The Shepparton Cup series kicks off tonight with six sensational fields competing for a spot in the Group 2 final. This year’s series sees some serious speedsters contesting the $43,750 event including a mix of proven group performers and emerging young talent.
Shepparton Cup Heat One
Powerhouse sprinter Spud Regis will line up tonight for his second start back from retirement and looks a great chance from box two. The son of Bombastic Shiraz lost no admirers last week when running a strong second behind the electric Ronan Izmir and whilst this is still a very classy race, it is not as difficult as that assignment. The four time group winner is unbeaten from three attempts from box two and has enough early pace to be prominent in the run to the first turn. If he is up near the lead he will be very hard to hold out.
The biggest threat in the event is undoubtedly the sensational Hoover Jack who has drawn ideally in box one. The Peter Hunt trained sprinter has a great record from the cherry and has a perfect one from one over the track and distance where he has recorded a handy 25.41 seconds.
Dark Warrior is racing in fantastic form at present but has been afforded no favours in box six. However, he is generally a great beginner and is capable of finding the front and stealing the win.
Willy Wag Tail is an exciting Tasmanian prospect having his first at Shepparton tonight. The son of Cosmic Rumble faces a sharp rise in class and this race will certainly give an indication of what he is capable of.
Shepparton Cup Heat Two
The Group 1 Maturity winner, Marcus Joe, is the class runner in the second heat, despite being drawn out wide in box seven. The son of Velocette won impressively at Geelong two starts back before running a luckless fourth at his latest assignment. This will be his first race at Shepparton but he has run well first up at different tracks in the past.
Zoenah’s Entity is tardy early but is great at navigating her way into a good position and from box three she looks well suited. The Mogambo bitch is looking to make it three wins in a row after notching up two nice victories at Sandown and The Meadows at her most recent starts.
Cee Ronaldo is another looking to make it three wins in a row and although drawn poorly in box four, he does have a moderate beginner on his inside and a vacant box on his outside which should assist. The son of El Galo has good early toe and looks a genuine threat with a handy 25.65 seconds personal best at Shepparton.
The Wheeler-owned Allen Dion looks the other main chance from the two. Whilst he has not won since mid-June, he has had to contend with some difficult box draws and should appreciate the move in towards the rail.
Shepparton Cup Heat Three
The Robert Britton trained Clone Your Own looks to be the one to beat in the third qualifier. The black chaser, formerly from New Zealand, is in great form at the moment having won three of his last five starts including a slick 25.17 seconds over the track and distance last start. The Group 2 Harrison-Dawson winner is not blessed with much early speed but he should be suited by the big one turn track which will give him plenty of room to move and stretch out.
Blaster has been racing extremely well against some quality chasers recently and will relish the draw closer to the rails tonight. The Premier Fantasy dog is a reliable beginner with two wins from four starts over the trip and a personal best of 25.24 seconds.
State Sensation loves the Shepparton circuit as a winner of seven from 15 however he does appear to be more suited towards the rails. Nonetheless, if he can begin well and find a good position early, he is capable of running a handy race.
Michael Carter is well represented with Jimmy Lane in box four. The son of Dyna Lachlan is a safe beginner with 17 career victories to his name so must be respected.
Shepparton Cup Heat Four
The classy Ronan Izmir was sensational at his track and distance debut last week, leading all the way from box two in a scintillating 24.98 seconds. The son of Elite state moves out to box seven for his heat tonight, the only box he is yet to salute from in his 40 start career. However, with moderate beginners on his inside, he should be able to carve across the field and bring up win number 21 for trainer Jason Thompson.
Ronan Izmir will no doubt be a short priced favourite in the event and rightly so. The best of the rest look to be Blue Giant (Box 1), Fully Advanced (Box 2), and Shadow Lane (Box 3).
Shepparton Cup Heat Five
Desalle Bale has shown tremendous early speed in her recent starts and if she begins like she has been, she will be very hard to beat despite being drawn in the five. The Graeme Bate trained bitch has won 27 races throughout her 66 start career, including a slick 25.25 seconds at Shepparton in December last year.
Slater Hill is a newcomer to Robert Britton’s Lara kennels after making the transition from NSW recently. At his first start for his new trainer, the red brindle dog ran a handy second at Sandown behind Swans Twelve but will be looking to go one better tonight from box two. Slater Hill is a son of the great One Tree Hill and will just need a bit of luck to feature in the finish after inheriting plenty of his famous mum’s talent.
Walk Hard is drawn on the inside of Desalle Bale which is not ideal but he is unbeaten over the track and distance. The Bit Chili speedster has won three from three at Shepparton with a fast best time of 25.23 seconds whilst he has won 10 overall with a further 10 minor placings from 25 career starts.
Cracker Jack Lil is drawn in box six and is capable of taking out the heat on her night however, she does mix her form and is hard to catch.
Shepparton Cup Heat Six
Paw Licking should prove hard to beat in the final heat drawn out wide in the eight. The son of Elite State is a brilliant beginner and he drops back to a more favourable distance after leading and tiring throughout most of the Nationals series over 525 metres at The Meadows. The white and black dog has won 20 from 32 including the group two Traralgon Cup earlier this year and although this is his first start at the track he has the class to overcome that obstacle.
Jason Thompson has an exciting young prospect on his hands with Whata Good Size facing his acid test tonight against some speedy competitors. As a good beginner he should be able to find a spot on the rails early from box two and with a flawless one from one at the track he looks the testing material for his more experienced counterparts.
Andrea Dailly is not without a chance in the heat, lining up with Garrick Bale from the coveted rails alley. The son of Go Wild Teddy is out of form at present but is more than capable of being a threat in the race if he is on his best behaviour.
The first heat of the Group 2 Shepparton Cup is race three tonight and will jump at 7:50pm (Vic time)
When scanning the form guides for an upcoming Thursday night, it is always a nice surprise when good dogs suddenly appear at tracks outside their norm. This week it was Angle Park who grabbed the attention, with four heats of the Group 3 Coffex Coffee S.A Oaks hosting several Victorian greyhounds, with most travelling to Adelaide for the first time.
It is not an unusual occurrence at this time of year, with many of the big name trainers using both the Oaks and Derby series as a warm-up to the Adelaide Cup which kicks off on October 3.
The 2013 version of the Oaks was certainly highlighted by the nomination of the reigning National Sprint Champion Xylia Allen, who would be taking a look at the Cardigan Street layout for the first time.
Lining up in the fourth and final heat, the Graeme Bate trained superstar appeared to be facing a far easier challenge than those she wiped the floor with in her recent outings during the Nationals.
But as a $1.30 favourite from box four, Xylia Allen was slow to begin, finding herself caught wide and at the tail of the field. On the contrary, Kokoda Spirit for Mark Morrissey screamed out of the boxes setting a first split of 4.41 to lead clearly.
By the time the field had reached the back straight, Kokoda Spirit had opened up a seven length break over Dyna Beth and Collin Bale who both looked hard pressed to put any pressure on the tearaway leader. Xylia Allen was working her way between runners, riding the bumps and checks in her typical hard-chasing fashion.
As Kokoda Spirit swung towards the finish, Xylia Allen had got clear into second place, but the margin between the pair was no less than it had been all race, and Kokoda Spirit completed the task and simply ran the others off their legs.
Stopping the clock at 29.68, it would be the fastest of the four heats and easily the most impressive. By Knocka Norris out of Flaming Doll, Mark Morrissey has now prepared Kokoda Spirit to 10 wins from 19 starts, with a chance to take out a Group race next week.
The series opened up with an anticipated three-way battle between local chaser Wiregrass and interstate raiders Iona Seven and Guru Doll. Drawn the inside three boxes, there was very little between the trio from an odds perspective, and all eyes were watching which runner could gain the upper hand in the early stages.
Guru Doll was in fact the first to draw blood, beginning sharply from the one box and setting up a couple of lengths lead over Wiregrass as they made the turn out of the straight. Iona Seven had crossed over to the rails and used the inside run to sneak up behind Guru Doll shortly after.
From there it was an entertaining battle between the three fancied runners, with Iona Seven taking the lead around the top turn and drawing clear. Wiregrass stuck on nicely to pip Guru Doll for second, giving young trainer Ben Rawlings a crack at his first Group race win.
Iona Seven is trained by Robert Britton, from the successful Swift Fancy x Iona Habit litter, whelped in April 2011. Owned by Michelle Sidrak, this smart chaser brings up her ninth win and qualifies for her fourth feature final.
Graeme Bate was back in the spotlight again when Purcell Bale took out the second heat. Backing up from her impressive Geelong Oaks victory last week, the daughter of Dyna Lachlan and Princess Bale was also new to Angle Park until this series, but she appeared to have no trouble with the circuit, or the finish-on lure for the matter, leading for most of the way from box seven.
Starting in the red at $1.80, Purcell Bale was has fast to begin, but not as fast as the Tasmanian-bred Fair Change who pinged out of box eight. Unable to cross, Fair Change was caught outside Purcell Bale on the first turn, and surrendered the lead and effectively the race was over from there.
With Purcell Bale highballing out in front, the rest were left scrapping for qualification, with Lethal Three for Mark Grima doing his best work late to overcome trouble and get into second spot. With Purcell Bale getting a little leg-weary in the concluding stages, Lethal Three was able to cut the margin back to two lengths, with 30.08 being the winning time.
With Victorians dominating in the other heats, it is nice to have a couple more local chasers making it through and defending their home track in next week’s final courtesy of Wonder Whirl and Long Gully Court.
Wonder Whirl has been threatening to make a big race final for some time, and after finally coming up with the red box for heat three of the Oaks – the first time since her debut in October 2012 – she begun like a rocket and was able to lead comfortably.
Knowing the strength of the this Vapour Whirl x Groovy Sarah bitch is hard to match, Long Gully Court for Paula Hearnden did a fantastic job of pushing Wonder Whirl for the entire journey and deservedly qualified for the final as well. The race time was 30.10 for Wonder Whirl, who brings up win number 14 for long-time trainer Mick Giniotis.
The Group 2 Coffex Coffee S.A Oaks final will be run next Thursday night, with the box draw conducted on course last night.
2013 SA Oaks Final Boxdraw
1) Lethal Three – Mark Grima
2) Kokoda Spirit – Mark Morrissey
3) Wiregrass – Ben Rawlings
4) Wonder Whirl – Mick Giniotis
5) Xylia Allen – Graeme Bate
6) Iona Seve – Robert Britton
7) Purcell Bale – Graeme Bate
8) Long Gully Court – Paula Hearnden
9) Guru Doll – Mark Morrisey
10) Black Viel – Robert Britton
Three exhibition trials were also conducted between races in preparation for the Derby series, with Allen Makoto the fastest with a time of 29.82, then Tomac Bale going 29.87 and Premier Event for Angela Langton trialling in 30.30. The Group 3 Schweppes Derby heats are down to be run on September 12.
If there were any doubts that Xylia Allen was a true champion, they were dismissed on Saturday night as the bonny black bitch stormed home to record an astonishing triumph in the group 1 AGRA National Sprint Championship at The Meadows.
Gaining a start in the race as the AGRA Wild Card runner, Xylia Allen was blessed with box one for the $75,000 to the winner final and used the coveted rails alley to perfection as she dashed away to claim her fourth group victory; her third at group 1 level.
After a moderate beginning, Xylia Allen was outpaced in the run to the first turn by the fancied Tomac Bale, who took up the lead as the field made their way into the back straight. With Kel Greenough’s sizzling speedster Paw Licking parked on her outside, Xylia Allen tried to push through along the rails in search of the bunny however, she was denied a run by the race leader. In a move that showed tremendous field sense, Xylia Allen quickly switched to the outside, slipped into another gear and shot away from her opposition to score an emphatic victory by just under two lengths in a scintillating 29.63 seconds. Tomac Bale was gallant in defeat, running second, whilst the NSW representative, Zulu Zeus, ran a great race to finish third.
Xylia Allen’s legendary trainer, Graeme Bate, was elated with the win of his special bitch, commending her racing style and how she puts herself into the race at the right time.
“I was very impressed with her genuine brains and her ability to work out the race and where to move as she was going around”, Bate said.
“It was her best win at The Meadows, it has been a track where she has had trouble”.
After finishing fourth in the state qualifier the week prior behind Tomac Bale, Bate was confident that she could produce her best on final night. Down back straight, it became obvious that the 31 kilogram powerhouse was the one to beat.
“I was very confident (before the race)”, Bate reflected.
“Up the back when she hooked to the outside was when I thought she had a good shot”.
Xylia Allen now boasts the record of 38 starts on the track from which she has managed 17 wins and 12 minors.
As mentioned, it was the fourth group win for the daughter of Turanza Bale and Tayah Bale who claimed her first group trophy in February this year, when annihilating her opposition in the group 2 Launceston Cup. Xylia Allen continued to race competitively in group company over the following months, before her defining moment came in the group 1 Sapphire Crown in May, where she defeated flying NSW bitch, Punch One Out, in a brilliant 29.51 seconds at Sandown.
Xylia Allen then lined up for a campaign in NSW, where she spearheaded a talented Bate-trained team that was targeting the group 1 Peter Mosman Classic at Wentworth Park. After running third at the Ultimo circuit in the group 3 Ladies Bracelet just over a month prior, Xylia Allen transformed into a different bitch, pinging straight to the front of the field from box two to claim the Classic by one and three quarter lengths in a sizzling 29.47 seconds.
Since triumphing in the Peter Mosman, Xylia Allen had raced without luck in the group 1 Winter Carnival Cup at Albion Park, whilst she also contested the group 1 Maturity Classic series at The Meadows. Her success on Saturday proved that she is back to her brilliant best.
With three dazzling wins at the highest level to her name at such a young age, Xylia Allen now looks set to enjoy a successful racing season in the near future. Bate, who has already compared her to his previous champions Kantarn Bale and Lansley Bale, rates her as one of the best sprinters currently racing in Australia.
“Of the three dogs in the Greyhound Of The Year (Miata, Xylia Allen and Destini Fireball) she was the only sprinter so she would have to be up there”, Bate commented.
“She has already earned $360,000. To do that at 28 months is a pretty good effort. I am very excited about her future and I am hoping she can keep going”.
Although alluding to the fact that her future career may entail races over the staying trip, Bate is holding off whilst she is racing so dominantly over the sprint.
“I wouldn’t step her up at the moment with the way that she is racing. Perhaps if she was getting into trouble or being knocked around but she is racing well”, Bate said.
Xylia Allen’s next mission will be the group 3 Coffex Coffee Oaks at Angle Park with the heats to be run on Thursday 5th September before the $25,000 final the following week. After that, it will be a busy few months with major Victorian races including the group 1 Topgun and the group 1 Melbourne Cup.
“I have always loved the Melbourne Cup, it is one of my signature races and I think I have a fair dinkum chance in it this year. She is my number one greyhound”, Bate said.
Saturday was the pinnacle night of a great weekend for Graeme Bate who was named Trainer Of The Year at the AGRA awards night on Friday. “It was a bit of a shock”, Bate admitted.
“I didn’t really expect it because I thought a few of the other trainers would be in front of me”.
“I thought I was just going along for Xylia Allen”.
Xylia Allen was also nominated for AGRA Greyhound Of The Year however, she was pipped at the post by the mighty Miata who took out the top honour for the second year in a row. Whilst she may not have taken out the big one, Xylia Allen still had her moment in the spotlight when she took out the Run Of The Year for her phenomenal performance to take out the group 1 Sapphire Crown.
Despite the shock elimination of many of the series favourites in last week’s semi-finals, tonight’s group one Hudson Pacific Maturity Classic is shaping up to be a terrific race with some sensational youngsters lining up for their crack at the prize.
Early favourite for the $100,000 to the winner event is the Graeme Bate trained Schroder Bale ($2.50 fixed odds with Sportsbet) from box two. The son of Dyna Lachlan was very impressive when coming from behind to claim his heat in a sizzling 29.82 seconds (BON) and is definitely the dog to beat. Schroder Bale has been racing extremely well in similar company over the past few months and will be given his best chance to secure an elusive group race victory with a favourable box draw. The black and white chaser is a good beginner and a fantastic railer with a flawless two from two from the checks.
Hoover Jack ($4.00 fixed odds with Sportsbet) is another quick beginner who will be making Schroder Bale work hard in the early stages when he exits box one. After a good getaway last week the Peter Hunt trained greyhound never looked in danger claiming his qualifier by four and one quarter lengths in a slick 29.99 seconds. Returning to the cherry for the decider, the winner of 15 races looks a big chance particularly with his strong record over the track and distance which currently stands at five wins and two minors from eight starts and a personal best of 29.78 seconds.
Arguably the most impressive finalist is Dyna Nalin ($4.20 fixed odds with Sportsbet). After an average beginning last week the son of Ashom Bale ran a stunning race to salute by three and one quarter lengths in a fast 29.89 seconds in what was easily the performance of the night. If he steps evenly with the field they will be hard pressed to hold him out however with a poor box four draw and a tendency to mix his box manners he will have a hard task ahead of him. Regardless, Dyna Nalin’s overall record is impeccable as a winner of twenty two races from thirty three starts. As a proven group winner, the Western Australian greyhound is all class and one of the biggest threats in the race.
The value runner in the event at this stage is the Troy Iwanyk prepared Crump ($5.00 fixed odds with Sportsbet). The May 2011 whelp has only had nineteen starts on the track but has already notched up twelve wins and four minors with tonight’s group one certainly an acid test however he does appear up to the challenge.
The son of Superman was brilliant when claiming his semi-final last week in classy fashion. Beginning well from box three, Crump was beaten for speed by the Mark Delbridge trained Allen Makoto who took up the lead in the run out of the first turn. Once he balanced up in the back straight Crump dashed pashed the rails runner to record a three length victory in 29.92 seconds.
Iwanyk, who has a huge opinion of the dog, was impressed with his run.
“I thought he would go well, it was a very hard semi but he put himself in the race early”, Iwanyk said.
“He has always put the times on the board and had talent but he has just taken some time to mature”.
“I rate him as the best I have ever been associated with”.
The time of 29.92 seconds was well off his personal best of 29.68 seconds over the track and distance, however given the style of the race it was a very convincing performance.
“He had to work hard coming from behind to get around Allen Makato but he still went on to draw clear”.
This week Crump moves into the awkward box six but if his early career performances are any indication of his ability, he should be able to overcome the draw.
“It’s not ideal but it’s not entirely terrible”, Iwanyk explained.
“The way the field has panned out as long as he can get away cleanly and balance up, with his pace he should be up there early”.
“As is the case with many dogs it’s not so much where he comes from but how he begins and the dogs around him”.
After many of the blistering speed dogs were knocked out of the series last week, it does leave the event open for many of these runners who do take a couple of strides to find their top speed. Crump will be one such runner that should be able to muster plenty of pace in the run to the first turn and give his rivals a shake.
Crump has an added incentive to win with an incredible $100,000 breeder’s bonus on offer to his owners and breeder should he cross the line in first position as the first greyhound by Superman (that was whelped after August 2009) to win a group one race.
At this stage all other runners are at double figure prices with Marcus Joe ($10.00 fixed odds with Sportsbet) the next best in the market followed by Hawk Alone ($14.00 fixed odds with Sportsbet), Langi Bale ($17.00 fixed odds with Sportsbet) and Heidi Go Seek ($31.00 fixed odds with Sportsbet). Reserve runners Kiss Me Ketut ($51.00 fixed odds with Sportsbet) and Allen Makoto ($8.00 fixed odds with Sportsbet) have their claims but will need luck in securing a run.
The group one Hudson Pacific Maturity Classic is race eight at The Meadows tonight and will jump at 9:47 pm (Vic time).
Top trainer Graeme Bate is poised to land his third consecutive Maturity Classic with Schroder Bale according to online bookmaker sportsbet.com.au.
Schroder Bale is the $2.50 favourite for the Group 1 race at The Meadows tomorrow night, with Hoover Jack, who will jump from the rails draw, sharing second favouritism with Dyna Nalin on $4.00.
“Schroder Bale sat just off the pace in the semi-final and finished over the top of them, running the fastest time. This time he’ll probably be vying for the lead with Hoover Jack, which could set it up for Dyna Nalin, who has not been forgotten by punters,” sportsbet.com.au’s Ben Hawes said.
Marcus Joe chased home Schroder Bale to finish second and looks a great value chance at $7.50.
Punters can enjoy a $250 Free Bet at Sportsbet by using the Sportsbet Promo Code 27110 when opening a new account at Sportsbet.
2013 Maturity Classic Betting Market
$2.50 Schroder Bale
$4.00 Hoover Jack, Dyna Nalin
$7.50 Marcus Joe
$8.00 Allen Makoto (2nd res)
$14 Hawk Alone
$17 Langi Bale
$31 Heidi Go Seek
$51 Kiss Me Ketut (1sr res)
Whilst box four would be tough to overcome for most greyhounds, the smart Dyna Nalin is still an excellent chance to win Saturday night’s $100,000 Maturity Classic at The Meadows due to his impressive ability to fly home from awkward draws.
Online bookmaker sportsbet.com.au has reacted by installing Dyna Nalin on the second line of betting at $4.00 for the Group 1, run over 525m.
Schroder Bale (box two), who was the fastest qualifier, is the $2.50 favourite, with Hoover Jack ($4.00), who will jump from the rails box and fight for the lead with Schroder Bale, the other main chance.
“Dyna Nalin was very impressive in his heat win from box six, coming home like a steam train after early interference. Obviously this is a final, but if he gets away cleanly he has the ability to run the leaders down,” sportsbet.com.au’s Ben Hawes said.
“In saying that, Graeme Bate has an excellent record of getting his dogs cherry ripe for big finals, so Schroder Bale could improve a length or two again. If he jumps on the bunny he’s going to be hard to run down.”
Marcus Joe ($7.50), Crump ($9.00), Hawk Alone ($14) and Langi Bale ($14) round out the market.
Maturity Classic Final Betting Market
$2.50 Schroder Bale
$4.00 Hoover Jack, Dyna Nalin
$7.50 Marcus Joe
$8.00 Allen Makoto (2nd res)
$14 Hawk Alone
$17 Langi Bale
$31 Heidi Go Seek
$51 Kiss Me Ketut (1sr res)
Don’t forget readers can enjoy a $250 Free Bet at Sportsbet by using the Sportsbet Promo Code 27110 when opening a new account at Sportsbet.
Champion trainer Graeme Bate looks to have another group race victory in clear sight after Schroder Bale’s fantastic triumph in the first semi-final of the group one Hudson Pacific Maturity Classic at The Meadows on Saturday night. The dazzling black and white chaser was the first away as the lids sprung open however was soon joined by Back Magic Opal with former NSW sprinter taking up the early lead. After giving Black Magic Opal a start, Schroder Bale quickly put his mind to the task and dashed past the son of Magic Sprite in the run out of the back straight to score an emphatic victory in a best of night 29.82 seconds. Running a gallant race in second position was Marcus Joe who will also head through to the $100,000 to the winner decider for Barry Moloney.
Filling the placings was Kiss Me Ketut whilst Black Magic Opal faded to finish a dismal fourth in a less than impressive demonstration after leading.
Schroder Bale has been a model of consistency throughout his career with the Maturity the sixth group final for the Dyna Lachlan dog. Whilst there is there is no question about his talent, Schroder Bale has always found another dog too strong in each decider with his best effort to date a close second behind kennelmate Xylia Allen in the group one Peter Mosman Classic at Wentworth Park in June. It is now becoming apparent that Schroder Bale is developing immensely with age and is showing great improvement with each start on the track. This was an observation picked up by punters who sent him to the boxes as the $2.90 favourite on Saturday night.
The second semi-final was definitely the run of the night and potentially the whole Maturity series with Dyna Nalin putting in a brilliant performance when coming from behind to clinch a deserved win. Beginning only fairly from box six, the black powerhouse was shuffled towards the back of the field as runners accelerated towards the first turn. Down the back Dyna Nalin was still in third last position but showed tremendous strength to wear down his opponents, looming ominously on the home turn before shooting away to cross the line three lengths ahead of Hawk Alone in a slick 29.89 seconds.
Trained in Western Australia by Paul Stuart, Dyna Nalin is starting to put together a very impressive record with twenty two wins and six minors from just thirty three starts. Included in those wins was a victory in the group one Perth Cup at Cannington earlier this year where he defeated one of the hottest fields to face the starter for the event in recent memory. The group triumph not only added $140,000 to the dog’s bank account but also firmly positioned him as one of the state’s most promising youngsters with his talent now astonishing racegoers and competitors in the Eastern States.
The third semi-final was a one act affair with Hoover Jack jumping from the cherry and landing straight on the bunny. The Peter Hunt trained greyhound was able to push through along the rails when pressured from out wide in the early stages and once he edged clear past the post on the first occasion he never looked in danger. The son of Go Wild Teddy defeated what was arguably the toughest field of the night including Blaster, Tomac Bale, Quiz Bale and Xylia Allen and in the process made it the third semi-final to break the elusive 30 second barrier when clocking a slick 29.99 seconds.
Running a good second was Angela Langton’s Heidi Go Seek who had to overcome trouble to earn her spot in this week’s feature.
Hoover Jack went into the semi-final paying a generous $5.00 after his handy third behind Farmor Las Vegas in his heat. Moving back to the rails was a definite advantage for the 35 kilogram speedster who used box one to perfection to score his fifteenth win from thirty appearances.
The fourth and final qualifier went to Troy Iwanyk’s up and coming youngster Crump. By Superman, Crump began midfield from box three but quickly worked himself into a prominent position behind Allen Makoto. Once the Mark Delbridge trained chaser was in his sights, Crump showed tenacity to work his way up on the outside of the rails runner, before crossing him and stretching out in the straight to score decisively in 29.92 seconds.
It was the twelfth win for the black dog on Saturday night who has only faced the starter on nineteen occasions whilst it was almost three tenths off his personal best of a scintillating 29.68 seconds over the track and distance. An eye catching run in the race was Graeme Bate’s Langi Bale who was a clear last going past the post the first time however managed to fight her way into second position and as a result, next week’s group one final.
The box draw for the final of the group one Hudson Pacific Maturity Classic is as follows:
2013 Group 1 Maturity Classic Final Box Draw
1. Hoover Jack Peter Hunt
2. Schroder Bale Graeme Bate
3. Marcus Joe Barry Maloney
4. Dyna Nalin Paul Stuart
5. Hawk Alone Mark Rodgers
6. Crump Troy Iwanyk
7. Heidi Go Seek Angela Langton
8. Langi Bale Graeme Bate
9. (1st res)Kiss Me Ketut David Burnett
10. (2nd res)Allen Makoto Mark Delbridge
It was a tough night for anyone who had placed their hard-earned on the big names in the Group 2 AWM Distance Championship heats at The Meadows. While the final will still take shape as a high quality affair, the form guides will be showing that many of the ‘usual suspects’ will enter the race with last start defeats, hard luck stories and perhaps generous starting odds.
Heat one saw the reigning Sandown Cup champion Irma Bale exit box two. Starting an even money pick, she was expected to lead all the way, although her record at The Meadows of three wins from nine tries over the 725-metre start suggested it was more open affair than the market suggested. Major League from the Brooke Ennis kennel was back to its favourite trip after competing in the McKenna Memorial final, while Mimicking, Evie Jane and Where’s Keroma were given a some chance.
Once the bunny was in motion the favourite Irma Bale took up the running as expected. Race outsider Reckless Charm had begun well, as had Where’s Keroma, while the others were giving away sizeable starts customary to their usual racing pattern.
Irma Bale looked to be cruising with a lap to go, but as the field raced down the back, the margin appeared to be closing. Come the top turn, the white flag of the Graeme Bate runner was being hoisted high in the air, and Where’s Keroma didn’t need a second invitation.
The field had packed turning for home however, with Major League and Evie Jane doing their best work over the concluding stages.
Major League went for a rails run and bumped heavily with Irma Bale, causing them both to lose momentum and the NSW runner Where’s Keroma had skipped away for a landmark win in 42.97. Major League had rallied again to cut the margin back to a length, with Evie Jane not far away in third. Irma Bale finished just behind the placegetters, making all bookmakers smile, while Mimicking never got in the hunt, winding up midfield.
Where’s Keroma is from the strong Anthony Azzopardi kennel, and has been down in the southern part of the country on and off for the best part of 2013. Always a consistent chaser, the son of Where’s Pedro now has his first win on Victorian soil and ninth of 28 overall.
Heat two appeared a two-dog war on paper, with local runner Proven Impala in box six taking on the Tasmanian super stayer, Bell Haven in box five. With Proven Impala expected to lead, all eyes were watching to see where Bell Haven would settle and whether the black bitch could land her first blow at The Meadows circuit.
The first question was answered quickly, with the green rug being the first to show and Joe Borg’s girl would lead the pack by the time they had made any turns. Bell Haven came out well enough and settled fourth, but wobbled around the bends a bit, giving the leader a growing head-start. Once the expected match race started to look likely, a spanner was thrown into the works when Arising, drawn eight from the small Janet Cotrell kennel, took the lead off Proven Impala down the back straight. Kayo Marciano was also prominent at his first attempt over the longer trip and suddenly there was a genuine race on.
However showing the qualities of a true competitor, Proven Impala refused to be beaten and kicked back along the fence to assume control. Bell Haven was winding up back in the pack, and had whipped past Kayo Marciano, trying desperately to make the final. While jostling for position, Arising lost its ground, and Proven Impala had survived the scare and careered away for a commanding seven-length win in a BON 42.64. Bell Haven was about to claim second spot before Dashing Red jumped out of the ground, making Bell Haven have to rely on others to secure a final berth.
It was a long wait until race nine for the third and final heat, and again there were some short odds on offer. This time it was the giant black-and-white chaser, Destini Fireball who held all the cash and was attempting to make it seven from seven over the track and distance. Of those attempting to spoil that party was the Dailly runner Bagget Bale, Maddison Dee and the consistent stayer Czar. Leprachaun Macey was also looking to make the step up to group company, having strung together four wins on the trot.
This time though the expectant leader was not the first to show once the lids opened, with Destini Fireball a bit tardy to leave and quickly shuffled back to the second half of the field. He did recover soon after, and once that giant stride was in motion, he was third in the race behind Maddison Dee who had slipped to a nice lead out in front.
With the positions of the fancied runners in a strange order, those witnessing the race would not have been sure how it would pan out. Maddison Dee looked comfortable in front, but Czar was sitting second and with the favourite camped behind those, anything was possible.
None of the back-markers appeared to be making any ground whatsoever, so the first three was settled a long way from home, but the order was certainly up for grabs. Maddison Dee wasn’t up for that idea though, and once the business end of the race came around, she put the jets on and blew her rivals away. Stopping the clock at 42.68, she had given Destini Fireball and Czar an eight-length flogging, and a repeat of that would make her hard to stop come final time.
The box draw for the Group 2 AWM Distance Championship took place after the last heat was finalised, with all winners, runners-up and the two fastest thirds given the chance to compete for $40,000 next Saturday night. Unfortunately for connections, Czar will start first reserve for the race, being the slowest of the three thirds, while Irma Bale was the fastest fourth and leaves the door slightly ajar for another Group final to her impressive resume.
2013 Group 2 AWM Distance Championship Final Box Draw
1) Dashing Red – Michael Fox
2) Proven Impala – Joe Borg
3) Evie Jane – Andrea Dailly
4) Bell Haven – Ted Medhurst (Tas)
5) Destini Fireball – Norm Rinaldi
6) Where’s Keroma – Anthony Azzopardi (NSW)
7) Major League – Brooke Ennis
8) Maddison Dee – Michael Chilcott
9) Czar – Robert Britton
10) Irma Bale – Graeme Bate
The middle distance stars will shine tonight with the running of the group two McKenna Memorial at Sandown Park. The 595 metre event offers $40,000 to the winning greyhound and it’s connections and is shaping up to be an exhilarating race between some versatile sprinters stepping up in distance and some speedy stayers stepping down in distance.
BOX ONE: NEW TIBUR
Robert Britton’s New Tibur was an upset winner in his heat last week when scoring a narrow victory over Cintiarna in a handy 34.43 seconds. The brindle dog managed to overcome a poor draw in box six to record his sixth career win from 27 starts. The son of Surf Lorian is in great form at present as a winner of his last four starts in succession highlighted by a promising 34.26 seconds over the track and distance two starts ago.
Whilst he does not have outstanding overall form, he must be respected on his recent efforts, with the rails draw a definite advantage.
BOX TWO: MAJOR LEAGUE
Major League will be aiming to secure victory from box two after finishing second behind Boris Fields in last Thursday’s heats. The Brooke Ennis trained stayer began averagely from box one but managed to secure a rails run and stormed home to qualify two lengths behind the winner. The son of Velocette has been racing consistently over the staying trip of late scoring a double at The Meadows before stepping back in distance for the McKenna series.
Major League has been a very good money spinner putting together eight wins and fourteen minors from 25 starts. Box two should see him get every chance in the race but he will have to do everything right at the start because the distance is much shorter than what he is used to.
BOX THREE: SURF MAIL
Surf Mail was a strong winner last start over Western Australian chaser Dyna Nalin in 34.49 seconds. The light fawn dog by Surf Lorian out of Hybrid Theory did an excellent job to catch the flying speedster out in front and in turn keep his unbeaten record over the track and distance intact.
Trained at Devon Meadows by Darren McDonald, Surf Mail has won nineteen races and been placed on twelve occasions from 41 starts including a flawless three from three at Sandown over the 595 metres. He has also run a quick personal best of 34.21 seconds and with a slow beginner on his inside should get a nice run into the event.
BOX FOUR: ZELEMAR FEVER
Zelemar Fever is currently in fantastic form with the McKenna Memorial her second appearance in a group event in just twelve days. At the end of last month, the 27 kilogram bitch was the fastest qualifier going into the group two W.A Oaks at Cannington where she ran a luckless fifth behind Quiz Bale. Returning to her home state, the daughter of Bombastic Shiraz bounced back in fine fashion claiming her heat in 34.44 seconds.
Zelemar Fever is another with strong credentials over the trip with three wins from three starts however she does have to contend with box four, which is never an easy assignment. Nonetheless she began much better last start than what she normally does and if she can repeat that again this week she should find herself in a prominent position early and can run a cheeky race.
BOX FIVE: PROVEN IMPALA
Proven Impala will start the deserved favourite despite the horror draw in box five. The top class bitch went straight to the front in her heat last week, and if she finds the front again tonight she won’t get caught. The black bitch by Velocette recorded the fastest qualifier in a scintillating 34.13 seconds last week from box five and is capable of lowering that personal best tonight if she can land on the bunny.
A winner of twenty six races, Proven Impala is a star over the middle distance claiming the group one Rookie Rebel earlier this year and with a run under her belt after stepping back down from the ‘700’, she should be primed to fire and is certainly the one to catch.
BOX SIX: CINTIARNA
The Sandra Collins trained Cintiarna is much better than her two recent seconds over the track and distance suggest. The group one winning sprinter won at her first attempt over the 595 metre trip in a quick 34.20 seconds, but has been beaten at her two most recent efforts, finishing a close second on both occasions in much slower times.
Beginning well from box four in her heat, she managed to lead before finding New Tibur too strong at the finish. She is capable of running slick times over the distance so must be respected, however the question is whether she will be able to find the front drawn amongst the speed.
BOX SEVEN: BORIS FIELDS
Jason Thompson is well represented in the final with Boris Field’s beginning from box seven. The Knocka Norris dog was the second fastest qualifier for the final running a nippy 34.18 seconds in last Thursday’s heat. The group two W.A Derby winner is a tough greyhound, racing in elite company for much of his career over the sprint trip and he proved to be very versatile last week when making the transition to the middle distance.
The biggest worry for the white and blue dog is the box draw as he has only won two races from wider than box three in his 33 start career. With a mixture of speed on his inside he runs the risk of being caught wide and with a fast beginner on his outside, he looks set to find interference unless he can ping the lids.
BOX EIGHT: IRMA BALE
Irma Bale is one of the most underrated champions of all time. The Graeme Bate prepared greyhound has won two consecutive Sandown Cups but has raced for much of her career in the shadow of the recently retired Miata. The daughter of Batrim Bale is only a few months off turning four years of age but is still racing with plenty of heart as shown when a dominant four length winner in last week’s heats. The black bitch tips the scales at just over 25 kilograms but is as determined as they come as a winner of 36 races with a further 30 placings from 86 starts.
Box eight is not ideal but she is usually a fast beginner and will make Proven Impala work hard in the early stages. It will be an exciting contest if the two powerful staying bitches can fight it out at the finish. Whilst Proven Impala has the fastest heat win, Irma Bale brings with her plenty of group race experience and always brings her A game on group final night.
FIRST RESERVE: CZAR
A good second behind Zelemar Fever after fighting his way through the field but he may be a shade outclassed against the big guns
SECOND RESERVE: HURRICANE ISSAC
Reversed his form at precisely the right time last week behind Irma Bale, but hasn’t done enough to be considered a genuine threat should he get a run.
MCKENNA MEMORIAL TIPS: PROVEN IMPALA, ZELEMAR FEVER, IRMA BALE, SURF MAIL
The group two McKenna Memorial will jump tonight at 9:35pm (Victorian time)
Group racing is the pinnacle of our sport and this Thursday night the attention of the industry will be on Albion Park for the final of the Group 1 Garrard’s Winter Carnival Cup. After heats last Thursday, the 5 heat winners and three fastest seconds have qualified for the final and the chance to pick up the $75,000 first prize. The feature event is race 8 on a full 10 card program with the bunny set to pass the boxes at 9.08pm.
Box 1 – Hello Good Bye (Bombastic Shiraz – Hello Sienna)
The Kel Greenough trained chaser could not have been more impressive in his heat win last week where he qualified in a best of night 29.73 performance. Drawing box 1 last week in his heat win, he jumped straight to the front and gave nothing else a chance. The talented greyhound has a real affinity to the Albion Park circuit, where his record stands at 3 starts for 3 impressive wins including the Group 2 Brandon’s Electrical Derby. With an overall career record of 23 starts for 11 wins and 5 placing’s, he looks a strong chance to add to his prizemoney tally of $83,000. This is the third Group 1 final of 2013 after he reached the finals of both the Perth Cup and Australian Cup. Ideally drawn in the cherry box he has the ultimate chance to register his first group 1 success. Winning chance.
Box 2 – Xylia Allen (Turanza Bale – Tayah Bale)
Australia’s best greyhound Xylia Allen (32s-15s-7s-3t) ran the best second ever seen last week when coming from a clear last to qualify as one of the fastest seconds. After a terrible start she was almost knocked over when Clan Eirann fell. Working her way through the strong field her run had to be seen to be believed. Much has been written about the Graeme Bate trained and Paul Wheeler owned greyhound and she looks set to add another group success to her imposing resume. With track records and lighting quick times throughout Australia she is ideally drawn in box 2 and should get a lovely trail behind Hello Good Bye. A greyhound that would run through a brick wall she gives 110% in every race. The 30 kilogram bitch is Australia’s best and with victory here will see her prizemoney swell to over $340,000. The one to beat.
Box 3 – Poetic Mover (Knocka Norris – Bomber Babe)
A solid heat win sees locally trained greyhound Poetic Mover draw box 3 for his first shot at Group 1 glory. The Ray Burman trained chaser is in career best form having recently contested heats of the Group 3 Big Dog Cup heats and the listed Mick Byrne memorial. Both of those events were held here at Albion Park and he certainly wasn’t disgraced. With 45 career starts for 9 wins and 9 placing’s, the January 2011 chaser is very honest. A greyhound that loves racing, the son of Knocka Norris may not be a household name but he does have track experience and a strong finishing ability. Place chance.
Box 4 – Bellagio Lad (Big Daddy Cool – Ultra Swift)
An Albion Park Group Final wouldn’t be the same without Ron Ball. The legendary Brisbane trainer boxes grand chaser Bellagio Lad in box 4 as he looks to add to his group success. The 2012 Queensland Derby winner cannot be discounted and this week will be start 50 (60 career starts) at the track and distance. Second in his heat last week behind Poetic Mover, he is a walker early but cannot be discounted. Ball has a known ability for having his greyhounds perform on the big stage and Bellagio Lad could be the knockout runner this week. A regular top grade performer he won’t be overawed by the big name finalists. Place chance
Box 5 – Coal King (Surf Lorian – Domaaf)
The Queenslander returned home in devastating fashion last week with an all the way win in 30.13. Jumping straight to the front it was home sweet home as he led throughout beating a quality field of greyhounds. The win was all the more impressive given that it was his first race since February 2013, and no doubt he will strip fitter this week for the final. Back in the kennel of owner trainer Cliff Durrant, he returns after a successful southern campaign with top trainer Jason Thompson. Under Thompson’s tuition he featured in two group race finals including the Group 1 Adelaide Cup and Group 2 Warragul Cup. With an overall race record of 37 starts for 15 wins and 11 placing’s he is a greyhound that has performed on the big stage. Although coming to the twilight of his career, and drawn awkwardly in box 5, he does have a fast sub 30 PB at Albion Park and is a strong each way chance.
Box 6 – Top Story (Knocka Norris – Bomber Babe)
Leading local trainer Sandra Hunt’s boxes Albion Park favourite Top Story in box 6. It has been a wonderful training performance from Hunt nursing Top Story back from injury. The 32 kilogram brindle chaser is back at his best, evident by the 4 wins from his past 6 starts. A game second last week behind Hello Good Bye, he faces the same draw as last week. A PB of 29.77 at the track, Top Story is a recent Group 2 Derby Finalist who be looking to turn the tables in this final. A greyhound capable of running well under the magical 30 second mark he is a strong each way chance with just a little luck.
Box 7 – Glen Gallon (Flying Stanley – Incoherent)
Queensland’s favourite greyhound and group racing specialist Glen Gallon draws the black rug for yet another group final. A brilliant heat winner he stopped the clock in 30.14 after leading all the way. The rising 4 year old has been one of Australia’s most popular chasers for Queensland mentor Tony Brett. With 58 starts resulting in 33 wins and 12 placing’s he has raced the best throughout his career that remarkably started over 2 years ago. With 4 wins from his last 5 starts his form is as good as ever, as birthday number 4 approaches. A big time greyhound who always performs on the big stage he is a winning chance for Brett and owners The Velocity Lodge Partnership.
Box 8 – Tomac Bale (Dyna Lachlan – Princess Bale)
Tomac Bale showed a glimpse of his ability in his 3 length heat win over local greyhound White Hornet. Having his first start here last week, he is a southern visitor escaping the Victorian cold. Racing in the strong Delbridge kennel the noted speedster has run super quick times in Melbourne as evident of his Group 2 Launching Pad success. A 29.20 PB at Sandown indicates that on his day he is as fast as any. With 9 career starts resulting in 6 wins he is another offspring of super dam Princess Bale. If he can salute here it will be the second group success for the litter in 6 days, after Quiz Bale’s success last Saturday night in the WA Oaks.
Box 9 – 1st Reserve – White Hornet (Cosmic Rumble – Skinny Magic)
A great heat run for second behind Tomac Bale for the up and coming sprinter from the Burman kennel. Burman has all his chasers flying and this result is another highlight of a great training performance. The young son of Cosmic Rumble – Skinny Magic has only had the 6 starts for 3 wins and 2 placing’s. A young dog with a bright future, he will be giving away lots of experience if he is lucky enough to gain a start here. Place only.
Box 10 – 2nd Reserve – Allen Makoto (Meticulous – Roxio Bale)
The son of Meticulous was having his first start on the track last week when a gallant second behind Queensland’s best sprinter Glen Gallon. Another Wheeler dog, Allen Makoto like Tomac Bale, races in the Delbridge kennel which is flying. A speedy beginner and noted front running greyhound, he will be a strong each way chance if he can sneak into the starting field. With fast wins at Cranbourne (30.09) and Sandown (29.58B) he is not to be discounted and is a winning chance.
Selections – 2 / 1 / 7 / 6
The group 1 final is sure to be a great race and the highlight of another great Queensland Winter Carnival. With the club expecting a good crowd, the place to be will be trackside as the greys hit the track in search of group 1 victory, the first prizemoney, and the honour that victory entails.
This Saturday eight highly talented females will line up for a crack at the $40,000 to the winner Solo W.A Oaks at Cannington. Leading W.A trainer Linda Britton will be hoping to secure her third win in the event after qualifying three sensational bitches for the group two final however it will be no easy task with an abundance of depth spread across the speedy field.
BOX ONE- QUIZ BALE
Victorian bitch Quiz Bale has been afforded the privilege of box one for the decider after qualifying in second position behind Zelemar Fever. The daughter of Dyna Lachlan began well from an identical draw in her heat and managed to lead until the home turn where she was simply outclassed by the local hope who drew clear to claim the event. Nonetheless it was a handy performance by the Graeme Bate prepared greyhound at her track debut. Prior to her last start Quiz Bale competed in the group one Peter Mosman series at Wentworth Park clocking a brilliant 29.87 seconds in her semi-final before finishing down the track behind her kennelmate Xylia Allen in the final. With a look at the track, Quiz Bale should be improved for this week and from the ideal rails draw she should right in contention.
BOX TWO- REVERBERATE
The first of Linda Britton’s trio is drawn in box two with Reverberate looking a chance after finally coming up with a good draw at Cannington. The black bitch has had four starts at the track and has never drawn inside box seven so will certainly relish the favourable draw this week. Beginning well from box seven in her heat, the daughter of Premier Fantasy and Surpassing was up with the leaders on the first turn however received a few bumps from the runners on her inside. Down the back Reverberate was able to regain her momentum and finish the race of well just two and a half lengths off winner Evie’s Entity. The former Victorian has turned into a completely different greyhound since joining Britton’s Nambeelup kennels winning three of her five starts in Western Australia with two minors whereas she had only recorded two victories from twenty three starts before making the move. With a clean getaway she is right in the race and will have a great shot at notching up another group win for her dam who is also the mother of three time group winner Jagger Swagger.
BOX THREE- TE AMO
Te Amo is yet another runner for Britton who will line up for the group two feature wearing white. Bred by Michelle Romer, the 27 kilogram pocket rocket was an all the way victor in her heat from the awkward box six in a slick 30.53 seconds. Jumping beautifully, Te Amo dominated the event to score by two and a quarter lengths over Perfect Poison and in turn maintained her perfect 100% strike rate. If Britton can pull off a win with the Cosmic Rumble youngster, it will be one of the greatest performances by W.A’s leading trainer with Te Amo looking to claim the race at just her fourth racetrack appearance. Te Amo can be electrifying early and if she puts her best paws forward at box rise there is not much that could keep up with her early which may be enough to pinch a break and snare the prize.
BOX FOUR- ZELEMAR FEVER
Fastest heat winner Zelemar Fever will start from box four and rounds up the chances for Linda Britton in the event (with the exception of second reserve Heidi Go Seek). Starting at $3.80 last Saturday, the daughter of champion sire Bombastic Shiraz gave punters something to cheer about, stretching out to score a determined win by five and a half lengths in an airborne 30.23 seconds. Zelemar Fever headed to Western Australia to target the series and since being in Perth has saluted in both of her appearances at Cannington with her first start an emphatic ten and a half length win over the handy Politician. The box draw is a concern especially being a bit hit and miss at box rise however she should be able to position well behind the likely leader on her inside and will get a bit of room to move with a moderate beginner on her outside.
BOX FIVE- GAMBO GIRL
Gambo Girl was tipped to be the surprise packet going into the series and she did not disappoint showing a tenacious chasing performance when finishing second behind Agent Dunham in her heat. Although she was eight lengths off the winner on the line, it was an impressive demonstration after copping two checks coming out of the boxes with the interference basically persisting until the home straight. The black bitch by Mogambo was a clear last going past the post the first time and was relegated back to the tail of the field again down the back when trying to make her move and subsequently finding trouble. Gambo Girl is trained by Ben Divirgilio in Victoria and is owned by Corey O’Donnell in NSW. Corey is making the flight over on Saturday with his wife Lynise to watch their pride and joy compete in what is a definite highlight of their involvement in the greyhound industry. Gambo Girl is as honest as they come with four wins and three minors from twelve starts and whilst she is not the quickest early she will be trying her heart out and storming home.
BOX SIX- PERFECT POISON
Another local hope Perfect Poison will line up from box six and will be hoping to notch up win number six in the bitches only feature. By the great Surf Lorian, the brindle bitch has faced the starter on twelve occasions and has recorded a personal of 30.74 seconds over the track and distance. After an average start from box two in her heat last week, the 26 kilogram lightweight managed to run a strong race at big odds ($18)finishing two and a quarter lengths behind boom pup Te Amo. Perfect Poison will be an outsider in the event particularly after coming up with the green for the final.
BOX SEVEN- AGENT DUNHAM
Paul Stuart has a sole chance in the final and has been afforded no favours with Agent Dunham drawn wide in box seven. The Velocette bitch showed terrific field sense in her heat last week, navigating her way in between runners before finding the front and kicking clear to score by eight lengths in a nippy 30.63 seconds. Agent Dunham is a winner of nine from twenty six with a quick 30.41 seconds recorded at Cannington in April however she is better boxed inside and may find it tough from the draw being a risky beginner. With early speed drawn on the rails she will need to be up with them to be competitive however if she does manage to time the start correctly she is right in the race.
BOX EIGHT- EVIE’S ENTITY
Victorian trainer Lyn Smith has been in W.A for two weeks enjoying the lovely Perth weather with her talented litter sister’s Evie’s Entity and Gambo Girl, with the former rounding up the field from box eight. Evie’s Entity could not have been more impressive at her track debut last week taking out her qualifier by two and a half lengths in a fast 30.49 seconds. The two and a half year old bitch has won eleven of her twenty two starts and goes into the race with excellent credentials after making the final of the group one Sapphire Crown last month. Box eight is not the best box to have at Cannington, especially in the big finals but she should be able to avoid trouble and potentially find a handy position in the run out of the first turn. If she is prominent going down the back you will want to be on her as she is super strong and has an enormous motor once she warms up.
FIRST RESERVE- LUBA MONELLI
David Hobby’s Luba Monelli is the first reserve after finishing seven and three quarter lengths third behind Zelemar Fever. She is only a moderate beginner and will need a good box to be a chance should she get a run.
SECOND RESERVE- HEIDI GO SEEK
Linda Britton’s Heidi Go Seek is a highly talented bitch who could be anything on her day so is worth considering should she get a run. Her biggest downfall is the fact that she can be tardy at box rise but she has plenty of speed once she hits the ground.
The Solo W.A Oaks is race five this Saturday night at Cannington and will jump at 8:27 pm WST.
The winter carnival continues at Albion Park this Thursday night with five heats of the Group 1 Garrard’s Horse And Hound Winter Carnival Cup over the breakfast creek 520m circuit.
With the best greyhounds nominated all gaining a start in this feature event, local chasers will battle their interstate rivals in the hope of reaching the final and claiming the $75,000 first prize. While the quantity of greyhounds nominated appears down on years gone by, the event has attracted Australia best greyhound in the Graeme Bate trained Xylia Allen.
With the State of Origin having being played and won the night before, the focus will be on racing only as these 39 greyhounds do battle at Queensland’s premier track.
Heat 1 – Race 4 – GARRARD’S WINTER CARNIVAL CUP 520 M @ 7.41pm
Group racing specialist and Queensland icon Glen Gallon (Flying Stanley – Incoherent) lines up for another feature series for popular trainer Tony Brett. The rising 4 year old is racing as well as ever having raced in free for all or group events since start number 8. With 3 wins from his past 4 starts including an unlucky 3rd last start behind Clone Your Own in the recent Group 2 Harrison Dawson final at Sandown Park, he looks beautifully placed. With well over $500,000 in prizemoney (57 – 32 – 9 – 3) it would be a fitting result if Queensland’s favourite son can progress from box 3.
The interstate raiders appearing the most likely to challenge the favourite and progress to the final are led by recent Traralgon Cup placegetter Gold Town (Surf Lorian – Golden Gwen). The brilliant chaser is coming off career best form at Traralgon where it took the superstar Paw Licking to relegate him to a respectable third place finish in the Group 2 final. Already a multiple group finalist, Gold Town has won on a number of tracks throughout Australia, including fast wins at Meadows (29.62B), Cranbourne (30.25), Wentworth Park (29.49) Sandown (29.58) and Traralgon (29.40). The slow beginner has an excellent motor and great track awareness and with the ideal cherry draw will be fighting out the finish with any luck in running.
Wheeler dog Allen Makoto heads interstate for the first time for Balliang trainer Mark Delbridge. The son of Meticulous – Roxio Bale is coming off back to back wins in fast time at Sandown (29.58B) and Cranbourne (30.09). The Delbridge kennel is flying of late and with the Wheeler influence the 30 kilogram speedster will be well supported even though he appears awkwardly drawn in box 4. With the vacant box 5 beside, expect the noted front runner to come out on the bunny and be one of the leading chances.
Selections – 3 / 1 / 4 / 2
Heat 2 – Race 5 – GARRARD’S WINTER CARNIVAL CUP 520 M @ 8.05pm
Much has been written about the success of the Where’s Pedro – Grey’s Destiny litter for Lethbridge trainer Emilio Rinaldi. With the litter producing a number of outstanding chasers, the well-travelled General Distini journeys to Albion Park for the first time after drawing box 8 in heat two. Coming off outstanding form, including running second in the final of the Group 2 Traralgon Cup, the black chaser is a multiple group 1 finalist, including the Group 1 Golden Easter Egg (7th) and the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (4th). With success across Australia, the 35 kilogram chaser will look to add Queensland success to his imposing resume.
Although disappointing in the recent Group 2 Border Park Galaxy, Sandown Park speedster Tomac Bale (Dyna Lachlan – Princess Bale) stays north for the Wheeler / Delbridge combination. The red fawn chaser has only raced on 8 occasions resulting in 5 wins including two incredibly quick wins at Sandown in the heat and final of the Group 2 Launching Pad (29.20 heat B and 29.23 final B) earlier this year. The noted quick beginner has struggled in recent weeks with slow starts, but from the outstanding producer Princess Bale he cannot be discarded here, even after drawing poorly in box 4. Look for him to show his true ability if he can jump cleanly here.
Old stager Metz Magic (Bombastic Shiraz – Witheren’s Girl) may be over 4 years old but the local hope is still making feature finals and racing in top form for leader trainer Ron Ball. The winner of close to $200,000 in prizemoney he is noted more of a 600m dog these days but cannot be discounted. Already in 2013 he has made two groups finals, being the 600m Group 3 Big Dog Cup final here (6th) as well as a second place finish in the 600m Group 1 Rookie Rebel at the Meadows. Slow early look for him to be powering home late from box 3.
Selections 8 / 4 / 3 / 1
Heat 3 – Race 6 – GARRARD’S WINTER CARNIVAL CUP 520 M @ 8.25pm
Australia’s best greyhound Xylia Allen (Turanza Bale – Tayah Bale) continues on her remarkable journey around Australia targeting group events for Graeme Bate and owner Paul Wheeler. Much has been written about the 30 kilogram powerhouse but with close to $270,000 won in prizemoney (mostly this year alone) she looks well placed again to progress to another rich Group final. Normally slow early, she came out firing in her recent start, The Peter Mosman (Wentworth Park Group 1) giving nothing else a chance running best of night 29.47. Having been to Albion Park previously (Group 2 Futurity Heat and Final) for a heat win and an unlucky second in the final behind kennel mate Purcell Bale, she will be winning this and is the greyhound to beat. Put simply, if she has clean running she is unstoppable. Box 7.
Returned Queenslander Coal King (Surf Lorian – Domaaf) heads back to where his racing began for owner trainer Cliff Durrant of Tamborine. After campaigning south in Victoria with Jason Thompson, the nearly four year old is the greyhound most likely to challenge the favourite here. The Group 1 Adelaide Cup finalist (3rd) and recent Group 2 Warragul Cup finalist (3rd) has a PB here of 29.83 set in May 2012, and while tardy early has great track sense and ability to work through a field. A 29.88 maiden winner on debut, the recent lack of racing shouldn’t discard his chances here having not raced since Feb 2013. Drawn nicely in box 2 look for the striped rug late.
Leading Queensland mentor Tony Brett engages Jetta’s Girl (Surf Lorian – Kaycee Diva) in heat 3 for the Gargoyle’s Racing Syndicate. The winner of 12 from 25, she is a regular Albion Park performer with a personal best of 30.00 (BON) set in September 2012. A solid best 8 dog, she has early pace and is capable of leading this field. Although not as good as the top echelon of sprinters, she is in capable hands and with any trouble behind her she can sneak a win in this heat from box 3. Each way chance here.
Selections – 7 / 2 / 3 / 8
Heat 4 – Race 7 – GARRARD’S WINTER CARNIVAL CUP 520 M @ 8.44pm
The second of the Bate / Wheeler chasers lines up in heat 4 and appears the greyhound to beat after drawing box 8. Desalle Bale (Go Wild Teddy – Princess Bale) makes her first Queensland appearance after impressive career form that has resulted in 52 starts for 23 wins and 13 placing’s. Another offspring of outstanding producer Princess Bale, Desalle Bale is a known front runner and should have no trouble crossing these from the wide draw. Like others in the series she is coming off a Traralgon Cup campaign where she finished 7th in the Group 2 final after finding trouble. She had no luck in the group 1 Sapphire Crown where she fell and failed to finish. While never winning a group event she is an 8 time group finalist and a quality greyhound. With over $225,000 in prizemoney she has been a wonderful campaigner and will be suited here.
Queensland’s biggest improver Frosty Jay Jay (Knocka Norris – Slick Hannah) appears the most likely challenger after drawing inside the favourite in box 7. The striking white dog is racing in career best form, winning 9 from 21 overall with a PB of 29.94 set in May 2013. A greyhound that makes his own luck he seems to be enjoying the regular racing and trainer Renald Attard has certainly got him flying. Although not the best beginner he will be given plenty of room behind the speedy favourite, and with his track sense and ability should be challenging should the favourite make any mistakes.
Fernvale trainer Lynne Ivanovic engages the black 35 kilogram chaser Leonard (Collision – River Seine) from box 5. The young greyhound is facing his biggest challenge here after good overall form. From limited career starts (15 – 5 – 3 – 1) he has performed well making the finals of the recent Ipswich Young Guns (4th) and the Group 3 Ipswich Auction (5th). Slow early, he makes his own luck in racing. With form at this track and distance, he has registered 3 wins and 2 seconds from just the 6 starts including a PB of 30.10. He can be hit and miss but is a greyhound with potential and if he is on song will be challenging come the finish.
Selections – 8 / 7 / 5 / 1
Heat 5 – Race 8 – GARRARD’S WINTER CARNIVAL CUP 520 M @ 9.08pm
Group 2 Queensland Brandon’s Electrical Derby winner Hello Good Bye (Bombastic Shiraz – Hello Sienna) returns to the scene of his biggest win in the 5th and final heat. Drawn ideally in box 1 (the same he won the derby from), the Kel Greenough trained chaser looks the dog to beat. Although not tasting success since his derby win in April 2013, the black 33 kilogram chaser brings strong Melbourne form north. Already a finalists in two group 1 events in 2013 (Perth Cup and Australian Cup) the reputation of the Greenough kennel will ensure that he is primed for this. With 2 stars for 2 wins at the track expect Hello Good Bye to say bye bye to these.
Leading local trainer Sandra Hunt’s chance in the group 1 event rests with Albion Park favourite Top Story (Knocka Norris – Bomber Babe). The brindle dog has been in wonderful form since returning from injury earlier this year as evidenced by his first up heat win in the Group 2 Queensland Derby where he finish 7th in the final behind Hello Good Bye. Top Story will look for revenge this Thursday in the rematch, and with recent form being 4 wins here from his last 5 starts, the brindle dog looks capable of upsetting the favourite. If he can replicate his 29.77 PB here he will be hard to beat from box 6.
The Bate / Wheeler greyhound domination continues in the final heat with strong chance Schroder Bale (Dyna Lachlan – Amity Bale). The Feb 2011 whelp races follows the trail of his more famous kennel mate Xylia Allen. While yet to taste group success the 33 kilogram dog has made 5 group finals of his own. With 27 starts resulting in 9 wins and 10 placing’s, the black and white dog has raced only against Australia’s best greyhounds and must be respected here. The noted front runner has had the benefit of a look at the track when 3rd behind Transcend Time here in a heat of the Group 2 Derby. A dog with enormous ability he will be well liked from Australia’s best kennel as he jumps from box 8. Strong each way chance.
Selections – 1 / 6 / 8 / 7
The Brisbane Greyhound Club put on a wonderful night of racing for their feature events. With the 5 winners and 3 fastest seconds progressing to next weeks $75,000 to the winner final the place to be Thursday night is track side. The bunny passes the boxes the first time at 6.43pm.
Whilst it may not have quantity, the 2013 Solo W.A Oaks series certainly has quality with four heats filled with the talent of some of the industry’s best young bitches. The group two, $40,000 to the winner event features some of the most consistent females from the Western state with a hint of interstate flare to really spice things up.
Group Two Solo W.A Oaks Heat One
Boom youngster Te Amo will face her acid test in this event, stepping up to the top level after just two starts. The daughter of Cosmic Rumble featured in a story on ARG this week and is certainly an up and coming talent. In the astute hands of Linda Britton, Te Amo will be ready, willing and fit for the challenge. After bombing the start last week, she showed star quality when chasing down the leader to score in 31.13 seconds. Don’t let the time fool you because this was a phenomenal performance. Te Amo has shown she can be a lid pinger in both her qualifying trial and maiden win clocking sensational sectionals and terrific overall times of 30.50 seconds and 30.48 seconds respectively. If she can jump cleanly from the awkward box six she looks the standout.
Darren McDonald’s Another Lee will be the testing material from box one. The daughter of Knocka Norris and Sensation Lee is bred to run being a half-sister to some serious sprinters including Lochinvar Marlow, Lochinvar Vogue, Godsend and Uno Kendra and comes to WA with good Victorian form as a winner of six races from 25 starts with a further eight minors. Another Lee has recorded some nippy times around the tracks in her home state including Sandown (29.74 seconds), Traralgon (29.85 seconds) and The Meadows (30.32 seconds) however she did not handle Cannington as well as hoped last week. After a run at the track, she should improve dramatically and looms as a genuine threat.
John Crossley has his ‘coin’ dogs on fire and will be hoping Gypsy Lee Coin can continue the trend from box three in the first heat. The black bitch took ten starts to break her maiden but has strung together two wins since then, with her last start a third behind Pellew. Gypsy Lee Coin has a personal best of 30.74 seconds over the track and distance so has the ability to be competitive and feature in the finish.
Linda Britton has two more starters in the event, West On Spiffy and Heidi Go Seek jumping from boxes four and five respectively who each have talent and should be respected.
Group Two Solo W.A Oaks Heat Two
In form Victorian Evie’s Entity will be hard to beat in the second heat from box three. The ultra-consistent young bitch has won eleven from 22 and just two starts back ran a terrific fourth in the group one Sapphire Crown behind the superstar Xylia Allen. Evie’s Entity has clocked a scorching 29.48 seconds at Sandown and despite not having a race start at Cannington, she is a classy animal who should be able to adjust. Her biggest undoing is that she can be tardy early however she should be fresh with her last race start on the 22nd May.
Local hope Reverberate will make it a tough challenge even though boxed out wide in seven. The black bitch by Premier Fantasy has a perfect three from three at Cannington with a fast 30.64 seconds victory to her name. In all three starts at the track she has had wide draws, so is accustomed to winning from a bad box and with a clean start she is a big chance. Reverberate is also a litter sister to three time group winner Jagger Swagger so certainly has the right bloodlines to be a fast chaser and has proven to be just that in her recent starts when running down Paul Stuart’s handy Miracle Malcolm two weeks in a row.
Dark Passenger should get room to fire in the early stages from box two with a moderate beginner on her outside. The Steve Withers trained youngster has won two from ten with both those wins over the 530 metres at Cannington. The black bitch is returning from a seven week spell so assuming she is fit she should be nice and fresh and is capable of running a cheeky race.
Jason Thompson also has a runner in the event, Miss Mozoltov, who must be respected on her trainer alone. The blue daughter of Where’s Pedro will jump from box eight and will be looking to go one better than her track debut last week when running second behind the classy Lochinvar Sass. She may find it hard from box eight but is a capable type who can run well and is a definite each way chance.
Group Two Solo W.A Oaks Heat Three
Zelemar Fever is one of the main chances for Linda Britton in the series and lines up from box two in the third heat. The daughter of Bombastic Shiraz has won nine from 28 with eight minors and scored in 30.62 seconds last start from box seven. She moves in closer to the rails this week, which suits and she should run well.
It would not be a group series without the ominous presence of Graeme Bate who has Quiz Bale jumping from box one. The 27 kilogram bitch relishes an inside draw, scoring a fast semi-final win in the Peter Mosman series at Wentworth Park from box one, clocking 29.87 seconds. The Dyna Lachlan two year old has never had a start at the track but is accustomed to travelling and generally adjusts well to each assignment. From an ideal draw she has the pace to hold the lead and is capable of pinching the event.
Meroslava also has a good draw in the third heat and will jump wearing white. The red fawn bitch is a daughter of Wentworth Park track specialist Did I Entertain and looks to have plenty of talent herself with six wins from 18 starts including five wins at Cannington. Meroslava ran a good second last start in a heat of the Mandurah Oaks and should be competitive in this event.
NSW chaser Hidden Danger looks to be a danger as her name suggests boxed ideally out wide in the pink. The Kristy Sultana trained greyhound is having her first race start at the track which is a concern however she is as tough as they come and can certainly gallop. The Knocka Norris pup has had ten starts for four wins and six minors and was a placegetter in the Richmond Oaks last start.
The other main threat in the race is drawn on her inside with Lochinvar Sass jumping from the seven. The white and blue fawn bitch is another with only limited experience, facing the starter on just eight occasions from which she has notched up four wins and three minors. She has recorded a blistering 30.45 seconds over the distance and will only need to repeat that to go close in the event.
Group Two Solo W.A Oaks Heat Four
The fourth and final heat is also strong with recent Mandurah Oaks winner Sharon Monelli starting from box five. A daughter of boom sire Magic Sprite, Sharon Monelli has won thirteen from 43 with 22 minors and should be going close in the astute hands of David Hobby. Sharon Monelli has a best time at Cannington of a flying 30.39 seconds and she will probably be starting favourite for the event.
The surprise packet in heat four may prove to be the three with Gambo Girl a highly talented young bitch from Victoria. The daughter of Mogambo is a litter sister to Evie’s Entity and oozes potential with four wins from eleven starts. Like her sister she can be a bit tardy in the early stages but she has a massive motor and can run a slick time if she gets room to move. Gambo Girl won four starts back at Wentworth Park in a quick 30.09 seconds so if she can transfer that form to Cannington she is a huge threat.
Paul Stuarts Agent Dunham was unplaced in the Mandurah Oaks final but has the talent to bounce back albeit drawn awkwardly in box seven. The black bitch has won six races over the track and distance clocking a best of 30.41 seconds.
Linda Britton has a dynamic duo in the event with Way Too Many in the cherry and Evanescent lining up from the checks. Way Too Many comes into the series with good form at Mandurah including victories at three of her last four starts. Evanescent is a smart sprinter with six wins to her name after 16 starts and has clocked 30.80 seconds on the track. With a clear jump, both Britton runners are capable of snaring the prize.
The first heat of the group two Solo W.A Oaks will jump at 8:27pm (WST) with the first two from each heat progressing to next week’s final.
The king of greyhound racing, Graeme Bate, reigned supreme once more at Wentworth Park on Saturday night and simultaneously a new queen of the racetrack was crowned with Xylia Allen scoring a triumphant win in the group one Peter Mosman.
Drawn in box two for the $75,000 to the winner decider, Xylia Allen pinged the lids and from there the race was all over as the sleek black speedster careened away to score a decisive one-and-three-quarter length win in a blazing 29.47 seconds. The victory was the fifteenth win for Xylia Allen from thirty-one starts whilst it was the second group one for the dazzling chaser in one month after she took out the group one Sapphire Crown in May.
Graeme Bate was full of praise for his dynamic powerhouse, another product of the illustrious Bate/Wheeler racing relationship.
“She went beautifully. I loved the performance myself, when you jump to the front you have got to be excited”, Bate beamed.
Remarkably Bate trained the quinella with rising star Schroder Bale gallant in defeat and never letting the freakish frontrunner out of his sights. Schroder Bale has proven recently that he is a genuine group greyhound with the son of Dyna Lachlan contending three group races since May whilst he recorded the fastest semi going into the final (29.61 seconds).
“He is a great dog in his own right”, Bate said, “Unfortunately he just keeps bumping into something that’s a bit better than him”.
The surprise on the night was not the fact that Xylia Allen won, with the $2.80 hotpot always expected to claim the prize however many were shocked when the known back marker began brilliantly and landed in the prime position.
“In her racing life she has always had a back problem”, Bate explained, “She invariably puts it out and I normally put it back in by cracking her but this time I did the whole manipulation trick”
“I thought it might have been coming from somewhere else and that’s why she keeps putting it out all the time and not showing the early pace we know she has.”
“I went through the whole thing with her this week and it worked to perfection”.
The electrifying time posted of 29.47 seconds was easily the best of the night- even though nine of the ten races slipped under the elusive 30 second standard.
“I didn’t think the track was overly quick on the night. Even though the other dogs broke thirty they didn’t break it by much. I thought after the race if it was quick like what it was at Golden Easter Egg time she would have really given the record a shake but I was still extremely happy with the run”.
The time on the night was also the quickest that the iron bitch has skipped around the Ultimo Circuit after two sensational wins in her heat and semi-final of the Mosman. Xylia Allen’s previous starts at Wentworth Park were during the Ladies Bracelet series and resulted in two thirds with Bate pleased with her development in that time.
“Wentworth Park is a tricky place, you really have to know it. Her first few runs were disappointing as she tended to want to follow dogs on the rail instead of going around them but since the other group one she won(Sapphire Crown) she has been going out and around dogs and splitting in-between them”.
“She brought that back to Wentworth Park on Saturday and that brings to the table whole new opportunities”.
“When dogs have got the ability that she has got and to show that kind of intelligence- I haven’t had a dog like that since Kantarn Bale”.
The win was also special with Xylia Allen being a daughter of Turanza Bale who was also trained by Bate. “He was a great dog and we really liked him. He went back to Paul who took a lot of straws from him and was then offered big money to go to China and at the time he wasn’t getting many bitches so Paul sold him”.
“Of the dogs he has put on the track, Grigorieva Bale won the Golden Easter Egg, so for the few pups he has got he has thrown sensational”.
With the Mosman series run and won emphatically, Bate has revealed his boom bitch has pulled up well and will now make another trip interstate for her next crack at group race glory.
“She has pulled up beaut this(Sunday) morning. She got back at 9am and we put her in the run and it was as if she hadn’t been away. She was fantastic and sprinting around like a juvenile so I’m very happy with her”.
Tossing up between the group one Garrards Winter Carnival Cup and the group two Solo WA Oaks, Bate appears to have settled on a trip to the Sunshine State.
“I’m leaning towards the Albion Park race because she has been there and has performed well there. If she draws out wide in Western Australia I’m in a bit of trouble because it’s not a track that induces getting 7 or 8 whereas at Albion Park if you get 7 or 8 you are still in the race”.
Also on the cards is another stint at the staying trip after an unsuccessful attempt earlier this year, “I thought for sure she would stay so I put her in and she was straight in against Miata which was bad training on my behalf but looking back if she had of stayed I would have been a genius. It wasn’t meant to be so I put her back to the sprints until I can give her a proper preparation”.
“Irma Bale runs Identical to her so I have no doubts she will stay so that’s another exciting part of her future”.
With the racing world at her feet, Bate looks set to enjoy a magnificent ride with the airborne bitch that he has compared to superstars such as Radley Bale, Kantarn Bale and Lansley Bale.
“She is very special and we love her here. She has been great already so we are excited for the future and I just hope she can hold up from injuries because she could be absolutely anything”.
Tonight the lids will fly for the group one Peter Mosman after an arduous three weeks of racing that has seen slashing times posted by some serious athletes- many of whom took spectators by surprise when upsetting the series hotpots.
BOX ONE JOHNNY FIRE
In a race dominated by Victorians the Trevor Hagney prepared greyhound is shaping up to be NSW’s best hope after his emphatic triumph in last week’s semi-final. The son of Knocka Norris and Gunna Oz exploded from the boxes posting the fastest early split of 5.38 seconds before devastating his opposition when scoring by four and three quarter lengths in a blistering 29.63 seconds. Being a young sprinter who has always shown talent, Johnny Fire has proven in recent starts that he is a genuine group class greyhound by improving his box manners and early sections dramatically. If he can maintain this trait in the final he is a massive threat and should go close to landing the prize. The black speedster is certainly experienced around the track with seven starts for four wins and two minors whilst he has a perfect four from four from box one.
BOX TWO XYLIA ALLEN
Xylia Allen will start the deserved favourite in the $75,000 to the winner event. Although she has not posted the fastest time in either the heats or semi’s, the way she claimed both starts is what makes her hard to go past. The daughter of Turanza Bale does not have much early toe which is a concern but she is known for her ability to be knocked around in the early stages and still get the job done. Xylia Allen is a winner of fourteen races from thirty starts whilst she is also a recent group one winner. She has drawn well to follow Johnny Fire and Schroder Bale into the race and if she gets to sit behind them, they will find it very difficult to hold her out.
BOX THREE SCHRODER BALE
Fastest qualifier Schroder Bale has drawn well in box three for the decider. Trained by the master of champion greyhounds, Graeme Bate the black and white dog has been ultra-impressive with the Mosman the third group final that he has contested in his last seven starts alongside the group two Warrnambool Cup and the group two Harrison-Dawson. Beginning brilliantly in his heat last week, the son of Dyna Lachlan took advantage of raging favourite Black Magic Opal’s poor beginning to score a strong one and a half length victory over Clockwise in a scintillating 29.61 seconds. Schroder Bale should relish the draw closer to the rails and with kennelmate Xylia Allen a moderate beginner and drawn on his inside, he should get every opportunity in the race.
BOX FOUR TRIGGSY
The first of two runners for Castlereagh trainer Jane Carruthers is the powerful Triggsy who has come up with an awkward draw in the blue. The Magic Sprite youngster ran a phenomenal race in last week’s semi-final to wear down tearaway leader Quiz Bale to just half a length on the line. Triggsy has developed a liking for the Ultimo Circuit with five wins and six placings over the Sydney 520 metres including a sensational 29.78 seconds win last month. The one thing going against the 32 kilogram greyhound is the fact that he is often tardy at box-rise, however he can time it right albeit rarely. If he jumps with the field there is no telling what he will do and regardless of how he begins he will be charging home.
BOX FIVE SHADOW LANE
Another Victorian lines up from box five with Shadow Lane trained in Violet Town by Michael Carter. Carter has already had a successful week with the promising pups Jimmy Lane and Jack Silver collecting the Graeme Hull Memorial Cup and the Simaroo Lodge Cup Consolation respectively at Wagga. Shadow Lane is a roughie of the field but still looks to have a chance with two strong seconds in the heats and semi’s at his only two starts at Wentworth Park. The son of Where’s Pedro has clocked an exhilarating 29.29 seconds at Sandown Park so is definitely capable of running the times but will need to jump and avoid congestion from the poor draw.
BOX SIX CLOCKWISE
The second runner for Jane Carruthers has also drawn poorly in box six with Clockwise looking to have it all against her from the draw. The little black bitch has plenty of gusto demonstrated last week when finishing just one and a half lengths behind Schroder Bale in her semi. The litter sister to Triggsy has won two from eleven with seven minors with one of those victories occurring in the Group Three Magic Maiden in March. Much alike her brother, Clockwise does not have a lot of pace in the early stages but is as tenacious as they come and is capable of claiming a big race however she is not helped at all by lining up from box six.
BOX SEVEN QUIZ BALE
The last of Bate’s terrific trio lines up from box seven with Quiz Bale stamping herself as a genuine threat after a blowout victory in her semi-final last Saturday. The 27 kilogram bitch is also the second finalist for up and coming sire Dyna Lachlan with the daughter of Princess Bale certainly bred to run which she did last week clocking a slick 29.87 seconds. Quiz Bale has won eleven from twenty two and is transforming into quite a little performer for Bate and breeder Paul Wheeler and comes into the event with a good record around Victorian tracks including wins at seven of the tracks down South including The Meadows (30.18 seconds), Sandown (29.86 seconds), Horsham (27.10 seconds), Geelong (25.51 seconds), Warrnambool (25.40 seconds), Shepparton (25.29 seconds) and Sale (24.82 seconds). Whilst she will be the least fancied of the Bate/Wheeler combination, it is not unlike the dynamic duo to produce a group winner at big odds.
BOX EIGHT IONA SEVEN
Last but not least is Victorian Iona Seven trained by the astute Robert Britton. The daughter of Swift Fancy qualified for the final after running third and second in her heat and semi-final respectively with both performances showing obvious potential particularly last week when just one and a half lengths off Xylia Allen. The tiny speedster has only had fourteen starts but has won six and placed on a further six occasions and has shown her talent in Victoria clocking a fast 29.42 seconds at Sandown. The biggest obstacle will be the wide draw, although she has won from the eight before it is a different scenario when placed in the top class. She will have to put her best paws forward at the beginning to be in the race but she is capable if she can time the start correctly.
FIRST RESERVE FERLY REIGN
The Anthony Azzopardi trained chaser was unlucky not to make the final when a close third behind Xylia Allen. He has a chance if he gets a run
SECOND RESERVE VEYRON BALE
Comes from the Andrea Dailly kennels so must be respected on that alone. If he gets a run from an inside draw definitely consider.
TIPS: 1ST JOHNNY FIRE 2ND XYLIA ALLEN 3RD SCHRODER BALE
Punters got off to a rough start in the first semi-final of the Group One Peter Mosman with the honours going to the Graeme Bate prepared Schroder Bale paying $10.20 for the win. Beginning well from box seven the black and white dog took advantage of Black Magic Opal’s poor beginning to find the lead in the run to the first turn and from there it was a case of times and margins as the son of Dyna Lachlan and Amity Bale kicked clear to notch up his eighth career victory in a breathtaking 29.61 seconds. Schroder Bale came into the series with fantastic form as a recent finalist in both the Group Two Harrison-Dawson at Sandown Park (4th behind Clone Your Own) and the Group Two Warrnambool Cup (6th behind Ronan Izmir). Also sneaking through to next week’s final was the Jane Carruther’s trained Clockwise who ran a fantastic race from box two to finish just one and a half lengths off the winner.
Race favourite Black Magic Opal was disappointing when finishing down the track in seventh position. The Group Two Maitland Gold Cup winner began poorly from box six and did not fire at all missing a place for the first time at start number 21.
The second semi went to another Graeme Bate sprinter with Quiz Bale blitzing her rivals in a red hot 29.87 seconds. The petite black bitch took full advantage of an inside draw as Black Rip caused commotion when crossing from box eight to rail through on the first turn and set up a winning break down the back. Remarkably Quiz Bale is yet another pup by underrated sire Dyna Lachlan who also sired the previous winner Schroder Bale. Quiz Bale is out of the great producer Princess Bale who is the mother of Bagget Bale, Barcia Bale, Desalle Bale and Purcell Bale amongst others with the 28 kilogram pocket rocket certainly proving to be right up there with the best her mum has thrown. Last night’s win was the eleventh for Quiz Bale after just 22 starts whilst she has another four placings to her name. Flashing home to get within half a length of the winner was the powerhouse Triggsy who in turn made it two Bate/Carruthers quinella’s in a row when qualifying for the final.
The third semi went to Central Coast chaser Johnny Fire who ran the race of his life clocking a scintillating 29.63 seconds for the trip. Beginning in a flawless 5.38 seconds early the son of Knocka Norris and Gunna Oz made his rivals look like fifth graders, stretching out beautifully to claim the event by four and three quarter lengths. Johnny Fire is the only dog his trainer Trevor Hagney has in work at present but based on his performance, the full time electrician may be $75,000 richer this time next Saturday night. The black speedster has faced the starter on 28 occasions saluting 15 times whilst he has accumulated a further eleven placings. Last night’s performance was easily his best time over the track and distance where he has now won four races and placed third behind Charmed Assassin in the Group Three New Sensation in March. Also making it through to the lucrative final was Michael Carter with his charge Shadow Lane navigating his way through the field to cross the line in second position.
The fourth and final semi went to yet another Graeme Bate runner with Xylia Allen blowing spectators and rivals away with a determined performance that is quickly becoming a trademark for the iron bitch. The daughter of Turanza Bale and Tayah Bale is a freak in the kindest of ways, overcoming all kinds of bumps and knocks on the first turn including being turned sideways but managed to find her feet, regain her momentum and mow down her opposition in a brilliant 29.84 seconds. The black speed machine has won fourteen of her 30 starts including the Group One Sapphire Crown at Sandown Park where she ran down Jason Mackay’s airborne Punch One Out to claim the $100,000 winner’s purse. With her tendency to dwell and still dominate her races, Xylia Allen is quickly transforming into one of the most exciting youngsters to watch and should put on a scorching demonstration next Saturday night. Gallant in defeat was fellow Victorian Iona Seven for Robert Britton who was just one and a half lengths behind the winner in second position and will also go through to the decider.
The $75,000 to the winner Peter Mosman will be the highlight of a sensational night of racing at Wentworth Park next Saturday. With eight exceptional youngsters engaged it will truly be an enthusiasts dream to see yet another champion emerge from the series and write their name in the record books alongside the greats.
The box draw for the Group 1 Peter Mosman Classic Final is:
2013 Group 1 Peter Mosman Final Box Draw
1. JOHNNY FIRE TREVOR HAGNEY
2. XYLIA ALLEN GRAEME BATE
3. SCHRODER BALE GRAEME BATE
4. TRIGGSY JANE CARRUTHERS
5. SHADOW LANE MICHAEL CARTER
6. CLOCKWISE JANE CARRUTHERS
7. QUIZ BALE GRAEME BATE
8. IONA SEVEN ROBERT BRITTON
FIRST RESERVE FERLY REIGN ANTHONY AZZOPARDI
SECOND RESERVE VEYRON BALE ANDREA DAILLY
Round two of the Group One Peter Mosman series kicks off at 8:50pm tonight with four action packed semi’s offering a tantalizing quaddie for greyhound racing enthusiasts on what will be a terrific night of racing at Wentworth Park.
GROUP ONE PETER MOSMAN SEMI ONE
The first semi will be keenly watched with the freakish Black Magic Opal lining up from box six. The two year old sprinter was a resounding winner of his heat last week in a blistering 29.77 seconds on a rain affected track with the sizzling time easily the best of the night. The group two Maitland Gold Cup winner has good box speed and an enormous motor when he hits the ground. The son of Magic Sprite has won 16 races from 20 starts and is clearly the one to beat in the astute hands of Jason Thompson.
Boxed to get a perfect run into the race on his outside is the Graeme Bate prepared Schroder Bale who ran a fantastic second behind Gold Town last week beaten three lengths in 29.92 seconds. The youngster has been racing consistently in group company over recent months whilst he possesses 7 wins and 9 minors from 24 starts and an excellent record from box seven with four starts for three wins.
Bate has two other runners engaged in the first semi with Queensland Futurity winner Purcell Bale drawn in the one and Mosman heat winner Noble Bale drawn in box three. Purcell Bale is a resilient little bitch with a personal best of 29.71 seconds over the track and distance however she can dwell at the start which can cause problems from the cherry. Noble Bale on the other hand is boxed to perfection in the white with a very strong record of three wins from five starts wearing the rug number 3 . The black and white chaser has been a marvellous dog thus far with 17 wins and 7 placings from 41 starts. Noble Bale began well in his heat last week from box six and was a strong winner in 30.22 seconds over Shadow Lane.
Jane Carruthers is engaged in the first semi with yet another pup by boom sire Magic Sprite with Clockwise drawn in box two. The black bitch out of Elizabeth Royal has had ten starts and whilst she has only won two races, one of those was in the Group Three Magic Maiden final. The 28 kilogram chaser has also recorded a fast win at Gosford in 29.76 seconds and although she does not have much early pace, watch for her to be storming home.
GROUP ONE PETER MOSMAN SEMI TWO
Jagger Swagger was a little disappointing in last week’s heats from box one however he is more than capable of bouncing back to his brilliant best from box two in the semis. Trained by Mark Azzopardi the son of Premier Fantasy has won nineteen races from 29 starts including triumphs in the Group One National Derby, The Group Two Richmond Derby and the Group Three Bulli Gold Cup. He also holds a great record from inside boxes with ten starts resulting in 7 wins and 2 placings. He is boxed to win but must do better than last week as he is drawn in a cracking field.
Frank Hurst’s enthralling youngster Zulu Zeus lines up from box six in the second semi. The airborne son of Where’s Pedro and Fancy Jaffa has won five from twelve including a sensational 30.08 seconds domination at Richmond in May. The black dog ran the best race of his short career just two starts back when almost running down Jagger Swagger in The Bulli Gold Cup final which was followed last start by a good third behind Veyron Bale in last week’s heats. Box six is a concern however he is a safe beginner and should run a good race.
Double Twist recorded the second fastest time last week(29.92 seconds) when landing her heat by three lengths however will have to overcome a horror draw in box five. The daughter of Where’s Pedro and Tifi has a dazzling record of 10 wins and 4 seconds from just 15 starts with a best time of 29.65 seconds at Wentworth Park and will only need a clean beginning to be able to blow them away.
Triggsy, a litter brother to Clockwise also lines up in the second heat from box three. The Carruthers trained greyhound has won 10 from 23 however he is a backmarker that will need to find a few lengths at the beginning to be close enough to run down these top quality dogs.
GROUP ONE PETER MOSMAN SEMI THREE
There are eight genuine chances in this race with six of the runners coming up from Victoria.
Gold Town ran up to his best form last week when claiming his heat in a nippy 29.92 seconds from box five. The black dog moves one box towards the rails for the semis into the blue and although this is not ideal if he can begin like last week he should go close to leading and can pinch victory here. The Peter Hunt sprinter has won twelve races overall with two wins at Wentworth including a scintillating 29.49 seconds recorded in March.
Veyron bale also claimed his heat last week running a quick 30.12 seconds for Andrea Dailly and has drawn box two in his semi. The son of Meticulous is well travelled recently racing in both Western Australia and Victoria with success. He is very consistent and boxed well so should run a good race if he gets room to move in the early stages.
The best of the local hopes is the talented Johnny Fire who will line up from box six for Trevor Hagney. The Knocka Norris two year old is always there about with 14 wins and 11 minors from 27 starts. The 32 kilogram dog is as tenacious as they come and very reliable with the ability to win from out wide, or on the rails. Johnny Fire has a best of 29.79 seconds at Wentworth Park and it would come as no surprise to see him figure in the finish.
On his inside is Graeme Bate’s Tee Brady who has shown enormous potential after just seven starts winning five races in impressive fashion around Victoria. He ran a great race at his track debut last week running second behind fellow competitor Veyron Bale and despite the awkward draw in box five he could quite easily reverse the results from last week.
GROUP ONE PETER MOSMAN SEMI FOUR
Run of the night last week went to Xylia Allen who overcame a poor beginning and congestion to deliver her trademark spine tingling victory in a fast 29.93 seconds. The black bitch has won 13 from 29 including the Group One Sapphire Crown two starts ago. The daughter of Turanza Bale has no pace early but has a tremendous motor once her paws hit the ground. If she can navigate her way into a handy position from box six in the run out of the first turn she will run down the leader and score her fourteenth win.
Local hope Ferly Reign will be hoping to give Xylia Allen a shake when the black dog jumps from the cherry for Anthony Azzopardi. The son of Bombastic Shiraz took out his heat in fine style last week clocking a great win in 29.99 seconds over Johnny Fire and whilst he has never started from box one he has a liking for the inside with two wins from two starts from the checks.
Iona Seven is a promising type from the Robert Britton kennel with six wins from 13 starts including slick wins at Sandown (29.42 seconds) and The Meadows (30.40 seconds) who ran a top race at his track debut last week qualifying in third position behind Double Twist. Iona Seven is a good beginner who should get a clear run into the race with Xylia Allen, a poor beginner, boxed on his inside.
The semi-finals are a must see event tonight with the first two from each semi progressing through to next weeks $75,000 to the winner final- what is shaping up to be an incredible race.
The place to be this weekend is trackside at Border Park for six heats of the $20,000 to the winner Tweed Heads Galaxy 420m.
With the best 48 greyhounds nominated the six heat winners and two fastest seconds will qualify and race again in Mondays afternoons rich final. It is a wonderful weekend of racing and once again the club has attracted some outstanding greyhounds from across Australia to do battle.
Each heat has a number of leading chances, with spectators and punters doing well to pick any winners. The racing kicks off Saturday at 1.15pm local time.
Tweed Heads Galaxy Heat One
Left Field (Placard – Ominous Spirit) for owner trainer Frank Anderson headlines heat one after coming up with the ideal cherry box. The super talented grey has had no luck in his recent starts with his last two races resulting in two falls at Gosford. The small blue dog has only raced twice since his BON win at Wentworth Park and that was in December. With 11 wins and 7 placings from just the 24 career starts he has enormous ability having won in good time at Richmond, Gosford and the Gardens. From an inside draw he is near unbeatable and so long as the two recent falls haven’t knocked his confidence, he will be hard to beat.
Being almost five years old one would be mistaken for thinking that a greys form would start to slip away. Not so for Bralyn County the August 2008 son of Hallucinate – Bralyn Maisie who draws box three. The Dave Irwin trained chaser is continuing the form that has made him a punters favourite for many years, with his 50 starts resulting in 25 wins and 8 placings. His recent form is outstanding with 3 wins and a second from his last four starts, including wins at Grafton and here at Border Park. With a best time of 23.56 at the track he will hope to utilise his brilliant box speed to position himself in a winning position.
Country feature events are often dominated by local chasers and leading trainer Glenda Dart will hope that is the case for Duel Em Up (Dual Enforcer – I’m Not Blue). After drawing the striped box, the 33 kilogram red fawn chaser will look to use his track sense and ability to his advantage at the tight Border Park circuit. The winner of 4 from 9 here and 13 overall, he has great sprinting ability and will be well fancied for the popular local Dart.
Tweed Heads Galaxy Heat Two
Australia’s most successful trainer and no stranger to fast dogs and big race monopoly, Graeme Bate headlines heat two with his wonderful sprinter Arizona Dozer (Bit Chilli – Indiana Lee). The March 2010 chaser previewed the track last week winning a best 8 in a near BOD 23.45. Box 5 won’t worry the noted beginner and with his overall record of 65 starts for 39 wins and 13 placings, he will be the favourite to progress to the final and more group success.
Logan Village trainer Jamie McHugh returns to the Border Park circuit with the speedy Berella Kathryn having drawn box 1. The August 2010 daughter of Meticulous – Tawny Shiraz was in career best form prior to her last start injury at Albion Park. The striking 29 kilo bitch has an outstanding record overall win 8 wins from only 18 starts and will be well liked for the popular McHugh who has great ability in big races to get the best out of his chasers. A previous finalist in 2004, McHugh will look to qualify another runner from his small team.
Underrated sprinter Gee Six (Kiowa Sweet Trey – Slick Candy) for trainer Jimmy Heddles looks sure to be well supported for the popular trainer. The omen draw could be a sign of ‘we should have backed that’ after he drew the green rug. The July 2010 chaser has outstanding short track ability as evidenced by his overall record of 52 starts for 19 wins and 15 placings, with super quick wins at Capalaba, Ipswich and Albion Park. With his ability to run quick times from any box a win here wouldn’t surprise, especially after his preview win here two weeks ago in a very fast 23.42.
Tweed Heads Galaxy Heat Three
The visitors look to dominate heat three with potential superstar Tomac Bale leading the way from box 3. The son of Dyna Lachlan out of super producing dam Princess Bale, the April 2011 red fawn chaser has been a revelation in his short career winning 6 of his 8 career starts for Victorian trainer Mark Delbridge. With 29.21 and 29.23 Sandown wins he has enamours ability with speed and strength and barring any bad luck he should be too good for these in this heat.
Fellow Victorian Fully Advanced will try to spoil the party of the favourite after drawing the ideal cherry box. The February 2010 son of Collision – Okay Supreme, has leading mentor Graeme Bate hoping that this start can be win 20 for the talented sprinter. The well travelled grey has recorded fast wins at a number of tracks including Warragul, Geelong, Sandown, Wentworth Park and Launceston. A noted big race performer and with big race experience he will be well supported to topple the favourite Tomac Bale.
Returning NSW grey Take The Weight (Elite State – Kingsbrae Di) looks to be the another danger to the favourite after returning home from the Victorian kennels of Kel Greenough to Charles Northfield. The black 32 kilo chaser has two seconds here from his last two runs and looks like he has been set for this type of event after drawing box seven. He has great ability having won at Ballarat, Warragul, Geelong and Casino in his limited career, with his overall record of 7 wins and 6 placings from 17 starts. A greyhound with great ability he will hope for clear room early.
Tweed Heads Galaxy Heat Four
Graeme Bate will try to qualify another finalist in heat four with Allen Benji looking the grey to beat. Drawing box one, the June 2010 son of Buttsie Bale – Swiss Bale was ultra impressive last week winning a best eight here in BOD 23.41 by three lengths. With a 50% winning strike rate and an overall record of 60 starts for 30 wins and 18 placings he has been another wonderful performer for the Bate / Wheeler combination. He has noted box speed and mid race pace and barring bad luck he should account for these and give Bate another Galaxy finalist.
Defending Galaxy champ Chasing Glory will look to do just that in heat four after coming up with the yellow rug. A wonderful greyhound, the February 2010 black grey is a son of El Galo – Tommie’s Placard. With over $48,000 in the prizemoney kitty he has been a wonderful dog winning 16 and placing in a further 14 of his 42 career starts. He hasn’t been at the Border Park circuit since last years heat and final victory but you can’t knock a champ and he will be hoping to add his name to back to back winners of the featured event for trainer Noelene Walsh. With wins all over NSW tracks he will be there should the favourite make any mistakes.
Looking to ruin the Bate show leading trainer Glenda Dart has the well schooled Pierino engaged in box three. With his most recent form at the track and distance consisting of 3 starts for 3 wins, the son of Where’s Pedro – Magic Capers has an obvious liking for the tight Border Park circuit. With a fast win at Albion Park to his credit, the sprinter has obvious ability as indicted by his overall record of 17 starts for 6 wins and 6 placings.
Tweed Heads Galaxy Heat Five
Heat five box five looks to be the way on paper with Ando’s Magic looking to be the grey to beat in this field. The son of Magic Sprite – Miss Blondie is in outstanding form for owner trainer Jane Carruthers with recent fast wins at Richmond, Nowra and Gosford to his credit. From only 18 career starts he has 10 wins and 6 placings and looks another successful offspring of Magic Sprite who is doing wonders at stud with fast winners everywhere.
Albion Park speedster Blackjack Gent (Made To Size – Lilly Grace) looks well placed to challenge the favourite after coming up with the striped box. The Deb Arnold trained and Anthony Jeffress owned chaser has been in outstanding form of late with 2 wins and 3 seconds from his last 5 starts. The 31 kilo black dog is a flying machine as evidenced by his sub 23 second Albion Park wins. With an overall record of 9 wins and 15 placings from 32 starts, a final berth would be just reward for the efforts of Jeffress and his contribution to the greyhound racing industry.
Box six runner and local attraction Naughty As looks another chance in heat five. The August 2009 daughter of Big Daddy Cool – Go Wild Lilly has been an honest performer in each of her 107 starts, resulting in 28 wins, 18 seconds and 17 thirds for Condong owner trainer Lee Wylie. With a bed at the track the 25 kilo blue bitch has won 21 races over the track and distance with a best time of 23.53 set at the carnival this time last year.
Tweed Heads Galaxy Heat Six
Gilberton mentor Claude Dacey looks a strong chance of progressing to next weeks final with his super short track performer Dayseas Jet after coming up with the white rug. The August 2010 son of Cosmic Rumble – Classy Kate has outstanding form at Casino, Ipswich, and Albion Park over sprints where he has won lots or races in best of meeting performances. With his overall record of 44 starts for 18 wins and 16 placings, connections will be hoping that he can show his customary box speed to race right away with this heat.
Red box runner Woods looks most likely to challenge after back to back wins at the Gardens over the 400m trip. The March 2011 son of Goodsey – Ominous Spirit has faced the starter on 14 occasions for 7 wins and 5 placings. With fast wins at Wentworth Park, Richmond and Gardens to his credit he looks an improving type with stacks of ability. He is boxed to win for trainer Frank Anderson.
A travelling Victorian is always a chance and box five runner Taper Jean Girl looks another strong contender for the final heat. By El Galo – Blu Pie Girl, the 28 kilo blue bitch has super short track form. A fast 22.63 winner over the tough Warragul 400m shows just how fast she is. With 14 wins and 4 placings from just 25 career starts, trainer Garry George will be hoping she can reproduce her Victorian form here. Box five doesn’t appear to worry her having had two starts from the yellow for two wins.
Each of the heats is filled with greyhounds of ability with all runners a realistic chance of qualifying for the Monday final and taking out the rich first prize. The ability to back up within two days is critical and for the greyhound that does so this weekend, they will join the honour board of past winners including; Chasing Glory (2012), Harvey Bale (2004) back to back winner Magic Mint (99/2000) and Sobbing Sal (1997). Monday also features the final of Harry Pledger Cup over 520m worth $10,000 to the winner on its 10 card program.
With nine spectacular heats of the Group One Rapidvite Peter Mosman held last night at Wentworth Park much of the early hype surrounded heat one with the freakish Black Magic Opal engaged for his first NSW start since joining the powerful Jason Thompson kennel last month.
Lining up from box five the son of Magic Sprite and Awesome Opal did not disappoint displaying a sensational front running performance to land the heat in a brilliant 29.77 seconds- easily the best time of the night. The stunning black greyhound has had three starts for Thompson for three emphatic victories including near track record times at Ballarat (25.03 seconds) and Shepparton (24.93 seconds) whilst the triumph in his heat brought up win number sixteen from a mere twenty starts.
Five lengths behind the supersonic sprinter in second position was Sharron Webster’s consistent Where’s Wob who ran a terrific race from box three with another Magic Sprite youngster Jonardo slipping into third position a further one and a half lengths away.
Also highly impressive last night was the Jane Carruthers prepared Triggsy who took out heat four with a phenomenal last to first performance. After an average beginning from box four he found plenty of congestion in the early stages and had to navigate his way through the field but his class prevailed in the end finishing over the top of leader Black Rip to claim the event by one and three quarter lengths in a slick 30.12 seconds.
Triggy’s triumph made it two heat winners out of the first four for boom sire Magic Sprite, who is in fact owned and stood at stud by the Carruthers at Journey Park. Triggsy was also bred by the Carruthers being out of their ill-fated broodbitch Elizabeth Royal who was a fantastic racer herself and seems to have thrown plenty of her speed into her talented pups.
Gold Town’s affiliation with the Ultimo Circuit remained strong with the 32 kilogram chaser claiming heat five in a nippy 29.92 seconds. Beginning brilliantly in a fast 5.39 seconds the son of Surf Lorian quickly found the front and from there the race was over with the black dog stretching out to win by three lengths on the line.
Fellow Victorian Schroder Bale stuck on well in second position for Graeme Bate whilst raging favourite Jagger Swagger could only manage third nine and a quarter lengths behind second after a slow beginning. Gold Town has now won twelve races from forty four starts and certainly loves Wentworth Park where he has recorded a blistering personal best of 29.49 seconds.
Xylia Allen continued to shine taking out the seventh heat for champion trainer Graeme Bate. Fresh from her triumph in the Group One Sapphire Crown last month the daughter of Turanza Bale and Tayah Bale ran her typical resilient race to take out the event by four and a half lengths in a great 29.93 seconds. The black bitch was the last greyhound to leave the boxes and looked in doubt going through the pen for the first time however once finding her feet Xylia Allen slipped into another gear with her performance nothing short of amazing.
Running an honest race in second position was Clockwise giving Jane Carruthers her second runner through to the semi’s with the pint sized bitch a litter sister to Triggsy who scored in heat four as mentioned above. Five lengths behind Clockwise was Flaming Frenzy for Justin King who ran an honest race back in third position.
Double Twist was a strong winner in the ninth and final heat for Nowra Hill’s Garry Edwards. Showing good zip from box two the 25 kilogram lightweight was outpaced in the run to the first turn but was able to sit on the pace in second position behind Osteria Mozza down the back before dashing past the leader to win by three lengths in a quick 29.92 seconds.
The group three Nowra Summer Puppy Classic winner is as consistent as they come with fifteen starts for ten wins and four seconds with three of those wins being at Wentworth Park including a scintillating 29.65 seconds triumph in April defeating fellow heat winner Black Magic Opal.
The complete list of winners in time order from last night’s heats is as follows:
2013 Peter Mosman Heat Winners
- BLACK MAGIC OPAL – JASON THOMPSON – 29.77 SECONDS (HEAT ONE)
- GOLD TOWN – PETER HUNT – 29.92 SECONDS (HEAT FIVE)
- DOUBLE TWIST – GARRY EDWARDS – 29.92 SECONDS (HEAT NINE)
- XYLIA ALLEN – GRAEME BATE – 29.93 SECONDS (HEAT SEVEN)
- FERLY REIGN – ANTHONY AZZOPARDI – 29.99 SECONDS (HEAT THREE)
- TRIGGSY – JANE CARRUTHERS – 30.12 SECONDS (HEAT FOUR)
- VEYRON BALE – ANDREA DAILLY – 30.12 SECONDS (HEAT SIX)
- NOBLE BALE – GRAEME BATE – 30.22 SECONDS (HEAT TWO)
- EASTON BALE – ANDREA DAILLY – 30.40 SECONDS (HEAT EIGHT)
On Thursday night the greyhound racing world farewelled Miata; a true icon who gave our great sport more than just another champion but a legend, whose legacy will live on forever.
As a large crowd assembled at Sandown Park to witness ‘Goldies’ final race start, one trainer and his dog had a fairytale story of their own in mind; to secure back to back Group One RSN Sandown Cups.
In another era, Irma Bale would be regarded as the number one stayer in the Country, yet on every occasion had to settle for the ‘Bridesmaid’ tag, behind Australia’s all-time number one stakes earner.
Leading up to the race, Irma Bale’s champion trainer Graeme Bate had exuded confidence to the media, that his charge could spoil the party and snare the highly sought after $125,000 winner’s purse.
‘I knew if she jumped she would have a real good chance. There was less pressure on her (Irma Bale) since it was Miata’s last race start and once she jumped in front I just prayed she could hold on. What an unreal finish it was, the little girl just keep fighting and finding something and that was most pleasing’ said a proud Bate.
Despite the master trainer’s plethora of Group One victories, Bate still experiences pre-race nerves, as the endless hours of preparation are defined by 42 seconds of racing.
‘I still get quite nervous which people find unusual because I have won a lot of big races but it’s because I care and really want to win. I like to be on my own before a race and just put my head down and wait for the boxes to open’.
Beginning beautifully from box five, the daughter of Batrim Bale and Amelia Bale was heavily challenged in the concluding stages of the grueling 715m distance, lasting by a nose over her competitive rivals; Bell Haven and Miata.
Bate was overwhelmed with joy at the events that unfolded on Thursday night and will never forget the moment for several reasons.
‘She’s been a great little girl over a long period of time. Even though that was her 83rd start she is getting better with every race. She struggled to get past 600m for a while but now she just loves running that distance and we will keep perusing with her when she’s in this sort of form.’
Despite approaching four years of age, the forever-young chaser has plenty of life left in her according to Bate and is already set for her next targeted race at Albion Park next month.
‘We will definitely keep her going when she is performing like she is. I’ll give her a trial next Friday and that will set her up beautifully for the Group One Macro Meats Gold Cup. I’ll be very confident in her preparation going into the heats’.
The heats of the Gold Cup will be conducted on June 6 over the 710m distance, with a healthy $75,000 first prize that could take Irma Bale’s prizemoney total beyond the $600,000 mark. The 25kg lightweight who Bate describes as having ‘a heart as big as any dog I’ve trained’ is proving that age is merely just a number.
In a sentimental touch for Bate, the Lara trainer also put the polish on Irma Bale‘s dam; Amelia Bale, for the latter part of her career back in 2009. The insurmountable rewards of the Paul Wheeler breeding dynasty have provided the resilient combination with several group victories already in 2013 including; Group Two WP Summer Distance Plate, Group Two Launceston Cup and Group Two Bogie Leigh Futurity.
‘Amelia Bale was a beautiful dog but just didn’t quite have the mentality like her sister Amity Bale did. Paul and I discussed that she would make a real handy broodbitch and she has.’
As expected, Wheeler and Bate were spot-on with their prediction as Amelia Bale has produced out of her first litter to Batrim Bale; Bekim Bale ( 2011 Group Three Sandown Shootout winner, Sandown 515m track record holder and active sire), Heston Bale (The Meadows 525m track record holder and active sire) and Adelle Bale (2012 Group One Super Stayers Runner Up).
A daughter of Sonic Flight and Evonne Bale, Amelia Bale’s biggest achievement on the race track was runner up in the 2008 Group One Sapphire Crown Classic. Amelia Bale now has three more litters in the process of progressing to the racetrack to; Cromlah Bale and Hallucinate, who are certainly worth keeping a close eye on in the future.
Being no stranger to success, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for the Bate kennel with a tough initiation into the sport. Bate is very appreciative of the triumphs he is experiencing today and I’m certain, in the near future.
‘The prizemoney wasn’t very good back when I first started so I would travel all over the countryside and it was very hard work. What the administrators have done for greyhound racing today is remarkable. The prizemoney is fantastic and there are so many incentives for all types of trainers’.
Graeme Bate’s simple philosophy of treating greyhounds as ‘creatures of habit’ has proven effective time and time again, as the two-time Australian Trainer of the Year is fast becoming a force to be reckoned with again in 2013.
Images courtesy of Sandown Greyhound Racing Club and Paul Munt Photography
Australia’s premier bitches only feature will jump tonight at Sandown Park with eight of the nation’s most consistent and talented females vying for a taste of $100,000 in the group one Sapphire Crown. The race will commence at 9:55PM and offers a fantastic insight as who can lay claims to the being best bitch in the land with two of the industry’s biggest trainers going head to head with three runners each.
Jason Mackay came to Victoria on a mission; to snare the Sapphire crown. To achieve this feat he brought with him three of his best girls and they did not disappoint – with all three qualifying for a crack at the prize.
BOX ONE: Arguably the best of Mackay’s chances has drawn in the desirable rails alley, with NSW sensation Punch One Out looking to add to her very impressive resume. The brilliant black speedster qualified last week from box eight when defeating Victorian Desalle Bale by four and three quarter lengths in a scintillating 29.32 seconds (BON) and in doing so notched up her 17th career victory. Punch One Out comes into the event with excellent credentials including two track records at Wentworth Park (29.27 seconds) and Richmond (29.90 seconds) whilst she also holds an imposing record from the cherry with four wins and three placings from seven starts. She will be the favourite and is the one to beat but must begin a bit better than last week or she runs the risk of getting crowded.
BOX TWO: Beginning from the checks is the highly talented three year old Desalle Bale who as mentioned chased home Punch One Out in last week’s heats. The 28 kilogram chaser is trained by master mentor Graeme Bate who as mentioned also has three runners in the final. As an excellent beginner Desalle Bale is boxed to be the early leader however there will be plenty of speed mustering from behind looking to run her down. With this being said she is as tough as they come winning 23 from 53 starts including a personal best of 29.46 seconds over the track and distance.
BOX THREE: The second runner from Jason Mackay’s kennels will jump from box three with Tricky Jade wearing white. The January 2011 whelp by Bit Chilli out of Navigator Miss is a speedy customer and ran a handy race last week at what was her only her second run at Sandown when finishing second six and a half lengths off the airborne Xylia Allen. Whilst her talent is undeniable this is a dramatic rise in class against the nation’s best and she will be giving away plenty of experience to her competitors with just seven starts under her belt. Despite this she has all the makings of a genuine group class bitch with some scorching times on the board at Wentworth Park (29.56 seconds BON), Richmond (30.41 seconds BON) and Sandown (29.56 seconds) so she is capable of running into calculations but will have to be at her best.
BOX FOUR: Jason Thompson’s group winning bitch El Brooklyn lines up from the four in the final tonight- the same box where she started in her heats when claiming the race in emphatic fashion. Beginning like a rocket the white and blue bitch gave nothing else a chance leading from box rise clocking a fast 29.53 seconds over Sometimes Speedy. The daughter of El Galo has been an absolute marvel on the racetrack claiming 24 of her 42 race starts with stakes earnings in excess of a staggering $274,000. The only concern is that she has been a bit hit and miss of late; albeit against the top class of dogs. If she is at her best tonight with a clean getaway she is right in this event despite the awkward draw.
BOX FIVE: Up and coming bitch Evie’s Entity has drawn horribly in box five for Devon Meadows mentor Lyn Smith with the daughter of Mogambo and Girl Aloud definitely preferring to be boxed closer to the rails. The black chaser is from a highly promising litter and has the great record of 20 starts for ten wins and five placings including a triumph in her heat last week. Beginning moderately from box four, the 29 kilogram chaser managed to work her way into third position around the first turn before dashing past her competitors to score in a swift 29.48 seconds. Evie’s Entity has blossomed since joining Smith’s kennels just five starts ago winning her last four race appearances. Her biggest obstacle is that she can be a bit tardy at box rise however the runner on her direct outside is not overly fast early and she could get a nice run into the race on the outside of El Brooklyn. Certainly a value runner.
BOX SIX: Graeme Bate has had huge wraps on Xylia Allen for a long time and she proved why she is so special once again last week when taking out her heat in a slick 29.51 seconds. After an ordinary beginning, the daughter of Turanza Bale was knocked left right and centre in the run to the first turn and had every right to finish down the track. In a demonstration of chasing tenacity, Xylia Allen regained her momentum and was able to mow down her opposition to score by six and a half lengths on the line. Box six is a worry especially when you are not the best beginner however she only needs to be thereabouts in the early stages and she should be going close.
BOX SEVEN: Graeme Bates last finalist in the group one event is Orthia Bale who will jump wearing black. The black bitch is yet another pup out of Amity Bale, with three of her brothers lining up in the group two Harrison- Dawson earlier in the night. The daughter of Dyna Lachlan ran a great race when finishing second to Evie’s Entity in her heat last week however as a winner of 6 from 43 she may find this a bit too much particularly out wide from box seven.
BOX EIGHT: Rounding up the field is the sizzling speedster Sometimes Speedy who will be aiming for her 25th career win in the feature. With two starts at Sandown over the past fortnight she will be better for both runs and should avoid the early scrimmage boxed out wide in the pink. The Collision bitch is an all over flying machine with hot winning times at Wentworth Park (29.61 seconds) and Unibet Gardens (29.40 seconds) since joining Mackay’s kennel at the beginning of the year, however whilst she should avoid trouble out wide she will have to begin at her best in order to place herself ahead of the action and into the lead
FIRST RESERVE: Grand old marvel Hot Irish ran a great race to finish third behind Punch One Out last week. She is all heart and is always close to the money so despite the fact that age may be just starting to take its toll, she must be respected if she gains a start.
SECOND RESERVE: Jason Thompsons fantastic Got A Moment is second reserve after running third behind Evie’s Entity last week. The top liner should be kept in contention if she gains a start, especially if she happens to sneak into an inside box.
Sapphire Crown Tips
1 PUNCH ONE OUT
6 XYLIA ALLEN
5 EVIE’S ENTITY
2 DESALLE BALE
Greyhound racing does not get any better than this Thursday night at Sandown Park. The action-packed eleven race card offers a tantalizing treat for enthusiasts with the Group one Sandown Cup heats highlighted by the return of champion bitch Miata whilst the best Australian sprinters will also congregate for the running of the group one Sapphire Crown and the group two Harrison-Dawson.
The latter will be the first feature final to fly being race six with eight sensational males vying for the $100,000 first prize at 8:58PM.
BOX ONE: Coming up with the coveted cherry box is the former New Zealander CLONE YOUR OWN who has managed to sneak under the radar and into the final after a dominant heat win last week. The son of Irish sire Droopy’s Marco began moderately from box six and with plenty of room to move in the early stages, charged his way into the top spot around the first turn clocking a blistering 29.41 seconds ahead of Irmy Bale. Since joining the astute kennels of Robert Britton in April, the black speedster has barely put a paw wrong winning three of his five starts with a third placing also to his name. Another point worth noting about this bloke is that he has never drawn the one after eighteen starts and whilst he holds an impeccable record from out wide, box one is the enviable box to have in big races. The under rated dog in the series who has a great chance of holding a vital position on the rails and could be a serious contender for the prize.
BOX TWO: Ever consistent three year old Irmy Bale has drawn well in box two for legendary trainer Graeme Bate. The son of Go Wild Teddy and Amity Bale ran a fantastic race last week flashing home to finish one and a quarter lengths off Clone Your Own after the leader set up a big margin down the back. As a winner of 23 races and with a brilliant record from the checks Irmy Bale is right in contention for this event. The biggest thing working against him is that it often takes him a few strides to hit top gear; however there is not an enormous amount of speed drawn around him so he should get every chance.
BOX THREE: Champion Queensland veteran Glen Gallon proved that his age was not affecting him last week when qualifying for the final in the fastest time of the four heats (29.39 seconds). The red brindle son of Flying Stanley is a multiple group one winner ( 2011 Winter Cup and 2011 Brisbane Cup) whilst he has been placed in five other group one final (2nd in the 2012 Melbourne Cup, 2012 Silver Chief, 2012 National Sprint Championship, 2012 Brisbane Cup, and ran third in the 2012 Group 1 Temlee). The Tony Brett prepared greyhound has won 34 races from 61 starts including his last four in succession and with six victories from box three he is the one to beat. A win in the Harrison-Dawson would also propel his stakes earnings to over $603,000 and would firmly reinforce him in third position on the list of Australia’s top prize money earning greyhounds.
BOX FOUR: The second of three runners for Graeme Bate is the well performed Schroder Bale who will be aiming to go one better than last week when defeated by Andrea Dailly’s Garrick Bale. Beginning fast from box four last week, he found trouble early and was knocked back into fourth position before firing again on the home turn to finish three and a quarter lengths off the winner in second. The Dyna Lachlan pup has been racing competitively in good company of late but once again will have to raise the bar in this race with so much experience and talent spread across the field. The black and white dog is another youngster out of top producer Amity Bale who has qualified three runners into this week’s final- a sensational achievement for any sire or dam to attain. As a good beginner he should be up there in the early stages.
BOX FIVE: Angela Langton will be hoping her Warrnambool Classic winner Premier Event can make it his second group two event in as many weeks when he lines up from the awkward box five. The white and black chaser began quickly in his heat last week and gave nothing else a look in clocking a slick 29.54 seconds for the 515 metre trip. The son of Premier Fantasy has won seven from nineteen and should be matching motors with Schroder Bale in the early stages. He definitely has the speed to lead and if he finds the front he will take some running down.
BOX SIX: Hurricane Isaac ran the best race of his life last week when finishing second behind Glen Gallon however this is a steep rise in class especially from box six. As a winner of eight overall from 26 starts including a nippy 29.66 seconds he is certainly an above average sprinter for Anthony Flores yet has only won one of his last eight starts and looks to have it stacked against it him in the final. Regardless of this, the black chaser is all heart and is capable of running a cheeky race. As a $900 purchase it would be one of the greatest rags to riches story if he could bag the $100,000 feature for his 65 year old mentor.
BOX SEVEN: Garrick Bale, another Paul Wheeler bred chaser will line up from box seven for Anakie’s Andrea Dailly. The winner of the 2012 group one Peter Mossman must be respected as a winner of fifteen races including a triumph in last week’s heats recording a hot 29.61 seconds over Schroder Bale. He also possesses a strong second section, however he will need to be up with the leaders in order to utilize it and with so much speed drawn ideally on the inside he will have to be at his best to challenge from the black. Despite this it would not be unlike the Wheeler’s to produce a group winner at big odds.
BOX EIGHT: The last of Amity Bale’s trio is Kevin Bale for you guessed it- Graeme Bate. The Lara trainer certainly knows how to put the polish on his team for the big races and there is no doubt Kevin Bale as well as Bates other two runners in the event will start being 110% ready for action. Kevin Bale has won 16 from 54 and ran home well behind Premier Event last week whilst he has won four races over the track and distance including a handy 29.59 seconds recorded last June. The 32 kilogram chaser has been racing consistently and is always thereabouts however he does prefer to be drawn closer the rails especially against such tough opposition.
1ST RESERVE: After finishing third to Glen Gallon in the heats, Nikita’s Elite makes it through as the first reserve. A winner of nine from 33 who has plenty of talent but faces a tough test should he get a run.
2ND RESERVE: Boris Fields for Pearcedale trainer Jason Thompson has a good shot if he gets a run particularly if drawn towards the inside. A winner at Sandown in 29.36 seconds he must be considered if he gains a start.
2013 Harrison-Dawson Tips
3. Glen Gallon
1. Clone Your Own
5. Premier Event
Australia’s best sprinters lined up on Thursday night at Sandown Park and they did not disappoint with four spectacular heats of both the group one Sapphire Crown and the group two Harrison-Dawson staged on an action packed twelve race card.
The girls where the first to hit the track with the brilliant El Brooklyn taking out the first heat of the Sapphire Crown for Jason Thompson. The three year old sprinter is still racing in fantastic style as shown when taking out the event in a slick 29.53 seconds over Jason Mackay’s flyer Sometimes Speedy who will also go into the final on Thursday. The daughter of E Galo and Dark Marne now holds the imposing record of 42 starts for 24 wins and eight placings with almost $275,000 in stakes money.
The second heat gave Jason Mackay his second runner in the group one event with the freakish Punch One Out dominating the race from box eight. Starting at an ominous $1.70 the NSW sensation gave her opponents a rattling, clearing away from Graeme Bate’s Desalle Bale to score by four and a half lengths in a blistering 29.32 seconds. The Knocka Norris bitch looks the one to beat in next week’s final after drawing the coveted rails alley. Gallant in defeat was Desalle Bale who just found the winner too strong. The classy Victorian has come up with box two on the outside of her heat rival for Thursday’s decider.
Heat three went to rails competitor Xylia Allen who put in a tenacious chasing effort to take out the race. In what was the run of the night, the daughter of Turanza Bale overcame moderate getaway and found all sorts of trouble before regaining momentum to rocket away with a five and a quarter length triumph in a sizzling 29.51 seconds. Tricky Jade ran a race full of merit behind Xylia Allen and in doing so brought Jason Mackay’s tally to three finalists from three heat starters into the Sapphire Crown.
The fourth and final heat went to the in-form Evie’s Entity for trainer Lyn Smith. The daughter of Mogambo has won her last four starts with Thursday’s win her fastest triumph recording a red-hot 29.48 seconds for the 515 metre distance. With ten wins from twenty starts, the 29 kilogram youngster is improving each week and should run a competitive race in the final. Also with three runners in the final is Graeme Bate with Orthia Bale making the cut when finishing second to Evie’s Entity. Her heat time of 29.73 seconds was also the Dyna Lachlan sprinter’s best at Sandown although she has drawn awkwardly in seven on Thursday underneath lid pinger Sometimes Speedy.
Moving onto the Harrison-Dawson where the boys were equally impressive. In the first heat Warrnambool Classic winner Premier Event proved he is a force to be reckoned with when scoring decisively from box two in a quick 29.54 seconds. The Premier Fantasy two year old has come along in leaps and bounds and looms as a big threat for the final. Chasing him home in second was Kevin Bale for Graeme Bate who ran his usual honest race for his Lara mentor.
Heat two went to the big odds performer Garrick Bale who put an end to Ronan Izmir’s winning streak when claiming the race in a zippy 29.61 seconds. Paying a massive $19.90 for the win the 15 race winner was all class for Andrea Dailly and ensured he won’t start at such lucrative odds for a while. Warrnambool Cup runner up Schroder Bale put his name in the field when finishing second just over three lengths off the winner.
Heat three went to the exciting proposition Clone Your Own who made it two in a row at Sandown when running an electrifying 29.41 seconds over the track and distance. The former New Zealander by Droopys Marco is right in contention for the $100,000 to the winner event particularly after drawing the cherry for Thursday night. Irmy Bale finished close behind the winner for Graeme Bate and in doing so will join his litter brother Kevin Bale in the decider, with the son’s of Amity Bale certainly doing their mum proud at present.
The last of the qualifiers to be run and won for next week was Harrison-Dawson heat four which was taken out by grand old campaigner Glen Gallon who made it his 34th race success when claiming the event. The son of Flying Stanley has been a terrific dog for Tony Brett with over $500,000 in his race account after Thursday’s win. His time of 29.39 seconds proved that the rising four year old still has the same zest and talent for racing as when he was just a pup, with a win in the final well within reach for this once in a lifetime racer. Outsider Hurricane Isaac injected value into the quinella when finishing in second position with the son of Paddy’s Flame facing his acid test when he lines up next week.
The group one Sapphire Crown and group two Harrison-Dawson will be the highlight of a brilliant night of racing at Sandown on Thursday. Both races have attracted the best of the best and are truly the premier male and female races in Australia.
The complete box draws for the finals is as follows
GROUP ONE SAPPHIRE CROWN FINAL
1 PUNCH ONE OUT JASON MACKAY
2 DESALLE BALE GRAEME BATE
3 TRICKY JADE JASON MACKAY
4 EL BROOKLYN JASON THOMPSON
5 EVIE’S ENTITY LYN SMITH
6 XYLIA ALLEN GRAEME BATE
7 ORTHIA BALE GRAEME BATE
8 SOMETIMES SPEEDY JASON MACKAY
9 HOT IRISH STEVEN CLARKE (1ST RESERVE)
10 GOT A MOMENT JASON THOMPSON (2ND RESERVE)
GROUP TWO HARRISON-DAWSON FINAL
1 CLONE YOUR OWN ROBERT BRITTON
2 IMRY BALE GRAEME BATE
3 GLEN GALLON TONY BRETT
4 SCHRODER BALE GRAEME BATE
5 PREMIER EVENT ANGELA LANGTON
6 HURRICANE ISAAC ANTHONY FLORES
7 GARRICK BALE ANDREA DAILLY
8 KEVIN BALE GRAEME BATE
9 NIKITA’S ELITE LISA COCKERELL (1ST RESERVE)
10 BORIS FIELDS JASON THOMPSON (2ND RESERVE)
This Thursday night Australia’s best sprinters will converge at Sandown Park for a crack at group race glory in the heats of both the Group One Macro Meats Sapphire Crown and the Group Two Harrison-Dawson over the 515 metre distance. Both series are known for attracting some outstanding performers, with the Sapphire Crown being one of Australia’s premier female only greyhound events. This year see’s four spectacular heats assemble for a shot at the $100,000 prize, with each qualifier bursting with quality with group race winners and track record holders from around the nation.
MACRO MEATS SAPPHIRE CROWN HEAT ONE- 7:44PM
The first heat of this lucrative series is not for the faint-hearted with nearly every greyhound engaged a realistic chance of taking it out. After a below par performance where she found trouble at her track debut last week, Jason Mackay’s boom powerhouse Sometimes Speedy is boxed to perfection to win from the two. As a winner of 24 races from 48 starts the daughter of Collision is an absolute flying machine and if she can begin cleanly, there will be no stopping her.
Fresh from her success in the Group Three Ladies Bracelet at Wentworth Park is another NSW representative in Lagoon Lowanna who has drawn box three. The Sharron Webster trained greyhound has come along in leaps and bounds over recent weeks as a winner of four from her past five starts at Wentworth Park with a scintillating personal best of 29.68 seconds. A known lid pinger she should get a nice run into the event on the outside of Sometimes Speedy and can run a cheeky race. The black bitch by Where’s Pedro has seen the track last year with no success however is racing like a completely different chaser at present so must be respected.
Grand campaigner El Brooklyn is still racing well at the top level for Pearcedale trainer Jason Thompson despite being over three years of age and will jump this week from box four. After recently competing in NSW in both the Golden Easter Egg series and the Maitland Gold Cup when running fourth behind new kennelmate Black Magic Opal, El Brooklyn returned to Victoria and competed in the Warrnambool Cup series when finishing down the track to yet another kennelmate Ronan Izmir. Whilst she may not have taken out these finals her record speaks for itself- 41 starts for 23 wins and 8 placings and over $260,000 in prize money.
Graeme Bate will also be hoping to secure a start in the final with his highly talented bitch Purcell Bale who looks an ominous threat despite drawing awkwardly in box six. The recent Queensland Futurity winner tasted defeat last week when finishing seventh behind Lagoon Lowanna in the Ladies Bracelet at Wentworth Park however that should not deter punters with the daughter of Dyna Lachlan and Princess Bale capable of bouncing back in this event.
MACRO MEATS SAPPHIRE CROWN HEAT TWO- 8:08PM
The second part of Jason Mackay’s terrific trio will line up in the second heat with the freakishly talented Punch One Out jumping from box eight. The daughter of Knocka Norris is an absolute track blazer with records at both Wentworth Park (29.27 seconds) and Richmond (29.90 seconds) and despite finishing unplaced at her track debut last week, she will most likely start the deserved favourite. As a group race placegetter and winner of sixteen races, Punch One Out will go close to claiming the race and should be suited out wide where she will get room to move early.
Desalle Bale will be looking to bring Punch One Out undone when she begins from box three in the second heat. The black bitch is a fantastic railer and is drawn well in the white where she has won four races with a further two placings. The Go Wild Teddy speedster is a half-sister to the flying Purcell Bale who lines up in heat one and was a recent winner at Ballarat clocking a slick 25.56 seconds.
Angela Langton will be looking to extend her recent success of late with the brilliant Heidi Go Seek drawing ideally in the cherry box. After a recent stint in the western state where she recorded a nippy 30.77 seconds triumph at Cannington the 28 kilogram bitch will return home this week for her first Victorian start since March. The daughter of Talks Cheap relishes an inside draw and has a dazzling personal best of 29.41 seconds over the track and distance.
Bubba’s Dream has not won a race since March and has drawn poorly in box five however she has a best time of 29.28 seconds for the trip so can’t be ruled out.
Western Australian greyhound Hot Irish is first up after a spell which hasn’t seen her race since finishing fifth in the group one Golden Easter Egg. She is a top class bitch that is capable of pinging the lids fresh up.
MACRO MEATS SAPPHIRE CROWN HEAT THREE- 9:11PM
Group winning star Cintiarna will return to the track after her emphatic victory in the group three West End Draught Anniversary Cup Final at Angle Park last month. The 31 kilogram speedster is absolutely flying at present and will more than likely start favourite in this tricky race. Whilst she has drawn box five, she knows how to handle a bad box winning nine of her nineteen race triumphs from either the five or six alley.
Rails runner Xylia Allen ran a phenomenal race last week in the Ladies Bracelet at Wentworth Park. The bitch by Turanza Bale was pushed wide and turned sideways throughout the run, yet powered home to run a fantastic third behind Lagoon Lowanna. The black sprinter has won ten races from 26 starts with a best of 29.32 seconds at Sandown and whilst she has never won from box one that isn’t a concern as she has only drawn it once and seems to have a curse with box draws.
Promising pup Tricky Jade steps up to the big time from box seven in heat three after just six racetrack appearances for Jason Mackay. The two year old sensation competed in the Magic Maiden series at Wentworth Park in March when finishing third in her semi-final behind Black Rip and since then has won three races at Richmond (30.41 seconds), Wentworth Park(29.56 seconds) and last week at Sandown(29.56 seconds). Despite her inexperience she is one of the main threats in the race.
Langi Bale must be respected for Graeme Bate from box two whilst the exciting Cracker Jack Lil should also be in contention despite running a touch below her best over recent weeks.
MACRO MEATS SAPPHIRE CROWN HEAT FOUR- 9:55PM
Melbourne Cup hero Got A Moment steps out from box three in the fourth heat after an unlucky fifth at Warrnambool last start behind Schroder Bale. The 25 kilogram lightweight is one of the best female sprinters racing at present and has everything working in her favour with a perfect four from four at Sandown featuring a scorching 29.37 seconds victory in November last year. As a winner of fifteen races and over $470,000 in prize money she will well and truly move up the ladder on the overall stakes money list for Australian greyhounds, should she take out the Sapphire Crown series with only Miata ($690,008) and High Earner ($610,070) in front of her if she is triumphant.
Classy three year old Cailyn Bale should run well for mentor Mark Delbridge in the last heat especially after coming up with box one. The daughter of Bartrim Bale is a good beginner and has been competing against some fantastic sprinters over recent weeks. The 26 race winner has run a flying 29.34 seconds at Sandown earlier this year and is one of the main dangers.
Two more representatives from the legendary Graeme Bate kennels will line up in the fourth heat with Quiz Bale looking to be the Lara trainers best chance of his pair. The talented youngster will be lining up from box eight and brings with her the impressive record of sixteen starts for nine wins and four seconds as well as a flawless two from two over the track and distance. Whilst she is no doubt classy she will have to run faster than her 29.86 seconds best from last year as many of these can run at least half a second quicker than that.
The well-bred Evie’s Entity will jump from box four and despite a raise in class she looks up to the challenge. A winner of nine from nineteen the Mogambo sprinter is racing in great form as a winner of her past three starts in succession with a slick best of 29.54 seconds over the 515 metre trip. The biggest thing against the plucky little bitch is her tendency to dwell at box rise so she will need to begin to threaten the big guns- but as said she is capable.
Box six runner Blue Lavros looks a serious type in the making as a front running winner of five races from seven starts however her best time whilst being a handy 29.98 seconds is not up to the group standards of these classy bitches. She is one to watch for the future.
The 2013 group one Sapphire Crown series is shaping up to be one of the best that greyhound enthusiasts have witnessed in recent years with the girls stamping themselves as a dominant force over the group race scene in the past twelve months. With such quality and depth across all four heats Thursday is sure to be a tantalizing night of racing as we see Australia’s top bitches vie for the extravagant winner’s purse. Keep your eyes peeled for a sneak peek of the Group Two Harrison-Dawson heats which will also be run on the action packed card!
Sharron Webster has described Lagoon Lowanna’s victory in the Group Three Ladies Bracelet final as “Unbelievable and so so exciting”, after the pint sized speedster was too strong for the classy field on Saturday night when claiming the $25,000 winner’s cheque.
Named ‘Lagoon’ for Ray and Sharron Webster’s street address and ‘Lowanna’ meaning Black Beauty in some Aboriginal languages, Webster was quietly confident going into the event thinking that her chaser had a good chance however knowing that she would have to begin well to threaten her competitors. And she did. Spearing the lids in a quick 5.43 seconds, the daughter of Where’s Pedro and Lagoon Smylee matched strides with the Ruth Matic trained My Sweet Love in the early stages before crossing to the rails to take up the lead on the first turn.
“She didn’t begin as well as she has been, she can do 5.29(seconds) but she pushed through” Webster said. “I was in the catching pen so I couldn’t see properly but I thought she was up there. When she was in front at the first turn I couldn’t believe it”.
From there the race was over as Lagoon Lowanna set up a big margin down the back, courtesy of a sensational second section. Turning for home clear she stretched out to claim the event by four and a half lengths on the line in a slick 29.98 seconds.
Running into second place was Kenneth Staines consistent Montana Izmir whilst Xylia Allen ran a fantastic race for Graeme Bate filling the trifecta after being forced wide and turned sideways on the first turn. Race favourite Purcell Bale found nothing but trouble after her average beginning and chased most of the field home to finish in seventh placing.
The triumph was Lagoon Lowanna’s nineteenth success from 45 starts and her sixth win at the Ultimo Circuit whilst for both Webster and Lagoon Lowanna it was their first taste of victory at group race level.
The win was also sentimental for Webster, with the race sponsor, Alan Evans a family friend of the Webster’s, “Alan Evans has been a mate of my family for as long as I can remember so to win a race sponsored by him was really special to me and I couldn’t be happier”.
As for what comes next for the 28 kilogram speed machine, Webster will be making an interstate journey in search of further group glory aimed first of all at the Sapphire Crown heats to be held at Sandown Park this Thursday. Drawn in box three in heat one, the dynamo comes across a tricky field consisting of Jason Mackay’s superstar Sometimes Speedy, Jason Thompson’s El Brooklyn and Purcell Bale for Graeme Bate who will be looking to bounce back after her defeat in the Bracelet final.
Although Lagoon Lowanna has seen the track before which is an advantage, she hasn’t had much success at the venue, “She hasn’t done much at Sandown but she was a different bitch then and as she gets older she is getting better. She is up against Victorian dogs that are brilliant but she is a brilliant bitch too”.
Although preferring to draw out wide, Lagoon Lowanna is certainly capable of shaking things up down south, “I think she can do it but anything can happen in a race and I just want her to get around safe”.
With their next goal just a few days away, the Webster’s are in for a busy week. With the kennel star primed to fire, it would be fantastic if she is able to take out another feature event. Whatever happens- Win lose or draw, Lagoon Lowanna has earned herself a special place in the heart of her owner/trainer, “She is very special to me, she is my little girl” and despite being three and a half years old she is racing in career best form and looks set to have plenty more success ahead of her before motherhood beckons.
Goings on at the Singleton-Waterhouse inquiry today will be instructive but it’s just one of two current episodes of importance.
In case you missed it, Chris Waller, the top Sydney gallops trainer (no, it’s not Gai) dodged a multiple drugs charge because he demonstrated that the offending item came from a feed source over which he had no control. If memory serves me correctly, Graeme Bate was once thumped for exactly the same thing. Others, too.
The greyhound policy, at least in Victoria, is that a drug is a drug is a drug. Bad luck if you pick the wrong supplier. This is an understandable policy but only up to a point. Events are showing, more and more often, that it is very hard to control everything in an increasingly complex world. And the harder you try, the more science finds new ways of ferretting out what has happened.
Then there is the footballers’ defence; yes, we took it but it had no effect on performance. I daresay there will never be a complete answer to that one. In the More Joyous case, we know antibiotics would not have helped the horse’s performance, but would it have hindered her?
Certainly the onus is on the trainer to avoid specified drugs at least. However, the question of minute traces being found in a swab deserves more attention. Quantity should count. Even something as controversial as caffeine can be found all over the food and drink chain. The supermarket is full of it and it is not likely to go away. It seems a more modern management approach is needed, which is what Chris Waller found in Sydney.
However, if you would like a human comparison to the More Joyous medical story, consider this advice from Sydney gastroenterologist Professor Tom Borody, when he talked about antibiotic use when no infection is actually present: “Gut microbes perform so many essential roles in the body that they work like an organ in their own right. We are damaging this important organ by knocking out valuable bacteria with recurrent use of antibiotics.” (SMH 27 Oct 2012)
Looking more behind the scenes, what is emerging now is the question of the flow of information about racing animals. I wrote about one aspect of this last week and, coincidentally, marketing academic and consultant Dr Rohan Miller pointed out the same problem (SMH/The Age 2 May).
Miller’s main point was that 95% of racing fans would not have a clue about what was going on, whether on More Joyous or any other subject, thereby leaving the 5% with inside knowledge to take advantage of their misfortune. He called for improvements to the information process, which is largely what I covered in my own May 2 article on sectional times.
Failure to look after that majority will harm racing’s ability to “compete with myriad other sports for the punters’ dollar”, according to Miller.
That process has already started. All the evidence tells us that serious recreational punters are disappearing, to be replaced by mug gamblers who rarely are able to read formguides, let alone understand the finer points of a greyhound race. And those formguides come in a variety of shapes and sizes. For NSW fans, that mostly means wall sheets posted in over 2,000 TAB outlets. They are prepared by Daily Form Service, a TAB contractor and a long time expert in thoroughbred racing. DFS copied their horse system over to the dogs even though the two codes are subject to radically different factors. They then changed all the track codes, making it hard for punters to compare one with another, and displayed races with the most recent one on top, the reverse of standard practice.
The official GRNSW formguide is available only to people who register – another chore – and then have to remember their password. After that, it is hard to read because of the tiny print size chosen while, for the medium level guide, each race takes up two and a half A4 pages to print out. Newcomers are unlikely to go through that process but they do not have a lot of choice. SA and Tasmanian authorities have opted in to the same system, disregarding the difficulty factor. Other states, barring Victoria, likely to join them before long. The outcome is that well over half the country’s racing offers information which is hard find and use.
Race results for NSW, SA and Tasmania are equally painful to access, requiring 10 separate inquiries to see what happened in all 10 races. Attempts to print or copy the information to another program will find that every dog’s box number will be deleted en route. Fans who like to insert results into their own computer programs – and there are hundreds, if not thousands, of them beavering away – have a laborious manual job ahead of them because no simple text file is made available. It will be there somewhere but the public cannot see it. However, they can do so for Victorian races, which is another incentive to patronise racing in that state.
Yet probably the biggest challenge to progress for greyhound racing anywhere is the fact that the breed does not have a positive image amongst the general public. Even so, authorities have failed to mount serious national campaigns to educate that public about its long and unique history. Efforts such as retired greyhound programs and displays at agricultural shows are worthwhile but they are nowhere near enough to make a sufficient impact. Consequently, what the public does not know or like will discourage them from seeking more information in the first place. It’s a Catch 22 situation.
At the core, the SKY-induced disappearance of fans from racetracks meant that new measures had to be devised to approach the marketplace and convert newcomers to the sport. It has never happened. This is a major reason why patrons are now made up of the 5% insiders Dr Miller mentioned, on the one hand, and refugees from the poker machines on the other. And, sadly, the poker machines pay better than the TAB.
Sports betting pays better too, and is growing faster, no doubt for three reasons: betting operators are much more competitive, media coverage is voluminous and detailed, and the public better understands what it is all about.
Group racing continued at Queensland Headquarters last night with heats of the Group 3 Big Dog Cup over the 600m creek circuit. With finalists racing for a share of $25,000 in next weeks final, Racing Queensland would have been disappointed with the lack of nominations for this years event. Unfortunately for Greyhounds Queensland it continued the recent trend of short fields, and limited nominations for their feature racing events. Without taking anything away from the quality of greyhounds engaged, three heats was a poor result for this type of feature event.
Heat one had only the seven starters with the vacant five box splitting the runners down the middle. As always Graeme Bate supported another national event sending recent Wentworth Park group finalist and front running superstar Irma Bale north for the series. The brilliant Irma Bale (box 6) would start a short priced favourite ahead of ultra consistent locals Apache Kitten (box 3) and Master Brutus (box 1).
The punters were right on the money with Irma Bale (Bartrim Bale – Amelia Bale) proving too good in the run to the post, finishing too strongly for a gallant Honey Bouquet a length and a quarter away second with a further eight and three-quarter lengths to Withcott Wizard in third. It was another impressive win for Irma Bale who was having her first look over the 600m journey at Albion Park, stopping the clock in a classy 35.05. The multiple group winner and group finalist qualifies for another group final taking her prizemoney to in excess of $410,000 for the Bate/Wheeler combination. It was win number 33 from 80 starts with a further 28 placings for the brilliant October 2009 litter.
Heat One Splits — 10.06, 11.94, 13.04 – 35.05
Heat two was also made up of just the seven starters and all the rage was for the champion campaigner Metz Magic for legendary Queensland trainer Ron Ball. The second elect was the quality Sydney greyhound Amadeus Strikes back in the kennel of Tony Brett after being sent north by owner / trainer Steven White of NSW. Originally in the Brett kennel early in her career Amadeus Strike has been campaigning in NSW for most of her career where she has performed with distinction for Steven White.
Dwelling slightly at the Metz Magic was shuffled back to last before getting a beautiful run through to be in second place passing the winning post for the first time. The lamp lighter was Amadeus Strikes who had jumped beautifully from box 8 hitting the first mark in a solid 10.09. Down the back and into the straight Amadeus Strikes had skipped away before being too good in the run to the post for the Queensland Champ Metz Magic.
Amadeus Strikes (Bombastic Shiraz – Forgetful Lucy) was impressive for her debut race at the track and gives trainer Tony Brett another feature finalist at Albion Park. Amadeus Strike stopped the clock in a good 35.18 when winning by a length and a half over Metz Magic with a further eight and a half lengths to Euroa Katerina sneaking through for third.
Heat Two Splits — 10.09, 11.86, 13.23 – 35.18
The third and final heat consisted of a full field and the favourite was the track and distance specialist Starliner for owner / trainer Gary Petterson. Having had 15 starts over the journey for 10 wins and 5 placings, the striking white son of Pure Octane would start favourite narrowly over second elect Cakes And Pies. The Ron Ball trained Cakes And Pies was stepping up to the 600m journey for the first time and all eyes were on her to see if she could lead and see out the journey.
True to form, Cakes And Pies showed her brilliant box speed to lead clearly from Raging Isa with Starliner getting into third. Down the back and Starliner moved into second but was still giving Cakes And Pies a few lengths who was giving a great sight out in front. Coming into the straight for the final time and the quality showed as Starliner went whoosh, exploding away for a great win in 35.16. Bogie Dawn came home strongly for second three and a half lengths away with a further length to an impressive Cakes And Pies third. The 600m journey told in the end as she tired to the line but will improve with the run. Starliner (Pure Octane-Borgata) has been a wonderful performer over the 600m Albion Park circuit and greyhound fans will hope that he can register a deserved first group win in next weeks final.
Heat Three Splits – 10.05, 11.98, 13.13 — 35.16
The box draw for next weeks Group 3 final is: 1. Honey Bouquet, 2. Starliner, 3. Bogie Dawn, 4. Cakes And Pies, 5. Withcott Wizard, 6. Metz Magic, 7. Irma Bale, 8. Amadeus Strikes. Reserves 9. Raging Isa, 10. Euroa Katerina
Congratulations to trainers Ron Ball and Bob Giltinan who have both qualified two finalists for the group 3 feature.
Cawdor mentor Sharron Webster will be hoping for one of the biggest highlights of her thirteen year involvement within the greyhound industry when she lines up Lagoon Lowanna in this week’s final of the Group Three Evans & Son Jewellers Ladies Bracelet at Wentworth Park. The $25,000 to the winner event has attracted an exceptional field looking to take home the prize, with Lagoon Lowanna looking a huge chance despite drawing awkwardly in box six.
Beginning brilliantly from the blue in her heat last Saturday, the chaser quickly landed in front and dominated the event, stretching out to win by six lengths in a blistering 29.82 seconds. The daughter of Where’s Pedro and Lagoon Smylee has certainly hit a purple patch of form over recent weeks winning three of her last four starts at the Ultimo circuit including an all the way demonstration where she clocked a scintillating 29.68 seconds for the 520 metre distance.
Described as the kennel star, Webster is quietly confident of the speedster’s chance in this week’s final, “She is an amazing little bitch and although box six is a worry, if she begins as well as she has been lately she will be a major chance”.
The 28 kilogram powerhouse certainly knows how to begin well, clocking some breathtaking first section splits over the past month including a near record 5.30 seconds just three starts ago whilst she pinged out in a hot 5.32 seconds last week. These sectionals should see her up near the lead on the first turn, and with a strong middle section and solid run home, she will be hard to run down should she land in front.
With a field of terrific runners, Webster rates fastest qualifier Purcell Bale as the biggest threat particularly after coming up with the coveted cherry box for the lucrative final. The recent Queensland Futurity winner is trained by the legendary Graeme Bate and oozes class as demonstrated last week at her track debut clocking a scorching 29.71 seconds from box four.
What makes qualifying for the final with Lagoon Lowanna much more special is the fact that Sharron and her husband Ray bred the talented bitch from a line they have established which started with their first greyhound Magic Grove in 2000. Magic Grove was brought from the astute Bruce Fletcher and was a multiple Wentworth Park winner for the Webster’s before being retired to the breeding barn. Magic Grove went on to throw some handy performers headlined by top class greyhounds Jedd Lion and Spiral Magic, whilst many of her daughters have themselves turned into valuable broodbitches. One such brood bitch is Gondola Serenade who has produced multiple city winners herself as well as the dam of Lagoon Lowanna, Lagoon Smylee.
Whilst race eight will be the most anticipated race for Webster this Saturday, she will also line up talented pups Lagoon Eastwood and Where’s Wob who both recorded city victories last Friday night.
Lagoon Eastwood will be appearing from box six in race two where he comes up against a classy field including Indiana Izmir, Slick ‘Em Son and Velvet Fog. Despite the sharp rise in class from last week, the son of Where’s Pedro and Angel Doll went fantastic on Friday when saluting in 30.30 seconds, with Webster elated with his win “ I was happy with how he went but I wasn’t surprised as he has just had a lot of bad luck lately and his runs have been enormous so I have been waiting for the night and I knew he would pay well”. The 34 kilogram heavyweight is capable of running time but will definitely have to begin from the poor draw on Saturday night to be a chance in the event. Lagoon Eastwood was also bred by the Webster’s with his dam Angel Doll, trained by Ray when representing NSW in the 2006 National Distance Championship finishing down the track to the great Bothing.
Also lining up on Saturday is Where’s Wob who faces a difficult mission in race five against four other last start winners including Mark Long’s flying chaser Tourmalet although he has drawn favourably in box two. The blue sprinter is from the outstanding Where’s Pedro x Ramblin’ Ruby litter which includes John Finn’s super bitch Winsome Charlee, with Webster rating him just as good as his well-known sister, “He injured his wrist in a race late last year and has been off before finding trouble at his first start back at Bulli last month, but we have kept working on him and he is absolutely flying”.
“He is a very good dog- He broke in very well and has a big future. We couldn’t be happier with him”. With such a huge opinion of the dog, it should come as no surprise if Where’s Wob manages to figure in the finish this weekend.
With the kennel experiencing a great run at present, Webster still remains down to earth and truly passionate about her love for the sport, “We have had a lot of high points but we pride ourselves on our dogs and we really love them and find that a win at Goulburn is still as exciting as a win at Wenty”.
With such a genuine and positive outlook, Webster also shares what it would feel like if Lagoon Lowanna, or Fran as she is affectionately known can cross the line first in the final this week, “ It would be absolutely fantastic. The money is a bonus, but for my little girl who we bred to win- expect tears! I will be a mess because it will mean to world to us. She has been so close in group races and is right at her peak now and doing everything right”.
“It’s a great field but we know she can do it, we are just hoping she can put it all together on the night. She is very special to me and is so loved and adored- she has the best character and she deserves to win a group race”.
All will be revealed this Saturday night when the lids fly open for the $25,000 feature which is race eight on a stellar race card.
Group Racing returned to Albion Park on Thursday night for the final of the Group 2 Bogie Leigh Futurity. After 4 heats the previous week the first and second place getters took their positions behind the boxes for the $40,000 dollar to the winner final and the title of Futurity winner. Trainer Graeme Bate had two finalists in the race for owner Paul Wheeler and they dominated betting with the favourite Xylia Allen from box 5 starting all the rage after her impressive heat win.
As is often the case in big races and feature finals, the race doesn’t run according to script and from start to finish it was a rough house affair with many runners suffering interference and bad luck. Getting through the congestion at the right time, Purcell Bale (box 3) was too lucky for Xylia Allen (box 6) with Celtic Diva (box 1) third. The winning time was a moderate 30.39 for the 520 meter journey with the winner scoring by 1 and three quarter lengths with a head to third.
The beautifully bred Purcell Bale (Dyna Lachlan – Princess Bale) is owned by Australia’s leading owner Paul Wheeler, and continued on from the success that he has experienced over many years in the industry – and continues his dominant run in group and feature racing. Trained by leading trainer Graeme Bate (Victoria) Purcell Bale extended her prizemoney to in excess of $67,000 with the win, and her overall record now stands at 18 starts for 8 wins and 5 placings. She is a well travelled young bitch having competed in events in Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland. The beautifully bred greyhound will surely go on to bigger things from here as she looks to be a star of the future.
It was a Bate / Wheeler quinella as Xylia Allen (Turanza Bale – Tayah Bale) finally got clear when it was all too late to finish strongly for second. The daughter of Turanza Bale was the short priced favourite pre race after her heat win last week. It wasn’t to be for this future superstar as she was hampered from start to finish. She was the obvious hard luck story of the race. Xylia Allen is definitely a greyhound worth following.
Celtic Diva (Collision – Tad Smarter) for owner / trainer Joe Menary held on well for third. The ultra consistent bitch again performed with distinction in another strong performance at her home track. The third place prizemoney taking her past $20,000 dollars in total earnings.
Glen Gallon – Queensland’s Best Sprinter (Paw note)
Glen Gallon (Flying Stanley – Incoherent) for trainer Tony Brett continued on his winning return from injury as he dominated the best 8 event winning by 4 and three quarter lengths from Metz Magic with a further 3 lengths to Cakes And Pies in third. The August 2009 dog was ultra impressive leading from start to finish in 29.89 in bringing up win number 32 from 59 starts. For connections it was a further top up of prizemoney as it surpassed $490,000. Glen Gallon has been a super dog for Queensland and Australian Racing over many years with group success all around Australia.
This Saturday night, two classy fields will assemble at Wentworth Park for the heats of The Group Three Betfair cup over the 720 metre journey however much of the spotlight will shine earlier within the ten race card with recent Maitland Gold Cup winner Black Magic Opal making his highly anticipated city debut. Trained at Budgewoi by Leslie Hudson, the extremely promising son of Magic Sprite and prolific producer Awesome Opal will be looking for his sixth straight win after already recording a brilliant twelve victories with three seconds from a mere fifteen starts. The 31 kilogram speed machine was an emphatic victor in last week’s Gold Cup, defeating top class greyhounds such as Bralyn County, Transcend Time, El Brooklyn and Johnny Fire to claim the $40,000 feature by two and three quarter lengths in a scintillating 24.92 seconds- just .04 off the track record held by Exclusive One.
This week Black Magic Opal lines up from the rails box in race one against a speedy fifth grade field which includes the likes of the Graeme Bate trained Luxurious who placed third in the Group Three Nowra Summer Puppy classic at her last start. The daughter of Collision and Paris St Germain will jump from box three and has a good motor, however will have to do everything right with the black bitch developing the mischievous tendency to dart right at box rise- a trait which often brings her undone and will probably hinder Bit Cold who is drawn on her direct outside. This habit may also play into the favour of the emerging superstar drawn in the red, giving him the chance to sneak through along the rails and pinch a break. Mad railer Tourmalet is having his first start at Wenty after a recent hatrick of wins however he will need things to go right from box six. The biggest doubt with Black Magic Opal taking out the event is the fact that he has never had a race start at the track, with the first turn at the Ultimo circuit notoriously tricky for even the most seasoned campaigners, however Hudson has revealed that his pride and joy has previously trialled in a slick 30.04 seconds at the track first look, leaving punters to conclude the biggest bet for the race will be on his times and margins.
Track specialist Sometimes Speedy will return in the FFA event which is race eight on Saturday night. The breathtaking daughter of Collision and Gemstone Supreme will be looking to turn the tables on competitor Charmed Assassin who narrowly defeated her last week in a blistering 29.66 seconds. Drawn ideally in box one the 23 race winner looks hard to beat, however Charmed Assassin is undefeated from his draw (box three) which should provide a mouth-watering battle for greyhound enthusiasts. Looking to defeat both of them will be the Sharron Webster prepared Lagoon Lowanna who began like a rocket clocking an impeccable 5.30 seconds to the first turn and a scorching 29.68 seconds last week from box seven where she will be starting from again on Saturday.
Another feature of the night will be race three- The Betfair blue paws final over 520 metres. Runners qualified for the decider last Friday night with heat winner Master Jeteye looking to have a good chance despite drawing in box five. The son of Collision and the beautifully bred Jet Eye has won two on the trot at headquarters with last week’s success his most impressive, however this will definitely be his acid test with the speedy Collisioner drawn perfectly in box one and track record holder Punch One Out’s litter brother Slick ‘Em Son boxed on his inside in the blue. Trained by Valentine’s Steve Vas, Master Jeteye began well from box five and clocked a sensational second section split of 13.74, claiming his heat by one and a half lengths on the line in a fast 30.08 seconds last week.
The 27 kilogram lightweight has won twelve races with twenty minors from fifty one starts, with Vas optimistic of his charges chance on Saturday night, “I think he is well boxed and that he can lead but he has to jump. He won’t lead until the first turn but should get plenty of room to move as the four goes left and the six usually goes straight”
Vas who only has the one race dog in work at present is delighted with the recent improvement in Master Jeteye which has seen him win three of his past five starts. After correcting a niggling back injury, Vas believes that he has improved greatly and as such has a great chance of running a handy race on Saturday night.
Master Jeteye is also very special to Vas after breeding him from a bitch that he owned named Jet Eye who won three races in town. As a result, Master Jeteye the first dog he has bred and trained himself, with the pocket rocket also his first city winner as a trainer.
“I always had a big plan to breed with Jeteye, it’s been a long process and I have done it the hard way but I have been lucky,” Vas said
“He (Master Jeteye) has earned $27,000, I wouldn’t even dream of a dog to win that sort of prize money”.
Vas also has two bitches that have just been broken in at home from Jet Eye’s next litter to Velocette with her third litter to Dyna Tron currently being reared. Whilst Vas realises that there is plenty of hard work ahead, he is happy to enjoy the good times while they last and hope that his little chasers dream run can continue for a bit longer.
I have also been told that the guys at Cardiff Greyhounds Social Club Trial track will be cheering him home in the final. Vas uses the track to work his speedster and also volunteers on Saturday and Sunday mornings at the trials and adds that he likes to treat his friends at Redhead with a cake whenever Master Jeteye salutes. With the $2000 blue paws bonus on top of the $4650 winner’s cheque, I am tipping that the boys can expect one heck of a cake this Sunday morning should team Vas cross the line in first position on Saturday night.
Keep your eyes peeled for a preview of the heats of the Group Three Betfair Cup which will see Association Cup hero Fancy Liza return to Wentworth Park for the first time since her popular victory on Golden Easter Egg night.