Fate Will Find A Way

Fate is often defined as something destined to happen or the inevitable fortune that befalls a person.

For owners, breeders and trainers like David Burnett and Barry Moloney, fate has played a very big part in two particular Group One winning dogs that they each have in their possession.

Burnett and Moloney have Kiss Me Ketut and Marcus Joe engaged in the $250,000 to the winner Group One Australian Cup on Saturday night at The Meadows. They are also eligible for a $10,000 GOBIS bonus.

Burnett and Moloney are the only two in the race that have bred their finalist and own and train their finalist. Even more remarkable is that both greyhounds are kennelled in Marcus Hill and are in fact kennelled beside each other at Moloney’s place.

So how did fate play a role for Burnett and Moloney?

It’s no secret that Burnett bred Kiss Me Ketut and it’s no secret that Burnett purchased the dog at the Ready to Race auction at Bendigo. However, Burnett has not always owned the dog after he made the decision to sell the dog at 12 months and spend a little while out of greyhound racing.

However, fate predetermined that Kiss Me Ketut would somehow end up back with Burnett and bring him back into the sport of greyhound racing.

“I bought his mother, I bred the litter, I whelped the litter, sold him at 12 months and ended up buying him back through the series to race.”

Kiss Me Ketut is extremely well bred and gives his owner great pleasure that he was able to breed a dog as good as Kiss Me Ketut.

“It’s even more pleasing when you breed them. I went out of my way to buy the bitch. She’s by Spiral Nikita and Flying Amy, a Hall of Fame bitch, is the grandmother. She has fantastic bloodlines and I went to Bombastic Shiraz to get this litter.”

Kiss Me Ketut has made numerous Group race finals and his owner is very fond of him. He has managed to give Burnett a great ride.

“I’ve been in dogs 16 years and you dream about having a dog like this. To win a Brisbane Cup and be in the Adelaide Derby and also be in the Melbourne Cup and then in the Australian Cup, the two biggest Victorian races, and he’s just 30 months old.”

As for the dog himself, Kiss Me Ketut is quite a character and endears himself well to those around him.

“He’s a character in his own right. He likes to get in the back seat of the station wagon. He puts his head on the console between the driver and the passenger and depending on who his favourite person is and which way he’s facing, he puts his paw up on the shoulder to say g’day as you’re driving along. He does a good job that way.”

In terms of Kiss Me Ketut’s preparation, Burnett has elected to stick to his normal routine.

“I try to stay in the same routine as much as possible. I try not to do anything different. In the old days when I was learning I had a tendency to go and change something, but I’ve learnt now.”

As mentioned earlier, both Kiss Me Ketut and Marcus Joe are housed in the same kennel block because Burnett and Moloney share kennels. Which brings me to Barry Moloney and Marcus Joe.

Moloney bred Marcus Joe with the intention of selling him, but things don’t always go to plan.

“I bred the litter to sell most, other than keep the bitches. First of all, I advertised them in the National Greyhound Form and that ad ran for three weeks and didn’t get a phone call. Eventually the word got around and a few of my friends purchased them. As I only had $2,000 on them, they went one by one but I couldn’t sell Joe. He actually had an accident when he was quite young, about 12 weeks old, he split his kneecap, so I couldn’t sell him and didn’t want to sell him under those conditions, that’s how I came to keep him. The whole litter have been good, particularly the males.”

It’s a great thrill for Moloney to have another finalist in a Group One race, particularly one he bred.

“It’s taken a long time. It’s taken 40 odd years for it to happen and it did happen so that’s good. It’s a great thrill, magic really.”

Like Burnett, Moloney shares a special bond with his dog.

“He’s unbelievable. He’s part of the furniture and there’s a pretty good bond there. He is a nice dog to have around, you don’t hear him through the day. He just does his work, goes to the races, sleeps, no stress. It all adds up to be successful. He can run. His win in the Maturity, he was the second quickest dog to go around there in the last 12 months or so. It was only Spud Regis that had a better winning time than him. He can run okay.”

The two dogs have drawn the “wings” on Saturday night, with Kiss Me Ketut set to don the red rug and Marcus Joe stepping out in pink. The two trainers will be hoping fate steps in once again as the boxes rise on Saturday night.

This Week in Racng History

FEBRUARY

26th

The Brindle Havoc-Runaway Joe ring-in took place at Lismore in 1949. Three men brought a greyhound they claimed was a Queensland sprinter named Brindle Havoc to race at Lismore. The dog was backed in from 5/2 ($3.50) to 1/3 ($1.30), but was discovered to be a ring-in and was in fact a well-performed NSW greyhound named Runaway Joe. The three men were disqualified, as was the dog. The attempted ring-in eventually led to the introduction of ear branding.

Paul’s Thunder won the first of two successive Sandown Cup’s, in 1970. The black bitch defeated Worthy View by two lengths with champion NSW chaser Busy’s Charm (Zoom Top’s litter sister) a length away third.

27th

Bristol Sue, trained by Doug Payne, won the 1975 South Australian Sprint Championship at Angle Park by three and a half lengths in a track record 30.64 for the 512 metre trip.

Crystal Light, trained by Victorian Peter Giles, won a scrappy 1999 National Futurity, run over 520 metres at Wentworth Park, defeating Pascali Bale by three-quarters of a length with Poetic Light a neck away third.

28th

Velocette managed to defeat the highly-fancied El Galo to collect the 2009 Australian Cup final and pocket $150,000 first prize money, an increase of $25,000 on the previous year. El Galo had also run second in 2008, behind Tasman Queen. The winner was trained by Graeme Bate, his first outright winner of the Cup after sharing the training honours with Blackjack Tom in 2003.

MARCH

1st

China Trip created history when she won her second consecutive Australian Cup in 1993, then run over 511 metres at Olympic Park. Exiting box six, China Trip began well and led all the way, just lasting to defeat South Australian sprinter True To Do by a head, exactly the same margin she had scored by when winning in 1993. Bomber Gleeson was third in both 1993 and 1994.

Blackjack Tom (trained by Graeme Bate) and Most Awesome (trained by Max Burdekin) dead-heated for first in the 2003 Australian Cup, only the second time a dead-heat had occurred in a major Melbourne sprint event (the first being the inaugural Topgun in 1993).

2nd

The first running of the Maturity Classic over 525 metres at the Meadows took place in 2002 with Rocka Cockatoo winning for Patricia Chaker. It was also the last time the final was held in March.

Path To Power set a new raced record of 29.69 in winning the 2006 DDC Launching Pad over 515 metres at Sandown for trainer Darren McDonald.

3rd

Worth Doing scored his ninth successive victory when he won the 1989 Richmond Gold Cup, over 537 metres, by eight lengths from top-class sprinter Mister Britain, running a fast 30.95. It was his 21st and last race start. He had raced just five times in 1989 for five wins and would controversially be named NSW Greyhound of the Year.

4th

Harold Park reopened for racing in 1950 under the control of the GBOTA, led by secretary Vic Peters. Greyhound racing at the track had previously been under the control of the Harold Park Trotting Club. On the same night, the first Dave Alexander Memorial Stake was run, taken out by It’s Easy.

Keybow Stamps His Authority In Australian Cup Heats

Eight heats of the 2014 Group One Australian Cup were conducted on Saturday night at The Meadows, with a quality field assembled for the big final next week.

Darren McDonald has qualified two runners for the final, with Keybow the fastest qualifier for next week’s final after a devastating performance in the final heat. Dyna Nalin, who has qualified for yet another Group race final, will be chasing Miata’s prize money record next week.

Greyhounds from New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania will all feature in the final.

Here’s a look at how each of the heats panned out.

Heat One – 2014 Group One Australian Cup

Kiss Me Ketut (3) had it all his own way, leading from start to finish in a personal best time of 29.77 to secure a berth in another Group One final. He ran a smart 5.04 first section and had Punch One Out (5) with him for most of the race. The inside draw gave Kiss Me Ketut the advantage of a rails run as Punch One Out had to work hard on Kiss Me Ketut’s outside. They were matching strides down the back straight but Kiss Me Ketut didn’t let the outside runner worry him and he emerged victorious by three quarters of a length over Punch One Out. Prue Bale (4) loomed as a danger turning for home, but she was unable to make up the ground on the home straight, finishing third.

Heat Two – 2014 Group One Australian Cup

Marcus Joe (2) has lived up to his Maturity win last year, qualifying for the Australian Cup after taking out heat two in 30.04. As expected, the speedy Magic Diva (3) pinged straight to the front and was rattling along in the early stages, but the 525 metre trip was always going to be the telling factor. The talented Marcus Joe got himself into a perfect position in the early stages of the race, settling in second position. Favourite, Peter Rocket (1) was back in fourth on the rails. Buckle Up Mason (4) was also prominent. Magic Diva was still six lengths in front down the back straight but by the home turn, Marcus Joe had abbreviated that margin to two lengths with Peter Rocket also hot on his heels. Marcus Joe barged his way under Magic Diva up the home straight with Peter Rocket electing to go on the outside. However, once Marcus Joe hit the front, the result was never in doubt as he finished strongly to win by two lengths from Peter Rocket, with Buckle Up Mason completing the trifecta. The early lamplighter, Magic Diva, finished fourth.

Heat Three – 2014 Group One Australian Cup

Darren McDonald is no stranger to Group One final’s and he has qualified Hallelujah Henry (1) for the big final. Hallelujah Henry used the perfect rails draw to lead all the way in 29.91, finishing three quarters of a length ahead of the fast finishing Crawf’s Bread (2), with Empire Allen (7) another five and a half lengths away in third. Of the others, Hawk Alone (3) was checked out of the race at the first turn. NSW chaser Boyce Road (8) was eating up the metres down the back straight after being last at the first turn, but he got dragged down by General Destini (5) and that ended any hope he had of storming home.

Heat Four – 2014 Group One Australian Cup

Musquin Bale (2) returned from a long spell in the Warragul Cup heats and with a little bit of racing under his belt since then, he has steadily improved, with tonight’s win bringing up a hat trick for the Andrea Dailly trained dog. He finished too strongly for early leader Paw Licking (7), winning easily by four and a quarter lengths in 29.89. High Recall (8) was unable to cross from box eight and had to settle for fourth after Bazza’s Gift nabbed her on the line for third.

Heat Five – 2014 Group One Australian Cup

Buckle Up Wes (6) has made up for the disappointment of not being in the final field for the Launceston Cup by qualifying in fine style for the Australian Cup. The win was good for the Tasmanian based dog as he had to come from behind. National Time (5) was the early leader and Buckle Up Wes was able to sit just off the pace. Hot favourite Farmor Las Vegas (1) didn’t begin well from the inside, while Banjo Boy (8) and Zelemar Fever (7) were unable to cross the field. Buckle Up Wes made a quick decision to head wide turning for home and he finished over the top of National Time by a length in 29.98. Jordan Allen (4) filled third.

Heat Six – 2014 Group One Australian Cup

Another day, another Group One final for Dyna Nalin (1) and Paul Stuart. Dyna Nalin used all his experience to patiently wait on the rails for the run at the home turn that would secure him a berth in the Australian Cup final. In taking the lead, he surpassed fellow West Australian chaser Te Amo (5) who began the best at box rise and maintained a fair lead for much of the race. Dyna Nalin first tried to get underneath the field just out of the first turn but checked off the back of Humphrey Bale (2). He had more luck turning for home and secured the win by half a length over the gallant Te Amo with Humphrey Bale finishing third. If Dyna Nalin can win the big one next week, he will break Miata’s prize money record.

Heat Seven – 2014 Group One Australian Cup

Innocent Til (8) reversed his fortunes in the Temlee by beginning brilliantly from box eight to lead all the way in 29.79. When the lids opened, Shadow Lane (7) did a sharp left hand turn out of the boxes, paving a clear alley for Innocent Til. Noted strong finisher Hailstorm Billy (1) quickly got to second down the back straight and looked the only chance to run down Innocent Til, but Innocent Til had about 10 lengths on the field at that stage and wound up winning by three and a quarter over Hailstorm Billy and Tick Bale (6), giving Jason Thompson a runner in next week’s final.

Heat Eight – 2014 Group One Australian Cup

The final heat was punctuated by the scintillating performance of recent Perth Cup winner Keybow (8). He used box eight to perfection to romp away by nine and a quarter lengths in a flying 29.59, which is just over two lengths off Heston Bale’s track record of 29.45. There’s not much that can be said for the rest of the field as Keybow turned the race into a one-act affair. Speed Series (5) and Clone Your Own (7) filled the places.

The final field and box draw for next week’s Group One Maurice Blackburn Lawyers Australian Cup is:

1. Kiss Me Ketut – David Burnett (29.77)

2. Keybow – Darren McDonald (29.59)

3. Dyna Nalin – Paul Stuart (30.03)

4. Innocent Til – Jason Thompson (29.79)

5. Hallelujah Henry – Darren McDonald (29.91)

6. Musquin Bale – Andrea Dailly (29.89)

7. Buckle Up Wes – Edward Medhurst (29.98)

8. Marcus Joe – Barry Moloney (30.04)

Reserves

9. Punch One Out

10. Crawf’s Bread

Gatt and Mackay To Fly The Flag For New South Wales

The New South Wales assault on the Group One Australia Cup heats on Saturday night will rely on the performances of just three runners from the kennels of Jason Mackay and Mark Gatt.

Wentworth Park and Richmond track record holder Punch One Out returned to Mackay’s Richmond Vale kennels last month, after a brief stint with her owner Grant Fennelly in Queensland. The daughter of Knocka Norris and Little Egyptian took out the final of the Group Three Gold Coast Cup at Albion Park, clocking a sizzling time of 29.75 and won four races at Albion Park and Capalaba.

Upon her return to Mackay in January, Punch One Out ran a gallant second behind Iona Seven in the Group One Paws of Thunder final at Wentworth Park, in a fast time of 29.70.

Punch One Out became a genuine superstar when she smashed the 29.43 Wentworth Park record, previously held by Noble Pedro, by clocking an airbourne 29.27 over the 520m, in taking out a heat of the Group One Golden Easter Egg during March of last year.

Making her debut at Lismore during July of 2012, Punch One Out finished second at her first three starts, before breaking her maiden status over the 366m straight journey at Capalaba. She then went on to win her next four races around the Queensland circuits.

During January of 2013, Punch One Out made her way to the Mackay kennel, recording a flying personal best at The Gardens (29.30) and became a multiple track record holder when she clocked a blistering 29.90 over the 535m at Richmond.

Recently nominated for 2013 Greyhound of the Year, Punch One Out now has an impressive 22 wins next to her name from 48 starts, including 16 minor placings and a healthy prize money total of $153,749.

Exiting from box five in heat one of the Australian Cup will prove a difficult task; however her run home strength and stamina will be a definite factor, provided she avoids trouble at the first turn.

Mackay’s other runner Zipping Willow also returned from a two-month spell last Thursday at Maitland, clocking a sensational time of 22.42 over the 400m. The beautifully bred daughter of Goodesy and Sirocco Lass scored by a head, and despite having just the one start over the short course distance since her return, this gifted chaser will test her rivals in heat two of the Australia Cup and will also exit from box five.

Owned by renowned breeders Martin and Fiona Hallinan, who took out the Group One National Derby, two weeks ago, Zipping Willow will be chasing her 15th career win from start 23. She began her career in fine style around the Hunter Valley circuits, winning three of her first four starts and stamped her authority after a near-record 29.33 win at The Gardens over the 515 metres. After making a successful debut at Wentworth Park at start number five, Zipping Willow now has a sensational metropolitan record of seven wins and two minor placings from eleven starts.

Last month Mackay made the four hour trip with Zipping Willow to Canberra and wasn’t disappointed as she blitzed her rivals in the Group Three Canberra Cup final, saluting in a blistering time of 30.12 by two and a quarter lengths.

Master Thirlmere trainer Mark Gatt will send up and coming youngster Boyce Road to The Meadows circuit, looking to make his third Group One final after just 14 career starts.

Despite finishing fifth in the Group One National Derby final as the $1.70 favourite, Boyce Road sizzled around the two-turn Newcastle circuit in 29.33; at his first ever look at the track.

Coming up with box eight in heat three on Saturday night will prove testing; however Gatt is confident his charge can go well at his first interstate start.

“He should go alright, he’s fit and ready to go. The box will suit him, but it’s a very hard box at The Meadows. If he can get a cart across then I’m confident in his chances, it all depends on whether he gets a clear run or not.”

Coming from the highly-talented Collision x Mystic Pace litter, Boyce Road made an impact from day one when he stepped out in a heat of the $15,000 maiden series at Richmond, recording an impressive 30.69 victory over the 535m.

At just start number ten, Boyce Road produced a sensational effort, saluting comfortably in a heat of the Group One Paws of Thunder, clocking a flying 29.69, and didn’t lose any followers after finishing a respectable fourth in the final.

Boyce Road now has nine wins and two minor placings from just fourteen career starts, with a third Group One finals berth a definite possibility for this rising star.

Sadly, Gatt will be without his second representative for the series, with Ritza Hattie a scratching from the heats due to injury.

Playing With Figures – Not Kindergarten Stuff (Part 3- final)

So far, the NSW parliamentary hearings have heard a stack of evidence from a range of racing authorities, animal welfare types, bookies and lawyers. All of them naturally pushed their own wares but very little of that touched on who the industry’s customers were and what their preferences might be.

Yet, together with willing owners, they are the only people bringing in fresh funds to pay for wages and prizes and keep the industry on the go. Everybody else, including the government, is taking cash out or shifting the same stuff round and round the same old circle. But although punters are “taxed”, they have no representation. They get little attention from racing authorities, whose major resources go into counting money and regulating trainers. Even their advisory groups don’t always contain a punter’s nominee.

Bookies are keen to see commission rates kept down and offshore operators discouraged, all of which is understandable. Lower rates will help then promote more and build the market, they point out. True enough, but they still fail to tell us how that market is made up, or how it is changing.

For example, in recent times both bookies and TABs have introduced a fresh gimmick – Fixed Odds – which has proved quite popular and is taking business away from the normal tote. That’s good for the betting operators because they price them well above the rates on the tote, using books of 130% compared with 114.5% for Win bets. That’s like selling petrol at $1.70 a litre when everyone else is charging $1.50. Since they all do the same thing, competition is minimal and they get away with it.

Conversely, it is not much help for punters. At those rates they would find it impossible to make profits over a period. Put another way, those using Fixed Odds are either not aware or not concerned about the rip-off prices. Yet it threatens the first law of punting – both sides should have a chance of winning.

This gives us a lead into the punter or gambler profile. Many are clearly not sophisticated enough to look for the value which might give them a chance of making profits. There are plenty of other indicators as well.

Over two decades there has been a gradual decline in the proportion of punters betting to win on the tote. At the dogs, consistent overbetting on favourites has made that product less rewarding. Instead, high-return multiples such as Big Six and First Four have grown in importance.

Mystery bets are popular and are pushed by TABs in advertising and in the way betting tickets are prominently displayed. Mathematically, these are guaranteed losers due to (a) boxing runners which have different chances of winning and (b) a higher takeout by the TAB. Yet they still sell.

The strength of the Mystery market is emphasised by the fact that Quinella and Trifecta dividends are distorted and normally pay well below true market odds. (Mystery bets typically offer a package split between Win, Quinella and Trifecta bets).

sales of formguides have fallen away and the free ones produced by GRNSW (the majority) are impractical, often incomplete, and their usage is doubtful, while gamblers are turning to tipsters of varying quality and who frequently suggest boxed bets. As above, these are all winners for the house, even before the race starts. Serious punters would not go that way but mug gamblers would.

NSW wall sheet formguides in TAB outlets were never great, but are now being replaced by touch screen versions which are more cumbersome to use and contain only half the information. Similarly, personal attention at ticket counters is being replaced by touch screen betting machines which are fine for those familiar with them but messy and error-prone for newcomers. They give no change, only vouchers which have to be cashed in later (if the office is open).

There is a concerted push towards arming hand-held devices with racing information and betting facilities. That’s good as far as it goes. However, the physical limits of this fast-growing sector means investors will have less comprehensive information to deal with, probably less time to consider it, and will tend to rely on tipsters of variable quality.

Continuing increases in race frequency, often resulting in overlapping starts, have reduced the amount of cash bet per race, thereby making them very difficult for serious punters to assess. Win pools of $10,000 and below are normal, except at popular weekend meetings. However, only about half that amount will be visible to punters before they need to make a bet.

The last trend is exacerbated by greyhound authorities’ actions to schedule more racing, despite a static dog population, thereby promoting more low standard dogs to compete in TAB races. Any success in improving total turnover is then countered by a decline in average field quality and therefore more erratic outcomes. Another deterrent to serious punters.

These events can be summed up only by concluding that the industry is now being energised by the mug gambler, unable or uninterested in studying the pros and cons of a race, or in working out what sort of dogs do well, and in what circumstances. Such people come and go, probably not bothering to become genuine fans. There is nothing wrong with this business in isolation, but not when they heavily influence tote prices.

Allowing the code’s fortunes to rest on such a customer mix should surely be at the top of the inquiry’s worry list. If the trends continue it means racing bosses will lose even more control over its destiny, and all the other stuff will matter little.

There are many things that can improve the outlook but by far the most important is a concerted national program to better educate the public about the greyhound’s life and history and what makes it tick.

WHO IS TO JUDGE?

The legal news is messy. In an extraordinary merry-go-round, Gai Waterhouse was successively found guilty by Sydney stewards of failing to notify them of a favoured horse’s soreness (More Joyous), then exonerated by the Racing Appeals Tribunal, but is now subject to a Racing NSW appeal to the Supreme Court for a reversal of that decision.

It revolves around the question of whether Racing NSW and its stewards are entitled to rely on the Rules of Racing, which require trainers to notify them of any problems in the lead-up to a race. Similar requirements exist in greyhound rules.

The first judge has ruled that Racing NSW processes were not up to the required legal standard in demanding such reporting. Previously, owner John Singleton had agreed with the stewards and withdrew his horses from the Waterhouse stable, making a lot of noise en route.

So, are the thoroughbred rules reasonable, or are they adequately worded? The next judge will presumably throw some more light on that. Lawyers will then be off to bank their winnings.

Either way, the average punter would hardly support trainers getting away with secrecy about a competitor’s lack of fitness. Sadly, in the greyhound field, the availability of such information is the exception rather than the rule.

Let’s hope greyhound authorities watch developments closely and review their own positions.

ON THE OTHER HAND …

What were they on about?

From GRV stewards following the running of race 9 at The Meadows last Saturday: “Stewards issued a warning to Ms. L. Britton, the trainer of the greyhound Star Recall regarding the greyhound’s racing manners approaching the home turn”.

After examining the video three times it is clear that Star Recall and another dog bumped heavily trying to get around the first turn (common at this track), but there was no evidence that its manners posed any problem there or on the home turn, where it was racing in the centre of the track and only one other dog was within coooee of it. Anyway, it had faded and run wide by that time.

On top of that, Star Recall was found to be injured and was put out for seven days.

2014 Group One Australian Cup – Heat Previews

The Australian Cup carnival at The Meadows moves into full swing on Saturday, with eight heats of the 2014 Group One Australian Cup being conducted on a big night of racing that also includes the heats of the Super Stayer’s series.

The Australian Cup is one of the biggest Group One races on the racing calendar, with a whopping quarter of a million dollars going to the ultimate winner of the series.  As it is, each heat winner this week will earn a cool $10,000.

Just the winner of each heat will go through to the final and the two fastest seconds will be reserves. There is no Black Magic Opal in the heats, but there are plenty of other Group race performers lining up for a tilt at the big prize such as Zelemar Fever, Dyna Nalin, Hawk Alone, Peter Rocket, Ollie Bale, Banjo Boy, Keybow, Kiss Me Ketut and the list goes on.

Here is a look at each heat.

Heat One – 2014 Group One Australian Cup – Race 2 at 7:38pm

Kiss Me Ketut (3) returns from a luckless fifth in the Temlee and has a suitable draw here. The box manners of the dog by Bombastic Shiraz – Spiral Siyan have not been at there best in recent weeks and they need to improve in order for Kiss Me Ketut to lead. If he doesn’t lead then he will have trouble winning.

Punch One Out (5) has drawn the squeeze box, but if she shows the pace she did in the Paws of Thunder series at Wentworth Park recently, then she is chance of overcoming the draw. The worrying factor is that she hasn’t won at The Meadows from two attempts.

Rocky Bale (7) won an Australian Cup preliminary race last week in 29.92 from box one. He has a good record from the draw with three wins from three starts. He will need a little room early to muster and with some luck is an each way chance.

Wise Ella (8) ran second behind Vapourash in an Australian Cup preliminary race last weekend and has two wins at The Meadows. She is a consistent beginner but she has not won from box eight. Angela Langton advised ARG during the Laurels series that Wise Ella is an inside box specialist.

Of the remaining Wheeler brigade, Liara Allen (2) has a perfect record from box two, and three wins at the track for a best of 30.09. Melbourne Cup place-getter Dyna Beth (1) doesn’t look suited by the draw, with none of her 11 career wins coming from the rails draw. Prue Bale (4) loves The Meadows and at her last appearance, which was from box four, she led all the way in 29.99 and ran a smart 5.03 first section.

The other runner in the race is NSW chaser Amadeus Strikes (6), who is a recent addition to Rob Britton’s Lara kennel. The black bitch by Bombastic Shiraz – Forgetful Lucy has had two starts in Victoria for a third at Geelong. Her NSW form includes 9 wins at Wentworth Park with a best of 29.70. The green rug hasn’t been a problem for her in the past as she possess a perfect record from the box.

Heat Two – 2014 Group One Australian Cup – Race 3 at 8:00pm

Temlee place-getter Peter Rocket (1) finally has a decent inside draw and he will be looking for his first win out of box one. His record from box two is outstanding with seven wins, but for some reason he has only ever placed out of box one. His run was eye catching in the Temlee last week and if he runs up to that, he is a big chance of making yet another group race final.

The 2013 Group One Maturity winner Marcus Joe (2) is drawn alongside Peter Rocket. He has not been performing at his best in the lead up to this race but if he puts his best paw forward he is capable of running some time, with 29.66 his personal best at the track.

Ollie Bale (8) won the Group One Silver Chief from this box at The Meadows earlier this year. However, since that race he has failed to rack up another win, although he did perform well over at Cannington during the Perth Cup series. He won’t be afforded any mistakes on Saturday night.

Deadly Vane (7) and Kid Maximus (6) were also finalists in the Silver Chief series. Deadly Vane had a short break after the Silver Chief series after changing hands for a large figure. Formerly trained by Joe Borg, he will be racing for Braden Finn for the first time. He has a great record at The Meadows, with four wins and is hit and miss at box rise, but if he gets it right he is in with a chance. Kid Maximus won his semi of the Silver Chief and finished second in the final. He hasn’t run a place since and is better suited drawn near the rails.

Magic Diva (3) is an excellent beginner who has won six of her last seven starts, with her last two wins coming over the 450 metre distance at Ballarat. She is yet to be tried over this trip at The Meadows so her strength over the closing stages of a 525 metre race is unknown. She has no wins over a distance greater than 500 metres recorded against her name.

Zipping Willow (5) is a NSW chaser trained by Jason Mackay. She flew around Canberra in 30.12 to win the Group Three Canberra Cup in 2013 and she has also recorded a fast 29.52 out of several wins at Wentworth Park. It’s her first start at The Meadows.

Buckle Up Mason (4) contends with the tricky box four draw. His recent form isn’t great and his last win came back in October 2013.

Heat Three – 2014 Group One Australian Cup – Race 5 at 8:38pm

Three Rookie Rebel finalists line up in the third heat. Rookie Rebel winner Hawk Alone (3), Daintree Emperor (4) and General Destini (5) are all boxed next to each other.

General Destini (5) showed good pace to lead the Rookie Rebel field last week and the drop back in distance suits. He is one of the more consistent dogs going around so he can’t be written off.

Hawk Alone (3) was able to begin well enough last week to slot in behind General Destini for much of the race. He collared him down the home straight to secure a strong win. Connections believe he is better suited over the 525 metre distance. He will be one dog that will be storming home.

Daintree Emperor (4) had no luck in the final and has just three wins at The Meadows from 12 looks at the track.

Empire Allen (7) won an Australian Cup preliminary race in 30.11 last week and has three wins at The Meadows. He will need to improve on that time if he is to win this heat.

Hallelujah Henry (1), from the Darren Mcdonald kennel, will appreciate the rails draw and he has won three from five at the track. He ran fourth behind the track record breaking Hooksy at Ballarat last week. His best time at The Meadows is 29.95.

Jewel Bale (6) looks to be one of the leaders. She is a fairly consistent beginner with two wins at the track and a best of 29.89. She has also won five of her last eight career starts.

Crawf’s Bread (2) hasn’t won from box two and is a bit risky at box rise. He has won four at The Meadows with his last win at the track coming in November 2013.

The talented NSW youngster Boyce Road (8) has his first start at The Meadows on Saturday. He has nine wins from 14 starts but he may find trouble early trying to get across the field. If he is anywhere near the lead, he will show what he is capable of, as he is very strong.

Heat Four – 2014 Group One Australian Cup – Race 6 at 8:57pm

Paw Licking (7) features in this heat. He finished second in the Temlee after breaking the second sectional record during the race. He has brilliant early speed (evidence by a 4.94 first section split last week) and with that 525 metre run under his belt he should be better for the run. If he pinches a break, there’s no doubt he is capable of winning through to the final.

Dark Warrior (6) is also capable of beginning well. He has been freshened since his win at The Meadows on 8 February. In that win, he led all the way from box seven, running 5.06 to the first mark and recording a best of 29.98. He is drawn inside Paw Licking so will need to get out well and avoid being crossed.

Perth Cup finalist High Recall (8) will be looking to give his owners, the Weston’s, another Group race finalist. He has eight wins from 12 starts and this will be the black bitch’s first run at The Meadows. She is an excellent beginner and will need to do everything right to be able to cross Paw Licking in the early stages.

Musquin Bale (2) has returned to form with two wins from his last two starts. He won here last week in an Australian Cup preliminary race in 30.05, bringing up his third win at The Meadows. He is yet to win from box two but has showed good box manners at his last two outings.

Of the others, Rozehill Sanya (5) is in a super kennel (Jason Thompson) and has won five of her last six. She is capable of leading and has recorded 29.89 from two wins at the track. Gold Town (4) is a strong finisher but is likely to be squeezed out in the early stages. Bazza’s Gift (3) is a consistent good beginner but is yet to win at The Meadows after four attempts. Blue Giant (1) has the coveted rails alley but he is a slow beginner and will have trouble in this field.

Heat Five – 2014 Group One Australian Cup – Race 7 at 9:20pm

This heat is littered with Group race performers. It features Farmor Las Vegas (1), Buckle Up Wes (6), Zelemar Fever (7) and Banjo Boy (8). Out of all those, it is Farmor Las Vegas that is boxed to perfection. The black dog by Knocka Norris – Farmor Cee You has won six times wearing the red rug and he is coming off a fast win at Horsham on the 11th of February. He has also recorded a fast 29.71 at the track.

Zelemar Fever (7) won the Temlee in impressive strong running fashion last week from a more suitable box two draw. Her record from outside boxes isn’t as good as the inside but if she is anywhere near the lead, she is strong enough to win. She ran a personal best of 29.87 last week.

Banjo Boy (8) also prefers the inside draw, but he has won three from box eight. If he stays out of trouble, he is certainly fast enough once he musters to be up among the leaders around the turn. If he has that little bit of early luck he is certainly a chance.

Buckle Up Wes (6) performs best when he leads and it will be interesting to see how he handles his first look at The Meadows. He missed out on making the final of the recent Launceston Cup but still ran the best time over the Cup distance on Cup night. He was also a place-getter in the Paws of Thunder final at Wentworth Park, where he ran very fast early sections. He has been a model of consistency and is a definite each way chance.

Veyron Bale (2) and Peloton Bale (3) have not been beginning well of late and with a lot of early pace in the race, may struggle to tack on in those all important early stages. Veyron Bale can show early speed when he wants but isn’t consistent.

Jordan Allen (4) won an Australian Cup preliminary race last week in 30.09. He is a good beginner with a 5.09 sectional recorded last week. He has three wins at the track for a best of 30.09. National Time (5) has just one win at the track and has mixed form in the lead up. The awkward box draw doesn’t help although he did record his only win from box five at The Meadows back in January and went 5.05 to the first mark.

Heat Six – 2014 Group One Australian Cup – Race 8 at 9:40pm

Dyna Nalin (1) is the big name in this race. The inside draw suits him and he has won from box one at The Meadows in 29.89. He didn’t begin well last week from box six in the Temlee final, but the return to the better box may assist in that respect. He is also very consistent at The Meadows.

Humphrey Bale (2) has taken a liking to The Meadows, winning four from nine, including an Australian Cup preliminary race last week. He led all the way last week from box three in 29.98 and has won his last two at The Meadows.

Vapourash (6) was a recent finalist in the Healesville Cup and picked up his third win at The Meadows last week in an Australian Cup preliminary race. He had this box last week, leading all the way in 29.98. He is approaching the tail end of his career but has been racing in good stead.

Cornelius Fudge (3) is a risky beginner who has managed a win at The Meadows and Sandown in last two performances. He hasn’t got the best early speed, only going 5.27 to the post the first time at his last start at the track. From three wins at the track, he has recorded a best time of 29.91.

Rose of Galo (4) is a recent addition to Victorian racing after being sent down from Queensland to Jason Thompson’s kennel. She has had just the one run at The Meadows for a third placing. She led the race, running 5.04 for the first section, but was run down by Speed Series.

Te Amo (5) is having her first run at the track for Western Australian trainer Linda Britton. She is a slick beginner and will need to lead to be a chance.

Purcell Bale (7) has a good record from box seven, winning five times. He has two wins at The Meadows including one on 1 February where he led all the way in 30.03 and recording a 5.02 first section. She stays under notice.

Nockabout Aussie (8) looks likely to struggle in this field but has won at The Meadows in 29.83.

Heat Seven – 2014 Group One Australian Cup – Race 9 at 9:58pm

2013 Laurels winner Ritza Hattie (2) struts her stuff for the first time at The Meadows. The draw is good for her and will hopefully improve her recent run of bad box manners. She only ran unplaced for the first time in her career two starts back and given her ability, she looks a chance on paper.

Spud Regis (5) hasn’t raced since the 25th of January, when he ran last at The Meadows. At his best, he recorded 29.63 at the track back in March 2013. He does his best work when leading and hopefully for connections, the freshen up helps him get out in front from the middle alley.

Zipping Brock (3) is the recent winner of the National Derby at The Gardens. He is the most inexperienced chaser in the field, facing the starter on just 10 occasions. He has been to The Meadows before and won in a moderate 30.52.

Recent Gosford Cup winner Awesome Project (4) is a relatively new addition to Darren McDonald’s kennels. He is a last start winner at Cannington during the recent Perth Cup series where he recorded a strong 30.46. He has won six of his last eight and is sure to be well schooled at The Meadows.

Hailstorm Billy (1) has been doing much of his recent racing over the longer 600 metre trip and has just the one win at The Meadows over the 525 metre distance, and is yet to record a win from box one.

Tick Bale (6) and Shadow Lane (7) may struggle from their respective unsuitable draws. Tick Bale won an Australian Cup prelimiary race last week in 30.00 from box one. He is generally only fairly away and will need some luck early. Shadow Lane is yet to win from box seven and is unlikely to do so in an Australian Cup heat.

Innocent Til (8) stays under notice. There’s no doubting his ability as he was an invitee to the Temlee. He finished last in that race from box seven after striking trouble. He doesn’t mind box eight as he has recorded five wins in the pink rug. He should get a clearer run with two moderate beginners on his inside.

Heat Eight – 2014 Group One Australian Cup – Race 10 at 10:20pm

Perth Cup winner Keybow (8) headlines the final heat of the evening. He will be wearing the pink for the first time in his career and looks better suited to an inside draw (he has won all five starts from box two). He needs some room in the first couple of strides to muster pace and will be assisted by the moderate beginner on his immediate inside (Clone Your Own). He is very strong and will be prominent in the closing stages if he doesn’t suffer interference early on.

Warragul Cup runner-up Evie’s Entity (1) is another one that will be finishing strongly. She hasn’t raced much at The Meadows (three times in her 49 start career), but ran second behind Dark Warrior back on the 8th of February. She is also suited by the rails alley, so keep her safe.

Tomac Bale (6) finished seventh in the Temlee last week and is searching for his first win since November 2013. He is a fast dog when everything goes his way, as evidenced by his personal best of 29.67. He just needs a little bit of fortune and some confidence to return to his winning ways.

Deadly Boy (2) won three in a row at The Meadows back in December 2013 and is well mannered at box rise. He is yet to win from box two and was held up numerous times in his third placing behind Dark Warrior at the track last start. He has the advantage of a slower beginner on his inside and that could mean he gets the advantage of a favoured rails run.

Dyna Ishaan (3) won an Australian Cup preliminary race last week in 30.17. His form has been a little bit patchy and he will need to run up to his best to steal this heat.

Allen Deed (4) had an unfortunate fall in the Perth Cup final at his most recent start and it will be interesting to see how he bounces back from that. He is a talented chaser with four wins at The Meadows and a best of 29.85.

Speed Series (5) is a good beginner and he will need to lead to factor, while Clone Your Own (7) will have to contend with box seven, a box that is not ideal for a moderate beginner in this class.

Don’t forget to tune in and watch the best dogs in Australia contest the heats of one of the biggest races on the Australian greyhound racing calendar.

This Week In Racing History

FEBRUARY

19th

Star big-track sprinter El Gazelle won a Free For All over 457 metres at Cessnock in 1973, recording his eighth successive victory. The race turned into an unofficial match race when the field was reduced to just two runners, the other being Toouli, winner of the 1972 Vic Peter’s Memorial Classic (now the Peter Mosman Memorial) at Harold Park and a finalist in the 1972 Australian Cup. El Gazelle scored by two lengths in a fast 26.4.

High Earner set a new prize money record in taking out the 2011 The Temlee for trainer Kel Greenough. The $50,000 first prize money took High Earner’s stakes to a whopping $553,795, surpassing the 12-year-old record set by superstar Rapid Journey in 1998.

20th

Askalon won the 1943 Hobart Thousand, his fifth successive victory at Hobart. Askalon went on to win eight in a row at the track, a record that was not broken until 1973.

After a break of three years, hurdle racing recommenced at Harold Park, in 1954.

Champion Queensland stayer Kirsty’s First won her heat of the 1986 Queensland National Distance Championship by a massive 24 lengths over 704 metres at the Gabba. On the same night, Bold Trease won the Victorian National Distance Championship State Final by a neck from Club Stroller over 718 metres at Sandown.

21st

Dave Alexander, proprietor of the Greyhound Recorder, and a former Mayor of Mascot died at the age of 63 in 1950. In honour of his tireless services to greyhound racing and his great support of the so-called ‘battler’, the GBOTA inaugurated a feature race, the Dave Alexander Memorial.

NSW stayer Irinka Barbie won the 2004 The Zoom Top, Shamira Bale won The Rookie Rebel, and Hotline Hero The Temlee at the Meadows for trainers John Finn, Tom Dailly, and Kel Greenough respectively.

22nd

The NCA commenced a new policy aimed at ‘eliminating poor-class performers from races at Wentworth Park’ in 1949. Only greyhounds with recent winning or placed performances would be drawn and ‘greyhounds, other than first-class performers, that have no winning performances within three months from the date of nomination will not be eligible to be drawn until they have either a win or a placing on outside tracks.’ The NCA also decided to revive hurdle racing.

23rd

The 1970 Australian Cup was taken out by NSW speedster The Smoother, downing Phantom’s Heir by three and a half lengths with fellow NSW sprinter O’Mara three lengths away third. The race was only The Smoother’s 13th start and took his record to eight wins, four seconds, and one third. The Smoother exited box one for the final and stated a sequence of six successive Australian Cup’s won by greyhounds from box one.

24th

Farrago resumed from a three and a half month spell to take out the NCA Stake over 580 yards (530 metres) at Wentworth Park in 1951, defeating former top-class stayer Ada Yin by five lengths in 31.6, a new track record. This clipped 1/10th from the previous mark held by Dream’s Image, who finished fifth and last to Farrago.

The brilliant Benjamin John snared the 1969 Australian Cup by six lengths from Tudor Valiant for leading trainer Stan Cleverley. Benjamin John ran 30.3/16, just 2/16ths outside Fawn Nulla’s track record for 560 yards (512 metres) at Olympic Park, set two years earlier.

25th

In what was later described as one of the greatest races ever seen at the course, Robert Kent defeated Valiant Garde by a head over 800 yards (732 metres) on what was then a loam track at Harold Park in 1939. Robert Kent set a new track record of 44.5.

He led 10 lengths down the back straight, by Valiant Garde took off after him, caught him,  but ‘shouldered’ Robert Kent all the way down the straight and was later suspended for failing to chase. The pair had raced as one dog from the home turn.

Kim’s Monaro, owned and trained by NSW mentor Bob Doak, won the 1974 Australian Cup, from box one. The smart bitch downed local star Roo Power by two lengths. The race was worth $20,000 to the winner, up from $12,500 in 1973.

Jeanie’s Queen downed fellow Victorian Floodfawn by seven lengths to win the 2006 Launceston Cup, running 30.36 to set a new track record. My Boy Speedy finished sixth, but came out in 2007 to win the event against a much weaker field.

Playing With Figures – Not Kindergarten Stuff (Part 2)

To provide some further perspective to the arguments about injuries and breeding at the NSW parliamentary hearings, we can pull out data from our own records (culled by computer query from Australia-wide race fields) showing that there are just on 14,000 greyhounds racing at any one time, the number varying a little between hot and cold seasons. That measure has seen only a tiny rise in the last few years.

At the same time Greyhounds Australasia data tells us that breeding is actually waning. There was a significant drop from 2003 to 2011 in litters registered (minus 10.0%), or an even greater drop if you take 2005 or 2006 as the base year. In sympathy, the number of greyhounds named fell by 1.2%. No information is provided on un-named pups but the other changes would suggest they also fell.

In other words, the RSPCA’s plea for less breeding is misplaced as it has actually been taking place. Thoroughbred breeding has also dropped at the same time. (Whether that is a good or bad thing is in the eye of the beholder). Moreover, the arithmetic also indicates that more pups out of each litter are now hitting the racetrack. The RSPCA does lots of good work, but when it gets into attack mode it should remember that it’s affecting the livelihoods of thousands of families and get its facts right.

Anyway, its credibility is suspect. For example, it has plunged a huge amount of resources into its opposition to thoroughbred jumps races, but said not a word about hunting, show jumping or three-day cross country carnivals at state, national and Olympic levels, where horses have to negotiate far tougher obstacles than any in a normal hurdle race, and where horses change hands at big prices. The sport is huge in Europe, attracting royal patronage and large crowds to the main events. Still, as in greyhound racing, the horses seem to enjoy the competition. So, too, when jumping at pony clubs, or in the wild – it’s what they do.

Besides that, the RSPCA says it does not bother collecting breeding statistics from any other types of working dogs, pets or horses. This is curious, given its wide-ranging responsibilities. You might also wonder why it is targeting the greyhound which has maintained its purity over 6,000 years, in sharp contrast to sometimes crazy mixtures of canine crossbreeds which now attract queries about their propensity to genetic faults. There are numerous examples, a Labradoodle being one.

The key point, of course, is that over those millennia, man and greyhound have always maintained a close relationship and the breed’s natural characteristics have always been of value to its owners – and vice versa. This is precisely why the breed has been maintained at a high level. For example, King Henry VIII demanded that, before attending his court, all noblemen must first have gained experience in training greyhounds (for hunting). Queen Victoria’s consort, Prince Albert, had statues of his favourite greyhounds built in the grounds of one of their castles. Locally, 19th century crop farmers in South Australia used greyhounds to control invasions by kangaroos. And so on.

Returning to the issue of racetrack injuries, two comparisons bear thinking about.

First, greyhounds are the athletes of the canine group, usually well fed, trained to the minute and subject to considerable professional care and medical treatments – probably in sharp contrast to other dog breeds, like the foxie frolicking in suburban backyards or out chasing car wheels, or the farmer’s kelpie jumping off the back of the ute and busting its foreleg.

As with any athlete, some injuries will be normal. Take, for instance, AFL footballers, whose fortunes are documented within an inch of their lives throughout their careers. The AFL’s scientific review of 253,777 matches over 21 years reveals that 15,571 players suffered injuries sufficient to cause them to miss at least one match, or in some cases the whole season. That does not count those who were patched up and played the following week, but they would be considerable in number. Indeed, the day after the match is always dominated by “recovery sessions”.

No doubt NRL figures would be even higher due to the increased body contact. Similarly, track athletes are forever having to repair torn muscles. Even Rafael Nadal succumbed in the Australian Open to a painful back injury which caused him to miss later tournaments. And what do you do with Shane Watson’s calves or Michael Clarke’s back or any fast bowler’s problems? If you are an athlete, injuries come with the territory. The important point is not that they occur, but what you do about them and whether you have taken measures to lessen their frequency.

The second issue concerns track designs, which Greyhound Freedom admits was beyond it ken. That’s a terrible omission because it is arguably a significant contributor to interference which, in turn, promotes more injuries. So these folk are missing a key ingredient behind their complaints, albeit one that is not hard to examine.

Here, the industry is sadly in arrears in its study of the subject and in taking remedial action where faults exist. It’s an even greater pity because empirical data is readily available to pinpoint the trouble spots – via race times, TAB dividends, winning box numbers, race videos and, yes, fall and interference rates.

We can tell you that on average 5.2% of races involve a fall and that 32.5% of races involve runners which finish 20 lengths or more behind the winner – a proxy figure to suggest where higher or lower levels of interference are present. Those figures are almost always greater over trips with bend starts, some rising to 10% and 50% respectively. However, interference can occur anywhere, as it did in two races worth $118,000 each at The Meadows last Saturday night – the Zoom Top over 725m, won by the bolter of the field, or in the 600m Rookie Rebel where odds-on favourite Xylia Allen was sandwiched at the nearby first turn and finished 5th. That start is one of the roughest in the business.

This is an area where greyhound racing compares poorly with other racing codes and with other sports. It has failed to undertake sufficient, or any, studies to isolate the cause and effect of race interference. The code has drug information coming out its ears yet has done nothing to promote those track studies. Worse, in many cases, it refuses to recognise a problem exists, and regularly repeats past mistakes. That is unforgivable. Even apart from the welfare issues, it militates against customers selecting greyhounds for their weekend bet.

Generally, the parliamentary hearing has heard little mention of this subject but that may well change in time.

What a lot of people fail to recognise is that racing and competitive behaviour are in the DNA of both humans and animals. It is what allows the species to flourish, much as Darwin found when he uncovered the principle of the survival of the fittest. Rather than knocking it, it should be celebrated. Those who don’t like the heat should get out of the kitchen. The world offers many quiet spots for reflection.

(Next, we will look briefly at the most ignored person of the hearings – the customer).

Debbie Cannan’s Great Run Of Success Continues

Mangalore trainer Debbie Cannan’s run of major race successes continued at the Tote Racing Centre on Monday night when the lightly raced but highly promising chaser Varcoe, blitzed his opposition in the $57,000 Curtains and Blinds Group 2 Launceston Cup (515 metres).

Cannan won the 2011 Devonport Cup with the super chaser St. Pierre, which then graduated to national elite class by taking out the 2011 Australian Cup at The Meadows.

Both Varcoe and St.Pierre are raced by New South Welshman Chris Nutt, a great supporter of Cannan’s Ballyhooly Road establishment.

Varcoe, a son of El Galo, is now the winner of eight of only 17 lifetime outings and is expected to also embark on an interstate campaign in the future.

In what was one of the most open Launceston Cup’s for years, Hellyeah Bolt, Black Rip, Mighty Lomar, Are Ate and to a lesser extent Varcoe, all received plenty of support in wagering on the event.

Varcoe and the Shane Whitney prepared Black Rip went hammer and tongs for the premier position, with the former prevailing in a sizzling 4.99 initial split.

The feature then became a procession, with Varcoe high balling in the lead and the former New South Wales chaser Black Rip, boasting an unbeaten record at the venue, attempting to keep in touch.

At the wire six lengths separated the pair, with the well related Bain’s Lane finishing off nicely to secure third stake, the winner’s time was a personal best 29.69.

Meanwhile the Ted Medhurst prepared chaser Buckle Up Wes showed that he would not have been out of place had he qualified for the Launceston Cup, by taking out the Consolation in a sizzling 29.33.

The son of Collision was sent out a raging favourite for the event and did not let his supporters down by scoring by nine lengths, in what was a wonderful display of sustained speed.

Raced by North West Coast women Robyn Johnson and Sharon Sutton, Buckle Up Wes has now won 18 of 32 lifetime outings while accumulating a purse of well in excess of $60,000.

Medhurst was also seen in the winners circle with the smart bitch Chosen Jewel, which looked good in winning the Wayne and Maxine Groves Stake (515 metres).

The daughter of Big Daddy Cool has now won two of four starts and nine of 42 overall, since being transferred back to Tasmania from Western Australia and is expected to continue winning while in her present form.

At her previous outing Chosen Jewel had no luck in running when fourth behind the speedy Nooee’s Lad and as a result was well supported into a final quote of $2.30.

2014 Group One Zoom Top Preview

The term “freak” is bandied around a little too loosely when it comes to racing animals in the modern era. But when it comes to greyhounds, Zoom Top is the very definition of the word.

The “fawn flash” was arguably the most versatile greyhound of all time. From the Richmond Oaks over 292 metres up the straight, to the 795 metre Beenleigh Cup, she could do it all, often in the same week.

In all, the flying fawn bitch known as Sweetie, raced 136 times between 1967 and 1969 for 68 wins, 25 seconds and 14 thirds and she amassed over $59,000 in prize-money.

It is only fitting that one of Australia’s top staying events is named in honour of the famous daughter of Black Top and Busy Beaver, who was prepared by the legendary Hec Watt.

This Saturday night the Zoom Top will take place at The Meadows, when eight of the best stayers in the country will contest the Group One= over 725 metres. The invitation-only race is worth $75,000 and has attracted a stellar field in 2014, who have won 136 career races and earned over $1.4 million in prize-money between them.

The race will take place at 8:40pm amid a card of absolutely top-shelf racing.

Let’s take a look at how they line-up;

Box 1
Race Odds
$3.60
Heat Replay
 
Dyna Willow
Trainer
Steven Collins
Owner
Brendan Wheeler
Prizemoney
$177,850.00
Last 10 Starts
1117134112
32 Months   Red Brindle   Bitch   by   Collision - Horizon Bale
Start Fair Running Middle Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $4,560.00 Rating 100
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
39 15 6 5
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
38% 67%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
4 1 1 1
       
Box 1 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
5 3 2 0
Comments: Tammy Collins (Kennel Representative) - ”It was a great run last week in Perth and she has the box this week, hopefully we can go one better. There’s going to be a lot of pace in the race, but hopefully she can just sit right behind them and make the right decisions. “
Best The Meadows Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
42.16 42.20 4.52 4.52
Box 2
Race Odds 
$12.00
Heat Replay
 
Maddison Dee
Trainer
Michael Chilcott
Owner
SMAKD Racing syndicate
Prizemoney
$92,395.00
Last 10 Starts
3175261141
47 Months   Blue   Bitch   by   El Galo - Oh Behave
Start Good Running Rail Finish Fair
Prizemoney Rating $1,232.00 Rating 94
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
75 17 12 13
       
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
23% 56%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
12 3 3 1
       
Box 2 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
12 3 3 1
Comments: Michael Chilcott (Trainer) - ”She is going as good as she has ever gone. We drew a tough heat in Perth but you get that. She’s competed in three group-finals at the Meadows as well as the National Distance Final and had the pink box every time, so getting near the fence gives her half a chance. If she can go somewhere near her best sectional early and find the fence, all we will need is a bit of luck around that first corner to be a chance.”
Best The Meadows Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
42.68 43.18 4.56 4.67
Box 3
Race Odds
$16.00
Heat Replay
 
Cheetah Zorro
Trainer
Robert Britton
Owner
C Garity & B Heawood
Prizemoney
$149,815.00
Last 10 Starts
1311723434
42 Months   Black   Dog   by   Bombastic Shiraz - Fallen Zorro
Start Moderate Running Middle Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $2,416.00 Rating 90
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
62 14 11 12
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
23% 60%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
12 3 3 1
Box 3 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
11 4 2 2
Comments: Robert Britton (Trainer) – “Cheetah Zorro put in an average run at The Meadows after her win in the Bold Trease at Sandown, then we struggled to get a race for a while because she is grade three at both city tracks. So we missed a number of opportunities at running over 700 and I do think that has played on her a bit. But I’ve been working hard on her to get her back. In Perth she didn’t have a lot of luck but again I was a little bit disappointed, but I don’t think she’d had enough runs over the 700 over the last month. I’ve stepped her work-rate up and she’s trialled quite well, so I think we are back on track.”
Best The Meadows Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
NBT 42.85 4.56 4.57
Box 4
 Race Odds
$12.00
Heat Replay
 
Benarkin
Trainer
Tony Brett
Owner
Velocity Lodge syndicate
Prizemoney
$81,020.00
Last 10 Starts
4311512321

39 Months

  Black   Dog   by   Path to Power - Velocity Cloud
Start Excellent Running Rail Finish Slow
Prizemoney Rating $2,025.00 Rating 90
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
40 16 10 6
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
40% 80%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
0 0 0 0
Box 4 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
6 2 2 1
Comments: Tony Brett (Trainer) – “You’re always a rough chance when you are a front runner but we will see what happens. He might not quite yet be a group class stayer, ability-wise it’s just a little bit too far for him at the top level. We nommed for the Rookie Rebel, if it was picked a couple of days later he would have been in after winning the Big Dog final. But when he didn’t make it I was more than happy to have a go at the Zoom Top. He does run the 720 but if those really good stayers get near him, e just can’t hold them out.”
Best The Meadows Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
N/A N/A N/A N/A
Box 5
Race Odds
$4.80
Heat Replay
 
Lucy Wires
Trainer
Robert Britton
Owner
Geoffrey Collins
Prizemoney
$124,070.00
Last 10 Starts
1121514116
35 Months   Dark Brindle   Bitch   by   Flying Penske - Okgo Box To Wire
Start Moderate Running Middle Finish

Strong

Prizemoney Rating $4,963.00 Rating 98
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
25 13 4 2
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
52% 76%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
5 3
Box 5 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
1 0 0 0
Comments: Robert Britton (Trainer) - “Lucy Wires had a minor fibula injury after the Summer Distance Plate in Sydney.  It was a three-week injury and she’s trialled well. She will go into the race  fresh and whatever she does I think she will improve on the following week.  Still, she is a naturally strong dog and I’d say that running the distance isn’t  a problem for her like it might be with others.”
Best The Meadows Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
42.14 42.14 4.52 4.52
Box 6
Race Odds
$21.00
Heat Replay
 
Destini Fireball
Trainer
Emilio Rinaldi
Owner
Riverwalk syndicate
Prizemoney
$521,970.00
Last 10 Starts
7252328325
47 Months   White & Black   Dog   by   Where’s Pedro - Greys Destiny
Start Good Running Wide Finish Fair
Prizemoney Rating $8,999.00 Rating 88
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
58 23 10 7
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
39% 69%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
14 7 1 2
Box 6 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
1 0 0  1
Comments: Norm Rinaldi (Trainer) – “There is plenty of pace but he’s drawn out wide and he does like it out there on the track. A few of them might stumble out a bit and get tangled up, you never know, fingers crossed we have a bit of luck. We will be in there trying, don’t worry about that. He’s still capable, in Sydney (Summer Distance Plate) they gave him no hope but he lost by a nostril to Dyna Willow. That little bitch Dyna Willow, she is a tough campaigner, she’s a real up-and-comer.”
Best The Meadows Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
42.40 43.42 4.86 4.86
Box 7
Race Odds
$6.00
Heat Replay
 
Born Ali
Trainer
Robert Britton
Owner
Noel Mugavin
Prizemoney
$ 227, 255
Last 10 Starts
1122811411
38 Months   Black   Bitch   by   Velocette - Born Princess
Start Good Running Rail Finish Good
Prizemoney Rating $3,293 Rating 96
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
69 18 16 6
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
26% 58%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 2 0 0
Box 7 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
8 0 2 0
Comments: Robert Britton (Trainer) - ”Born Ali is in some of the best form of her career. Since she has gone over the distance she has only been beaten a couple of times. She’s going really well.”

Best The Meadows Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
42.79 42.79 4.97 4.97
Box 8
Race Odds
$2.70
Heat Replay
 
Dyna Kayla
Trainer
Andrea Dailly
Owner
Brendan Wheeler
Prizemoney
$61115
Last 10 Starts
1511161111
27 Months   Blue   Bitch   by   Surf Lorian - Amity Bale
Start Fast Running Rail Finish Good
Prizemoney Rating $4,365 Rating 99
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
14 10 1 0
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
71% 78%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 2 0 0
Box 8 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
0 0 0 0
Comments: Tom Dailly (Co-Trainer) – For all of Tom Dailly’s expert comments, check out his podcast on the ARG website in which he discusses his chances and more. Dyna Kayla is one of the most promising stayers in the land and should land close to the speed from the favourable draw. She could go very close to taking this out.
Best The Meadows Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
42.63 42.64 4.86 4.89
1st Res
Race Odds
$12.00
Heart Replay
 
Sweet It Is
Trainer
Leonard Jones
Owner
Leonard Jones
Prizemoney
$49650
Last 10 Starts
6151345116
26 Months   Black   Bitch   by   Mogambo - Off Springer
Start Moderate Running Middle Finish Good
Prizemoney Rating $2,068 Rating 88
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
24 6 0 3
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
25% 37.5%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
8 1 0 1
Box Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
N/A N/A N/A N/A
Comments: Young bitch who has shown she can mix it with the best of them. Would more likely be a place chance at best should she gain a start in this top-quality field.
Best The Meadows Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
42.67 42.78 4.56 4.69
2nd Res
Race Odds
$12.00
Heat Replay
 
Gold Affair Two
Trainer
Robert Britton
Owner
Martin Hanke
Prizemoney
$120710
Last 10 Starts
3213814623
47 Months   Black   Bitch   by   Texas Gold - Olga’s Affair
Start Good Running Rail Finish Fair
Prizemoney Rating $1,341 Rating 92
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
90 19 14 18
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
21% 57%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
17 4 3 2
Box Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
N/A N/A N/A N/A
Comments: Veteran bitch who has been consistent without winning of late. Led last weekend’s Group One Galaxy before finishing third. Could definitely give some cheek should she get a start.
Best The Meadows Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
42.70 42.88 4.60 4.93

The bookends, Dyna Willow (1) and Dyna Kayla (8) look to hold plenty of keys in this race. Dyna Willow looks drawn to perfection and could well find herself with the perfect sit on Benarkin (4), who is the likely early leader. Youngster Dyna Kayla has to contend with the outside draw but has her share of early zip, it will be a good test of the up-and-comer.

Lucy Wires (5) has been given very little luck in the way of the box draw, but she is fresh. If she lands anywhere near the front, expect her to power home.

Born Ali (7) was terrific when she took out last week’s Perth Galaxy but will need luck from the wide draw, while Maddison Dee (2) may be well suited by the inside.

With so many genuine chances this shapes up as a superb Group One final, befitting of the Zoom Top insignia.

Sunday, 16 February 2014


Greyhound Box Draw For Sandown Park – Sunday, 16 February 2014

Race No. 1Finning First National Ht11:58 PM (VIC time)
Maiden Heat event over 515 metres at Sandown park Of $1,415 Prizemoney.
1st: $990 2nd: $285 3rd: $140.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1ARVO’S WISEGUY [M]55473NBTG Arvanitis (Nyora)
2ANGEL’S CHORUS [M]FSHG Rounds (Devon Meadows)
3HI LADDIE [M]35462NBTM Jones (Chelsea Heights)
4FACHOONG (NSW)[M]24FSHK Greenough (Pearcedale)
5TEXAS TITAN (SA)[M]FSHJ Britton (Anakie)
6STARLIGHT ANGEL [M]3FSHN Vincent (Lal Lal)
7OSCURA (QLD)[M]FSHP Anderton (Devon Meadows)
8JETTA CAN RUN [M]FTFSHJ Sharp (Lara)
9VANILLA BEAN [M]Res.45246NBTT Turnbull (Crowlands)
10SURVIVOR SAL [M]Res.33756NBTT Cortese (Hampton Park)
Race No. 2Smart Family – Bradford Meats Ht22:13 PM (VIC time)
Maiden Heat event over 515 metres at Sandown park Of $1,415 Prizemoney.
1st: $990 2nd: $285 3rd: $140.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1TIME DIMENSION [M]FSHA Langton (Anakie)
2BIG KAT [M]33718FSHC Schlensog (Anakie)
3TOWER LEE [M]343NBTL Cottrell (Pearcedale)
4NOONAN’S UNIT [M]86FSHJ Sheahan (Warrnambool)
5OAKVALE FLYER (SA)[M]FSHJ Britton (Anakie)
6DR. PORTIA [M]FSHR Britton (Lara)
7BALABUSHKA [M]4FSHN Vincent (Lal Lal)
8TULARE DUST [M]FSHG Rounds (Devon Meadows)
9BLACK CHASE (QLD)[M]Res.4252NBTJ Gill (Darriman)
10JUST DUCAL [M]Res.45445NBTJ Roberts (Devon Meadows)
Race No. 3Pakky Golf Chase Ht32:33 PM (VIC time)
Maiden Heat event over 515 metres at Sandown park Of $1,415 Prizemoney.
1st: $990 2nd: $285 3rd: $140.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1BLACK BRODY (QLD)[M]14FSHJ Gill (Darriman)
2RUN ANGEL RUN (NSW)[M]FSHP Bartolo (Little River)
3BING BANG BONG [M]3653FSHG Robinson (Violet Town)
4HELLO STRANGER [M]FSHR Britton (Lara)
5DUBOZ [M]62822FSHJ Mcmahon (Darriman)
6SHE’S GOT ISSUES (QLD)[M]4542NBTD Beasley (Footscray West)
7OAKVALE DESTINY (SA)[M]FSHJ Britton (Anakie)
8SONIC GOLD RUSH [M]242NBTP Reinders (Gruyere)
9PHANTOM FLIGHT [M]Res.454NBTM Marshall (Noble Park)
10BETTY ARMAGH [M]Res.5FSHD Guganovic (Cranbourne)
Race No. 4The Blackburn C.c. Ht42:58 PM (VIC time)
Maiden Heat event over 515 metres at Sandown park Of $1,415 Prizemoney.
1st: $990 2nd: $285 3rd: $140.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1JIMMY MAGNET [M]2FSHH Mcadam (Diamond Creek)
2MAGENTA MOON [M]FSHA Langton (Anakie)
3LEKTRA BRAVE [M]43132FSHA Dailly (Anakie)
4UNCLE MORE [M]43344NBTM Cortese (Hampton Park)
5JASPER ATTACK [M]8FSHJ Sharp (Lara)
6STINGA FURY [M]42528FSHD Sheridan (Talbot)
7BRELLIE LEE (QLD)[M]54355NBTM Briganti (Tuerong)
8GUS LEE [M]81FSHL Cottrell (Pearcedale)
9DR. LAWS [M]Res.61646NBTJ Gill (Darriman)
10SHANE’S NATURE [M]Res.7246FSHC Schlensog (Anakie)
Race No. 5Cricketers Arms Lager (bitches)3:14 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 No Penalty event over 515 metres at Sandown park Of $1,890 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,325 2nd: $375 3rd: $190.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1TRANSAM SALLY [5]4468129.92(6)Y Byron (Noble Park)
2TATTY FIELDS [5]2111629.83(3)M Puleio (Mulgrave)
3SOOTY LEE (QLD)[5]38618NBTM Briganti (Tuerong)
4WILLIE’S TALE (NSW)[5]44264FSHS Quinlan (Rushworth)
5LIMBURG LAYNE [5]7846429.74(5)P Reivers (Lara)
6PERFECT NINA [5]41655NBTG Rossin (Yarrambat)
7STYLISH SHAZZ [5]2626729.56(5)J Formosa (Heathcote)
8STAR DOLL [5]6321830.11(2)D Murray (Napoleons)
9PREMIER MALT [5]Res.7686129.96(2)P Anderton (Devon Meadows)
10MY BELLA ME [5]Res.56576NBTC Cortese (Hampton Park)
Race No. 6Devon Meadows Cricket Club3:34 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 No Penalty event over 595 metres at Sandown park Of $2,175 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,525 2nd: $430 3rd: $220.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1SIMONE’S MATE [5]15255NBTG Laidlay (Devon Meadows)
2BULK RIVETS (NSW)[5]65527FSHS Quinlan (Rushworth)
3VALENTINE GOODS (NSW)[5]45366NBTR Britton (Lara)
4DESTINI SHADOW [5]78276NBTE Rinaldi (Lethbridge)
5WATTA GOOD DEE [5]66765FSTDJ Britton (Anakie)
6ROCKIN’ JOSIE [5]2146334.26(8)V Borg (Hoppers Crossing)
7DESTINI DUCATI [5]8784435.12(4)J Rinaldi (Lethbridge)
8KNEES UP [5]32522FSTDN Rilen (Nilma North)
9ROCK STEADY [5]Res.82766NBTB Pulis (Moe South)
10DIVINE DIVA [5]Res.56848NBTN Armstrong (Cranbourne)
Race No. 7Aura Vale Cricket Club3:59 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 No Penalty event over 515 metres at Sandown park Of $1,890 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,325 2nd: $375 3rd: $190.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1SAY AGAIN (NSW)[5]51635NBTR Harrowfield (Colac)
2BOMBER JACK (NSW)[5]21645NBTG Green (Lethbridge)
3GEMSTAR (NSW)[5]56761NBTA Dailly (Anakie)
4KONDARI (NSW)[5]1252829.78(3)D Ireland (Knowsley)
5MEPUNGA LEDGER [5]3562829.74(1)J Britton (Anakie)
6GRIFTER BALE (NSW)[5]5142329.72(6)J Hunt (Avalon)
7VIVO BALE (NSW)[5]23233NBTA Dailly (Anakie)
8SURF JESTER (QLD)[5]11121FSHJ Gill (Darriman)
9POWER VOLT [5]Res.51634NBTJ Reid (Notting Hill)
10PENN BALE (NSW)[5]Res.62517NBTA Dailly (Anakie)
Race No. 8Hastings Cricket Club4:24 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 No Penalty event over 515 metres at Sandown park Of $1,890 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,325 2nd: $375 3rd: $190.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1DR. AYE JAY [5]67574NBTJ Mcmahon (Darriman)
2ZANDER’S EXPRESS [5]24233FSHJ Weir-smith (Dooen)
3USAGI BALE (NSW)[5]53545NBTA Dailly (Anakie)
4SONIC PIRATE [5]2835729.62(1)P Reinders (Gruyere)
5LEKTRA HAPPY [5]26536NBTA Dailly (Anakie)
6BLACK ASSEGAI [5]1834229.64(3)D Pulis (Moe South)
7TIPPERARY MAN [5]47734NBTJ Sharp (Lara)
8FLYING BALE (NSW)[5]4447530.06(4)A Dailly (Anakie)
9CHOIR MASTER [5]Res.48615FSHW Vassallo (Devon Meadows)
10EARRATIC [5]Res.3517729.88(1)G Burke (Hazlewood North)
Race No. 9The Marygoon (bitches)4:40 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 No Penalty event over 515 metres at Sandown park Of $1,890 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,325 2nd: $375 3rd: $190.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1MAJOR THREAT [5]87321NBTB Hodgson (Smythesdale)
2WHITE HEART [5]4686129.54(5)J Carr (Pearcedale)
3MISS HOT VEGAS [5]14777NBTT Womann (Lara)
4BLUE VIPER (SA)[5]62432NBTK Repia (Long Gully)
5RUSTY ROGERS [5]12834NBTG Moss (Craigieburn)
6BLUE MACOBES [5]24255NBTR Johnson (Blackburn South)
7KIRKY COURTZ [5]83275FSHJ Sharp (Lara)
8BEST FRIEND [5]55263NBTB Tharle (Carrum Downs)
9MISTY RED [5]Res.53675NBTP Laidlay (Devon Meadows)
10DREAM EARNER [5]Res.64477FSHJ Formosa (Heathcote)
Race No. 10Forest Hill Cricket Club4:59 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 No Penalty event over 515 metres at Sandown park Of $1,890 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,325 2nd: $375 3rd: $190.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1FUNKY CHICKEN [5]32553NBTJ Hunt (Avalon)
2KUKLINSKI [5]F3717FSHP Mccoll (Kooroocheang)
3VELLOWAY [5]6130.09(2)J Briffa (Lara)
4MR. FOX [5]2130.03(1)R Britton (Lara)
5WOWZA LEE [5]11FSHL Cottrell (Pearcedale)
6MISS CONNOCHIE [5]3122FSHP Kaltsis (Nagambie)
7ABBEY’S HAND [5]81429.97(8)R Britton (Lara)
8LEKTRA FORCE [5]81173FSHA Dailly (Anakie)
9HEAPS OF ABILITY [5]Res.231FSHC Schlensog (Anakie)
10DITCH TO DITCH [5]Res.52744FSHG Robinson (Violet Town)
Race No. 11Signforce – Sommerville (bitches)5:19 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 No Penalty event over 515 metres at Sandown park Of $1,890 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,325 2nd: $375 3rd: $190.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1VELOSO (NZ)[5]53554FSHT Womann (Lara)
2PACK RAT [5]61267NBTT Turnbull (Crowlands)
3LILLY BELLEBIRD (NSW)[5]31325NBTM Briganti (Tuerong)
4CHERIA BALE (NSW)[5]2244629.90(5)J Hunt (Avalon)
5SPA CHEANG [5]74611FSHJ Mccoll (Daylesford)
6GRACEDALE [5]35134FSHT Reid (Yuroke)
7HOT WHIRL [5]53713NBTJ Sharp (Lara)
8MAJOR CRUSH [5]15864FSHB Hodgson (Smythesdale)
9ABIT LATE (QLD)[5]Res.57585NBTG Mclachlan (Cranbourne East)
10APRIL GEM [5]Res.65876NBTN Barnett (Devon Meadows)

Dean Swain’s Sensational Futurity Upset

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.

The Breeding Behind A Temlee Finalist

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.

This Week in Racing History

FEBRUARY

12th

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.

13th

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.

14th

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.

15th

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.

16th

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.

17th

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.

18th

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.

Upsets Galore In National Derby And Futurity Finals

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.

2014 Group One Perth Cup Preview

The countdown to WA’s biggest race of the year has begun. The Perth Cup not only gives WA’s best chasers a chance to showcase their talent on a national scale, but traveling greyhounds too. The 530 metre trip at Cannington is not an easy one and with a sensationally even field thanks to the box draw, it will be a night to remember. The boxes are set to fly open at 9.27 Perth time.

Last week’s heats were dominated by the states leading trainer Linda Britton, qualifying four classy chasers into the $140,000 final. Zelemar Fever is Britton’s fastest chaser in the race, breaking the 30 second barrier on three occasions. Jumping from box six will be her biggest hurdle.

Litter sisters Star Recall (box eight) and High Recall (box five) have both blown away onlookers with their early speed and despite their age they are in with a big chance when the boxes fly open. Saving Bundles found herself in the Perth Cup and in box one after a messy heat, with favourite Iona Seven falling on the first corner. She is a better place chance than a winning one, but she does have to ability to cause an upset.

Sveta Monelli for David Hobby is also another WA chaser with a good chance of taking out the 2014 Perth Cup. She recently defeated Zelemar Fever in 30.27 and you wouldn’t put it past her to steal the race.

Paul Stuart has the chance to take out both the Perth Cup and Galaxy for the second year in a row. In the Perth Cup he has Hillbilly Flash, a litter brother to his chaser in the Galaxy, Ash Flash. Hillbilly Flash has improved his times with each start he has had around Cannington. Only beaten on one occasion, running second, there is nothing stopping this chaser from pulling out a personal best performance and winning the race.

Victorians Allen Deed (box two) and Keybow (box three) have their work cut out for them. They are already behind on the home track advantage, but they have the experience running against top class dogs to come away with the Perth Cup Victory.

Box 1
Race Odds
$20.00
Heat Replay
 
Saving Bundles
Trainer
Linda Britton 
Owner
Christine Robartson
Prizemoney
$102.96.00
Last 10 Starts
1253244234
41 Months   Black   Bitch   by   High
Earner
- Egg
On 
Legs
Start Well Running Rail Finish Okay
Prizemoney Rating $1,774.00 Rating 98
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
 58  16  16 5
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
26% 64%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
 35 7 9 4
       
Box 1 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
 14 6   4 1
Comments: Linda Britton (Trainer) - ”Saving Bundles isn’t out of it. She should burrow up on the rails and she has the right box to do so. Saying that, she will need some luck to be in it at the finish.”
Best Cannington Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.31 30.56 5.71 5.81
Box 2
Race Odds 
$7.50
Heat Replay
 
Allen Deed
Trainer
Andrea Dailly
Owner
Janice Wheeler
Prizemoney
$42,470.00
Last 10 Starts
1214711121
26 Months   Black   Dog   by   Jarvis
Bale 
- Greta
Bale
Start Good Running Middle Finish Good
Prizemoney Rating $482.00 Rating 87
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
12 7 2 0
       
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
55% 73%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
1 1 0
       
Box 2 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
 2 2 0 0
Comments:  Trainer unavailable for comment (ARG comment) - Allen Deed will need to jump a lot better this week then he did last week to be a good chance in the race. With chasers like High Recall, Star Recall, Sveta Monelli and Zelemar Fever with both a home track advantage and blistering early speed, he is going to have to be on his toes early. Saying that if there is trouble on the outside he without doubt has the ability to win the Perth Cup.
Best Cannington Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.63 30.63 5.87 5.87
Box 3
Race Odds
$6.00
Heat Replay
 
Keybow
Trainer
Darren McDonald
Owner
Kelvin Lean
Prizemoney
$53,595.00
Last 10 Starts
1821313441
26 Months   Black   Dog   by   Take
The
Kitty 
- Key
Exit
Start Well Running Middle Finish Well
Prizemoney Rating $3,152.00 Rating 87
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
17  8  3 2
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
47% 76%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
 1 1  0 0
Box 3 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
  0   0   0 0
Comments: Darren McDonald (Trainer) – “If he is going to be beaten it is going to be because of inexperience. He has been racing better dogs for a while so the extra look at the track will be beneficial for him. Box one would have been better, it is the third box I would have chosen to be in. The dog of Dailly’s (Allen Deed) is a very good dog, its just a matter of if he can adapt to Cannington. “
Best Cannington Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.50 30.50 - -
Box 4
 Race Odds
$4.00
Heat Replay
 
Hillbilly Flash
Trainer
Paul Stuart
Owner
Trevor Rhodes
Prizemoney
$40,100.00
Last 10 Starts
1111242611

28 Months

  White
&
Black
  Dog   by   Velocette - Ashleigh
Ella 
Start Well Running Rail Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $2,005.00 Rating 93
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
   20 11 4 0
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
55% 75%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
  5 4 1 0
Box 4 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
  4 3 0 0
Comments: Paul Stuart (Trainer) - “Box four isn’t a bad draw for him, the closer to the fence the better he goes. There is a lot of early speed from the outside. If every dog is able to do what they dog every week then you would think they would all want to get across to the fence. I just have to hope that he can come out better than them. If he gets the room within the first five metres he is in with a really good chance.”
Best Cannington Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.30 30.36 5.64 5.72
Box 5
Race Odds
$4.00
Heat Replay
 
High Recall
Trainer
Linda Britton
Owner
G & C Weston
Prizemoney
$28,305.00
Last 10 Starts
1111161113
22 Months   Black   Bitch   by   High
Earner
- No
Recall
Start Fast Running Rail Finish

Well

Prizemoney Rating $2,573.00 Rating 93
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
  11  8   0   1
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
73% 82%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
 10 8  1
Box 5 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
  2  1 0 1
Comments: Linda Britton (Trainer) - “High Recall should lead the race if she runs the same splits as she did last week. She is a very good place chance.” 
Best Cannington Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.32 30.42 5.55 5.59
Box 6
Race Odds
$4.00
Heat Replay
 
Zelemar Fever
Trainer
Linda Britton
Owner
G & C
Weston
Prizemoney
$125,980.00
Last 10 Starts
1121311411
32 Months   Black   Bitch   by   Bombastic
Shiraz
- Noaki
Pace
Start Fast Running Rail Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $2,422.00 Rating 90
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
  52 23  6 5
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
44% 65%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
  18 13  1   1
Box 6 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
  8 1  0  0
Comments: Linda Britton (Trainer) – “Zelemar Fever is by far my best dog in the race, but the box is my only worry. She will just need some luck early to win the race.”
Best Cannington Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.90 30.30 5.60 5.76
Box 7
Race Odds
$10.00
Heat Replay
 
 Sveta Monelli
Trainer
David Hobby
Owner
M & M 
Quinsee
Prizemoney
$112,675.00
Last 10 Starts
1212211311
27
Months
  Black   Bitch   by   Mogambo - Foolish
Monelli
Start Quick Running Middle Finish Well
Prizemoney Rating $2,748.00 Rating 90
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
  41 21 11 3
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
51% 85%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
   23  12  4 3
Box 7 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
  6 3 1 1
Comments: David Hobby (Trainer) - “It’s one of her toughest draws to date, so she will need plenty of luck despite being a speedy beginner.”
Best Cannington Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.20 30.71 5.61 5.77
Box 8
Race Odds
$12.00
Heat Replay
 
Star Recall
Trainer
Linda Britton
Owner
Kevin Dover
Prizemoney
$21,490.00
Last 10 Starts
1111172211
22 Months  

Black 

  Bitch   by   High
Earner
- No
Recall
Start Quick Running Middle Finish Well
Prizemoney Rating $2,387.00 Rating 84
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
9 6 2 0
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
67% 89%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
  5  2  2 0
Box 8 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
 0 0 0 0
Comments: Linda Britton (Trainer) - “Star Recall is a promising pup, her best chance is if everything rails and hopefully she uses the outside of the track. It is a very even field the way the box draw is.”
Best Cannington Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.38 30.38 5.66 5.67
1st Res
Race Odds
$12.00
Heart Replay
 
Te Amo
Trainer
Linda Britton
Owner
M Romer, G Adamson & S Allen
Prizemoney
$96,380.00
Last 10 Starts
2322141142
29 Months   Black   Bitch   by   Cosmic
Rumble
- Osti’s
Bride 
Start Fast Running Middle Finish Good
Prizemoney Rating $3,442.00 Rating 100
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
28  12  8 2
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
43% 79%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
  23  9  6 2
Box Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
N/A N/A N/A N/A
Comments (ARG comments): Te Amo is a very speedy bitch but she lacks the strength to be able to hold off or run down most of the dogs in the race. She is a very good place chance if she gets a start.
Best Cannington Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.33 30.38 5.61 5.67
2nd Res
Race Odds
$60.00
Heat Replay
 
Love Of Lauryn
Trainer
John Iwanyk
Owner
Jeffrey Schrull
Prizemoney
$8,100.00
Last 10 Starts
2747638358
33 Months   Black   Bitch   by   Surf
Lorian 
- Queen
Lauryn
Start Okay Running Middel Finish Moderate
Prizemoney Rating $617.00 Rating 85
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
 47 9  6  6
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
19% 45%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
  18 3 4 2
Box Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
N/A N/A N/A N/A
Comments (ARG comments): Love Of Lauryn does not have to times to be able to get on top of this field, despite being a talented bitch. She is strong which will help her if there is trouble and gets a start.  
Best Cannington Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.57 30.57 5.62 5.71


2014 Perth Cup Heats

The Perth Cup Consolations also bring about a bit of excitement for those chasers who where unable to make it through to the big race. The third place getters in the heats make up the field. The first Consolation field is as follows:

Box Dog Trainer
1 Fancy Dreamer Paul Stuart
2 By Magic John Iwanyk
3 Dyna Nalin Paul Stuart
4 Ritchie Rich David Hobby
5 Ritza Liam John Carmody
6 Prue Bale Andrea Daily
7 Dannie Bale Paul Stuart
8 Veyron Bale Andrea Daily
RESERVES
9 Zipping Joe Darren McDonald
10 Gone To Heaven Linda Britton

Last years Perth Cup winner Dyna Nalin should jump favourite, currently paying $2.20 to take out the $13,500 race. Veyron Bale for Andrea Daily is jumping from box eight and he has taken a liking to outside boxes, winning on seven occasions from 15 starts. If Dyna Nalin gets held up like he did last week then Veyron Bale is in with a great chance, currently paying $6.00.

The second Perth Cup Consolation is made up of the second place getters in heats. The field for the second Consolation is as follows:

Box Dog Trainer
1 Bluey’s Fate Andrew McLaren
2 General Destini Emilio Rinaldi
3 Jump The Queue Peter Hepple
4 Ozzie Bullet Jeffrey Britton
5 Love Of Lauryn John Iwanyk
6 Liara Allen Steven Collins
7 Te Amo Linda Britton
8 Ollie Bale Andrea Dailly
RESERVES
9 Fancy Dreamer Paul Stuart
10 Dyna Nalin Paul Stuart

General Destini for Emilio Rinaldi won this race last year. This year he has the potential for back-to-back victories thanks to his inside box draw; paying $5.00 for the win, it is hard to forget this talented chaser.

Linda Britton’s Te Amo flew out of the boxes last week to lead Zelemar Fever. Expect the same this week despite jumping from box seven from this speedy little bitch; she may be in trouble if General Destini, Ozzie Bullet or Liara Allen are sitting behind her in the home straight because she tires a little.

2014 Group One National Derby Preview

The second feature event at The Gardens is the $75,000 Group One National Derby. The names Gatt and Hallinan feature heavily in the final and look to have the main chances. The race favourite is Boyce Road, drawn favourably in the red rug. The Derby final is race eight at 9:38pm.

Box 1
Race Odds
$1.80
Heat Replay
 
Boyce Road
Trainer
Mark Gatt
Owner
Edwin Kingswell
Prizemoney
$20,990.00
Last 10 Starts
1111311414
24 Months   Black   Dog   by   Collision - Mystic Pace
Start Fair Running Rail Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $1,615.00 Rating 100
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
13 9 0 2
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
69% 85%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 1 0 0
       
Box 1 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
1 0 1

Comments: Mark Gatt (Trainer) - ”Boxed perfectly on the inside as it’s a huge advantage in these types of races. He’s got to jump and hold the fence position and I think he will go really well in this.”

Best Unibet Gardens Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.33 30.62 4.99 4.99
Box 2
Race Odds 
$3.20
Heat Replay
 
Evil Punk
Trainer
James Coyle
Owner
James Coyle
Prizemoney
$34,115.00
Last 10 Starts
5123182221
29 Months   Black   Dog   by   Collision - Punk Angel
Start Risky Running Middle Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $1,003.00 Rating 97
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
34 9 7 4
       
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
26% 59%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 1 1
       
Box 2 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
5 2 3 0
Comments:  James Coyle (Trainer) - ”I’m really happy he’s drawn near the rails but Boyce Road is still the one to beat. My dog has performed really well in this series and has been jumping so well, I’m just hoping he can do it again. He will be hard to beat if he gets to the lead.”
Best Unibet Gardens Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.59 29.59 4.97 4.97
Box 3
Race Odds
$41.00
Heat Replay
 
Lochinvar Rossi
Trainer
Robert Smith
Owner
Heather Gordon
Prizemoney
$1,505.00
Last 10 Starts
1328344
23 Months   Black   Dog   by   Bekim Bale - Pure Elle
Start Good Running Middle Finish Fair
Prizemoney Rating $215.00 Rating 85
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
7 1 1 2
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
14% 57%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
5 1 0 2
Box 3 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 0 1 1
Comments: Trainer unavailable for comment. ARG opinion is - Has recorded just one win in his career, which was a 29.74 victory in a maiden race in November 2013. Ran fourth in both his heat and semi-final. This looks too tough for him at this stage of his career.
Best Unibet Gardens Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.74 30.02 5.05 5.05
Box 4
 Race Odds
$7.50
Heat Replay
 
Waymore’s Blues
Trainer
Martin Hallinan
Owner
Glenn Rounds
Prizemoney
$9,980.00
Last 10 Starts
1411241512

25Months

  Black   Dog   by   Collide - Casey’s Angel
Start Good Running Middle Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $907.00 Rating 95
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
11 6 2 0
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
55% 73%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 1 1 0
Box 4 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
1 1 0 0
Comments: Cameron Hallinan (Kennel Representative) -  ”We didn’t get the box we wanted for him but he is fit and ready to go. He will need some luck around the first corner and hope he jumps well.”
Best Unibet Gardens Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.65 29.68 5.03 5.06
Box 5
Race Odds
$34.00
Heat Replay
 
Zipping Snoopy
Trainer
Peter Dapiran
Owner
M Hallinan & F Hallinan
Prizemoney
$4,010.00
Last 10 Starts
F2121223
24 Months   Red Fawn   Dog   by   Mantra Lad - Cho Chang
Start Fair Running Middle Finish

Strong

Prizemoney Rating $501.00 Rating 87
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
8 2 4 1
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
25% 88%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 0 1 1
Box 5 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
1 1 0 0
Comments: Trainer unavailable for comment. ARG opinion is – Consistent place-getter and has performed well during the series. Not the best beginner so may struggle with the squeeze box in this field.
Best Unibet Gardens Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.80 29.80 5.10 5.15
Box 6
Race Odds
$41.00
Heat Replay
 
Soviet Missile
Trainer
Toby Weekes
Owner
Fahed Elniz
Prizemoney
$17,230.00
Last 10 Starts
2621352152
28 Months   Black   Dog   by   Where’s Pedro - Jacinta Bale
Start Slow Running Rail Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $783.00 Rating 85
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
22 6 5 1
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
27% 55%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 0 1 0
Box 6 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 0 0  0
Comments: Trainer unavailable for comment. ARG opinion is – Fast dog who may not be able to show his best with the bad box draw. He needs room early.
Best Unibet Gardens Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.71 29.71 5.14 5.14
Box 7
Race Odds
$13.00
Heat Replay
 
Ritza Raider
Trainer
Mark Gatt
Owner
Mark Gatt
Prizemoney
$11,415.00
Last 10 Starts
3123112233
27 Months   Red Fawn   Dog   by   Bombastic Shiraz - Midnight Flare
Start Fair Running Wide Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating

$951.00

Rating 90
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
12 5 3 4
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
42% 100%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 0 0 2
Box 7 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
1 1 0 0
Comments: Mark Gatt (Trainer) - ”Both of his runs have been really good. He’s not jumping really good but if he can get a bit closer to the leaders and get a good position, he will run a good race.”
Best Unibet Gardens Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.69 29.69 5.10 5.16
Box 8
Race Odds
$7.50
Heat Replay
 
Zipping Brock
Trainer
Peter Dapiran
Owner
M Hallinan & F Hallinan
Prizemoney
$19,225.00
Last 10 Starts
11611221
24 Months   Red Fawn   Dog   by   Mantra Lad - Cho Chang
Start Good Running Middle Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $2,403.00 Rating 95
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
8 5 2 0
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
62% 88%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2  1 1 0
Box 8 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
1 1 0  0
Comments: Cameron Hallinan (Owner’s Representative) - “I’m glad he got box eight and he has a good chance of getting to the first corner in front and if there’s a hold up on the inside of the field he will have a real chance.”
Best Unibet Gardens Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.54 29.54 5.01 5.01
1st Res
Race Odds
$34.00
Heart Replay
 
Tricky Pluto
Trainer
Martin Hallinan
Owner
M Hallinan & F Hallinan
Prizemoney
$2,320.00
Last 10 Starts

311245

30 Months   Red Fawn   Dog   by   Malfoy - Navigator Miss
Start Slow Running Rail Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $387.00 Rating 87
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
6 2 1 1
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
33% 67%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
3 0 1  0
Box Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
N/A N/A N/A N/A
Comments: Will need some luck early to feature if he gains a start.
Best Unibet Gardens Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.83 30.05 5.08 5.16
2nd Res
Race Odds
$26.00
Heat Replay
 
Topper Harley
Trainer
Anthony Azzopardi
Owner
Frances Harris
Prizemoney
$11,075.00
Last 10 Starts
3613181435
26 Months   Black   Dog   by   Give Me Five - Cinnabar
Start Good Running Rail Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $738.00 Rating 88
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
15 5 1 4
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
33% 67%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 0 0 1
Box Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
N/A N/A N/A N/A
Comments: Has great early speed but hasn’t won at the track. Others look a better chance.
Best Unibet Gardens Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.88 30.75 4.98 4.98

Boyce Road (1) finds himself in his second Group One final in a matter of months and amazingly, he has only just turned two years old. The youngster has taken it all in his stride and possesses ability and race sense beyond his tender age. His only flaw is that he is a moderate beginner. However, if he gets room in the early stages of the race, he will be poised to steal this down the home straight.

Gatt’s other runner is Ritza Hattie’s brother, Ritza Raider (7). Just like his sister, he has not missed a place in his career, so based on that alone he is an each way chance. Zipping Brock (8) has drawn well on the outside and possesses a fast 29.54 PB. His littermate, Zipping Snoopy (5) hasn’t drawn well but has shown ability in his eight starts, with good form down in Victoria prior to this series.

Waymore Blue’s is another of Hallinan’s with a chance. He has consistent box manners and six career wins from just 11 starts. Evil Punk (2) looks to be the best chance to upset Gatt and Hallinan’s hold on this race. He has performed beautifully during the series, putting in consistent performances and improving at each look at the track. He hasn’t missed a place from box two and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he takes this race out.

2014 Group One National Futurity Preview

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.

Box 1
Race Odds
$7.50
Heat Replay
 
Cawbourne Rev
Trainer
Jodie Lord
Owner
Jodie Lord
Prizemoney
$8,645.00
Last 10 Starts
3416123234
24 Months   Black   Bitch   by   Dyna Lachlan - American Spot
Start Good Running Middle Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $618.00 Rating 94
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
14 4 3 3
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
29% 71%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
5 1 0 1
       
Box 1 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 1 0

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.

Best Unibet Gardens Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.66 30.20 5.02 5.02
Box 2
Race Odds 
$4.40
Heat Replay
 
Smashing Sally
Trainer
Neil Falk
Owner
Lastlot syndicate
Prizemoney
$11,410.00
Last 10 Starts
1664251112
22 Months   Black   Bitch   by   Hurricane Luke - Smashing Jen
Start Good Running Rail Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $601.00 Rating 97
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
19 6 4 0
       
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
32% 53%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 1 1
       
Box 2 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
3 1 1 0
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.
Best Unibet Gardens Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.87 30.04 4.99 4.99
Box 3
Race Odds
$34.00
Heat Replay
 
Queen Esther
Trainer
Noelene Holloway
Owner
Noelene Holloway
Prizemoney
$18,225.00
Last 10 Starts
5613171744
30 Months   Black   Bitch   by   Lochinvar Marlow - Fascinate Marina
Start Risky Running Middle Finish Fair
Prizemoney Rating $675.00 Rating 87
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
27 7 2 6
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
26% 56%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
4 0 0
Box 3 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 1 0 3
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.”
Best Unibet Gardens Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.00 30.27 5.02 5.02
Box 4
 Race Odds
$11.00
Heat Replay
 
Rue De Khan
Trainer
Dean Swain
Owner
Michael Laffey
Prizemoney
$3,650.00
Last 10 Starts
1151123

24 Months

  White and Blue Fawn   Bitch   by   Where’s Pedro - Shelbourne Dawn
Start Fair Running Rail Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $608.00 Rating 92
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
6 3 1 1
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
50% 83%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
4 2 1 1
Box 4 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
1 0 1 0
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.”
Best Unibet Gardens Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.80 29.89 5.00 5.00
Box 5
Race Odds
$26.00
Heat Replay
 
Little Satisfies
Trainer
Ryan Tredway
Owner
Ryan Tredway
Prizemoney
$4,240.00
Last 10 Starts
7414521
28 Months   Fawn   Bitch   by   Cosmic Rumble - Really Satisfies
Start Slow Running Rail Finish

Strong

Prizemoney Rating $606.00 Rating 89
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
7 2 1 0
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
29% 43%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
3
Box 5 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
1 0 0 0
Comments: Trainer unavailable for comment. ARG opinion is – Upset winner last week and will need a lot of luck to feature in the final.
Best Unibet Gardens Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.03 30.03 5.07 5.14
Box 6
Race Odds
$6.50
Heat Replay
 
Zipping Delta
Trainer
Jason Mackay
Owner
Damian Hallinan
Prizemoney
$5,560.00
Last 10 Starts
1223114132
23 Months   Black   Bitch   by   Bekim Bale - Scarlett Spy
Start Risky Running Middle Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $556.00 Rating 95
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
10 4 3 2
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
40% 90%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
3 1 1 1
Box 6 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
0 0 0  0
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.
Best Unibet Gardens Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.58 29.67 5.07 5.07
Box 7
Race Odds
$21.00
Heat Replay
 
Cawbourne Cobra
Trainer
Jodie Lord
Owner
Jodie Lord
Prizemoney
$3,700.00
Last 10 Starts
1122623543
24 Months   Black   Bitch   by   Dyna Lachlan - American Spot
Start Fair Running Rail Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating

$247.00

Rating 90
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
15 3 5 2
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
20% 67%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
4 0 1  1
Box 7 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 1 1 0
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.
Best Unibet Gardens Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.00 30.09 5.03 5.18
Box 8
Race Odds
$1.80
Heat Replay
 
Ritza Hattie
Trainer
Mark Gatt
Owner
Mark Gatt
Prizemoney
$110,535.00
Last 10 Starts
1231121121
27 Months   Black   Bitch   by   Bombastic Shiraz - Midnight Flare
Start Risky Running Rail Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $5,526.00 Rating 100
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
20 12 6 2
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
60% 100%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2  1  0  1
Box 8 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
1 1 0  0
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.”
Best Unibet Gardens Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.41 29.55 4.95 5.11
1st Res
Race Odds
$7.50
Heart Replay
 
Cawbourne Whip
Trainer
Jodie Lord
Owner
Jodie Lord
Prizemoney
$38,280.00
Last 10 Starts
1118111245
24 Months   Black and White   Bitch   by   Dyna Lachlan - American Spot
Start Excellent Running Middle Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $2,552.00 Rating 94
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
15 8 2 1
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
53% 73%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
6  1 0  1
Box 6 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
N/A N/A N/A N/A
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.
Best Unibet Gardens Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.46 30.50 4.94 5.20
2nd Res
Race Odds
$N/A
Heat Replay
 
N/A
Trainer
N/A
Owner
N/A
Prizemoney
N/A
Last 10 Starts
N/A
N/A   N/A   N/A   by   N/A - N/A
Start N/A Running N/A Finish N/A
Prizemoney Rating N/A Rating N/A
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
N/A N/A N/A N/A
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
N/A N/A
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
N/A N/A N/A N/A
Box 6 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
N/A N/A N/A N/A
Comments: N/A
Best N/A Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
N/A N/A N/A N/A

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.

It’s An Ill Wind

In the old days the threatened sackings at SPC in Shepparton would have been a disaster, not just for local farmers and the town, but also for patrons of the dog track. Similar impacts have occurred in the past at Warrnambool or Ballarat with Fletcher Jones downturns, at Geelong where half the town is in strife, and when steel mills closed at Newcastle and Port Kembla, affecting half a dozen dog tracks in those areas.

Fortunately, customers now come from far and wide, courtesy of SKY and the TABs, so the impact is minimal.

The national approach has a lot going for it, even though at times there are many clashing races and the kitty is split up into chunks that are too small for serious punting – which are matters racing bosses could bring under control if they wished. .

But it does bring up the question of why racing management is not also a candidate for the national approach. The current pattern of differing conditions and rules in each state cannot possibly optimise the welfare of the industry. Grading, stewards’ policies and penalties, track standards, betting pools, commission arrangements and just sheer political influence are all matters that would benefit from a heftier and more consistent approach. The entire would be much better than the parts.

Indeed, the fact that regular national meetings of both stewards and administrators have failed to achieve more consistency is a blight on the industry. There is not much point in getting together if everyone goes home and does something different – the voluminous local rules applying in each state is evidence of bureaucracy at its worst. So, for that matter, is the lack of industry statistics for 2012 and 2013.

Think for a moment what might happen if cricket, tennis and the football codes all changed rules as they moved from one state to another. Bedlam, surely.

There are other parts of this country which have seen the light – aviation, for example, could not possibly work if state-by-state rules applied. Planes would start running in to each other. Yet dogs in their hundreds fly and drive over state borders every day. Customers could not care less and probably often don’t even know what state the track is in. It makes no sense.

Indeed, a national initiative is possibly the only way that the industry would be able to mount serious public relations and marketing programs, thereby telling the real greyhound story to more and more Australians. Doing that piecemeal is just not a goer. Worse, it means episodes like the current parliamentary inquiry in NSW will lead – and has led – to literally hundreds of people throwing rocks at the sport, regardless of their accuracy or balance.

 

YOU WERE WARNED

More topical is the fact that Shepparton was able to stage its Monday meeting at all. Maximum temperatures then, and on several previous days, had exceeded 40 degrees, cooling down only at night.

That may have contributed to an extraordinary event. Its 650m race was reduced to three starters, including the highly talented Phenomenal. Despite warnings from this column about odds-on pops, punters sent it out at $1.10, not much more than bank interest. Yet Sisco Rage jumped in front and led all the way in a sparkling 37.28, only a length outside Nellie Noodles track record, after an equally quick sectional of 17.12. Although it got close on the line, Phenomenal never really looked the winner.

Sisco Rage has displayed ability previously, winning at The Meadows in 30.24, Ballarat in 31.11 and Geelong in 25.82.  Still, its time at Shepparton easily bettered any of its career runs. Actually, it is amazing how often some in this kennel are able to jump well and lead the field a merry dance, as was the case here.

 

BEWITCHED AND BEFUDDLED

GRNSW has just told us that takings boomed in the first half of the financial year, yet only a short while ago it told the parliamentary greyhound inquiry that the code faced the prospect of scrubbing some clubs due to a dismal financial outlook. So which is it?   .

The current “vibrant betting market”, according to CEO, Brent Hogan, is reflected in a national rise of over 5% at TABs and much more for online bookmakers and Betfair. Turnover in NSW was up 11.2% on the same period in 2012 which included some weeks of the trainers strike.

Tabcorp has already recorded a fall in traditional tote business but a rise in Fixed Odds Betting, albeit from a low base. Somewhat similarly, TattsBet figures are up but mainly because it took over the Tasmanian business from the state government. Its prospects in Queensland and Tasmania are not looking bright as customers are indicating a preference for betting outlets which offer more reliable dividend potential.

NSW racing codes are currently calling on the government to remove the 1.5% cap on racefield fees, thereby allowing market forces to set the rates. This is a good move. Governments are best left out of commercial matters.

However, note that GRNSW still charges fees on the basis of a percentage of bookmaker’s surpluses, rather than on a commission on turnover basis. Since the latter system has proved far more lucrative for all the major players, including Racing NSW, it indicates that something odd is occurring at the dogs.  Clearly, either the bookies are making excessive profits or NSW punters are very bad at what they do. Can that continue in the long term?

This Week in Racing History

FEBRUARY

5th

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.

6th

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.

7th

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.

8th

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.

9th

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.

10th

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.

11th

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.

Friday, 7 February 2014


Greyhound Box Draw For Unibet Gardens – Friday, 7 February 2014

Race No. 1Welcome To Unibet Gardens7:19 PM
5 event over 400 metres at Unibet gardens Of $1,550 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,080 2nd: $315 3rd: $155.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1BRANDEX541122.90Joanne Willis
2WEEKEND WES553622.80Peter Akers
3DIG DEEP DOOMS3826NBTLes Deguara
4CHASING DE MOOLA415522.98John Miles
5MONOLITH252522.83David Ward
6MONTANA CURRENCY146823.10James Mcglinn
7TROPICAL LOW1686NBTIvan Hanna
8HAPPY TOKAAM462322.87Thomas Pullman
9LITTLE DODGER712622.90Ed Thompson
10BLEISWIJK JEAN157623.18Paul Boyd
Race No. 2Night Out At Unibet Gardens Betf…7:38 PM
5 event over 515 metres at Unibet gardens Of $1,550 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,080 2nd: $315 3rd: $155.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1SKINNY REDINGO113329.79Brian Mitchell
2GNARLY AZZ532330.03Lorraine Watts
3PAD BURNER151529.84Ryan Tredway
4RECO MARLOW4213NBTFrank Cini
5OPEN SEASON552729.85Gregory Adamthwaite
6GLAMOROUS OPAL337129.62Carol Hudson
7CRASHA ASHA323330.11William Davies
8TRICKY PLUTO124529.83Martin Hallinan
9FIRE THE STAR516630.26Mark Moroney
10MAJOR INCIDENCE876530.21Mark Davidson
Race No. 3Greyhound Social Club Betfair Bl…7:57 PM
5 event over 515 metres at Unibet gardens Of $1,550 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,080 2nd: $315 3rd: $155.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1LUCKY POINT121429.84Geoffrey Sattler
2MARKO’S MAGIC841430.06Mark Davidson
3GARRY’S DREAM552330.05Warren Slade
4RICKY TANGA532330.33Eric Sharman
5LITTLE BUTTERFLY7315NBTSydney Swain
6FLASH SUNRISE322530.54William Davies
7FREE FUTURE852330.12Karen Bice
8SHES SOME SING6316NBTFrank Cini
9BIG FOOT41NBTIan Betts
10HE’S A CHANCE147629.72Johannes Vanderburg
Race No. 4Sires On Ice Maiden8:19 PM
M event over 400 metres at Unibet gardens Of $1,185 Prizemoney.
1st: $830 2nd: $240 3rd: $115.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1HURRICANE RUBY-NBTWarren Slade
2MAURITIAN BEAUTY5287NBTPaul Boyd
3CALICO35X723.71Neil Docherty
4BLACK TOMMIE3NBTJohn Miles
5BLOWIN’ NUMBERS-NBTNathan Goodwin
6DENALI HERO34NBTStephen Bell
7REZO OWES736523.32Beverley Sweeney
8IRISH TIME-NBTRonald Bell
9KIYOMI’S GIRL857NBTAlbert Janissen
Race No. 5Newcastle Herald Stakes8:38 PM
FFA event over 400 metres at Unibet gardens Of $2,015 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,400 2nd: $410 3rd: $205.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1ROSE BUZZARD327122.57David Richardson
2MELISSA’S MEMORY611222.70Michelle Shambler
3MACOREKA243222.55Corey Spliet
4GO HOME BRO1178NBTJohannes Vanderburg
6CAWBOURNE CLASSY5151NBTJodie Lord
7MCSLOK718522.79Gary Robertson
8FASCINATE MARY386722.59Joan Singline
Race No. 6Dogpro National Futurity F8:58 PM
NG event over 515 metres at Unibet gardens Of $103,125 Prizemoney.
1st: $75,000 2nd: $18,750 3rd: $9,375.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1CAWBOURNE REV323429.66Jodie Lord
2SMASHING SALLY111229.87Neil Falk
3QUEEN ESTHER174430.00Noelene Holloway
4RUE DE KAHN112329.80Dean Swain
5LITTLE SATISFIES452130.03Ryan Tredway
6ZIPPING DELTA413229.58Jason Mackay
7CAWBOURNE COBRA354330.00Jodie Lord
8RITZA HATTIE112129.41Mark Gatt
9CAWBOURNE WHIP124529.46Jodie Lord
Race No. 7Unibet Stakes9:18 PM
4/5 event over 400 metres at Unibet gardens Of $1,645 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,150 2nd: $330 3rd: $165.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1PACKER TANGA733123.10Eric Sharman
2YOUR OWN PERIL781622.84Carol Wilson
3LEE BELLA116723.01Neil Docherty
4PEDRO ON TAP334722.84Richard Stock
5BLACKIES BEST78X2NBTLeonard Absalom
6ANOTHER CALL5844NBTJodie Lord
7SASSY SARAH114222.90Warren Slade
8BIRIGHITTI MAGIC316723.06Donald Andrews
9VISUAL BASIC254723.32Leonard Absalom
Race No. 8Newcastle Herald National Derby …9:38 PM
NG event over 515 metres at Unibet gardens Of $103,125 Prizemoney.
1st: $75,000 2nd: $18,750 3rd: $9,375.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1BOYCE ROAD141429.33Mark Gatt
2EVIL PUNK222129.59James Coyle
3LOCHINVAR ROSSI834429.74Robert Smith
4WAYMORE’S BLUES151229.65Martin Hallinan
5ZIPPING SNOOPY122329.80Peter Dapiran
6SOVIET MISSILE215229.71Toby Weekes
7RITZA RAIDER223329.69Mark Gatt
8ZIPPING BROCK122129.54Peter Dapiran
9TRICKY PLUTO124529.83Martin Hallinan
10TOPPER HARLEY143529.88Anthony Azzopardi
Race No. 9Dogpro Maiden9:58 PM
M event over 400 metres at Unibet gardens Of $1,185 Prizemoney.
1st: $830 2nd: $240 3rd: $115.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1MEDIA KAHN574723.84Terrence Marsh
2TUNE UP8XNBTGlen Beuzeville
3ROSEBROOK EDDIE-NBTDouglas Bice
4SHIRLEY’S KIDZ623.66Robert Barnden
5BUGATTI EAGLE5NBTRaymond Morris
6SERIOUSLY SEEDY5NBTBenjamin Spence
7SAUCEY GIRL-NBTRobbie Neville
8REDNECK BOYD524.20Nathan Goodwin
9KIYOMI’S GIRL857NBTAlbert Janissen
Race No. 10Woy Woy Poultry Stakes10:18 PM
5 event over 400 metres at Unibet gardens Of $1,550 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,080 2nd: $315 3rd: $155.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1SMASH THE CASH275123.06Beverley Sweeney
2NUTS AND BOLTS463323.00David Clive
3AMAZUKA255423.28Ed Thompson
4MUSCLE UP KAOS165322.93Natasha Benhard
5RICARDO BERRIE5434NBTBenjamin Spence
6FREDYS FLASH413223.02Ian Betts
7JUST AL637822.98Ed Thompson
8MAGIC CHICKEN62X122.85Beverley Sweeney
9IN A NUTSHELL842623.04Stephen Bell
10DEADLY SPRITE436623.13David Ward

How One Former Champion Still Impacts The National Futurity

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.

Inaugural running

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.

Distances

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

None.

Only Reserve/s To Win

None.

Dual Finalists

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).

Additional Notes

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.

Steelflex’s Unique Double

One of the fastest greyhounds ever owned and trained by the late Allen Wheeler, Steelflex, had a most unusual career which spanned just 14 starts, yet he managed to set a record that has never been matched.

A red dog by The Smoother, out of Wheeler’s fine producer Miss Topaway, Steelflex was whelped in November 1972. The dog possessed great early speed and Allen Wheeler set his sights high from the start, entering the 31-kilo sprinter for the 1974 Young Star Classic series. After coming through his non-betting qualifying runs, Steelflex drew poorly in box six for his first official race start, a semi-final of the Young Star Classic over 530 metres at Wentworth Park on 17 June. He was slowly away and could only run sixth.

Unperturbed, Wheeler successfully ran Steelflex in the qualifying events for the National Derby and the red speedster qualified for the semi-finals, run on 6 July. Drawing well in box one, Steelflex jumped well and went on to score by three lengths from the brilliant Early Copy, running a fast 31.17.

Having only his third start in a race, Steelflex began well from box three in the 1974 National Derby final against a hot field that included Victorian stars Temlee and Roomatic. Steelflex repaid Wheeler’s faith in him by holding off the future track record holder Tientsin Tosca by a head, with Lord Venn three lengths away third. Early Copy was fourth, ahead of Roomatic and Temlee.

In a strange twist of fate, Steelflex would not win again at Wentworth Park for another year.

A week after his Derby triumph, Steelflex finished fourth, beaten two lengths by Vintage Time at Wentworth Park, but was found to be injured and did not race again for almost three months.

Steelflex resumed on 10 October in a fourth grade event over 457 metres at Harold Park. From box two he scored an easy six lengths victory in a speedy 26.38.

Drawn in box one, Steelflex then contested a mixed 1st and 2nd grade race at Wentworth Park, but was defeated by Corporal Tich. After a third placing behind the smart Busy’s Chief at Wentworth Park, in a race won in a fast 30.98, Steelflex turned the tables at Harold Park, defeating Busy’s Chief by almost two lengths in a best of the night 26.31.

Steelflex ended 1974 with two second placings at Wentworth Park in December, both behind Gorgeous Zero. After 10 starts, Steelflex had scored four wins, three seconds, and one third.

The red dog was constantly troubled by cramps in his races and Wheeler was at a loss to fix the problem completely.

The sprinter did not start his 1975 campaign until 15 March, once again running second behind Gorgeous Zero, beaten two lengths in an Invitation Stake (top grade) at Harold Park. It was to be his third and last race at the big circuit.

Just three days later, Steelflex again ran second, his time beaten just a half length by Vixen’s Patch at Wentworth Park.

Wheeler decided to have a second tilt at the National Derby and Steelflex duly delivered the goods by winning his non betting heat and quarter-final before taking his place in the semi-finals on 12 April.

Drawn box five, Steelflex was beaten half a length by Warlin Way in a slow 31.59, well outside the 30.99 best of the night recorded by the brilliant Alpha Brava and the Tasmanian sprinter Arkaroola.

Nonetheless, Steelflex was through to a second Derby final, emulating the feats of Silent Retreat (1969 and 1970) and Woolley Wilson (1972 and 1973).

Steelflex drew wide in box seven for the $8,000-to-the-winner final, with the Australian Cup winner Ungwilla Lad in box one, Arkaroola in box two, and Alpha Brava in box three.

Starting at 10/1 ($11.00) and beginning only fairly, Steelflex rocketed down the outside in the run to the first turn and succeeded in cutting sharply to the fence, causing interference and scooting away with a five lengths break into the Leger side. The red dog kept giving plenty and held on to defeat an unlucky Alpha Brava by three-quarters of a length, with Ungwilla Lad just a nose away third, ahead of Arkaroola.

So, after seven successive defeats at Wentworth Park, consisting of five seconds, one third, and one fourth, Steelflex had broken back into the winner’s circle, in exactly the same event that he had won a year earlier.

Wheeler immediately announced Steelflex’s retirement. At Wentworth Park he had raced 11 times for just three wins, but with five seconds and one third, while overall his career consisted of a mere 14 starts for five wins, six seconds, and one third.

Gatt & Dapiran Take Time Honours In National Derby & Futurity Semis

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

Gatt Has The Numbers In National Derby And Futurity Semi Finals

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


Retracing The Steps Of The National Derby

This year marks the sixth time the NCA Derby, or National Derby, has been run at the Gardens venue and the 52nd running overall. As befitting a race of its stature, there are almost as many ‘back stories’ to the winners as there have been runnings of what, for one year, was the richest event in the country.

Inaugural Running

The first National Derby, as it was then called, took place in July 1963. Run over 580 yards (530 metres) on grass at Wentworth Park, the winner was the oft-underrated Keen Linen (see below), who defeated Mulga Bay by two lengths, with the Victorian’s Minsby and The Stripper third and fourth respectively. The smart Saskaview was also unplaced. First prize money was £1,500, which supplanted the Australian Cup as the richest race in the country. The following year the Australian Cup was back on its pedestal after the prize money was raised to keep it as the nation’s richest race.

Distances

From 1963 until 1986 the Derby was run over 530 metres on grass at Wentworth Park. In 1987 it was conducted over 457 metres at Harold Park. In 1988 it returned to the refurbished Wentworth Park circuit, over 520 metres on grass (to 1993). Between 1994 and 2008 the Derby was run on the loam surface at Wentworth Park and since 2009 has been held over 515 metres at the Gardens.

When Is The Race Run

From 1988 until the present the Derby final has been run in February. At the start it was held in July, until 1974. From 1975 to 1987 the final was held in either March or April.

Biggest Winning Margins

General Jeff (1980) won by an ever-widening nine lengths, Baguio (1976) scored by eight lengths, and Roman Earl (1966) by five lengths.

Closest Winning Margins

As befitting a race that is meant to showcase the best young male sprinters, 11 of the 51 finals have seen the winner score by half a length or less. The closest finish was in 1965 when Mister Moss stormed home to down the Victorian Billy Vee by half a head. Flying Myobb (1964), Steelflex (1974), Brother Knows (2006), and Bogie King (2011) all won by just a head. Lord Tegimi (1982), Inch Time (1984), Shy Sultan (1987), and Comrade In Arms (1997) won their Derbies by a neck.

Most Successful Trainer/s

Christine Coleman holds the record with four victories (General Jeff, 1980; Handicap, 1981; Inch Time, 1984; Dallas Man 1995) ahead of Allen Wheeler with two (Steelflex in 1974 and 1975).

Only Dual Winner/s

Only the one: Steelflex in 1974 and 1975. The Wheeler-owned and trained speedster won by a head in 1974 at only his third start in a race, then failed to win again at Wentworth Park in seven subsequent starts (five seconds, one third, one fourth) before taking the 1975 final by three-quarters of a length.

Only Reserve/s To Win

There have been two winners to wear the green and white striped rug of the number nine reserve: 1985, Rapid Supreme, and 1987, Shy Sultan. The 1970 winner, Arthur’s Desire, had been beaten in his non-betting heat and was first reserve for his semi-final, but gained a start from box one and scored easily.

Dual Finalists

Silent Retreat (third 1969, seventh 1970), Woolley Wilson (second 1972, third 1973), Steelflex (won 1974 and 1975), Alpha Brava (third 1975 and 1976), and Gallant World (fourth 1983, second 1984)

Some Beaten Stars

Apart from the likes of dual finalists such as Silent Retreat, Woolley Wilson, and Alpha Brava, there are stars such as Best Sun (third 1965), Munich Boy (third 1967), Milo’s Charm (second 1971), Ragsie (fourth 1972), Cabernet (fifth 1972), Tientsin Tosca (second 1974), Early Copy (fourth 1974), Temlee (sixth 1974), Ungwilla Lad (second 1975), Fine Arama (second 1978), Acclaim Star (fifth 1979), Fast Sapphire (seventh 1979), Glider’s Son (seventh 1981), Legendary Kid (third 1986), Credibility (second 1992), Alastic Rebel (fourth 1992), Deanne’s Dancer (second 1994), Forest Fin (third 1995), Roanokee (third 1997), Faithful Hawk (second 1999), Stately Bird (third 2000), Go Wild Teddy (second 2001), Arvo’s Junior (fourth 2003), Whisky Assassin (fourth 2004), Sun Hero (seventh 2004), Size Can Matter (third 2008), and St Pierre (eighth 2010) reveal an amazing depth to so many Derby finals.

Additional Notes

Set for the inaugural NCA Derby, the sensational sprinter Black Top shocked his fans when he was eliminated in his non-betting heat. One source suggests he turned in the boxes while Bill Bracht claimed in his book Greyhounds and Mechanical Lure Racing the champion had his ‘hind foot caught in the back door of the starting box when the lids opened.’ The final fell to Black Top’s litter brother, Keen Linen.

Every winner from 1963 to 1982 inclusive boasted Chief Havoc somewhere in their pedigree.

An incredible 12 Greyhounds of the Year in NSW, Victoria, and Queensland have either been winners or finalists in the Derby: Roman Earl, Ragsie, Acclaim Star, Fast Sapphire, Glider’s Son, Worth Doing, Faithful Hawk, Go Wild Teddy, Slater, Roanokee, Size Can Matter, and Whisky Assassin.

Friday, 31 January 2014


Greyhound Box Draw For Unibet Gardens – Friday, 31 January 2014

Race No. 1Welcome To Unibet Gardens Stakes3:47 PM
FFA event over 400 metres at Unibet gardens Of $2,015 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,400 2nd: $410 3rd: $205.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1JOE HANLEY514122.45Ronald Bell
2CANDY QUEEN833322.71Thomas Pullman
3DIDDY STRIKE845422.51Colin Kneeshaw
4ROSE BUZZARD332722.57David Richardson
6HUT FIVE116222.84Scott Mcguire
7SKYELA TOKAAM131222.68Helen Pullman
8JASON EYES212222.76Peter Quinton
Race No. 2Greyhound Recorder Stayers Serie…4:07 PM
5 event over 715 metres at Unibet gardens Of $2,015 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,400 2nd: $410 3rd: $205.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1WATTO LOTTO4367NBTJohn Callaughan
2AVONDALE MAURICK1327NBTRonald Bell
4GIFT OF TIME5222NBTKerrie Walker
5MISS FICTION252642.63Ivan Hanna
7WHITE NINJA533343.08Terry Priest
8LITTLE RUM573142.57Peter Akers
Race No. 37pm Start Next Week 7 Feb Stks4:27 PM
4/5 event over 515 metres at Unibet gardens Of $1,645 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,150 2nd: $330 3rd: $165.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1CRAZY RASCAL532329.86Thomas Pullman
2MASSIVE MERV541529.85John Callaughan
3MINZA RED ONE431429.98Charlie Gatt
4MY FANTAZIYA314530.36Glenn Smith
5FASHION PRINCESS212730.07Arthur Langman
6TAM’S WISH171530.06Michael Chilcott
7FREE FUTURE585230.12Karen Bice
8KISS ME MARLOW843530.28Peter Keegan
9KISS ME WENCH8118NBTPeter Keegan
Race No. 4Greyhoundproductsdirect.com.au M…4:47 PM
M event over 400 metres at Unibet gardens Of $1,185 Prizemoney.
1st: $830 2nd: $240 3rd: $115.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1BIG FOOT423.80Ian Betts
2DEVINE PEDRO48323.25Dennis Stewart
3ADAMSTOWN GIRL773423.00John Stewart
4VANDERLAH663X23.58Terry Priest
5GENISTA SENORITA874423.33Mark Beagan
6REDNECK BOYD-NBTNathan Goodwin
7DIABLO’S GUN2866NBTLisa Hutton
8PEACOCK PRINCESS-NBTNorman Watson
Race No. 5Dogpro National Futurity S5:07 PM
NG event over 515 metres at Unibet gardens Of $3,750 Prizemoney.
1st: $3,000 2nd: $500 3rd: $250.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1CAWBOURNE REV232329.66Jodie Lord
2CAWBOURNE COBRA235430.00Jodie Lord
3LITTLE SATISFIES145230.19Ryan Tredway
4LANI BANARNI811129.40Charlie Gatt
5CAWBOURNE WHIP112429.46Jodie Lord
6PRINCESS ALYSSA642229.77Norm Becroft
7BELLA SENORA141330.21Adam Wade
8SMASHING SALLY511129.87Neil Falk
9SIENNA’S DREAM213530.17Kelly Bravo
10MY FANTAZIYA314530.36Glenn Smith
Race No. 6Dogpro National Futurity S5:27 PM
NG event over 515 metres at Unibet gardens Of $3,750 Prizemoney.
1st: $3,000 2nd: $500 3rd: $250.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1QUEEN ESTHER717430.00Noelene Holloway
2RITZA HATTIE211229.41Mark Gatt
3SENORITA SELENA221430.05Anthony Gannon
4UNBELIEF411129.65Troy Donaldson
5RUE DE KAHN511229.80Dean Swain
6MY BELLA ROSE212330.00Allan Manwaring
7ZIPPING DELTA141329.58Jason Mackay
8PUSH IT523129.82Dean Swain
9TAM’S WISH171530.06Michael Chilcott
10QUEEN MARINA656530.18Noelene Holloway
Race No. 7Newcastle Herald National Derby …5:47 PM
NG event over 515 metres at Unibet gardens Of $3,750 Prizemoney.
1st: $3,000 2nd: $500 3rd: $250.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1EVIL PUNK822229.73James Coyle
2BLACK ROAD11X129.79Mark Gatt
3TOPPER HARLEY814329.88Anthony Azzopardi
4RITZA DANNY755429.92Mark Gatt
5HURRICANE RINO225330.21Anthony Azzopardi
6ZIPPING SNOOPY212229.86Peter Dapiran
7BOYCE ROAD114129.33Mark Gatt
8BIG HOFF172430.07Luke Azzopardi
9SOVIET MISSILE521530.26Toby Weekes
10WEZ MY HONEYMOON423530.17Sydney Swain
Race No. 8Newcastle Herald National Derby …6:06 PM
NG event over 515 metres at Unibet gardens Of $3,750 Prizemoney.
1st: $3,000 2nd: $500 3rd: $250.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1WAYMORE’S BLUES415129.65Martin Hallinan
2RITZA RAIDER122329.96Mark Gatt
3LOCHINVAR IMPACT12329.83Robert Smith
4ZIPPING BROCK112229.78Peter Dapiran
5RED ROAD118129.34Mark Gatt
6TRICKY PLUTO112429.83Martin Hallinan
7KNOT TELLING YA237229.58Marie Burton
8LOCHINVAR ROSSI283429.74Robert Smith
9MASSIVE MERV541529.85John Callaughan
10KISS ME KETUT563530.32David Burnett
Race No. 9Unibet Maiden6:27 PM
M event over 400 metres at Unibet gardens Of $1,185 Prizemoney.
1st: $830 2nd: $240 3rd: $115.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1BLAST TASK7423.46Peter Akers
2TORA LEE546423.43Thomas Campbell
3RUM REACTION-NBTGarry Kedwell
4DRAGON’S JOY764X23.47Timothy Murray
6HE’S SO METRO886523.50Lisa Hutton
7PLANET QUEEN-NBTAllan Sessions
8KONA LEEROY568NBTJohn Vanderburg
Race No. 10Unibet Lucky Last Stakes6:49 PM
5 event over 400 metres at Unibet gardens Of $1,550 Prizemoney.
1st: $1,080 2nd: $315 3rd: $155.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1SILVER LABEL111NBTSydney Swain
2KISS ME HUGHIE113322.87Peter Keegan
3SHAZAAM757722.63Thomas Pullman
4SLIM’S CRUISER865122.84Nancy Mcintosh
5CHASING DE MOOLA314122.98John Miles
6AUSSIE’S SON356323.17Michelle Bailey
7ALDERLEY REPORT138123.04Gary Robertson
8FREDYS FLASH41323.02Ian Betts
9BIRIGHITTI MAGIC316723.06Donald Andrews
10WEEKEND WES155322.80Peter Akers

Lochinvar Impact Wins The 2014 Gosford Mega Maiden Final

Tonight’s 2014 Gosford Mega Maiden Series Final was taken out by the Robert Smith trained Lochinvar Impact in a steady 30.11.
As the talented group of youngsters arrived at the boxes, the market suggested that this would be a three dog contest. Lochinvar Impact, War Room for Orange based mentor Steve Jones and Moonshine Pearl for the in-form David Pringle kennel dominated the betting.

Reco Marlow threw a spanner in the works early with a 4.43 opening split to lead clearly. Lochinvar Impact got a clear run early and loomed as an instant danger to the early leader. While the leaders got clear, Moonshine Pearl was checked out the back after stumbling shortly after boxrise.

Lochinvar Impact quickly put pay to Reco Marlow and was left a long way in front. War Room managed to thread his way through the field and was an enormous run to finish second after finding a lot of early bother.

Although the time of 30.11 in the final was average, the 29.86 and 29.87 heat runs from Lochinvar Impact and War Room suggest that both of these dogs have extremely bright futures.

We will see Lochinvar Impact in action on Friday in a semi-final of the Group One National Derby at The Gardens. He has drawn box three and will meet Mark Gatt’s up and coming superstar Red Road.


2014 Gosford Mega Maiden Final

2013 Queensland Greyhound Of The Year Nominations

The 3 finalist for the Queensland Greyhound of the Year have been announced with Xylia Allen, Glen Gallon and Starliner set to do battle off the track to claim this prestigious title.

With wonderful track performances throughout 2013, the judging panel will have a tough decision in crowning the greyhound of the year winner. The awards night, to be held on March 14th 2014 at Kedron Wavell Services Club will also recognise the following performances from a great 2013 year of Queensland Greyhound Racing:

2013 Brisbane GRC Greyhound of the Year

2013 Bundaberg GRC Greyhound of the Year

2013 Cairns GRC Greyhound of the Year

2013 Capalaba GRC Greyhound of the Year

2013 Ipswich GRC Greyhound of the Year

2013 Rockhampton GRC Greyhound of the Year

2013 Townsville GRC Greyhound of the Year

Brisbane Leading Owner

Brisbane Leading Trainer

Brisbane Trainers Strike Rate

Brisbane Sire of the Year

Brisbane Broodbitch of the Year

Women in Racing Award

Personality Award

Young Achiever of the Year

Top Simbi Award

Hall of Fame

2013 Greyhound of the Year

The 2013 Greyhound of Year Finalists:

GLEN GALLON (Flying Stanley – Incoherent)

Tony Brett trained chaser will be looking to secure his first Queensland Greyhound Of The Year title after being a finalist in 2012. He was a winner of the Group 1 Winter Cup, going back to back after his success in 2012. He’s a retired superstar who raced against the best throughout his illustrious career.
Albion Park 2013 record of 12 starts for 8 wins and 2 placings including multiple sub 30 second performances.
Top grade performances in every one of his race track performances.

2013 overall record – 21 starts – 11 wins and 4 placings.

STARLINER (Pure Octane – Borgata)

Gary Pettersen trained chaser who excelled over the Albion Park 600m trip, highlighted by his Group 3 Big Dog Cup success. Starliner will be named the 2013 Albion Park Greyhound of the Year after starting at the track 32 times for 13 wins and 15 placings – winning the award based on a point system.

The white flash was a revelation in 2013 and much was written about the Northern NSW chaser, who was simply brilliant at headquarters, winning races over the 520m, 600m and 720m journeys.

2013 overall record – 40 starts – 18 wins and 16 placings.

XYLIA ALLEN (Turanza Bale – Tayah Bale)

Jenny Hunt trained superstar who dominated racing Australia wide. In Queensland she started 6 times for 2 wins and 3 placing’s including being a three time Group finalists at Albion Park, with her results including – 2nd in the Group 2 Futurity, 3rd in the Group 1 Winter Cup and 4th in the Group 1 Brisbane Cup.

Victorian trained chaser who is eligible for the Queensland Award after starting the minimum six races in Queensland. She was a multiple group finalists who certainly clocked up the travel miles in 2013 and will be favourite to win this award after her efforts in Queensland and other states.
Controversy will surround any award won by this super bitch after the suspension of her previous trainer Graeme Bate for multiple positive swabs in 2013.

2013 overall record – 40 starts – 16 wins and 15 placings, including winning 5 Group races and qualifying for many other group finals. Three time Group 1 Winner, including the Sapphire Crown, National Sprint and Peter Mosman Classic. Group 2 Launceston Cup winner and Group 3 Sandown Shootout winner.

ARG wishes all finalists the best of luck and congratulations go to award winners on their contributions to greyhound racing in Queensland for 2013.

Down To Five For The S.A GOTY

GRSA’s selection panel for the Greyhound of the Year has determined the five nominations for the prestigious title.

The Gala Awards Dinner will be held on February 22, where the S.A Bred, Sprinting and Staying awards will be announced as well as the overall South Australian Greyhound of The Year.

The panel will now conduct voting between the following five greyhounds for the 2013 title:

ERNIE BUNG ARROW

Breeding: Lochinvar Marlow – Slippers’ Tonic

Trainer: Ken Gill

Owner: Helen Deacon

2013 Record: 18 starts 16-1-0  $146,620

Greyhound of the Month – July, September, October & December

Won – Heat, Semi & Final Champion Puppy

Heat & Final Schweppes SA Derby (G3)

Heat & Final Triple M Adelaide Cup (G1)

Heat, Semi & Final Brian Johnstone (G3)

The obvious candidate, Ernie Bung Arrow burst on to the scene in the second half of the year. Rising from the age-restricted races, Ernie Bung Arrow quickly garnered national attention via his explosive early speed and lightening sectional times.

Giving his rivals a head start in age, class and experience, he became the first dog in eight years to keep the Adelaide Cup trophy on home soil, before taking his place in the Invitation-only Topgun as a result. Having started 2014 in brilliant fashion with a fourth Group victory, Ernie Bung Arrow will be front of mind for panelists when the voting takes place.

FIRE TYSON

Breeding: Emerley Carlos – Avid Willow

Owner/Trainer: Tony Lagana

2013 Record: 42 Starts.17-7-8 $71,650

Greyhound of the Month – January & February

Won –   Final SA Sprint Championship (G3 – third in heat)

Heat SA St Leger (third in semi & third in final)

Heat & Final Breeders 2013 Prelude (2)

Heat & Semi Howard Ashton (G3 – third in final)

Heat Gawler Breeders 2013 (second in final)

Consolation Gawler Gold Cup (G3 – third in heat)

Staking the claim of ‘Mr Consistency’, Fire Tyson did all of his racing at the top level in 2013. His tendency to use the middle of the track has meant he has been able to overcome poor draws on several occasions. His tenacious nature and rare ability culminated with a final berth in the Group 1 Adelaide Cup.

KALDEN KURAGEOUS

Breeding: Collision – Abbadale Affair

Trainer: Troy Murray

Owner: Saliba Di Manno (Syn)

2013 Record:  34 Starts. 12-5-10 $40,590

Won – Heat West End Anniversary Cup (G3 – second in final)

Heat Gawler South Bakery Cup (third in final)

Heat Gawler Gold Cup (G3 – third in final)

Heat Strathalbyn Cup (fifth in final)

Simply brilliant at his best, Kalden Kurageous came across from W.A in late 2012 and started the new year with a bang. With several sub-30 times at Angle Park, Troy Murray’s chaser would go on to win over five different distances at three different tracks in 2013. While he was unable to capture his best form in the middle part of the year, Kalden Kurageous bounced back like a good dog should, ensuring his nomination was well deserved.

TERCEL

Breeding: Falcon – Liza Brown

Owner/Trainer: Karen Bearpark

2013 Record: 51 Starts 20-11-8 $45,355

Won – Heat John Gray (second in final)

Final Shane McQueen (second in heat)

Previously known as a talented sprinter, Tercel changed his strategy in 2013 by stepping up to the 600-metre journey with instant success. Quickly knocking up 12 wins over the middle distance, as well as keeping his form over the sprints, no-one would begrudge Tercel a GOTY nomination. Interestingly, Tercel changed kennels in January 2014, racing under the care of Kim Johnstone in recent weeks.

TOKEN MCLAREN

Breeding: Token Prince – Stevie Mclaren

Owner/Trainer: Don Foster

2013 Record: 40 Starts 17-6-8 $30,150

Won – Heat Breeders Prelude 2013 (1) (second in final)

Heat Howard Ashton (G3 – sixth in semi)

Also sixth in Triple M Adelaide Cup consolation

6 starts over 731m at Angle Park for 5 wins and a second.

2 starts over 600m at Angle Park for 2 wins.

While the overall numbers don’t look impressive, anyone that saw Token Mclaren’s runs over 600 and upwards in 2013 will understand his nomination. Uncovered as the state’s next staying star, Token Mclaren had seven wins with a margin of over 10 lengths, including a 17-length demolition job over Angle Park’s 731-metre trip in November. His times over all three distances were red hot, and are comparable with some of the great stayers in recent years. Expect 2014 to be even better for this highly talented chaser.

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