It should be a great night of racing at The Meadows tonight, lets see how many winners we can get for you all.
Race 11: Droopy’s Bentley
Race 3: Reiko Bale
Leg 1: 1 – Leg 2: 1,4,6 – Leg 3: 1,7 – Leg 4: 1,2,3,4,7
$30 for 100%
1st: $5,000 2nd: $1,430 3rd: $720.
Adam Handler finally broke through here last week with a brilliant 30.12 heat win. After beginning fairly he showed an abundance of speed and went past the second marker in a best of the day 17.73. If he can repeat that effort he will be very hard to reel in. There appears to be a fair bit of speed in the seven so he should be able to get a nice cart across in the early stages.
Dyna Double One scored an explosive 30 flat debut win here and he is the obvious danger. In his heat effort he had to overcome early difficulties so he is capable of going even quicker. My only concern with him is that his first section of 5.25 is pretty average so he may get strung up in traffic soon after the start.
Cigar Same has recorded two handy placings here to date and he shouldn’t be too far away again, he is a bit hit or miss early but he can feature if he steps cleanly.
Tobias Kelton and Dyna Vickers are the only other winning hopes, both were impressive heat winners and with luck in running both can feature.
Top Four: 8 – 2 – 3 – 1
Boxed Quinella: 1,2,3,8 ($6 for 100%)
Exacta: 2,3,8/1,2,3,8 ($9 for 100%)
Trifecta: 8/1,2,3/Field ($18 for 100%)
1st: $5,000 2nd: $1,430 3rd: $720.
Charleston is an exciting prospect and if he reproduces the form which saw him record two commanding Ballarat wins he will prove extremely hard to hold out. On both occasions he was fair to begin but he showed a dazzling turn of foot. From the pink draw he should get every chance to muster speed and put himself into the race at the first bend and the manner in which he hit the line at Ballarat suggests he won’t have too much trouble running out the journey.
Our Spinner is drawn to find the early lead and he caught the eye when winning at Cranbourne in 30.58 recently. There is a little bit of speed drawn on his outside but if he can step cleanly he should have sufficient speed to hold them out.
Tzar Norma showed great mid race pace in her top placing here two runs back and that type of effort would see her feature again, she is likely to be nice odds so she may be worth an each way ticket.
Alpha Zeus was solidly placed here last week and he should have enough speed to settle just behind Our Spinner in the early stages, he will want to get a little wide early but he should have sufficient room too.
Top Four: 8 – 1 – 6 – 2
Boxed Quinella: 1,2,6,8 ($6 for 100%)
Exacta: 1,8/1,2,6,8 ($6 for 100%)
Trifecta: 8/1,2,6/Field ($18 for 100%)
1st: $5,000 2nd: $1,430 3rd: $720.
Humming Birdhill was a classy 30.28 winner here three runs back and on that occasion she showed impressive early speed. From the wide draw she is going to need a little bit of luck early and I think she should get it as the six is a keen railer and the pink is fairly slow early, so she should get every chance to muster speed into the first bend.
Lektra Spider has the good draw and she showed improvement with a 30.57 win here last time, the time wasn’t flashy but she will continue to get stronger with more racing.
Flash Zoe is another who will settle on the speed and she has won two of her five starts here, she will need to lead clearly to win but she does have the speed to cross and if they bunch up behind her she may just steal the prize.
Reiko Bale rounds out the chances, she can be very unreliable at times but she should get a nice cart across early and she did beat a smart type here two runs back.
Top Four: 7 – 1 – 8 – 5
Quinella: 7 to rove with 1,5,8 ($3 for 100%)
Exacta: 1,7/1,5,7,8 ($6 for 100%)
Trifecta: 7/1,5,8/Field ($18 for 100%)
1st: $7,200 2nd: $2,060 3rd: $1,025.
Small field but fantastic lineup all the same. Star Recall is drawn to hold them out early and last week she set the track alight when scoring in an explosive 34.01. On that occasion she posted ridiculous early sectionals and if she can repeat that performance she should be able to set up a massive lead mid race and that should be enough to hold out Eliza Blanche.
Eliza Blanche has won three of four over this trip and she too can reel off explosive sectionals. The only worry with her is that she lacks mid race pace and that’s where Star Recall may get away from her mid race.
Cosmic Wise is another with a great record here and she should settle in the top three early, I dont think she is as fast as the inside two but if she crosses them early she can give a great sight.
Perfect Tess is in rare form and this is her toughest test to date, I dont think she can win tonight but a top three finish isn’t beyond her. There are some very talented types in this event but to me the one to beat two looks a good thing.
Top Four: 1 – 2 – 8 – 5
Trifecta: 1/2/Field ($4 for 100%)
Trifecta: 1,2/1,2/5,7,8 ($6 for 100%)
Trifecta: 1/2/5,8 ($2 for 100%)
Exacta: 1/2 ($2 for 100%)
1st: $5,000 2nd: $1,430 3rd: $720.
Dyna Nihilist is an absolute beast and he is drawn to make a big impact. Over the past two or three months he has probably been the most improved chaser in the country and in recent weeks he has scored some devastating wins, however his most impressive effort probably came last time out when placed at Sandown Park. On that occasion he was slow to begin and he gave them a fair head start but he charged home to be beaten by less than three lengths in blistering time. If he gets a clear passage early tonight he should blow them away and he will be running some serious time.
Dyna Fancy is ultra consistent and she beat a class lineup at Ballarat last time in a zippy 25.39, she has the speed to cross and she has been racing with a lot more strength in recent times.
Hot Whirl races well at this venue and she has broken 30 seconds here previously, she should get plenty of room in the early stages and if she can settle mid field she should be able to run home into a place.
Stompin’ has won six of eight to date and his past two wins at Ballarat have been sensational, if he can handle the track at his first look he will take a power of beating.
Top Four: 1 – 6 – 8 – 5
Boxed Quinella: 1,5,6,8 ($6 for 100%)
Exacta: 1,6/1,5,6,8 ($6 for 100%)
Trifecta: 1/5,6,8/Field ($18 for 100%)
1st: $6,260 2nd: $1,790 3rd: $890.
Keybow just keeps on winning and he appears to have a fair bit on this lot. Last time out he captured the Brisbane Cup final and he has shown great box manners in recent weeks. With the empty draw on his outside he should get room to show his customary early speed and he should settle outside Especially as they head into the first turn and as they head to the back straight he should go into overdrive. He is going to be extremely short but with an ounce of luck he should get the job done.
Mepunga Fearon is another who should be suited by the empty draw underneath and he can show smart early speed in his races. His recent form doesn’t look that flashy but he has been missing the kick, tonight he is coming off a two month break so he should be ready to fire fresh.
Blue Giant has enormous talent and he turned in a big performance when placed in the Ballarat Cup last time, he is going to need some room early but if he gets it he is more than capable of matching it with Keybow.
Especially is likely to set the pace and she is capable of holding on for a place, she is likely to get burnt off mid race.
Top Four: 4 – 6 – 1 – 2
Trifecta: 4/1,2,6/Field ($15 for 100%)
Trifecta: 4/1/Field ($5 for 100%)
Trifecta: 4/Field/1 ($5 for 100%)
Quinella: 4 to rove with 1 & 6 ($2 for 100%)
1st: $5,750 2nd: $1,645 3rd: $830.
High Class really caught the eye when winning here two runs back in 30.03 and she should be suited by the rise in distance. She is a better chaser when she can lead and dictate the terms, over this trip she shouldn’t have too much competition in the early stages and I would expect her to set up a nice lead mid race. She is likely to get a little tired in the run home but she should have enough in the tank to hold on.
Wind Whistler is armed with a monster finish and he too should be suited to this journey, I would much prefer him from a wider draw but he has the class edge and with an ounce of luck in the first 50m he will prove extremely hard to hold out.
Classy Boy doesn’t win all that often but he is rarely far away, the box draw hasn’t done him many favours but he is very strong and he can run home into a place spot.
Soho Rhythm beat a classy lineup at Ballarat over 545m and if you look back through her form, her past three victories have come from wide draws.
Top Four: 7 – 1 – 8 – 6
Trifecta: 1,7/1,7/Field ($12 for 100%)
Trifecta: 7/1,6,8/Field ($18 for 100%)
Exacta: 1,7,8/1,6,7,8 ($9 for 100%)
Quinella: 7 to rove with 1,6,8 ($3 for 100%)
1st: $5,320 2nd: $1,520 3rd: $760.
Udon Bale has scored two top wins here of late and he appears drawn to get the gun run tonight. He isn’t the best of beginners but he does muster speed well and with King Surfa expected to lead he should be able to drive through at the first bend and settle on his back. He is very strong in the run home so if he can be within four lengths of King Surfa off the back he should prove too strong in the run home.
King Surfa will set a cracking pace and he recently scored an impressive 30.10 win here. He is clearly a genuine winning chance because he will lead them up, however in this class I’m a little concerned that he may get pressured a bit earlier in the race than normal.
Where’s The Surf is all class and he returned to form at Warragul recently with a brilliant 25.92 Warragul win, on that occasion he powered to the line and if he can settle in the top four tonight he may just prove too strong for his rivals.
Earl Bale is an improving type and he is the only other winning hope, this is a big rise in class but in time he will be able to match it with these type of rivals.
Top Four: 2 – 4 – 1 – 7
Exacta: 2,4/1,2,4,7 ($6 for 100%)
Quinella: 2 to rove with 1,4,7 ($3 for 100%)
Trifecta: 2,4/2,4/Field ($12 for 100%)
1st: $5,000 2nd: $1,430 3rd: $720.
Kiss Me Ketut is slowly returning to his best form and he looks well placed in this event. If he can step cleanly he should get a nice cart across from Bogner Bale in the early stages and he should burn them off as they head into the first turn. He meets a good one in Are Jip tonight but I think he will be a long way in front of him early and he should get the job done.
Are Jip is a gun NSW speedster and he is getting ready for the Silver Chief, he has scored some explosive Wentworth Park wins to date but he is the type of chaser who needs to get out into some open space, if he can get some luck at the first bend he can make a big impact.
Jordan Allen should settle on the speed and he was a zippy 29.53 Sandown winner two runs back, his last 50m isn’t great but if he holds them out early he should be there at the end.
Lektra Brave is the only other chance, he showed improvement when placed here last week and he has great place prospects again.
Top Four: 6 – 2 – 1 – 4
Exacta: 1,2,6/1,2,4,6 ($9 for 100%)
Trifecta: 6/1,2,4/Field ($18 for 100%)
Quinella: 6 to rove with 1,2,4 ($3 for 100%)
1st: $5,000 2nd: $1,430 3rd: $720.
Opus Bale continues to improve with more racing and he appears drawn to play a major role. Last time out he experienced a lot of bother in the run but he was still good enough to finish on strongly and snag third spot. From the red he should be able to settle in the top two early and he will be very strong in the run to the line.
Stylish Baroque could be the value in the event, she has the ability to ping away and cross them early and she is a different chaser when she lands on the bunny. Two starts back she was narrowly beaten at Sandown in good time and a similar effort here would see her feature at nice odds.
Black Illusion has a poor record over this trip but he does have a lot of talent, if he has a little luck in the early stages he should be able to run a good race.
Top Four: 1 – 6 – 4 – 8
Trifecta: 1/4,6,8/Field ($18 for 100%)
First Four: 1,4,6/1,4,6/8/Field ($30 for 100%)
First Four: 1,4,6/1,4,6/Field/8 ($30 for 100%)
1st: $5,000 2nd: $1,430 3rd: $720.
Some highly promising chasers look set to do battle in this one and the exciting Droopy’s Bentley looks drawn to get all the breaks. Last time out he resumed from a short spell and he scored in devastating fashion at Shepparton in 25.13. He has won here in a slick 30.06 previously and he appears to have made a lot of improvement since that run, so if he gets across early the time he records could be very interesting.
Izzey Bale is well drawn nearer the inside and he was an impressive 30.11 winner here recently, he is going to need some luck in the first 50m but he is very strong so he will be charging home right at the end. Fleetwood Jay has won four on end with the latest being here in a solid 30.36. He would have derived a lot of benefit from that run and if he finds the early lead he is capable of getting down to around the 30.10 mark. Memphis Jookin’ is much better than his recent form reads and he could be the big improver.
Top Four: 8 – 2 – 3 – 5
Boxed Quinella: 2,3,5,8 ($6 for 100%)
Exacta: 2,8/2,3,5,8 ($6 for 100%)
Trifecta: 8/2,3,5/Field ($18 for 100%)
1st: $5,000 2nd: $1,430 3rd: $720.
Thunder Flame appears to be improving with every run and he appears drawn to get all the breaks. His box manners aren’t great but he does muster speed at a great rate and if he can avoid trouble in the first 50m he should make a big impact.
Bramwell Brown showed tremendous improvement when winning at Bendigo last time out in 28.04 and he hit the line in a commanding manner in that victory. He is having his first look here but if he can handle the first turn he should be there at the end.
Walt Bale turned in a big performance when placed here last week and he has won here previously in a slick 30.06, if he can step on terms with them he should have sufficient speed to settle in the top two.
Se’s High Above rounds out the chances, she is likely to settle back in the field but she will be steaming home at the end.
Top Four: 8 – 2 – 4 – 6
Exacta: 2,8/2,4,6,8 ($6 for 100%)
Quinella: 8 to rove with 2,4,6 ($3 for 100%)
Trifecta: 8/2,4,6/Field ($18 for 100%)
Let’s face it, we would all love to have a greyhound running in the Group One Melbourne Cup final on Friday night at Sandown. So what does it take to get a finalist into the coveted race?
A look behind the scenes at the breeding of each of the finalists reveals some interesting facts which may go some way to telling us what the right recipe is for getting a Group One finalist.
Keybow is a 30.5kg male chaser by Take The Kitty and Key Exit. Key Exit was trained by Ken Cheetham and recorded seven wins from 22 starts. The wins were at places like Wentworth Park, Gosford, The Gardens and Maitland.
Key Exit is by Over Flo and Atlanta Belle. Atlanta Belle hails from the highly successful Matic-bred line. Her dam is Georgia Belle, who is found in the breeding of stud dog Hurricane Luke and other chasers such as Brother Knows (2006 Group 1 Derby winner), Persian Belle and Ironstein (2006 WA National Sprint Champion).
So, although Keybow is out of a moderately performed bitch, his dam-line has a good history of success.
It is really no surprise that Chica Destacada is a very hand chaser. The 26.5kg Cosmic Rumble bitch has the Group-performed Eluthra as her mother. Eluthra (Most Awesome – Buena Sarah) made the final of the Group One National Futurity in 2008. She was also the winner of the 2007 Group Two Wentworth Park Potential Stakes.
Eluthra’s previous litter to El Galo produced El Caballo, a finalist in the 2012 Group One Easter Egg and Ella Bonita, a finalist in the Group Three Ladies Bracelet.
The 32kg Kiwi-bred chaser has an Australian dad (Magic Sprite) and a mother that raced in New Zealand. Kara Janx had seven wins from 34 starts and is by Fashion Thief and More Than This. Fashion Thief is an Australian bred dog who qualified fastest for the Group One National Derby in 2004 and now stands in New Zealand. More Than This was a well-performed New Zealander, finishing third in the Auckland Oaks.
More Than This also features in the breeding of Clone Your Own. Clone Your Own, who is also owned by Above All’s connections, came to Australia to race under the tutelage of Robert Britton. He was highly successful, with the crowning glory a victory in the Group 2 Harrison-Dawson.
Awesome Project’s dam, Honour Phase, was unraced but this mere fact has not stopped the 30kg Collision dog from being a success on the racetrack.
However, you don’t have to scratch the surface too much to see why his dam has been a success. Honour Phase is by Big Daddy a Cool and Hunter Tylo. Hunter Tylo is the mother of Group winner Oh Behave. Oh Behave has produced Group finalists such as Will You Behave and Maddison Dee.
So although it is a risk breeding from an unraced performer, Awesome Project proves that it can be done with success.
Cosmic Wise is a strongly built 29kg bitch by Cosmic Chief and Wise Penny.
Wise Penny did much of her racing in Western Australia, winning nine from 48. Her worth as a brood lies in the fact that she is by Bombastic Shiraz and Awesome Berger. Awesome Berger is from a prolific line that has produced Group chasers the ilk of Bit Chili, Tifi, Did I Entertain, Double Twist, Smart Betsy, Smart Valentino and even Paua To Burn.
The 27kg Western Australian chaser Star Recall is by High Earner and No Recall. No Recall had 13 wins from 43 starts with the majority of those wins at Cannington. No Recall’s mother, Bradshaw Girl, was a very versatile chaser, winning from 410m through to 725m.
The mother of Bradshaw Girl, Glamourette, also features in the breeding of Cool Effort who won the Group 2 Shoot Out in 2007 and the Group 2 Geelong Cup.
Luca Neveelk has had a flying start to his career. The blue 36kg chaser is by Talks’s Cheap and It’s A Neveelk. It’s A Neveelk won nine from 59 before being retired to the breeding barn. She is by Nitro Neveelk and Bigbad Leesa.
Bigbad Leesa did not do much on the track, having just the one start for no return. Bigbad Leesa is by Brett Lee and Lara Flynn and that is where we start to understand the success behind this line. Lara Flynn out of Mystery Bird, the 2002 Australian brood-bitch of the year and dam of Group 1 Easter Egg winner Cyrus The Virus. Mystery Bird is out of Dollar Bird, the matron of another Easter Egg winner, Stately Bird.
On the face if it, Dyna Villa is by Collision and Roxio Bale but when you dig down you find out that Dyna Villa is related to none other than the recently retired superstar Xylia Allen.
Roxio Bale is the sister of Xylia Allen’s mum, Tayah Bale (Droopy’s Vieri and Francesca Bale). Roxio Bale raced largely in South Australia, racking up 17 wins.
Roxio Bale has produced a Group performer in her previous litter to Meticulous. Allen Makoto finished second in the Group Two Silver Chief in 2013 and was a finalist in the 2013 Group Three SA Derby.
In conclusion, there’s a nice spread of sires in this year’s final with just Collison featuring twice. Clearly, a large amount of success for these chasers stems from the success of those in their dam-line. What the analysis of the breeding does show is that while having a well performed bitch feature in the first few generations is very handy, it isn’t always necessary as moderately performed chasers can also throw a Melbourne Cup finalist. In saying that though, the analysis demonstrates that it helps if these moderately performed chasers hail from successful dam-lines.
Osti’s Style raced away to score by just over two lengths from Anthem and Railway Road in the 1994 final of the Canberra Cup. Osti’s Style overcame box five and ran a fast 30.68 for the 530 metres trip.
Pure Octane downed Benny’s Toll by three-quarters of a length in the 2005 Paws of Thunder at Wentworth Park, running a new race record time of 29.77 for the 520 metres journey. This clipped a substantial 28/100ths off the previous race record, jointly held by Stately Bird and Some Secret.
Brilliant puppy Tempix took out the 1978 Silver Chief Classic, run over 511 metres at Olympic Park, defeating Sharp Roo by just over a length in a quick 30.60. It was the first time the Silver Chief had been run in October.
Dave’s Mentor downed Frozen Keysy and Railroad Wish to annex the 2000 Silver Chief Classic, the first to be run over 525 metres at The Meadows. Dave’s Mentor earned $40,000 for the victory.
Gallant Seagull took out the 1998 Sydney Cup (Wentworth Park, 720 metres) by just over three lengths from Rhonda’s Cruiser with John Beam third. Among the well beaten fancied runners were Red Mystique (fifth) and Victorian stayer Tonight’s Wish (eighth).
The Ray Gilroy-trained Always Late used box one to full advantage to take out the 1975 Tasmanian Gold Cup (also known as the Hobart Gold Cup), run over 500 metres at Hobart, scoring in a fair 30.00.
Te Amo downed Dyna Nalin and Zelemar Fever to win the 2013 Mandurah Cup for trainer Linda Britton, running a fast 27.26 for the 490 metres journey.
South Australian star Kate’s A Scandal exited box one over 511 metres at Olympic Park and scored a three and a half lengths win in the 1981 National Sprint Championship, downing Victorian sprinter Picture This with Queenslander Thor’s Edition third. The victory was her 15th in succession, a new Australian record for consecutive wins.
China Lady ran 26.5 to set a new track record for 500 yards at Harold Park, in 1948. That time was later equalled by greyhounds of the calibre of Macareena and Plunkett’s Pride and was not broken until August 1957 when Top Linen ran 26.4.
Carnival Boy set a new track record time of 29.29 for 507 metres at Dapto in 1988 for trainer Alan Pringle, in what was his first official race start.
The Graeme Bate-trained Suellen Bale scored a strong victory in the 2001 Paws of Thunder over 520 metres at Wentworth Park, defeating Vi’s Magic and Jeanie’s Queen. It was the first time the race had been worth $100,000 to the winner.
Fire Lad set a race record 43.01 in taking out the 1995 Sydney Cup for trainer Graeme Bate, becoming the first Victorian stayer to win the event on the loam surface. Fire Lad defeated Dave’s Cruiser by a length and a half with Ultra Desire third. Queensland champion Boronia Blossom was sixth.
Foolish Girl won the 2005 running of The Schweppes, the last to be conducted over the 530 metres distance. Trained by John Iwanyk, Foolish Girl won by a length from Token Royale, ran 30.67 and earned $20,000.
The first greyhound hurdle using a jumping mechanical lure ever to be tried in Australia took place at Wentworth Park in 1954. The device had been invented by Pat Kieran, the ground manager at Wentworth Park. The first hurdle using the jumping hare was run over 580 yards (530 metres) and taken out by the favourite, First Entry, by eight lengths.
Swazi Flash, owned and trained by Alan Pringle, won the first running of the Chairman’s Cup over 720 metres at Wentworth Park, in 1988. Swazi Flash scored by six lengths from Francis John with Miss Pegasus a further seven lengths away third, recording 42.16 on the grass surface, just 7/100ths outside the track record. Swazi Flash had now won nine of her 12 career starts.
Roanokee won the 1997 Queensland Derby (520 metres, Albion Park) by six and a half lengths from Planet Hollywood, running 30.00 to set a new race record, clipping 28/100ths off the mark set by Jurassic Vapour three years earlier. Roanokee earned $12,000 for trainer Roger Green.
Phantom’s Return won the 1966 Silver Chief Classic, run over 560 yards at Olympic Park. He earned $2,000 for the victory, running 30.14/16.
Kyasha won the 1994 Anniversary Trophy by a head from Terasaki. This was the last Anniversary Trophy to be held at Olympic Park. The race would not be run again until 2000, when it was reintroduced at The Meadows.
Black Top took out the 1963 four-dog invitational Interstate Challenge, run over 580 yards at Wentworth Park. Black Top used box one to full advantage to defeat the Victorian pair of The Stripper and Mulga Bay by three lengths in a fast 31.2. Black top’s litter brother, Keen Linen, finished fourth.
Carry On Coley took out the 1993 Anniversary Trophy, over 511 metres at Olympic Park, for trainer Alan Britton, scoring by almost three lengths from Artic Express and Celadon in a fast 29.73.
Rules won the 1989 McKenna Memorial at Sandown Park (716 metres), defeating Dorak and Carmella’s Charm. Champion stayer Bold Trease finished fifth. Two years earlier he had run second to great rival High Intensity.
Woolley Wilson downed Mystery Man by two and a half lengths to win the inaugural running of the Sid Graham Memorial Trophy, over 587 yards at Richmond, in 1972. Woolley Wilson earned $1,000 for the victory. It was the only time the race was run over the sprint journey. From 1973 onwards it was contested over 722 metres.
The first running of the Chairman’s Cup took place, in 1984. Run over 732 metres at Harold Park, the race was taken out by Secret Secret (box 4) from No Exceptions and Sharyn’s Vogue.
Secret Code ran 26.01 to set a new track record for 460 metres at Bundaberg, in 2007.
Lady Arko snipped 2/100ths from the 715 metres track record at Sandown in 2011 when she scored in 41.55 to take out the National Distance Championship Victorian State Final. This was the fourth time in less than nine months the track record had been broken, coming down from the 41.70 run by So Seductive the previous year.
Pol’s Duke, trained by veteran conditioner Ed Tucker, annexed the 1972 Sandown Hurdle Championship, winning by two lengths from Venetian Note and Faboc and picking up $3,000.
The beautifully-bred black bitch Ascapella Miss (Chariot Charm x Fullock) took out the 1973 Strathalbyn Puppy Championship, running 32.30 to equal the race record.
Mid City Mandy downed Rocky by a neck with Miss Brook third in the 2006 AWM Distance Title (725 metres, the Meadows). Mid City Mandy ran 42.66 to set a new race record, clipping just 1/100th off the previous mark set by Classy Customer two years earlier.
Exclusive One ran 25.87 to set a new track record over 472 metres at Bulli in 2012.
The NSW Greyhound Breeders, Owners, and Trainers Association (GBOTA) was officially registered in 1939. Ern Scully was the first secretary with Gus Gumpers as the first president.
Local sprinter Baguio defeated another local star, Wade Park, by half a length with Victorian Mandarin Girl a half length away third in the 1976 Interstate Challenge, run over 530 metres at Wentworth Park. NSW sprinter Busy’s Chief was fourth with Victorian Golden Spur fifth and last. Baguio ran a race record 31.15.
Queen Lauryn downed Voodoo Prince and Kallan Bale to win the 2009 Darwin Cup, running a new track record time of 31.22 for the 537-metre trip.
Queensland star Faithful Hawk downed Big Bad Luther by a neck to win the 1998 Young Star Classic over 520 metres at Wentworth Park, running a race record 30.44.
Majority Rules, from Western Australia, took out the 2008 Darwin Cup from Poldar Eyes and New Coin, earning $20,000 for the victory.
Ascapella Miss won over 512 metres at Angle Park, in 1973, running 30.86 and lowering Fawn Esquire’s six-month old track record of 30.91.
Alpha Brava took out the 1975 Dave Alexander Memorial Classic by five lengths from Odious, run over 500 yards at Harold Park. He ran a fast 26.48 from box seven.
Champion sprinter Farrago was sold by Sydney businessman Walter Frankel for a record price of 4,000 guineas (£4,200) in 1951 to breeder Albert Carter. This broke previous record price of 500 guineas (£525) set in 1944 for King Jerry.
Jazzy Tom won the 1996 Young Star Classic (520 metres, Wentworth Park) by a length and a half from Tried And True with Kedo’s Millie an equal margin away third. Jazzy Tom ran the trip in a new race record of 30.87, taking 12/100ths off the previous mark set the previous year by Gaylene.
Lucy’s Light defeated Miss Brook by a neck with Miss Grub third in the President’s Cup, run over 710 metres at Albion Park.
Top-class big track sprinter El Gazelle defeated Top Farewell by three-quarters of a length with Ruth Earl a similar distance away third in the 1973 TAB Tracks’ Championship, run over 457 metres at Harold Park.
Good As Tom downed Bronze Venture and Fiesta Ben in the 1977 Sandown Hurdle Championship.
Bright Ebony ran 23.04 to set a new track record over 420 metres at Tweed Heads in 2001.
Dupondy Two annexed the 1968 Silver Chief Classic, run over 560 yards at Olympic Park, running 30.11/16 and earning his connections $2,000 for the win.
Pol’s Duke set a new track record of 31.14/16 for the 555 yards hurdle distance at Sandown Park in 1972.
Background to the Maturity Classic
This is arguably the premier restricted age event held in Australia. Yes, superior to the National Derby and the Silver Chief Classic. Just a look through the honour roll of the winners is a walk through a parade of champions. Then you come to those who have failed to win the race, and once again the ‘gems’ just hurtle off the page.
The first Maturity Classic was run at Olympic Park on 23 March 1970 and fell to Phantom’s Heir who used box one to full advantage to run 30 5/16 and pick up $1,250. Phantom’s Heir had run second in the Australian Cup a month earlier and went on to win the Geelong Cup.
It has been contested over 560 yards (511 metres) at Olympic Park (1970-1996), at Sandown Park over 515 metres (1997-1998), 518 metres at The Meadows (1999-2001) and 525 metres since 2002.
When Is The Race Run
In 1970 it was March, then between 1971 and 1975 it was January. Between 1976 and 1981 it was either February or March. In 1982 there were two Maturity Classics finalized, the first in March (won by Wynlee Spirit) and the second in December (taken out by Rocky Pyramid). No race was held in 1983. From 1984 to 1986 the final was in April. Between 1987 and 1999 the final was concluded in either May or June. It was back to April in 2000, then March in 2001 and 2002, before May again became the preferred date from 2003 until 2009. Since 2010 the final has been run in July.
The mixing of the dates has not dented the popularity of the race; just made it harder for owners and trainers to remember when it takes place.
Only Reserves to Win
Biggest Winning Margins
I don’t have full information for all the finals, but of those I am aware of the widest winning margin belongs to Temlee, who won by nine lengths in 1974 (from box one). Satan’s Legend won by six and three-quarter lengths in 1978, Best Of Blue by six lengths in 1989, and Hall’s Northern scored in 2003 by five and three-quarter lengths.
Closest Winning Margins
Executive Class won by just a head in 1992 and Overflow Love won by half a length in 1977.
Most Successful Trainers
Graeme Bate has won five times, with Storm Glade (1985), Hay Dinney (1988), Northern Legend (1995), Shereen Bale (2011), and Barcia Bale (2012). Peter Giles has won twice, with Acacia Dee (2000) and Paddy’s Flame (2008), as has Darren McDonald, with Brett Lee (2001) and Hallucinate (2004) and Jason Thompson, with Run’s House (2007) and Aston Trivett (2009).
Some Beaten Stars
Sylvan Prince (second 1974), Bristol Sue (eighth 1974), Shelley O’Reilly (second 1977), Mile Post (seventh 1977), Belabour Prince (third 1978), Dusty Pogress (unplaced 1978), Rod’s Advice (unplaced 1980), Takbe’s Talent (unplaced 1981), Superstar (second 1982), Eaglehawk Star (unplaced 1984), Freewheeler (second 1988), Hua (second 1989), Sandi’s Me Mum (unplaced 1989), Farmer George (unplaced 1989), Worth Backing (fourth 1992), Dallas Duo (fifth 1992), Big Ginger Boy (third 1995), Cattle Drive (second 1996), Paradise Street (seventh 1996), Chicago Blue (second 1997), Now Running (third 1997), Ringside Fire (fourth 1997), Solve The Puzzle (sixth 1998), Arvo’s Express (sixth 1999), Jack Junior (eighth 1999), Trewking (fourth 2001), Bombastic Shiraz (fourth 2003), Blackjack Tom (fifth 2003), Sun Hero (fourth 2004), Pure Octane (fourth 2005), Nova Surf (dead-heat second 2009), Dyna Forte (eighth 2009), Rewind (third 2011), Kilty Lad (fourth 2011), Dyna Nalin (second 2013) and Hawk alone (third 2013).
For its first three editions (1970-1972 inclusive) the race was restricted to male greyhounds. Since 1973 it has been open to both males and females.
Graeme Bate trained first and second in 2011 (Shereen Bale and Stefan Bale) and first, second, and sixth in 2012 (Barcia Bale, Desalle Bale, and Dyna Filbert).
Temlee, the winner in 1974, went on to sire Satan’s Legend (1978) and Murchison Champ (1981) while New Tears, the winner in 1987, sired Northern Legend (1995) and Brett Lee, the 2001 victor, sired Hallucinate (2004).
The race has unearthed some tremendous future stayers: Rod’s Advice (unplaced 1980), Pharaoh’s Mask (Won 1986), Northern Legend (Won 1995), Paradise Street (seventh 1996), and Ringside Fire (fourth 1997) being the prime examples.
1970 Phantom’s Heir
1971 Linden Lad
1972 Nulla’s Call
1973 Shan’s Tempest
1975 Warranwood Girl
1976 Aaron King
1977 Overflow Love
1978 Satan’s Legend
1980 Worthy Weston
1981 Murchison Champ
1982 (1) Wynlee Spirit
1982 (2) Rocky Pyramid
1983 not held
1984 Broken Cup
1985 Storm Glade
1986 Pharaoh’s Mask
1987 New Tears
1988 Hay Dinney
1989 Best Of Blue
1990 Eureka Man
1992 Executive Class
1995 Northern Legend
1996 Royal Honcho
1997 Running Gold
1998 Adrenalin Storm
2000 Acacia Dee
2001 Brett Lee
2002 Rocka Cockatoo
2003 Hall’s Northern
2005 Poetic Magic
2006 Train A Journey
2007 Run’s House
2008 Paddy’s Flame
2009 Aston Trivett
2010 El Grand Senor
2011 Shereen Bale
2012 Barcia Bale
2013 Marcus Joe
Montana Jet won her first race start, over 380 yards at Geelong, by nine lengths in 1957. The black bitch was just 12 months old and went on to win her first four starts, all over the next three weeks.
Mo Mo Terms set a new track record time of 40.0 for the 740 yards trip at Grafton in 1969. Mo Mo Terms defeated Busy’s Charm by two lengths with Diamond Au Go Go third.
Future NSW Greyhound of the Year finalist See Yah won his first start by 20 lengths, a 384 metres maiden at Singleton, in 1987.
Bribie Pine won the 875 metres marathon at Ipswich in 1993, running 54.05, a new track record. Bribie Pine had won the only race ever run over 957 metres at Albion Park five weeks earlier.
The 1959 Winter Cup, run over 790 yards at Wentworth Park, was taken out by Glamorous Babe from Miss Galaxy and The Snowbird. On the same night, the Ladies Bracelet, run over 580 yards, was won by Calorie from Armatree Major and Movie Lad.
The first edition of the DDC Launching Pad too place, over 732 metres at Olympic Park, in 1994. Known then as the Dandenong Dry Cleaners Trophy, the race was taken out by Cuthbert’s Son who won by nine and a half lengths from Sheena Lass. Top Sovereign, the Sandown Cup winner, finished last.
Busy’s Chief defeated Queensland star Kabisa Gem by two lengths over 512 metres at Lismore in 1975, running 30.15 to set a new track record.
Shannen’s Storm won the 1997 Sale Cup by a neck from Mepunga Streak, running 29.76 and earning $10,000.
Second Stage won the 1968 National Derby, run over 580 yards at Wentworth Park, defeating Rokoko by a length and a half with Baron Glow just a nose away third. The Geoff Johnson owned and trained sprinter ran 31.2 to equal the race record.
Black Diro defeated Michael Hermes to take out the 1970 Silver Chief Classic, run over 560 yards at Olympic Park. Black Diro earned $3,500 for owner-trainer Tom Bleazby.
Hotshow Vintage won the 2001 AWM Distance Title (725 metres, Meadows), running 42.89 to down Ima Duke by three-quarters of a length for trainer Jason Thompson.
Hade’s Rocket defeated Paua To Burn by just over five lengths to win the 2005 Winter Carnival Cup (520 metres, Albion Park). Pure Octane was third ahead of Collide and 2004 winner Trewly Special. Hade’s Rocket ran a new race record time of 29.90, clipping 7/100ths off the previous best.
Mister Moss overcame a ton of early trouble to win the 1967 National Derby, run over 580 yards at Wentworth Park. Although drawn well in box two, Mister Moss was cut out at the start and badly hampered on the rail at the back turn before switching to the outside and storming home to score by a length from Strip Off with Victorian star Munich Boy third.
Trewly Special defeated local champion Bogie Leigh by a length to take out the 2004 Winter Carnival Cup (520 metres, Albion Park) for trainer Tina Womann. Trewly Special picked up $50,000 for the victory.
Sandown Park is set to sizzle on Thursday night when four heats of the Group Two Berwick Mazda Harrison-Dawson set to take place over the 515 metre journey.
Quality will be omnipresent with no less than 13 individual Group winners set to grace the circuit in the four heats which is testament to the sheer class on display.
A relatively new event, the Harrison-Dawson was first held in 2009 when it was taken out by Dyna Forte. Other previous winners include Flash Of Light, Don Chendo and General Destini.
Last year’s event was taken out by the former Kiwi Clone Your Own for Rob Britton.
$100,000 dollars awaits the winner of next week’s final as well as the dignity of being etched into greyhound immortality among the annuls of Group Two winners.
Here is a look at the main chances in each heat;
Race 5 – Berwick Mazda Harrison-Dawson – Heat 1 – 8:28pm
Group One Australian Cup winner Buckle Up Wes (2) headlines a superb opening heat. He is first up since seemingly blowing a winning opportunity in the final of the Golden Easter Egg at Wentworth Park where he got wide on the first turn. The son of Collision and Everlong Bale (Primo Uno – Shique Bale) has only had one start at Sandown Park where he was unplaced but is the real deal and will take plenty of beating.
The bullet-proof Innocent Til (4) exits the squeeze box for Jason Thompson. He is a model of consistency, winning 29 of his 49 career outings. He has a real penchant for the Sandown Park circuit winning six of his 10 starts there, including a best of 29.24. He is not likely to be in the firing line early but will be poised to swoop as heads turn for home.
Crump (3) is the recent Group Two Horsham Cup winner who has also carved out a slick 29.29 at this track, winning three of his 11 starts here. He often needs a little bit of luck early in proceedings and that may well decide his fate in this race.
Buckle Up Mason (1), a littermate to Buckle Up Wes, exits the coveted rails alley. He had put four consecutive wins together before falling last start. In his most recent Sandown win he stopped the clock at 29.26. A repeat of that would see him in this up to his ears.
Race 6 – Berwick Mazda Harrison-Dawson – Heat 2 – 8:52pm
Hooksy (6) is chasing his eighth consecutive win in the second heat for Tatura trainer Tanya Auld. The son of Hondo Black and Uno Witch (Primo Uno – Proven Tops) took out the Bill Collins Memorial at Sandown last week in a rapid 29.26. He is undefeated in four attempts at the track and has a flying best of 29.15. Given a tiny bit of room early, he will be off and gone.
Group One Golden Easter Egg winner Tonk (4) will sport the blue rug for Lara mentor Brooke Ennis. He won his only race at Sandown Park way back in September last year in 29.44. It is fair to assume he is a much better dog now than he was then and it would be no surprise for him to register a hat-trick of wins in this race.
Kiss Me Ketut (1) is a multiple Group winning conveyance who has more than his share of class. Admittedly his recent performance may not have been his best, but he was a quick winner at Warrnambool two starts back and is drawn well. He has to be considered.
Musquin Bale (2) won the Group Three Bert Bryant Memorial over 595 metres here last start and is a regular in Group finals. He will be close to the speed and sure to take advantage of any opportunity he is afforded in the run. Definitely one for multiples.
Race 7 – Berwick Mazda Harrison-Dawson – Heat 3 – 9:11pm
Heat three features a plethora of wining chances with luck sure to play a part due to an apparent absence of genuine early speed.
Campaspe Will (6) steps back down from middle distance racing where he had been performing in great heart. He has won three from five over this trip and boasts a slippery best of 29.18. If he lands anywhere near the speed he is a massive hope.
Awesome Project (3) has won four in-a-row for astute Devon Meadows trainer Darren McDonald despite mixing distances. He is a last start winner over this trip in 29.53. He could find himself handy in this and take some running down.
Banjo Boy (8) is the Group Two Cranbourne Cup winner who, at his best, can be devastating. The outside draw may test him given his moderate box manners.
Red Road (4) is a New South Wales visitor who has won 11 of his 17 starts including the Group Two Richmond Derby. He has exhibited early speed in some of his races which he will need to do to feature in this.
Hawk Alone (7) won the Group One Rookie Rebel earlier in the year and is another who will rely on early luck. Should he get some of that, then he has a very strong finish and could be a knockout chance at double figures.
Race 8 – Berwick Mazda Harrison-Dawson – Heat 4 – 9:35pm
Black Magic Opal (3) looks to continue the rich vein of form that saw him salute in last week’s Group Two Warrnambool Cup. The son of Magic Sprite and Awesome Opal (Most Awesome – Opal Glow) has an imposing record of 35 wins from 47 starts and has won five of his last six race starts. He has been to Sandown four times for three wins and boasts a best of 29.37. He is the one they have to beat in the fourth and final heat.
Warrior King (7) was a recent place-getter in the Group One Golden Easter Egg and seems to improve every time he steps out on the track. The big obstacle for him is the wide draw and his tardy box manners which may see him needing a lot of luck in the run.
Hellyeah Bolt (2) comes up from Tasmania with an outstanding record. He has won 21 of his 34 career starts and never lost from box two in three attempts. He will need to show some early dash to put himself in the race but has the ability to do so.
Ollie Bale (4) had no luck in the recent Warrnambool Cup final and is the Group One Silver Chief winner. He is at his best when he can lead and that may be tough for him being drawn outside Black Magic Opal.
There is no rest for the wicked as Victorian feature racing shifts to the picturesque town of Warrnambool this Wednesday evening, where a quintet of Cup heats will take place under the watchful eye of the grand old twin sentinels that are the Lady Bay lighthouses.
For those lucky enough to advance to next Wednesday night’s 450 metre Group Two final, a $43,750 winners cheque awaits the connections of the victor.
Let’s take a look at the main chances in each heat;
Race 4 – Warrnambool Cup – Heat 1 – 7:58pm
The scratching of super star Paw Licking (6) has thrown the first heat wide open.
Empire Allen (5) is always thereabouts at this level. He comes into this on the back of a sixth in the Bendigo Cup final after running second to Paw Licking in the heats. He is a very consistent chaser with the only worry being that he has just one win to his name in 2014 which was back in mid February.
Whata Good Size (2) is a winner of 23 from 44 career starts who is in the astute Jason Thompson kennel. He narrowly missed a berth in the Bendigo Cup Final, running second to Deadly Vane in his heat. He has finished in the top-two at his last eight starts and should be close to the speed throughout.
Izack Bale (7) flew at Bendigo last start and has also clocked a slick 25.47 here in the past. If he can replicate Sunday’s effort he will be in this up to his ears.
Race 6 – Warrnambool Cup – Heat 2 – 8:38pm
The freakish Black Magic Opal (7) headlines the second heat. The Jason Thompson trained son of Magic Sprite and Awesome Opal (Most Awesome – Opal Glow) had strung three on end before a seventh in the Bendigo Cup final on Sunday. He should be winning this.
Jordan Allen (8) comes into this after racing in the final of the Group One Golden Easter Egg where he finished sixth. This will be his first go at this track and distance but he is a classy customer.
Musquin Bale (5) sizzled at Wentworth Park in 29.66 last Saturday night after reaching the semi-final of the Golden Easter Egg a week earlier. He also has his first go at this trip here.
Nic Nat Nui (6) has a penchant for the Warrnambool circuit winning four from eight here with a best of 25.26. If he comes out well, he is a knockout chance in this one.
Race 8 – Warrnambool Cup – Heat 3 – 9:18pm
Group Two Warragul Cup winner Walk Hard (3) makes an appearance in the third heat as he begins his quest for a second provincial cup win. He had been racing well before a fourth at Sandown over the longer trip followed by a no-race at Wentworth Park in a heat of the Golden Easter Egg that featured a lure malfunction. If he is anywhere near his best, he is the one to beat here.
Ollie Bale (2) won a heat and semi of the Golden Easter Egg before finishing last in the final. He is already a winner of the Group One Silver Chief and has to be considered a major player here.
Take Charge (8) is an up-and-comer who has registered a slick 25.20 here at his only start at the track. If he can exit the wide box smartly he could be some sort of chance.
Vapourash (5) is a very talented chaser but his box manners usually leave him needing luck in the run. Should he get some, he is capable of flying here and has a best of 25.17.
Mepunga Moss (6) has won her last five starts, four of which were at Sandown. She has a best of 25.24 here and is in the type of form that is hard to ignore.
Race 9 – Warrnambool Cup – Heat 4 – 9:38pm
Ronan Izmir (2) is a provincial cups king and loves the Warrnambool circuit. The son of Elite State and Adhara Izmir (Collison – Chevron Izmir) was a finalist in last weekend’s Bendigo Cup where he finished fourth. He is undefeated here in three attempts and boasts a sizzling best of 25.01. He looks the one to beat here.
Deadly Vane (3) ran a barnstorming second in the final of Sunday’s Bendigo Cup. He had won three on end before that and won his only start here in 25.29. He looks to be the main danger to Ronan Izmir should he get a bit of room to move early.
Premier Event (8) has won three from six over this trip and boasts a handy 25.21 but will need to be at his best to win this.
Quara Bale (5) has won six of her last eight starts and was impressive in her win at Bendigo on Sunday. She has good early speed and could put herself right in the picture on the credence of that.
Race 10 – Warrnambool Cup – Heat 5 – 9:57pm
Innocent Til (6) looks perfectly placed to take out the final heat of the evening. The son of Premier Fantasy and Proven Polly (Black Enforcer – Proven Tops) has won four of his last five, with his other start being a close second to Crump in the Horsham Cup final. He was another greyhound who was involved in the lure malfunction in a heat of the Golden Easter Egg and has had a two week break since that race. He will take a power of beating here.
Dyna Beth (5) was placed in the Group One Melbourne Cup and also a semi-finalist in the Golden Easter Egg. She won well at The Meadows last time out and looks the main danger in this one.
Veyron Bale (8) was a finalist in the Bendigo Cup final on Sunday, his form has only been moderate but he does have some class on a a few of these.
Top Secret (4) does not win out of turn but he was a recent Bendigo Cup finalist and returns to his favourite track here where he has won three from four, including a best of 25.31.
Star chaser Phenomenal ran the fastest of fifteen 2014 Warrnambool Classic Heats at Wannon Park during the week.
Competing in Heat four, Phenomenal lead throughout to set new track record figures of 24.83 seconds for the 450 metres, and without doubt looks the one to beat in the series.
The first ten heats were conducted on Tuesday night, where heat one was taken out by the Darren Brown trained Magic Diva, who led from go to whoa, running a solid 25.40 seconds. The well performed daughter of Elite State has a terrific record having won 20 from 37 outings and looks set to be a major player in the series.
Darren Brown made it a quick fire double when he took out heat two with Silver Chief Finalist Ride The Rails. The explosive chaser semaphored a gallop of 25.30 in his heat and looks set to continue his run of excellent recent form.
Heat three was taken out by Ol Mate Pickers for Chris Johannsen in 25.88 while Elite Diva made it a treble for Darren Brown when she saluted in heat five in 25.67.
Heat six produced a brilliant win by up and coming sprinter Full Of Grace, who is prepared by Peter Craig for the Amstel Syndicate. The daughter of El Grand Senor made it win number five from just ten starts when she led throughout in a slippery 25.07.
Brooke Ennis took out heat number seven with her promising chaser Little Regus. Having now won nine from 25, including his last three on end, the son of Solve The Puzzle is racing in super form and a strong Semi Final appearance is expected.
The Ennis camp bought up a double in Heat eight, when Dream It won impressively in a fast 25.01, leading from start to finish. Dream It has already demonstrated the talent to mix it in elite company, so his progress should be followed closely as the series continues.
Heat nine provided the upset of the night when long priced Sir Hugo upstaged his more fancied rivals to score in a solid 25.36. The win of Sir Hugo bought up a double for Chris Johannsen and really came out of the blue, with the son of Premier Fantasy only having won a Tier 3 Maiden from his prior 15 starts.
Another lightly raced product won the final heat on night one, when the Robin Moore trained Shine took out heat ten. The daughter of Mogambo and Tifi is perhaps better known for her middle distance performances; however she led throughout to score easily in 25.38 to bring up win number five from 14 starts.
On Wednesday night, a further five heats were held with the opening heat going to the Ray Henness trained Carbon Neutral. The beautifully bred son of Collision and Cosmic Goddess bought up his maiden victory in Heat eleven, returning a handy run of 25.47. Only having faced the starter on two prior occasions, Carbon Neutral is raced Brent Sullivan and looks to have a promising career ahead of him.
Heat twelve saw the Tina Woman trained Trail Blazing greet the judge in a fast 25.14, while heat thirteen went to the Jeff Britton prepared Top Innings. Top Innings is raced by former Australian Cricket captain Ricky Ponting and his 25.37 victory took his overall record to seven wins from just 19 starts.
Heat fourteen was depleted with scratchings, however the four remaining runners put on a spirited contest. When the judge called a halt, it was the Chris Stanton trained Southwood Lexie who prevailed over the short favourite Black Foo for Carl Haas in 25.40.
Heat fifteen, the final heat, saw only three runners compete, with star performer Kiss Me Ketut taking the prize in 25.20 for owner and trainer David Burnett. Having already tasted Group 1 success, Kiss Me Ketut is perhaps among the highest credentialed chasers for the series and this win saw his stake earnings exceed $204,000, bringing up win 20 from 49 starts.
All first and second placegetters, plus the two fastest thirds will now compete in Semi Finals next Wednesday April 23, with the $75,000 to the winner final to be run on Warrnambool Cup night, April 30.
Over half the field for the 2014 Group One Golden Easter Egg final will be trained by two trainers. Andrea Dailly has qualified three runners for the final (Ollie Bale, Jordan Allen and Hawk Alone) and Brooke Ennis has qualified two runners (Warrior King and Tonk).
The final field is now known after four semi-finals of the rich Group One race were completed at Wentworth Park on Saturday night. The fastest semi-final winner was Evil Punk, who recorded 29.70 for the 520 metre journey. Overall, there wasn’t much difference amongst the other semi-final winning times; 29.80, 29.81 and 29.83.
Here’s a look at how each of the semi-finals panned out.
Semi-final One – Group One Golden Easter Egg
The Dailly’s kicked off the semi-finals with a bang, qualifying the first two runners into the Easter Egg final next week. Everything went the way of the Silver Chief winner Ollie Bale (3), as he lead all the way in 29.83, recording sections of 5.46, 13.94 and an 11.74 run home.
The race favourite, Keybow (7), came undone by the box draw, finding all sorts of trouble trying to get across from the outside and he finished down the track in seventh. Where’s The Surf (1) looked well-suited by the draw but didn’t fly the lids and had to do a mile of work to get himself into a handy position around the turn, but he couldn’t hang on for a place, finishing fourth.
Fort Allen (8) crossed beautifully from box eight to land in second behind Ollie Bale but it was kennel-mate Jordan Allen (5) that displayed blistering mid race pace to finish six and a quarter lengths second behind Ollie Bale. It was a top run as he was only average away and had to negotiate a tricky passage into the race. Romantic Affair (4) finished strongly for third.
The first two 2014 Easter Egg finalists are Wheeler bred. Ollie Bale is a black dog by Go Wild Teddy – Zambola Bale (Collision – Maple Bale) and Jordan Allen is a black dog by Fear Zafonic – Dyna Celeste (Awesome Assassin – Jindara Bale).
Semi-final Two – Group One Golden Easter Egg
Evil Punk (5) took out the second semi-final in a victory that no one could begrudge him of. It was a gutsy effort by the James Coyle trained dog who was desperately unlucky in the heats, falling after striking the lure down the back straight. The stewards wisely used their discretion to advance him through to the semi-finals and avoid the ballot. He ran away with a four and a half length win over Warrior King (4) in a time of 29.70. He recorded sections of 5.48, 13.84 and 11.73 run home.
Brooke Ennis’ Warrior King (4) began well from box four but switched off the back of Evil Punk rounding the turn, losing momentum. This allowed Lach’s Wish (1) to move up into second behind Evil Punk on the rail. However, Warrior King quickly balanced back up and swept past Lach’s Wish down the back. Dyna Nalin (6) stormed home for third, after rounding the first turn in fifth position.
Richmond Derby place-getter Evil Punk is a black dog, bred, owned and trained by James Coyle and is by Collision – Punk Angel (Addis Boy – Dos Santos). Horsham Cup place-getter Warrior King is a red brindle dog by Turanza Bale – Flamenco (Where’s Pedro – Zarbo).
Semi-final Three – Group One Golden Easter Egg
Luckily, greyhounds don’t know what odds they are when they jump from the boxes. Magic Display (3) was rated a $31.00 chance when the lids opened but she didn’t run like a longs odds shot. She pinged the lids to record the best first section of the semi-finals, a fast 5.36. Buckle Up Wes (4) tried to go with her but she stuck to her guns to get the all important lead around the first turn.
Down the back, she was nearly four lengths clear of Australian Cup winner Buckle Up Wes and Ritza Hattie (1), who began well from box one. Buckle Up Wes had to do a little bit of extra work as he was stuck outside Ritza Hattie down the back and could only cross her heading into the final turn. It was a mad dash to the finish line with Buckle Up Wes in hot pursuit of Magic Display and Ritza Hattie chiming in down the middle of the track.
Magic Display crossed the finishing line with half a length to spare in 29.80. Buckle Up Wes finished second, with just half a length separating him and Ritza Hattie in third. Magic Display, trained by Evelyn Harris, recorded sections of 5.36, 13.74 and 11.92 run home.
Magic Display is a black bitch bred by Evelyn Harris. She is by Magic Sprite – Display Bonus (Elite State – All Display). The Ted Medhurst trained Buckle Up Wes is a black dog by Collision – Everlong Bale (Primo Uno – Shique Bale).
Semi-final Four – Group One Golden Easter Egg
Brooke Ennis qualified a second runner for the Easter Egg final after Tonk (2) put on a great chasing display to hunt down Hurricane Rino (5) and run away to score in 29.81, running home in 11.87. The first two sections of 5.38 and 13.76 were credited to Hurricane Rino, who speared the lids from box five to lead the field around the Glebe circuit.
Tonk railed beautifully and chased the leader hard down the back. He poured on the pace up the home straight to zoom past the tiring Hurricane Rino to score strongly by three and a half lengths.
Rookie Rebel winner Hawk Alone (7) unleashed a withering finishing burst to grab Hurricane Rino in the shadows of the post to secure second spot and a place in the final.
The fancied Iona Tokyo (1) began well from box one, but after being crossed by Hurricane Rino going into the turn she shifted wide and that ended any chance she had of making the final.
Tonk is a fawn dog by Bartrim Bale – Coulta Gold (Bombastic Shiraz – Coulta Tess). Hawk Alone, trained by Andrea Dailly, is by Westmead Hawk – Glamorous Jade (Brett Lee – Glamorous).
The all-important box draw for the final next week is:
1. Buckle Up Wes – 29.84 (Ted Medhurst)
2. Tonk – 29.81 (Brooke Ennis)
3. Ollie Bale – 29.83 (Andrea Dailly)
4. Warrior King – 30.02 (Brooke Ennis)
5. Magic Display – 29.80 (Evelyn Harris)
6. Evil Punk – 29.70 (James Coyle)
7. Jordan Allen – 30.27 (Andrea Dailly)
8. Hawk Alone – 30.05 (Andrea Dailly)
The Dailly and McDonald kennels both head back to Victoria with doubles under their belts after the conclusion of the Group One Golden Easter Egg Heats at Wentworth Park on Saturday night.
As expected, the Victorian trainers dominated, taking out five of the heats. Western Australia, Tasmania, New South Wales and Queensland trained dogs will also feature in the semi-finals.
Keybow was the fastest heat winner, flying around the Glebe circuit in 29.45.
Heat One – Golden Easter Egg
Class prevailed in the first heat with Western Australian superstar Dyna Nalin (1) taking advantage of a rails draw to duck through into second spot around the first turn. He was last away but had room as Pride Of Mykonos (2) was off and gone. Once Dyna Nalin got into second it was only a matter of when, not if, he would run down the early leader Pride Of Mykonos. Dyna Nalin hit the front rounding the turn into the home straight and the champion dog trained by Paul Stuart drew away by seven and a half lengths in 29.69.
Fast Archer (7) and Chica Destacada (4) were both in the market but failed to run a place. Fast Archer didn’t show his customary early zip and went extremely wide around the first turn. Chica Destacada was in the hunt early but checked off Make A Fifty (3) rounding the turn and fell back in the field. Shadow Lane (5) got up to run third after suffering interference at the first turn, flying home to miss second spot by a head.
Heat Two – Golden Easter Egg
Frank Sidrak’s Iona Tokyo (3) displayed her blistering early pace to take out the second heat from Where’s The Surf (7) and Varcoe (8). She controlled the race from start to finish and was never troubled in 29.78. Where’s The Surf (7) and Varcoe (8) were able to cross the field safely at the turn as first reserve Hurricane Beccy crashed across from box six, interfering with Yogi Blue (5). Iona Tokyo’ winning margin was two and a half lengths lengths and just a neck separated Where’s The Surf and Varcoe.
Heat Three – Golden Easter Egg
Rue De Kahn (1) started as the favourite but wasn’t a factor after she was swamped by dogs crossing to the rail. The surprising leader was Easton Bale (5), who had been coming off a number of runs over the 595 metres at Sandown. That strength held the Andrea Dailly trained chaser in good stead as he was able to stave off a challenge by Edge (7) to win by four and a quarter lengths in 29.83, recording just his second win from seven starts at Wentworth Park.
Edge tried his heart out and was rewarded a place in next weeks semi-final by finishing second. As usual, Gradence (2) came from nowhere to finish third. He got the space he needed down the back to wind up his motor and power over the top of Crash Model (8) and Apollo Reign (4) down the home straight.
Heat Four – Golden Easter Egg
Warrior King (5) built on his good second in a Prelude a fortnight ago and went one better in the fourth heat. He obviously gained plenty from the look at the track in the Preludes as he jumped well to contest the lead with Mexico City (1). Mexico City gained a slight upper hand down the back but Warrior King was too strong at the end, winning the race in 29.91 by one and three quarter lengths for trainer Brooke Ennis.
Mexico City could only manage third as Bessy Boo (7) put in a massive run to rattle home for second. Jordan Allen (2) looked like he was going to run a slot rounding the home turn, but he checked off the back of Warrior King and in turn surrendered ground to Bessy Boo.
Heat Five – Golden Easter Egg
Keybow (2) set the track on fire to win by panels (well eight and a quarter lengths) in 29.45. Darren McDonald had given Keybow a short let-up and it didn’t hurt, as he was in front by the first turn and once in that position, nothing would or could catch him.
Dyna Beth (3) and Stilton Blue (5) found themselves in their own race against each other down the back, with Dyna Beth eventually prevailing to finish second while Stilton Blue fell back to fourth. The strong Romantic Affair (1), who turns four in August, kept her good record at Wentworth Park intact, filling third place. She has only been unplaced once now from 13 goes at the track.
Heat Six – Golden Easter Egg
The Dailly’s bought up a double for the night with Ollie Bale (3) showing great tenacity to win heat six. The 2014 Group One Silver Chief winner had a good run from box three to lead. Once he was in front it was always going to be a tough task to run him down. The hard luck story of the race was Ritza Hattie (2) who kept trying and kept finding trouble. Without the interference, it would be fair to say that she would have won the race. She wound up in third and will see her way to the semis next week where she may get more luck. Tee Brady (1), after beginning well, stuck on well for second.
Ollie Bale won by four lengths and recorded 29.96 for his first win at Wentworth Park.
Heat Seven – Golden Easter Egg
Unfortunate events unfolded in the seventh heat after the lure broke down in the back straight. The heat contained greyhounds the calibre of Walk Hard (5), Innocent Til (8) and Evil Punk (4). As a result of the incident, Evil Punk fell but was able to get back on his feet.
The lure looked to momentarily lose power down the back, allowing the leader Evil Punk to pounce on it. The lure kept up momentum, albeit slowly, and the dogs were pulled up near the 520 metre boxes.
The race was declared a no race. A ballot is normally undertaken in these circumstances but the stewards elected to exercise their discretion to excuse Evil Punk and Fort Allen (6) from the ballot on the basis that they were likely to finish in the top three and they will now go into next weeks semi-finals. Lach’s Wish (7) was picked from the ballot for the third placed spot
Heat Eight – Golden Easter Egg
Ted Medhhurst’s Australian Cup champion Buckle Up Wes (3) got his Easter Egg campaign off to a great start with a personal best win in 29.56, running a smart 5.35 to the first mark. Victorian chaser Musquin Bale (7) was also impressive running second as he was only beaten by two and three quarter lengths. Tonk (1) duelled with Buckle Up Wes for the early lead and wound up in third. Crump (6) wasn’t done any favours by the box draw and finished sixth.
Heat Nine – Golden Easter Egg
Magic Display (3), a $21.00 chance, convincingly won the ninth heat for trainer Evelyn Harris. Magic Display demonstrated that it’s always handy to lead at Wentworth Park, as all sorts of things can happen around the first bend. Favourite Red Road (6) blew his chances when he began badly and was then twisted sideways at the first turn.
Hurricane Rino (8) used box eight to perfection to find himself in second and avoid the strife at the first turn that affected many of the others in the race. Hawk Alone (1) was extremely unlucky, copping a check that meant he had too much ground to make up, but he still got into third. Magic Display won by four lengths in 29.94. The margin between the two minor placegetters was five and three quarter lengths.
Heat Ten – Golden Easter Egg
The final heat was extremely messy and it was Dark Warrior (4) that emerged as the eventual winner for Darren McDonald in 30.29. Prelude winner Woods (2) was just three quarters of a length away in second and veteran Ritza Ryder (1) ran on well for third. It was the slowest heat win of the night and indicative of the trouble in the race, with each dog suffering varying degrees of interference at different times over the course of the 520 metre journey.
I’m sure all greyhound followers will feel both a tinge of sadness and nostalgia when they hear the once mighty Vapour Whirl passed away this week.
Many greyhound fans will recall the deeds of the black flash with a great deal of affection, as he captured the hearts and minds of greyhound devotees with his dazzling feats of speed and determination in a star studded career that took him and his connections to the pinnacle of our sport.
Raced by the affable Tim Winter and trained by Cameron Taylor and Darren Murray, the black chaser was whelped in May 2003 and came from a litter which consisted of two dogs and three bitches. Bred by Stephen McKenna, the litter was sired by Ashigga, who won the 1998 Shepparton Cup, out of a bitch called Broad Band, who had not been able to win a maiden, despite having nineteen race starts. While Broad Band had not excelled as a race track performer, she lacked nothing in the breeding department, being a full litter sister to 2002 Silver Chief winner Jimmy Neutron.
In fact her Dam, Reeba Honcho, had been a terrific producer, leaving not only Jimmy Neutron, but other topline dogs, including prolific metropolitan winners Cash Up and Katie Current.
Vapour Whirl made his race track debut at the Meadows on June 29, 2005, and ran second at a short quote in the heats of the Victorian Breeders Stakes. He registered his first win at Geelong over the 457 metre course in a quick 25.71 seconds and proceeded to win his next four starts in some quick times around the provincial tracks, including a brilliant 27.13 seconds run at Horsham over the 480 metres, at just his sixth outing, exhibiting his remarkable talent.
Although he had been placed in a Cranbourne Cup final behind Pororoca early in January 2006, it wasn’t until a few weeks later when Vapour Whirl really hit the big time, taking out the Group 2 Warragul Cup over 424 metres in a superb 23.79 seconds. His form was so exceptional that he was invited to compete in the 2006 Temlee at The Meadows the following month, where he finished a respectable fifth behind such great chasers as Closing Argument and Pure Octane.
The career highlights continued to flow for Vapour Whirl at an incredible rate, taking out the 2006 Gold Coast Cup and finishing a credible fifth in the 2006 Top Gun behind the flying Jaimandy Coops. He also won the 2007 Cranbourne Cup, the race he had finished third the year prior and finished runner up in his defence of the Warragul Cup.
Vapour Whirl retired after breaking a metatarsal in his second crack at the Temlee at The Meadows in February 2007. His overall record at the time of his retirement stood at 63 Starts for 33 wins, 16 seconds and 5 thirds, with stake money earnings over $140,000.
In those 33 victories, Vapour Whirl recorded some incredible times, including a 30.02 for the 520 metres at Cranbourne and a super 29.70 second run at The Meadows. He broke the magical 25.00 second barrier twice at Ballarat over the 450 metres and had a PB of 25.38 at Geelong over the 457 metre journey.
While Vapour Whirl was known for being primarily a sprinter, his only litter brother, Rocky, excelled over the long distances. Rocky’s exploits over the long trips saw him labelled an iron dog for his chase and consistency, facing the starter on 105 occasions for 25 wins and 41 placings with stakes over the $200,000 mark. He was adored by many punters and greyhound followers.
At stud, Vapour Whirl was considered a bread and butter sire, who, without setting the world alight, continued to produce some very fast greyhounds.
Some of his better known progeny include Proven Jett, a finalist in the 2010 Golden Easter Egg, Gazmick Storm, Silver Spider and Vapour Ash to name a few.
The sport of greyhound racing is all the poorer for the loss of this wonderful chaser. Vale Vapour Whirl, a true champion.
The strength of the Victorian Country Cups circuit goes on display again this Saturday night when the final of the Group Two 2014 Horsham Cup takes place.
Four quality heats were held last Tuesday over the demanding 480 metre trip, with some of the state’s most consistent performers advancing to Saturday night’s final.
Unfortunately last year’s winner Peter Rocket has had to withdraw from the final due to injury, but his place will be taken by Group One Silver Chief winner Ollie Bale. The eight finalists have won no less than 113 races between them, so they certainly know what is required when it comes to chasing.
Youngster Warrior King was the fastest qualifier of the four heats, stopping the clock at 26.75. That time is just 0.07 outside the long-standing track record set by Crash back in 2004.
ARG spoke to connections of every greyhound involved to get an insight into how they believe their charges will fare in the $43,750 to-the-winner event.
The race takes place at 6:39pm.
Let’s take a look at the race in detail;
|Comments: Tom Dailly (Co-Trainer) - “It was a tough run in the heat after his triple somersault Saturday night. He has drawn nicely and will hopefully get a clear run. We know he will be strong to the line. Crump will be hard to beat getting a clear run from the eight.”|
|Comments: Tom Dailly (Co-Trainer) - “He gets out good but lacks early pace. He is similar to Hawk Alone and will need a clear run.”|
|Comments: Jamie Ennis (Co-Trainer) – “Box three looks okay, the only concern is Musquin Bale, who drew directly outside us last week and he did come out but probably stays straight. If anything, he uses the track a little bit and gave us a chance to drive through. If I have a concern this week, that would be it.”|
|Comments: Lyn Smith (Trainer) – “She hasn’t had a lot of luck with the box draws, but what can you do. She’s pulled up great and is jumping out of her skin. I couldn’t be happier with her at the moment. She has got to do everything right, she’s only really running for luck. You are basically there, hoping that somebody else makes a mistake. She’s not blessed with any early pace, she’s basically in the hands of what the other dogs around her do. She loves the track, she hasn’t been out of the money on the track and she hasn’t been out of the money out of box four either.”|
|Comments: Jason Thompson (Trainer) – “He is in another final. He’s obviously going well, it was a very good heat run but he just can’t draw a box in all of these finals he gets in. This dog has never had any luck in his whole career. He’s had 43 starts and drawn the red twice and he’s a desperate railer. If you watch his heat win, he railed his ears off turning for home and that’s all he wants to do. It’s very disappointing to continually get bad boxes with, what I think, is a pretty good dog. He had to show a fair bit of tenacity. I know Warrior King went two lengths quicker then him but I think his run was every bit as good as his given the circumstances. I think he is as good as anything in the final and if he can somehow find the front, he will be very hard to beat, but from box five it’s going to be hard again.”|
|Peter Rocket – SCRATCHED|
|Comments: Tom Dailly (Co-Trainer) – “He is a good honest chaser that tries 100%. He has good early pace and will need to clear out early to be a winning chance.”|
|Comments: Troy Iwanyk (Trainer) – “He injured himself in Perth. It was an injury enforced break and we fixed a few things up with him and got on top of a few injuries and I think he’s come back from the break a lot better but he was probably still underdone going into that race, so I am hoping that he can find a bit more on Saturday. He’s pulled up terrific, he has absolutely pulled up a treat. That was his main concern, he’s come up good, I’ve just got to hope he comes out of the boxes a bit better on Saturday night. Box eight looks to be ideal for him but you never know how these races are going to pan out. He had box eight in the Warragul Cup and that ended up being the undoing of him, he just got interfered with as the dogs in front of him collided. It can always work against you but it does give him his chance to stay off the track and do his own thing.”|
|Ollie Bale (Box 6)|
|Comments: Group One Silver Chief winner with a big motor who will need some luck from the draw but could be running on.|
|Comments: Looks tested against these dogs and will need luck if gaining a start. Place chance looks best.|
The race is not flushed with early speed. Musquin Bale (2) or Empire Allen (7) could well find themselves in the early lead. Hawk Alone (1), Warrior King (3), Innocent Til (5) and Ollie Bale (9) will be four dogs that look to muster up early and vie for a good position. The key for them is avoiding interference in the run to the turn.
Evie’s Entity (4) is the only bitch in the race and has a real penchant for the track. She is another who will need room early in the hope that she can secure a clear run to get a crack at them in the home straight.
Crump (8) looks perfectly boxed out wide and could well get a clear run around the field to unleash his customary withering burst to the line in the long Horsham straight.
A case can be made for almost every runner in the race with the box draw appearing to suit Crump and Hawk Alone. Luck in the running will be everything with the winner certain to be the dog who makes the most of the opportunities they are afforded. This final promises to be an absolute cracker.
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.
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.
The Victorian feature racing spotlight will shine brightly on the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges this Sunday when eight heats of the greyhound racings richest straight track race in the world, the Healesville Cup will take place.
The race was first held in 1990 on the grass track over 340 metres, it was first won by the Victorian Greyhound of the Year, Eureka Man. 2011 saw the surface switch to loam and an additional 10 metres added to the race distance. Marbro Man took the event out that year for Kel Greenough who has two runners engaged in this year’s heats.
It is an early start this Sunday at Healesville with plenty of quality racing on the card, including four semi-finals of the big maiden. Let’s take a look at the Cup Heats;
Race 5 – Lion Quality Products Healesville Cup – Heat 1 – 11:05am
A tough heat kicks off proceedings with a handful of chances. Lady Deedee (1) has raced well at the track with two wins from three starts and a fast 19.19 to her name. The concern is her past two starts which include a last placing at Healesville and a fourth over 400 metres at Warragul. The box is certainly in her favour and she does look to be a major player. Evie’s Entity (6) is the class runner of the field with 19 wins from 41 starts including a second in the Warragul Cup final last time out. She may need a little bit of room early given her moderate box manners but expect her to be flying home late.
Walkaway Blaze (7) won at the track last week in his second look at the venue. He registered 19.35 in the process and comes into calculations on the credence of that effort. Of the others, Sultan Of Swing (5) has won three from six at the track, Dirty Mary (8) has been consistent and has also gone a slick 19.17 in the past, while Frosty Jay Jay (4) also has his share of ability and has his first run at the track here.
Race 6 – LQP Trailer Accessories Healesville Cup – Heat 2 – 11:20am
Heat Two is headlined by the recent Cranbourne Cup winner Banjo Boy (2). The Ken Virtue trained star has won both starts at the Healesville track and has broken the magical 19-second barrier. He is clearly the one to beat in this race. The Darren McDonald trained youngster There’s A Earn (2) will have his first race start at the track in this heat. He has ability but may need a little luck with two quicker beginners drawn either side of him.
Nic Nat Nui (8) has won nine from 33 and also has his first go at the track for trainer Kelly Bravo. If he can use the wide alley to his advantage then he may get a clear run throughout the race. Hard Days Night (6) has a real penchant for the straight track with three wins and two seconds from just six goes at the venue. He has posted a fast 19.08 in the past and could be some hope. Of the others, Acclaimed Love has won three from five here, producing a best of 19.25 and is from a long line of quality New South Wales straight trackers.
Race 7 – LQP Air Compressors Healesville Cup – Heat 3 – 11:35am
Heat three showcases the recent Warragul Cup winner and Healesville flyer Walk Hard (8). The Nicole McRae trained conveyance will be storming home like a freight train at the business end of this race and has registered 18.82 at the track, faster than any other dog in these heats. He has won four from five at the track but, astonishingly, has his first start from the outside alley in his 34 race career. If he handles it, he will be winning here.
Cointreau Cap (1) has recently landed in the astute Darren McDonald kennels. He has a plethora of early speed and could give them something to catch. Demonstrous (6) has had 27 starts at Healesville, winning 7. He has registered a slick 19.04 in the past and could pose some threat on that basis.
Race 8 – LQP Battery Chargers Healesville Cup – Heat 4 – 11:50am
The speedy Paw Licking (8) will start a short priced favourite in Heat Four. The son of Elite State and Kingsbrae Di has won no less than 27 races from just 46 outings and has won at Healesville in 19.06. He has proven himself from wide alleys, winning four of eight from the pink, so the draw should not be a concern; he is the one to beat. Juddy Burst (1) has never missed a place at Healesville in five attempts and has posted a quick 19.05 here before. He has not won since November which makes him a bit of a risk but he is not without hope.
Fancy Amigo (4) has his first start at the track this Sunday but has shown his share of ability elsewhere and is in the Darren McDonald kennel, he may be worth a thought. Of the others, Denersur has won four from 10 at the track but is yet to flatter on the clock while First Blood (6) has been in good form on the circle at Shepparton and Horsham of late.
Race 9 – LQP Jump Start Systems Healesville Cup – Heat 5 – 12:06pm
Heat Five looks to be one of the more open heats. Transcend Time (8) is a quality conveyance and will exit the outside alley for trainer Wayne Vassallo. He won his only start at Healesville in 19.18 and has been racing in good company; he looks the obvious one to beat. Mat’s Entity (3) has won 24 of his 43 career starts and never finished outside the top two at this track in four tries. He has a best of 19.23 and should land on the speed.
Billy Rocket (2) is a lightly raced dog who has gone very quick here in the past, registering 19.04 from a similar box. He will be another one who should be on the pace early and could make his own luck. Symmetry Lad (7) is a very consistent beginner who has his first look at the straight here. He has won six of his 16 races and could be a value hope at around double-figure odds.
Race 10 – LQP LED Spotlights Healesville Cup – Heat 6 – 12:22pm
Dark Warrior (8) will more than likely start favourite in Heat Six. He has won both of his career starts at the track and has posted a 19.10 from a wide alley. He should be able to use the box to his advantage here and go very close to winning. Release The Heat (6) has been placed in nine of his 10 races here and has won four of those, including a 19.15 effort. He may be a rough chance at odds.
Vapour Storm (1) is well boxed and has a 19.29 to his credit from and inside alley. He has only had one start back from a spell and failed to flatter, so he will need to be taken on trust. Zulu Zircon (4) is a young flying machine in the Jason Thompson kennel. He has his first look at the track but there is no reason why he cannot convert his circle form to the straight.
Race 11 – LQP Car Fridges Healesville Cup – Heat 7 – 12:43pm
Top Innings (2) will headline Heat Seven of the Cup for Anakie trainer Jeff Britton. The Silver Chief place-getter loves to fly the lids and is drawn to win the race. Premier Magpie (3) loves straight-tracking and has registered a couple of times in the low-nineteen’s during his four wins over this trip. He may be starting to get on a bit but he has won two of his last three and has to be considered.
Special Pup (4) is an interesting runner having his first start for Michelle Mallia-Magri after coming from Western Australia. He has won 17 from 33 including his last two and may be worth keeping an eye on. Texan (7) looks the best of the rest with three wins from seven starts over this trip including a 19.18 and a 19.19 which he produced two starts back.
Race 12 – LQP Load Restraints Healesville Cup – Heat 8 – 12:58pm
Hallelujah Henry (4) is an ultra-consistent chaser who has a real affinity with Healesville. He has won two of his three attempts at this trip and posted a flying 18.93. He is definitely the one they will have to catch here. Dyna Carnage (2) has won 10 from 21 career starts and is a promising chaser. He is not the fastest beginner but could be a hope with a clear crack at them.
Burj Khalifa (8) is an interesting runner. He won two-in-a-row at Appin, a straight track in New South Wales, before coming to Victoria and winning on debut over 300 metres at this track in the best on day; he could be a smoky. Premier Event (6) has a good record here winning two of his three starts and running 19.16. Coco Benz (1) has a terrific career record with 14 wins from 22 starts. She makes her Healesville debut but has to be a solid chance from the red alley.
It’s finally that time of year for WA racing; when a number of Australia’s best greyhounds brave the heat for their working holiday in the West, with the end result a rug the Perth Cup final (530 metres) and a chance of winning $140,000.
General Destini has made the trip over to Perth for the second time. Last year he ran second in the Perth Cup heats from box four, running 30.56. Jumping from box one will increase his chance of winning the race dramatically, but he will have to improve on his best WA time of 30.43 if he is going to finish first across the line. He’s currently paying $2.80 for the win.
Andrea Dailly’s Hawk Alone is set to jump second favourite ($3.00) from box three. He comes to Perth without a win at Cannington from his three starts, but strength should be on his side after having multiple starts over 600 metres at the Meadows.
Keybow for Darren McDonald is the fourth visiting greyhound in the first heat. The youngster with only 16 starts to his name is set to jump from box two, paying $3.20 for his first WA start. The black dog came second in the Cranbourne Cup two starts back over their 520 metre distance. He came home well, which should hold him in good stead for the extra 10 metres he has to run at Cannington.
All four WA representatives are in double figure odds, West On Santo for Linda Britton jumped well last week and is in career best form. Box six won’t do him any favours, even though his best time was run from box five, and the jump in class may be too much. Paul Stuart’s Dannie Bale (box eight) has the WA experience and time of 30.31, but his form of late has not been great.
WA holds favouritism in the second heat, with Paul Stuart’s chaser Hillbilly Flash jumping from box one and paying $2.00 in the pre-post markets. The white and black dog is searching for his fourth consecutive win and he ran a personal best time of 30.30 three starts back. He almost repeated his efforts last week running 30.35.
Victorian chaser Veyron Bale (box two) for trainer Andrea Dailly has had four starts at Cannington for one win in a time of 30.67. Two starts back at Wentworth Park he ran a best of the night performance over 520 metres in a heat of the Paws Of Thunder. The 520 metre trip at Wentworth Park is his longest distance recently, with multiple successful starts over 400 metres at Sale, Geelong and Ballarat; hopefully Cannington’s 530 metres won’t knock him around too much.
Linda Britton’s Enough Talking ($24.00) has run the second fastest recorded time coming into the heats. Although he is without a Cannington win for 14 starts, the black dog is slowly finding his form. He will have to do everything right from box six to win the race.
Victorian Iona Seven ($1.60) for trainer Robert Britton has been in hot form of late, winning the Group 1 Paws Of Thunder. She has drawn out wide for her two wins and drawing box seven in the Perth Cup heat cant come as too much of a disappointment.
Ben Abercrombie’s speedy beginner Burzynski is jumping from box one and paying $4.50 for the win. He has the capability to cause problems if he can find the lead early, but has not won at Cannington in six starts. However, if he finds himself in front of the field early on, it will be a hard task for chasers to run him down.
Steven Collins’ Liara Allen ($6.00) is searching for her eighth win in her first start at Cannington. Her last three starts have been over distance, which should help her when it comes down to the final stages.
Zelemar Fever is the deserving $1.60 favourite in the fourth heat of the Perth Cup. She is in flying form of late, breaking the 30-second barrier on three occasions; running her personal best time of 29.90 last week. The little black bitch has had superb box draws recently; wearing the red rug in three of her past six starts. Jumping from box seven this week is her only hurdle.
Linda Britton’s second chaser Te Amo (box four) is without doubt a speedy bitch. Her downfall a lack of strength over the 530 metre trip, especially when she has greyhounds like Mepunga Fearon and Zelemar Fever to contend with.
Mepunga Fearon ($15.00) has drawn box six for his second start at Cannington. Last week he found trouble on the first corner but ran home well to finish third. Although this is a tough heat, his run last week will give him a helping hand.
WA’s traveling sensation and reigning Perth Cup winner Dyna Nalin will jump as the $2.00 favourite from box seven. He is yet to win since returning from a working vacation, finishing third and fifth. Despite his dip in form he is too talented to let the opportunity to take a second Perth Cup pass him by.
The Linda Britton trained Gone To Heaven has the least experience in the fifth heat, with only eight starts to her name. She has won on seven occasions, bit at her last start she finished fourth after finding trouble throughout. The sentimental bitch jumping from box five definitely has the speed to contend in the race. She ran her personal best time of 30.23 from the same box.
Andrea Dailly’s Allen Deed is jumping from box four paying $5.00 for the win. He’s also inexperienced, with just 11 starts and six wins. He is yet to race at Cannington but muse be respected after his Silver Chief heat victory.
Dyna Beth for trainer Andrea Dailly is currently the $2.50 favourite and jumps from box three. Even without a win in her last four starts, the second place getter in the Melbourne Cup has enough class to take out the sixth heat of the Perth Cup.
Paul Stuart’s Fancy Dreamer has a perfect record from his six starts at Cannington and his fastest winning time of 30.22 from box six is the fastest of the WA competitors in the heat. He is currently paying $3.00 to win from box seven.
High Recall is a talented up and comer from the Britton kennels. She has won seven of her 10 starts, the majority of them in impressive times. The little black bitch ran her fastest time of 30.32 over the 530 metre trip two weeks ago. Her inexperience against this class of dogs will be her main issue.
Silver Chief winner Ollie Bale is set to jump as the $2.40 favourite from box six for Andrea Dailly. His first start at Cannington will prove a hard one, with Star Recall and Crump both past runners at Cannington and in good form.
Star Recall for Linda Britton is jumping from box five and paying $5.00 for the win. The little black bitch has won on five occasions from just eight starts. Her inexperience may work against her in this class, although her past four starts have all been wins at Mandurah. The jump in distance may also make things a little hard for the youngster.
Crump has returned to WA for his first Perth Cup series, after last travelling to WA for the Group 2 Derby. He won his Derby heat in an impressive 30.38, but he was unable to overcome box eight in the final finishing fourth to Boris Fields. Jumping from box four in the Perth Cup heats Crump is paying $3.80 to defeat this talented field.
Both Sveta Monelli and Prue Bale hold $2.50 favouritism in the last heat of the Perth Cup. Sveta Monelli has recently defeated the likes of On Coin and Zelemar Fever and is in career best form. She looks hard to beat from a WA perspective, even from box six.
Victorian Prue Bale has the red for only the second time in her career and she’s a last start winner at the Meadows from box four. Prue Bale will not be able to give Sveta Monelli much room if she wants to secure a rug in the Perth Cup the following week.
Awesome Project ($7.50) for Darren McDonald is searching for his sixth consecutive win from mostly outside box draws. Wearing the pink rug on Saturday night shouldn’t come as too much of a disappointment after his recent box draws and strength should be on his side after successfully competing over 600 metres at the Gosford racetrack.
Out of the 64 greyhounds that are competing in the $10,000 to the winner heats of the Perth Cup, only eight will earn their rugs and privilege to race in WA’s biggest event, the Perth Cup. The box drawn for the Perth Cup will be drawn out on Sunday the 2nd of February at the Greyhounds WA industry night.
As trainers prepare their greyhounds for the Perth Cup series they spare a thought for Brenda and John Crossley, who are unable to race their superstar On Coin, who fell two weeks ago and sustained a shoulder injury. On Coin would have been a serious contender in the Perth Cup heats.
The Group 2 Lion Quality Products Warragul Cup heats will be run on Sunday evening with the first heat starting at 7:14pm. The race has attracted some big names including Black Magic Opal, Paw Licking, Banjo Boy and Farmor Las Vegas.
The heats will be run over the 460 metre distance and all eyes will be on the clock with the likes of Black Magic Opal and Paw Licking running around. The current track record for the 460 metre distance is 25.51 and is held by El Grand Senor.
Heat One (Race 5 at 7:14pm)
The two dogs drawn closest to the fence look to be the main dangers in this heat. Transcend Time (1) has won five of his last eight races. He hasn’t been to Warragul before under race conditions but he has performed well at Bulli, another big one turn track. He has had five wins from six starts out of box one. Drawn next to him is Whata Good Size (2) who has had one start at the track and distance for a win in 26.23. He has a good record from box two and is a reliable beginner. Silver Chief winner Ollie Bale (5) comes to Warragul off a last start eighth at Wentworth Park in the Paws of Thunder heats. He doesn’t generally begin well, so will need some luck from the draw. Black Foo (6) is only a young dog, but has had a great start to his career, winning seven from 13. He also has a perfect record at the track, recording three wins from three starts. His best time is 26.02. He can be risky at box rise and this is his first go at wearing the green rug. Ozzie Bullet (7) has been racing over middle distance events recently so it will be interesting to see how he goes stepping back to a sprint. He hasn’t factored too well from outside boxes in his 22 start career. Werynski (8) has a great record from the outside box and has won at the track in 25.96, but that was back in November 2012. Risk of Damage (4) and Sundae Smasher (3) have both won at the track but may struggle against the inside division.
Heat Two (Race 6 at 7:32pm)
Black Magic Opal (4) is the obvious standout in this field. He will need to be on his toes though and jump well as Check My Swagger (6) is drawn on his outside. Black Magic Opal missed the start at Wentworth Park in the Paws of Thunder heats and didn’t run a place. However, he is returning to a track where he has won in a blistering 25.59 and box five is vacant so he may just get an interference free run. If he leads or is near the leader, this race will be his. Check My Swagger is an excellent beginner with two wins at Warragul and a best of 25.82. He has won from box six so isn’t without a chance. Crump (7) is the interesting runner in the field. He has recorded 25.58 at Warragul, but he is hit and miss at box rise. At his best, he could challenge here. Empire Allen (8), Vapourash (3) Mepunga Armagh (2) and Tyra Giselle (1) make up the rest of the field. All, except Vapourash, have won at Warragul, but may find this a little tough.
Heat Three (Race 7 at 7:49pm)
This race will be an exhibition of early speed. Stagger (6) and Paw Licking (7) possess great early toe, so it will be a tight run into the turn if these two get away well. Stagger has won a ‘staggering’ 56 races and has won nine times at Warragul, with a personal best time of 25.59. He’s won five of his last seven as well. Paw Licking is the recent Hobart 1000 winner, where he defeated Black Magic Opal and broke the track record. He hasn’t started since that run so is fresh for this. He has won here in a flying 25.55. If Stagger and Paw Licking bring each other undone, Walk Hard (3) looks a good chance. He has won twice at Warragul including a fast 25.56. Mepunga Fearon (1) is having his first start at the track and may put in a forward showing. He can begin when he wants to and is drawn away from the speed outside, which might result in him getting a clear run. Prue Bale (2), Speed Series (4) and Majestic Lee (8) will need to improve on recent form in order to be in contention.
Heat Four (Race 8 at 8:07pm)
Cranbourne Cup winner Banjo Boy (7) has drawn an outside box in this heat. He has trialled very fast at the track and has won in 25.51. If he begins like he did in the Cranbourne Cup, he will be hard to beat. Farmor Las Vegas (8) placed in the Hobart 1000 and ran fourth last week in the Paws of Thunder heats. He hasn’t been beginning well of late and has a box he has never won from. The speedy Nic Nat Nui (6) has been racing in good form with three wins from his last four starts, including a speedy win at Sale over the 440 distance. It is his first start here. Evie’s Entity (4) last started at Warragul on the 7th of December 2013, and ran a flying 25.55 to win. She loves Warragul, having won four from six at the track and distance, and is definitely a chance. Izack Bale (2) and Whodat Knockin’ (3) are both having their first start at the track. Cee Ronaldo (1) has won at Warragul but will need luck to feature as he is slow early. Coolan Blue (5) has failed to record a win after three attempts at the track.
Heat Five (Race 9 at 8:28pm)
This is a tough heat with plenty of chances. Top Innings (4) comes to Warragul off a third placing in the Silver Chief. He is a reliable beginner with a 26.10 win to his credit. He should give a good account of himself here. Noaki Spitfire (5) has made a number of Group finals recently and he has the ability to begin and lead. Once in front he can be hard to get past, but he is yet to win at Warragul from three attempts. Spud Regis (2) has drawn well in box two and has been consistent of late and needs to lead to be a chance. Awesome Grunt (1) has won three from three at Warragul and is a last start Sandown winner in 29.23. He has recorded 26.02 at Warragul. Crawf’s Bread (3) is another dog that has been in consistent form. This is his first start at the track. Cointreau Cap (6) has just recently arrived in the kennels of Darren McDonald. Prior to this move, he had done all his racing in Tasmania. He has won 19 races from 41 starts and won three of his last five. Black and Cool (7) and Premier Event (8) are the outside runners, with Black and Cool winning twice at Warragul, while Premier Event is having his first start at the track.
Heat Six (Race 10 at 8:44pm)
Deadly Vane (8) is a recent Silver Chief finalist and a very speedy dog. He will need to utilise that speed from box eight. Dark Warrior (2) is very well boxed in box two and presents the main danger in the race. He has won at the track in 25.85 and should get some room to move early. Hailstorm Billy (5) gets back in his runs and runs home strongly. His success will depend on how much interference he suffers early and how quickly he can close the gap on the leaders. Dundee Toro (1) has won eight from 17 starts and has recorded a best of 26.24 from three starts at the track. He is a place chance. Dyna Beth (4) is very inconsistent at box rise but if she happens to lead, which she is capable of doing on occasion, her chances can’t be discounted. Musquin Bale (7) is returning from a long six month spell, while Superstar Magic (3) and Shaw is Cool (6) are facing a big rise in class.
The heat winners and the two fastest seconds will go through to next Friday’s final, which is worth $43,750.00
Upsets were the order of the night in the Group 1 Centrebet Paws of Thunder series on Saturday at Wentworth Park. The most notable big name to miss the final was Black Magic Opal, who was unplaced in his heat. The fastest heat winner was Veyron Bale for Andrea Dailly.
Double Twist (6) vied for favouritism with Victorian Gimme Fuel (1), but it was Double Twist that won that battle and also won the race. Her experience at the track held her in good stead negotiating the first turn at Wentworth Park. She was well away from box six, but Cawbourne Havoc (2) was best away to lead. Evil Punk (4) was also up there early and Double Twist had to settle for third, weaving her way through and managing to remain unchecked around the turn. Gimme Fuel was never in it after missing the start. The Garry Edwards trained Double Twist railed strongly down the back and once she was in front, it was all over. She won by five and three quarter lengths in 29.56 with a flying 11.52 run home.
The first upset of the night happened in is heat when $43.00 chance Manyana Groper finished over the top of lamplighter Pierino to win by three and a half lengths in 29.91. It was the third Wentworth Park win for the Sydney Swain trained chaser and he now finds himself in a Group 1 final. Race favourite Battistuzzi (1) failed to use the inside box and got stuck for room early and couldn’t get into the race. Trapper Jet (8) finished strongly for second with Pierino in third.
The $1.90 favourite Tee Brady (1) also went down in this heat. The Darren Brown trained National Time (7) caused the upset, leading all the way. Darren Brown now finds himself in another Group 1 final for 2014, after he rugged up Group 1 Silver Chief finalist Ride The Rails just a week ago. National Time recorded 30.13 for his first look at Wentworth Park and defeated Evoked (8) and Tee Brady, who filled the minors.
The biggest upset of the night saw Black Magic Opal (6) bomb the start and finish sixth. Best served in the run to the first turn was $17.00 hope Veyron Bale (4) for Andrea Dailly. He flew out and stormed home to record a fast 29.50. The time was always going to be quick as Peter Rocket (2), who was doing all the chasing, couldn’t make ground on Veyron Bale. Ritza Ryder (1) wound up in third.
Phenomenal was scratched from this heat and favouritism fell to Buckle Up Wes (3) who did everything right to score in 29.65 for Tasmanian trainer Edward Medhurst. He recorded a fast early section of 5.34 after battling it to the post the first time with Spud Regis (4). Despite scouting a bit wide negotiating the turn, Buckle Up Wes was able to maintain his lead and win by three and three quarter lengths from the fast finishing Gradence (5). Spud Regis finished third.
Robert Britton completed a perfect night of racing for his team, qualifying Iona Seven (7) for the final. This was always going to be a high class race with Punch One Out (6) resuming and Xylia Allen (4) also featuring. All three bitches got away well, with Punch One Out leading into the turn. Iona Seven crossed hard to the rail rounding the turn and checked Punch One Out while taking the lead. She pinched the race by one and three quarter lengths in 29.62. Punch One Out was second and Xylia Allen third.
Another heat, another favourite knocked off. Kiss Me Ketut (8), despite beginning well, couldn’t cross the field and was posted wide on the turn. Zipping Logan (2) was best away and led the field down the back. The Steven Collins trained Allen Malik (1) used the rails to his advantage to steer clear of any trouble and went hard in pursuit of Zipping Logan. He rounded Zipping Logan up approaching the final turn and from that point on, drove away for a two and three quarter length win in 29.91. Zipping Logan remained in second and youngster Brooklyn Drive (3) ran home well for third.
A dominant display from a Mark Gatt trained youngster closed out the final heat. Boyce Road (3) is only 23 months old, but his performance was that of a seasoned performer. Coming into the race the dog had won seven from nine, including two at the track. He wasn’t the best away but was able to stay out of trouble and muster speed. He gathered up leader Ferly Reign (1) coming into the home turn and romped away to win by six and a half lengths in 29.69. Ferly Reign and Glamorous Opal (2) completed the minor placings. Unfortunately, the talented Lady Jasmin (5) went amiss around the turn
The final field and box draw for next Saturday’s final is:
2014 Paws Of Thunder Final Box Draw
- Box 1 – Veyron Bale (29.50)
- Box 2 – Manyana Groper (29.91)
- Box 3 – Double Twist (29.56)
- Box 4 – Buckle Up Wes (29.65)
- Box 5 – Allen Malik (29.91)
- Box 6 – Iona Seven (29.62)
- Box 7 – National Time (30.13)
- Box 8 – Boyce Road (29.69)
- 1st Reserve – Punch One Out (29.72)
- 2nd Reserve – Peter Rocket (29.74)
2014 Paws Of Thunder Heats
All too often South Australia is the target of interstate raiders when it comes to their feature races. There aren’t many five-figure prizes on the GRSA calendar, and every so often it seems appropriate that the people that regularly patronise the local tracks, should be the ones receiving the extra cash.
This is the premise behind the S.A Sprint Championships which kicked off on Thursday night. The state’s best chasers can showcase their talents without being upstaged by the grab-and-go raiders that often plunder the main events later in the year. Four heats were conducted last night around the 515 metres of Angle Park, with a brilliant $22,000 final to be conducted in seven days time.
Starting off the series was an intriguing race where five of the seven entrants were given genuine winning chances. Noble Kahn for Kathleen Johnstone would line up in box one, with Right Time for Cam Butcher expected to get the sit from box two. Cosmic Way was back in distance, but his strength is always a danger, while Victa Sam and Kenso Karoo were held safe by punters from boxes three and eight respectively.
Noble Kahn showed great dash from box one to head the field, going 4.45 to the first post. Usually that would be enough to make connections very confident, but it seemed only a matter of time until the lead was to change after Cosmic Way barged through to sit in second place down the back. While putting up a brave effort, Noble Kahn eventually succumbed to the pressure being applied by Cosmic Way and the son of Cosmic Rumble and Springvale Snow came away to score his 15th career win in a time of 29.75. Noble Kahn will join Cosmic Way in the final, while Victa Sam was third for the entire journey finishing well ahead of the others.
Heat two looked a little easier to navigate on paper, with Fire Tyson’s recent form looking very hard to ignore. With 25 wins around the track and distance, Tony Lagana’s runner would only need luck to secure a berth in next Thursday’s final. Despite drawing box six, Fire Tyson bounced straight to the front and was never headed in a display expected from an even-money favourite.
Cruising to a comfortable three length win over Encosta Kahn, Fire Tyson improved his previous best of 29.71, running a 29.64 Best-of-Night. Encosta Kahn gave the Johnstone family a second finalist, with Galilee Spirit, Dyna Drago and Springvale Cool amongst the beaten brigade.
It was back to a more even market for the penultimate heat. Wonder Whirl had come up with the red box, with the fast-starting Dee Dee Corsair alongside. Those two were the most popular amongst the public, with former Queenslander Bogie Magic given respect despite having to navigate the seven alley. With a 4.42 first split, Bogie Magic did more than simply handle the wide exit, he revelled in it. The son of El Galo charged across the face of the field to lead. Dee Dee Corsair had an uncharacteristically poor getaway, which in turn crowded the path for Wonder Whirl amongst others.
Going 16.95 down the back, Bogie Magic had the race in his keeping a long way from home, giving young trainer Ben Rawlings more reasons to smile after a successful year as a trainer in 2013. Bogie Magic won the race in 29.90, equalling his best performance around the Angle Park circuit. Wonder Whirl recovered well to emerge out of the traffic with a 12.68 run home, eclipsing Sienna Bale out of the final in the concluding stages.
With some fast times already posted from the earlier heats, the attention then turned to the cult hero, Ernie Bung Arrow, to see what he could do from his preferred box seven. Starting as an unbackable $1.30 elect, Ken Gill’s kennel star had returned from Victoria where he was strangely never nominated for a race. He reportedly trialled poorly at The Meadows, which forced a Silver Chief campaign to be abandoned, but it seemed a formality that his talent would again shine through in the more familiar surroundings.
Bogie Prince was the best backed to beat the hotpot, but box four wasn’t ideal and he was left fighting for the second qualifying spot with the rest of the field. There were no surprises or upsets once the race got underway, with Ernie Bung Arrow flying down the Angle Park straight with a 4.42 first split. Cam Butcher’s younger prospect, Sidney’s Shadow had also begun cleanly, and would eventuate as the only chaser capable of keeping the favourite on his toes.
The Adelaide Cup winner would prove too slick again however, stopping the clock at 29.78. His winning record continues to grow, now standing at 17 wins from 19 starts, with 14 of those wins coming around the Cardigan Street circle. While Ernie Bung Arrow never really looked like losing the event, Sidney’s Shadow did enough to prove she is already a top-line chaser with many more wins in store.
The box draw for the 2014 South Australian Sprint Championships was conducted on track last night. Ernie Bung Arrow will no doubt start favourite, and will wear the white vest in his quest to add to his current purse of $146,000. Noble Kahn could make life difficult for Ernie though. Especially, if it can produce a similar start to the heat from box four, but will be in the firing line of the familiar right-hand running pattern of the long striding superstar. Fire Tyson has drawn the ‘squeeze’ box five, but will be in the race for a long way, considering Cosmic Way will give him room to move in box six.
Victor Harbor trainer, Ronald Schadow will be waiting anxiously on any scratchings, after filling both reserve spots.
S.A SPRINT CHAMPS BOX DRAW
1) Encosta Kahn – Kim Johnstone
2) Wonder Whirl – Mick Giniotis
3) Ernie Bung Arrow – Ken Gill
4) Noble Kahn – Kathleen Johnstone
5) Fire Tyson – Tony Lagana
6) Cosmic Way – Bill Wudarczyk
7) Sidney’s Shadow – Cam Butcher
8) Bogie Magic – Ben Rawlings
9) Victa Sam – Ronald Schadow
10) Victa Scott – Ronald Schadow
2014 SA Sprint Championships Heats
The Group 1 Centrebet Paws of Thunder series over the 520 metres at Wentworth Park kicks off on Saturday night with eight star studded fields. The heats will be cut-throat, with only the winner of each heat progressing through to the $100,000 final on Saturday, 18th of January 2014.
Heat One (Race 3 at 8:08pm)
Double Twist will have to contend with box six to continue her affinity with the Wentworth Park circuit. She recently broke the track record at Dapto and has won eight from 18 at Wentworth Park, and placed on seven other occasions. Her best time at the track is 29.65 and she secured an eye catching come from behind win in the Group 3 Christmas Gift back in December. She has won from this box on three occasions and looks the favourite in this heat.
The Victorian chaser Gimme Fuel has box one and has a perfect record from the box. He is only a young dog but has the ability to lead. He has seen Wentworth Park before, winning in October in a time of 29.64. Romantic Affair has never been unplaced at Wentworth Park and has a best of 29.70. She will jump from box three, a draw where she has recorded one win and four placings from five starts. She has failed to begin in her last three runs at Gosford, Richmond and Wentworth Park. She can’t afford to be tardy here.
Cawbourne Havoc in box two has knocked off Double Twist at Wentworth Park recently (late November), recording a best of 29.73 in process. He has plenty of experience at Wentworth Park, winning seven of his twenty starts. The inside draw also suits but he can be risky at box rise. Of the others, Laurels finalist Prue Bale is having her first look at the track and will need to contend with box seven, Ben’s House is a Queenslander jumping from the squeeze box and has run second at his only start at the track, while Evil Punk in box four and Knot Telling Ya in box eight are facing a big rise in class.
Heat Two (Race 4 at 8:30pm)
Battistuzzi debuted impressively at Wentworth Park last week from box two and has box one this week. The Group One Brisbane Cup place getter has been racing in good heart with three wins from his last four starts. He has won 11 from 20 starts and looks one of the main contenders in this heat. Innocent Til contested the Cranbourne Cup Final from box four on Wednesday, running unplaced, and he has that same box here in this heat. He hasn’t raced at Wentworth Park previously but is a good beginner who resides in Jason Thompson’s kennel. He’s won 20 from 33 so is in this with a great chance.
Melbourne Cup place getter Dyna Beth is drawn in the white, a box she has won from on three occasions, but her box manners have been inconsistent lately. She ran sixth in her Cranbourne Cup heat in her most recent run, but prior to that won at The Meadows in 30.15. Pierino is on a winning streak, winning his last four at Albion Park. Good form is winning form but he has the squeeze box. He has led his last four starts and will need to do so here. At his only start at Wentworth Park back in July, he was sixth away and could only manage to finish seventh.
Gaudi failed from box six at Wentworth Park last week and has the same draw here. He is hit and miss when the lids go up but is capable of running time on the bunny, as evidenced by his 29.80 personal best at the track. Manyana Groper (box two), Osteria Mozza (box seven) and Trapper Jet (box eight) will need some luck to adjust to the jump in class.
Heat Three (Race 5 at 8:52pm)
This heat is one of the quieter heats on the card. General Destini has recently contested heats of the Sale Cup and Cranbourne Cup, placing on both occasions but just missing the final. He has box three in this heat and has been beginning well recently. He has been to Wentworth Park previously, placing on two occasions. He has won three and placed three from eight starts from the box. Tee Brady finally cracked a win at Wentworth Park last week after five attempts. He recorded 29.93 from box eight. He moves to box one, which appears to suit as he has two wins from three starts out of the box.
Any dogs trained and owned by the Dailly-Wheeler combination can never be discounted, and two of their dogs line up in this heat. Easton Bale has box four and ran fourth behind Banjo Boy in a recent heat of the Cranbourne Cup. He hasn’t won since early November and hasn’t won from the box, but he has won at Wentworth Park in the past in 30.12. His kennel mate Jordan Allen is drawn next to him in box five. Jordan Allen contested the final of the Cranbourne Cup on Wednesday, finishing at the tail end of the field. The dog won his heat last week and that was his first win since September. He will need some luck to feature.
Fancy Pete (box six) and Evoke (box eight) are both run on dogs that have recorded sub 30 second runs at Wentworth Park. They don’t always show the best early speed, so will need to make their own luck in running. National Time may struggle from box seven at his first took at the track and Woods (box two) has not been racing well enough recently to be considered a chance.
Heat Four (Race 6 at 9:08pm)
The obvious draw card in this heat is Black Magic Opal. The current star of greyhound racing in Australia has drawn box six, but has the early speed to overcome the draw. He has won nine of his last 10 and scorched around The Meadows in 29.73 last week. He has won at the track previously in 29.77 with a flying first section of 5.34 to his credit.
This heat also features recent Group race finalists Peter Rocket (box two) and Farmor Las Vegas (box eight). Peter Rocket’s form has been indifferent of late, but he has run 29.52 at the track from box two and at his best he may lay a challenge for Black Magic Opal in the early stages of the race. Farmor Las Vegas will be having his first race start at the track and has been given no favours with the draw as he has the unenviable task of trying to cross Black Magic Opal from the outside.
Edge (box seven) is a talented Wentworth Park chaser, winning seven from 19 at the track. However, he’s only won one from the box and must also try to cross Black Magic Opal to get into the race. What For (box three) has taken to Wentworth Park well with three wins and three placings from nine starts. He hasn’t managed to break 30, but is a reliable beginner. Veyron Bale hasn’t drawn well in box four and Cosmic Station (box five) is rising in class. The ageing Ritza Ryder has box one, but hasn’t been beginning well in recent times so may not use the box to his advantage.
Heat Five (Race 7 at 9:27pm)
The other chaser on people’s lips, Phenomenal, features in box seven in this heat. He is a recent track record breaker at Horsham and place getter in the Sale Cup. He’s a fast and strong dog who will win this on his ear if he is amongst the leaders early. This is his first start at Wentworth Park. Spud Regis has drawn box four and has been leading in his most recent starts at Sandown and Ballarat, but has been run down on the last two occasions. At his best he recorded a 29.63 here at Wentworth Park from box three and has two wins from four starts at the track. He will need to lead clearly to win.
Tasmanian chaser Buckle Up Wes has been to Wenty on three occasions, scoring twice with a best of 29.82. He loves an inside draw and has box three. He is capable of being in this race for a long way. Retiring is a last start winner at Wentworth Park and handles a wide draw well. He jumps from box eight and may hamper Phenomenal in the early stages.
Gradence hasn’t been beginning well enough of late to overcome box five, but he did win at Gosford on Tuesday night. Double Trigger (box one), Cawbourne Hawk (box two) and Kobi Jay (box six) all have plenty of experience at the track with Double Trigger best served by the inside draw and a personal best of 29.72 at the track.
Heat Six (Race 8 at 9:50pm)
It will be the battle of the bitches in this race, with Xylia Allen (box four) and Wentworth Park track record holder Punch One Out (box six) facing off against each other. Punch One Out hasn’t raced since early November and her Wentworth Park return is keenly anticipated. She recorded her track record run of 29.27 back in March 2013. She has won five from seven at the track and four from eight from the box. Interestingly, Xylia Allen defeated her at her last start in November, which was at Sandown. Xylia Allen had no luck in the Brisbane Cup or in her Cranbourne Cup heat last week, with her tardy box manners letting her down. She has won three from eight at Wentworth Park with a best of 29.47.
Belfast Johnny is drawn between the pair of bitches and has plenty of talent on his side. He has won his last three and won five from eight at the track with a best of 29.63. He’s a pretty reliable beginner so could make things interesting for the two fast girls around him. Dyna Kayla is another chaser that has won her last three. Her last two runs have been over the middle distance at Sandown. She is strong finisher and has box one.
Gold Town has won four at the track, but has box eight and will be hard pressed to cross the field as he is a get back dog. Plenty of luck at the first turn will be needed for him to feature. Tomac Bale has drawn box three and has won two of his last three. He needs to be near the lead to win so will need to begin well. Iona Seven (box seven) and Hawk Alone (box two) are both talented chasers in their own right but will need some luck early.
Heat Seven (Race 9 at 10:12pm)
This heat is littered with chances. Recent Silver Chief winner Ollie Bale arrives at Wentworth Park for the first time and will jump from box five. His last few runs have been very impressive and he has really found some form. His fellow Silver Chief finalist Ride the Rails has box six and is having his first look at Wentworth Park.
Brisbane Cup winner Kiss Me Ketut has box eight. Since his winning run in the Brisbane Cup back in early December, Kiss Me Ketut has had one unplaced run at The Meadows. He has won four from six out wide and has enough early pace to be up there amongst the leaders. Avondale Amor ran third in the Gosford Gold Cup on Tuesday after leading the race for a long way. He is trained by Ron Bell and has three wins at the track for a best of 30.03. He has box seven for this heat.
Brooklyn Drive defeated Double Twist at Wentworth Park last week and has drawn box three. The lightly raced dog has had just 12 career starts for six wins. Four of those wins have been at Wentworth Park. His best time at the track is 29.79. What makes this race tough is that the remaining contenders have all also won at Wentworth Park. Victorian Allen Malik has recorded 29.96 from box one, which he has drawn here. Zipping Logan (box two) has a best of 30.10 and Zipping Zoro’s best is 30.06, but he will need to overcome box four.
Heat Eight (Race 10 at 10:35pm)
The talented Lady Jasmin has drawn box five in the final heat. She has impressed and those with a keen eye have taken notice of her racing ability. She has been plying her trade around northern NSW and Queensland and has won 12 from 16. She made her Wentworth Park debut last week, winning comfortably in 29.99. Her box manners are very reliable and she has good early speed, evidenced by her 5.38 first section last week.
Another young up and comer is drawn in box three. Boyce Road has won seven from nine and has won two at Wentworth Park. His best time to date is 29.88. He can be slow at box rise, but musters pace very quickly. Ferly Reign has drawn box one, but has never won from the box, with nine of his 15 career wins coming from boxes six and eight. His best time of 29.80 was recorded from box eight back in November 2013. He is an honest dog, so expect him to be amongst the placings.
Where’s Wob had his second run back from a spell last week, running second to Lady Jasmin. He has drawn outside her here in box six. He couldn’t cross her last week, so he may have the same trouble here again this time around. John’s Son has won his last two at Wentworth Park, including a win from box seven, the box he has drawn here. He has recorded a flying 29.56 at the track, but that was back in January last year.
Empire Allen ran fourth in the Silver Chief final and has box four. He can show early speed and is having his first look at the track. Fancy Rhythm is a 30.04 winner here at the track, but has box eight, a box he has failed to win from. Glamorous Opal, starting from box two, has five career wins from 28 starts and this will be a test for her.
With just one final spot up for grabs from each heat, no greyhound can afford to make a mistake. It will be a top night of racing at Wentworth Park, so be sure to tune in.
At what was only her 15th race start and her first attempt over the 800 yards (732 metres) trip at Harold Park, glamour stayer Golden Twinkle won a third grade event in 1972 by 10 lengths in 43.0, just 3/10ths outside Bunyip Bint’s track and world record. She became the third fastest greyhound to have raced at the trip to that time, with only Bunyip Bint and Travel Rev having gone quicker. Sadly, she was to break down a few months later.
Ben’s Fury won the 2005 Silver Chief Classic for trainer Jason Thompson, defeating Mr Tab and Where’s Hoover by almost seven lengths, using box one to perfection.
Gunnadoo Magic, Others Quoted and Fast Dream made it an all-NSW trifecta in the 2009 West End Draught Distance Championship, run over 731 metres at Angle Park, although the winner was trained in Victoria by Robert Britton.
On the same night, local hero Scull Murphy defeated Victorian champion El Galo by just over six lengths to annex the Interstate Challenge Cup at Angle Park.
The first triple dead-heat in Queensland took place at the Loganholme track in 1964. Ma Parra, Waitawhile Lady, and Breakout could not be separated by the judge.
Victorian stayer Tammy Shanta downed South Australian star Ascapella Miss in the 1975 All Stars Invitation, run over 731 metres at Angle Park.
Pororoca ran a track record 29.68 to take out the 2006 Cranbourne Cup, defeating Leefull by just over eight lengths, with Vapour Whirl third.
Victorian sprinter Tangaloa became Australia’s highest stakes winner with earnings of $91,365 in 1980, surpassing the previous record set by Acclaim Star just six weeks earlier.
Queensland star Pretty Fearless took out the first running of the Interstate Challenge, run over 530 metres at Cannington, in 1987.
Fly On Bonnie broke the Angle Park track record for 731 metres with a 42.56 effort in taking out the 2002 West End Draught Distance Championship from Ima Duke and Pristine Image.
Welcome Banner won the 1997 New Year’s Trophy over 520 metres at Wentworth Park from Island Bird and Spanish Sting, earning $10,000 first prize money.
Back Tonight defeated Flintoff by just over three lengths in the 2008 final of the Mandurah Cup (405 metres) for trainer John Iwanyk.
High Intensity took out the 1989 Roy Maidment Memorial Trophy over 716 metres at Sandown Park in a fast 43.65. High Intensity’s great rival Bold Trease came from last early to run fourth after a chequered passage.
The last of three runnings of the Australian Cup over 515 metres at Sandown Park took place in 1998 with Fibba defeating Split The Bill by three lengths for trainer Stan Ralph.
Whisky Assassin, trained by Jason Thompson, took out the 2005 Bulli Gold Plate, run over 472 metres, from Shrewd Suspect and Stir The Pot, running a quick 26.48.
The Joe Hull-trained Bubble’s Luck defeated Haybit and Royarco in 1972 to win the inaugural running of the Roy Maidment Memorial over 715 metres at Sandown Park.
The 2004 Gosford Gold Cup was taken out by the Doreen Drynan-trained Addis Boy, picking up a cheque for $15,000.
West Australian puppy Cheatin’ Charmer won his eighth consecutive race in 1988, over 530 metres at Cannington, to take his record to nine wins and one second from just 10 career starts. He was only sixth at his next outing, in heats of the Cannington Gold Cup but later went on to win the WA Derby by 10 lengths.
Proven Diego rocketed over the 472 metres at Bulli to snare the 2009 Bulli Gold Plate in a race record 26.06 for trainer Mark Azzopardi.
Ollie Bale (8) took out the 2014 Group One AJS Corporation Silver Chief at The Meadows on Saturday night for trainer Andrea Dailly and owner Paul Wheeler. The 31kg chaser registered the time of 30.19 en route to landing the $100,000 first prize.
Co-Trainer Tom Dailly had told ARG in the lead up to the event that he hoped his dog would be in the top two as they passed the post the first time and that is exactly how things panned out.
Beginning as well as can be expected from the extreme outside, the son of Go Wild Teddy and Zambola Bale (Collision – Maple Bale) was fourth to exit the traps and had headed the early leader Kid Maximus (1) by the post the first time.
Despite holding the front all the way up the back straight, Ollie Bale was yet to get to the fence and Kid Maximus refused to relent on the inside as he inched up to within a head of the lead nearing the top of the home turn. But Ollie Bale’s strength proved too much and he finally got the better of Kid Maximus, who checked off the eventual winners heels as he finally moved down to the fence.
From that point, Ollie Bale put on the afterburners and careered away to score by two and a quarter lengths to a gallant Kid Maximus, with Top Innings (7) running a solid race to finish in third.
The win was Ollie Bale’s seventh from twenty four outings and takes his career earnings to $129,740.
2014 Silver Chief Final Replay
When Darren Brown and his family purchased some pups from a litter by Cosmic Chief out of Pearl Napoleon, everyone had a pick of which pup would be theirs to own. It appears that having a keen eye for a talented animal may not be limited to Darren either, with his five year old daughter Mikayla spot on from the day she saw Ride The Rails.
“We actually bought the dogs out of the paper and there was two black ones and a black and white one. We put them in the kennel and bought my daughter Mikayla down and said ok, you pick which one you want. We thought she would go down and pick the black and white one for sure, but she picked the black one and it turned out to be Ride The Rails.”
This Saturday night Mikayla’s selection, Ride The Rails, is a well fancied conveyance in the Group One $100,000 to-the-winner Silver Chief Final.Brown is the first to admit that it won’t be an easy race to win, with the event looking a very open affair on paper.
“You can’t be too confident going into this race because virtually every dog has an identical first split, give or take a length and they’re all evenly matched. I’d love to say I’m one hundred percent certain I’m going to win it, but I can’t say that because people will laugh at me, you can’t be too cocky.”
Brown is quick to note that Ride The Rails isn’t the only success that the litter has had for him yet either, with a brother to Ride The Rails already winning five races and over $25,000 in prizemoney.
“Ride The Rails brother is Cosmic Station and he’s pretty handy too, yeah he goes alright.”
But a win for Ride the Rails in the Silver Chief would mean the world to a trainer like Brown and his wife Nadine.
“The win would mean a lot to me and don’t get me wrong, the money would be nice too. Actually the money would buy me my first house so that would be good.”
Come Saturday evening, it may well be Mikayla’s selection that provides her family with new place to live.
The final of the 2014 Group One AJS Corporation Silver Chief at The Meadows is one of the most even fields in recent memory. Based on first split times you can literally throw a Kleenex over the field at the end of the first section, and it’s not much different when it comes to the finish either.
The race could well be decided in the run down the straight the first time, with the charge into the first turn likely to be no place for the faint hearted. Whoever can manage to get through that part of the event unscathed should take a power of beating.
In a race that has a history of producing some of the finest greyhounds of their generations, this years instalment looks like an engrossing battle with any of the eight starters a chance at not only scooping the $100,000 first prize, but also etching their name into greyhound racing immortality.
|Comments: Paul Akathiotis (Trainer) - “You’ve gotta be quick out of the boxes, you need to run around the five second mark to lead basically. I’m keeping him fresh, I’ve given him a free gallop on Tuesday and I’m keeping him fresh until Saturday, you want him to jump out and lead. He has gone 5.04 and 5.05 in trials so he can do it, he can lead. I’m just hoping to run a good race, there’s some pretty good dogs in there.”|
|Ride the Rails|
|Comments: Darren Brown (Trainer) - “I’m very happy with the box, I’d much prefer there than out wide. I’d like to see him lead but the dog he ran against last week, Top Innings, he does begin, but he’s gotta be able to get down so if we both begin, I’ve got the fence and there’s going to be a lot of interference coming down to the winning post. You can’t be too confident going into this race because virtually every dog has an identical first split, give or take a length and they’re all evenly matched.”|
|Comments: Joe Borg (Trainer) – “I’m happy with him being on the inside even though he’s had most of his starts on the outside. Box three is new to him so we really have no idea what he’s going to do, but hopefully he pings straight to the front. The four wins he has had there, he has began well but still found interference. In this type of race, a Group One final, you’d prefer no interference at all. That’s what we are hoping for, a clean start and a clean run to the first turn, that will set up the race for him.”|
|Comments: Michelle Mallia-Magri (Trainer) – “He’s probably the most unlucky dog I’ve got in the shed when it comes to box draws. You have to lead in these races. I think the two (Ride The Rails) goes to the fence, so if he jumps I’m just hoping I can beat Deadly Vane out of the boxes and at worst, I’ll have a sit on the two. That’s my aim anyway, it doesn’t always work out that way unfortunately.”|
|Comments: Andrea Dailly (Trainer) – “The box isn’t great, but he chases hard, we’ve just gotta hope he gets a clear run early. He doesn’t ping the boxes but he does accelerate quite quickly. He’d be a chance of leading if they left him alone early but realistically I don’t think he will lead.“|
|Comments: Darren McDonald (Trainer) – “He’s probably going to struggle. Box six has given him no favours. He’s only a young dog, he’s up against the odds with the dogs that are in there but he’s got a little chance I suppose. He’s a leader, if he gets to the front he could maybe run a place. He’s not overly strong at this stage so he’ll have to get to the front and get a bit of a break and hope they crash behind.”|
|Comments: Jeffrey Britton (Trainer) – “He will have to lead, he won’t be coming from behind and there’s probably a few in the race like that. If he misses it from out there, well you’re in big strife. I’m sure if there’s a little bit of buffeting around the first turn it won’t bother him, he’s a pretty good chaser, but we have to be up the front. You just hope he does everything right.”|
|Comments: Andrea Dailly (Trainer) – “I would like him out wide if it was anywhere but the Meadows, it’s very hard to get across from the pink at the Meadows. He’ll need to really come out flying. I’d like him to be in the first couple.”|
|Comments: Found trouble last week, with a clear run in this field he could give some cheek.|
|Comments: Promising young dog who would be in this up to his ears if he gained a start.|
Top Innings looks to hold all the aces in this race. If he can begin and lead from box seven then it could be all over. Should he miss the start, look for Ride The Rails in box two or Veetee Turbo in box four to capitalise on their opportunity. Deadly Vane and Ollie Bale can also loom as big dangers if they can land anywhere near the speed as they go down the back. This is shaping up as one heck of a race.
The 1970 Christmas Gift final was run in 1971, with Shapely Escort winning by three lengths from Acem and Tivoli Chief in a fast 26.3 for the 500 yards (457 metres) at Harold Park.
The 1970 Stayers’ Christmas Gift final took place on the same night and saw Victorian bitch Paul’s Thunder defeat Spanish Moss by three lengths in a quick 43.2.
The 2005 Dave Alexander Memorial was won by Gozo Master from Look On in 30.69 for the 520 metres at Wentworth Park. The race had not been held in 2004, for the first time since its inception in 1951.
The 2011 Silver Chief, run over 525 metres at the Meadows, was taken out by Kilty Lad who defeated Perfect Fancy and Rumble Missile (both trained by Darren McDonald) in 29.66.
Be Faithful clipped 1/10th off the track record for 800 yards (732 metres) at Harold Park when she defeated China Lady (the holder of the 500 yards sprint record) in 1949. Be Faithful ran 43.9; Brazen Murry, the previous record holder, was among the unplaced division.
Tassie Park ran a race record 42.84 to take out the 1997 Roy Maidment Memorial final over 715 metres at Sandown Park. Tassie Park scored by five lengths from Tonight’s Wish.
Big Daddy Cool won the 2004 Silver Chief Classic by almost nine lengths at the Meadows in a race record 29.62.
Tasmanian sprinter Timaru defeated Victorian sprinter Pharminda by a head in a match race at Launceston in 1936.
Busy’s Charm defeated Mo Mo Terms and a tired Zoom Top (her litter sister and kennelmate) in the 1968 final of the Stayers’ Christmas Gift, which was run on this day in 1969.
Busy’s Chief, arguably the best son of Busy’s Charm, fell in the 1975 Surf Lifesaver’s Cup over 530 metres at Wentworth Park. The event was taken out by Luna Verde.
Nikki Ding defeated Final Parole and champion True Vintage in the 1988 final of the Devonport Cup, run over 452 metres.
The 2007 West End Draught Distance Championship, run over 731 metres at Angle Park, resulted in a dead-heat between Miss Columbia and Miss Grub, a rarity among major Australian races with previous dead-heats being the 1963 Vic Peters Memorial Classic, 1993 Topgun, 1995 Canberra Cup, and 2003 Australian Cup among a mere handful.
Thunder’s Pride defeated Rocket Rebel by a head with Early Copy just a half length away in third place in the 1974 Surf Lifesaver’s Cup (Best 8) over 530 metres at Wentworth Park.
Miss Spicy took out the 2006 Interstate Challenge Cup over 515 metres at Angle Park from Go Forever and Timeing, running 29.56.
Queenslander Make You Happy took out the 2008 New Year’s Cup over 600 metres at the Meadows for trainer Paul Felgate.
The National Coursing Association (NCA) and NSW Greyhound Racing Clubs’ Association (formed as a country association after the cessation of the Greyhound Racing Control Council in 1950) issued a joint statement in 1957 advising their affiliates not to race at Harold Park or any GBOTA courses. The bans were eventually lifted 11 months later but caused great disruption to city racing at the two circuits Harold Park (controlled by the GBOTA) and Wentworth Park (controlled by the NCA).
Bobby Boucheau ran 33.67 to set a new track record for 595 metres at Sandown in 2011.
Sonador took out the 2008 Cranbourne Cup from Coulta Bomber and Avon Lee to avenge its third placing in the same event behind Vapour Whirl the previous year.
The Group One Silver Chief is a special race. It has produced some of the best dogs of generations, both on the track and at stud. However when you hear someone like Peter Akathiotis speak, you realise just how special it actually is.
“If I can win it, then I will be on cloud number nine.”
Akathiotis has spent over two decades in the sport, both racing and breeding his own line of greyhounds. When he speaks, you can’t help but feel the passion he exudes for the animal.
This Saturday night, Akathiotis will line up Kid Maximus from the coveted box one in the big final and he’s pretty pleased with the draw.
“It’s the only box I wanted, box one. Two or three would have been ok but I really wanted one. If it was six, seven or eight, we’d be out of business basically.”
Akathiotis nominates early speed as the key to Kid Maximus’ chances. The son of Where’s Pedro and Aussie Belle (History Lesson – Aussie Stunner) found the front early last Saturday and held off the more fancied Veetee Turbo for the duration in a personal best time of 30.23. Akathiotis has done everything he can this week to ensure the possibility of an encore performance by his 32kg fawn chaser.
“You’ve gotta be quick out of the boxes, you need to run around the five second mark to lead basically. I’m keeping him fresh, I’ve given him a free gallop on Tuesday and I’m keeping him fresh until Saturday, you want him to jump out and lead. He has gone 5.04 and 5.05 in trials so he can do it, he can lead. I’m just hoping to run a good race, there’s some pretty good dogs in there.”
In a race that looks a very open affair on paper, Akathiotis knows there is plenty of dogs that he will need to hold out if he is going to scoop the $100,000 winners prize.
“It all depends on who gets a good start, if Top Innings gets a good start, he’s certainly a big show. Deadly Vane, Joe’s (Borg) dog, he’s a pretty talented dog but he just needs that little bit of room to accelerate. But you’ve got other smart dogs there you know, Beckenbauer, Darren McDonald, you can’t underestimate him, I think whoever leads has a big show.”
Coming into the heats of the series, Kid Maximus had appeared at the Meadows on no less than 22 occasions, more than any other dog in the 12 heats. While his record at the circuit may not have been overly resounding at that time (two wins), there is no doubting that his familiarity with the venue has assisted in his path to the final.
“He’s done a lot of his racing at The Meadows. My policy is that if you’ve got a dog who is good enough to be racing in the city then that’s where you should be racing him. You can go chasing the big cups in the country but unfortunately I haven’t got the time to be running around in the country, that’s the thing.”
Kid Maximus’ berth in the final is testament to Akathiotis’ breeding efforts over many years. It is a breeding regime which all started with a bitch by Buka Sunset out of Aussie Girl (Chief Dingaan – Ima Card). This breeding combination would ring some bells with long time followers of the sport, having produced the 1992 Melbourne Cup winner, Master Giant. Akathiotis has shown that with some planning, patience and lots of persistence, that it is possible to achieve big things through breeding your own stock.
“Everything I’ve got goes right back to Aussie Sunrise who was a full sister to Giant and a sister to Master Giant, the Melbourne Cup winner. He was from the second litter, a repeat mating. So I sort of follow the line and I’m always trying to improve. You try to find what you like in a stud dog whether it’s speed or strength or good manners or whatever. I’m always trying to improve it for the next generation but you know, it doesn’t always work, you might have a dry spell for a while.”
When it comes to a breeding approach, there is one simple theory that Akathiotis subscribes to and one that is reflected by his patronage of stud dogs like Head Honcho, History Lesson and Where’s Pedro in the breeding line of Kid Maximus.
“I believe you’ve got to use the best stud dogs around, it’s the only way to improve your breeding really. You can use ordinary stud dogs who may have a reasonable record, they may have been ok dogs, but it is going to show down the line later on.”
Often when you talk to someone about their chances in one of the countries biggest Group One races, they will invariably nominate their dog as one of, if not, the best they have been associated with. However a bluntly realistic Akathiotis is under no such illusions about Kid Maximus. In fact, he’s not even considered in the top two fastest chasers currently in the Reservoir mentors kennels.
“It may sound funny but Nockabout Aussie and Blue Giant would beat him by eight lengths. They’re super dogs but the only problem they have is that they are a bit tardy out of the boxes and that causes them to get into trouble. It’s a shame because they are fast dogs and over five hundred they will beat Kid Maximus by six to eight lengths every time. But he puts himself in the race and he’s improving steadily, I have to admit that, he’s getting better all the time. I’m just hoping he can run a good race.”
Akathiotis’ kennels could well be described as greyhound racings equivalent of an equal opportunity employer. When you hear his own circumspect description of his current racing team, it becomes obvious that his overpowering love of the breed and the sport outshines everything else that comes with it.
“I’ve got eight in work at the moment which is a fair few for me. I’ve got some slow ones but I find it hard to let them go, I love them all the same. As long as I can handle them, that’s the main thing. He’s (Kid Maximus) pretty quiet, he’s no trouble around the kennels. I think if you give them all love and look after every one of them the same, they will be happy. Then they are not jealous of one another or anything like that. No matter who they are they get the same attention with me.”
It could well be that love and attention, combined with a little bit of luck that sees Peter Akathiotis and Kid Maximus on cloud nine come Saturday night.
Greyhound Box Draw For The Meadows – Saturday, 4 January 2014
1st: $7,200 2nd: $2,060 3rd: $1,025.
1st: $5,750 2nd: $1,645 3rd: $830.
1st: $5,000 2nd: $1,430 3rd: $720.
1st: $5,750 2nd: $1,645 3rd: $830.
1st: $5,320 2nd: $1,520 3rd: $760.
1st: $6,260 2nd: $1,790 3rd: $890.
1st: $5,750 2nd: $1,645 3rd: $830.
1st: $100,000 2nd: $30,000 3rd: $15,000 GOBIS: $10,000.
1st: $5,750 2nd: $1,645 3rd: $830.
1st: $5,000 2nd: $1,430 3rd: $720.
New Years Day will see six heats of the Group 2 Ken Hickey Concreting Cranbourne Cup take place. The race carries a first prize of $43,750.00 and is run over the 520 metre distance. The track record for the 520 metre distance is 29.68 and is held by the freakish Pororoca. Phenomenal went close to that record back in November and he lines up in Heat Three. The heats also feature Group performers Farmor Las Vegas, Xylia Allen, Dyna Beth and Peter Rocket.
Heat One (Race 3 at 7:28pm)
This is an interesting heat with recent Hobart Cup aspirant and Brisbane Cup runner up Farmor Las Vegas lining up from box five. The son of Knocka Norris-Farmor Cee You has not started at Cranbourne during his 49 career starts, but he is the class runner in the field and has been racing in top company of late. He will need some luck from the awkward draw, but if he’s given a sniff, he will win his way through to the final. Noaki Spitfire is coming off a sixth placing in the Sale Cup Final, which he led for most of the way. He is a good beginner with a record at Cranbourne that reads three wins and two placings from six starts, with a personal best of 30.22. He drops back to a distance that suits but will jump from box eight, a box he hasn’t won from in his career. Pop’s Max has had two starts for two wins at Cranbourne and has drawn box seven. His personal best at the track is 30.53 which he ran when winning on 4 December 2013. Bookkeeper is an interesting runner in box two. He has been racing predominately over the middle distance trip in recent runs and drops back for this event. He failed at The Meadows last start when dropping back to 525 metres, but prior to that had four wins from his last six starts. He is capable of leading and likes an inside draw so he is worth keeping an eye on. Galloping Rocky is a last start winner at Cranbourne in 30.36, leading all the way from box two. She has box three for this event.
Heat Two (Race 4 at 7:48pm)
This race contains a mixture of experienced dogs against some young up and comers. It remains to be seen if Ollie Bale will don the pink rug and take his place on Wednesday night, as he has qualified for the Silver Chief Final at The Meadows on Saturday night. He is a dog on the rise that has been very impressive in his last two runs at The Meadows, where he has finished off strongly each time. His litter sister, Prue Bale, jumps from box five in the same heat. She is a recent Laurels finalist and has won nine of her 24 starts. Her box manners have been mixed, so she may struggle from the awkward draw. Tonk, who starts from box four has been most impressive in recent weeks, winning four of his last six. He hasn’t been to Cranbourne before but he is a good beginner and looks the likely leader. Gold Town has box two and has a good record at the track, with two wins and a second from three starts. The Surf Lorian-Golden Gwen dog is a strong finisher and has a personal best of 30.25. Expect him to pounce on the leaders. Darren McDonald’s runner in box three, Fancy Amigo, ran third to champion bitch Xylia Allen at this last start, which was at Cranbourne. The Brett Lee-Sweet Fancy dog has recorded 30.10 at the track and has won here twice. He isn’t without a chance.
Heat Three (Race 5 at 8:11pm)
After a luckless run in the Sale Cup final, Phenomenal returns to Cranbourne from box five. Phenomenal has had just the one start at the track and that was back in November when he won the $10,000 special event and recorded the second fastest time ever at Cranbourne; a flying 29.78. He has won three times from box five and looks the clear favourite in this heat. Keybow, in box two, is a young dog with a lot of talent. He has just raced in the Silver Chief series at The Meadows and was impressive winning his heat in 29.94. He qualified as second reserve for the final after running third in his semi. He has won six from 13 and has flown around Sandown in 29.36. He loves the box two draw, winning all three times he has started from the box. Hailstorm Billy is another that has gone through the Silver Chief series, running third in his semi. He has had two starts at Cranbourne for two placings. He has box one here and isn’t the best of beginners but has a strong finish. Dyna Beth is a good beginner and has box three. She hasn’t raced at Cranbourne but has won 10 of her 24 starts and did run second in the Melbourne Cup. If she leads she is in with a big hope.
Heat Four (Race 6 at 8:29pm)
Xylia Allen is the class runner in this field from box four. She recorded a sub 30 second win at Cranbourne last start and has won two at the track from four starts. The Turanza Bale-Tayah Bale bitch is a multiple group winner and you can’t go past her in this field. Banjo Boy, from box two, is also a sub 30 second winner at this track. He hasn’t won since late October but has been placed every run since so he looks a natural place chance here. Check My Swagger has only been unplaced five times in his 20 start career. He has the early speed to lead the field from box three but will have to be wary of the strong finishers that will be right on his heels. Heidi Go Seek has never won from box five but has won at Cranbourne in 30.25. She is another that can lead but she performs better drawn closer to the rail.
Heat Five (Race 7 at 8:50pm)
This is a hard heat to pick a winner in. Crump is in winning form of late and lines up from box seven in this heat. He has had one start at Cranbourne for a 30.12 victory. If he repeats that effort, he is in with a winning chance. Where’s The Surf is another fast winner at Cranbourne, recording a best of 30.14 from his two wins at the track. He is a more reliable beginner then Crump and has the suitable inside draw. Maximum Lil also has good form at Cranbourne, winning both her starts at the track and recording a best of 30.22. She recently ran second to Ritza Hattie in the Laurels final at Sandown and has won twice from box six. She is the interesting runner in the field. Jason Thompson has Innocent Til engaged in box one. The Premier Fantasy-Proven Polly dog hasn’t won from box one previously but he has won at the track in 30.38. Hawk Alone is also a winner at the track in 30.14 from box four, the same box he has in this heat. Rocky Bale is a get back dog and may not be suited by the box three draw. He had this box at The Meadows last start and found a world of trouble. He has loads of talent but will need some early luck.
Heat Six (Race 8 at 9:08pm)
Veetee Turbo is engaged in box six in this heat, but it remains to be seen whether the dog will start as he has made the final of the Silver Chief, to be run at The Meadows on Saturday. If he does line up, he is a big chance. His recent form has been brilliant, winning his last three including a 30.64 win here at Cranbourne. He has been beginning well of late and can put himself right in the race. Peter Rocket is the experienced Group performer in the race and he will jump from box four. He begins well most of the time and has placed at his only start at Cranbourne. Given the class he has been racing in, he is one of the chances. Watta Good Dee arrives at Cranbourne after a Laurels campaign at Sandown. She is a three time winner at Cranbourne with a best of 30.48. She has box seven and hasn’t won from a box outside box six. She is a hit and miss beginner but has good race experience at the track so is worth some consideration. Speed Series loves box one but hasn’t won since late October. Iona Seven has a suitable inside draw, starting from box two. She has shown good early speed at Geelong and Sandown recently but was unplaced at her last start at The Meadows. She has had two placings at Cranbourne and is in with a shot if she leads. Peloton Bale has two wins from his last five starts and has been a consistent place getter. He has box three, a box he has won three times from. He has mixed box manners and this his first start at the track.
The six heat winners and the two fastest seconds progress through to the final that will be held on 8 January 2014.