The coveted Group One Peter Mosman Classic heats will kick off tonight at Wentworth Park, with an enticing $75,000 on offer for winning connections in three weeks time.
Six competitive heats will be conducted over the 520m distance, with the first four placegetters moving through to next week’s three semi-finals.
To be eligible for the series all runners were required to be born on or after 1st December 2011.
Heat one will jump at 8.07pm.
Group One Perth Cup winner Keybow returns to Wentworth Park for the first time since contesting the Golden Easter Egg heats back in April and comes off a second placing in the Group Two Queensland Derby a month ago. Darren McDonald’s charge has a sizzling 29.45 personal best at the track and will be primed for this event from box three. My Kinda Music attracted plenty of attention during the New Sensation series at Wentworth Park in April, where she finished third behind the freakishly talented Hookesy in 29.36. Trained by Allan Pringle, the daughter of El Grand Senor and Ice Dancer recorded a flying 29.69 at headquarters last month.
Push It will be looking for her fourth straight win at the track after an impressive 29.70 performance last week from box three. Despite not having won from the outside alley, Dean Swain’s talented chaser has an excellent Wentworth Park record of three wins from six starts and the exceptional early pace to cross from out wide.
Chica Destacada has returned to her brilliant best and produced a sensational 29.49 performance at the track two weeks ago, with an equally impressive 29.51 win the week prior. Doreen Drynan’s chaser has an outstanding record at headquarters with five wins from nine starts and despite the awkward box six, has enough early pace to trouble this classy field.
Jason Mackay’s Zipping Delta has come up with the coveted red rug and produced an outstanding 29.59 performance last week and a 30.61 run at Richmond the week before. The daughter of Bekim Bale will be doing her best work at the finish, so look for her to flash home. All Strung Out will be looking for his fourth straight win after solid performances at Warragul and Sandown Park over the past three weeks. He comes into this heat with plenty of confidence and will exit from box three.
Darren McDonald has another strong hope in this heat with Tiggerlong Amigo, who has an excellent career record of nine wins from eighteen starts and has won four of his past five outings. An impressive 29.72 stewards trial at Wentworth Park on Monday and a handy box three draw makes this son of Cosmic Chief a huge threat to take out this heat. Oh So Striking comes off a win at the track on Monday night in 30.07 and recorded a flying 29.56 at Gosford last month, giving trainer Darren Sultana plenty of reasons to favour this son of Cosmic Rumble’s chances. Having won five of nine career starts, this greyhound can be risky at box rise, but has a huge motor that should see him figure at the finish. Hilda’s Boy shocked everyone with a near record 29.32 win at Gosford two weeks ago and a repeat of that performance should see this son of Just The Best challenging this field.
Cawbourne Whip is in red-hot form at present and comes off a blistering 29.38 win at Wentworth Park last week and will only need to step cleanly to claim this affair for trainer Jodie Lord. The daughter of Dyna Lachlan and American Spot has a superb record at the track of four wins from seven starts and will be looking for her fourth straight win. Aurora Girl has a fast 29.72 personal best at the track which was recorded two weeks ago and is ideally drawn near the rails, with all of her career wins coming from boxes one and three. Trained by Marie Burton, the daughter of Cosmic Rumble can be risky at box-rise; however can find her way to the finish.
Lady Goldenpaw makes her debut at Wentworth Park for Victorian trainer Robert Britton and has some impressive personal best times, including 29.66 at Sandown Park, recorded back in March. The daughter of High Earner has good early pace and will need to use it, exiting from the awkward box six.
Group Three New Sensation winner Hookesy returns to Wentworth Park for the first time since captivating the greyhound world with some sizzling performances around the two turn circuit, including a blistering personal best of 29.36. The son of Hondo Black trained by Tanya Auld, will have to overcome the testing box five, however should demonstrate another superb performance as one of the series favourites.
Unbelief has come up with the red rug and has an excellent Wentworth Park record of four wins from six starts and saluted impressively last week in 29.79. Rue De Kahn has produced solid form of late and last month recorded a flying personal best of 29.64. The Group One National Futurity winner has the ability to cross from the outside alley and push for a semi-finals berth next week.
Tommy Brislane is airbourne at present, having won four of his past five outings, including a 29.74 performance at Wentworth Park and an equally impressive 26.17 win at Bulli. The son of Premier Fantasy and Mary Virginia has an outstanding career record of five wins from six starts and will give trainer Steve White a huge chance of making the semi-finals. Stilton Blue comes off a second placing in the Group Three Bulli Gold Plate and has a solid personal best at the track of 29.82.
Golden Easter Egg winning trainer Brooke Ennis returns to Wentworth Park with the talented Deadly Vane, who will exit from box eight and comes off an brilliant win at Shepparton in 25.05. The winner of 13 races from 22 starts has the pace to cross from the wide draw and will have plenty of watchers as he makes his Wentworth Park debut.
Four sensational heats of the $20,000 Richmond Oaks will highlight Saturday night’s Richmond meeting, with last week’s Group Two Ladies Bracelet winner Zipping Willow the standout performer in heat three. Last year’s Oaks winner Calm Model will step out in the final heat and aim to go back-to-back for trainer Clay Mullens.
Heat one contains plenty of last start winners, however Smashing Sally has good early pace and has a brilliant record at Richmond with two wins from three starts, including a flying personal best of 30.45. The Neil Falk trained chaser can overcome box five to salute in this event. Dean Swain’s Eleazar drops back in distance after a solid campaign over the 720m, where she recorded a speedy 42.37, and is ideally drawn in drawn in box two. Ready To Riot comes off an outstanding performance at Wentworth Park last month, clocking 29.71 over the 520m for in-form trainer Anthony Azzopardi.
Group One National Futurity winner Rue De Kahn comes off a brilliant win at Wentworth Park in 29.64 and will exit from box six with good early pace in heat two. The Dean Swain trained greyhound has eight wins from fifteen starts and is looking to crack the $100,000 prizemoney barrier. Asha Tanga has a sizzling personal best at Richmond of 30.32 and produced a wonderful win at Maitland last Thursday in 25.15 over the 450m. This greyhound can be a risky beginner, however has great pace once she balances up and can steal this for trainer Maureen Sharman. Jason Mackay’s Zipping Delta has been down on form lately, with her last victory back in March over the 565m at Maitland. She has a huge advantage exiting from box one and is no stranger to success at the track with two wins from four starts.
Group Two Ladies Bracelet winner Zipping Willow is perfectly drawn in box eight for heat three and comes off a blistering win at Wentworth Park last week in 29.44. Debuting at the track for Jason Mackay, the winner of eighteen races is looking for her fourth straight win and is the early favourite to take out next week’s final. Black Empress is unbeaten around the Richmond circuit and was very impressive in a 30.67 win here last month. Despite drawing box four, this bitch has terrific early pace and can push for a finals berth. Chica Destacada is slowly regaining the form that saw her burst onto the scene at Wentworth Park at the beginning of the year and will need to be at her best from box five to test this field. The Doreen Drynan trained chaser has a good Richmond record of two wins from five starts and will be hard to beat if she reproduces her best.
The final heat sees promising Queensland pup Visualize It making the trip down from the Sunshine State with solid Albion Park form under her belt. The Peter Young trained bitch recorded 30.16 over the 520m last month, and does have genuine early pace to overcome the tricky box six. Anthony Azzopardi has another talented runner engaged with Kulu Special exiting from box three. Before falling in the Dubbo Cup final last month, this bitch won four three of her past four starts including a flying 29.72 performance at Wentworth Park. If the fall hasn’t affected her mindset, look for her to lead all the way and record a fast personal best on debut at the track. Last year’s Oaks winner Calm Model returns for another crack at the winner’s purse for trainer Clay Mullens, however she has been struggling of late with her last victory back in September of last year. She has a flying personal best of 30.48 at the track and will need to run this sort of time again to be any hope of making the final.
Heat one will be run and won at 7.44pm, with the winner and second placegetter moving through to next week’s $20,000 final.
The 10th annual Bendigo Gold Rush Carnival is in full swing, with the rich Gold Rush Maiden Series at the Semi Final stage, while the heats of the 2014 Group 2 Bendigo Cup have also been drawn.
It promises to be an excellent night of racing on a bumper twelve race card this Wednesday, April 16. Four semi-finals of the maiden series will support five strong heats of the cup.
The Gold Rush Maiden Series is fascinating this year, with the semi-finals of the event over the 425 metres oozing talented up and comers in each of the four run offs.
The first semi-final pits the Jenny Hunt trained Capullo Bale, who scored a terrific heat win in 24.20 seconds against the impressive Leading Edge for Brooke Ennis,, who also won his heat win in 24.20 seconds. Conquer Fear was the quickest qualifier in the first semi, with a superb 23.95 heat victory for Geoff Howell.
In semi-final two, it’s hard to go past the heat win of Hard Urned Burst for Darren Pattinson, who ran a stunning 24.00 seconds on debut. The other main chances appear to be Arena Allen for Jenny Hunt and Detcord for Barry Marshall, who both impressed in their heat victories.
Semi three again sees Brooke Ennis to the fore, with her runner Bejay The Dejay setting a hot tempo before winning his heat in 24.01 seconds. Valladares must rate as the danger going on his heat win in 24.14 seconds, while the other main contender appears to be Trent Twogood who won his heat in 24.35 seconds.
The fourth semi contains perhaps the most interesting runner in the whole series in Bradley Benz. Bred in the UK and imported to Australia as a pup, the son of Droopys Scolari out of group one winning bitch Westmead Sula, went gangbusters on debut, winning his heat in 24.02 seconds. Dangers look to be Fratelli Fresh, who ran home strongly in his heat win in 24.29 seconds, while Cosmic Angel led throughout in his heat win in 24.05 seconds.
The heats of the Group Two Bendigo Cup over 425 metres will pit some of the best horseshoe greyhounds in Australia against one another for a shot at the huge riches on offer in 2014.
While only five heats have been drawn, the quality is sensational, with the Jason Thompson trained Ronan Izmir attempting to defend his 2013 Bendigo Cup Victory in the first heat. The dangers look to be Quara Bale who has won seven of her past eight starts, while Zambora Storm and Nic Nat Nui look best of the rest.
In heat two, Paw Licking is ideally drawn in Box eight and he looks a class above his rivals.
Heat three looks a match race between Deadly Vane and Whata Good Size. Others with claims look to be Ollie Bale, while youngster Fine Diner has plenty of early speed.
In the fourth heat star sprinter Black Magic Opal has box one and looks almost unbeatable. If there was to be an upset perhaps Great Spartacus or Al Moran look the most likely.
Heat five is perhaps the most open of the 2014 Bendigo Cup Heats. Locally trained sprinter Matty’s Entity for Scott McKenzie has been racing in terrific form and has loads of early speed. National Futurity winner Zipping Brook looks a threat as does the Rob Britton trained Clone Your Own.
The Bendigo Gold Rush Carnival culminates on Easter Sunday with the finals of both the Group Two Bendigo Cup and the Gold Rush Maiden, as well as several other graded finals, in what shapes as being a wonderful evening of greyhound racing at Lords Raceway.
Farrago, who would later go on to become one of the best all-distance greyhounds of his time, won his maiden over 370 yards (338 metres) at Broken Hill in 1949 at the age of 17 months. It was his first win in three career starts.
Cheatin’ Charmer took out the 1988 West Australian Derby at Cannington by 10 lengths in a race record 30.90 for trainer John Nangle. It was also Cheatin’ Charmer’s seventh win in a row.
True Vintage won the 1988 Easter Cup at Launceston to register her ninth successive win. She would go on and win 15 in a row before tasting defeat.
Plunkett’s Pride used box one to perfection to defeat star bitch Macareena (box two) by a length and equal the 500 yards (457 metres) track record of 26.5 at Harold Park in 1954. Macareena lost the race when she clipped the heels of Plunkett’s Pride and gave ground. Macareena had equalled the track record seven months previously.
Oak Queen won the 1959 Easter Cup final at Launceston by five lengths in a race record 29 13/16 for the 548 yards (500 metres).
Champion Queensland greyhound Top Simbi bounced back to his best form to annex the 1974 Foundation Gift over 558 metres at the Gabba, scoring by two lengths from Zepplin King with Dan Meadow third. Top Simbi had been narrowly beaten in a match race at the Gabba by Zepplin King three starts earlier before running fifth and third in top grade races at Harold Park.
Welcome Stranger won the 1990 Ballarat Cup by just over four lengths from Danlisker’s Tim, to notch his fifth win on end since returning from an injury-enforced three-month layoff.
Victorian stayer Amerigo Lady, and top-class sprinters Rokoko and Sammie Sparrow, were found to have been ‘nobbled’ after finishing unplaced in their respective races at Harold Park in 1969. Police were called in on the subsequent inquiry and found evidence of ‘big betting by a syndicate’. The CIB later asked Harold Park stewards to postpone their own inquiry so that police investigations were not prejudiced. Sammie Sparrow, in particular, appeared to suffer from the effects of the drugging, failing to recapture his previously scintillating form.
Night greyhound racing in Queensland commenced with the opening of the Gabba track in 1972. The opening had been delayed by a month due to Cyclone Daisy. Nearly 12,000 people packed into the Gabba and watched racing over 610 yards (558 metres). Jaffrine (box 6) took out the first event for one of Australia’s greatest trainers, Stan Cleverley. Later in the night, Irish Korina (box 2) won for Cleverley, giving him a perfect two starters for two winners evening. The feature event, the Skippa Invitation, featured Ragsie, Gerard The Gent, Lord Galaxy, and High Stepper. In a sensational race, the Paul Cauchi-trained former Victorian Ragsie (box 2) scored by half a head from the Victorian Gerard The Gent (box 4) with NSW speedster Lord Galaxy (box 1) third. Ragsie earned $630 for his victory and ran 32.76. Other winners on the night were Sir Mullaway (box 8), Silent Drive (box 2), Kaismer (box 1), and Mitten Toes (box 3), who won the Foundation Gift. Some big name interstate bookmakers fielded on opening night, including Ray Hopkins, John Harrigan, and John Waterhouse. The bookies held over $300,000; the tote just $34,000.
Likely Light completed a rare double when she won the 1973 National Futurity at Wentworth Park, over 530 metres. The black bitch, who had been beaten a nose in her semi-final, came from well back early to defeat Cosmic Gem by a head in a fast 31.07. Likely Light had previously won the 1972 NSW St Leger (now Paws of Thunder). The National Futurity victory proved to be her last as the injury-prone speedster failed to win at any of her final 10 races.
Midnight Enemy won the 1972 Woodstock Cup (later renamed the Lord Mayor’s Cup) by two lengths over 530 metres at Wentworth Park, running a race record 31.1. Midnight Enemy had made the 1971 final but had been scratched due to injury.
Airbourne Bale won the 2007 Bendigo Cup (430 metres) from Run’s House for trainer Robert Britton, earning $25,000.
In the pantheon of greyhound racing’s superstars there is just one name, almost Bradman-like if one is seeking sporting comparisons, standing practically head and shoulders above the rest. That greyhound is Zoom Top.
A cold and calculated look at Zoom Top’s overall racing record might leave some with an impression of greatness, but not of supremacy, of dominance, of might, and power. In some ways perhaps, this is true.
Zoom Top was not the greatest sprinter ever seen, nor even the best sprinter of her time. She was a great stayer, although not the fastest of her time. Nonetheless, Zoom Top’s longevity and dominance over a long period against the best opposition in the country proved beyond doubt she was a truly magnificent champion and worthy of the adulation and accolades bestowed upon her by an adoring public. Her contribution to the growth in the popularity of greyhound racing in the late 1960s that led to the halcyon days of the 1970s cannot be underestimated.
Zoom Top, despite the passage of time, remains one of the yardsticks by which true greatness is measured.
Zoom Top had the longest career, in terms of race starts, of any greyhound elevated to the status of champion in Australia. That she remained incredibly consistent and dominant for such a long period contributed much to her exalted status.
Zoom Top was one of three greyhounds (Chief Havoc and Highly Blessedbeing the other pair) to be granted honorary Australian Group Hall of Fame status by the Australian Greyhound Racing Association in a ceremony conducted in late 2000.
By Black Top out of Busy Beaver, Zoom Top was whelped on 24 August 1966. The litter, bred by Hec and Leah Watt, consisted of two dogs and three bitches.
Peter Newman, the greyhound writer for the Sydney Morning Herald, would dub Zoom Top ‘the Fawn Flash’ and many would suggest she was some kind of ‘freak’. Although this was meant as a compliment, Leah Watt did not appreciate this tag, saying Zoom Top was “just a very intelligent dog with a heart like an ox.”
Hec Watt considered Zoom Top to be so far advanced for her age that he entered her for a maiden race at Goulburn when she was just 14 months old. She won. In fact, she won her first three starts.
It was around this time Zoom Top became affected by a toe problem which veterinarians said would never completely heal. By using ray treatment between races Watt was able to keep the problem manageable and Sweetie, as she was known, generally only suffered in sprint events when she was forced to barge through tight fields and risk jarring the toe.
Zoom Top finished 1967 having raced 10 times on seven tracks for four wins, one second, and one third, and equalling the 457-metre track record at Temora.
Zoom Top won her first start for 1968 over 617 metres at Bulli. Hec Watt believed both Zoom Top and litter sister Busy’s Charm had the hallmarks of stayers, so he began mapping out what many veteran trainers considered was a far too ambitious program for such young, developing greyhounds.
Watt believed greyhounds in full race fitness could easily compete two and three times a week. It was a regime which both Zoom Top and Busy’s Charm would experience throughout their long careers as Hec Watt took what he believed was full advantage of their abilities while they were approaching and then in the prime of their racing lives. The final results for both his superstars would arguably justify his different and controversial approach.
Zoom Top proved Watt right, leading all the way to score by seven lengths in 36.5, the best time of the night.
Despite her obvious talents as a stayer, Watt would continue to race Zoom Top over all sorts of distances throughout her long career.
By the time she was just 18 months old, Zoom Top had won over the gruelling 732 metres trip at Harold Park and first-up over 722 metres at Wentworth Park, and reached top grade.
She finished fifth at her first top grade Harold Park appearance, but this would be her last unplaced performance in a race of 617 metres or further for 18 months.
Her first crack at a major race came when she was 20 months old, contesting the Wentworth Park Gold Cup. Zoom Top scored a memorable victory in the final, propelling her earnings to almost $7,000 at what was her 34th start (12 wins).
At her next start Zoom Top won at Harold Park in 43.3, a mere 1/10th outside Bright Pleasure’s hand-timed track and world record, set in 1954.
The next major target was the Association Cup at Harold Park, and Zoom Top annexed the final by six lengths.
After running second in the 457-metre Winter Stake final in July, just two days later Zoom Top won the 795-metre Queensland Distance Championship at Beenleigh by eight lengths in track record time.
On the way back to Sydney, Zoom Top was entered in the 402-metre Grafton Cup and, in a remarkable example of her growing maturity and amazing versatility, registered a two-length victory.
Hec Watt made another surprising move, entering her in the Richmond Oaks series, run up the straight over just 292 metres. She won her heat and the final, the manner of her successes stamping her as one of the most versatile greyhounds ever.
Zoom Top, now two years old and a seasoned campaigner, had become a crowd pulling attraction wherever she raced.
At her first start on sand, over 732 metres at Olympic Park in Melbourne in the Anniversary Cup, Zoom Top was beaten six lengths by the brilliant Miram Miss, but was found to have sprung a toe. She would not race again for just over six weeks.
She resumed to win heat and final of the Silver Collar over 507 metres at Dapto, equalling the track record before going on to win heat and final of the Sydney Cup at Wentworth Park, downing Miram Miss in both races, and running a new track record of 43.2. The Sydney Cup prize money propelled her earnings to a new Australian record of $17,798.
She followed with an extremely unlucky fifth in the final of Vic Peters Memorial Classic before later equalling the 617-metre track record at Bulli.
Next up was the Summer Cup at Harold Park, where she faced the new track record holder Bunyip Bint in the final. A crowd estimated at 13,000 trekked to Harold Park for the final, and watched as Bunyip Bint failed to hit the front and instead Zoom Top raced away to thunderous applause to defeat Busy’s Charm by three lengths.
After the race the ovation continued for Zoom Top and pressmen who had covered all forms of racing rated it the greatest any of them had ever heard.
With this victory, Zoom Top became the first and only greyhound to ever annex the four major Sydney distance cups in the same year.
Next up was the NSW St Leger (now the Paws of Thunder) series over 530 metres at Wentworth Park. After winning her semi-final, Zoom Top drew badly in box six for final, but a crowd of more than 14,000 flocked to watch their idol attempt a victory against a seasoned group of sprinters.
When she was presented to the crowd before the final the crowd gave her a mighty roar even before her name was announced. Zoom Top did not let them down, leading all the way to win in 31.0, a new race record. The prize money took her earnings to $29,043 from 69 starts.
Five days later, Zoom Top won the Boxing Day Trophy up the 375-metre Richmond straight by four lengths. The largest crowd ever seen at Richmond turned up to see Zoom Top run and after her victory she had to be given a police escort to take her through the many people who rushed down to pat her or just get a glimpse of the queen of greyhound racing.
Zoom Top closed out 1968 by winning a heat of the Christmas Gift over 732 metres at Harold Park to notch her eighth consecutive win.
During 1968 Zoom Top contested 61 races for 31 wins, 13 seconds, and six thirds, and setting or equalling five track records and, not surprisingly, was named NSW Greyhound of the Year.
After three defeats Zoom Top contested the Hobart Thousand series, but tore a front stopper in a trial and also in winning her heat. Patched up, she won her semi-final but was beaten by Benjamin John in the final.
She missed out in the Australian Cup and National Futurity series before making the final of the inaugural National Distance Championship, at Wentworth Park. Zoom Top finished third to Amerigo Lady after almost being knocked down at the first turn.
A week later, Zoom Top lined up against Amerigo Lady and Miram Miss in a special match race at Harold Park, scoring by three and a half lengths from the former.
Returning to the sprint arena, Zoom Top lined up in a special four-dog match race over 457 metres at Harold Park, the Fawn Flash thrilling a crowd of almost 13,000 to score by a long neck.
Zoom Top received the biggest ovation ever heard on a greyhound track. It was learned later the roar of the crowd during the race could be heard more than a kilometre away.
After successfully defending her Wentworth Park Gold Cup title, Zoom Top won a top grade sprint at Harold Park and then broke the 689-metre track record at Gosford. Zoom Top later won a heat of the Olympic Park Distance Championship by 15 lengths before winning the final by six lengths.
A track record over 498 metres at Moss Vale was followed by a 14-length victory in a semi-final of the Association Cup before Zoom Top overcame severe early interference to defend her title and win the final from Busy’s Charm.
It was her second Association Cup victory, a feat never before, or since, achieved. It was also her 50th race victory (from 96 starts) and her seventh win in a row at Harold Park. Her prize money now stood at $46,433.
A track record run over 686 metres at Newcastle was soon followed by her 100th race,
a four-dog Invitation Stake over 676 metres at Maitland which she won by 10 lengths, equalling the track record.
A little later Zoom Top defended her Queensland Distance Championship crown, over 795 metres at Beenleigh, defeating Miram Miss by eight lengths and breaking her own track record. A record crowd of about 1,500 people witnessed the victory and after the race she was mobbed by women and children who wanted to kiss, pat or just admire her.
At her previous 22 starts, Zoom Top had recorded 17 wins, one second, two thirds, and two fourths, setting or equalling four track records.
Zoom Top was beaten at seven of her next eight outings, on seven tracks, including seconds in equal track record time at Bathurst and Grafton.
The three-year-old seemed to be racing with less than her usual relish and when she finished last at Harold Park one night her failure sparked off one of the noisiest demonstrations ever seen. A steward’s inquiry was immediately convened, but the reason for Zoom Top’s failure became immediately clear. The inside toe on her left front foot was swollen to twice its normal size and she was in obvious pain. Soon after, the course veterinarian Reg Hoskins operated on the toe and Hec Watt promised he would not race her again until she was fully fit.
Zoom Top did not race again for six weeks. The respite proved a blessing in disguise.
She resumed racing with an emphatic win in a 457-metre Invitation Stake at Harold Park, broke the 658-metre track record at Taree by 9/10ths, and a Sydney Cup heat by 12 lengths, running 42.9 to break her own track record by 3/10ths.
Unfortunately, Zoom Top was involved in a mass collision between five dogs at the first bend in the final which caused Busy’s Charm to fall, and led to Zoom Top being forced to hurdle her stricken sister. Further bother followed but Zoom Top ran on strongly to be beaten only four and a half lengths into fourth place, the first time she had been unplaced in 15 distance starts at Wentworth Park.
She quickly bounced back, winning in front of 12,000 cheering fans at Harold Park before winning a heat and final of the NCA Cup over 718 metres at Sandown Park.
She then faced Bunyip Bint in an Invitation Stake at Harold Park but was a well beaten second as Bunyip Bint ran an incredible 42.7, smashing her own mark by 3/10ths. That night no greyhound in Australia could have beaten Bunyip Bint.
On 15 November, Bunyip Bint and Zoom Top clashed again, this time over 695 metres at Goulburn. The day was overcast and wet and the field went to the boxes wearing protective orange plastic raincoats. In an amazing blunder, Hec Watt placed Zoom Top into the boxes still wearing the raincoat. Hampered by the raincoat, Zoom Top came home in last place while Bunyip Bint equalled the track record.
After the race Hec Watt was fined $100 for negligence. Later, when Hec admitted suffering from nerves when racing the champion, he was barred from placing Zoom Top or any of his other charges in the starting boxes.
Zoom Top was also found to have pulled a muscle in her back leg and was out for seven weeks.
During 1969 Zoom Top raced 51 times for 28 wins, eight seconds, and six thirds (as well as five fourths), setting or equalling seven track records. Once more she was named NSW Greyhound of the Year.
Into 1970 and Zoom Top set a new track record over 457 metres at Temora, won an Invitation Stake at Olympic Park by nine lengths, and broke the 622-metre track record at Wangaratta, the 15th, and last, of her career.
She ran within 1/10th of the 494-metre record at Orange and later clashed for the fifth and final time with Bunyip Bint in the 640-metre Singleton Gold Cup, downing that erratic stayer by a length and a quarter to record her 68th victory, an Australian record (131 starts). Sadly, it was also her last.
Zoom Top raced just five more times, being injured at Dapto, running second twice at Harold Park and then, tragically, breaking down in a heat of the Sir Joseph Bank’s Cup at Wentworth Park.
Following the race Zoom Top was found to have once more pulled a muscle in her back leg. At this point Hec Watt declared Zoom Top would be retired immediately.
She finished with 136 starts for 68 wins, 25 seconds, and 14 thirds. She earned what was then a whopping $59,032, easily the highest amount ever accumulated to that time. She raced on 27 tracks and won on 24. Her average winning margin in races of longer than 617 metres was an incredible 6.5 lengths.
Zoom Top made the final of 17 out of 21 major races and won 11, with two seconds, two thirds, one fourth and one fifth. She won seven of the 10 major distance finals she contested and suffered severe interference in two of the three she lost.
Zoom Top raced 64 times in races between 617 and 795 metres for 39 wins, 13 seconds, and five thirds. Of her seven unplaced efforts, two were fourths and three due to injury.
There has never been a greyhound with the versatility of Zoom Top. We will almost certainly never see the likes of her again.
World Park Ned defeated Queenslander Hardell by just three-quarters of a length to take out the 1983 National Derby, run over 530 metres at Wentworth Park. World Park Ned had been a semi-finalist in the 1982 Derby.
Victorian stayer High Intensity defeated local star Whip Tip in the 1988 National Distance Championship final, run over 720 metres at Wentworth Park., for trainer Joe Hili.
Thai Again took out the 2005 Easter Chase, run over 720 metres at Wentworth Park, downing Victorian stayer Triple Trio by just over three lengths for trainer Julie Fletcher. One the same night, Paua To Burn snared a whopping $130,000 in winning the Golden Easter Egg by three-quarters of a length from Eiffella, running 29.98 for trainer Steven White.
The Dubbo greyhound track resumed racing in 1954, after a break of 12 months.
The last meeting was held on the Wauchope track in 1971. The track, constructed at the showgrounds, had been operational since 1953. A new course was opened just over three months later, elsewhere.
Victorian stayer Strand Belle scored a narrow head victory in the 1971 Wentworth Park Gold Cup final, downing Mustard Moss over 790 yards (722 metres) in a race record 43.3. Just a neck away third was Tara Flash with another star Victorian stayer, Paul’s Thunder, fourth.
Bold Trease won the 1986 Sandown Cup by six lengths. The great stayer would go on to create world racing history by annexing the prestigious race four times in a row. This was the last time the final was held in March.
Queen Lauryn won the 2008 Queensland Futurity final, run over 520 metres at Albion Park, defeating Tricode Flojo and Que Sera Sera.
Robin Buchanan took out the inaugural running of the Harold Park Bi-Annual Classic (later renamed the Vic Peters Bi-Annual Classic and now known as the Peter Mosman Memorial) in 1952, defeating Valiant Ross by a head with Rose Havoc a half length away third. The winner exited box nine in the 10-starter field.
Black Review equalled the race record of 31.10 in taking out the 1987 Western Australian Derby, run over 530 metres at Cannington.
On the same night in 1987, Shy Sultan won the only National Derby final ever run at Harold Park. Racing on a heavy track, Shy Sultan, who was the first reserve and gained a run from box five, defeated Pivot’s Victory and Yannick in a close finish. At the time, Wentworth Park was undergoing renovations.
Leading stayer Mystery Rocca won a second consecutive NCA Championship, run over 750 yards (686 metres) at Wentworth Park, in 1948. Mystery Rocca ran 42.2, the same time as her 1947 victory.
The ill-fated Victorian sprinter Bahama Image won the 1997 Golden Easter Egg final from Kedo’s Millie. 1996 victor Tenthill Doll, who had returned from injury, finished a gallant sixth. The race was worth $120,000 to the winner.
Tasmanian stayer Chinatown Lad broke the 715-metre Cannington track record in 2008 when he won the Interstate Challenge by almost six lengths from Elektra, running 41.42.
The Allen Wheeler-bred, owned and trained sprinter Tintawin won the 1974 National Futurity final, run over 530 metres at Wentworth Park.
First reserve Rapid Supreme took out the 1985 National Derby at Wentworth Park (530 metres) after gaining a run from box three.
Rookie Rebel took out the inaugural Australian Cup, run over 675 yards (617 metres) at North Melbourne in 1958. The race was a handicap and Rookie Rebel started off the back mark and downed NSW representative Magic Babe by three lengths.
Victorian star Tegimi won the 1979 National Derby by three lengths from Flaming Bolt and equalled the race record of 30.78, set the previous year. Tegimi downed a hot field with All Design fourth, Acclaim Star fifth and Fast Sapphire seventh.
The Tony Provost-trained Just Like Whisky won the 1994 Perth Cup at Cannington by two lengths from Worthy Reward and City View.
On the same night, but over at Wentworth Park, Mystery Idle won the 1994 National Futurity by a head from Golden Jedda, running a race record 30.62.
We have been lucky enough to secure some time with leading NSW trainer Jason Mackay. This interview follows on from our Question Time Podcasts with Paul Wheeler, Jason Thompson, Rob Britton and Tom Dailly.
The interview will take place at the Maitland Cup Final on Thursday night, where Mackay will put the finishing touches on Fire Elusive from box two.
Last year Mackay won the National Futurity with Sometimes Speedy and the Canberra Cup with Zipping Willow. He will be looking to open his group account for 2014 on Thursday night.
Jason has trained superstars such as Big Sam Banner, Texas Gold, Snozz and more recently the retired Punch One Out.
You can send your questions in via many options –
These podcasts are designed to allow our readers to get involved in the interview process and we encourage your participation.
In a podcast for Australian Racing Greyhound, leading breeder and owner Paul Wheeler recounted the origin of the ‘Dyna’ prefixes which, along with ‘Bale’, ‘Allen’ and ‘Flex’ are the four the family uses to distinguish their racing animals.
“Dyna”, recounted Paul, “was from one of our foundation bitches, Dynabolt…and she was a champion stayer in the early seventies and a lot of our lines go back to that…”
Dynabolt, a strong-looking white bitch by the imported sire Proper Streak out of the Wheeler’s leading brood bitch Gail’s Beauty, was whelped in August 1970.
She was sent to Colin White to be trained, and at 20 months old she was produced in a non-betting heat of the Ladies Bracelet, run over 457 metres at Harold Park and downed one of the pre-post favourites for the final in Toni Broke, which also happened to be a Wheeler greyhound.
Her first official race start took place on 5 May 1972 in a semi-final of the Ladies Bracelet. Exiting box seven against some seasoned campaigners, Dynabolt scored a brilliant victory, defeating Vivian’s Charm by just over a length in a fair 26.7. Fourth in the race was Spanish Dancer, the former Victorian sprinter who had won the National Futurity at Wentworth Park, and equalled the track record as well.
In the Ladies Bracelet final, Dynabolt was outclassed, finishing seventh behind the flying Shane’s Monaro.
It was around this time Dynabolt suffered split webbing, a problem which was to recur throughout her limited career.
In June, the white bitch quickly raced through the grades, winning three on end at Harold Park and, first-up at Wentworth Park, over 530 metres, running a fast 31.3.
In July, Dynabolt started four times from poor boxes and each time she found trouble, running fourth, second, third, and fifth in sprint races at both city courses.
Then, at the beginning of August she was injured when running fifth at Wentworth Park and was out of action for almost six weeks. She resumed at Harold Park, being beaten less than a length into third place, but was then out of action again for a further three weeks.
Returning in October, Dynabolt finished a well beaten third at Harold Park, and then was sent out a 7/4 ($2.75) favourite at Wentworth Park four night later. From box two she met with early interference and was one of two greyhounds to fall at the first turn.
Fortunately, Dynabolt was not injured, but Colin White decided it was time to test her as a stayer, for two reasons. First, Dynabolt was a noted strong finisher and looked suited to a distance career, and second, she had clearly lost some confidence in recent races and White wanted to give her the opportunity of being near the lead in the early part of any start.
The move proved an enormous success. Sent out over 689 metres at Gosford, Dynabolt blitzed the field, scoring by 13 lengths, running 41.9, just outside the track record.
It looked as though a new distance star had been unearthed. At her next race, over 732 metres at Harold Park, Dynabolt won by two lengths in 43.7, the equal best of the night on a slow surface.
Her next test came on 28 October when she competed against the boom Victorian stayer He’s Some Boy at Harold Park. The Victorian had won his first distance test at Sandown by 12 lengths and was having his first look at Harold Park.
Dynabolt raced out to a big lead and as the field swept into the home straight she looked good, but He’s Some Boy stormed home out wide and, as Dynabolt weakened, he strode away for an impressive two length victory in 43.6, the best of the night.
He’s Some Boy returned to Melbourne and smashed the four-year-old 732 metes track record at Olympic Park at his next start.
Dynabolt’s next start was on 11 November, over 722 metres at Wentworth Park. Here she found the smart Hunter Sam too strong, going under by two and half lengths in a fast 43.2.
Colin White set Dynabolt for the prestigious Summer Cup at Harold Park, and afte winning her non-betting heat with ease, she faced a hot field in her semi-final, including champion Victorian stayer Lizrene and the smart Victorian Delbairn.
Neither of these proved a match for Dynabolt. Now fitter and stronger than ever she raced away to defeat Lizrene by seven lengths in an incredible 43.0, the equal third-fastest time recorded at the course to that point. Only record holder Bunyip Bint (42.7, twice), Travel Rev (42.9), and Golden Twinkle (43.0) had gone as fast or faster.
Dynabolt drew box two for the Summer Cup final and was installed a shot-priced favourite. Fortunately, she missed the start, which allowed the badly boxed wide runner Lizrene to scoot out of the cherry and push across the face of the field in the long run to the first turn, causing all sorts of havoc. Dynabolt scooted along the fence and nipped to the lead, racing away to score by four and half lengths from Bandwagon John and Osti Too and run a brilliant 43.1.
Unfortunately, she was injured again and was out of action for four and a half months. She resumed on 21 April 1973, in an Invitation Stake over 457 metres at Harold Park, running a solid third.
Four days later she ran second to the smart Market Row at Harold Park and then contested the semi-finals of the Ladies Bracelet, making her second consecutive final when a three-quarters of a length second to Bonnie Cashell.
In the Ladies Bracelet final on 12 May, Dynabolt came home strongly from sixth early but was still beaten three and half lengths into second place by the classy Thunder Sue.
Sadly, just two days later she was injured when finishing last behind Market Row over 617 metres at Cessnock and was out of action for a month.
Dynabolt resumed on 14 June in a 732-metre Invitation Stake at Harold Park and once more faced the now-veteran stayer He’s Some Boy. Dynabolt, from box one, began and well and led into the first turn with He’s Some Boy a close second. At this point the Victorian suddenly eased sharply, dropping back to fourth place. He had been badly hammered at this point just two weeks earlier in the Association Cup final and it seemed as though he was reluctant to push hard into the bend.
This allowed Dynabolt to race away into the back straight and she pushed on to score by eight lengths in a fast 43.23, with He’s Some Boy coming again to run second.
On 14 June Dynabolt raced for what proved to be the last time. Running over 732 metres at Harold Park, she led by four lengths going into the first bend but suddenly eased back to fourth place before coming again to take second place, beaten four lengths.
After the race Dynabolt was found to have suffered serious wrist injury and the Wheeler’s decided to retire her to the breeding barn.
Dynabolt raced just 27 times for nine wins, seven seconds, and five thirds and earned around $17,000 in prize money. In eight distance races she registered five wins and three seconds.
The white bitch proved a huge success as a broodmatron, being the dam of Emiline Bale (by The Smoother) and Mercia Bale (by Benjamin John). Emiline Bale was the dam of dual NSW Greyhound of the Year Winifred Bale, and her litter sister Gwendalyn Bale. Winifred Bale was the dam of Kylie Bale who was the dam of 1998 Golden Easter Egg finalist Cerin Bale.
Feltebarb outstayed Benjamin John to win the 1969 Bulli Gold Cup by a length and half over 675 yards (617 metres) at Bulli, running a fast 36.3. Three finalists fell at the first turn.
The Smoother became the first greyhound to un below 30 seconds over 555 yards (507 metres) at Dapto when he won an Invitation Stake by seven lengths in 1970, scoring in 29.9. The previous track record was 30.1, set by Jobi Lass and equalled by Benjamin John, Zoom Top, Silent Ring, and Thunder Liza.
Mountain Of Love set a new track record time of 29.71 for 520 metres in taking out the 2007 running of the Nowra Puppy Classic. Trained by Ruth Matic, Mountain Of Love earned $15,000 for the victory.
Top Saba set a new race record of 30.9 for 580 yards (530 metres) in annexing the 1971 National Futurity for trainer Geoff Watt. Top Saba scored by five lengths and clipped 5/10ths off the previous race record. Her time was also just 1/10th outside the long-standing track record.
Major Gossip downed track record holder Iceni Princess in a match race held over 520 metres at Wentworth Park in 1993. Major Gossip led all the way to win by two lengths.
Zany Zen took out the 1981 National Futurity at Wentworth Park, the last occasion the event was run in March until 1990. She became the first Queenslander to win the premier race for female greyhounds.
Champion stayer Lizrene won her second successive Sandown Cup when she scored by nine and a half lengths over 785 yards (718 metres) in 1973. Lizrene ran the journey in 43.24, which would have been a new track record except that it was hand-timed and so was declared unofficial. She had won the 1971 running of the Sandown Cup by seven and a half lengths.
Miss High Lo scored by six lengths from Gaytilla and Valodia in the 1974 Wentworth Park Gold Cup (722 metres), running 43.25 to break the race record of 43.3, set two years earlier by Ragsie.
Superman, Trewly Special and Pororoca made it an all-Victorian trifecta finish in the 2006 Perth Cup. Superman scored by three lengths in 30.18 over the 530 metres at Cannington, earning $100,000 for the victory.
High Intensity took out the Victorian final of the National Distance Championship, in 1988, at Sandown Park. High Intensity, trained by Joe Hili, relegated arch rival Bold Trease into third place.
Dallas Duo downed Master Giant to take out the 1993 Ballarat Cup for trainer Joe Hili. Among the unplaced division was top-class sprinter Bomber Gleeson (sixth), who had finished sixth in the 1992 running.
The final of the 2006 Tedesco Formal Wear Trophy, run over 720 metres at Wentworth Park, was taken out by Red Dusk, who defeated Taunting by two lengths in a new race record 42.60.
Sargent Major broke the 725 metres track record at the Meadows in 2006, running 42.28 and clipping 6/100ths off Malfoy’s previous mark, set in March 2005.
Dana Beatrice won the 2009 Bathurst Gold Cup for trainer Rod McDonald, downing Athur Ritis by three-quarters of a length and earning $12,500 for her connections.
Vineyard trainer Dean Swain recorded his maiden Group One victory at Unibet Gardens last Friday night, when $21 outsider Rue De Kahn was victorious in the National Futurity Final worth $75,000.
Rank outsider Queen Esther led the field at the first turn, jumping brilliantly from box three, with Rue De Kahn in a handy third position. Turning into the back straight, the daughter of Where’s Pedro and Shelbourne Dawn, quickly moved in second spot, before charging away in the home straight to score by four and three quarter lengths in a blistering time of 29.49. As a nervous Swain watched on intently from behind the boxes, the son of astute trainer Syd Swain was quietly confident of his chances, once his chaser got into the clear.
“Once she got through the first turn in a good position, I just went really quiet and thought please do the right thing. She has incredible track sense and once they jumped and she knew she couldn’t go a certain way she changed her run. As she got closer to the leader I thought hang on, she is going to win the futurity. It was a surreal feeling and I couldn’t contain myself behind the boxes.”
“It honestly didn’t surprise me she ran that time, I certainly knew she could run that fast if she got a chance.”
There is plenty of hard work that occurs behind the scenes at the Swain kennels, with Dean’s father and mentor Syd Swain, who won the National Derby two years ago with Sure As, providing plenty of support and advice for the young trainer, along with wife Danielle.
“I definitely couldn’t do it without her. When I’m working, she feeds the dogs and looks after them and she was crying on Friday night, it was a real team effort.”
Swain is a builder by day and stated it was a good distraction leading up to the final.
“I was nervous the whole week so it was good that work could make me focus on something else. I definitely didn’t feel like going back on Monday after I won, but it does make it easier to get out of bed.”
Amazingly, Friday night’s victory was just Rue De Kahn’s fourth of her career from seven starts. She now has an astonishing $78,650 in prize money next to her name for owner Michael Laffey.
“It was Michael’s first Group One win as well and I’m so happy for him. He puts so much money into the sport and I’m very lucky to be training this bitch for him.”
Rue De Kahn’s next assignment is a 5th grade race at Wentworth Park on Saturday night from box eight, with this Group One winner no longer an outsider.
Temlee is one of Australian greyhound racing’s true immortals, the brindle dog by Tivoli Chief x Temora Lee (Mister Moss x Venetian Babe) is the namesake of the big Group 1 race, The Temlee, which will be run at The Meadows on Saturday night.
Aside from a stellar racing career, Temlee has also left an indelible mark on the Australian greyhound breeding scene, a legacy which is still very evident today.
Temlee was born on 1 March 1972 and had 37 starts for 25 wins and three placings. He earned his connections the grand sum (considering it was the 70’s) of $26,000. He was nicknamed the “King of Olympic Park” as he won 13 races there including the 1974 National Sprint, 1974 Maturity and also set the track record. He stood at stud for $300 in 1975 and this fee soon increased to $1,000, which was a record at the time. Naturally, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame and had a Group One race named in his honour.
The Temlee is an invitational only race so features, what experts consider, to be the best current sprinters in the land. So what does it take to become a Temlee finalist?
Given the impact Temlee has had on breeding, what better way to answer the question then to have a brief look at what secrets lie in the breeding of each of this year’s finalists.
The first starting point has to be Temlee himself. Remarkably he features in the direct sireline of six of the eight finalists. Dyna Nalin (Ashom Bale x Tally Bale) features no Temlee blood in his direct sireline but a dam in his direct damline is by Temlee. The only greyhound in the final eight to ‘miss out’ on the Temlee blood is Innocent Til (Premier Fantasy x Proven Polly).
Tomac Bale (Dyna Lachlan x Princess Bale) and Banjo Boy (Vee Man Vane x Off Springer) are lucky enough to feature Temlee on both sides of their breeding.
Digressing a little, it is also interesting to note that of the last 11 winners, only one does not feature Temlee in its breeding (Closing Argument).
Back to the current finalists, here’s a look at the bloodlines that have helped them become Group One Temlee finalists.
We all know a sire is important but the story is often better told when looking at the dam. It helps to have a mother that performed well. It also helps if they are bred in the proverbial purple.
Paw Licking’s mum is Kingsbrae Di. The tiny white and black Northfield bred bitch won 40 races and dominated the Country Cups in NSW, winning the Cups at Tamworth, Grafton, Taree and Gunnedah. She also won the 2007 Country Challenge and held the Tamworth track record. She was very zippy early and has no doubt passed this trait on to her track record breaking son. Paw Licking’s granddam, Pretty Jacalyn, was a multiple Wentworth Park winner and National Futurity finalist.
Noaki Pace, the dam of Zelemar Fever, won five races but its her breeding that stands her out as a dam. She is by Spiral Nikita x Leprechaun Pace. Leprechaun Pace (Brett Lee x Leprechaun Yap) won the Group One Paws of Thunder and was a finalist in numerous other Group races. Leprechaun Pace just happens to be sister of superstar Betty’s Angel and a half sister to stud dogs Bo Frazier and Talk’s Cheap as well as Glamorous (the mother of Magic Sprite). Noaki Pace herself is a sister to current stud dog and Group One winner, Oaks Road. Zelemar Fever is out of Bombastic Shiraz and her litter mates have been more than handy, with her brother Noaki Spitfire recently making the finals of a number of Group races in Victoria.
Tomac Bale has a track record holder as his mother. Princess Bale (Hallucinate x Gold Rush Bale) held the 515 metre track record at Bulli for a period of time. She was a very strong bitch who won over the staying trip at Wentworth Park and placed in Group races over both the 500′ and 700′. Princess Bale has also thrown Desalle Bale and the freakishly fast Maturity winner Barcia Bale. Gold Rush Bale has been a “gold mine” for the Wheeler’s, producing the likes of Dyna Tron, Dyna Bert, Greta Bale, Ashby Bale, Bartrim Bale and the list goes on.
The cleverly named Kiss Me Ketut is out of Spiral Siyan (Spiral Nikita x Flight and Life). Interestingly, both Spiral Siyan and Flight and Life were unraced. However, Flight and Life is a daughter of the great Flying Amy. We all know Flying Amy is the mother of one of Australia’s best sires, Just the Best. So, although unraced, the dam and granddam of Kiss Me Ketut lack nothing in the breeding department.
Off Springer (Flying Penske x Skullring) was bred by Leonard Jones and has been very handy in the breeding barn. Not only is she the mother of Banjo Boy, but she is also the mother of classy stayers Grandeur, Echelon and Sweet It Is. Banjo Boy’s granddam Skullring also features in the breeding of Classy Maldini and recent Warragul Cup winner Walk Hard.
Tally Bale whelped Dyna Nalin at a remarkable 10 1/2 years of age. She won 14 races around Sandown, The Meadows, Geelong and Horsham. Aside from Dyna Nalin, who is the apple of her eye, Tally Bale has produced Firefly Bale (Premier Fantasy) who finished second in the 2009 Group One Maturity Classic and Aleta Allen (Where’s Pedro) who won 23 races.
Proven Polly is a ‘proven dam’ with her son Innocent Til. Proven Polly won 14 races and featured in the final of the 2009 Group One Australian Cup. Proven Polly traces back to Proven Misty, who ran second in the 1992 Laurels at Sandown and was a handy broodbitch, throwing the likes of Proven Reward, a finalist in the Silver Chief and National Derby.
Lastly, we have Belron Blue, the matriarch of Peter Rocket. Belron Blue traces back, through the direct damline, to Jess Park. Jess Park is a great foundation dam that is found through generations of numerous Group race performers. These performers include not only Peter Rocket but stayer Ebony Park Lass and Lukeamy. Belron Blue is also the mother of Violet Crumble, a finalist in the Group One Sapphire Crown and the Group Two Traralgon Cup.
Clearly, having a mum with good breeding on her side helps. She doesn’t necessarily have to be well performed, but as you can see, it certainly helps. Throw in a dash of Temlee (for the majority) and you have yourself a Group One runner in the Temlee.
Arabian Dixie, aged six years and one month, scored at Newcastle in 1949, her fourth victory at the track. It took her overall record to nine wins and 10 placings from just 32 starts. Arabian Dixie had broken two front toes and one rear toe when racing on what were described as poor tracks in late 1944 and 1945, at the end of the Second World War. Her trainer said her conditioning consisted mainly of swimming rather than galloping due to her poor feet.
Cyclone Daisy struck Brisbane and south-east Queensland and northern NSW in 1972. The resultant flooding and damage delayed the opening of the Gabba greyhound track from a previously planned 9 March until April.
Eiffella ran a race record 29.89 to win the 2005 National (NCA) Derby over 520 metres at Wentworth Park from Stryker’s Shadow and Victorian Ben’s Fury for trainer Mary Wright. Eiffella clipped 21/100ths off the previous race record mark, held jointly by Fond Regards (2000 winner) and Medinah (2002 victor). On the same night, Lukeamy won the National Futurity by a neck from Miss Bekkie Lee.
Major Gossip gave trainer Don McMillan and well-known music guru Donnie Sutherland a $70,000 thrill when he took out the 1993 National Derby, downing the unlucky Deanne’s Dancer. This was the last Derby run over 520 metres on grass at Wentworth Park.
Speedy sprinter Penny Dancer won the $12,000-to-the-winner 2004 Richmond Cannonball, running a fast 22.78. Penny Dancer would return in 2005 and become the first greyhound to win the event back-to-back.
Rising Ace won the closest Hobart Thousand to that time when he defeated the champion Rookie Rebel by a nose in the 1957 event. The field consisted of 10 starters. A year later Rookie Rebel would return to Hobart and win the Thousand by eight lengths from box 10.
Nitro Nori, trained by Chris Nutt, annexed the 2007 Cyril Rowe Memorial (aka South Coast Cup), run over 472 metres at Bulli. Nitro Nori earned $15,000. A year later Nitro Nori, now trained by Darren McDonald, won a second Cyril Rowe Memorial.
Trainer Jason Thompson rugged up half the field in 2009 Temlee, run over 525 metres at the Meadows. Thompson finished snaring the quinella when El Galo downed kennelmate Fedex by a neck to snare the $50,000 prize money. Thompson’s other starters were Nitro Burst and Hanify’s Impact. Queensland star Queen Lauryn was third.
Having won just a maiden at Albury before being sent to Tasmania, the South Australian-bred Erin’s Ace defeated local hope Boongala by two and a half lengths in the 1949 Hobart Thousand. NSW sprinter Silent Dash was third. Erin’s Ace would go on to become the first to win both the Hobart Thousand and Launceston Cup, and later became the highest stakeswinner in Australia at his retirement.
In an incredibly close finish in which five dogs crossed the line within 1.7 lengths of each other, Strolling Benja caused a bit of an upset in downing Summer Jade by half a length with High Intensity a head away third in the 1988 Olympic Park Distance Championship, run over 732 metres at Olympic Park. NSW greyhound Chief Mocka was fourth with champion Bold Trease fifth.
NSW speedster registered his fourth successive win in taking out the 1985 Hobart Thousand by six lengths from Tasmanian star Busy Vintage. Brother Fox ran 28.31 over the 497 metres at Hobart to set a race record, eclipsing the previous mark of 28.40 set by Black Aztec in 1981. This was the fifth and last time the Thousand was conducted over the 497 metres trip.
Miagi trounced the 2008 Wentworth Park Gold Cup field to win the 720 metre event by eight and a half lengths for veteran trainer Warren Harper. The race had been reduced to a best eight, with no heats run the previous week, just a prelude.
Miss Grub won the 2007 Zoom Top, over 725 metres at the Meadows, by seven and a half lengths from Flashing Floods and Dosses Angel to snare the $30,000 first prize money for trainer Kel Greenough. On the same night, Train A Journey won the Rookie Rebel (600 metres) for trainer John Galea and Slater picked up the Temlee for trainer Darren Murray.
Mr Whackles won the 1939 Hobart Thousand by half a length for trainer Les Brett. This was the first time the race had been called the ‘Thousand’, previously it had been known simply as the Hobart Cup.
Future NSW Greyhound of the Year, Kawati Boy, won the 1978 Wentworth Park Gold Cup by five lengths from Graceful Gem and Incredible Lass, running a race record 42.88, clipping a substantial 35/100ths off the mark set in 1977 by The Wee Lassie.
A healthy crowd was in attendance at Unibet Gardens last night, for the running of the Group One National Derby and Futurity finals, worth a juicy $75,000 each to the winner.
Eight talented bitches stepped out in the National Futurity Final, with Mark Gatt’s Ritza Hattie starting the $1.70 favourite. There was solid support for Smashing Sally (2) at $5.00 and Jason Mackay’s handy youngster Zipping Delta ($6.90).
The race began with Queen Esther jumping brilliantly from box three and leading at the first turn over Rue De Kahn and Cawbourne Rev. Approaching the top turn, Rue De Kahn surged past Queen Esther to take the lead and race away up the straight in a sizzling time of 29.49, returning a huge dividend of $21.80 for lucky punters. Queen Esther ($40.70) battled on bravely to finish second, with Cawbourne Rev ($9.00) winding up in third position. Pre-race favourite Ritza Hattie failed to get across from the wide draw and finished in fourth position.
Rue De Kahn’s trainer Dean Swain couldn’t keep his feet off the ground after the race, embracing family and friends along with his astute father Syd Swain.
Mark Gatt also put the polish on National Derby pre-race favourite Boyce Road ($1.70), who stepped out in his second Group One final after just 14 career starts from box one. When the lids flew, Evil Punk ($6.20) was the best to begin with Zipping Brock crossing fast from the outside. They matched strides for the entire race, with Zipping Brock ($4.90) prevailing at the finish by a neck in a sensational time of 29.46. The winner is trained by Peter Dapiran in Victoria and owned by renowned breeders Martin and Fiona Hallinan. The Hallinan’s also secured third place with Waymore’s Blues ($8.90), giving the entire family a night to remember. Boyce Road missed the start and suffered unfortunate interference at the first turn, forcing him back in the field and out of contention.
The Group One National Futurity final features eight female finalists racing for $75,000. The race kicks off the first of two big feature races at The Gardens on Friday night, with the Futurity listed as race six on the card and jumping at 8:58pm. Ritza Hattie is the fastest through to the final and possesses the best time at the track. She will need to overcome box eight to feature in the finish. Here is a look at the form and what some of the trainers have had to say about their dog’s chances.
Comments: Trainer unavailable for comment. ARG opinion is - Has the early speed to contest the lead and a good PB at the track. In with a chance.
|Comments: Trainer unavailable for comment. ARG opinion is – Strong bitch who has run fast times at Richmond. Had box eight last week running second and is better boxed closer to the rail. One of the chances.|
|Comments: Noelene Holloway (Trainer) – “She not long resumed from having a month off and is feeling really good. I am really happy with box three and confident that she will be very competitive in this race.”|
|Rue De Khan|
|Comments: Dean Swain (Trainer) – “I think she is a real chance and is very underrated in this race. She’s only had the six starts and has no speed on her outside so I’m hoping she can jump well again. Last week she was unlucky, but she’s a young bitch on the up and I wouldn’t have put her in this series if I didn’t think she was up to it.”|
|Comments: Trainer unavailable for comment. ARG opinion is – Upset winner last week and will need a lot of luck to feature in the final.|
|Comments: Trainer unavailable for comment. ARG opinion is – Talented youngster who is right in this if she has some luck in the early stages of the race.|
|Comments: Trainer unavailable for comment. ARG opinion is – Hasn’t won at Unibet Gardens from four attempts. The roughest of Jodie Lord’s chances in this race.|
|Comments: Mark Gatt (Trainer) – “Has been good her past couple of starts but is jumping badly and I have done some box work with her this week to try and turn that around. She pulled up good after the run and is a chance if she jumps.”|
|Comments: Reels of fast early sections and a live chance if she gains a start. Has a fast 29.46 PB at Unibet Gardens to her name.|
Ritza Hattie (8) has not been beginning well in recent weeks, but has been overcoming poor starts to still feature in the business end of her races. She should get some room from box eight as there is not much speed inside her. Zipping Delta (6) has shown a lot of talent in her short career, missing a place only once in her 10 starts and she is very strong at the end, but has not been done any favours by the box draw.
Cawbourne Rev (1) has drawn well on the rails and if she runs up to her best and there is a little bit of interference to Ritza Hattie, she could emerge as one of the place-getters. Smashing Sally (2) is also drawn well close to the rails and has flown around Richmond in her two starts prior to the Futurity series. She is yet to be unplaced at The Gardens.
The smokey in the field appears to be Rue De Kahn (4). She has only had the six career starts, possesses early speed and has no speed drawn to her immediate outside.
Champion all-distance chaser Sentinel won the 1936 NSW 700 yards (684 metres) Championship, run at Maitland, by six lengths from Gay Toby, running 38.6 to clip 6/10ths from Gay Toby’s track record.
Harold Park became the first city track in Australia to use automatic starting boxes, in 1946.
Plunkett’s Pride proved himself one of the best sprinters in the country when he won a top-grade Bulli Stake over 500 yards (457 metres) at Bulli in 1954. Plunkett’s Pride scored by 10 lengths and ran 26.9 to equal the track record.
Tonight’s Wish won the first running of the Dandenong Dry Cleaners Stake (later the DDC Launching Pad) over 715 metres at Sandown Park, in 1997. The race had previously been conducted at the now defunct Olympic Park. Tonight’s Wish would make the 1998 final, but finish unplaced, before returning to score again in 1999.
The Jason Thompson-trained Fedex exited box two to win the 2009 National (NCA) Derby over 515 metres at the Gardens, the first time the race had been held at the Newcastle-based circuit. On the same night, the National Futurity (515 metres) was run for the first time at the Gardens, with victory going to Digital Magic (box one), trained by Mick Abbott.
Pacific Sky, from Victoria, took out the 2004 National (NCA) Derby over 520 metres at Wentworth Park from box eight. On the same night, Nulkaba Lass defeated Victorian bitch Knockabout Wilma by a neck to snare the National Futurity. Both winners picked up $40,000 apiece for their efforts.
Benjamin John ran down Zoom Top to win the 1969 Hobart Thousand for trainer Stan Cleverley. The brilliant sprinter, exiting box one, was two lengths behind Zoom Top but came from behind her to run away and score by three lengths in 29.0, just 1/10th outside the track record he had set in the heats 12 days earlier.
Matelot won his ninth successive race when winning over 544 metres at Cairns in 1990. The black dog scored by 10 lengths and ran 32.05, taking 1/100th off the track record, held by Townsville. Matelot went on to win 12 races in succession before finishing fourth in a heat of the Cairns Cup.
Golden Ambition defeated Bold Trease by two lengths to win the 1987 Metro Toyota Trophy final over 732 metres at Olympic Park. Golden Ambition ran 43.42 which was the second-fastest time ever recorded at the track to that point, behind Pharaoh’s Mask’s track record of 43.09. Ironically, Bold Trease had run second to Pharaoh’s Mask the night that greyhound set the track mark.
West Australian superstar Miata took her earnings to an Australian record $671,008 in 2013, going past High Earner’s record of $610,070 set just two years previously.
Two divisions of the Launceston Cup were held on the new White City track for the first time, in 1940. The first division was won by Dancoma while the second division fell to Mickey Minda.
Worth Doing won the 1989 National Derby, run over 520 metres at Wentworth Park, in 30.03 and earned $25,000 for his connections. The win was his eighth on end and his fourth for the year. He would have just one more start, winning at Richmond, before being retired to a great career at stud and a controversial success in being crowned NSW Greyhound of the Year for 1989, having raced just five times for the year.
Greyhound Box Draw For Unibet Gardens – Friday, 7 February 2014
1st: $1,080 2nd: $315 3rd: $155.
1st: $1,080 2nd: $315 3rd: $155.
1st: $1,080 2nd: $315 3rd: $155.
1st: $830 2nd: $240 3rd: $115.
1st: $1,400 2nd: $410 3rd: $205.
1st: $75,000 2nd: $18,750 3rd: $9,375.
1st: $1,150 2nd: $330 3rd: $165.
1st: $75,000 2nd: $18,750 3rd: $9,375.
1st: $830 2nd: $240 3rd: $115.
1st: $1,080 2nd: $315 3rd: $155.
One of Australia’s greatest racing bitches, 1982 Futurity winner Promises Free, has had a profound influence on the National Futurity over the last 30 years. An influence that almost certainly is far greater than any other single broodbitch for a NSW Group-class event, and, possibly, outstripping any other race in the country. And her influence even extends to six of the eight finalists in the 2014 final.
The first National Futurity, took place in 1964 as the female complement to the National Derby, inaugurated the year before. Run over 580 yards (530 metres) on grass at Wentworth Park, the winner was Cultured Girl who scored in 31.6. The winner was a litter sister to the smart sprinter The Defiance, who was an unplaced finalist in the 1964 National Derby.
From 1964 to 1985 it was held over 530 metres on the grass Wentworth Park track. The 1986 and 1987 finals were run on grass over 457 metres at Harold Park. From 1988 to 1992 it was run over 520 metres on grass at Wentworth Park, then from 1993 until 2008 it was conducted over the same distance on the loam surface. Since 2009 it has been held on the loam over 515 metres at the Gardens.
When Is The Race Run
Since 2009 and the move to The Gardens, both the Futurity and Derby have been run on the same evening in February, although the 2014 final will take place on 31 January.
Biggest Winning Margins
Tiger’s Sunset (1988) and Midnight Capers (2012) both won by seven lengths, Holiday Belle (1996) by six and a half lengths, Fine Devil (1998) by five and a half lengths, Lissiloo (2003) by five and a quarter lengths, Turbo Top (1984) by five lengths
Closest Winning Margins
The closest finish, that I’m aware of, is the 1970 final won by Tidal Mist from box one, who scored by just half a head from Bokave, with Lucky Sprite just a half length away third. Gozo Nicoloa won by a short head from Rapid Strike in 1990. Promises Free (1982) won her Futurity from Winifred Bale by a head, while Nulkaba Lass (2004) and Lukeamy (2005) won theirs by a neck.
Most Successful Trainer/s
Victorian mentor Peter Giles trained 1999 winner Crystal Light and 2002 victor Hotshow Lil.
Three trainers have won the Futurity-Derby double in the same year: Geoff Watt in 1971 with Bomber’s Gift (Derby) and Top Saba; Allen Wheeler in 1974 with Steelflex (Derby) and Tintawin, and Christine Coleman with General Jeff (Derby) and
Only Dual Winner/s
Only Reserve/s To Win
The only two I’m aware of are Winifred Bale (second 1982, Won 1983) and Creative Whisky (third 2000, fifth 2001).
Some Beaten Stars
Bristol Miss (seventh, 1972), Roo Power (fifth, 1973), Kim’s Monaro (fourth, 1974), Mercia Bale (second, 1978), Winifred Bale (second, 1982), Gwendalyn Bale (third, 1983), National Lass (fourth, 1984), Miss Cruise (sixth, 1994), Rare Deceit (second, 1996), Byrneville Kara (fourth, 1997), Kedo’s Millie (sixth, 1997), November Miss (third, 1998), Fibba (fourth, 1998), Flash Joan (sixth, 2000), Hotshow Vintage (seventh, 2000), Floodfawn (third, 2001), Springtime Magic (eighth, 2001), Kumta Chase (second, 2003), Happy Hand (seventh, 2003), Edie Beauchamp (fourth, 2005), Nova Surf (third, 2009), Whirly Storm (sixth, 2009), Tonneli Bale (third, 2011), Zara Zulu (fourth, 2012), Desalle Bale (sixth, 2012), and Punch One Out (second, 2013).
The 1967 winner Pearl Moss was a litter sister to 1967 Derby winner Mister Moss.
Night Aim, winner in 1975, won her semi-final at 100/1 ($101.00), relegating 1974 victor Tintawin to third.
Tiger’s Sunset, from Queensland, the 1988 winner, took her career record to five wins from five starts when she scored.
Expensive Lee, the 1987 winner, traces back to Tidal Mist (1970 winner) on her sire’s side.
Incredibly, an amazing 15 winners of the Futurity have 1982 winner Promises Free in their pedigree. Nine, Just Jedda (1991), November Sunset (1992), National Night (1993), Mystery Idle (1994), Lissiloo (2003), Lukeamy (2005), Jinderra Flame (2006), Bralyn Maisie (2007), and Elite Oriental (2008) all trace back to Promises Free on their sire’s side. Six, Rare Missile (1997), Crystal Light (1999), Junoseque (2000), Hotshow Lil (2002), Daydream (2010) and Crystin Bale (2011), trace back to Promises Free on their dam’s side.
This is set to continue with six of the eight finalists all tracing back to Promises Free, most by way of those incredible sires Amerigo Man and Walkabout Sid. Cawbourne Rev, Cawbourne Cobra, Queen Esther, Ritza Hattie, Rue De Kahn, and Zipping Delta all have Promises Free on their dam’s side, with the first two having her on their sire line as well.
Mark Gatt’s well performed chaser Ritza Hattie successfully avenged her second placing from last week’s heat of the Group One National Futurity, with a strong display from box two in semi final two. After beginning moderately, the daughter of Bombastic Shiraz and Midnight Flare, loomed up between runners around the first turn to sit in third place behind Jason Mackay’s smart youngster Zipping Delta. The two-time Group winner took full advantage of a rails run on the home turn, to streak away by two lengths in a speedy 29.55.
Semi final one of the Futurity was taken out by Keinbah owner-trainer Ryan Tredway and Little Satisfies. Having just one career win to her name, the daughter of Cosmic Rumble and Really Satisfies, dwelt at the start and suffered a heavy check at the first turn, before showing genuine speed down the back to sit in second place behind early leader Smashing Sally. In a last ditch effort, the $35.10 rank outsider lunged at the line to score by a head in 30.03. Jodie Lord qualified two runners for Friday’s final with Cawbourne Cobra and Cawbourne Rev finishing third and fourth respectively.
Leading breeder Martin Hallinan has made an impact on this years Derby series and yesterday proved his charges will be very competitive in next Friday nights final by qualifying three runners. Hallinan’s best result was Zipping Brock trained by Peter Dapiran, who stepped out in semi-final two of the Derby with solid support from punters at $8.50. The son of Mantra Lad and Cho Chang jumped beautifully from box four and was never headed in a fast 29.56 display. Hallinan’s own runner Waymore’s Blues, put in another solid performance from box one to finish second and $2.10 favourite Red Road was squeezed out at the start and failed to qualify, however Gatt’s other chaser Ritza Raider ran a respectable third.
Semi final one went to the in-form Evil Punk for James Coyle, who exploded from box one and got a beautiful rails run to lead throughout in a speedy 29.59. Reserve runner Soviet Missile for Toby Weeks ran a gallant second at big odds of $18.60 to qualify and $1.60 favourite Boyce Road after finding early trouble, managed to run fourth and book his place in next weeks Group One final.
The box draws for next weeks $75,000 to the winner finals:
Group One National Futurity Final
1. Cawbourne Rev – Jodie Lord
2. Smashing Sally – Neil Falk
3. Queen Esther – Noelene Holloway
4. Rue De Kahn – Dean Swain
5. Little Satisfies – Ryan Tredway
6. Zipping Delta – Jason Mackay
7. Cawbourne Cobra – Jodie Lord
8. Ritza Hattie – Mark Gatt
Group One National Derby Final
1. Boyce Road – Mark Gatt
2. Evil Punk – James Coyle
3. Lochinvar Rossi – Robert Smith
4. Waymore’s Blues – Martin Hallinan
5. Zipping Snoopy – Peter Dapiran
6. Soviet Missile – Toby Weekes
7. Ritza Raider – Mark Gatt
8. Zipping Brock – Peter Dapiran
2014 National Derby Semi Final Replays
2014 National Futurity Semi Final Replays
Mark Gatt will head into tomorrow’s National Derby and Futurity semi finals at Unibet Gardens with an astonishing five runners across the four races and is set to dominate the two Group One finals next week.
Semi-final one of the National Futurity will see last week’s bolter Lani Banarni (4), who upset Gatt’s red-hot favourite Ritza Hattie in a blistering 29.40, exit from box four in a strong semi-final. Jodie Lord has three runners engaged in this race, with her best chance Cawbourne Whip (5). Despite finishing a disappointing fourth last week, she does have a 29.46 personal best at the track and can steal this from the squeeze box. Smashing Sally (8) trained by Neil Falk, has been very consistent of late and is looking for her fourth consecutive win and will get a nice run from the wide alley.
Series favourite Ritza Hattie (2) will step out in semi-final two of the Futurity final. She will be out to avenge her second placing last week and has a perfect opportunity from box two. The two-time Group winner began poorly last week, before making up a stack of ground to finish second in 29.40 and will be primed for this affair by master trainer Mark Gatt. Unbelief (4) for Troy Donaldson is going great guns at present, having won four races from her last five starts and she flew around The Gardens circuit last week in 29.65 from box five. If she begins well, expect her to give the favourite a run for her money in an attempt to keep her unbeaten record at the track in tact. Zipping Delta ran a super race last week to storm home for third in the fastest heat of the day, clocking 29.58. Despite being drawn inside a speedy runner, the Jason Mackay sprinter will only need a clear path to feature in the finish.
Semi-final one of the National Derby will see last week’s fastest qualifier Boyce Road (7) step out from box seven at only his second ever look at the track. After jumping brilliantly from box six and clocking a blistering 29.33 last Friday, the Mark Gatt trained youngster could potentially lower his personal best. Evil Punk (1) has stepped up enormously at his past few starts against quality opposition and is drawn beautifully on the inside to really test these runners. The James Coyle trained chaser finished the race off nicely last week behind Waymore’s Blues in a fast 29.65. Gatt’s other runner Black Road (2) was airbourne in the early stages last week before fading at the finish, however a repeat performance of last week could see him really test the field early.
Red Road is another sensational Mark Gatt chaser and will step out in semi-final two of the National Derby. He was edged out by litter mate Boyce Road for time honours last week by 0.01, flying around The Gardens in 29.34. Despite drawing the tricky middle box, the winner of seven races from just nine starts, showed electrifying early speed last week from box eight and only needs to jump to be victorious once again. Astute breeder Martin Hallinan has drawn favourably once again with Waymore’s Blues (1), who was ultra-impressive in his heat win last week, clocking a speedy 29.65. Gatt’s other runner Ritza Raider (2) ran home very well in the latter stages last week behind Waymore’s Blues and can run a cheeky race if he gets room to move early.
2014 National Derby Heats Replays
2014 National Futurity Heats Replays
Greyhound Box Draw For Unibet Gardens – Friday, 31 January 2014
1st: $1,400 2nd: $410 3rd: $205.
1st: $1,400 2nd: $410 3rd: $205.
1st: $1,150 2nd: $330 3rd: $165.
1st: $830 2nd: $240 3rd: $115.
1st: $3,000 2nd: $500 3rd: $250.
1st: $3,000 2nd: $500 3rd: $250.
1st: $3,000 2nd: $500 3rd: $250.
1st: $3,000 2nd: $500 3rd: $250.
1st: $830 2nd: $240 3rd: $115.
1st: $1,080 2nd: $315 3rd: $155.
Thirlmere trainer Mark Gatt dominated proceedings at The Gardens yesterday afternoon, securing three of the four National Derby heats and qualifying two further runners for the National Derby and Futurity semi-finals to be conducted next Friday.
Black Road stepped out in heat one of the National Derby and began beautifully from box seven, leading all the way is a solid time of 29.79, recording sizzling early sections of 5.00 and 17.03.
Superstar prodigy Red Road has been firmly supported as the Derby series favourite and didn’t disappoint in heat three, jumping brilliantly from box eight and flying around the two-turn circuit in a near record 29.34. Even more pleasing for Gatt, was his performance after an under-done preparation.
“He went exceptionally well yesterday and was really short of a run. He’s only had a couple of small trials after being injured when he hit the running rail at Wentworth Park, so he can go better.”
After Red Road set the benchmark extremely high, no one expected it to be lowered. But then Gatt’s Paws of Thunder finalist Boyce Road dominated the final heat of the National Derby, edging out Red Road’s time by 0.01, clocking a sensational 29.33.
Exiting from box six, Boyce Road stunned race goers when he took out a heat of the Group One Paws of Thunder two weeks ago, clocking a speedy 29.69 over the 520m distance. Due to time constraints, Gatt didn’t have time to trial Boyce Road at Unibet Gardens and surprised his trainer with a magnificent performance.
“I was surprised how good he went yesterday. He jumped so well from box six and really showed good pace after that. I said to his owner Eddie (Kingswell), that the Paws of Thunder series would bring out the best in him and it has.”
With all three winners coming from the highly successful Collision and Mystic Pace litter, Gatt’s partnership with Oaks Road’s owner Edwin Kingswell have once again produced some exceptional prospects, set to dominate the states biggest races.
Waymore’s Blues took out National Derby heat number two for astute breeder Martin Hallinan, using box one to perfection and clocked a speedy 29.65.
Gatt’s Group winning bitch Ritza Hattie was installed as the $1.50 favourite for heat four of the National Futurity. However she had to settle for second best behind Charlie Gatt’s talented chaser Lani Banarni, who jumped superb from box one and led all the way in flying 29.40, making her the fastest qualifier for next week’s semi-finals. Despite finishing second, Gatt was very pleased with his charges performance and expects plenty of improvement next week.
“She didn’t jump that well yesterday and I was really happy she only finished a length and a bit behind the winner in that time. It seems to take her a couple of runs to really fire, so I’m expecting a lot of improvement next week and hopefully she can qualify for the final.”
Other heat winners of the National Futurity included; Unbelief for Troy Donaldson, clocking 29.65, Push It trained by Dean Swain ran 29.82 and Smashing Sally for Neil Falk recorded 29.87.
“I just hope I can get as many through to the final as I can. It would be a great thrill to have so many there and win. Some great dogs that have qualified for next week so mine really have to be on their game.”
If all goes according to Gatt’s plans, he could have four National Derby finalists and a National Futurity finalist, giving him a great chance of taking out both $75,000 to-the-winner finals on February 7th.
2014 National Futurity Heats
2014 National Derby Heats
Group One action will hit The Gardens this Friday afternoon, with four heats of the Group One National Derby and Group One National Futurity to be conducted.
Greyhounds will arrive at the Birmingham Gardens circuit from all over Australia, in a bid to secure the sensational $75,000 first prize money on offer for each final winner.
Heat one of the National Futurity will kick off proceedings, with a few newcomers to the track, including last start winners; Bella Senora (2), who won the Australian Racing Greyhound Summer Cup last Thursday at Maitland over the 450m in a very quick 25.26, and Zipping Electra (7), for champion breeder Martin Hallinan, a winner over the 280m at Wentworth Park in 16.21. Cawbourne Cobra (3) has the fastest personal best at the track; recording 30.00 back in July of last year and can win this after some consistent performances at Wentworth Park.
Heat one of the National Derby sees another Hallinan runner in Zipping Snoopy (1) ideally drawn on the rails, having recorded two victories at Horsham (23.35, 410m) and Shepparton (25.85, 450m) in his preparation. Topper Harley (3) for Anthony Azzopardi comes into this race with solid Wentworth Park form and has genuine pace to lead this field. Black Road (7) put in an impressive performance during a stewards trial last week at Richmond for in-form trainer Mark Gatt, clocking a fast 30.64 and will be highly competitive in this affair.
Smashing Sally (2) will step out in heat two of the Futurity for trainer Neil Falk after two slick performances at Richmond over the past two weeks, clocking a personal best of 30.45. Dean Swain has another strong chance in this heat with Rue De Khan (4) having excellent form at the track with a personal best of 29.80. Recording three wins from four starts; this bitch is very strong in the latter stages and look for her at the finish. Cawbourne Rev (7) has been consistent of late, with a 29.66 personal best at Unibet Gardens and has enough early pace to get across from the wide draw.
Group One Brisbane Cup hero Kiss Me Ketut (7) will be looking to take out heat two of the National Derby for owner-trainer David Burnett, after some mixed form of late at Wentworth Park during the Paws of Thunder series. The winner of seventeen races can bounce back and has recorded blistering times all over the country. Evil Punk (2) ran a super race finishing second behind Gradence in the Paws of Thunder consolation last week at Wentworth Park and has good early pace to lead this field. Ritza Raider (6) is yet to be unplaced after ten starts and should run a cheeky race from an awkward draw, whilst Waymore’s Blues (1) has an excellent career record of five wins from nine starts and can’t be ignored from the favourable inside alley.
A newcomer to the Mark Gatt kennel, She’s Scandalous (1) gets a great chance to display her talent in heat three of the Futurity from the red rug at her first attempt around the two turn circuit. Unbelief (5) has flown around The Gardens at her past two attempts, recording 29.79 and 29.77, making her a genuine contender to take out this heat. In-form trainer Adam Wade has another talented chaser engaged in Peta Pitstop (6), impressive at Maitland last week over the 450m, clocking 25.30.
Superstar in the making Red Road (8) will exit from the wide alley in heat three of the National Derby for trainer Mark Gatt, and will only have to step cleanly to clock a blistering time. A winner six races from just eight starts, including a sizzling 30.22 at Richmond. Punters are already labelling him a series favourite. Zipping Brock (4) comes into this heat with some solid performances around the Victorian tracks for trainer Peter Dapiran, including a 29.73 personal best at Sandown. My Boy Snoop, for well-respected Hunter Valley trainer Brett May, has an ideal draw on the rails, with a sensational 29.56 time at the track. Recording a brilliant win two weeks ago at Wentworth Park in 29.92, expect a bold showing from this son of Where’s Pedro and National Futurity winner Daydream.
An amazing line up of bitches will compete in the final heat of the Futurity, with two-time Group winner Ritza Hattie (2) returning to the track she made her debut. She clocked a blistering 29.41 over the 515m journey back in July of last year. The unanimous series favourite; bred, owned and trained by Mark Gatt, has good early pace and will take some running down from a superb draw. Cawbourne Whip (3) enthralled enthusiasts during the St Ledger series at this track, recording a flying 29.46, and will provide a great battle with Ritza Hattie if she begins well. Larni Banarni (1) and Premier Mozz (5) have both won their past two starts in respectable times and can figure for the minors.
The final heat of the Derby will be an exciting race. Boyce Road (6) returns from a fourth placing in the Group One Paws of Thunder final in an easier field and will be highly competitive if he gets room early. He sizzled around Wentworth Park in his heat of the Paws, clocking 29.69, expect him to be storming home at the finish. Kelly Bravo and Take Charge (3) will make the trip up from Victoria. He has three consecutive wins under his belt and is a threat to take this out and book a semi-final spot. Tricky Pluto (7) has got plenty of ability and can figure in the finish. He ran second here last week and saluted at Wentworth Park the week prior in 29.99.
Heat one will kick off at 3.48pm EDST time on Friday afternoon, with the first four place getters moving through to next week’s semi-finals.
Greyhound Box Draw For Unibet Gardens – Friday, 24 January 2014
1st: $1,400 2nd: $410 3rd: $205.
1st: $1,400 2nd: $410 3rd: $205.
1st: $1,400 2nd: $410 3rd: $205.
1st: $1,400 2nd: $410 3rd: $205.
1st: $1,400 2nd: $410 3rd: $205.
1st: $1,400 2nd: $410 3rd: $205.
1st: $1,400 2nd: $410 3rd: $205.
1st: $1,400 2nd: $410 3rd: $205.
1st: $1,080 2nd: $315 3rd: $155.
1st: $1,080 2nd: $315 3rd: $155.
Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) stewards today concluded inquiries into analysts’ reports that the urine samples taken from Sometimes Speedy and Punch One Out after those greyhounds ran first and second respectively in the final of the Dogpro National Futurity at Unibet Gardens on 15 February 2013, the sample taken from Yarramundi Flash after that greyhound won Race 5 at Unibet Gardens on 22 February 2013, and also the sample taken from Zipping Tess after that greyhound won Race 2, the Ultra Sense Heat 2 at Wentworth Park on 23 March 2013, had each been analysed and found to contain the prohibited substance 5beta-androstane-3alpha, 17beta-diol, a metabolite of testosterone, at a concentration of greater than 10 ng/ml in a bitch.
Evidence was taken over the course of hearings on 18 November 2013 and today from trainer Jason Mackay, who was granted representation from Lenz Legal at the initial hearing and was today assisted by veterinary surgeon Dr Peter Yore. Further evidence was taken today from Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) Science Manager Dr Adam Cawley, Racing Analytical Services Ltd (RASL) Laboratory Director Paul Zahra and from Racing Science Centre Qld (RSC) Acting Manager Analytical Services Samantha Nelis. Written evidence was tendered from the ARFL, RASL, RSC, GRNSW, Mr Mackay and Dr Yore.
Mr Mackay pleaded guilty to three charges under GAR 83 (2) (a) in that he presented Punch One Out, Sometimes Speedy and Zipping Tess for the races in question other than free of prohibited substances in that the urine samples taken from the greyhounds after their events were found on confirmatory analysis to contain the prohibited substance 5beta-androstane-3alpha, 17beta-diol, a metabolite of testosterone, at a concentration of greater than 10 ng/ml in a bitch.
As the referee sample taken from Yarramundi Flash that was delivered to RSC was not confirmed at a level greater than10 ng/ml, no finding was made in respect of that presentation.
On each charge Mr Mackay was subsequently fined $2,000.
In determining penalty, stewards took into account Mr Mackay’s guilty plea on each offence, his record of only minor breaches incurred over more than 20 years of training, his record of having more than 400 cleared samples over approximately the past 12 years, his personal circumstances of full time training and a significant industry investment, his standing within the industry and freely given assistance in training matters, his co-operation with the inquiry and during the kennel inspection, as well as previous record keeping.
As has been the case with other inquiries involving 5beta-androstane-3alpha, 17beta-diol, both in NSW and in other greyhound racing jurisdictions a measure of leniency was extended as stewards were mindful that this was one of the first reports of the presence at excessive levels of this substance in a greyhound sample in NSW after the introduction of the rule on 1 January 2013.
The fact that initial advice of irregularities could not be conveyed to Mr Mackay until after the last of the races in question led to the imposition of similar penalties in each case.
The particular factors in this case should not be seen as a precedent in similar cases of presentation of a greyhound found to have a Category Three level substance detected in a sample in the future.
A measure of both specific and general deterrence was also considered, particularly in regard to use of a product known to have extended excretion times. The importance of the races involved and the effects such reports have on the industry reputation were also considered. Mr Mackay admitted negligence in his knowledge of the introduction of the rule despite widespread alerts by GRNSW prior to and after the rule was introduced on 1 January 2013.
Sometimes Speedy and Punch One Out were disqualified from the National Futurity final under the provisions of GAR 83 (4) and the placings amended to:
1st – Winsome Charlee
2nd – Lil Miss Sparkle
3rd – Lil Miss Mohawk
Zipping Tess was disqualified from the heat of the Ultra Sense under the provisions of GAR 83 (5) and placings amended to:
1st – My Signature
2nd – Paua Of Darkness
3rd – Grovebrook Ruler
As Zipping Tess ran last in the final of that event, no order was made under the provisions of GAR 83 (5).
Mr Mackay was advised of his rights of appeal.
Growing up we are often reminded how important it is to have good manners. In the greyhound racing world, they can be just as important. Astute mentor Tony Brett proved just how important manners are when a little bit of attention turned his bitch Velocity Zoe from a maiden, to a winner of over $20,000 in two starts.
Velocity Zoe landed the $20,000 Northern Rivers Vet K9 Reproductions Maiden final at Lismore on Tuesday night, leading from pillar to post in a sizzling 23.98. But it was the culmination of some hard work and attention to detail that yielded the results.
“It was just her box manners that had been letting her down, that’s why she’d had a few starts, she paws at the lids, so it’s been an ongoing problem that we’ve been trying to fix. After her last lot of starts, she’d run a couple of seconds at Ipswich and they were good seconds. That’s when I made the choice to pull her out for a month and see if we could fix those box manners for the Lismore series.”
It paid dividends for Brett with the daughter of Premier Fantasy and Velocity Thunder (Flying Penske – Subjective Lee). She had been showing plenty of promise on the trial track but had failed to convert it to results in her first six starts.
“Before the series started, I took her down to the track to trial and she went 24.09 and I knew then that we were in this up to our ears. We knew she had the ability it was just a matter of getting her box manners right, our race is sort of won or done in the first ten metres with her. If she’s pawing at the lids, which she hasn’t been doing as bad in the last couple of starts, it’s a worry.”
But there was little to worry about when Velocity Zoe found the front early in the final. Interestingly, Velocity Zoe wasn’t Brett’s first choice for the Lismore series, but as it turned out, she was the perfect fit.
“Once she came out nice, I knew she would run around the twenty four mark, and that’s always gonna be hard to beat. I had another little bitch who I was sort of setting for the race, I thought if I’m taking one, I may as well pull this girl out and see if I can fix her manners up and take the two of them. As it happened the other bitch came on season so as it turned out she was our only chance. She came out in the quali and missed it a bit but ran real nice, then she jumped good in the semi, jumped good in the final and as they say, the rest is history.”
It seems that racing isn’t the only thing that Velocity Zoe does at a frenetic pace, with the 28kg black bitch proving to be a bit of a menace around the kennels. Despite that, it’s clear that her improvement and results have endeared her to Brett.
“Her only real problem, which is why she probably paws at the lids, is that she’s way over the top. When we did the presentation after the race, I forgot her muzzle and left it at the presentation area. So I put her away for the swab, she was in the swab kennels for twenty minutes and when I came back she’d ripped her bed to a million pieces and that’s the sort of dog she is. She’s a bit highly strung but I’ll buy her a new bed for Christmas, she’s earned it for sure.”
Brett also trains Velocity Zoe’s brother, Chant. He too is showing his share of promise and shares a few cheeky traits with his sister. But Brett’s enthusiasm is obvious when it comes to the pairs futures.
“He’s the same and a bit like her. He’s learning all the time and is a bit full on too. But in saying that he ran second in the big Grafton maiden behind Lady Jasmin and she’s gone right on with it and he’s run 30.08 at Albion Park. He’s a nice dog, he’s probably still a few lengths of being a really good dog but they’re only young and they’ve got a bit to learn. It will be interesting in six months time, with a bit of maturity, to see how good they are.”
There may be more in store for the breed too with Velocity Zoe’s dam (Velocity Thunder) having some pups on the ground to another of Brett’s former stars, Glen Gallon.
“That was one of the main reasons we put him to stud while he was still racing. She was due on and a couple of other girls were due on. Steve (Williams) said I’d really like to use the boy (Glen Gallon) on these girls because they are good producers so far. So yeah, they’re over there and they look great and time will tell with those.”
Velocity Zoe’s success could now go onto the bigger tracks in Queensland with Brett buoyant about her future.
“We don’t have a lot of choice up here, but she has trialled well everywhere. I don’t think she’ll have too much trouble stepping up, she might take a little bit to get a really strong five hundred but I think she will run it for sure. If she can keep getting the start right she is a good little chaser.”
Brett will be taking it step by step with his 25 month old chaser, but should she keep improving, there may be an even bigger stage in her future plans.
“She will go to a Thursday night novice at Albion Park. If she happens to put in a couple of nice runs at Albion Park, I’ll be heading to the Gardens for the National Futurity with a couple and she’s sort of in the back of my mind too. If she can settle her ways, a race on a track like that against bitches should suit her.”
There’s no doubt that while ever Velocity Zoe continues to exhibit such impeccable manners, the sky is the limit and, if needed, Tony Brett will gladly keep buying her new beds.
Nineteen year old Western Sydney trainer Amy Bennett is about to embark on the biggest journey of her training career this Thursday night at Dapto, when her smart chaser Little Elsie exits from box one in the Group Two Dapto Puppy Auction Classic.
After priming Little Elsie for this series, Bennett is on the verge of claiming her first Group race and a cash prize of $75,000 for her efforts. At such a young age, it’s no wonder the university student is astounded at her prospect.
“I’m amazed that I have a 1 in 8 chance of winning $75,000. I cried after she won on Thursday, I was just so proud of how far she has come. She used to turn in the boxes, so we sent her back to Glengarrie and they did an awesome job with her. Now she begins like a dream every start. I’ve come so close to winning a Group race in the past, running second and third but hopefully this is the one.”
Little Elsie began the series in brilliant fashion, jumping smartly and leading all the way in a solid 30.23. Her improvement last week during her semi-final was very pleasing to her young trainer, again putting in an all the way display from box one in 30.03.
“She improved two tenths on her heat time last week so I was stoked. I’m expecting her to improve again as she has every week. Drawing box one is great because it wins you races. She won’t have to cross any other dogs and she’s been beginning every time. One thing I will be looking for is to see if she scratches the boxes before the start, because if she doesn’t she will begin cleanly again.”
Beautifully bred by El Grand Senor out of Oxley Amy, Little Elsie began her career at Gosford over the short-course distances. She recently journeyed north for a successful campaign at Casino, which ignited her form, and she has won three of her past four including a second placing at Wentworth Park.
“Brad Northfield did an awesome job with her at Casino. She racked up two great wins and his guidance was amazing, I’m very grateful for his help.”
Recording her seventh win from just eighteen starts last Thursday, Bennett now has plenty of options up her sleeve for the two-year old, including the age classic Group One Laurels in Victoria and Group One National Futurity at Unitbet Gardens in February.
Bennett is having an outstanding year on the training circuit having racked up 23 winners in 2013, including 26 minor placings. She began learning her craft under the watchful eye of her father, Vincent Bennett, a very successful trainer who runs his own business, with Amy now in charge of their breeding and training operations.
“My dad is my best mate and the business wouldn’t run smoothly without his ongoing support. He has given me so much guidance and I can’t thank him enough for everything he has taught me, and my mum who puts up with me. She loves the dogs also and comes to the track when she can; it’s great to have so much family support. I have a new kennel hand Lauren McFadyen, she comes over every weekend and reminds me of what I was like a few years ago, wanting to learn as much as she can, her hard-work is amazing. I just really hope Elsie can do it for them as much as me because it’s truly a team effort.”
Little Elsie is only owner Dave Galvin’s third dog and after rejecting a large offer from overseas before the heats of the Dapto Puppy Auction commenced, it’s evident the right decision was made.
“Dave just loves her to bits and loves her like a pet so he couldn’t sell. He will breed with her when she’s finished. She is everything you can ask for in a dog, she’s great at home, easy to train and is becoming a really good chaser, with plenty of improvement left.”
This Thursday night a young trainer will aspire to achieve a lifelong dream and inspire a new generation of trainers in the process.
Forty years ago the Vic Peters Memorial Classic was taken out by a maiden greyhound for the only time in its long history. To that time the event -which began life in 1951 simply called the Harold Park Classic- had been won by a slew of greyhounds which had gone on to achieve various measures of greatness. These included Sharid, Montana Jet, Black Top, Rocket Mac, Sammie Sparrow, Milimsimbi, and Woolley Wilson. None of them had gone into the race as a maiden.
The 1973 final was run on a wet track, and as so often happens when the course is damp, be it grass or loam, the outside boxes came to the fore. Whether statistics really bare this out or not, the perception is often that greyhounds drawn wide on the course when it’s wet seem to gain an advantage.
Whatever the truth, a sleek fawn greyhound by the name of Kim’s Monaro happened to be drawn in box eight for the 1973 Vic Peters Memorial Classic final, run over 457 metres at Harold Park.
Owned and trained by the astute yet taciturn Bob Doak, Kim’s Monaro had clearly shown her mentor she possessed above-average ability, and so he had run her in the Vic Peters non-betting qualifying heats, despite her maiden status.
The daughter of The Smoother (one of the fastest sprinters of his time) out of Doaks’ grand producer Monaro Flash, Kim’s Monaro breezed through her heat and took her place for what was her first official race start in a semi-final of the Classic on 27 October. She was drawn reasonably well in box three but the race held the pre-post favourite for the Classic in Arctic Tiger.
Kim’s Monaro began mid-field and immediately ran into bother. Although she held her ground and was third coming onto the first turn, Arctic Tiger had already bolted. In the long run home Kim’s Monaro finished well to snare second position and a place in the prestigious final, but she was six lengths adrift of Arctic Tiger who ran 26.30, the best time of the night.
On that wet final night in 1973, with the benefit of one race start, Kim’s Monaro duly rewarded the faith Bob Doak had in her by beginning quite well from her wide draw and quickly racing to the lead, despite the presence of speedsters such as Quick Sweep and Arctic Tiger. She gave nothing else a chance and cruised home almost five lengths ahead of Irish Alley and Ben Capell. Her time of 26.31 was easily the best of the night.
The 21-month-old would go on to greater heights after the victory, qualifying for such races as the Christmas Gift (fell), National Futurity (fourth), Ladies Bracelet (third), Richmond New Year’s Gift (fourth), and winning the 1974 Australian Cup.
As has been widely reported, greyhound racing stewards in at least two states have been sitting an numerous positives swab inquiries, mostly to elevated Testosterone levels.
Today Greyhound Racing Victoria’s (GRV) Racing and Appeals Disciplinary Board (RADB) finally heard the positive swab inquiry in an elevated Testosterone level in one of Graeme Bate’s greyhounds, resulting in the leading Hall Of Fame trainer receiving a nine month disqualification.
Last month West Australian Racing and Wagering West Australia (RWWA) stewards handed Wayne Jacobson a nine month disqualification for what was considered “a high level” offence.
As if prompted in too action by today’s GRV RADB decision in to their leading trainer, Greyhound Racing New South Wales (GRNSW) stewards have finally formally announced the worst kept secret in greyhound racing; Jason Mackay is to front the GRNSW stewards over several positive swabs to elevated Testosterone threshold levels.
GRNSW have advised that having “received advice from the accredited laboratories of the findings of levels of the testosterone metabolite 5beta-androstane-3alpha, 17beta-diol above the threshold concentration of 10 nanograms per millilitre in urine samples taken from four greyhounds trained by Jason Mackay at meetings in NSW in February and March this year.”
The reports concern the greyhounds Punch One Out and Sometimes Speedy, which raced at The Gardens on 15 February 2013, Yarramundi Flash from The Gardens on 22 February 2013 and Zipping Tess from the Wentworth Park meeting on 23 March 2013.
The Punch One Out and Sometimes Speedy positive swabs relate directly to the 2013 National Futurity Final when Mackay’s greyhounds finished first and second in the $75,000 to to the winner event.
The Zipping Tess positive swab originates from her win in a heat of the 2013 Ultra Sense series. Zipping Tess ran last in the final as a $6.60 third favourite.
According to GRNSW, the finding from the fourth Zipping Tess sample was only confirmed today. No explanation was forthcoming from GRNSW as to the reasons behind the seven month delay from race night swab to second “B” sample confirmation.
Mackay has been notified of the findings and an inquiry into the analysts reports will be conducted at the offices of GRNSW on Tuesday 12th November 2013.
There is no doubt the current generation of young sprinters in Australia is nothing short of phenomenal, in fact you would not be far off the money to say that it is one of the strongest generations greyhound enthusiasts have seen in recent years. Tonight marks the start of one of the most gruelling age classics nationwide with the heats of the Group One Peter Mosman at Wentworth Park.
Run over three weeks the $75,000 series is host to the best 80 sprinters whelped on or after the 1st December 2010 with the honour roll bursting with former track stars including Solve The Puzzle (1998), Big Sam Banner (2002), Elite State (2003) and Surf Lorian (2004) whilst last year it was taken out by top liner Garrick Bale. With nine spectacular heats tonight below are a few of the standout runners in the series.
Hard to go past the superstar Black Magic Opal in the first heat despite the fact that he has drawn poorly in box five. He is one of the most exciting sprinters to come out of the Central Coast in recent times and is now in the astute hands of master trainer Jason Thompson. He was a dazzling winner of the Group Two Maitland Gold Cup in April and has won two from two for Thompson in Victoria in near track record times. With nineteen starts for fifteen wins and four seconds to his name including a 29.79 seconds over the track and distance he should take some beating.
Despite the scratching of boom pup Zulu Zircon heat two is still a fantastic race with local star Winsome Charlee boxed in the cherry for John and Minnie Finn. The daughter of Where’s Pedro and Ramblin’ Ruby has been freshened up for the series and will be lining up for her first start in almost a month. Winsome Charlee has won fourteen races all up including five at Wentworth Park with a best of 29.66 seconds and loves box one with four wins and a placing from five starts. The plucky little bitch does not have genuine zip but she makes up for it with a combination of heart and a big motor. Winsome Charlee is always thereabouts and has a strong record in group finals finishing third in the Group One National Futurity behind Sometimes Speedy and Punch One Out and second in this year’s Golden Easter Egg behind Grigorieva Bale. Shadow Lane will be her biggest threat from box three with some speedy times down south for Michael Carter including a nippy 29.86 seconds triumph last start at Sandown.
Heat five will see three time group winner Jagger Swagger line up from the rails box off the back of his terrific win in the Group Three Ranvet Gold Cup. The 36 kilogram son of Premier Fantasy and Surpassing took out the Group One National Derby at Unibet Gardens followed by the Group Two Richmond Derby earlier this year. The Mark Azzopardi trained sprinter has a personal best of 29.56 seconds over the track and distance as well as a flawless three from three from the one. His litter brother Incumbent is in the same heat from box three and is a handy performer in his own right with nine wins from 18 starts. Best of the rest is Gold Town who ran a near track record 29.49 seconds during the Easter Egg series however he is a bit hit and miss and Jagger Swagger is more reliable especially from box one.
In the following heat Gold Cup runner up Zulu Zeus also has the luxury of an inside draw and will be the dominant favourite after nearly running down Jagger Swagger last start. The Frank Hurst greyhound has won five races from eleven starts with a scintillating 29.83 seconds recorded at his last start in town over Tempest Shiraz. The youngster does not turn two until August but is in a class of his own with blistering times at Bulli (26.20 seconds) and Richmond (30.08 seconds)
Making the trip to NSW for the series is Group One Sapphire Crown winner Xylia Allen who will line up from box four in the seventh heat. She is about the only dog in the series who can get knocked left right and centre and still win emphatically and she looks set to win again tonight. She lacks early pace but is extremely resilient in running and has an enormous motor once she finds her feet. To put it simply with a clear run there is no dog in the race that can beat her because she is an absolute machine. If there is a bunch up rails runner Clockwise will be hoping to sneak through on the inside and snare the event. She has only had nine starts but has shown a stack of ability with fast times at Gosford(29.76 seconds) and Wentworth Park (30.01 seconds). She has never had box one but I can’t see it being a problem for her.
Xylia Allen’s talented litter brother Amram Allen will line up from box three in the heat after his freakish sister and looks to be right in contention. The black dog has put together ten wins and ten placings from 27 starts and was a dominant last start winner in 26.06 seconds (BON) at Warragul over Purcell Bale. He seems to have about as much speed as his sizzling sister but from the white he should be able to sit behind the speed and pounce on the leaders. His biggest threat is fellow Victorian and Group Two Harrison-Dawson victor Clone Your Own who will make his Wentworth Park debut from box six. The former New Zealander is trained by Robert Britton and has been racing brilliantly since venturing across the Tasman with six starts for four wins and a placing.
Included in this were thrilling times at Sandown clocked over three consecutive weeks (29.49, 29.41, 29.48 seconds). Box six is a concern however he is one from one from the green- if he can handle the track he will give them a shake.
The first race on a fantastic card at Wentworth Park will jump at 7:30pm. With so many exhilarating speedsters engaged in the series the next three weeks will certainly be action packed for greyhound racing enthusiasts and will reveal who Australia’s top young chasers are.
The 2013 Bulli Ranvet Gold Cup is shaping up to be one of the most exciting races to be staged at the Bulli Circuit in recent years. Amongst the field is a mixture of proven group talent, track specialists and the next generation of budding superstars all competing against one another to claim the $25,000 winner’s cheque and group race glory.
BOX ONE: Mark Azzopardi’s Transcend Time is boxed to win the event. The son of Bombastic Shiraz and Elite Oriental is bred to fly especially around the one turn tracks with his dam a winner of the Group One National Futurity at Unibet Gardens and a two time placegetter in the Maitland Gold Cup in 2008 and 2009 respectively. Transcend Time is a multiple group finalist himself taking out the 2012 Group Two Multiquip Bob Payne Spring Sprint at Wentworth Park and since then he has made the finals of the Maitland Gold Collar, The Group Two Maitland Gold Cup and The Group Two Queensland Derby( runner up behind Hello Good Bye). Transcend Time is a winner of 15 from 26 including his heat last week where he clocked 26.35 for the track and distance whilst he also has a perfect strike rate from box one with two starts for two wins. Transcend Time is the most consistent performer in the field who deserves a change of luck.
BOX TWO: Zulu Zeus will be looking to bounce back to the winners list and in turn claim his maiden group victory after his four race winning streak came to an end when running second to Jagger Swagger in last week’s heats. The Frank Hurst trained runner has only had ten starts but has managed five wins in his career with super slick times at Bulli(26.20 seconds), Wentworth Park(29.83 seconds) and Richmond(30.08 seconds). Although he does seem to prefer the outside, if he can begin like he normally does he will be right in contention.
BOX THREE: Victorian campaigner Majestic Lee has been held comfortably at both starts at Bulli. Trained by Craig Treherne the white and black son of Brett Lee and Premier Class has a good motor however he will have to improve off his recent form to be a threat to this classy field. He has won 10 from 25 in Victoria but has not been beginning all that well lately and will not be able to give this lot a start.
BOX FOUR: Londonderry trainer Kristy Sultana will be hoping to turn around her bad luck of late in this event with Tarks Royale beginning wearing the blue rug. He has had three runs back from a lengthy spell and has won all three in impressive style. The son of Primo Uno has won eight from 16 with a best of 26.28 seconds at Bulli. The box is a worry however he has been beginning much better this preparation and should be at his peak in fitness. With a moderate beginner on his inside he should be able to find a nice position in the field and run a cheeky race.
BOX FIVE: Three year old Dinkum is a Bulli track specialist with five wins at the track and distance and three minors from eight starts. The son of Bit Chilli is prepared by Julie Fletcher and ran a fantastic race last week winning his heat by three quarters of a length in a fast 26.25 seconds. He has won 19 races overall from forty starts including a victory from every box. The awkward alley will make things hard for him especially with the flying Jagger Swagger on his outside however he has proven time and time again that he is capable of running times and overcoming bad boxes so must be respected.
BOX SIX: Dual Derby winner Jagger Swagger has been afforded no favours from box six but is the proven group chaser as the winner of the Group One National Derby and the Group Two Richmond Derby earlier this year. The black dog has won 18 from 27 for Mark Azzopardi with a scintillating personal best of 26.07 seconds for the course. He is not a blistering beginner but he does have good pace when he hits the ground so will only need a bit of room to gain a clear run and reach the front of the field.
BOX SEVEN: The second of Frank Hurst’s runners is Zulu Zircon in box seven- a litter brother to Zulu Zeus who is in box two. He is one of the most exciting greyhounds to come out of Hurst’s kennels with the experienced trainer rating both the black speedsters as good as any that he has had at their age. Zulu Zircon captured the attention of spectators when breaking his maiden status at Bulli in a hot 26.24 seconds before stepping out two starts later and running a smashing 26.06 seconds over the 472 metres. Last start he ran a handy second behind Transcend Time from box two. With only five starts to his name this will definitely be the acid test for the 34 kilogram son of Where’s Pedro, but if early indications are anything to go by he is a genuine group class dog.
BOX EIGHT: Mark Azzopardi’s third runner in the event is former Victorian Voltage Peak who ran on well to finish a close second behind Dinkum in his heat. The Talk’s Cheap sprinter has had three starts at Bulli and is yet to crack through for a win however he has run two nice placings. Looking at his form he appears to prefer the inside, but in a race full of speed he may be suited out wide to avoid interference.
FIRST RESERVE: Knocka’s Return is a talented type who is always thereabouts however he will need a bit of luck to gain a start and be competitive at this stage in his career.
SECOND RESERVE: Free Will is a top class greyhound for Anthony Azzopardi who recaptured some of his old form when running third behind Dinkum. He is not quite the dog he used to be based on recent runs and would struggle in this race.