half from Zipping Delta, who was last past the post the first time.

Victorian chaser Dream It (3) had no luck at his first start at Wentworth Park, striking interference at the notorious first turn. Crash Model (1) flew the lids and was able to lead clearly. She does her best work in front and ran away with the second Prelude in a personal best 29.87 for Keith Waddington. The win was the Collision – Clay Model (Bombastic Shiraz – Tarhooley Dooley) bitches fourth at the Sydney circuit. He’s Rising Fast (2) was again the bridesmaid. After a good second last week, he was unable to go one better and finished eight-and-a-half lengths behind Crash Model. Collision Post (5) filled the other minor placing. Mr Fordham (6) had no joy on his return from a spell and it will be back to the drawing board for him.

A long-shot picked up the win in the third Prelude when the Simon Ma chaser Make A Fifty (6) scored a two-and-a-half length victory over favourite Warrior King (4) and third place-getter Magic Display (2). Warrior King performed very well at his first look at the track. He was slow away, but pushed his way through the field into the first turn. Just like the other heats, Make A Fifty led and wasn’t headed, stopping the clock at 29.92. Warrior King was third down the back and wanted to rail underneath Magic Display but was constantly disappointed for a run. He would have gone close to winning if he was able to get clear a bit earlier. Queenslander Yogi Blue (8) was unable to cross from the outside but ran a respectable fourth. Grand Journey (7), who was in the market on his return to racing, had no luck at the first turn and ended up near the outside fence. Make A Fifty, by Trewly Special – Miss Corinne (Token Prince – April Showers) notched up her second victory at Wentworth Park, breaking thirty for the first time at the circuit.

Just like last week, the three winners (Chica Destacada, Crash Model and Make A Fifty) will receive priority entry into the heats of the Golden Easter Egg on April 5.

2014 Group Two Richmond Derby Final Preview

Thirlmere trainer Mark Gatt’s runners will make up half the field in tomorrow night’s Group Two Richmond Derby final, putting the polish on four of the eight finalists, with his fastest qualifier Red Road, coming up with the coveted box one.

Gatt’s quartet were all class in each of their respective heats with victories from Ritza Raider in 30.51 and Boyce Road in d a flying 30.38. These added to Red Roads impressive 30.33. Four and a half year old Ritza Ryder secured his place in another group final and will jump from box two.

Fastest qualifier Evil Punk began brilliantly from box five last week to sizzle around the 535m distance in 30.29. Trainer James Coyle will head into the race full of confidence, after his charge came up with box three for the final.

Box 1
Race Odds
$2.60
Heat Replay
 
Red Road
Trainer
Mark Gatt
Owner
Edwin Kingswell
Prizemoney
$34,340
Last 10 Starts
1118181141
25 Months   Black   Dog   by   Collision - Mystic Pace
Start Fast Running Rail Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $2,452.86 Rating 99
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
14 10 1 0
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
71% 79%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
4 3 1 0
       
Box 1 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
1 1 0 0
Comments: Mark Gatt:¬†“Perfectly boxed this week, all he has to do is jump. I was pleased with his performance last week, in particular his run home and he’s drawn the best of my four chances so I just really want him to begin well.”

Best Richmond Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.22 30.33 5.13 5.23
Box 2
Race Odds 
$7.00
Heat Replay
 
Ritza Ryder
Trainer
Mark Gatt
Owner
Mark Gatt
Prizemoney
$146,838
Last 10 Starts
5353313132
52 Months ¬† Red Fawn ¬† Dog ¬† by ¬† Where’s Pedro - Midnight Flare
Start Good Running Rail Finish Good
Prizemoney Rating $1,932.08 Rating 90
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
76 22 13 18
       
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
29% 70%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 0 1 0
       
Box 2 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
11 7 1 2
Comments:¬†Mark Gatt: “This dog is just getting better with age. He went awesome last week running second to Evil Punk in fast time and is perfectly boxed this week. I’m expecting him to go well and he will only need a bit of luck to run a cheeky race.”

Best Richmond Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.47 30.47 5.40 5.40
Box 3
Race Odds
 $4.20
Heat Replay
 
Evil Punk
Trainer
James Coyle
Owner
James Coyle
Prizemoney
$55,810
Last 10 Starts
1822212321
30 Months   Black   Dog   by   Collision - Punk Angel
Start Fast Running Rail Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $1,468.68 Rating 100
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
38 10 9 5
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
26% 63%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
6 6 0 0
Box 3 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 0 1 0
Comments:¬†James Coyle: “I’m stoked with how good he’s going at the moment. He has an unbeaten record at Richmond and I’m expecting him to go well again in this race. His early speed is very important in a race like this and I just hope he can get a clear run and get through the race safely.”

Best Richmond Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.29 30.29 5.24 5.24
Box 4
 Race Odds
 $26.00
Heat Replay
 
Manyana Groper
Trainer
Syd Swain
Owner
William Mulligan
Prizemoney
$15,945
Last 10 Starts
6144164462

34 Months

  White & Blue Brindle   Dog   by   Knocka Norris - Speedy Cadillac
Start Fair Running Middle Finish Good
Prizemoney Rating $549.83 Rating 75
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
29 8 3 1
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
28% 41%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 0 2 0
Box 4 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
4 1 1 0
Comments:¬†(Trainer Unavailable): Made up a lot of ground last week from box eight to finish second behind fastest qualifier Red Road in 30.33. Clocked a solid time of 30.65 and despite he’s lack of early speed, this dog really finds the line well and will be doing so again.
Best Richmond Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.65 30.65 5.39 5.39
Box 5
Race Odds
$6.00
Heat Replay
 
Boyce Road
Trainer
Mark Gatt
Owner
Edwin Kingswell
Prizemoney
$22,590
Last 10 Starts
1311414551
25 Months   Black   Dog   by   Collision - Mystic Pace
Start Fair Running Rail Finish

Strong

Prizemoney Rating $1,411.88 Rating 98
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
16 10 0 2
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
63% 75%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
6 5 0 1
Box 5 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
1 1 0 0
Comments:¬†¬†Mark Gatt: “He was great last week, showed really good speed to get through a squeeze at the first turn and I was happy with his finish as well. The box I think will suit him and I hope he can get a clear run because he can definitely win this. I would like to see him jump a bit better.”


Best Richmond Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.38 30.38 5.32 5.33
Box 6
Race Odds
 $13.00
Heat Replay
 
Romantic Affair
Trainer
Mario Abela
Owner
M Abela & Ptns
Prizemoney
$29,010
Last 10 Starts
5211233532
43 Months   Black   Dog   by   Bombastic Shiraz - Romantic Diva
Start Good Running Middle Good N/A
Prizemoney Rating $1,160.40 Rating 80
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
25 10 6 6
Strike Rates
Win 40% Place 88%
   
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
8 3 3 1
Box 6 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 0 1 1
Comments: (Trainer Unavailable): Ran a solid race last week to finish second behind Ritza Raider in 30.51. Still posted a fast time of 30.61, however has drawn awkwardly this week and is surrounded by early speedsters. Can go well with the right run. 

Best Richmond Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.61 30.61 5.34  
Box 7
Race Odds
$35.00
Heat Replay
 
Calamity Trigger
Trainer
Michael Eberand
Owner
Tony Driver
Prizemoney
$8,200
Last 10 Starts
1347342142
30 Months   Black   Dog   by   Collision - Thousand Kisses
Start Fair Running Middle Finish Good
Prizemoney Rating $328 Rating 85
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
25 4 6 4
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
16% 56%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 0 2 0
Box 7 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 0 0 0
Comments:¬†Michael Eberand: “He’s improving every week which is pleasing. i was really happy with his performance last week and now he’s just starting to come good. I think he has the pace to run a good race and I’m just really happy to be in a final like this.”

Best Richmond Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.59 30.59 5.33 5.33
Box 8
Race Odds
$4.50
Heat Replay
 
Ritza Raider
Trainer
Mark Gatt
Owner
Mark Gatt
Prizemoney
$18,665
Last 10 Starts
1223361231
28 Months   Red Fawn   Dog   by   Bombastic Shiraz - Midnight Flare
Start Moderate Running Wide Finish Good
Prizemoney Rating $1,097.94 Rating 90
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
17 7 4 5
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
41% 94%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
5 4 0 1
Box 8 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
3 3 0 0
Comments:¬†Mark Gatt: “I was very happy with his run last week. He began terrific from box eight and I’m glad he’s drawn there again, because he seems to like it. Obviously there’s a lot of speed on the inside of him, but with the right run, he can go well.”

Best Richmond Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.47 30.51 5.27 5.27

The winner will take home $40,000 for connections, with many of these greyhounds set for the $250,000 Group One Golden Easter Egg series next month at Wentworth Park.

The final will jump at 9.26pm EDST.

Round Two Of The Golden Easter Egg Preludes

Wentworth Park plays host to three more Golden Easter Egg Preludes on Saturday night.

A few inter-staters have arrived in the Harbour City to see if their dogs will be capable of taking a spot in the heats of the rich series. The most notable is Warrior King, who recently ran third to the track record-breaking Crump in the Horsham Cup final.

Here’s a look at the main chances in each of the Preludes.

2014 Golden Easter Egg Prelude 1 – Race 4 at 8:28pm

The well-performed Chica Destacada (3) features in the first prelude. The Cosmic Rumble – Eluthra bitch has had just nine starts for five wins and two placings. She has won two from three at Wentworth Park with a personal best of 29.73. She is a reliable beginner and strong, so looks one of the main chances.

Boxed next to her is the Jason Mackay trained Zipping Delta (4). The black bitch by Bekim Bale – Scarlett Spy is an average beginner but very strong. She is yet to record a win from box four but has ran a best of 29.80 at Wentworth Park.

King Sapphire (2) probably possesses the most early speed in the race, with a best first section of 5.35. The Lochinvar Marlow – Fascinate Marina dog has some fast wins around the 400 metres at Maitland and has two wins at Wentworth Park with 30.22 his best.

Gibbonator (6) was very unlucky from box one last week but will need to show pace to overcome the poor draw.

Triumphant One (7) has five wins at Wentworth Park and recorded his best of 30.11 in late February. The dog boxed next to him, Fancy Rhythm (8), has three wins at the track. Both are not well boxed but Fancy Rhythm does have good pace and has been beginning well his last couple of starts.

2014 Golden Easter Egg Prelude 2 – Race 5 at 8:50pm

Brooke Ennis has made the journey from Victoria and has Dream It (3) engaged in this prelude. The brindle dog by Bartrim Bale – Ondina Bale has won 11 from 22 and is a City winner down in Victoria. He will be having his first look at Wentworth Park. The draw is suitable but we will have to wait and see how he handles the track.

He’s Rising Fast (2) ran a top race behind Woods last week. The time was only moderate, but he moves closer to the rail this week and could surprise.

Crash Model (1) is a good beginner but only has one win from box one after six attempts. She has won three at the track though for a best of 30.25.

Warren Harper has the very well-bred Mr Fordham (6) lining up in the green rug. The Premier Fantasy – Mrs Trickett dog has won at Wentworth Park in 29.96. This will be his first race back since December 2013, so he will be fresh for this.

Massive Merv (8) has four wins at the track, but none have come from box eight. He’s only an average beginner and will need a bit of room to get going.

2014 Golden Easter Egg Prelude 3 – Race 7 at 9:27pm

Horsham Cup place-getter Warrior King (4) arrives in Sydney for Ennis to begin his assault in the Easter Egg series. The Turanza Bale – Flamenco dog has been racing extremely well, but he will need to get off to a good start here to get a decent look at the track as there’s lots of early speed in the race, particularly on his inside.

The speedy Fashion Princess (1) has the red rug for the first time in her career. She has handled both starts at Wentworth Park very well, running a smart 5.38 to the first mark and 30.06 overall.

Magic Display (2) has three wins from four starts at Wentworth Park with 30.04 his best. He’s another good beginner that is well-boxed near the rails.

Veteran Soaring Eagle (3) has returned to form, leading all the way in his last two starts. He had this box last week when he won at Wentworth Park in 30.01.

Grand Journey (7) returns to the racing scene for Jane Carruthers after a long six month spell. Prior to his spell the black dog by Magic Sprite – Elizabeth Royal had 12 starts for six wins and five places. The only unplaced was a result of a fall at Dapto. This will be his first start at Wentworth Park, but knowing the Carruther’s, he will be well prepared for it.

Yogi Blue (8) makes the trip down from Queensland for Peter O’Reilly. He is a free-for-all dog around Albion Park and has 14 career wins. Box eight at Wentworth Park will be a tough introduction to the track.

Wayne Vanderburg’s Penalty Slashed On Appeal

On the 27th of February 2014, the Racing Appeals Tribunal NSW (Tribunal) upheld greyhound trainer Wayne Vanderburg’s appeal against the concurrent seven year penalty handed down in relation to the positive drug tests for greyhounds Pink Sock and Where’s Dobie.

Vanderburg’s penalty has been slashed from seven years for each offence to just two years and three months, to be served concurrently.  This represents less than half the original penalty. The penalty starts from the date Vanderburg was first suspended (19 December 2012).

Effectively, Vanderburg can apply to Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) for his training licence in March 2015.
 

Background

At a stewards inquiry concluded in December 2013 (Inquiry), Vanderburg was found to have breached Rule 83(2)(a) (Rule) on three occasions and disqualified for a period of seven years for each charge, to be served concurrently. Vanderburg entered a plea of guilty to all three charges.

The Rule requires participants to present greyhounds free of any prohibited substance.

At the Unibet Gardens meeting on 25 February 2012, post race samples were taken from two greyhounds trained by Vandenburg:

  • Pink Sock;
  • Where’s Dobie.

A pre and post race sample was also taken from Pink Sock at the Unibet Gardens meeting on 31 March 2012.

All samples returned a positive to ethanol metabolites. Ethanol (alcohol) when administered to a greyhound breaks down into two components:

  • Ethyl Glucuronide (EG); and
  • Ethyl Sulphate (ES).

At the time the samples were taken, GRNSW did not have an established threshold level for EG and ES in greyhounds nor did they have integrity tests for this type of substance. Those tests became available and confirmatory analytical tests were available sometime later.

As part of the evidence gathering process, GRNSW subjected Pink Sock and Where’s Dobie to kennel tests and then seized them to undertake laboratory tests in order to determine the resting levels of EG and ES in each greyhound.

The resting levels for each of the greyhounds were established as follows:

  • Pink Sock (EG: 0-5.6 and ES 0-2.38)
  • Where’s Dobie (EG: 0-22.2 and ES: 0-0.02)

After the fact, GRNSW established threshold guidelines for ES and EG. The upper threshold for each was fixed at 20 micrograms. These levels were not fixed at the time Pink Sock and Where’s Dobie were swabbed.

Levels greater than 50 were detected in the samples taken by the greyhounds at Unibet Gardens.

Tribunal Proceedings

The Tribunal considered a number of matters before making its determination. These are summarised below. The Tribunal made it clear that its function is not to punish but to act in a protective way with the function of industry integrity paramount.

1. Alcohol – Stopper or Enhancer
The Tribunal agreed that the levels of greater than 50 detected in the race samples were high readings. It didn’t matter if they were compared against the resting levels or the now established threshold of 20, the level of 50 exceeded both.

The Tribunal noted that no research has been undertaken into how alcohol affects a greyhound’s demeanour or behaviour. The level it becomes a stopper is not established by research. Dr Rowland (Greyhound Racing Vet) said that it would have to be at a low level to be an enhancer.

The Tribunal turned its mind to whether the presence of alcohol in Pink Sock and Where’s Dobie acted as a stopper or enhancer on the basis of their race performance.

The Tribunal noted that there was “no summary of observations made by the Stewards of the day in respect of the run of the dogs in the races”. However, the opinion of the Stewards is subsequently reflected in the decision made in the Inquiry and came from viewing a replay of the races.

The races were replayed before the Tribunal and before Dr Rowland. Dr Rowland was asked questions and asked to provide observations so that the Tribunal could form its own opinion.

In relation to Where’s Dobie’s performance at Unibet Gardens on 25 February 2012, Dr Rowland observed that the greyhound displayed a lack of co-ordination and was distinctly compromised. The greyhound was only visible as it left the boxes and was so far behind that it did not appear in the footage of the race until it went past the winning post and either slipped or fell into dogs coming into the catching pen.

In relation to Pink Sock’s performance at Unibet Gardens on 25 February 2012, Dr Rowland observed that the greyhound appeared to be highly affected.

In relation to Pink Sock’s performance at Unibet Gardens on 31 March 2012, the greyhound slipped sideways out of the boxes and checked the greyhound in box seven. Pink Sock nearly fell but regained its feet and ran on. The Tribunal noted that the greyhound had performed in a trial on 24 March 2012.  As a result of the trial and the time recorded on 31 March 2012, it had improved by 16 lengths in the time ran in those two events against its time on 25 February 2012.

The Tribunal concluded that Pink Sock and Where’s Dobie were adversely affected in the races conducted on 25 February 2012, but Pink Sock was not adversely affected in the race conducted on 31 March 2012.

2. Applicability of GRNSW Guidelines
The Tribunal noted that GRNSW has now established guidelines that set the threshold levels for EG and ES. At the time the samples were taken from Pink Sock and Where’s Dobie, these guidelines were not published, were not operable and were not being used.

The Tribunal stated that as the guidelines were not in operation at the time the samples were taken, they were not applicable to the proceedings.

3. Integrity / Protection of the Industry / Animal Welfare 
The Tribunal noted that there was great public concern around animal welfare and prohibited substances. The Tribunal evidenced this by referring to the current Parliamentary Inquiry into Greyhound Racing in NSW and commentary on Facebook.

In relation to integrity and protection of the industry, the Tribunal noted that there were no betting plunges and no evidence of any untoward betting.

The Tribunal stated the following in relation to animal welfare:

It would be fair to say that any right-minded person having been informed that a dog was being dosed with what appears to be high levels of alcohol would view that to be a shocking matter, raising deep concerns, and those concerns could be so grave to have catastrophic consequences for the industry at times when welfare of animals is so often the subject of concern.

It must be recognised that the substance in question does not appear to have come from the application of an illegal substance such as cocaine, amphetamines and others. Alcohol is a legal substance in the community. In certain circumstances, it may be proper to administer alcohol to a dog. There is no evidence before this Tribunal as to what those proper circumstances should be.

4. Submissions by Vanderburg on Penalty
Vanderburg submitted that the sentence of seven years for each offence was “grossly disproportionate.” The Tribunal was told that:

  • Vanderburg has been a professional greyhound trainer for 24 years and up until his suspension in December 2012, had 30-40 greyhounds in training. He also had a considerable number of pups and engaged in the training of younger dogs and breaking-in of pups. He gave evidence of the money he was paid for his services (the Tribunal did not disclose the amount for privacy reasons).
  • Vanderburg purchased his property with the intention of turning it into a first-class training facility. He gave evidence on money spent on improving the property for this purpose and the mortgage repayments. As a result of the suspension, “the phone stopped ringing” and income has now ceased and he cannot pay his mortgage and has to rely on friends assistance to make the payments.
  • Vanderburg is trained as an apprentice plumber but cannot return to that industry due to his skills being out of date and a back disability. He has no other qualifications and does not know where his income will come from.
  • Vanderburg has been emotionally impacted as a result of the ordeal.
  • Vanderburg’s relationship broke-up (although he has subsequently entered into a new relationship). He has difficulties explaining to his children why he no longer trains dogs.
  • Vanderburg provided character references from licensed trainer Ryan Treadway and Paul Freeman, who asked the Tribunal to extend leniency and stated that Vanderburg is someone who is honest, fair, transparent generous and a person of professionalism, integrity and who had genuine concern for the welfare of animals.

It must be pointed out that this case was not Vanderburg’s first breach of the Rule, it was his third.

5. Tribunal’s Observations on Penalty
The Tribunal noted that the current GRNSW guidelines, if they were to be imposed, could well lead to a period of seven years being considered appropriate. However, as mentioned previously, the Tribunal decided not to apply the guidelines. In determining the penalty, the Tribunal stated:

  • In the absence of the guidelines, it is necessary to look at what the stewards and Tribunals have been doing with breaches of rule 83(2)(a). The evidence by GRNSW showed that there had been 170 breaches since 2009, of which only 11 resulted in disqualification of more than 12 months The highest disqualification imposed is one of three years.
  • A penalty of three years has been considered to be the worst type of penalty appropriate for a breach of the Rule.
  • As a result of the loss of income and no ability to gain an income, Vanderburg will be the subject of substantial financial hardship.
  • Vanderburg’s personal concerns can be viewed at a more favourable level than someone who, for example, engaged in more substantial wrong conduct.
  • Vanderburg’s character references are strong and cannot be disregarded.
  • The other breaches occurred 13 years ago, so are not an aggravating factor.
  • The delay the proceedings have taken should be considered in favour of Vanderburg. The delay arose in part to Vanderburg not being able to participate because of an injury. However, the larger portion of the delay is attributed to the GRNSW and its need to bed down the procedures now in place and to enable the tests and expert evidence to be conducted and finalised. The effect of the delay was to preclude Vanderburg from enjoying the benefit of the industry since he was suspended and as such he has suffered emotional harm and loss of income and reputation.
  • Vanderburg entered a guilty plea. An admission of wrongdoing carries a discount.

6. Tribunal’s Conclusion
The Tribunal held that a discount of 25% is appropriate and will be applied. The Tribunal then stated it would not go beyond a consideration of three years as the highest penalty. This is what the Tribunal said:

This, in brief, is a new substance, or prohibited substance. It was a very high reading. There are integrity and animal welfare concerns. But the case cannot be viewed as a worst-case scenario which would warrant in the Tribunal’s opinion a consideration of the heaviest penalty imposed by the Stewards or Tribunal prior to the commission of the conduct the subject of each of these three matters. The Tribunal therefore will not go beyond a consideration of this matter of greater disqualification in each case of three years.

The Tribunal did not find that the matter was so disproportionately bad to all other matters up until that time that a period of seven years would be appropriate

The final penalty involved a balancing of the aggravating factors (high reading, integrity issues, animal welfare issues) and subjective factors (discount for plea, personal hardship, financial hardship, delay, strength of referees and contribution to the industry).

Where to from here?

If you have viewed the footage of the races in question, it is very distressing to see the impact of the administration of ethanol on Pink Sock and Where’s Dobie.

It is difficult to accept that someone who has presented a greyhound in such a state is then awarded leniency on the basis of their contribution to the industry. It can hardly be said that returning a positive drug test on a number of occasions is a positive contribution to the industry.

It can also be said that the financial and personal hardship suffered is something that resulted from Vanderburg’s own actions. It doesn’t seem fair that it is to be considered as something in his favour when assessing leniency as we should be held accountable for, and suffer the consequences of, our own actions.

Lastly, the decision demonstrates that GRNSW has to be more proactive in relation to measures surrounding prohibited substances. The Tribunal made it clear it would not apply retrospective measures. The delay it took to conclude the Inquiry was also a telling factor and another area of improvement for GRNSW to work on.

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