EIGHT sensational heats of the Group 1 Australian Cup take centre stage at The Meadows this Saturday night with each winner progressing through to next week’s $250,000-to-the-winner final.
No fewer than 25 individual Group winners will contest the series, all looking to add their names to the honour roll which boasts some of the greatest names the sport has seen.
The inaugural Australian Cup was in 1958 at the old North Melbourne track and was won by champion chaser Rookie Rebel. Since then, greyhounds of the calibre of Benjamin John (1969), Tangaloa (1980), Ginger (1989), China Trip (1992-3), Tenthill Doll (1996), Brett Lee (2001), Bogie Leigh (2004) and Dyna Lachlan (2010) have taken home the coveted trophy, with last year’s prize going to the recently retired Tasmanian Buckle Up Wes.
The 2015 Australian Cup has attracted some of the best sprinters from across the nation.
Heat One - The first heat features last week’s Group 1 Rookie Rebel winner Cosmic Wise (box five) up against track record holder Allen Deed (box four) and boom NSW sprinter Winsome Prince (box six). Recruitment might be able to sneak under the radar, ideally drawn in box one after his slashing 29.84 last-start victory over the track and distance.
Heat Two – Fernando Bale (box two) and Azza Azza Azza (box three) headline the second heat with both coming into the series as recent feature race winners. Fernando Bale showed explosive speed throughout the three-week National Derby series at Wentworth Park, claiming that Group 1 event in devastating fashion. He will contest the heat as a winner of his past five races. Azza Azza Azza, a winner of 21 from 31, broke through for a deserved win in the Group 2 Shepparton Cup last month before scoring at The Meadows in a hot 29.71 last start. Outside of those two it is very open with Lamia Bale (box four), Dyna Nico (box five) and Secret Spell (box six) all in with a chance.
Heat Three – Anything Less (box one), Above All (box two) and Dyna Double One (box seven) are the star chasers in the third heat. Anything Less comes to Victoria with outstanding Wentworth Park credentials while Dyna Double One is fresh off his win in the Group 3 Perth Cup Consolation at Cannington. Above All will be aiming to bounce back from his solid fourth placing in last week’s Temlee.
Heat Four - If Dyna Villa (box one) can take out the Group 1 Australian Cup series he will become Australia’s highest stakes earner, but he has to bounce back from a couple of uncharacteristically poor performances. He is drawn in box one and has plenty of speed so he should find the front, but has had an extremely long preparation for such a young dog. The main dangers appear to be Ride The Rails (box four), Midnight Flynn (box five) and Astronomize (box eight).
Heat Five - Marcus Joe was all heart when placed third in last week’s Temlee and he looks drawn to feature in this series after coming up with box one for his heat. He will have to put his best paw forward with speedy greyhounds Chica Destacada (box three), Spring Leaf (box four), Ronray Spirit (box five) and Hostile (box seven) set to ensure an excellent battle to qualify for the final.
Heat Six - My Bro Fabio (box seven) has been in superb form, claiming the Group 1 Perth Cup and Temlee in recent weeks. He looks ideally suited out wide to swoop around the field, with his main opposition including Kiss Me Ketut (box one), Avondale Porche (box three) and Diva’s Shadow (box eight).
Heat Seven – Ikaku Bale (box five) stunned a lot of spectators last Saturday when scoring in a sizzling 29.60 over the track and distance, but he faces a much tougher task this week from the middle draw. Luca Neveelk (box three) is ultra consistent and looks to be the early leader, while Ritza Hattie (box six), Winsome Mission (box seven) and Waymore’s Blues (box eight) will also be right in contention.
Heat Eight – The final heat is an extremely open affair with the class runner definitely Awesome Project (box eight). He ran second in last Saturday’s Temlee and is as honest as they come. His biggest problem will be attempting to cross from the pink. Hawk Alone (box one), Dawkins Bale (box four), Weblec Belle (box five) and Droopys Bentley (box seven) are other notable contenders in the last qualifier.
The Richmond Cannonball is a race yearned by all trainers with short-course sprinters, as the final carries an enticing winner’s purse of $5,000.
Four heats were conducted on Saturday night over the 400m journey, with I’m Pedro securing time honours for the night in heat two.
Jumping from box three, the Sydney Wales-trained chaser squeezed between runners heading into the back straight and careered away to score by four-and-three-quarter lengths at the finish. Clocking a sizzling time of 22.35, the son of Where’s Pedro and Dawn’s Memory notched up his 10th career win last night from start number 30 and recorded his second consecutive victory over the 400m distance at Richmond. Justin King’s Flying Morson began brilliantly from box two and finished second, also clocking an impressive time of 22.65, making him a genuine contender in next week’s final.
Heat one went to Princess Syrene for Oakdale trainer Anthony Meredith, who scored by a head in a greatly contester affair. Exiting from box four, the daughter of Prince Diablo and Mark’s Tears took advantage of a glorious rails run and clocked a speedy time of 22.73. Second placegetter Jamarlo for John Jones was gallant in defeat and deservedly earned a place in the final, also clocking a fast time of 22.74.
Justin King was successful in getting a second qualifier through to next week’s final in heat three, after Miss Pocano gained a start as a reverse runner and led all the way in a sizzling time of 22.61. Owned and trained by King, the daughter of Dyna Lachlan and Miss Lolola scored by a length over Death Cloud, who also recorded a fast time of 22.70.
Favourite punters were finally rewarded in the fourth and final heat of the night, when Silver Label pinged from the inside alley to clearly lead throughout, in a speedy run of 22.53. The Syd Swain trained son of Where’s Pedro and Runner Runner saluted by a length and three quarters over Sass, who stuck with the winner the whole way, notching up a new personal best of 22.63. Silver Label showed his versatility after dropping back from a winning performance last week over the 520m at Wentworth Park, and has won half of his 32 race starts.
GOSFORD greyhound track is the place to be this Friday night, with the running of the Woy Woy Poultry Gold Cup Final, with successful connections set to receive $40,000 in prize money.
Last year’s event was taken out by Awesome Project, who’s now dominating the Victorian racing circuit.
Zipping Willow will start a short priced favourite for Hunter Valley trainer Jason Mackay, after a sizzling all the way display last week in 29.48. Ideally drawn near the rails, this Wentworth Park specialist will be looking to notch up her thirty fifth career win and crack the $200,000 prize money barrier.
Last week’s fastest final qualifier Are Jip is awkwardly drawn in box five, however will only need some luck in running to challenge this field. The Kristy Sultana- trained chaser clocked a near record time of 29.36 in his heat and will have plenty of support on Friday night from punters.
Mentioned by many as one of the greatest Gosford Cup fields ever assembled, all eight greyhounds have a considerably strong chance of securing the win, and kicking off their 2015 racing campaign in style.
The final will be run and won at 9.37pm EDST.
Cameron Hallinan (Kennel Representative): “She is suited perfectly on the inside alley, but Are Jip is the big danger.”
|Rue De Kahn|
|Dean Swain (Trainer): “I’m really with the box draw and just hoping she can begin well and put herself in the race. Her fitness will be a lot better this week and after a good trial on Monday morning, i’m expecting her to go well.”|
|Darren Russell (Trainer): “I think he will go well, but will need luck at the first turn.”|
|Cameron Hallinan (Kennel Representative): “I don’t think she will be too far away from Zipping Willow with the right run.”|
|Kristy Sultana (Trainer): “A very hard race and the box draw doesn’t help him either. If it’s meant to be it will be.”|
|ARG Comment: Battled on gamely last week, finishing second behind Jewel Action in fast time. Has the early pace to overcome this awkward box draw and can put herself into the race during the early stages.|
|Kristy Sultana (Trainer): ““A very hard race and the box draw doesn’t help her either. If it’s meant to be it will be.”|
|Mark Gatt (Trainer): “The box won’t help her, but I was really happy with her run last week behind Zipping Willow and hopefully she can begin well and get across from this draw.”|
|ARG Comment: Led the field until the home turn in her heat last week and finished third. If she gains a start will be one of the front runners, however lacks the stamina to match it with some of these.|
|ARG Comment – Flew home last week to finish third after a slow getaway. A huge chance if he gains a start, however will need some luck in running.|
The final group race of the year at Wentworth Park will be run and won on Saturday night, with Zipping Willow the early favourite to notch up yet another victory at the track. Trainer Jason Mackay will be looking to keep his talented chaser’s superb run of form going, as she looks to notch up her fourth straight win and twentieth career win at the track.
Doreen Drynan’s Chica Destacada was the fastest heat winner last week and is suitably drawn in box one, provided she begins cleanly and matches Zipping Willow early on. After finishing second in the Group One Melbourne Cup, the daughter of Cosmic Rumble and Eluthra oozed confidence last week and should challenge this field.
Last year’s winner Double Twist went onto win the coveted NSW Greyhound of the Year title, with both of these greyhounds certain to be mentioned when the nominees for this year’s award are announced.
Successful connections will take home $25,000 in prize money, with the final to jump at 9.48pm EDST.
|Kerry Drynan (Kennel Representative): “She missed the start a bit last week and will have to improve on that from box one. Zipping Willow is the danger, but i’m just hoping she can begin well and be up there early on.”|
|ARG Comment: Ran the race of his life last week to finish second behind Chica Destacada at big odds. Is drawn perfectly to get a nice run again and if he gets some luck is a good place chance.|
|Cam Hallinan (Owner Representative): “We are hoping that she can hold out Chica Destacada at the first turn and give Zipping Willow a clear run.”|
|ARG Comment: Flew out from box five last week to lead until being tackled in the home straight by Cawbourne Kayono. Should be in the middle early on, but will need to find something at the finish to match some of these strong greyhounds.|
|Rue De Kahn|
Dean Swain – Trainer: “I think she has a good chance, she is a class act and I think the box isn’t all bad. She needed the run last week, so will be improved for Saturday. It’s a fantastic field and i’m proud to be a part of it.”
|Cam Hallinan (Owner Representative): “She isn’t drawn badly, but will need to begin very well to get to the front at the first turn. We are all confident she can go well.”|
Anthony Azzopardi (Trainer): “Will need a lot of luck from the box.”
|ARG Comment: Showed great strength last week in taking out final heat of the night. Will need to improve on the clock to be a threat in this affair, however has good early pace and can get a nice cross from the wide draw.|
On a wet Wentworth Park circuit last night, four sensational heats of the Group Three John Stollery Christmas Gift were conducted over 520 metres.
Rue De Kahn started as the $2.20 favourite in heat one after returning to the winner’s circle at Gosford last week, clocking an impressive time of 29.74. Exiting from box one, the Dean Swain trained chaser got away well, however had to settle for second place with Zipping Angel simply brilliant from box three. Effectively leading all the way in a solid time of 29.95, the daughter of Dyna Lachlan and Agent Gibbs scored by three and a half lengths at the finish, with the performance assured to please astute trainer Jason Mackay. Zipping Angel recorded her seventh career win last night from start number twenty, and is another regally bred prodigy of illustrious owners Martin and Fiona Hallinan.
All eyes were on the undisputed queen of Wentworth Park Zipping Willow in heat two, heavily supported by punters at just $1.30. The daughter of Goodesy and Sirocco Lass was looking to secure win number twenty at the track and did so in style, stepping brilliantly from box one and recorded a fast time of 29.78.
Notching up her thirty third-career win from just forty-nine starts, Zipping Willow gave her owner’s Martin and Fiona Hallinan and trainer Jason Mackay a successful running double. Anthony Azzopardi’s Zipping Tank was gallant in defeat, after suffering several checks heading into the first turn, finishing eight and three quarter lengths behind the winner. The son of Azzopardi’s Group One winning chaser Smooth Fancy and Navigator Miss has a genuine chance in next week’s final after coming up with a favourable box three draw.
Group One National Sprint Champion Chica Destacada was attempting to overcome a difficult box five draw in heat three last night, with punters confident in her ability, starting at short odds of $2.80. Jumping brilliant from the middle alley, the Doreen Drynan trained greyhound gapped her rivals by seven and a quarter lengths in a best of the night performance of 29.77. The daughter of Cosmic Rumble and Eluthra recorded her first victory at Wentworth Park, since taking out the NSW Sprint Championship Final back in August. Notching up career win number thirteen, her trainer will undoubtedly be ecstatic after coming up with box one for next week’s final. Outsider Peter’s Pick made up a stack of ground from box six and is deserved of his place in the final for trainer John Callaughan.
The fourth and final heat saw a few greyhounds well supported by punters, with Neville Brown’s King Cobber made the $3.10 favourite over Group One Vic Peters winner Bessy Boo, who started at $3.70. Craig Chappelow’s Jumble was best away from box five, with Jodie Lord’s Cawbourne Kayono taking full advantage of a beautiful rails run, to position himself nicely behind the early leader. Heading for home, Cawbourne Kayono again stuck to the rails and pulled away at the finish to salute by two lengths in a time of 30.09. Jumble was brave in defeat and held on for second, with box greyhounds defying the odds and securing a spot in next week’s final.
Group Three John Stollery Christmas Gift Final – $25,000 to the winner
1 – Chica Destacada – Doreen Drynan
2 – Peter’s Pick – John Callaughan
3 – Zipping Angel – Jason Mackay
4 – Jumble – Craig Chappelow
5 – Rue De Kahn – Dean Swain
6 – Zipping Willow – Jason Mackay
7 – Zipping Tank – Anthony Azzopardi
8 – Cawbourne Kayono – Jodie Lord
9 – Cawbourne Cobra – Jodie Lord
10 – To A Tee – Harry Sarkis
The eagerly anticipated Group One Melbourne Cup is scheduled to jump at 9:24pm (VIC time) tonight at Sandown Park.
A whopping prize-money pool of $600,000 is available for place-getters. The winner receives $420,000, the runner up will receive $120,000 and third grabs hold of $60,000 – not too shabby for a 29 second run.
The Melbourne Cup was first conducted at Sandown Park in 1956. The race has come a long way since. In this year’s edition a number of story lines thread their way into the race.
If Keybow wins, he will break the Australian prize-money record and will make his trainer, Darren McDonald the first trainer to win four Melbourne Cups. If Above All wins he will become just the second greyhound from New Zealand to take out the great event. That feat was last achieved 40 years ago.
Recent winners of the Melbourne Cup include Black Magic Opal, Got A Moment, Dyna Tron, El Grand Senor, Lord Ducal, Surgeon, Betty’s Angel and Closing Argument.
We will soon know who the 2014 winner is. Here is a look at the form of each of the finalists;
|Kelvin Lean (Owner): “It is a good draw, it’s unbelievable. I think in these big races you have got to be on the inside and there is so much speed in this race that the inside is definitely the place to be.”|
|Doreen Drynan (Trainer): “It is the same box that she won the National Sprint from but she seems to go better when she is drawn out on the track a little bit. She seems to be able to pace up a lot quicker because she is inclined to step a bit to the right when she comes out of the boxes.”|
|Robert Britton (Trainer): “He doesn’t have the early pace that others have in this field. What he has shown me is that he is fearless in taking gaps, so hopefully he can get a soft early run into the first turn and take any gap that may be presented to him.”|
|Bradley Canty (Owner): The draw is not good for him with the six, seven and eight all going to be crashing across from out wide with pace. He has speared the lids and come out running a couple of times like when he won the Harrison- Dawson and in a heat of the Brisbane Cup he came up two in front, but I think whatever dog leads that race will probably win.|
Justin Wright (Owner): “Box one helped her last week and I would imagine the track was a bit quicker than it normally is but we were still chuffed with how she went. It will be very different this week and I don’t think she has the pace to beat the other seven to the first corner. There is going to be a lot of early speed and she is a mad railer, she will look for the rails straight out of the boxes. I reckon her only hope is if she misses it a little bit and then goes straight to rail and if there is a little bit of trouble on the corner that she can rail up underneath. It is going to be tough but you have got to be in it to win it. She will give 100% and whatever happens, happens.”
|Kevin Dover (Owner): “Hopefully she can ping the lids and get up with them near the lead going into the first turn. She is not a mad railer, she holds her line to the first turn, so that should help her too.”|
Gerald Kleeven (Trainer): “I reckon he can get across and I like him out there. It depends on what the pink (Dyna Villa) does but he (Luca Neveelk) is a pretty big dog so the pink shouldn’t push him out of the way. He just needs clear room in the first one or two strides and then he has got that massive early pace. Whatever gets out in front will win, there is no two ways about it, because you have got seven other dogs with equal ability behind you and they usually all look to go to the rails and they will be in a bunch. If you are lucky enough to get to the front I’d imagine you would be laughing.”
|ARG Comment: Dyna Villa is unbeaten at the track and unbeaten from the box. He showed tremendous pace last week from box six to defeat My Bro Fabio by 1 1/4 lengths. He recorded his best time in the process. A repeat of the pace from last week will see him contesting the lead in the early stages. He has to be considered a big chance based on his form.|
|ARG Comment: Does not have the pace to match some of the speedsters in the final and will be well and truly at double figure odds if she gains a start.|
|My Bro Fabio|
|ARG Comment: Will rocket right into contention if he gets a start. Although he is tardy at box-rise at times, he is a freakishly fast dog that is capable of anything.|
Keybow (1) is currently the favourite from the prized rails alley. He just needs an ounce of luck early to stamp his authority on the race but there will be plenty of others in the field looking to challenge him.
Dyna Villa (8) is boxed out wide and possesses the best record of any dog in the race as he is unbeaten at the track and unbeaten from the draw. He is the fastest qualifier going into the final after stopping the clock at 29.21 in last week’s heats. His sections across the board were great and he will prove hard to beat if he repeats last week’s efforts.
Luca Neveelk (7) will be challenging for the lead early. He needs to be in front at the first turn to be any chance.
Awesome Project (4) has a mile of ability and seems to be flying under the radar a little due to the focus on his kennel mate. He came out last week to lead all the way and he is more than capable of doing that from box four.
Chica Destacada (2) was impressive last week and she is drawn to go well again. Her trainer has indicated that she may step right out of the boxes but she has the form from the box, winning the National Sprint earlier this year from the same draw.
The Kiwi’s will all be cheering for Above All (3). While he will need some luck in the early stages, he has made the final and certainly has a big future ahead of him as he has come into the race with just 10 starts under his belt.
Cosmic Wise (5) and Star Recall (6) both have Western Australian connections and will be aiming to give the West something to cheer for. The draws are not great for either chaser but, as with all the other chasers in this final, they are in with a chance.
It should be a great race so be sure to tune in or get trackside.
Group One action returns to Wentworth Park this Saturday night, with six heats of the Vic Peters Classic to be conducted over 520 metres. This famous age restricted classic event is for greyhounds that were born on or after 1 April 2012, with the final winner taking home a mouth watering $75,000 for connections.
Past winners include Belfast Johnny (2013), Proven Nitro (2012) and Spring Gun (2011), with the large purse attracting some of the country’s most talented youngsters.
New Gosford 515 metre track record holder Avondale Al will attempt to rectify a disappoint debut at headquarters last week, exiting from box six in heat one. The Beau Hedley trained chaser set the Central Coast track alight two-weeks ago, shaving 0.16 off the previous record of 29.30.
Electrifying sprinter Lady Ronray will also lineup in this years series from box seven in heat two and will be looking to secure her eleventh straight victory. Trainer Ray Steele has knocked back several big offers for this gifted daughter of Cosmic Rumble and Ronray Disco, who has a perfect record of four wins from four starts at Wentworth Park.
A star-studded heat one includes Gosford track record holder Avondale Al, who will attract plenty of attention at just his second start at Wentworth Park from box six. The son of Mogambo and Avondale Miss put in a disappointing performance last week on debut at the track after finding a heap of trouble, finishing in fourth position. He won his first two race starts, including a blistering 29.14 at Gosford and will post a sizzling time if given room to move early on.
Anthony Azzopardi’s smart chaser Shoulders returns to headquarters after a short stint in Victoria, where he finished second in a Melbourne Cup prelude. The son of Cosmic Rumble and Bit Stressed has a solid Wentworth Park record of two wins from six starts, including a flying personal best of 29.36. Despite a box four draw, this greyhound possesses good early speed and can figure heavily at the finish.
Jewel Action suffered her first defeat in five starts last week, after stringing four impressive wins together at Richmond and Wentworth Park. Trained by Kristy Sultana, the daughter of Tuiaki and Miss Beeslee clocked a fast personal best of 29.66 two weeks ago and will relish a favourable box three draw. She has a brilliant career record of eleven wins from sixteen starts, including four victories at this track.
Lady Ronray steps out in heat two for trainer Ron Steele and will be looking for her eleventh career win from just her twelfth start. This exceptionally talented daughter of Cosmic Rumble and Ronray Disco has an unbeaten record of four wins from four starts at Wentworth Park, with a personal best time of 29.87. Despite being drawn out wide, Lady Ronray has exhibited sizzling early pace and should cross this field with slow beginners on either side.
Anything Less loves Wentworth Park and recorded his fifth win from just six appearances at the track last week. The son of Bekim Bale and Casey’s Angel clocked a brilliant time of 29.57 on Saturday, however will need to be on his best behaviour at box rise to escape cleanly from the squeeze alley.
Frattini will make her debut at Wentworth Park and exit from box four. She comes into this race with plenty of good form from Angle Park where she clocked 29.71 and Nowra last week, were she record a fast time of 29.82. Now trained at Appin by Christine Oldfield, the daughter of Collision and Dusty Retreat has eight career wins from twelve starts and will figure largely in this affair if she begins well from a tricky draw.
Are Jip has firmly stamped his authority as a force to be reckoned with after being victorious in five of his eight starts at the track, including a blistering personal best of 29.48. The son of Fabregas and Monique’s Doll was brilliant last week, leading all the way from box two in 29.63. Owned and trained by talented trainer Kristy Sultana, this up and comer will have to overcome the middle draw, but does pack plenty of punch in the run to the line.
Zipping Bruno returns to headquarters after a two-week stint at Maitland, finishing third in both attempts over the 450 metres. Despite a lack in early pace, the son of Smooth Fancy and Navigator Miss is drawn inside two risky beginners and will finish off the race nicely if given room to move. Trained by Anthony Azzopardi, Zipping Bruno has three wins from nine attempts at the track and a personal best of 29.81.
Jumble has been ultra-consistent of late, placing at his past five outings, including a 30.06 performance at Wentworth Park. This beautifully bred chaser by Where’s Pedro out of Surpassing has one win and three minor placings from four starts at the track, which is sure to give trainer Craig Chappelow plenty of confidence heading into Saturday night.
Paua To Roar will be looking for his fifth consecutive win on Saturday night after producing some outstanding performances at Nowra for in-form trainer Steve White. The son of Head Bound and Paua To Erupt has an impeccable career record of 11 wins from 15 starts and despite just the one victory at headquarters, possesses exhilarating early speed to overcome a difficult task from box five.
Miss Sueko has come up with a favourable inside draw that trainer Justin King will relish. The daughter of Dyna Lachlan and Miss Lolola possesses genuine early pace, which has contributed to her three wins at Wentworth Park and a flying personal best time of 29.67.
La Grand Logie is a very consistent chaser with five wins from six starts and he was victorious at his track debut last week in 30.28. Despite needing some improvement on the clock, a handy box two draw will give owner-trainer Jeffrey Eaton plenty of confidence that his chaser can be competitive in this affair.
Lochinvar Impact has produced two sensational victories at his past two outings, recording sizzling times at The Gardens (29.60) and Gosford (29.69). The son of Collision and Multicam Girl has an excellent Wentworth Park record of two wins and two minor placings from five starts and a speedy personal best of 29.78. The Robert Smith trained chaser will have to overcome a tricky box six draw, however he consistently steps well and should get across to a nice position at the first turn.
Talented Victorian trainer Kelly Bravo will make the trip North with Kiltah Magic, who has been victorious in six of 11 career starts, including a sizzling performance at Sandown Park two weeks ago in 29.35. The daughter of Kilty Lad and Beltah Magic is a consistent lid-pinger and will relish a favourable box three draw.
Zipping Weston returns to Wentworth Park after one start in Victoria and will be looking for his third consecutive win at the track for trainer Anthony Azzopardi. The son of Smooth Fancy and Navigator Miss is another gifted chaser from the famous Hallinan bloodlines and recorded a sizzling 29.62 over the 520 metres back in April, followed by an equally impressive 29.69 performance two weeks ago.
The sixth and final heat contains plenty of winning chances including Jason Fletcher’s Xtreme Knocka, who despite having just the one victory at Wentworth Park; set a fast personal best of 29.82 over the 520 metres back in September. The son of Knocka Norris and Misty Fields has been extremely consistent of late, recording a superb win at Bulli two weeks ago over the 515 metres, clocking 28.73. He hasn’t been unplaced at his past nine outings and has a solid box three record of two wins and two minor placings from four starts.
Classy Kid comes into this affair with outstanding form at the track, having won two of his past four attempts at Wentworth Park, with a fast personal best of 29.82. The son of lesser-known sire Special Kid out of Bit Classy, will give trainer Vicki Prest plenty of confidence exiting from box two, having record six victories from the inside alleys. Cosmic Angel will exit from box one and despite failing at her past two outings, will be primed for this event by astute trainer Anthony Azzopardi. This impeccably bred daughter of Cosmic Rumble and Bit Stressed has two wins from six attempts at the track and is certain to improve on her personal best time of 29.99.
Heat one will be run and won at 7.50pm EDST, with a determined number of semi-finals to be conducted next week.
Despite the fact that smart chaser Senor Slamma has won four races in succession, Leith trainer Gary Johnson is not overly confident that the greyhound can extend the winning streak in the $7,150 M A Morgan St Leger (461 metres), to be conducted at the HGRC meeting in Hobart on Thursday night.
“He is strictly a hit and miss greyhound and therefore has to be taken on trust,” he explained.
“If he flies the lids and leads he will take plenty of catching. But the game is over if he misses the kick because he just doesn’t like other greyhounds around him.”
Owner by Gary’s wife Robyn, the son of El Grand Senor was now won 13 races while accumulating a purse of almost $20,000 and can claim a pb of 25.88 on the Hobart circuit, which is considerably faster than his St Leger rivals and an indication of what he is capable of while high-balling in the premier position.
“I rate Gary Fahey’s greyhound Bruny Venture and Russell Watt’s Boston Heart as huge winning chances in the event, but in saying that it’s a classy field and virtually every runner has a chance,” Johnson concluded.
Meanwhile Kinloch Brae bitch Ireland’s Force will also be shooting for five wins on the trot when she contests the $7,150 Big Moose Laurels (461 metres), which will also be decided on Thursday night’s 11 event HGRC card.
An occupant of Russell Watt’s Moorleah kennel, she has impressed greatly in recent weeks, but will meet stiff opposition in the feature. The Laurels has also attracted a star-studded field, including the likes of the Ted Medhurst prepared Velocette bitch Lillycette.
Another bitch to have excelled this week in Tasmania is the topliner She’s All Class, who gave her rivals a galloping lesson in The Advocate Grade 3 (452 metres) conducted at Tuesday’s NWGRC meeting at the Devonport Raceway.
She was well supported in wagering on the event at a $1.80 quote and did not let her supporters down by flying the lids from the pink box to take up the running, before eventually scoring by three lengths in the time of 25.39.
Owned and prepared at Bishopsbourne by astute mentor David Crosswell, the daughter of Dyna Lachlan has now won 20 of 34 lifetime outings and accumulated a purse of almost $40,000, despite having had her career curtailed by serious injury and having a litter of pups.
Her elated owner-trainer declared her “a machine” after she won on Tuesday, which was only her second run back from the enforced spell.
“She had her toe off early in her career and then a sesamoid injury. Those things only ever happen to the good ones,” he declared.
Crosswell will map out a programme for She’s All Class, which may very well include tilts at the Devonport Cup and possibly the Hobart Thousand and is confidently predicting that one day she will make a great brood bitch.
“She will throw a champion one day, but she isn’t ready to retire yet. She’ll let me know when she is,” he said.
Broadmarsh husband and wife team Keith and Joan Nichols will live it up this week on the proceeds of a winning treble at Tuesday’s NWGRC meeting conducted at the Devonport Raceway. The pair combined to win with debut running litter mates Silver Pierre and Smichols and then completed a highly successful day with the very smart former interstate bitch Molly Monroe, who has now won four races in succession and eight of 20 lifetime outings.
Keith bred the first litter of pups in Tasmania by former Australian and Devonport Cup winner St. Pierre and right from the outset they displayed plenty of potential.
“They showed plenty of speed from the start and were very sensible. I liked them a lot and when I trialled several of them for the first time a fellow trainer said he would like to take all of them home with him,” he explained.
As soon as the litter of eight was whelped, Joan Nichols fell in love with the fawn pup and immediately claimed him as her own. Racing as Silver Pierre and taking full advantage from the red box, he recorded a time of 25.72 in winning Tuesday’s NWGRC Juvenile (452 metres) while paying a win dividend of $4.30.
A race later, Smichols surprised somewhat by taking out the The Advocate Juvenile (452 metres) in the time of 26.22, the track having deteriorated due to the rain, while paying a lucrative $23.80.
The highly promising Molly Monroe, the winner of four of six since entering the Nichols kennel, then railed through in the concluding stages to take out the Surepick Grade 4 (452 metres), paying $2.60 for the win and recording a time of 25.73.
Raced by Victorian owner Paul Westerveld, the Bartrim Bale bitch is obviously relishing her change of environment and will continue to win while in her present form.
“Paul raced Her Highness with success from my kennel and when he decided to take her back to Victoria he said he would send me a replacement and I am so glad he did,” Keith Nichols explained.
Meanwhile another Southern trainer to excel at Tuesday’s meeting was Brighton based Rod Ransley, who took out a double with the smart chasers Good Question and Tay’s Intention. The former took out the Hankook Tyres Grade 4 (452 metres) in the time of 26.11 while paying a win dividend of $4.10 and the latter was successful in the Greg Mansfield Grade 5 (452 metres), paying $4.00 for the win and recording a time of 25.82.
Flowery Gully mentor Michael Louth was also seen in the winners circle on two occasions, firstly with Iditarod, which was successful in the Dowling and McCarthy Tyres Maiden (452 metres) and then Canuck, which took out the Synectic Devonport Grade 5 (452 metres).
On Monday night at the Tote Racing Centre, Moorleah trainer Russell Watts took out the evening’s feature, the Steve King Ladies Bracelet Final (515 metres), with the very smart Kinloch Brae bitch Ireland’s Force, raced by the interstate based Fast Track Racing Syndicate. The bitch railed through in the concluding stages to score an outstanding victory, her third in succession and tenth in a career spanning 27 outings.
“From memory I have never won the Ladies Bracelet before, so her win provided me with a great thrill,” Watt’s revealed.
The next day at Devonport the kennel landed a good old fashioned betting tilt when the aptly named Dyna Lachlan debut runner Tax Toy took out the Sing The Song Juvenile (452 metres), after firming from an opening fixed odds quote of $6.00 into $3.00 when the field was despatched.
The nation’s capital hosts the heats of the Group Three Canberra Cup on Sunday afternoon.
The race is conducted over the trying 530m journey and is open to the best greyhounds nominated. The eventual winner will pocket $25,000. The first two place-getters from each heat will go through to next week’s final.
Here’s a look at the four heats:
Heat One – Group Three Canberra a Cup (Race 5 at 5:42pm)
On paper, the race looks to be a battle between Pumped Up Zarr (1) and Rue De Kahn (8). Pumped Up Zarr has recently turned four years of age but the Big Daddy Cool and Midnight Drama (Go Wild Teddy and Ready To Rise) dog is still winning races. He has been racing over the distance events in the latter part of his career however his sprint form at Canberra is good. He has two starts for two wins over the trip and a best of 30.28. He has also won three times from the rails draw.
Rue De Kahn (8), the winner of the Group One National Futurity at The Gardens, will be having her first start at Canberra. She has the ability to show pace and lead and she will need to in order to overcome the wide draw. She has good form from boxes six and seven but is yet to win from box eight. She is a winner at both Wentworth Park and The Meadows so is definitely up to the class of dogs in this heat.
The only other runners that look like a possible chance are Tiger The Weapon (3), Another Call (5) and Tribal Beat (7). They’ve all had relatively recent wins but their form and the times they have posted haven’t been as good as the two main chances.
Heat Two – Group Three Canberra Cup (Race 6 at 6:05pm)
The clear stand-out in this race is the Victorian My Bro Fabio (1). The Brooke Ennis trained son of Turanza Bale and Flamenco (Where’s Pedro – Zarbo) has won four of his last five around Sandown and The Meadows and should prove too good in this field. He is strong, loves box one, and can run time so he ticks all the boxes. The only thing going against him is that he is having his first look at the track in race conditions.
If Especially (4) can handle the awkward draw she is the main danger to My Bro Fabio. She is a very consistent beginner and back in July she led My Bro Fabio in a race around Sandown. He ended up winning that event by seven lengths so she really needs to get in front here to give herself a chance.
NSW bitch Lani Banarni (6) has shown solid form coming into this series with six wins from her last 10 starts including two in a row at Wentworth Park recently. She’s hasn’t had too much joy from box six in the past so she will need some luck from the draw.
Cheeky Grant (8) has won five of her last 10 but is yet to record a win from box eight. Her recent wins have been at Dubbo and Wentworth Park.
Another Chance (5) has won over the 400m distance at Canberra. He can show good speed but the query is whether he can run out the 530m strongly.
Heat Three – Group Three Canberra Cup (Race 7 at 6:21pm)
Father Skeeta (2) has won his last four in a row and the Aston Galilee and Madam Jessie (Bond – Go Wild Jessie) dog will be looking to make it five in a row from the handy draw. He is yet to have a start at Canberra but is coming off two good wins at Wentworth Park. He’s reliable early so should be right in this.
Shilling Flex (6) has faced the starter just 14 times in her career. She has won five of those races including one at Canberra over this trip in 30.55. Her box manners have been consistent and this should put her in good stead from the draw.
Other winners at Canberra include Van Carrho Flash (4) who has win twice at the track for a best time of 30.73 and Usaine, who has also won two at the track, for a best of 30.75.
Heat Four – Group Three Canberra Cup (Race 8 at 6:41pm)
Zambora Magic (8) absolutely scorched around Wentworth Park two starts back, stropping the clock at 29.49. The Magic Sprite and Secret Powers (Pure Octane – Witch Magic) dog has notched up 14 career wins. He is having his first look at Canberra over this trip. If he replicates his recent Wentworth Park run he is right in this.
Cawbourne Whip (3) has won two at the track including a 30.21 victory last start. The black and white bitch by Dyna Lachlan and American Spot (Molotov – Elite Monelli) has won 15 from 30 in her career and has recorded fast times at Bulli, The Gardens and Wentworth Park. She is a winner of the 2014 Canberra Capital Distance Championship and took out the Group Three Dapto Maiden last year. She is drawn well in box three and will start the favourite.
Pleiades (6) has had six goes at this trip at Canberra for one win and four placings. He finished five lengths second behind Cawbourne Whip last week from box three and he now moves out to box six for this. He has had nine starts from the draw for just one win.
Storm Twister (1) is capable of leading from this draw. He is a last start winner at Nowra in 30.22 and has won from this draw previously. This will be his first run in Canberra over this distance.
Black Daddy (2) is a strong type who hasn’t had much luck in his last two runs from bad draws. He has won in a fast 30.53 over the 535m at Richmond and has won nine from 34 overall. The better draw brings him into the race.
Tasmania will determine its National Sprint representative on Monday night at Launceston. The race, which runs at 9:58pm, features multiple Group One winner Buckle Up Wes, who was also the fastest qualifier into the state final. Anthony Bullock has qualified two finalists and his best chance looks to be Hellyeah Bolt.
Here’s a look at each of the finalists:
Box 1 – Her Highness (Keith Nichols)
The 30kg black bitch by Bartrim Bale and Witch Fantasy (Premier Fantasy – Witch Magic) has been rather impressive in Tasmania. She has had 17 career starts for 10 wins. At Launceston she has had eight starts for five wins and three placings. She won her heat last week in 30.00 but has a best of 29.88 at the track. Her record from box one is sound and it’s the box she won from last week. She meets a class greyhound in Buckle Up Wes in this so it will be interesting to see how she measures up.
Box 2 – Classic Spence (Anthony Bullock)
A winner of just three from 16 at the track, this dog by Mandagery Man and Camdale Alex (Bombastic Shiraz – Camdale Smudge) will probably struggle to feature. He has a best time of 30.04 at the track and is yet to win from box two.
Box 3 – Buckle Up Wes (Edward Medhurst)
He is the star of Tasmanian racing and has proven himself against the best sprinters in the land this year, taking out the Group One Australian Cup. The Collision and Everlong Bale (Primo Uno – Shique Bale) dog has had 17 starts at Launceston for 12 wins and he has recorded a best time of 29.33. He won his heat from box five last week in 29.59 by over ten lengths. He is the one to beat.
Box 4 – Black Rip (Shane Whitney)
Black Rip is a dog with an almost perfect record at Launceston; he has won six of his seven races there. He also finished second in the Group Two Launceston Cup last year. The Goodesy and Richmond Fox (Hallucinate – Great Fox) dog won his heat in 30.28 last week, slightly off his best time of 29.96. His record from box four is good but he isn’t always the best away. He will be afforded no mistakes in this field.
Box 5 – Despicable Ben (Brendan Pursell)
This Westmead Hawk and Electron (Hallucinate – Little Fausta) dog has been very consistent in his short career. He has had 11 career starts for six wins and five placings. He has won two from four at Launceston. His best time of 29.84 was recorded at the track in late July. Last week, he did all the chasing behind Buckle Up Wes, finishing ten and a half lengths second. The draw has done him no favours.
Box 6 – Hellyeah Bolt (Anthony Bullock)
Hellyeah Bolt looks to be one of the biggest dangers to Buckle Up Wes although he could only manage third last week in his heat behind Her Highness. He ran second to Buckle Up Wes a month ago here at the track. Overall, he has won six from 11 at the track and has ran a personal best of 29.55. Although his form has been a little patchy over the last month, the Dyna Lachlan and Flash Diamond (Elite State – Chinatown Babe) dog is more than capable on his day.
Box 7 – Dominator Girl (Paul Hill)
Dominator Girl hasn’t won a race since May and she qualified for this race by running third to Buckle Up Wes last week. The High Earner and Bit Sweet (Solve The Puzzle -Chili Berger) bitch has won four from 11 at the track with a best of 29.81. She has never won from box seven so she will be at long odds to take this out.
Box 8 – Heliski (Michael Louth)
Heliski finished three lengths behind Her Highness last week from box six and moves even wider for the final this week. The Nitro Burst and Parsipanny (Collide – Mohar) dog has won just one race from the draw and his best first section is the slowest in the field so it looks unlikely that he will be able to cross the field. He has also won just three from 19 at the track with a best of 30.12. He will need to improve to be in the placings.
Both Little Miss Take (9) and Hello Benny (10) look to be up against it if they gain a start. Neither of the two chasers has a flash record at the track and they both have been in average form. Little Miss Take’s last win was in November last year and Hello Benny notched up his last win in May this year.
Grandchester-based trainer Tony Brett looks a good chance to book himself a ticket to Cannington for the Nationals. He will rug up three runners in the Queensland National Sprint final on Thursday night at Albion Park and his fastest charge, Flash Reality, has drawn the coveted rails alley.
The quickest qualifier through to the finals was Give You Credit.
Box 1 – Flash Reality (Tony Brett)
Since joining Tony Brett’s kennels, this dog by Premier Fantasy and Orara Flash (Bond – Sweet Elite) has been almost unstoppable in Queensland. This year he has taken out the Group One Winter Carnival Cup and the Group Two Queensland Derby at Albion Park. He has gone close to the track record in a couple of wins and Brett rates him highly. If he runs up to his form, he will be off to prove himself at Cannington.
Box 2 – Fancy Stiches (Noela Hazelgrove)
Prior to last week’s third placing in the heats to Exhibitionist, Fancy Stiches had run last at her previous two starts. The Velocette and Whirly Storm (Black Enforcer – Cyclone Chrissy) bitch has won five from 20 at the track with a best time of 30.00. She will be at long odds in this race.
Box 3 – Gumlow Star (Sandra Hunt)
Gumlow Star finished one length second behind Exhibitionist last week. The El Galo and Jackpot Return (Bombastic Shiraz – Call Me Cash) bitch was a finalist in the Group One Winter Carnival Cup earlier this year but didn’t run a place. Her recent form has been mixed with just the one win from her last five starts. Her best is 30.07 and she will need to improve to take this out.
Box 4 – King Elliot (Reg Hazelgrove)
The red brindle Dyna Lachlan and Slick Candy (Black Enforcer – Cyclone Chrissy) dog was a finalist in the 2014 Flying Amy Classic. In his 27 start career, he has won 10 races. Four of those wins have been at Albion Park with a best time of 30.21. He ran second to Flash Reality last week from box two. He now moves to the less than desirable box four draw for the final.
Box 5 – Placid Planet (Tony Brett)
Brett’s second runner in the final ran third to Give You Credit last week. The Cosmic Rumble and Bogie Angel (Bond – Bogie Leigh) dog lacks nothing on the breeding side and in his 16 start career he has won six and placed on seven other occasions. He has run 29.86 at the track but will need to show pace to overcome the squeeze draw.
Box 6 – Cyndie’s Special (William Elson)
Cyndie’s Special performed really well behind Give You Credit last week, going down by just three quarters of a length in 29.90. The Premier Fantasy and Regal Silver (Surf Lorian – Wongawillisue) bitch is no stranger to feature race finals, finishing second in the 2014 Group Two Queensland Futurity. She had box two last week and this week moves to box six. She has won twice from this draw.
Box 7 – Give You Credit (Peter Ruetschi)
Give You Credit returned to the winners circle last week, which was testament to his chasing ability as he fell at his start prior at The Meadows. The Outa Credit and Where Are You (Hallucinate – Duel’s Me Mum) dog recorded his best time at the track last week (29.90), leading all the way from the box three draw. He has won just once from box seven but if he repeats last week’s efforts he could challenge Flash Reality.
Box 8 – Exhibitionist (Tony Brett)
Similar to Give You Credit, Exhibitionist recovered from a last start fall to secure a win in her heat last week. The bitch by Superman and Naughty Nicki (Bombastic Shiraz – Outrageous Claim) has won three of her last five and is the third of Brett’s runners in this final. She has won twice from the wide draw and has the pace to cross. Her best at the track is 29.99. She will need the luck in the early stages.
Rose Of Galo (9) can show some pace and she is highly experienced at Albion Park, winning 12 from 34 starts at the track. She ran third in the Group Three Ladies Bracelet at Wentworth Park earlier this year. She isn’t without a chance if she gets a start. Yogi Blue (10) has struck an inconsistent patch of form, winning just one race in his last five starts. He finished fourth behind Give You Credit last week, beaten six and a half lengths. He will need a return to form to feature if he gets a run.
In a strong showing, The Meadows will host five sprint heats of the Victorian leg of the Nationals.
The winners and three fastest seconds will make the final to be conducted the following Saturday at The Meadows.
Heat One – Race 4 at 8:20pm
There’s plenty of strength in this race so it should make for an interesting finish. If Group race winner Awesome Project (4) can overcome the draw and be near the lead he looks the one to beat. The Darren McDonald trained dog by Collision and Honour Phase (Big Daddy Cool – Hunter Tylo) has won one from three at The Meadows and has a best of 29.92. He is a last start winner at Sandown in a best of night 29.38.
Dream It (1) and Great Spartacus (3) have both started over the middle distance trip at Sandown in the last month and have just dropped back to the sprint trip. Each is well performed at The Meadows but Dream It looks to have the better draw. Great Spartacus is yet to win from box three and has a better record from a wider draw.
Crackerjack Dak (2) is drawn between Dream It and Great Spartacus and can show some speed when he wants. He has four wins at The Meadows but finished last in his last start here from box seven. The move closer to the fence should help.
El Grand Seal (8) is having her first start at The Meadows. The El Grand Senor and Sealin’ The Deal (Talk’s Cheap -Trusta Rush) bitch has won nine from 15 career starts and has been racing well at Ballarat and Healesville. This is a big step up for her and she will need to do everything right from the wide draw.
Of the others, Peloton Bale (7) is a consistent chaser with six wins at The Meadows. His best is 29.83 but he is yet to win from box seven. Prue Bale (6) is out of form. She has run just one placing in her last eight starts and had her last win back in April this year.
Heat Two – Race 5 at 8:40pm
Group One Perth Cup winner Keybow (8) has had just the six starts at The Meadows for three wins and three placings. He has recorded a flying 29.58 wearing the pink rug so the form is on the board for him in this race.
Marcus Joe (6) shows his best at The Meadows. The 2013 Group One Maturity winner has won seven at the track with a best of 29.66. He has won four of his last eight but will have to overcome the poor draw to factor.
Humphrey Bale (1) performed well in the recent Maturity series, finishing third in the final. He won from this box two starts back in 30.19 and is a solid each-way chance.
Crawf’s Bread (5) has the early pace to lead and put himself in the race. He has won three of his last four races (all around Sandown) and comes to The Meadows with five wins from 17 starts at the track. His best is 30.03.
Blurred Lines (2), Grand Faith (3), Allen Malik (4) and Wise Ella (7) will all need luck based on their current form.
Heat Three – Race 7 at 9:20pm
Musquin Bale (6) has made a number of Group finals and has a great record from box six (four wins). The Dyna Lachlan and Princess Bale (Hallucinate – Gold Rush Bale) dog has four wins at The Meadows for a best of 29.90.
Mepunga Moss (1) has drawn her box and has been good around The Meadows, winning three from five. She ran her best time of 30.34 back in October last year. She will need to be at her very best to take this out.
Dyna Beth (8) ran second in last year’s Melbourne Cup but hasn’t really gone on with it in other a Group races. She has recorded six wins at The Meadows from 19 starts and gone 30.15. Her form coming into this is patchy with her last win recorded four starts back.
Sisco Rage (7) was a recent finalist in the Maturity, running fifth to Mepunga Hayley. He is a run on dog that needs plenty of room early. The draw hasn’t helped his chances.
The other runners in the race are Tyronimo (2), Nockabout Aussie (3), Grand Legacy (4) and Superstar Magic (5). All have won at The Meadows with Nockabout Aussie having the best time of 29.83. Grand Legacy was a recent finalist in the Maturity, finishing last. Prior to that, he had won his semi-final in 30.17.
Heat Four – Race 9 at 10:05pm
Gimme Fuel (2) loves box two and has been competing well amongst this class of dogs. The only query is his last three starts, where he has run unplaced. Prior to that, he had been in the placings consistently. He has three wins at The Meadows for a best time of 29.92.
Group race winner Hawk Alone (8) has won two from a wide box but its always touch and go when he is drawn wide as he doesn’t have the early pace to cross the field. He has four wins at The Meadows and his recent form has been good. He may be helped by the greyhound in box seven. Spring Leaf (7) can show early pace when she wants. She failed in the recent semi-finals of the Maturity after a bad getaway but before that, won in 30.10. Her best is 30.01 and in her short career she has won six from nine at The Meadows.
Mepunga Fearon (1) is boxed well and has never been unplaced wearing the red rug. He is a last start winner in 30.08 so should be in the firing line.
Buckle Up Mason (6) has raced at The Meadows in 31 of his career starts and has won 12 of those. He isn’t ideally drawn but has gone 29.74 so if he gets a clean run he may take some catching.
Of the others, Amadeus Strikes (3) has been racing and winning at Mt Gambier. Rob Britton will be hoping it gives the Bombastic Shiraz and Forgetful Lucy (Larkhill Jo – Sensation Lee) bitch some much needed confidence. She will need to do everything right to win. Cosmic Wise (4) is a last start winner over the 600 metre trip at The Meadows. She has gone 29.94 over the sprint distance here back in April. The draw works against her. Lastly, Athos (5) is facing a tough ask as he is rising in class and has just the two wins at the track for a best of 30.28.
Heat Five – Race 10 at 10:25pm
Innocent Til (2) is very talented but is always unlucky with box draws. However, he has been lucky and drawn the stripes for this heat so he is drawn to do his best. He has five wins at The Meadows and has stopped the clock at 29.79.
Seasoned Group race performer Ollie Bale (5) looks one of the main challengers. He has gone 29.84 at the track and notched up four wins from 13 attempts.
Campaspe Will (1) has struggled with his form since early May and hasn’t won since early April. The return to a decent box may see him bring out his best.
Beckenbauer’s (7) statistics indicate he is capable of running a place. He only has two wins from 14 at The Meadows but has been placed second on eight other occasions. He has a best of 30.26 and has won from box seven.
Zipping Snoopy (4) won a heat of the Maturity in 30.11 from box two here at the track a fortnight ago but then failed in the semi-finals. He recently made the final of the Bendigo Cup, finishing seventh to Warrior King. It all depends what happens at box-rise as to whether the Mantra Lad and Cho Chang (Whisky Assassin – Pacific Style) dog will feature.
Woodnear (3), Dyna Geldof (6) and Mepunga Armagh (8) were all unplaced in each of their last respective starts. They look to need a little bit of luck to come up trumps.
Australia’s Queen of the loam Xylia Allen will line up as favourite in another Group final next week after she ran the second fastest time in the heats of the Group Two McKenna Memorial at Sandown on Thursday night.
The Jenny Hunt trained daughter of Turanza Bale and Tayah Bale (Droopys Vieri – Francesca Bale) overcame early trouble to finish powerfully from box eight and overhaul Searle Bale in the time of 34.18 to win the fifth heat.
The multiple Group One winner and eight time track record holder has drawn box one for next weeks final and is sure to start at a very short quote.
The Brooke Ennis trained Dream It showed that he is a genuine contender for the $40,000 first prize when he led all the way in the final heat in the fastest of the six heats.
Jumping swiftly from box four, the son of Bartrim Bale and Ondina Bale (Collision – Maple Bale) led all the way to score in the time of 34.17 from Mepunga Tiara who also qualified for the final.
Earlier in the night, ultra consistent bitch Tarks Nemesis (7) finished too strongly to land the first heat at the juicy odds of $7.90.
The Angela Langton trained daughter of Velocette and Skrat (Big Daddy Cool – Dash Of Burgundy) stopped the clock at 34.29 when she overhauled early leader Cosmic Wise to reach her third Group final this year.
Great Spartacus dug deep to take out the second heat in an all-the-way effort for Lovely Banks trainer Kelly Bravo. The striking fawn son of Dyna Lachlan and Runway Model (Larkhill Jo – Steffi Grace) made the most of his early toe from box one and found plenty at the finish to stave off Ralphy Cinel (8) and win in the time of 34.35.
Angela Langton qualified her second runner for the final when Heidi Go Seek won the third heat by the barest of margins. After racing second for the bulk of the event the daughter of Talk’s Cheap and Ceejay’s Vixen (EJ’s Douglas – Advert) timed her run to perfection to score right on the line from Hawk Alone (3) in 34.45.
The fourth heat went the way of Musquin Bale for Andrea Dailly. The son of Dyna Lachlan and Princess Bale (Hallucinate – Gold Rush Bale) began well from box six to lead throughout and hold off the efforts of the fast finishing My Bro Fabio to win in the time of 34.29.
The box draw for next week’s $40,000 to-the-winner Group Two McKenna Memorial is as follows;
1 – Xylia Allen – Jenny Hunt
2 – Great Spartacus – Kelly Bravo
3 – Tarks Nemesis – Angela Langton
4 – Musquin Bale – Andrea Dailly
5 – Dream It – Brooke Ennis
6 – Heidi Go Seek – Angela Langton
7 – Mepunga Tiara – Jeff Britton
8 – Searle Bale – Andrea Dailly
9 – My Bro Fabio – Brooke Ennis
10 – Cosmic Wise – Jeff Britton
Brilliant Victorian chaser Hooksy justified his short odds at Wentworth Park last night in a heat of the Group One Peter Mosman Classic, recording best of the night figures of 29.47. Stepping beautifully from box five, the son of Hondo Black and Uno Witch clocked sizzling sectionals of 5.34 and 17.66, coming home in a solid 11.81. The Tanya Auld trained speedster notched up his fourteenth win from twenty starts and has a healthy prizemoney total of $80,880.
Heat one went to in-form chaser Push It for Dean Swain, who continued his winning ways, recording his fourth consecutive victory at Wentworth Park in a speedy 29.81. Beginning brilliantly from box eight, the daughter of Collision and Low Gee Eye quickly crossed her rivals to score comfortably by three lengths at the finish. $1.90 favourite Keybow missed the start and got squeezed out at the first turn, before making up solid ground to finish second and move through to next week’s semi finals.
Zipping Delta was also looking to continue her winning streak and was flawless from box one in heat two as the $2.20 favourite, racking up consecutive win number three. The daughter of Bekim Bale and Scarlett Spy was never headed in a dominant display, clocking 29.49. Jason Mackay’s chaser recorded an impressive run home of 11.70 and takes her win tally to nine from 26 starts. Glenn Rounds All Strung Out was gallant in defeat, reducing the winning margin to just one length and will be a forced to reckon with in the semi-finals next week, clocking an outstanding time of 29.55.
Punters heavily supported Darren McDonald’s Tiggerlong Amigo, starting as the $1.90 favourite in heat three, however he failed to fire from box three and finished in fifth position. Rank $17.00 outsider My Awesome Opal stunned enthusiasts by taking out the heat in 30.08 from box eight. The Marie Burton trained chaser began fast from box eight and crossed her rivals at the first turn to lead all the way and salute by five and three quarter lengths. Another $17.00 outside in Hilda’s Boy chased hard and finished in second position.
In-form chaser Cawbourne Whip continued her outstanding run, clocking a flying 29.50 in heat four from box three. The Jodie Lord owned and trained daughter of Dyna Lachlan sped to the front and charged home in a brilliant run home of 11.62. She has now won her last four straight races and has 13 career wins from just 23 starts. Aurora Girl was very impressive from box two and reduced the winning margin to three and a quarter lengths, clocking 29.70.
Tommy Brislane is one of the most promising pups New South Wales at present, notching up his sixth career win last night from just seven starts. Stepping beautifully from box three, the Steve White trained chaser impressed once again in a fast time of 29.71. This consistent son of Premier Fantasy saluted by three and a half lengths over second placegetter Stilton Blue. The $2.20 favourite Deadly Vane found severe early trouble and tailed off to the back of the field.
All eyes will be on the box draw for next week’s three semi-finals, with Hooksy now favourite to take out the Group One $75,000 final on June 21.
The coveted Group One Peter Mosman Classic heats will kick off tonight at Wentworth Park, with an enticing $75,000 on offer for winning connections in three weeks time.
Six competitive heats will be conducted over the 520m distance, with the first four placegetters moving through to next week’s three semi-finals.
To be eligible for the series all runners were required to be born on or after 1st December 2011.
Heat one will jump at 8.07pm.
Group One Perth Cup winner Keybow returns to Wentworth Park for the first time since contesting the Golden Easter Egg heats back in April and comes off a second placing in the Group Two Queensland Derby a month ago. Darren McDonald’s charge has a sizzling 29.45 personal best at the track and will be primed for this event from box three. My Kinda Music attracted plenty of attention during the New Sensation series at Wentworth Park in April, where she finished third behind the freakishly talented Hookesy in 29.36. Trained by Allan Pringle, the daughter of El Grand Senor and Ice Dancer recorded a flying 29.69 at headquarters last month.
Push It will be looking for her fourth straight win at the track after an impressive 29.70 performance last week from box three. Despite not having won from the outside alley, Dean Swain’s talented chaser has an excellent Wentworth Park record of three wins from six starts and the exceptional early pace to cross from out wide.
Chica Destacada has returned to her brilliant best and produced a sensational 29.49 performance at the track two weeks ago, with an equally impressive 29.51 win the week prior. Doreen Drynan’s chaser has an outstanding record at headquarters with five wins from nine starts and despite the awkward box six, has enough early pace to trouble this classy field.
Jason Mackay’s Zipping Delta has come up with the coveted red rug and produced an outstanding 29.59 performance last week and a 30.61 run at Richmond the week before. The daughter of Bekim Bale will be doing her best work at the finish, so look for her to flash home. All Strung Out will be looking for his fourth straight win after solid performances at Warragul and Sandown Park over the past three weeks. He comes into this heat with plenty of confidence and will exit from box three.
Darren McDonald has another strong hope in this heat with Tiggerlong Amigo, who has an excellent career record of nine wins from eighteen starts and has won four of his past five outings. An impressive 29.72 stewards trial at Wentworth Park on Monday and a handy box three draw makes this son of Cosmic Chief a huge threat to take out this heat. Oh So Striking comes off a win at the track on Monday night in 30.07 and recorded a flying 29.56 at Gosford last month, giving trainer Darren Sultana plenty of reasons to favour this son of Cosmic Rumble’s chances. Having won five of nine career starts, this greyhound can be risky at box rise, but has a huge motor that should see him figure at the finish. Hilda’s Boy shocked everyone with a near record 29.32 win at Gosford two weeks ago and a repeat of that performance should see this son of Just The Best challenging this field.
Cawbourne Whip is in red-hot form at present and comes off a blistering 29.38 win at Wentworth Park last week and will only need to step cleanly to claim this affair for trainer Jodie Lord. The daughter of Dyna Lachlan and American Spot has a superb record at the track of four wins from seven starts and will be looking for her fourth straight win. Aurora Girl has a fast 29.72 personal best at the track which was recorded two weeks ago and is ideally drawn near the rails, with all of her career wins coming from boxes one and three. Trained by Marie Burton, the daughter of Cosmic Rumble can be risky at box-rise; however can find her way to the finish.
Lady Goldenpaw makes her debut at Wentworth Park for Victorian trainer Robert Britton and has some impressive personal best times, including 29.66 at Sandown Park, recorded back in March. The daughter of High Earner has good early pace and will need to use it, exiting from the awkward box six.
Group Three New Sensation winner Hookesy returns to Wentworth Park for the first time since captivating the greyhound world with some sizzling performances around the two turn circuit, including a blistering personal best of 29.36. The son of Hondo Black trained by Tanya Auld, will have to overcome the testing box five, however should demonstrate another superb performance as one of the series favourites.
Unbelief has come up with the red rug and has an excellent Wentworth Park record of four wins from six starts and saluted impressively last week in 29.79. Rue De Kahn has produced solid form of late and last month recorded a flying personal best of 29.64. The Group One National Futurity winner has the ability to cross from the outside alley and push for a semi-finals berth next week.
Tommy Brislane is airbourne at present, having won four of his past five outings, including a 29.74 performance at Wentworth Park and an equally impressive 26.17 win at Bulli. The son of Premier Fantasy and Mary Virginia has an outstanding career record of five wins from six starts and will give trainer Steve White a huge chance of making the semi-finals. Stilton Blue comes off a second placing in the Group Three Bulli Gold Plate and has a solid personal best at the track of 29.82.
Golden Easter Egg winning trainer Brooke Ennis returns to Wentworth Park with the talented Deadly Vane, who will exit from box eight and comes off an brilliant win at Shepparton in 25.05. The winner of 13 races from 22 starts has the pace to cross from the wide draw and will have plenty of watchers as he makes his Wentworth Park debut.
Up and comer Happy Haswell sent out a warning to rivals that he is the one to beat in the final of the listed Flyng Amy Classic, winning the third and final heat in the fastest time of 30.15.
The heats were also highlighted by the fact that Patrick Estate mentor Peter Ruetschi not only qualified three runners for next Thursday’s final, but they are also all from the same litter. You Say So, Give You Credit and You Can Talk are all from the Outa Credit – Where Are You (Hallucinate – Duel’s Me Mum) litter and will see Ruetschi with a strong hand in the $15,000 to-the-winner event next week.
Happy Haswell is a Reg Kay trained son of Surf Lorian and Teenage Dream (Knocka Norris – Size ‘Em Up) and he did not have things all his own way, but showed class beyond his experience to win his fifth race from just six starts against much more experienced dogs.
Beginning third from box one, the 31kg dog mustered to second along the fence by the post the first time before copping some slight interference leaving the straight. He managed to hold down second and was in pursuit of early leader My Fantaziya (6) who opened up a four length break.
Happy Haswell claimed My Fantaziya on the home turn and roared away in the straight to score by 2 1/4 lengths on the line from the fast finishing Give You Credit, with You Can Talk (5) in third place.
Earlier, Nala’s Heart ran on well to take out the first heat in 30.23 for Loganlea trainer Robert Handyside.
After jumping well from box three, the daughter of Surf Lorian and Perfect Thrill (Hallucinate – Gorgas) worked her way to second early, chasing You Say So (2), who had opened up a handy break heading to the back.
Nala’s Heart found plenty in the run home and finished strongly to overhaul You Say So and win by 1 1/4 lengths, with Super Vision a further two lengths away in third place.
The biggest upset of the three heats came in heat two when King Elliot (2) led all the way to claim some big scalps in the time of 30.26. The son of Dyna Lachlan and Slick Candy (Black Enforcer – Cyclone Chrissy) speared the lids and as fate would have it, that was the end of the proverbial penny section.
Red-hot favourite Flash Reality (3) missed the jump and despite making his way to second place, managed to find enough trouble to end his winning chances.
The Reg Hazelgrove trained King Elliot showed the virtue of early speed and raced away via an unhampered run to score by 2 3/4 lengths. Angvella (5) was doing his best work at the end of the race to land second and Flash Reality picked himself up to grab third place.
The box draw for the listed Flying Amy Classic is ;
1 – Angvella – Christina Harman
2 – You Say So – Peter Ruetschi
3 – You Can Talk – Peter Ruetschi
4 – Happy Haswell – Reg Kay
5 – Nala’s Heart – Robert Handyside
6 – Give You Credit – Peter Ruetschi
7 – King Elliot – Reg Hazelgrove
8 – Super Vision – Peter Young
9 – Flash Reality – Tony Brett
10 – Renatus – Robin Palmer
Dewana Result is the newest sensation in Australian greyhound racing and is likely to start a short priced favourite for Saturday’s Northern Districts Cup final after dominating the heats at Shepparton on Monday night.
The Brendan Dewan trained speedster lived up to the hype surrounding his recent Warragul track record run by making the first heat a one-act affair. The son of Cosmic Rumble and Wildcard Lass (Primo Uno – Pauline) was second last to leave the boxes but quickly set about cutting a swathe throughout the field, before exploding to the front and careering away to win.
He stopped the clock at 25.01 in his 8 1/4 length victory, which is just 0.19 outside Cape Hawke’s two year old track record. He is certainly shaping up as a star of the future given that this heat was only his fourth race start.
Early leader Symmetry Lad (4) finished second, while Kraken Classy (8) grabbed third.
Grand Legacy’s win from box three in second heat may not have featured the speed of the first but certainly lacked nothing in the tenacity department.
After vying for the early lead with Coup D’état (8), Grand Legacy found trouble and was shunted back to sixth place on the rails. The Peter Daprain trained son of El Grand Señor and Premier Babe (Premier Fantasy – Ikari Babe) then hooked out three-wide in the home straight but still had to overcome a bumping duel with Gunai Diva (1) before he powered home to overhaul the early leader.
Grand Legacy won by a length on the line in the time of 25.65, with Coup D’état finishing second and Gunai Diva third.
The third heat was taken out by Overdrive (4) in a tight finish for Longlea trainer Ian Garland.
The 28-month-old son of Dyna Lachlan and Wicked Witch (Larkhill Jo – Witch Magic) was second early to Michu (8). By the time they had reached the home turn, Overdrive was challenging for the lead but Xtreme Knocka (7) snuck underneath the pair to hit the front on the rails.
It was at this point that Overdrive’s name was quite befitting as he dug deep and motored home to grab Xtreme Knocka right on the line and win by the barest of margins.
Overdrive stopped the clock at 25.48, the second fastest win of the night. Xtreme Knocka finished second with Michu hanging on for third.
Who Told Blackie (7) used the wide draw with aplomb to land the fourth heat in the time of 25.55.
Beginning well from box seven, the Michael Fothergill trained conveyance quickly found the front, staying wide and out of trouble.
The son of El Galo and Who Told Helen (Pacific Sky – Spacies Girl) was never headed as he remained in the centre of the track to stave off all challengers to score by a length.
Be Up (4) ran on strongly for second, with Serengeti Oasis (1) finishing third.
The final heat featured an all the way win by Kraken Concord for Murchison trainer Kevin Eyles.
Spearing the lids from box two, the son of Mogambo and Rose Patch (Typhoon Tide – Kalimna Rose) gave little else a chance as he opened up a break early and went on to score by 1 1/2 lengths in the time of 25.51.
Quick Hitch produced an eye catching run to finish second while Fearsome Warrior wound up in third placing.
The finalists in qualifying time order prior to box draw is as follows;
Dewana Result – Brendan Dewan
Overdrive – Ian Garland
Kraken Concord – Kevin Eyles
Who Told Blackie – Michael Fothergill
Grand Legacy – Peter Daprain
Xtreme Knocka – Jason Thompson
Symmetry Lad – Sharon Kaliszewski
Quick Hitch – Sandra Waycott
Be Up – David Warburton
Coup D’état – Brian Buchanan
Upsets were the flavour of the evening in the four heats of the Group Two Harrison-Dawson at Sandown on Thursday night with a quartet of boil-overs that would make the President of the Malfunctioning Kettle Club proud.
The surprises began in the first heat when Mepunga Melachi ($29.70) outshone a classy field to win in 29.45, leaving his handler looking as shocked as half of the punters on course.
The striking white and blue dog was last away and, even when he got to second mid-race, still faced the arduous task of overhauling the strong Innocent Til. But the greyhound god’s smiled on Mepunga Melachi who scorched away to win by 2 3/4 lengths in 29.45.
Texas Titan motored home for second to qualify for next week’s $100,000 to-the winner final with My Bro Fabio finishing in third.
Innocent Til may have been the hard luck story of the event with the steward’s report revealing post-race that he had sustained a tricep injury during the run and was stood down for a period of 14 days.
The second heat saw Musquin Bale show the virtue of early speed when he claimed some of the biggest scalps of the night to win.
The son of Dyna Lachlan and Princess Bale (Hallucinate – Gold Rush Bale) shot out of box two, making his own luck early which proved to be the key to his victory. As he opened up a break at the first turn, Golden Easter Egg winner Tonk (4) found a world of trouble and fell near the catching pen along with Ozzie Bullet (5). Hooksy (6), who was chasing his eighth straight win, copped the back wash and his winning chances were also dashed at this point.
This left the powerful 30kg red fawn chaser all alone in front and he was highly unlikely to have any trouble from that point. He prevailed to win by 3 1/2 lengths in a handy 29.28. The $34 rank outsider Cornelius Fudge (8) grabbed second while Walk Hard (7), who also had no luck early, wound up in third place.
Both Hooksy and Tonk received a seven day stand down after post-race vet examinations showed injuries.
Cranbourne Cup winner Banjo Boy (7) rediscovered some of his best form when he led from go to whoa to salute in the third heat at $6.20. It was a heat that looked to lack a genuine early leader and, once he assumed that position, he was always going to take a ton of beating.
Awesome Project (3) and Hawk Alone (7) did show plenty of strength to run on late, but the Ken Virtue trained son of Vee Man Vane and Off Springer (Flying Penske – Skullring) ran the 515 metre trip right out, stopping the clock at 29.34 in his 2 3/4 length victory. Awesome Project grabbed the all-important second place just ahead of Hawk Alone.
The headline act of the night, Black Magic Opal, had all eyes on the three rug in the final heat. When the recent Warrnambool Cup winner found the front early, most thought it was more a matter of what time he would carve out as opposed to whether or not he would win the event.
However, as the field left the back, it appeared he was not about to reel off one of his memorable runs, and Tyronimo (1) emerged from the pack in a hurry to not only challenge the champ, but run straight past him and win in the time of 29.55. Owen Bale also ran on well to snatch second and qualify for the final with Black Magic Opal finishing third.
A vet examination showed Black Magic Opal to have sustained a thigh injury and a seven day stand-down was imposed.
The box draw for next Thursday night’s Group Two Harrison Dawson Final is as follows;
1 – Texas Titan – Jeff Britton
2 – Musquin Bale – Andrea Dailly
3 – Awesome Project – Darren McDonald
4 – Tyronimo – Wayne Vassallo
5 – Cornelius Fudge – Lisa Cockerell
6 – Owen Bale – Steve Collins
7 – Banjo Boy – Ken Virtue
8 – Mepunga Melachi – Joy McDowall
9- Hawk Alone – Andrea Dailly
10 – My Bro Fabio – Brooke Dennis
Ipswich Greyhounds Race 10 Box 6 No Prisoners, 11.17pm
I think I’ve found a winner in the last at Ipswich, but unfortunately it’s not until race 10 at 11.17pm. No Prisoners for trainer Tom Tzouvelis looks the winner here, the son of Pure Octane and Absolute style is from a repeat mating, with the first litter producing the highly talented Praying Mantis. This fellow is no Praying Mantis, but he does have ability. He’s been racing over the 431 metre trip lately, but the step up to the 520 metre trip shouldn’t be a concern. I expect him to ping out and lead these and once in front he should be too good. He looks capable Of running 30.80 and that will be enough to win this by a couple of lengths.
The danger will be Nice Mover, who’s a talented type with a super quick 30.53 PB. If she jumps and finds the bunny she’ll probably run a similar time and just win. But she’s not racing as well as when she recorded that time and can’t be backed with confidence.
The Meadows Greyhounds Race 8 Box 4 Brent Bale, 9.43pm
Brent Bale has been knocking on the door for a whole now. It’s been over five months since the son of Dyna Lachlan has won a city race, but I reckon he’s building up to one. His run last week was solid considering he couldn’t lead. He should be able to lead theses tonight and if he does he could lead all the way if they jam up behind. There will be plenty of speed from the outside and if Brent Bale can ping and get away and lead, the outside
runners might find themselves coming together.
Box three runner Cornelius Fudge could be the smokey. It’s likely he’ll get back, but if they do jam he’ll no doubt have the rail and will look to rail up underneath them. He’ll be finishing really hard so maybe a saver on him.
Cannington Greyhounds Race 6 Box 8 Hillbilly Flash, 10.50pm
The Paul Stuart trained Hillbilly Flash was going to lead and get across last week from box eight before being smashed around the first turn and put completely out of play. He’s drawn the same box again here tonight against a very similar field. I see no reason why he can’t lead again tonight and it will only take a little but of luck, and he’ll get across and in front around the first turn. Once in front and on the bunny I can’t see anything running him down.
Group one winner Zelemar Fever is the danger and the class dog of the race. She’s broken 30.00 here multiple times and was unlucky also last week in the same race. She should fire and and be the main threat to Hillbilly Flash. It looks a great quinella race, so I suggest boxing runners 4 and 8 in an exacta. $2.00 for 100%.
Best of luck
$$ Another Day Another Dollar $$
Western Australia has joined in with the rest of Australia in the record-breaking department with Back Jack Tewin lowing Mandurah’s 490 metre record on Thursday night.
The record of 27.18 was held by Wheely Smart for the last four years and was lowered by almost two lengths to 27.08 by trainer Dwayne Jovanovic’s chaser.
Despite jumping from box five, Back Jack Tewin started $3.00 favourite. As the lids flew open the black chaser shot straight to the lead over Premier Surf (box two) and West On Manu (box four), from then it was only a matter of how far Back Jack Tewin could extend his leading margin.
“This rates as the biggest high from my career, I was very happy when I saw the clock.” Trainer Dwayne Jovanovic explained.
“He is just a very good dog and I was very confident he was going to win. We knew he was a fast dog ever since he came over here, someone told me that the way he ran a few starts ago, coming from six lengths behind, that he would come close to breaking the track record.”
The son of Dyna Lachlan – Classy Cha Cha made the trip from Queensland in August last year after Jovanovic purchased him. He has had 18 starts on WA soil, for six wins and five placing’s. He has loved the 490 metre distance from his first start back in December last year, which he won from box three. From then he has gone onto win on another three occasions, all best of the night performances.
“We got him from the person we always get our pups from, we have brought six to eight dogs off this breeder. His friend was selling him, so be brought him for a cheap price. When we first brought him we thought we would just be able to have some fun with the dog. When he was trialling and trialling well, we knew he was going to be a pretty good dog.”
With successful starts over the 600 metre distance for his pervious trainer, Jovanovic aims to get his chaser running his best over both Cannington and Mandurah’s middle distance.
“We are going to try for the 600 metres, I’m pretty sure there is a middle distance challenge coming up at Mandurah and then I will take him back to Cannington and give him another go there.”
In between starts at Mandurah, Back Jack Tewin has tried his luck at Cannington over the 530 metre distance, his five starts at Cannington have seen him finish unplaced on each occasion, with Jovanovic putting it down to his chaser not being comfortable at the track yet. Jovanovic is more then blessed to have a chaser like Back Jack Tewin in his name after being a greyhound trainer for just over a year.
“I like the greyhounds, my uncle Peter was involved with them and that’s how I started out.”
With just seven chasers in his kennel, four race dogs and three young ones, Jovanovic is able to spend the time needed to get the best out of each of his greyhounds.
A likely start over Mandurah’s 490 metre distance awaits Back Jack Tewin next week and all eyes will be on the clock in hope of a repeat performance.
On a card where three trainers landed doubles, Shakey Jakey provided race goers with a moment they’ll never forget as he shaved a whopping three lengths of Punch One Out’s record, setting a new time-standard of 29.07.
Steve White, Jason Mackay and Justin King all had multiple winners during the ten heats.
Let’s take a look a how things transpired;
Sportingbet Magic Maiden Series – Heat 1
Paua To Roar (5) took out the first heat for Nowra Hill trainer Steve White in a race which was reduced to just five runners due to scratchings. After beginning on terms, the son of Head Bound and Paua To Erupt quickly opened up a margin, registering a first section of 5.35.
From that point, Paua To Roar was never headed and won the event by 4 1/4 lengths in the time of 30.03. Mean Mr. Mustard (1) ran a solid middle section and finished the race off well to finish second with American Sniper (7) also running on strongly to grab third placing right on the line.
Sportingbet Magic Maiden Series – Heat 2
Steve White made it an early double when Tommy Brislane (8) caused a boilover in the second heat. Beginning well from box eight, the son of Premier Fantasy and Mary Virginia (Brett Lee – Thai Again) used the outside box with aplomb, avoiding early trouble to register a first section of 5.45.
The big 35kg dog made his own luck in front from that point, leading throughout to land the heat by 1 1/4 lengths in 30.20. Big Gee Eye (6) ran a good race, overcoming early trouble to finish second while Cuddletime Tears (7) finished third. Short-priced favourite Black Jack Billy was slow away and ran into plenty of dead-ends before finishing fourth.
Sportingbet Magic Maiden Series – Heat 3
Filante (1) dominated the third heat, leading throughout to score by 6 3/4 lengths in 29.78 for Langwarrin mentor Janet Cottrell. After spearing the lids from box one, the 31kg son of Cosmic Rumble and Indigo Gem (Slater – Valeri’s Purse) ran a first section of 5.43 and quickly made the race a one-act affair.
Lochinvar Akira (7) grabbed second right on the line from Allmendinger (3).
Sportingbet Magic Maiden Series – Heat 4
After being well supported in betting, Zipping Weston (1) duly delivered in the fourth heat for trainer Jason Mackay.
After beginning moderately from the inside, the son of Smooth Fancy and Navigator Miss (Whiskey Assassin – Al Fresco) quickly got to third and railed like the lure out of the straight the first time to hit the front.
From that point, the further they went, the further Zipping Weston got away, scoring by a massive 10 1/4 lengths in 29.62. Lyla Mei (8) ran on to fill second place with Brasko Khan finishing third.
Sportingbet Magic Maiden Series – Heat 5
Anything Less (6) saluted in the fifth heat of the night in 29.92 for trainer Glenn Rounds. The regally bred son of Bekim bale and Casey’s Angel (Spiral Nikita – Leprechaun Yap) showed plenty of determination in a rough-and-tumble style affair.
An even start saw a line of three neck-and-neck to the post the first time, with Gan Gan Fire (1), Anything Less (6) and Fancy Top (7) all vying for the lead. Anything Less showed great tenacity to carve down to the rail and find the front. Gan Gan Fire was inconvenienced and fell at the first turn along with Nicki Fields (5).
Anything Less and Fancy Top went to the back almost together but it did not take lone for Anything Less to gain the upper-hand and career away to win by 10 3/4 lengths.
Molong Express (3) finished second in what was a terrific run. The Toby Weekes trained dog copped a myriad of interference but just kept coming for a solid placing. Fancy Top hung on for third place.
Sportingbet Magic Maiden Series – Heat 6
Heat six provided the highlight of the night, if not the year, when the David Pringle trained Shakey Jakey (2) smashed the track record in an imperious display of chasing.
The son of Collision and Kiacatoo Pearl (History Lesson – Naughty Thoughts) stopped the clock at 29.07, and yes that is not a typo, en route to obliterating Punch One Out’s former record of 29.27.
Beginning well from box two, the 35kg black chaser ran a moderate 5.47 for the first section before morphing into a canine missile and transforming the race into a virtual solo trial.His second section of 13.74 saw him open a massive margin which he only bettered with a mind-blowing run-home of 11.32.
He won by no less than 22 1/4 lengths from Passenger (2) with Emily’s Sweet in third.
Sportingbet Magic Maiden Series – Heat 7
Zipping Bruno (8) showed terrific track sense to negotiate the outside alley and take the seventh heat in 30.13 and landing Jason Mackay a training double in the process.
Beginning only moderately from the wide draw, the son of Smooth Fancy and Navigator Miss (Whiskey Assassin – Al Fresco) stayed wide and avoided trouble before showing a great turn of foot to hit the front down the back.
Recruitment (5), who led early, stuck on very well for second, only going down by three-quarters of a length. Big Red Chev (6) finished third.
Sportingbet Magic Maiden Series – Race 8
Heat eight always looked a close heat on paper and it eventuated that way, with the run to the first turn telling.
It would be the Toby Weekes trained Old Mexico (a littermate to the newly crowned track record holder Shakey Jakey) who would come out victorious in a moderate 30.37.
Heavily supported favourites Xtreme Knocka (4) and All Strung Out (5) won the start with Old Mexico on their inside. But things went awry at the first turn with Xtreme Knocka appearing to be galloped on from behind, leading to both he and All Strung Out’s chances being severely hampered and leaving Old Mexico in front with Fancy Chance (8) in pursuit.
That pair cleared right out with Old Mexico proving too good, prevailing by a length on the line. All Strung Out ran a massive race to grab third position.
Sportingbet Magic Maiden Series – Heat 9
As the rain started to tumble at Wentworth Park, Miss Talladega (3) led all the way to land the ninth heat in 30.51.
Beginning well from box three, the daughter of Dyna Lachlan and Miss Lolola (Late Late Show – Miss California) led from Fox Rip (6) and Megan Keeping (5).
That trio raced closely for the duration of the race with Megan Keeping looking poised to strike on the home turn. But, to her credit, Miss Talladega kept on keeping on and scored by a length on the line from Megan Keeping with Moonshine Lady getting home well for third.
Sportingbet Magic Maiden Series – Heat 10
Londonderry trainer Justin King finished off the night with a race-to-race double when Gilgamesh (6) scored in the final event.
The daughter of Collision and American Titch (Molotov – Elite Monelli) began on terms but did not have things all her own way early on in proceedings. She copped a bump halfway down the straight as well as a clip from behind as she crossed to lead but still managed to shoot clear as the field headed into the back straight.
In no time at all, she had put the result beyond doubt, racing away to win by 9 1/4 lengths in the time of 30.31.
Chevy Lass (8) finished second, with Organic Choice (3) in third.
Classy Sahara (7) will step out in heat one for trainer Jason Magri from box seven, after a very impressive performance at headquarters last Saturday night, clocking a fast 29.81. This son of Where’s Pedro and Magri’s talented race bitch Helena Star has an excellent Wentworth Park record of two wins and four minor placings from seven starts, and will be hard to beat if he steps cleanly from the wide draw.
Bouchard (5) will make her debut at the track for trainer Shaun Evans, coming off good form at Dapto where the daughter of boom sire Bekim Bale recorded a speedy 29.85 last month. Despite exiting from the squeeze box, this bitch has decent box manners to compensate the poor draw. Dad’s Ambition (2) was impressive last Monday night at Wentworth Park against easier opposition, scoring in 30.09. The Peter Mccann trained chaser has drawn ideally and will run a cheeky race.
Jason Magri is set to go back to back in heat two with promising youngster Invictive, who will exit from box eight. Another offspring of Helena Star, this greyhound has a terrific record at Wentworth Park, having recorded four victories and five minor placings from twelve starts, with a personal best of 30.05. Jorelle (2) has been on fire lately for trainer Andrew Bayliss, winning five from ten and won her only start at Wentworth Park back in February. This daughter of Collision and Perfect Model has genuine early pace and will definitely improve on her personal best of 30.41 if she begins well.
Zola Icon (1) has the coveted red rug and recorded a solid 29.98 personal best last month for trainer Robert Sullivan. Despite her inconsistent box manners, the daughter of Mogambo can produce a good performance if she begins well. Raincheck (7) for Peter Lagogiane has been racing very consistent of late, having been in the placings her past ten starts and was impressive at Gosford last month in a respectable 30.20.
Irondale Bravo (6) sizzled around Gosford last week in 29.66 and will make her debut at Wentworth Park for trainer Darren Sultana. The daughter of Collision and Luci Tee has a good record from the outside boxes, having won two from five starts and will only need a clear run to test this field.
Cawbourne Whip (4) is resuming at headquarters for Jodie Lord after an unsuccessful campaign at The Gardens in February. The daughter of Dyna Lachlan has an excellent record at the track with two wins from three starts and a personal best of 29.98. Fashion Princess (1) has record mixed form of late, however the inside draw will be a huge advantage for this daughter of Where’s Pedro, who has a solid personal best of 30.06.
Hooksy (3) is an outstanding prospect from Victoria, recording victories at his past three outings at Sandown Park, with a blistering personal best time of 29.15. The Tanya Auld trained son of Hondo Black and Uno Witch is a serious contender to take out the series after an impressive 29.68 stewards trial last week at Wentworth Park. Bottom Dollar (2) is undefeated after four career starts around the one turn circuits of Victoria and is nicely drawn in box two. The son of Bombastic Shiraz will be making his debut around the circle for trainer Glen Rounds and possesses good early pace to be competitive in this event.
Bekim Keeping (4) has been very consistent of late with a solid win at this track in 30.07 two weeks ago. Despite his lack of early pace and awkward box draw, he has a big motor and look for him at the finish.
Silent Effective (1) is one of the hottest young pups in the state at present, recording scintillating times at Maitland (24.93) and Nowra (29.73), with a solid 30.28 win at Wentworth Park last month. The Darren Sultana trained son of Cosmic Rumble and Best Percentage is a risky beginner, however only needs some room to move to make an impact.
Sir Redmond (3) is impeccably bred, by Where’s Pedro out of Daydream and stunned racegoers last week at The Gardens, notching up his maiden victory over the 515m in a near record 29.37. Trainer Brett May will be hoping for a repeat performance on debut at Wentworth Park tonight from a handy draw. Litter brother My Boy Snoop (6) will exit from box six for in-form trainer Anthony Azzopardi and flew around this track in a steward’s trial last week, clocking 29.70.
My Kinda Music (7) has won her past seven straight and nine from twelve starts overall. The son of El Grand Senor and Ice Dancer made her debut at Wentworth Park last week for trainer Allan Pringle, recording a speedy 29.89. Another member of the talented Where’s Pedro and Daydream litter; Fusaichi Kahn will make the trip down from Queensland after an impressive 29.88 performance at Albion Park.
Doonside Dani (2) has won her past three outings and will be looking to keep her perfect Wentworth Park record intact, after recording her second victory at headquarters in February, clocking 30.18. Waymore’s Blues has his first start for in form trainer Toby Weekes after being purchased after his last start at Maitland. He will be the main danger to the favourite and will only need a little bit of early luck to pose a serious threat.
King Odessa (3) was gallant in defeat last week in 29.91 and will be highly competitive in this affair from a good box draw. Trained by Kristy Sultana, this son of Where’s Pedro and Supreme Odessa has only been unplaced once at six attempts at Wentworth Park and has a respectable personal best of 30.05.
Lacey Lois (7) has a solid Wentworth Park record of one win and four minor placings from six starts, with a personal best of 30.34 and Wilson’s Dream (6) drops back in distance after an impressive win at Richmond over the 618m last week, and will make his debut at Wentworth Park. The Harry Sarkis trained chaser can test some of these runners who lack strength.
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.
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.
Great night of racing ahead with some quality greyhounds engaged.
Recent Vince Curry Memorial winner Jungle Junction is engaged to run in the heats of the Queensland young guns. All eyes will be on the daughter of Cindeen Shelby and Cosmic Rumble, as she tries to continue on her winning way.
Albion Park Greyhounds Race 3 Box 2 Dulcie Dee, 7.25pm
Most of the races look to have a standout winner in them tonight here at Albion Park. Dulcie Dee for trainer Frank Hancock looks the one to beat in this. The daughter of Collision has all ready stopped the clock in a impressive 29.95 here, and has won eight from seventeen starts. She’s well drawn in the two box, and is likely to trail early leader Chant into the first turn. Once she positions in behind Chant she should prove to strong in the run to the line.
Chant however gets his chance to win, and will make full use if the red box. He has a PB of 30.08, two lengths slower then Dulcie Dee, but he doesn’t find the line all that well, so he will need a little luck to hold her off.
These two however look the standout pair, so I suggest taking a few multiples around these two, running first and second.
Angle Park Greyhounds, Race 8 Box 2 Jimmy Lane, 9.44pm
Jimmy Lane is a high quality chaser and he won nicely when we tipped him here last week. It’s taking the son of Dyna Lachlan a while to get use to Angle Park, but now he’s found winning form, expect him to keep winning and improve his PB.
He run a solid 30.09 here last week from box eight, and a dog of his quality should get down around the 29.80 mark here tonight, if he jumps straight to the front. Suntory Gold looks the danger, but she will be giving Jimmy quite a substantial lead in the early part of the race, and is unlikely to be able to peg it back.
These two again look the two so stick to taking multiples with them.
Dapto Greyhounds Race 5 Box 6 Little Elsie, 8.55pm
I really liked the way in which this girl won last start here. She showed top early acceleration to burn off Exhibitionist and race away here last week and I see her being able to do the same tonight. Box six won’t cause any issues to her, and there’s very little speed around her. It’s never easy finding winners over the scamper trip, but she’s in form and looks the one.
Hobart Greyhounds Race 9 Box 2 Nooee’s Lad, 9.41pm
I often mention how fast a beginner this this dog is, and he should once again spear the lids and find himself a long way in front. He does however have a flat spot after about 200 meters, so as long as he remains in front, he should just win. He has a great PB here and this is the sorta race he can dominate on.
Likely favourite and should win.
Best of luck
$$ Another Day Another Dollar $$
The Bendigo Greyhound Racing Club hosted their Victorian Breeders Stakes final for maiden greyhounds last Friday, with victory going to the locally trained Turbine.
An imposing son of Dyna Lachlan out of the lightly raced bitch Queen Of Bling, Turbine was the most expensive lot sold at the recent Bendigo Ready to Race Sale held in November 2013, being purchased for $28,000.
Turbine created a lot of interest at the R2R Sale, having run some quick times during the qualifying heats, and he is now beginning to vindicate the faith shown by his new owners, already recouping $10,000 in just his seven official career race starts.
Having been runner up in both his heat and semi-final, Turbine was at luxury odds for the Victorian Breeders Stakes Final, and his many supporters would have enjoyed the TAB price of around $15 for the decider. Beginning much cleaner than he has in his prior six race track appearances, Turbine, relishing his wide draw, quickly raced up to join the early leader Eternal Magic, and forged to the front at the first turn. It was at this point when the runners behind Turbine tightened and the resultant scrimmage giving him an unassailable lead.
Turbine increased his margin in the run to the line, greeting the judge 7 ¾ lengths clear of Mumma Hook for Rob Neocleous, while third money went to Banged Up Bill for Wayne Vassallo, in a quick 23.98 seconds for the 425 metre journey.
On a sad note, Rob Neocleous’s other competitor, race favourite Rose Lilly fell and unfortunately suffered a broken leg and was subsequently euthanized.
Turbine has a strong pedigree on his Dam side, being a son of Queen Of Bling, who is a sister to former track record holder at Sandown over the 595 metres and Sir John Dillon trophy winner Bling It On. Queen Of Bling is also a half sister to recent Warragul Cup Winner Walk Hard (x Bit Chilli).
Queen Of Bling only raced twice and did not register a win in those two starts, but she looks like having an influence as a brood bitch if her first progeny are anything to go by. Turbine is from her first litter; she has since whelped pups to Stagger and is currently in pup to Knocker Norris.
The Torr family have been stalwarts in the Greyhound industry for many years, and despite having breaks from the sport at stages, Jenny and David have always kept a strong interest in the code. Many greyhound followers would remember the Torr’s competing at the old Eaglehawk track in the 1960s and 70s where they enjoyed a great run of success, quite often training multiple winners.
The Ready to Race Auction series has proven a hit for Greyhound Racing Victoria in the two series held so far, with the inaugural winner Kiss Me Ketut, lining up in the Australian Cup this Saturday night.
I am not sure if Turbine will reach those dizzy heights; however, he certainly is a young dog to keep an eye on as the current R2R Series progresses.
This race, the richest, or equal richest, in the country at times, is awash with history. This year will mark its 13th running over 525 metres at the Meadows, and it’s 56th overall. It’s also interesting to see what alleys have provided the most winners of the event since the move to the Meadows.
The first Australian Cup set the template for the prestige of the event. Run in 1958 as a handicap event over 675 yards (617 metres) at North Melbourne, the winner was the great Rookie Rebel, owned and trained by Wally Hooper. Rookie Rebel was the backmarker, off eight yards, and short-priced favourite. Despite a severe check at one point in the race, Rookie Rebel stormed home to defeat the smart NSW racer Magic Babe by three lengths in 36. 2/16ths, the fastest time registered in a handicap. He earned £800 ($1,600) for the victory.
The Australian Cup was run over 675 yards (617 metres) at North Melbourne as a handicap from 1958 to 1962. No race was held in 1963 when the move was made to Olympic Park. The new distance was 560 yards (511 metres) and it remained a handicap in 1964 and 1965. From 1966 to 1995 it was run at Olympic Park. When that track closed, the Cup took place over 515 metres at Sandown Park from 1996 to 1998. In 1999 it moved to the Meadows and was contested over 518 metres until 2001. Since 2002 it has been run over 525 metres at the Meadows.
When Is The Race Run
The first Australian Cup was held on 31 March 1958, and has been held either in late February or March through most of its history. The exceptions have been when it was run in May from 1995 to 1997 and again in 2002, and January in 1998 and 2000.
Only the one: China Trip, in 1992 and 1993.
Only Reserves to Win
Biggest Winning Margins
Eaglehawk Star won by seven and a half lengths in 1985; Brett Lee blitzed the 2001 field by seven lengths in the last Cup contested over 518 metres; South Australian speedster Ginger won by six and a quarter lengths in 1989; NSW champion Benjamin John scored by six lengths in 1969 and Listowel Sue won by five and a half lengths in 1977.
Closest Winning Margins
The dead-heat in 2003 between Blackjack Tom and Most Awesome is obviously the closest of all time. Old Tops won in 1964 by half a head, becoming the first winner of the race at Olympic Park and also the first from NSW. Regal Post downed Dundalk Star by a head in 1987. China Trip won both her Australian Cups, in 1992 and 1993, by a head. Black Diro won by half a neck in 1971.
Most Successful Trainers
Queensland mentor Jim Coleman was the first to train dual winners, in successive years with Ungwilla Lad (1975) and Odious (1976). Then Garry Ball trained China Trip to win two in a row. Darren McDonald prepared Brett Lee in 2001 and Pure Octane in 2005; Robert Britton put the polish on Isa Brown (2002) and Tasman Queen (2008); Andrea Dailly has scored with Dyna Lachlan (2010) and Spud Regis (2013), and Graeme Bate has one and a half winners: he prepared Blackjack Tom in 2003 (who dead heated) and Velocette in 2009.
Idle Mate (third 1958, second 1959), Cheltenham Lass (second 1966 & 1967), Fawn Nulla (third 1966, Won 1967), Ungwilla Lad (Won 1975, third 1976), Count D’Argent (fourth 1977, Won 1978), Tangaloa (second 1979, Won 1980), Franklin Deano (eighth 1990, Won 1991), China Trip (Won 1992 & 1993), Bomber Gleeson (third 1992 & 1993), Super Impact (seventh 1994, sixth 1995), El Galo (second 2008 & 2009), and High Earner (fell 2010, second 2011).
Some Beaten Stars
Magic Babe (second 1958), Shan’s View (sixth 1960), Dennis Direct (second 1961), Tamaroo (seventh 1962), The Stripper (second 1964), Takiri (eighth 1965), Cheltenham Lass (second 1966 & 1967), Kinta’s Son (fifth 1966), Miram Miss (sixth 1968), Petite Panther (second 1971), Milo’s Charm (second 1972), Bristol Miss (fifth 1972), Miss Baines (second 1973), Tempix (second 1980), Acclaim Star (sixth 1980), White Panther (eighth 1980), Chariot Supreme (sixth 1984), Acacia Park (eighth 1984), Legendary Kid (third 1986), True To Do (second 1993), Hotshot (fourth 1998), Reggemite (seventh 1999), Go Wild Teddy (second 2001), Dutchy’s Angel (third 2001), Cyrus The Virus (fifth 2003), Monster’s Inc (second 2004), Paua To Burn (seventh 2006), Train A Journey (second 2007), and Glen Gallon (seventh 2013).
Meadow Vale (1960) was the first Tasmanian to win the Cup, defeating Fair’s Orders and thereby giving trainer Peter Reid the quinella.
Dennis Direct, the runner-up to Copeland in 1961, later went to the United States to race.
Take A Bow, who won in 1962 to take his record to eight wins from just 11 starts, including the Sandown track record, was the sire of 1969 winner Benjamin John.
Busy’s Warrior, third to Pete’s Advice in 1981, was later disqualified for a positive swab, and Hotshow Vintage, second to Arvo’s Express in 2000, was another who was later disqualified.
Apart from the 2003 dead-heat for first, there was a dead-heat for third, in 1987, between Fernando Prince and Shining Chariot.
The Australian Cup was the richest race in the country between 1960 (when it was worth £1,400 to the winner) and 1962 and from 1964 to 1979 (that year it shared equal billing with the Melbourne Cup, both races being worth $30,000 to the winner). In 1983 it was worth $50,000 and again became the richest race, until 1989. Since then, it has shared top billing in 1996, and 1998 to 2000.
Since the move to the Meadows and the 525-metre distance, winners have come out of six boxes, but the majority, perhaps not surprisingly, have exited box one (four winners). Box two has provided one success (St Pierre) and box three one and a half. No winner has worn the blue rug or the green. In fact, the last winner to come from box six was Brett Lee and I am fairly sure the last winner to come from box four was Franklin Deano in 1991.
This year’s Launceston Cup is a bit different to other years. Not because it has been conducted over three weeks, but because the 2014 version will see eight locals vying for the title.
To some this might mean the race doesn’t hold the ‘profile’ of other years, with no ‘big’ names to steal the limelight. The trainers’ column contains no Bate’s, Dailly’s, Britton’s or Thompson’s. You won’t see dogs with Group One formlines, track record runs or six-figure bank accounts.
But for some, this will be the best race of the year. Despite the lack of the obvious, what you will see is eight dogs giving their all, trying to change the lives of their connections. A $40,000 reward for those that work hard week in and week out, usually hoping to snag a $1,400 race on a Monday night.
This will be Tasmania’s race. It will be a local chaser winning the spoils on the local track. The question remains though; which one?
Most pundits will instantly lean towards Hellyeah Bolt. The Anthony Bullock runner has given the Hellyeah Syndicate a terrific ride in the past 12 months. His top speed and chasing ability are unparalleled and given an ounce of luck he’ll take some toppling.
But this race doesn’t look ideal on paper for the son of Dyna Lachlan and Flash Diamond. The semis were dominated by early speed, and from box seven, Hellyeah Bolt might find himself in the last few in the first 50 metres of the race.
It creates an interesting conundrum; perhaps the lead will be the best place to be, with few dogs likely to storm home.
If that’s the case then there are none faster out of the boxes than Nooee’s Lad. Butch Deverell’s chaser is without a doubt the fastest box dog in the state, and the middle draw won’t trouble him if he spears out like normal.
The issue for the Craig French owned chaser is whether he can run an overall time fast enough to hold out a Group Two field, with his best around the 515-metres being 29.87 over a year ago.
In a similar boat to Nooee’s Lad is Shane Whitney’s recent acquisition Black Rip. He has really hit his straps since coming across from NSW, and is unbeaten in five starts at the Mowbray circuit.
His early speed has helped the dog win race after race in the past three months, but as mentioned, his best time of 29.96 might need improving. Having box two will help his cause no end at a track where positioning on the first turn is so crucial.
The fortunes of the two runners will no doubt shape the race.
With that in mind, the chances of Mighty Lomar have been hurt by drawing the widest box. The former Victorian has been impressive since arriving with Mick Stringer, and is another that relies on her blistering early speed. Her semi-final time of 29.76 was a vast improvement from her previous efforts, and would suggest that she is ready to fire at this level of racing.
Mighty Lomar’s owner, Nathan McMenamin, has provided many runners to the Tasmanian greyhound scene over the years, and few people would begrudge him a landmark victory come Monday night.
Are Ate has come up with the prized cherry exit for the main event, and will be looking to make it two Group race wins in as many months. Like his Devonport Cup win that came as a surprise to many, Are Ate will be in double-figure territory from a betting perspective.
The second of the Anthony Bullock runners qualified for the final with an unlucky third in the heat, followed by a second behind Black Rip a week later. Are Ate adds more intrigue to this race, as the dog is a reliable starter and will be part of a furious charge into the first turn.
So too will be the baby of the field, Varcoe, who has just turned two in January. His run in the semi-final was brilliant, narrowly going down to Hellyeah Bolt in 29.81. That race also contained the likes of Buckle Up Wes, Sing The Song and Whodat Lass showing the class of chaser Varcoe had to overcome.
Owned by Christopher Nutt and trained by Debbie Cannan, Varcoe has been incredibly consistent for his entire career to date, and is certainly capable of causing an upset if the breaks go his way.
Brendan Purcell will be represented by Bain’s Lane who will exit box three. He comes into the final with two seconds by his name; the first was a long way behind Fighting Fang, while the other was a comfortable second behind Mighty Lomar.
While the dog is consistent and ran 29.87 in defeat last week, being drawn between Nooee’s Lad, Varcoe and Black Rip is going to make life very tough. Furthermore, he lost ground to the leader in both the heat and final, and without the likelihood of leading it seems like Bain’s Lane will have his work cut out.
Rounding out the field is the Peter Phillips owned and trained Faolan. A winner of 5 of 21 starts, the son of Surf Lorian and Portent will struggle to overcome box six in a field full of early bullets. Interestingly, Faolan has had a run since the semi-final and was impressive by dispatching a Grade 5 field at Hobart on Thursday.
While that completes the starting lineup, there is another element to the race; Buckle Up Wes starting as first reserve. Probably the name best known amongst the field, the black speedster will be inserted as favourite if he gets a start, especially if given an inside draw. It doesn’t seem the same without a Ted Medhurst runner in the Cup, but if anyone could steal it with a reserve runner, it would be the veteran trainer.
It’s bound to be a fantastic race that should be decided by the time the field enters the back straight. By then, we’ll know if Hellyeah Bolt can muster enough pace early to find the rail and if Nooee’s Lad or Black Rip get a big enough break to hold them off.
Whatever the result, we can’t wait to find out.
2014 Curtains and Blinds Group 2 Launceston Cup
Monday night 10.01pm ADST
1) Are Ate – Anthony Bullock
2) Black Rip – Shane Whitney
3) Varcoe – Debbie Cannan
4) Bain’s Lane – Brendan Purcell
5) Nooee’s Lad – Butch Deverell
6) Faolan – Peter Phillips
7) Hellyeah Bolt – Anthony Bullock
8) Mighty Lomar – Mick Stringer
9) Buckle Up Wes – Ted Medhurst
10) Mental As Ben – Ricky Martin
Exeter trainer Anthony Bullock is yet to experience Launceston Cup success, but has qualified two runners for Monday night’s $57,000 feature and has an undeniable chance of being seen on the podium.
Following last night’s semi – finals, both Hellyeah Bolt ( Dyna Lachlan – Flash Diamond) and Devonport Cup winner Are Ate (Lochinvar Marlow – Long Long Mama) have made it through for the Bullock kennel, with the former a likely favourite, in what will be a keenly contested affair.
Hellyeah Bolt, which claimed the speedy Varcoe (El Galo – Magic Dust) within the shadows of the post last night, recorded a winning time of 29.81 and the remaining three semis were won by Mighty Lomar (Where’s Pedro – Worldclass Lomar) in the time of 29.76, Nooee’s Lad (Knocka Norris – Break Of Dawn) in 29.98 and Black Rip (Goodesy – Richmond Fox) in 30.00.
Second place getters also qualified for a tilt at Monday night’s rich finale, which is sponsored this year by the local business Curtains and Blinds.
“I would naturally love to win my first Launceston Cup, but it is a particularly tough assignment,” Bullock explained on Tuesday.
“The field includes several chasers with explosive early speed and I am not even certain that the normally brilliant Are Ate can lead, despite him having drawn favourably in the red box. I’m hoping that Hellyeah Bolt can avoid early interference and be positioned within striking distance of the leaders, because he normally finishes his races off nicely.”
Raced by the Hellyeah Syndicate, headed by Rick Donaldson, Hellyeah Bolt has now won 16 of his 25 lifetime outings and is shaping up as one of Tasmania’s better greyhounds.
Meanwhile, in direct contrast to Anthony Bullock, Penguin trainer Butch Deverell, who will be represented by Nooee’s Lad on Monday night, boasts a wonderful Launceston Cup record, having won the race twice as a trainer and once as an owner.
“I was successful as an owner with the top bitch Two Codes and have since prepared both Big Moose and Akka Boy to win the race,” he explained.
“I have had problems with Nooee’s Lad, but believe that they have finally been sorted out and despite the fact that he has drawn box five, he has some chance of winning.”
Normally a brilliant beginner, the chaser is raced by Burnie businessman Craig French and is the winner of 15 of his 51 outings.
Mangalore trainer Mick Stringer’s luck changed for the better with the semi-final victory of the former Victorian chaser Mighty Lomar, which was impressive in winning the fastest of the four contested.
In recent weeks Stringer had the misfortune to lose the top chasers Yappin Jack (Aston Galilee – Patsy Anne) and Archie Gumballs (Where’s Pedro – Come On Roxy), which were both being prepared for a Launceston Cup campaign.
$57,000 GROUP 2 CURTAINS AND BLINDS LAUNCESTON CUP FINAL (515 METRES)
1. Are Ate Anthony Bullock
2. Black Rip Shane Whitney
3. Varcoe Debbie Cannan
4. Bain’s Lane Brendan Pursell
5. Nooee’s Lad Butch Deverell
6. Faolan Peter Phillips
7. Hellyeah Bolt Anthony Bullock
8. Mighty Lomar Mick Stringer
9. Buckle Up Wes Ted Medhurst