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.

“It 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’m just hoping he can jump like that consistently”, 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.

“To be honest it didn’t surprise me he got that close to my dog (Red Road) at the end. He’s in really good form at the moment and I was worried about him heading into the race.”

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

“Ritza Raider ran a good race; he just didn’t 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.”

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.

“All four from the final, plus as many I have that I can get right for the race I’ll put in the heats. It will be a very competitive race, but hopefully I get some luck and have some in the final.”

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.

My Kinda Music Calls The Tune In Temora Cup

My Kinda Music (2) has equalled the Temora track-record after taking out the 2014 Sportingbet/GBOTA Temora Cup. The 30kg black bitch by El Grand Senor – Ice Dancer started favourite ahead of equal track-record holder Knocka’s Return (7).

My Kinda Music lowered the track record last week, only for Knocka’s Return to lower it a few races later, setting the standard for the 457 metre trip at 25.94.

White Spyro (6) and My Kinda Music (2) were both well away at box-rise. With a clear passage to the rails, My Kinda Music was able to edge ahead. Ay Grade (3), despite being a little tardy early, soon zoomed into second spot and stuck to the outside of My Kinda Music. Ay Grade poured the pressure on My Kinda Music but the lightly raced bitch stuck to the task well to emerge the one and three quarter length victor in 25.94. Ay Grade finished second in a photo from Knocka’s Return, who unleashed his customary withering finish to take third spot.

Knocka’s Return began fairly and was only able to put himself into the race rounding the turn. Accelerant (4) and Pleiades (5) were never in it after failing to overcome the poor draw while Perfect Chance (8) didn’t show any pace from the outside and was no hope of crossing the field, finishing well back in the run. Release The Heat (1) was another that struggled to show pace and could not take advantage of the rails draw. After pressing for the lead early, White Spyro (6) wound up in fourth.

The win caps off a successful week for the El Grand Senor-Ice Dancer litter, with Indian Light saluting for Toby Weekes in an impressive display at Dubbo during the week. Sheezy Smarty (Paddy’s Flame-Ice Dancer) also whelped eight pups overnight after her mating to Barcia Bale. This mating continues the successful Pringle line for owner Ben Sweetman.

The $10,000 Temora Cup is My Kinda Music’s eighth win from just eleven starts. She is trained by Alan Pringle and owned by Joshua Jones.

Gatt’s Awesome Foursome To Dominate Richmond Derby Final

Thirlmere trainer Mark Gatt went into tonight’s Group Two Richmond Derby heats with five runners and wasn’t disappointed, securing three winners and a second placing to qualify four greyhounds for next Saturday’s $40,000 final.

Ritza Raider kicked off proceedings with an impressive display in heat one, clocking a fast 30.51 from box eight. The son of Bombastic Shiraz and Midnight Flare began brilliantly from outside and quickly crossed the field to sit second at the first turn. After a fierce battle with Belfast Kaiser, Ritza Raider streaked away on the home turn to score by one and three quarter lengths. Romantic Affair made up a stack of ground to finish second, securing a place in next weeks final.

One of the states most in-form greyhounds at present, Evil Punk, was well supported by punters in heat two and blew his rivals away from box five in a best of the night time of 30.29. Exploding away from the middle box, the James Coyle trained star gapped the field at the first turn to salute by three lengths and cement his spot as a genuine contender in the final. Gatt qualified his second runner with Ritza Ryder, who managed to reduce the margin at the finish, clocking a time of 30.47.

After a disappointing few starts, Boyce Road returned to the winners circle in grand style with a dazzling performance from box seven in a smart time of 30.38. Jumping brilliantly from out wide, he squeezed his way through a line of three at the first turn to skip away by three and a half lengths. He is a member of the talented Collision x Mystic Pace litter and was back to his best tonight and looms as a huge threat next week. Outsider Calamity Trigger ran a very gallant second, sticking with the winner the entire way, clocking 30.59 for trainer Michael Eberand.

Gatt’s final qualifier was the freakish Red Road, who exited from box six and clocked the second fastest time of the night, a flying 30.33. Overcoming a difficult start, the son of Collision and Mystic Pace got the fly at the first turn and shot away winning comfortably by five and a quarter lengths over second placegetter Manyana Groper for Syd Swain.

The box draw for the $40,000 final next Saturday night is:

1. Red Road Mark Gatt
2. Ritza Ryder Mark Gatt
3. Evil Punk James Coyle
4. Manyana Groper Syd Swain
5. Boyce Road Mark Gatt
6. Romantic Affair Mario Abela
7. Calamity Trigger Michael Eberand
8. Ritza Raider Mark Gatt

Zipping Tess The Highlight Of The First Round Of Easter Egg Preludes

The first round of Golden Easter Egg Preludes took place at Wentworth Park on Saturday night.

The first Prelude was taken out by $21.00 chance Pride Of Mykonos. The black dog by Magic Sprite – Evangelia had terrible form coming into the race, running worse then fifth in nine of its last 10 starts. Race favourite Glama Pak (1) didn’t use box one well and was out of the race at the first turn. Pride Of Mykonos led easily, crossing the field before the post and sailing away down the back. Zipping Logan (4) emerged as the only chance to run the leader down but couldn’t do enough, falling short by one length. My Boy Snoop (5) finished strongly for third. Pride Of Mykonos, trained by Fay Wotton, recorded 30.17 for his sixth career victory from 54 starts.

Martin Hallinan’s Zipping Tess (4) led from go to whoa to take out the second Prelude by six and a half lengths in a fast 29.82 Unorthodox (2) battled away behind her but was well and truly beaten. The run of the race was third place-getter Linski (6). Suffering interference and back in the pack approaching the first turn, Linski managed to negotiate a safe passage and took off down the back, running within one and a quarter lengths of Unorthodox.

The final Prelude was a closely contested affair. The Marie Burton trained Woods (3) led but soon had Gibbonator (1) on his hammer. Gibbonator was pressing hard for a rails run and in doing so, checked off the back of Woods and lost valuable momentum in the process. He’s Rising Fast (6) ran a race and-a-half, moving into second after Gibbonator lost ground and pressed Woods in the run home, losing by one and a half lengths. Gibbonator was a neck away in third. The winning time was a moderate 30.49, far below Woods’ best of 30.05.

As winners of the three Preludes; Pride Of Mykonos, Zipping Tess and Woods will be given priority into the heats of the Group One Golden Easter Egg on the 5th of April. Further Preludes will take place at Wentworth Park next Saturday night.

Temora Cup Preview – Another Track Record?

The Temora meeting on Sunday has been given TAB coverage and will showcase the $10,000 to-the-winner Sportingbet/GBOTA Temora Cup final. The Cup is run over a distance of 457 metres on the one turn track. Last year the Temora Cup was taken out by Dana Hayley.

The heats for the Cup race were action-packed with the track record falling not once, but twice. Prior to the Cup heats, the track record of 26.09 was held by the Mark Wilcox trained dog, Buster Shiraz.

The first greyhound to lower the mark was the Alan Pringle trained My Kinda Music. The black bitch by El Grand Senor – Ice Dancer (Spiral Nikita – Herron Quay) clocked 25.95 in heat one.

However, the record wasn’t out of Wilcox’s hands long, as his brindle chaser Knocka’s Return went just a shade better, stopping the clock at 25.94 in heat two. The dog by Knocka Norris – Winning Shiraz (Bombastic Shiraz – Winning Smile) is the brother of former track record holder Buster Shiraz.

The Temora Cup is race eight on the card and jumps at 8:07pm. Here’s a look at the chances of the finalists.

Box 1: Release The Heat – Jason Platts

Jason Platts’ four-year-old by Slater – Rosey Rita has seen plenty of racing in NSW and Victoria and has notched up 22 wins. He won his heat last week in 26.12 at his first race start at Temora. It was the first race he had won since October last year. He is drawn perfectly in box one, with seven wins coming from the rails draw. He also had this alley last week. The query is whether he can overcome the hot youngster drawn next to him.

Box 2: My Kinda Music – Alan Pringle

If you are looking for a greyhound to follow, this is the one. My Kinda Music has just turned two years of age and has started her career with a bang. She’s won seven of her ten starts. She has only been unplaced once and that was only because she fell in a race at Bathurst. She is a speedy bitch with fast wins at Bulli (22.30), Richmond (22.32) and Bathurst (17.65) to her name. As mentioned, she also broke the track record last week, winning her heat by four and a half lengths at her first go at the track. She looks the one to beat.

Box 3: Ay Grade – Denice Warren

Ay Grade is an experienced chaser trained by Denice Warren. The black dog by Vapour Whirl – Tasha’s Girl has 11 wins from 43 starts and has been showing some good, consistent form lately. He ran second in his heat behind Perfect Chance and clocked a fast 26.03 for the run. He hasn’t taken a liking to box three in his career, winning just once from nine starts out of the box. He has placed five times from the draw and can be considered a place chance.

Box 4: Accelerant – Peter Presutto

Victorian chaser Accelerant made the long trip to Temora worthwhile for trainer Peter Presutto, qualifying for the final after running second to Release The Heat. The Collision – Drama Queen dog has some fast wins on the Victorian circuit. He is a good beginner and should improve on last week’s run.

Box 5: Pleiades – Lorraine Roy

Pleiades is a talented chaser that needs some room in the early stages in order to explode. The Cosmic Rumble – Special Osti dog hasn’t drawn well in the squeeze box. He recently resumed racing after a short month spell. Prior to the spell, he and been running over 600 metres at Dapto. The Lorraine Roy trained chaser won his heat in 26.98 last week but will face a tougher task this week.

Box 6: White Spyro – Craig Davis

Victorian White Spyro is a very young greyhound that has done well to qualify for the Temora Cup final. The white and black bitch by Disintegrate – Hanify’s Elite is just 22 months of age and has had 11 starts for three wins. She is a reliable beginner but will face a test from box six. Trained by Craig Davis, White Spyro was the slowest of all the heat winners, recording a time of 26.23.

Box 7: Knocka’s Return – Mark Wilcox

Goulburn Cup winner Knocka’s Return loves a wide draw and wore the black rug last week en route to his record breaking victory. He hasn’t been unplaced in his last ten starts and is a big hope for the final. The one turn tracks suit him right down to the ground.

Box 8: Perfect Chance – Lorraine Roy

Lorraine Roy’s second finalist, Perfect Chance, won his 30th race last week in the heats and clocked a flying 26.01. The Bombastic Shiraz – It’s A Chance dog has faced the starter 58 times and raced at Temora three times for a win and two placings. He had the rails last week and now makes the move out to the wide draw, from which he has won two races. He’s a fast dog and is the other chaser outside of My Kinda Music and Knocka’s Return that has a big shot at the major prize.

Reserves

First Reserve: Cosmic Apache – Rodney McDonald

Rodney McDonald trained last year’s Temora Cup winner Dana Hayley. He trains first reserve, Cosmic Apache, who ran second in the heats behind Knocka’s Return. The Cosmic Rumble – Dana Betty dog was beaten by just over three lengths. If he gains a start, he may struggle as he isn’t always the best away.

Second Reserve: Pantone Green – Margaret Keys

Pantone Green is a fast beginner but has been out of form in its most recent runs at Bulli, Gosford and Wentworth Park. The Magic Sprite – Wind It Up dog struggles to run out a strong 472 metres at Bulli so the distance will again test if he gets a start. Trained by Margaret Keys, he ran second to My Kinda Music in the heats, beaten four and a half lengths.

The three major players in the race are My Kinda Music (2), Knocka’s Return (7) and Perfect Chance (8). If any of these dogs lead, then the race looks all but over. Release The Heat (1) is drawn well in box one, but only won for the first time in a number of months last week. Ay Grade (4) and Pleiades (5) will need some luck in the early stages to factor, but are place chances. White Spyro (6) looks a little out of her depth, but it’s a credit to her ability that she has made the final after limited career starts and she looks to have a bright future. Accelerant (4) is the unknown factor. If he improves on last week’s run he has a shot.

It’s Time For GRNSW To Lock Them In

The Dapto Greyhound Racing Club has been innovative with its puppy auctions and the racing series that stems from that auction and it’s a shame that an incident occurred prior to the $10000 Puppy Classic Final last Thursday night. The Amy Bennett trained Little Elsie escaped from its kennel prior to the race and was free within the kennel bay. Innovation isn’t required to stop this happening again in the future.

This might seem like a relatively minor incident, but it isn’t. There are many problems that can arise from this. I was speaking to a trainer that frequents the Dapto track and has had this occur to one of his dogs in the past. He asked to be left out of this article and not be identified. His response to me in regards to his dog escaping on a prior occasion, and Amy’s dog escaping on the night in question was, “You’ve got your story all wrong the kennel bays are padlocked and sealed. Amy’s dog and mine only got out of the holding kennels. No damage done. They can’t lock every kennel as it would take forever to unlock and get all the kennels.”

Flabbergasted.

No other word can describe it.

How can a trainer think that a dog escaping its holding kennel isn’t a serious situation? I would love to see trainer reactions if two dogs escaped in the one race. Can I buy tickets to be a fly on that wall?

What I’m suggesting isn’t a kennel rebuild, nothing of the sort. How hard can it possibly be to padlock each individual kennel? It’s surely a situation that is in need of fixing, and now. Victoria manages to run a smooth ship on raceday with each kennel being secured with a padlock, why can’t something so simple be adopted in NSW. The dogs are what makes the industry, it’s imperative that all measures are taken to keep them safe and secure.

If the purchase of padlocks is a prohibitive cost due to the fact that there is so many tracks in NSW, then they could always be secured using the method in SA. We approached GRSA CEO Matt Corby, who advised that in SA individual kennels are secured, “Yes, we use what we call a padlock security seal on each individual holding kennel. It has to be removed with wire cutters to release the greyhound at the appropriate time.”

We approached the GRNSW for comment and they replied to us with the following in a professional and speedy manner,

“GRNSW is aware of the incident where a greyhound managed to get out of its kennel. The incident can clearly be observed from one of the four security cameras strategically located throughout the kennel block. In the incident, the greyhound remained confined to the kennel bay. It has not been conclusively proven that the kennel condition is the reason for the greyhound exiting its allotted kennel. GRNSW has not been advised previously of such an issue at Dapto and refutes your claim that the kennels are substandard. Notwithstanding this, we have advised the Dapto club to review the security of each kennel found at the club.”

I have a question in relation to this statement. The GRNSW comments that the incident could be observed on a strategically located security camera. However when the trainer of Little Elsie, Amy Bennett, approached the stewards in the stewards room after race five and was informed that there was no actual footage of a direct kennel bay. So which one is it?

One of the terms used frequently for the betting public by Bruce Teague is “the customers”. I think this is a situation where the customers have been neglected in an astonishing way. If a horse is vetted at the barrier, everyone is alerted. If a horse is vetted in the mounting yard, everyone is alerted. How this was kept from the customers I will never understand. Surely there must have been some announcement so that the punters weren’t kept in the dark.

Another thing of note is that the incident didn’t even manage to make its way into the stewards report. Interesting. The dog was jumping at the door and was obviously disadvantaged by the incident. The trainer wasn’t happy with what had taken place, and I can’t blame her. But it didn’t seem worthy of a mention. Not even the other trainers on the night knew it had occurred.

The Warm Up To The Golden Easter Egg

The 2014 Golden Easter Egg is just around the corner and ARG will bring you all the coverage for the biggest greyhound race in NSW.

The heats for the Egg take place on the 5th of April, with the best 80 greyhounds plus reserves earning a spot to feature in the big series.

The order of entry will see priority given to those greyhounds that have won Group races in the year leading up the race (eg. Maturity, Perth Cup, Australian Cup etc), greyhounds graded one to three at Wentworth Park Saturday meetings and winners of Preludes.

Here’s a look at the first round of Preludes. The winner of each will be given priority in the order of entry for the Golden Easter Egg heats.

2014 Group One Golden Easter Egg Prelude 1 – Race 4 at 8:30pm

My Boy Snoop (5) is a young up-and-comer for Anthony Azzopardi. The white and black dog by Where’s Pedro – Daydream has had just 10 career starts and already has a win at Wentworth Park from this box in 29.92, which is the fastest personal best time of all the dogs in this race. However, he has been unplaced in his last three runs.

Glama Pak (1) performs well from an inside box and has won three of her last five starts. She is fresh for this race, returning from a three month spell. Zipping Logan (4) has plenty of experience at Wentworth Park and has four wins at the circuit. His best time of 29.99 came back in early February. If he has some luck in the early stages, he’s in with a chance. Kristy Sultana’s Ruffonic (6) has only been unplaced once in six starts at Wentworth Park. The Fear Zafonic-Rumjungle dog has been performing well at Bulli in recent runs. He is yet to win from box six.

2014 Group One Golden Easter Egg Prelude 2 – Race 5 at 8:52pm

Zipping Tess (4) is fresh off a win in the recent Bathurst Gold Cup and will be looking to repeat the 29.79 effort she put in from this box at Wentworth Park back in March last year. A lot of her recent racing has been in much harder class in Victoria, so she is sure to relish the return to a slightly easier class.

Harry Sarkis brings Stunning Ashberg (1) to town for the first time after a strong win at Bathurst two starts back. The Collision – Hot September bitch is strong and should handle the track. She has had nine starts for three wins and two placings.

The superbly bred half brother to Double Twist, Someone Tifi (5), has had just five career starts for two wins and a place. Both wins have come at Dapto, leading all the way. This will present as a test for him early in his career. Lady in Black (3) could lead the race from the suited draw. She is yet to win at Wentworth Park from four starts but has placed on two occasions.

2014 Group One Golden Easter Egg Prelude 3 – Race 7 at 9:28pm

Woods (3) has won six races at Wentworth Park and is a handy dog on his night. His best time is 30.05 and he is generally well away at box rise. Gibbonator (1) has found trouble at his last two starts at Wentworth Park but prior to that, had won in 30.15, leading for the better part of the race. Although he has a good record from box two, he has not won from box one.

Mirror Reflecton (2) has found some form at Wentworth Park recently, placing in his last three starts at the track and winning last week in 30.27. Solar Pak (4), a half sister to Double Twist, is also a last start winner at the track in 30.03 and if the fawn chaser gets away well, which she has shown she is capable of, she will be hard to catch.

Rexroth (5) is a very consistent dog that has won at the track in 30.10. His consistency is such that he is up there as an each way chance.

Stars Align For Group Two Richmond Derby

A star-studded line up of greyhounds will battle it out in four competitive heats of the $40,000 Group Two Richmond Derby this Saturday night.

Conducted over the testing 535m distance, this prestigious event will celebrate its 41st running this year with past winners including; Cyrus The Virus, Stately Bird and last year’s victor Jagger Swagger, who is nominated for 2013 Greyhound of the Year.

 

Key Players:

 

Heat One – Race Three (7.26pm)

 
Ritza Raider (8) comes into this race with superb form on the board, having only been unplaced once out of sixteen career starts. The son of Bombastic Shiraz and Midnight Flare was very impressive at Wentworth Park two starts ago, saluting comfortably from box eight in a respectable 29.93. The Mark Gatt trained chaser made his debut at Richmond back in October last year and clocked a slick 30.47.

Gatt’s other star chaser Gradence (4) returns to the racetrack after a month-long hiatus and comes fresh off his sensational Group Three Bulli Gold Plate Victory over the 472m distance. The winner of twenty-two races had an outstanding month of January, notching up two other feature races wins in the Gosford Gold Cup Consolation and ‘The Collerson’ Paws of Thunder Consolation at Wentworth Park. The son of Vapour Whirl and Ding’s Rocket has a speedy personal best of 30.61 at the track and can trouble this field with a clear run.

Litter brother to Group One winner Belfast Johnny, Belfast Kaiser, is drawn ideally near the rails and recorded three straight victories during February, including a quick 30.67 at this track. Trained by Troy Vella of Blacktown, this greyhound possesses the genuine early pace to feature heavily at the first turn. The son of Cosmic Rumble and Wongawilliesue has won two from four at Richmond thus far.

Heat Two – Race Five (8.14pm)

 
Evil Punk (5) is unbeaten at the Richmond circuit, with five starts for five victories and a blistering personal best of 30.35. This greyhound has been airborne at present, finishing runner up in the Group One National Derby last month, clocking a fast personal best of 29.59 over the 515m. The son of Collision and Punk Angel has the early pace to overcome the middle box and give trainer James Coyle another group final berth.

Ritza Ryder (4) is in fantastic form at the ripe old age of four, and has only had two starts at Richmond for a speedy win in 30.57 back in February of 2012. Exiting from box seven will suit the winner of twenty-two races, with his best work produced at the finish. Another prodigal son out of sensational broodbitch Midnight Flare, Ritza Ryder could easily take out this heat in smart time for trainer Mark Gatt.

Hunter Valley trained sprinter Cawbourne Havoc (3) will be looking to secure his fourth consecutive win after some quality performances at Wentworth Park in 29.84 and 29.85 in FFA class. The son of Brett Lee and American Spot has only had the one start at Richmond, however is perfectly drawn to get the fly in this race and secure the win.

Heat Three – Race Six (8.34pm)

 
Two-time Group One finalist Boyce Road (7) returns to his stomping ground after unsuccessful trips to The Gardens and The Meadows during February. This gifted chaser by Collision out of Mystic Pace has drawn ideally out wide and is set to return to his best for trainer Mark Gatt. Boyce Road has a superb Richmond record, having won four of his five starts over the 535m distance, with a fast personal best of 30.48.

King Cobber (4) is yet to be unplaced at Richmond and recorded a flying time of 30.48 last November. The Frank Hurst trained greyhound by boom sire Swift Fancy, has been successfully racing around the Bathurst circuit of late, placing third in the Bathurst Gold Cup last month.

Like A Boss (2) stepped up to the 600m distance at Dapto last week and saluted in fine style, clocking 35.00. Despite just the one victory at Richmond, a slick personal best of 30.64 and an ideal box two will see this greyhound run a cheeky race for trainer Frances Harris.

Heat Four – Race Seven (8.52pm)

 
Red Road (6) is another greyhound from the highly-talented Collision x Mystic Pace litter and relishes the Richmond track, having stepped out on debut during October last year and clocked a sizzling 30.22. He has drawn awkwardly in box six, however only needs some room early to clock a blistering time once again.

Clay Mullen’s star chaser Fast Archer (7) returned to his brilliant best at Wentworth Park two weeks ago, clocking a flying 29.61. The son of Collision and Clay Model will be searching for his first victory at Richmond, after finishing second twice from three attempts.

Father Skeeta (5) has an excellent record at the track, having won three races from seven starts and two minor placings. The Leslie Dennis trained son of Ashton Galilee and Madam Jessie recently recorded three straight wins and despite box five proving a difficult task to overcome, this greyhound shows good early pace and his three recent victories came from boxes 5, 8 and 6 respectively.

Sprinters Ready To Make A Splash In Maitland Gold Collar

The Maitland Supporters Club Gold Collar has been a prestigious event held for many years over the 400 distance, with an impressive line up to step out in tomorrows $5,000 final.

Some talented short-course sprinters participated in the four heats conducted last Thursday. Locally trained chaser Splash About took time honours for Weston trainer Paul Roderick, clocking a speedy 22.61. Racking up his 20th career win from 55 starts, the son of Elite State and Lee Kate recorded his second consecutive win and his fifth victory at Maitland from nine starts. Rose Sannette went in as the $1.70 favourite, however had to settle for second place as Splash About began beautifully from box one and led throughout, scoring by one and three quarter lengths.

Heat one went to second favourite Vanessa’s Flame for trainer Peter Lagogiane, who made the two and a half hour trip from Llandilo and wasn’t disappointed as his charge weaved his way through the field to salute by a length in a solid time of 22.71. This promising greyhound by Paddy’s Flame out of Big Girl Vanessa has only tasted defeated once out of five career starts, and has already recorded some slick personal bests at Richmond (22.63) and Bulli (22.57). Vanessa’s Flame was very impressive at his first Maitland start and expect plenty of improvement on the clock in the final.

Carol Hudson unleashed another talented greyhound from the highly-successful Magic Sprite x Awesome Opal litter in heat three. A litter sister to superstar Black Magic Opal, Glamorous Opal grabbed early leader Secret Touch in the home straight to streak away by three and a half lengths in a fast 22.68.

The final heat was won by four year old Yo Cool Maxie for trainer Barry Evans. Coming off an outstanding victory in the Armidale Cup, the son of Big Daddy Cool and Be My Girl notched up his 27th career win from 90 starts and won plenty of admirers with his performance on Thursday. The grand old campaigner ran down Richmond Cannonball winner Set and Match, to salute by one and half lengths in 22.84.

This week’s final winner will etch their name in the history books of a race that is highly respected and yearned by many in the greyhound racing fraternity.

Maitland Supporters Club Gold Collar Final 6.17pm (EDST)

1. Secret Touch – Neville Stokes

2. Vanessa’s Flame – Peter Lagogiane

3. Yo Cool Maxie – Barry Evans

4. Splash About – Paul Roderick

5. Barb’s Kiwi – Warren Kelly

6. Rose Sannette – Kevin Johnson

7. Glamorous Opal – Carol Hudson

8. Set And Match – John Grief

A Master Shot For David Pringle

The continually successful Pringle line looks to have produced another star in the making.

Master Shot (Brett Lee – Midnight Movie) obliterated the existing 450 metre time standard at Bathurst on Monday afternoon in a performance trial.

It was the first time Master Shot was produced before the public on a race track and he certainly opened eyes when he recorded a blistering 25.31, winning the trial by over 15 lengths. His time was breathtaking considering that the track record is 25.60.

The 22 month old dog was fast away and recorded a flying 15.10 to the first mark.

“We have been getting him ready for a while. We have got him up and going to show him off and show what he can do. He is a good pup”, David Pringle told ARG.

“He’s very exciting. It’s a once in a 20 year dog for us, we breed a bit and bred his mother.”

Pringle confirmed that the dog has already been the subject of a big six-figure offer after the trial, but Pringle has no plans to sell the dog at this stage.

“We knocked that back. You don’t breed and then get a dog like this and just sell it. He might never make half that money, but it’s the excitement of having a dog like him.”

The big Wentworth Park Maiden series is fast approaching, but Pringle is unlikely to set the dog towards that series.

“We will stay away from Wentworth Park because it’s the best track to stuff young pups. You can draw box five in that maiden race and make a good dog look bad. We are just going to keep working him and we might put him in a few more performance trials and go to Maitland and Bulli and just let people see what times he can run.”

It is more than likely that Master Shot will end up in Victoria with master trainer Jason Thompson. Pringle has sent another talented chaser, Warehouse Mouse (Where’s Pedro – Fancy Jaffa), down to Thompson in recent times and couldn’t be happier with how he is going.

“Jason is doing a brilliant job with him. In my opinion, Jason is probably the best trainer in Australia at the moment. When he got the dog I told him this dog is a good dog but he could probably go better. He’s done a terrific job with him. He’s had about nine starts with him and only been unplaced once. He’s been racing top grade dogs as a pup and the times he’s been trailing have been phenomenal. He’s only a couple of hundredths behind Phenomenal in trials. It’s just that he’s a terrible beginner. Jason’s a good trainer and will work him out. This dog (Master Shot) will end up down there. Jason will end up getting him. There’s no money up here. The money’s down there and he can turn dogs like this into stud dogs.”

Even though its unlikely that NSW racegoers will see Master Shot at Wentworth Park in the maiden series, a couple of Pringle dogs will still be there.

“There’s a couple more coming along as well. We are taking a couple to Wentworth Park. They are different sorts of dogs. These other couple of dogs, they are just real tough gritty sort of dogs that will take a bashing and still keep coming. They are Collision dogs and in their performance trials they will open a few eyes as well. They are a bit slow early and Wentworth Park may not suit them but we aren’t too worried about them. They’re going to get a bit of ground, probably go six or seven hundred.”

The Pringle’s tried and true method of breeding top notch greyhounds continues to shine. It will be interesting to see how Master Shot comes along. He may well be the next potential star to hit the greyhound racing scene.

Grand Hombre Shines In Dapto Puppy Classic Final

The bridesmaid event to the Group Two Dapto Puppy Auction was run and won on Thursday night, with eight talented greyhounds purchased through the successful auction series, vying for the $8,000 winners purse.

The Dapto Puppy Classic 297m was first conduced in 2009 and is an excellent supporting race to the feature event worth $75,000 each year.

2014 Dapto Puppy Auction 520m final winner My Bella Rose, gained a start from box seven as first reserve, whilst favourite runner Exhibitionist for Tony Brett, exited from box five.

The final was over in a matter of strides as last weeks fastest qualifier Grand Hombre, began beautifully from box eight and led from start to finish, saluting in a sizzling time of 16.83, by an astounding six and a half lengths.

Trainer Vicki Prest was ecstatic with the performance of her chaser.

“He went very good last week, but I wasn’t really happy with box eight, despite everyone saying he was well draw.”

“I actually thought the one dog was leading and when I saw it back in the field and realised it was my dog, I couldn’t believe it.”

Grand Hombre was bred by owners Anthony Gannon and Steven Duchnicz, and was given to Prest to train at Young after a few attempts over the 500m distance.

“He’s 34kg and a very strong and impressive dog. He’s a great dog at home, but nearly pulls me over at the track. He knows his job, which is great and is improving every time he races. He has only had eleven starts and the more I watch the replay of the race, the more I think how good he went.”

By El Grand Senor out of Royal Pearl, Grand Hombre has saluted four times in his career and recorded his third consecutive victory on Thursday night, adding to solid performances at Young (19.96, 347m) and Appin (16.37, 274m).

Prest now aims to step up the two and half year old in distance, and will commence his campaign with a 472m run at Bulli in the coming weeks.

“I’m ready to step him up now and will give him a few trials at Young and Cowra, before trying him over the 472m at Bulli. I’m confident he will go well because he’s very strong and came home very well on Thursday night (11.59).”

Punch One Out Hangs Up The Gloves

Multiple track record holder Punch One Out has been retired following her second placing in a heat of the Group One Australia Cup last Saturday night.

Owner Grant Fennelly made a decision on Sunday morning after discovering his bitch had come on-season.

“When we woke up on Sunday morning she was spotting (bleeding), so I said that’s it, she’s retired.”

“Jason and I have had terrible injury problems with her lately and she was a week to week proposition, so I knew when she came on-season I would retire her straight away.”

Punch One Out recently returned to Jason Mackay’s Richmond Vale kennels in January after a two-month stint with Fennelly in Queensland. The daughter of Knocka Norris and Little Egyptian won five of nine starts for her owner, including the Group Two Gold Coast Cup at Albion Park.

“I had a great run with her in Queensland and if we wanted too, she could have broken a lot more track records.”

“Even though she only won one group race, she doesn’t have to prove anything to me.”

Punch One Out began her career back in July of 2012 at Lismore and finished second over the 420m. At start number four, she cracked her maiden status with an impressive 20.58 performance over the 366m straight journey at Capalaba and went on to win her next four races including a fast 30.21 at her first attempt over the 520m distance at Lismore.

Fennelly made the decision to transfer his bitch to Jason Mackay in New South Wales, where he unleashed the sports newest superstar during March of last year, with her breakout performances in the Group One Golden Easter Egg series.

Punch One Out began the series by running a gallant second behind Fully Advanced, who recorded a flying 29.45 over the 520m. After getting into second place, she took plenty of ground off the winner and managed to reduce the margin to three quarters of a length.

No one expected the freakish performance they were about to witness on March 23, as Punch One Out exited from box five in a highly competitive Easter Egg semi-final, containing the likes of Spud Regis and Peter Rocket. Jumping brilliantly from the middle draw, she exploded to the lead and gapped her rivals by six and a half lengths, smashing the Wentworth Park track record by 0.16, clocking 29.27.

Unfortunately she failed to run a place in the Group One final the following week, however lost no credibility after producing the fastest run of all time around the prestigious Wentworth Park circuit.

Stamping her authority as a force to be reckoned with, Punch One Out’s record breaking run was about to continue on debut at Richmond over the grueling 535m distance. The $1.30 favourite blitzed her opposition by ten and a half lengths and claimed her second track record, breaking the 30-second mark for the first time in history, clocking 29.90.

Punch One Out was a regular finalist in some of Australia’s most coveted Group races including; 2013 Group One Top Gun, 2013 Group Three Sandown Shootout, 2013 Group One Golden Easter Egg and 2014 Group One Paws Of Thunder.

Racking up $141,749 in prizemoney throughout her career, which ended with twenty-two wins and sixteen minor placings from forty-nine starts, Punch One Out will now make her mark as a broodbitch with her first mating to Fabregas, creating an enormous amount of buzz amongst potential buyers.

“In the last two days my phone hasn’t stopped with people who are interested in her pups. Obviously I will wait and see how many she has first and if I have to keep them all, that won’t worry me at all.”

“I chose Fabregas because of the Bombastic Shiraz bloodline that I’m confident will produce some good pups. I have two out of her mum’s (Little Egyptian) next litter and they have broken in outstanding.”

We salute the career of a true superstar of the sport, a bitch that produced performances that the greyhound racing world had never seen before and may never see again.

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