2014 Group One National Sprint Final Preview

Cannington gets to celebrate 50 years of the National’s on Saturday night with eight of Australia’s best sprinters showcasing their speed from the 530 metre boxes in hope of becoming the 2014 Group One National Sprint Champion.

WA trainer Linda Britton is the only trainer in the National’s series to qualify two greyhounds into the final field. Zelemar Fever and Star Recall made it through after running first and second in the deciding final last week.

Star Recall holds the least experience of the two jumping from box six. With only 30 career starts and 16 wins to her name she has more then made her mark on WA greyhound racing.

The Daughter of High Earner – No Recall is one of seven talented bitches that come from the litter of 10.

This isn’t her first group campaign, at the start of the year she made the trip to Victoria in the hope of an Australian Cup victory with litter sister High Recall. Although unsuccessful, the 26 kilo bitch returned to her home track Cannington in fine form producing a 30.37 victory and has been hard to beat since. Two months ago she recorded a flying personal best of 30.18 and has been an integral to the success of the Britton kennel.

Star Recall’s racing style sees her jump to the front of the field on most occasions with an average first sectional of 5.73, her best being 5.59. Its hard to fault her performance in recent weeks, she hasn’t been unplaced in 13 starts, eight of those being wins. Star Recall always has a cheer squad on track courtesy of her owner Kevin Dover and his family.

Saturday night is a tough ask for the WA star, but racing on her home track will give her the confidence she needs for a Group One win.

“Star Recall is a more experienced race dog compared to Australian Cup time so that should work in her favour. She is also much better suited on her home turf.” Trainer Linda Britton explained.

“It’s hard to separate Star Recall and Zelemar Fever in the race. They both know the track very well but Zelemar Fever is three to four lengths quicker then Star Recall.”

On paper Zelemar Fever had been in a minor slump in form of late with her first win in a over a month coming last week. The daughter of Bombastic Shiraz – Noaki Pace found her early speed again, charging home to win by two lengths over Star Recall in a time of 30.40.

“I’m pleased she is coming along, she has hit form again.” Britton explained.

Zelemar Fever isn’t a newcomer in group races, with her Group One Temlee victory at The Meadows the highlight of her and trainer Linda Britton’s careers.

Zelemar Fever will jump from box four on Saturday night, a let down compared to the red box she won from last week.

“It’s no secret that she loves box one and she hasn’t drawn as well this week, but if she begins I give her every chance.”

Owners Gary and Craig Weston will be hoping Zelemar Fever struts her stuff all the way to the boxes and back to the winners dais on Saturday night to add another group title to her name.

At 9.37pm Perth time, the boxes will open and in a matter of seconds the Group One National Sprint Champion will be named, taking home not only the title but $75,000.00 in prizemoney.

The prices listed are the current Centrebet fixed odds. Centrebet are offering readers a $200 free bet and frequent greyhound promotions.

Box 1
Race Odds
$23.00
Heat Replay
Dominator Girl (TAS)
Trainer
Paul Hili
Owner
Launnie Boy’s
Prizemoney
$17,280.00
Last 10 Starts
2322373382
39 Months Black Bitch by High
Earner
- Bit
Sweet
Start Good Running Middle Finish Well
Prizemoney Rating $595.00 Rating
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
29 9 5 5
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
31% 66%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
0 0 0 0
Box 1 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
4 3 0 0
Comments: ARG comment: She has done well to get here in the absence of Buckle Up Wes. May find this a hard task even though she has a great record from box one.
Best Cannington Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
- - - -
Box 2
Race Odds
$4.40
Heat Replay
Chica Destacada (NSW)
Trainer
Doreen Drynan
Owner
Dee and Pee
syndicate
Prizemoney
$56,615.00
Last 10 Starts
1136526115
27 Months Black Bitch by Cosmic
Rumble
- Eluthra
Start Well Running Middle Finish Well
Prizemoney Rating $2,264.00 Rating
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
25 10 4 3
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
40% 68%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 0 2 0
Box 2 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
1 0 1 0
Comments: Doreen Drynan (Trainer):Box two is a good box to have but it all depends on the start and if there is any trouble. I think Tony Brett’s dog Flash Reality and Linda Britton’s Zelemar Fever will be hard to beat. She (Chica Destacada) has had three starts around Cannington, two race starts and a trial so I didn’t feel the need to trial her again.”
Best Cannington Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.68 30.87 5.74 5.85
Box 3
Race Odds
$2.75
Heat Replay
Flash Reality (QLD)
Trainer
Tony Brett
Owner
Marlene Ellis
Prizemoney
$158,460.00
Last 10 Starts
1111131111
32 Months Black Dog by Premier
Fantasy
- Orara
Flash
Start Well Running Middle Finish Good
Prizemoney Rating $9,321.00 Rating
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
17 11 2 3
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
65% 94%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
0 0 0 0
Box 3 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
0 0 0 0
Comments: Tony Brett (Trainer): Box three is all right; he just needs to do what he has been doing the last couple of weeks and the big track suits him to the ground. It’s a hard call to pick a winner, I think the winner will come from the inside; the two (Chica Destacada) has been here before. Also the WA chasers having a hometown advantage is a big thing.”
Best Cannington Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
- - - -
Box 4
Race Odds
$7.00
Heat Replay
Zelemar Fever (WA)
Trainer
Linda Britton
Owner
G Weston &
C Weston
Prizemoney
$233,750.00
Last 10 Starts
1343311122
42 Months Black Bitch by Bombastic
Shiraz
- Noaki
Pace
Start Good Running Rail Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $3,292.00 Rating
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
71 29 10 9
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
41% 68%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
32 17 4 5
Box 4 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
17 6 1 5

Comments Linda Britton (Trainer): “
She isn’t drawn as well as last week but if she begins i put her in with a good chance.”
Best Cannington Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.90 30.40 5.60 5.71
Box 5
Race Odds
$6.00
Heat Replay
CrackerJack Dak (VIC)
Trainer
Andrea Daily
Owner
Jordean
Prizemoney
$52,975
Last 10 Starts
1281822111
32 Months Black Dog by Mogambo - Lil’s
Memory
Start Fast Running Rail Finish Well
Prizemoney Rating $1,394.00 Rating
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
38 16 10 3
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
42% 76%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
0 0 0 0
Box 5 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 0 1 1
Comments: Jordan Cooper (Owner) : “If he doesn’t lead he can’t win. It’s a tough field and we will need everything to go right.”
Best Cannington Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
- - - -
Box 6
Race Odds
$5.50
Heat Replay
Star Recall (WA)
Trainer
Linda Britton
Owner
Kevin Dover
Prizemoney
$97,430.00
Last 10 Starts
2131411111
28 Months Black Bitch by High
Earner
- No
Recall
Start Fast Running Middle Finish Good
Prizemoney Rating $3,214.00 Rating
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
30 16 6 4
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
53% 87%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
21 8 6 4
Box 6 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
5 3 1 1
Comments: Linda Britton (Trainer) - “If she begins, I think she is in with a good show. She is much better suited on her own turf.”
Best Cannington Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.18 30.54 5.59 5.72
Box 7
Race Odds
$18.00
Heat Replay
Bessy Boo (NSW)
Trainer
Christine Proctor
Owner
Ashley Wilson
Prizemoney
$127,715
Last 10 Starts
3431341125
43 Months Black Dog by Bekim
Bale
- My
Black
Bess
Start Slow Running Rail Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $3,115.00 Rating
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
41 13 8 8
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
32% 71%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
0 0 0 0
Box 7 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
5 1 1 1
Comments: Christine Proctor (Trainer): “The box isn’t that great, either one two or three would have been best but that’s the run of it. Chica Destacada is fast when she gets on the bunny and Tony Brett’s Flash Reality is a good chance but every dog is a chance in the race. He is well suited to the track, the longer distance will suit him because his last sectional is strong and he will motor home. He can also come from behind so he doesn’t need to be in front.”
Best Cannington Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
- - - -
Box 8
Race Odds
 $41.00
Heat Replay
Wild Soul (SA)
Trainer
Kim Johnstone
Owner
Velocity Lodge
Prizemoney
$47,545.00
Last 10 Starts
1311112113
33 Months Black Dog by Mogambo - Velocity
Thunder
Start Average Running Middle Finish Okay
Prizemoney Rating $990.00 Rating
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
48 20 10 6
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
42% 75%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
0 0 0 0
Box 8 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
3 0 2 0
Comments: Kim Johnstone (Trainer):He is going to need a lot of luck; he isn’t the best beginner so he isn’t going to be able cross any of the dogs early on. I think Zelemar Fever will be hard to beat because its her home track as well as Tony Brett’s Flash Reality because it’s been racing enormously.”
Best Cannington Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
- - - -

Background To The National Sprint Championship

Cannington plays host to National Sprint Championship final in 2014 for only the fifth time in the history of the event. It first staged the race in 1979, when NSW champion Acclaim Star scored a brilliant win. Acclaim Star became Australia’s highest prize money winner during his career. Then, in 1989, local superstar Sandi’s Me Mum annexed the first of two consecutive Sprint Championships. She too went on to become Australia’s highest prize money winner. In 1998, the great Rapid Journey came from box six and almost last place at the first turn to score. He finished his career as Australia’s highest prize money earner, and the first to pass half a million dollars.

That Cannington/prize money nexus was broken in 2004 when NSW sprinter In For Life was victorious. The last time the race was run in Cannington, the late all-distance champion Dashing Corsair from Queensland was successful.

If the past is anything to go by, then a genuine topliner is needed to take out the race when it is run at Cannington.

Inaugural Running

The first National Sprint Championship was run on 11 September 1965 over 500 yards (457 metres) at Harold Park. The race was taken out by NSW sprinter Best Sun (box seven), trained by Eddie Batiste. Indeed the first four across the line were all from NSW, with second place going to Satyr Rocket, two lengths behind Best Sun, with Chariot Charm a length away third and Black Tass fourth. Queenslander He’s Lightning was fifth ahead of the Victorian Billy Vee.

Eddie Batiste, who earned £2,000 for the win, had earlier made headlines as being the man who discovered the lifeless bodies of Dr Gilbert Bogle and Mrs Margaret Chandler in 1963, in a case that baffled the nation.

Tracks & Distances

Eleven tracks across six states have held the final. Between 1965 and 1976 the race alternated between New South Wales and Victoria. Since 1977 it has moved around the country.

Harold Park 1965, 1969, 1973, 1980, 1983, 1984 (457 metres)

Olympic Park 1966, 1970, 1974, 1981, 1992 (511 metres)

Wentworth Park 1967, 1971, 1975 (530 metres), 1991, 1994, 1999, 2005, 2008 (520 metres),

Sandown Park 1968, 1972 (507 metres), 1976, 1985 (513 metres), 1990, 1995 (511 metres), 2007 (515 metres),

Gabba 1977, 1982, 1988 (558 metres)

Angle Park 1978, 1986, 1993 (512 metres), 1997, 2003, 2010 (515 metres)

Cannington 1979, 1989, 1998, 2004, 2009 (530 metres),

Albion Park 1996, 2002, 2011 (520 metres),

Launceston 2000 (522 metres), 2006 (515 metres)

Hobart 1987 (457 metres), 2012 (461 metres)

The Meadows 2001 (518 metres), 2013 (525 metres)

When Is The Race Run

Until 2006 and again in 2009 it was run in either September or October. In 2007, 2008, and since 2010 it has been held in August.

Biggest Winning Margins

Gallant Ruler (NSW) won by 12 lengths in 1994, Red Zero (NSW) by eight lengths in 1969, Knocka Norris (Q) by seven and a half lengths in 2008, and Temlee (V) by six lengths in 1974.

Closest Winning Margins

Coorparoo Flyer (Q) 1975, Bit Chili (NSW) 2007, and Smooth Fancy (NSW) 2010 all prevailed by a head, while King Miller (NSW) 1971, Prince Of Tigers (WA) 1997, Rapid Journey (NSW) 1998, In For Life (NSW) 2004 and Dashing Corsair (Q) 2009 all scored by just a neck.

Most Successful Trainers

Petar Jovanovic leads with three winners (Scenic Spa 1985, Stetson 1986 and Shayne’s Champ 1996, although Maryanne Jovanovic is also credited in Scenic Spa’s success) ahead of Gerry O’Keefe with Sandi’s Me Mum (1989 and 1990), Graeme Bate with Henerik Bale (2001) and Xylia Allen (2013) and Reg Kay with Elite State (2003) and Knocka Norris (2008). Paul Cauchi trained Coorparoo Flyer to win in 1975 and although his charge Clover Duke won in 1976, it was technically trained by Charlie Gatt, as Cauchi was under suspension at the time.

Dual Winners

Only the West Australian great, Sandi’s Me Mum, in 1989 and 1990.

Reserve Winners

Metz Magic in 2011. The Queenslander replaced Tonneli Bale in a race which also saw the scratchings of Pedrosa (replaced by Maybe Elite) and Damek, who was unable to compete for Tasmania, and was replaced by Hellyeah Jacko.

Dual Finalists

Benjamin John (fourth in 1968 and 1969), Pied Rebel (second in 1969 and 1970), Coorparoo Flyer (Won 1975, third 1976), Odious (fourth 1975, second 1976), White Panther (third 1979, fourth 1980), Winifred Bale (seventh 1982, Won 1983), Defiant Lea (fourth 1983, eighth 1984), Apache Eye (unplaced 1987 & 1988), Sandi’s Me Mum (Won 1989 & 1990), Mister Britain (unplaced 1989 & 1990), Faithful Hawk (third 1998, seventh 1999), Mallee Rebel (eighth 2000, sixth 2001), Buckingham Chuck (second 2006, seventh 2007), Pedrosa (fourth 2010, scratched 2011), Glen Gallon (sixth 2011, second 2012)

Beaten Stars

Chariot Charm (third 1965), Munich Boy (third 1967), Busy’s Charm (second 1969), Tara Flash (sixth 1971), Shapely Escort (seventh 1971, injured), Woolley Wilson (eighth 1972), Half Your Luck (second 1973), Bristol Sue (second 1974), Ungwilla Lad (eighth 1975), Sole Force (second 1978), Tempix (seventh 1979), Glider’s Son (sixth 1981), Eaglehawk Star (second 1984), Shining Chariot (second 1986), Camden’s Ghost (third 1986), True Vintage (second 1987), See Yah (third 1988), Highly Blessed (third 1990), Hotshot (fourth 1998), Reggemite (fifth 1998), Top Shiraz (fourth 1999), Carlisle Jack (second 2001), Modern Assassin (third 2002), Sun Hero (third 2004), Scull Murphy (fourth 2007), Paw Licking (fourth 2013)

Notes

From its inception in 1965 and until 1973, a series of heats and quarter finals were usually held NSW, Victoria, Tasmania, and Queensland, with the top point scorers coming to the host state for, usually, a pair of semi-finals. The eight top point scorers through these semi-finals would then go to make up the final field. In 1973, South Australia was added to the contenders, with Western Australia included in 1976.

Since 1977, each state has conducted its own series and sent the winner to contest the final in the host state. The Northern Territory was also included from 1982

In 1980, trainer Ken Howe had the favourite Fast Sapphire engaged in the final, and gave Ernie Rowe, the greyhounds’ former mentor, the honour of walking the greyhound to the 457 metre boxes at Harold Park. Fast Sapphire (box one) scored a brilliant win, and was immediately retired to stud.

In 1981, South Australian bitch Kate’s A Scandal set a new Australian record of 15 successive victories, eclipsing the 14 straight set by Harryed in 1950. In the same race were the NSW pair of Glider’s Son and Peter Glider. It was the first time a major national race had featured litter brothers bred, owned, and trained by the same person, namely John MacDonald.

In 1988, NSW star See Yah ran third to Queensland champion Dancing Gamble while wearing his dog collar. His trainer had forgotten to remove the collar when loading See Yah into the boxes.

WA National Sprint Heats Review

Greyhounds WA held just two heats of the WA National Sprint Championship on Saturday night. Despite the lack of numbers the standard of WA chasers were high, with On Coin holding the majority of interest.

In the first heat of the night, Temlee winner Zelemar Fever (box two) was $1.85 favourite over kennelmate Star Recall ($2.80) who jumped from box eight. As the boxes opened Jump The Queue (box seven) landed at the front of the field leaning into the fence. Luba Monelli (box three) sat tight in second position as Star Recall made her run from box eight. Zelemar Fever looked to be in a good position when she moved in front of Luba Monelli to sit third. Star Recall quickly outclassed Jump The Queue, snatching the lead at the 600 metre boxes. The daughter of High Earner – No Recall pulled away to win 1 ¼ lengths in 30.35. Luba Monelli ran home well to finish second with Zelemer Fever looking to tire towards the line into third position and Jump The Queue finishing fourth.

The second heat of the night was all about On Coin. He started odds on favourite ($1.40) from box one with his closest rival Gone To Heaven (box four), paying $4.80. As anticipated On Coin jumped and won, leaving the rest of the field to fight for their rugs in next weeks final. Black Dymas (box five), Freeway Force (box eight) and Gomes (box two) began the battle for the minor placing’s out of the boxes. You Can Dream (box seven) also pushed up to ensure she was a chance to get through to next weeks deciding final. In the end Gomes ran on strongly to finish second with Freeway Force and You Can Dream finishing third and fourth respectively. Gone To Heaven failed to make an impact on the field after being squeezed out of the race in the early stages. On Coin was the fastest qualifier with a time of 30.20.

The box draw for the 2014 National WA Sprint Championship is as follows:

1 Zelemar Fever Linda Britton
2 Luba Monelli David Hobby
3 Star Recall Linda Britton
4 Gomes Linda Britton
5 On Coin John Crossley
6 Freeway Force Kieth Harding
7 You Can Dream Dennis Calleja
8 Jump The Queue Peter Hepple
Reserves
9 Deyna Linda Britton
10 Black Dymas Jason Stuart

WA National Sprint Championship Heat’s Preview

It’s Western Australia’s turn to showcase their talents in the National Sprint heats on Saturday night at Cannington over the 530 metre distance. With just the two heats set to be run, the first four placegetters will receive a rug in next weeks WA deciding final.

Heat One – 8.10 PM, Perth time

Linda Britton looks to have the two favourites in the first heat of the National Sprint, Zelemar Fever, jumping from box two and Star Recall, jumping from box eight.

Reigning Temlee winner Zelemar Fever is set to start at $2.50 favourite. After a fall at Sandown’s Sapphire Crown she looks to have lost her zip out of the boxes that has seen her land in front of the field time after time. Her previous three starts have seen her manoeuvre through the field and hit the finish line with strength. If she manages to jump to the lead it’s hard to see anything catching her.

Star Recall is currently paying $2.80 to take out the heat from box eight. The little black bitch has been in great form from the start of her career, only missing out on finishing in the top three on four occasions. She missed out on the Oaks series and looks to be a genuine contender after a freshen up on the sidelines last week.

Luba Monelli returns from four months on the sidelines for trainer David Hobby. Prior to her break, Luba Monelli produced some impressive victories over the 600 metre trip. It’s a tough ask for Luba Monelli ($15.00) to take out this heat with chasers that are capable of clocking some very quick times.

Peter Hepple’s Jump The Queue ($5.00) will be the likely leader from box seven but will have to rely on trouble behind if she is to take out this heat.

Heat Two – 8.30 PM, Perth time

The winner of the second heat looks likely to come out of the inside boxes, especially with On Coin off the red. Since his return from a shoulder injury sustained in January, On Coin has set the standard high in WA. Almost week in week out On Coin has produced best of the night performances. The brindle chasers box manners have improved, which has helped him find the lead heading into the back straight on multiple occasions. He is the dog to beat in this heat and is paying $2.00 for the win.

Gone To Heaven has shown a return to form in recent weeks, pulling together two great performances in lower grade company. Jumping from box four, paying $3.50 for the win, she will need to be at her best to finish first past the post.

Last week, veteran Gomes proved that he could still perform in top company, clutching \victory in the closing stages. From box two he is starting at $15.00 for the win and it’s going to take a lot for the old boy to win, but like he showed last week he is capable of surprises.

With the first four chasers getting a run in the deciding final next week, it will bring them one week closer to possibly being named the 2014 National Sprint Champion.

2014 Group One Sapphire Classic Preview

Sportsbet is offering punters with a fantastic promotion on tonights Sapphire Crown!

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A big Thursday of greyhounds is headlined by the Sapphire Crown, and we have a big offer!

Place a bet on the Sapphire Crown (Race 6) at Sandown Park Park this Thursday
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Applies to Win and the Win portion of Each Way bets only
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One of the highlights of a big night of racing at Sandown Park on Thursday night is the final of the Group One Sapphire Classic.

The event has been around since 1974 and was originally an age restricted race open to dogs and bitches. Token Prince won the race in 1997.

In 2002, the event was changed to a bitches only race. Since 2002 some outstanding bitches have taken out the feature event. The honour roll includes the likes of Bogie Leigh, Paua To Burn (twice), Betty’s Angel, Que Sera Sera, Queen Lauryn, Cindeen Shelby and Xylia Allen. The race wasn’t run in 2010 due to a change in the Australian Greyhound Racing Association calendar.

West Australian trained bitch Zelemar Fever (3) is the favourite for this years race, scoring in fast 29.34 in the fastest of the four heats last week. She is the 2014 Temlee champion and looks to have a good chance of adding another a Group race victory to her CV.

The Sapphire Classic is Race 6 on the card and jumps at 8:52pm. Here’s a look at this years final;

Box 1
Race Odds
$3.40
Heat Replay
 
Prue Bale
Trainer
Andrea Dailly
Owner
Paul Wheeler
Prizemoney
$59,575.00
Last 10 Starts
4421612182
29 Months   Black   Bitch   by   Go Wild Teddy - Zambola Bale
Start Risky Running Rail Finish Good
Prizemoney Rating $1,418.00 Rating 99
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
42 13 8 4
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
31% 60%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
10 1 2 2
       
Box 1 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
6 1 2 1
Comments: Tom Dailly (Co-Trainer) – “She has drawn nicely, we hope she to get a clear run early and see what she can do.”

 

Best Sandown Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.42 29.73 4.98 5.12
Box 2
Race Odds 
$7.50
Heat Replay
 
You Say Goodbye
Trainer
Stephen McKenna
Owner
Anthony Forte
Prizemoney
$62,235.00
Last 10 Starts
1453511212
32 Months   White & Black   Bitch   by   Premier Fantasy - Hello SIenna
Start Good Running Rail Finish Good
Prizemoney Rating $1,556.00 Rating 94
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
40 12 10 4
       
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
30% 65%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
11 4 3 0
       
Box 2 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 0 2 0
Comments: Handy bitch who missed the start last week and suffered some interference. She showed good chasing tenacity to qualify for the final but a repeat of last week’s box manners will probably mean trouble. She has recorded a best of 5.00 to the first mark and will need to draw on that to put herself in the race.
Best Sandown Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.69 29.70 5.00 5.13
Box 3
Race Odds
$2.80
Heat Replay
 
Zelemar Fever
Trainer
Linda Britton
Owner
Weston syndicate
Prizemoney
$253,215.00
Last 10 Starts
7263122211
38 Months   Black   Bitch   by   Bombastic Shiraz - Noaki Pace
Start Risky Running Rail Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $3,956.00 Rating 100
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
64 27 10 6
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
42% 67%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
7 3 1 0
Box 3 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
8 3 2 1
Comments: Linda Britton (Trainer) – “The inside draw is better with her, it is a lot better then getting the six. I would prefer her closer to the inside but I am happy with the three. She has always been above average and always tries her best. We are hoping she goes well.”
Best Sandown Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.35 29.35 5.07 5.07
Box 4
 Race Odds
$26.00
Heat Replay
 
Hot Dream
Trainer
Paul Galea
Owner
Graham Henry
Prizemoney
$15,291.00
Last 10 Starts
2478312112

32 Months

  Black   Bitch   by   Premier Fantasy - Hello Sienna
Start Risky Running Rail Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $728.00 Rating 92
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
21 5 5 4
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
24% 67%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
6 2 1 1
Box 4 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 1 0 0
Comments: ARG opinion – Got lucky turning for home last week after Especially and Cairnlea Ella suffered interference. She took advantage of this opportunity to run into second place. She could find trouble from the draw.  
Best Sandown Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.68 29.90 5.07 5.26
Box 5
Race Odds
$9.00
Heat Replay
 
Oakvale Destiny
Trainer
Jeff Britton
Owner
Nathan Wilson
Prizemoney
$9,695.00
Last 10 Starts
7134161522
21 Months   Blue   Bitch   by   Vapour Whirl - Foot Luce
Start Slow Running Middle Finish

Strong

Prizemoney Rating $970.00 Rating 93
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
10 3 2 1
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
30% 60%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
6 1 2 1
Box 5 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
0 0 0  0
Comments: Angela Langton (Co-Trainer) - “She’s very strong and probably one of the fastest in the race but she is slow early. We are hoping for some luck early but she has a fast beginner on her outside.”
Best Sandown Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.03 29.58 5.14 5.15
Box 6
Race Odds
$6.50
Heat Replay
 
Te Amo
Trainer
Linda Britton
Owner
Romer Adamson syndicate
Prizemoney
$143,170.00
Last 10 Starts
2424213231
36 Months   Black   Bitch   by   Cosmic Rumble - Osti’s Bride
Start Excellent Running Rail Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $3,671.00 Rating 95
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
39 15 2 4
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
38% 54%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
1 1 0 0
Box 6 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
5 3 1 0
Comments: Linda Britton (Trainer) - “She will definitely need to show her early pace again. She trialled quicker then the time she ran last week. She was a little unsettled last week and we had a bit of trouble with her weight. We are hoping she goes better this week as she has had a chance to settle a bit more.”
Best Sandown Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.71 29.71 5.00 5.00
Box 7
Race Odds
$21.00
Heat Replay
 
Amadeus Strikes
Trainer
Robert Britton
Owner
Steven White
Prizemoney
$123,945.00
Last 10 Starts
7632371811
45 Months   Black   Bitch   by   Bombastic Shiraz - Forgetful Lucy
Start Risky Running Rail Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $1,907.00 Rating 92
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
65 22 12  9
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
34% 66%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
4 2 0 1
Box 7 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
8 1 1 1
Comments: Robert Britton (Trainer) - “Very happy with how she went last week. If she can repeat the 5.02 split from last week it would be good. However, I would have preferred an inside draw. It will be tough to get across from out there. There is a lot of pace in the race. If they can run 5.02 early you expect them to lead, with all of the pace in the race though, the inside dogs have some sort of advantage.”
Best Sandown Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.52 29.52 5.02 5.02
Box 8
Race Odds
$6.00
Heat Replay
 
Oakvale Flyer
Trainer
Jeff Britton
Owner
Nathan Wilson
Prizemoney
$22,515.00
Last 10 Starts
1371411241
21 Months   Black   Bitch   by   Vapour Whirl - Foot Luce
Start Good Running Rail Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $1,876.00 Rating 98
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
12 6 2 1
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
50% 75%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
7 4 1 1
Box 8 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
1 1 0 0
Comments: Angela Langton (Co-Trainer) - “We were hoping she would draw inside as she likes to be on the fence. She is a better beginner then her sister and hopefully she begins and gets a cart across. She is also strong.”
Best Sandown Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.53 29.58 5.02 5.02
1st Res
Race Odds
$16.00
Heart Replay
 
Lady Toy
Trainer
Norma Gost
Owner
Norma Gost
Prizemoney
$24,715.00
Last 10 Starts
2753261113
23 Months   Black   Bitch   by   Our Toyman - Railway Shiraz
Start Slow Running Middle Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $2,060.00 Rating 88
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
12 3 3 3
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
25% 75%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
4 3 0 1
Box Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
N/A N/A N/A N/A
Comments: Has taken to Sandown well but is a slow beginner and will need some luck if she gets a start.
Best Sandown Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.82 29.70 5.33 5.43
2nd Res
Race Odds
$26.00
Heat Replay
 
Mahogany Saphire
Trainer
Elsie King
Owner
Barry Augustine
Prizemoney
$5,970.00
Last 10 Starts
1776363133
29 Months   Fawn   Bitch   by   Bartrim Bale - Rich Mahogany
Start Risky Running Middle Finish Fair
Prizemoney Rating $314.00 Rating 85
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
19 4 1 5
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
21% 53%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
3 0 0 3
Box Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
N/A N/A N/A N/A
Comments: Likely to struggle if she gets a start. Led last week but was run down by Oakvale Flyer and Prue Bale.
Best Sandown Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
NBT 30.25 5.04 5.15

Zelemar Fever (3) has drawn well and will need to begin on terms to avoid interference into the turn. She has the time on the board and only needs to repeat that to secure the win. There’s a bit of pace in the race and Linda Britton’s other chaser, Te Amo (6), could very well lead as she has Oakvale Destiny (5) on her inside. Oakvale Destiny is a slow beginner and will give Te Amo that extra little bit of room. Watch for Oakvale Destiny in the closing stages as she is very strong. Prue Bale (1) couldn’t quite get to the lead last week but she has drawn the cherry this week which should give her every chance.

Oakvale Flyer (8) is a better beginner then her sister Oakvale Destiny and she is also strong. She looks an each-way chance if she can get some luck from the pink box. Amadeus Strikes (7) has been beginning well her last couple of starts but moves to the undesirable outside alley. Last week’s first section was great and if she can do that again, she could get near to the lead. You Say Goodbye (2) missed the start from box two last week and can’t afford to do the same this week. Her sister, Hot Dream (4), took advantage of the opportunities that were presented to her last week but she isn’t likely to get the same favours again this week.

2014 Group One Sapphire Crown – Heats Preview

The best 32 bitches in Australia will be at Sandown on Thursday night to contest the heats of the Group One Sapphire Crown over the 515 metre distance.

Last year’s Sapphire Crown went to Xylia Allen over Punch One Out and El Brooklyn.

Heat One – Group One Sapphire Crown (Race 1 at 7:00pm)

2014 Temlee champion Zelemar Fever (1) returns to Victoria to try and add another Group title to her list this year. She has been placed in her last six starts at Cannington and last raced on 26 April. She has two wins at Sandown to her credit with a best of 29.56. She’s also had six wins from box one and is one of the main chances in the race.

Wise Ella (4) has been racing in some tough company at her last couple of starts (Campaspe Will, Innocent Til) and will relish the return to racing against other bitches. She has placed thirteen times at Sandown (six wins) and has recorded 29.52. She has been leading in most of her runs before the recent rise in class.

You Say Goodbye (2) is a last start winner at Ballarat over 450 metres in the best time of the meeting. She has 12 career wins from 39 starts and has good early toe. Her best form is from wider boxes so it remains to be seen if the draw will favour her.

Lady Goldenpaw (3) enjoys racing at Sandown for trainer Rob Britton. She has three wins and two placings from seven starts and a best of 29.66. She is a consistently good beginner and could lead from box three. She needs to be in front to be a chance of winning.

Quick Succession (8) was a finalist in the recent Group Three Ladies Bracelet final at Wentworth Park. She was the fastest heat winner into the final but didn’t begin from box seven. She is drawn unfavourably again here.

Heat Two – Group One Sapphire Crown (Race 2 at 7:25pm)

Recent Dubbo Cup winner (in track-record time) Tricky Jade (6) makes the trip down from NSW for Martin Hallinan. She was a finalist in this race last year and has scored at Sandown in 29.56. If she brings her Dubbo form to Sandown she should account for herself well.

The interesting runner in the race is noted stayer Born Ali (7). She hasn’t raced since running third at Wentworth Park on 12 April over the 720 metre distance. Prior to contesting the staying trip, Born Ali did contest eight sprint events at Sandown for two wins and four placings and a best of 29.70. She has been leading staying events but may struggle to lead a sprint event. With a clear passage in running she is capable of doing anything.

Prue Bale (3) is still hit and miss with her form and recently stepped up to middle distance racing. She is dropping back to the sprint and is jumping from a box she has won four times from. Her best at Sandown is 29.42 but she has only won once at the track from nine attempts over the distance.

Oakvale Flyer (4) was a finalist in the recent Group Two Bogie Leigh Futurity at Albion Park, finishing fourth. She is only lightly raced with five wins from 11 starts, with three of those wins coming at Sandown. She’s gone all right on the clock, with a best of 29.53 and she has also won from box four.

Heat Three – Group One Sapphire Crown (Race 3 at 7:44pm)

Easter Egg finalist Magic Display (3) will be having her first start on Victorian soil. Her biggest asset is her early speed and she will need to utilise that at her first look at the track. She ran a personal best of 29.71 at Wentworth Park last week and looks to be getting stronger each time she races.

Te Amo (4) is another bitch with good early speed having her first start at Sandown. She is extremely consistent at box-rise and this should make things interesting if Magic Display times the jump right.

Hot Dream (5) has won her last two at Sandown, both from box three. Prior to those two wins she had been racing over the 595 metre distance at Sandown. She has hit a purple patch of form recently but may find things a little harder from the squeeze draw.

Cosmic Wise (8) ran third to Black Magic Opal two starts back and contests this heat with 10 wins at Sandown under her belt. Her form from wider boxes isn’t flash so she is going to need to some luck in running.

Heat Four – Group One Sapphire Crown (Race 4 at 8:08pm)

This is a really tough heat on paper, featuring Mepunga Moss (1), Gone To Heaven (2) and Ritza Hattie (4).

Mepunga Moss (1) won four in a row at Sandown during March and early April before being unplaced at Albion Park and Warrnambool. Sandown is a happy hunting ground for her as she has won eight times at the track for a best of 29.45. She is well suited by the inside draw.

Gone To Heaven (2) has been racing consistently around Cannington and possesses good early speed. She also loves box two, with the draw putting her right in contention.

Ritza Hattie (4) went ever so close to taking out the Ladies Bracelet, going down by just under two lengths to Zipping Willow in a fast 29.44 at Wentworth Park last weekend. She has two wins at Sandown with her fastest being 29.37. Her box manners have been good of late.

Amadeus Strikes (3) has won two of her last three but she isn’t always the best away so it will be interesting to see where she settles in the race considering all the speed drawn around her. She is a very strong bitch so if she’s in a handy position she could loom as a threat to the three already mentioned above.

Lady Toy (6) is a rough each-way chance. She has won her last three at Sandown despite having no early pace. Her best is 29.82 and if there’s any sort of mix up she could sneak up into the placings.

Paw Licking And Kel Greenough Chasing More Success After Maitland Cup Win

Roger (Paw Licking) is sun-baking when ARG calls Kel Greenough to discuss Paw Licking’s big win in the Group Two Maitland Cup on Thursday night.

Greenough prepares Paw Licking from his Pearcedale base in Victoria and when arriving home off the plane after Thursday’s win, he was greeted by a news crew.

“I got back good. The thing was though, the news people were there at the airport waiting for me sticking a camera in my face. I wasn’t prepared for that”, Greenough said.

Paw Licking has generated plenty of interest with his winning ways and he started favourite for the Maitland final, with Greenough pleased his charge could pull off the win.

“You just don’t like to lose when you’re the favourite. People sort of half expect you to win and when you don’t win it’s a big come-down. I found all the people terrific. Most people were very friendly and welcomed an inter-stater with open arms.”

It was an even better night for owner Allan Lang, who rarely gets to see his dog race in the flesh as he is based in Casino. He caught the train down to witness Paw Licking’s 30th win.

“The owner came down by train. He had a nine hour trip from Casino to Maitland. He has only came down to see him race once, which was for the Temlee and he got run down on the line in the Temlee. He was enjoying the moment at Maitland. Knowing what Casino runs for and knowing what the dog has earned he knew he had to send the dog to Melbourne and I was just the lucky one to get the phone call. I think he said he was running for 700 or 800 at the time in Casino. He’s been a pleasure to train for and never given me one day’s grief.”

Paw Licking has physically pulled up well after the run and has recovered from the travel. His next task at this stage looks to be the Bendigo Cup.

“He was fine. The travel just took a little bit out of him. I’ve just got him out here at the moment enjoying the sun and lazing about, he likes doing that. If he had to race next week he could. It’s just a matter of picking out this next race. We don’t try to run him too much in-between if we don’t have to. He will go on towards the Bendigo Cup.”

Obviously the next big Group race on the calendar is the Golden Easter Egg, but Greenough has elected to skip the series with Paw Licking.

“I spoke to Allan about it and he just said do what you like. I just think the three runs at Wenty are probably not in the best interests of the dog. While I would love to win an Easter Egg with him I don’t think it’s the right situation. They used to give Group One dogs one week off, which would happen to suit him, and they were exempt from going through the first round and went into the second round. That would have made a difference but they put it back to a three week series which makes it tough for interstate people so we decided against it.”

“As a trainer, when you have to do it, it turns into four weeks as you have to do a trial. So its a trial and three races if you are lucky enough to get through each week, which turns into a very tough ask over a four week period. I don’t think people realise its not easy to get away from home that many times. You certainly cant stay away for a month otherwise you don’t have a spouse! But every state has its own rules so you’ve just got to go with it.”

It has also been reported that Black Magic Opal will be giving the Easter Egg series a miss, setting up a nice clash with Paw Licking at Bendigo.

“I believe Black Magic Opal will be going to the Bendigo Cup too. That will be a good clash. I think they’ve clashed four times with two wins each. It will be an interesting clash and great for the public, although I would rather not run against him.”

One thing is for sure, the Golden Easter Egg’s loss is set to be Bendigo’s gain with Paw Licking certain to scorch the loam at a circuit that suits his style to a tee. Don’t be surprised to see “Roger” with another Group win on his already impressive CV very soon.

Vale Vapour Whirl

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.

Track Records Don’t Go Often In Big Race Finals

The Horsham and Temora Cup finals, run over the last weekend, produced two fairly rare occurrences: a track record in the former (Crump), and an equal track record in the latter (My Kinda Music). These performances followed on from the track record set in the February final of the Healesville Cup (Frosty Jay Jay).

Considering the number of major race finals conducted around the nation every year, and the number of major races which have been part of the national calendar, in some cases, for decades, it is perhaps surprising more track marks are not lowered in these events. After all, they’re supposed to attract the best talent in the country, at least as far as most Group One events are concerned, and the racing surfaces are generally ‘tricked’ up to produce fast times. Yet very few new track records are set.

The following is a list of major races down through the decades where the winner has set new track figures. I cannot claim this list is exhaustive and would appreciate anyone letting me know if I’ve missed any track record run in a major race.

At Angle Park the sprint record has fallen in the Adelaide Cup twice: in 2000 and 2001. The first was by Jack Junior, who ran the 515 metres at Angle Park in 29.32; followed by the sensational Brett Lee who scored by six lengths in a scintillating 28.88.

The Angle Park record also fell in 1975 when Bristol Sue won the South Australian Sprint Championship.

The 731 metres record at Angle Park went in the 2002 West End Draught Championship, won by Fly On Bonnie in 42.56.

The 2005 Brisbane Cup at Albion Park fell to the speedster Pororoca who downed Go Forever by just over nine lengths in 29.66.

The Perth Cup has only seen one track record in a final, by Kilby Supreme in 2004 when the Victorian ran 30.12 for the 530 metres at Cannington while the longer trip has only fallen in a West Australian Galaxy, in 2004, when Winter won in 41.57.

The 530-metre record also fell in the 1997 West Australian Derby, to Prince Of Tigers, in 30.52.

The Sandown sprint record, then 513 metres, was annexed by the brilliant NSW bitch Odious in 1975 when she won the Laurels by 10 lengths in 30.34.

Despite its lengthy history, the only time a Melbourne Cup final has seen a track record was when Hua scored in 1988, running 30.01.

The Topgun, although not a major race final, has witnessed two track records, the first by Rapid Hiker in 1995 who defeated the mighty Tenthill Doll by four lengths in a new Sandown record run of 29.80, while the second was in 2004 when Whisky Assassin sped over the course in 29.40 to win by nine lengths.

The Hobart Thousand is currently into its ninth decade but only twice has the prevailing track record gone under in a final. The first time was in 1973 when Sue’s A Credit ran 29.3 over the 500 metres on the old TCA ground; the second was in 1981 when NSW star Black Aztec won by six lengths in 28.40 over 497 metres.

The biggest major race which has witnessed the most track records in its time is the National Distance Championship. First run in 1969, the final has seen records fall in 1974 (Corcoran at Angle Park), 1978 (Dusty Ginny in Hobart), 2002 (Boomeroo at Albion Park), 2005 (Texas Gold at Wentworth Park), and 2006 (Bothing in Launceston).

The National Sprint Championship, on the other hand, has borne witness to only two record runs: 1979, Acclaim Star at Cannington and 2006 Immortal Love at Launceston.

The Launceston Cup is the only major event to have had three records at the same course in finals run at three different distances. The first was in 1973 when Mountain Rock ran 29.9 to equal the track record for 502 metres; then in 2002 Jeanie’s Queen scored by seven lengths over 522 metres in 30.36, and in 2013 Xylia Allen won by just over seven lengths in 29.09 for 515 metres.

The Launceston record also fell in 2011 when Damek won the Tasmanian State final of the National Sprint Championship in 29.94.

The Wentworth Park 520 metre track record last fell in a major race final in 2011 when Noble Pedro took out the Christmas Gift by just over nine lengths in 29.43.

Previously, Worth Doing had run 29.74 in taking out the 1988 Vic Peters Memorial Classic.

The Vic Peters Memorial, when run over 500 yards (457 metres) at Harold Park, had borne witness to future super sire Black Top equalling the track record of 26.4 in the 1962 final.

Its ‘bad age’ equivalent, the Vic Peters Bi-Annual Classic (now the Peter Mosman Memorial) saw Victorian speedster Satan’s Legend run a new record of 25.95 in 1978.

The 732 metres record at Harold Park only fell once in a major race, in 1984 when Shy Julie ran 42.67 to win the Summer Cup.

The Summer Cup of 1987 saw Sonic Wave run 42.09 to set a new record for 720 metres at the remodelled Wentworth Park.

The Sydney Cup, run on grass over 790 yards (722 metres) on the old Wentworth Park course, saw the great Zoom Top run 43.2 in the 1968 final.

The next time the distance record fell in a final was in 1978 when Cherrie Sepol flew over the course in 42.50 to win the Metropolitan Cup by 10 lengths.

In 2005, now run on sand over 720 metres, Royal Riddle equalled the track record of 42.07 in the Sydney Cup final, while two years later Miagi won by just over nine lengths in 42.03 to set new figures in the same event.

The Sandown Cup has seen the distance record fall just twice, first in 2004 to Proven Lethal (42.12) and then in 2011 Bobby Boucheau blazed over the circuit in 41.57.

Sandown’s 715-metre record fell further later that same year when Lady Arko won the Victorian State final of the National Distance Championship in 41.55 (Bobby Boucheau was fourth).

The Meadows 725-metre record has fallen just twice in major finals, the first time was in 2005 when Malfoy ran 42.34 to take out the Gleeson and Tonta, the second occasion was in 2008 when Mantra Lad scored in 42.28 to win the Victorian State final of the National Distance Championship.

The same year, Fallen Zorro ran 42.43 to take the Launceston 720 metres track mark in the Tasmanian State final of the National Distance Championship.

Perhaps the longest gap between track records in a major final is the Devonport Cup, with King’s Idea scoring in 1953 in a record 24. 9/16ths and 29 years later Wynlee Wonder ran 24.79 to set new figures.

In 1974, the Autumn Trophy final over 511 metres at the now-defunct Olympic Park saw track specialist Temlee score by 11 lengths in 29.67.

Records have also fallen or been equalled in races like the Bendigo Stayers Cup (2006, Turbo Uno), Canberra Cup (2008, Borat), Cranbourne Cup (2006, Pororoca), Darwin Cup (2009, Queen Lauryn), Gawler Gold Cup (1996, Grand Illusion), Geelong Cup (1997, Power Zone), Grafton Black and White Whisky Cup (1971, Gemini Todd; 1972, Topini Fire), Greyhound Recorder Trophy (1971, Petite Panther), Horsham Cup (2004, Brumby Lad and, of course, Crump this year), Lismore Cup (2003, Bogie Leigh), Maitland Cup (2007, Run The Risk), Nowra Puppy Classic (2007, Mountain Of Love; 2013 Ritza Hattie), Richmond Derby (2006, Cool Mat), Tamworth Cup (1974, Opal Sid), The Schweppes (2007, Buttsie Bale), and the Tweed Heads Galaxy (1988, Yannick; 1999, Mint Magic).

Keybow Stamps His Authority In Australian Cup Heats

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

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

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

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

Heat One – 2014 Group One Australian Cup

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

Heat Two – 2014 Group One Australian Cup

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

Heat Three – 2014 Group One Australian Cup

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

Heat Four – 2014 Group One Australian Cup

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

Heat Five – 2014 Group One Australian Cup

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

Heat Six – 2014 Group One Australian Cup

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

Heat Seven – 2014 Group One Australian Cup

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

Heat Eight – 2014 Group One Australian Cup

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

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

1. Kiss Me Ketut – David Burnett (29.77)

2. Keybow – Darren McDonald (29.59)

3. Dyna Nalin – Paul Stuart (30.03)

4. Innocent Til – Jason Thompson (29.79)

5. Hallelujah Henry – Darren McDonald (29.91)

6. Musquin Bale – Andrea Dailly (29.89)

7. Buckle Up Wes – Edward Medhurst (29.98)

8. Marcus Joe – Barry Moloney (30.04)

Reserves

9. Punch One Out

10. Crawf’s Bread

Britton And Stuart Flying The Australian Cup Flag For WA

WA trainers Linda Britton and Paul Stuart have prepared four talented prospects for this years Australian Cup heats held over the 525 metre distance at The Meadows on Saturday night.

The excitement level for Paul Stuart is high, with his travelling sensation Dyna Nalin jumping from box one in a very winnable heat. Stuart’s 34 kilo dog is set to start $2.15 favourite for the heat, ahead of Te Amo ($5.50) and Humphrey Bale ($5.50).

After an unlucky run in the Temlee last week, jumping from box six and finishing sixth, Dyna Nalin is said to be ready to go for the coming heats.

“He pulled up really well; he got bashed around a bit last week but ran home well; he is bouncing around now.” Trainer Paul Stuart explained.

“I was happy with the run, he got belted straight out of the boxes but ran home really nice. The seven and the five put an end to his chances early. He didn’t get beaten by much; he ended up running about 30.20, so that’s pretty good considering the interference he copped. I couldn’t be disappointed with the run.”

As for box one in the eighth heat of the Australian Cup, Stuart believes he has the right box to give his chaser every chance of winning the race.

“He comes out better from an inside box as a rule, without giving too much of the start, hopefully there is room up on the rail. If he gets the clear run he is right in it. It’s hard to say a favourite because there is a bit of a mixture in the field. Cornelious Fudge is pretty strong and there is a bit of speed with Te Amo and Rose Of Galo. If Te Amo or Purcell Bale get a run early and find themselves on the bunny they are going to run a bit of time.”

“You have always got to be careful with any dogs at The Meadows who get a clear run early because that is half the work done.”

Stuart rates either Te Amo or Purcell Bale as the main dangers in the heat.

“He cant give any of those dogs five or six length off the back otherwise he could be in a bit of trouble.”

WA’s second trainer Linda Britton has three chasers looking to earn their rug in next weeks Australian Cup.

Temlee winner Zelemar Fever has drawn a hard heat, made tougher by box seven. Her win last week was remarkable, running down the leading Paw Licking after he stretched his lead to over five lengths down the back.

“I would probably put that down as my best win. I think the fact that it’s a hand picked field, it’s the best dog racing at the time. It’s a time-honoured event; many many greats have won it over the years.” Trainer Linda Britton explained.

Despite how impressive Zelemar Fever’s run was last week, Britton is not confident that her bitch will be able to hit the line first in this week’s heat because of her outside box draw.

“I lose a fair bit of confidence because she is jumping from box seven, but she is racing well. If she jumps like she did last week and get across somewhere early she will be in with a chance.”

Britton rates her brother Roberts chaser Famor Las Vegas as the dog to beat because he is coming out of box one.

“Banjo Boy and Buckle Up Wes are also two top liners in the race.”

Last Saturday night Britton had two bitches, Te Amo and High Recall, trial in-between races at The Meadows in preparation for the Australian Cup heats. Te Amo stopped the clock at 29.90, while High Recall wasn’t far behind her with a time of 29.96.

“I was hoping High Recall and Te Amo would break 30 seconds at The Meadows on Saturday night.”

Te Amo is set to jump from box five in the sixth heat of the Australian Cup, drawing against fellow West Australian Dyna Nalin.

“I like her chances, but in saying that I don’t want Dyna Nalin sitting behind her in the home straight. She can begin really well and any dog that can find the front at The Meadows, it can be hard to run them down.”

“If she can run the time she did last week she will be a huge chance.”

High Recall is drawn worse out of all the WA chasers in the Australian Cup heats, jumping from box eight, the little black bitch will likely look for the rails as soon as the lids open.

“The box draw is a big disappointment, she will want the rails and there are a few good ones in the race. High Recall isn’t going to lead with Paw Licking in the race and she isn’t as strong as Zelemar Fever, so running him down will be hard. I can’t see her winning it, if she runs a place I will be happy.”

Britton rates Te Amo as her best chance of the night.

With four great WA chasers involved in the Australian Cup heats it will be a night when all Western Australian’s cheer together in hope one of their home town champions can make it through to the Australian Cup.

2014 Group One Australian Cup – Heat Previews

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

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

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

Here is a look at each heat.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This Week In Racing History

FEBRUARY

19th

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

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

20th

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

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

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

21st

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

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

22nd

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

23rd

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

24th

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

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

25th

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

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

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

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

Time to Buckle Up – It’s Tassie’s Australian Cup Duo

Unlike the Melbourne Cup where runners need to travel over for a prelude before getting a start, the Australian Cup gives all interstate dogs a chance to be graded on their interstate efforts and line-up in one of the highest profile series on the calender.

For two states like South Australia and Tasmania, this is a big deal.

However, out of those two, it is the Apple Isle contenders that would be frothing at the mouth to have their dogs unleashed upon The Meadows next Saturday night, with both Buckle Up Wes and Buckle Up Mason being selected upon the 56 seeds granted a walk-up start into the heats.

OK, now before everyone emails in frantically, saying that Buckle Up Mason is a Victorian greyhound, it needs to be said that the dog is Tasmanian owned and Tasmanian bred by the well-known Robyn and Gary Johnson partnership. Despite the dam of the pair, Everlong Bale, doing most of its racing in South Australia, as long as they carry the ‘Buckle Up’ name, they will forever be part of the Tasmanian crusade.

Focussing on Buckle Up Mason firstly, his career has been carried out almost entirely in Victoria under the care of Graeme Bate. Like most of the Bate army, he is now being guarded by Peter and Jenny Hunt. His form has been a model of consistency through 2013 and into the new year, with several victories at Free For All level including a Melbourne Cup Prelude.

On the other hand, Buckle Up Wes has predominantly raced on home soil with Ted Medhurst putting on the finishing touches. His résumé looks a little more imposing, with wins in the Paws of Thunder and Launceston Cup heats, and took out the Launceston Cup Consolation last night just to prove he’s ready to go.

Apart from both runners racing best when on the bunny, and both chasers wanting the rail, both of them have also amassed $64,000 in prizemoney. Buckle Up Wes got to that total via 18 wins and 9 placings from 32 starts, at a strike rate of 52%, while Buckle Up Mason has done it more steadily scored on 13 occasions with 18 placings out of 50 tries, in other words a 26% winning rate.

They are no flashes in the pan for the Johnson team. The ‘Buckle Up’ moniker has been around for some time now, and it’s not unusual for them to find a bit of success on the highest stage. Buckle Up Tina had a great career for Robyn and Gary when it competed from 2006 to 2008, making three Group 1 finals in a 98 start career that yielded 32 wins along the way.

Then there is the host of runners that remain on home soil via the different litters, with the likes of Buckle Up Myke, Gaye, Kade, Brett and Grace all paying their way week in, week out.

But back onto the star duo, who are by far the standouts from the Collision x Everlong Bale litter. They will line up in heat two and five of the Australian Cup. Mason will have his work cut out from box three, with Peter Rocket and Marcus Joe drawn inside. Meanwhile, Wes has come up with box six, hoping to out-pace Farmor Las Vegas, Banjo Boy and Temlee winner, Zelemar Fever.

While on the topic, Dark Warrior who started his career in Tasmania is also nominated, and will be desperate to hold out Paw Licking around the first corner in the fourth heat.

As mentioned earlier, there was space in this article for the chances of the South Australian entrants in the Australian Cup. However with the injury to pin-up boy Ernie Bung Arrow, the croweaters will be sadly left with no representation.

While every state has their peaks and troughs, anytime an interstate chaser can conquer the Victorian stranglehold is always a popular result. For the sake of Tasmania, let’s hope the Johnson team can do just that.

Temlee Gives Weston His First Group One Win

Gary Weston had just won a game of golf against an old school friend prior to speaking to ARG. It’s not the only win he has had this week though as his star bitch, Zelemar Fever (Bombastic Shiraz-Noaki Pace), took out the Group One Temlee at The Meadows on Saturday night.

“That was really exciting. It was really the first Group One that we’ve won. She’s a very hard chaser and she did a lot of bullocking work as she ran down the leader. She did really well, it was really exciting for us. We got eight tickets from Perth to Melbourne and we had quite a cheer squad for it. We picked up some relatives as well on the way, so it was really good.

We were screaming. All of our group, we probably had about 20 people there, we were all just screaming our heads off. When the leader was seven lengths in front we were still screaming but we weren’t really confident but she’s such a hard chaser and railer and when that dog came off the rails we knew we had a better chance. It was just a fantastic night and The Meadows did it well too. Their presentation was good and we enjoyed ourselves.

To win a feature race in Melbourne is really special. Paul Wheeler’s a good friend of ours and I was talking to him and he said he has travelled around the world seeing greyhounds and he said to win a Group One in Melbourne is the mecca of racing in the world. That makes us feel pretty good.”

Weston is no stranger to greyhounds. He has bred and raced plenty over the years under the familiar moniker “West On”. In that time, he has built a great relationship with leading WA trainer Linda Britton.

“I have had dogs since I was 18. Next month I am 69 so I’ve had dogs for a long time. We have a lot of dogs and the better ones are all trained by Linda. We probably have 40-50 dogs most of the time and there’s usually about 20 in work. We’ve got some nice dogs but she (Zelemar Fever) is the best dog we have got at the moment.

Linda has done a fantastic job. Linda and Chris and her team they do a great job with all the dogs. We have been with Linda for about 20 years. They are good friends. It’s just not the commercial side of racing, it’s the friendship and the bond over many years.”

Weston purchased Zelemar Fever from Robert Crawford and since changing hands, has won 12 races from 16 starts.

“We bought her from Rob Crawford. He sent her to Perth to race and Linda knew that someone had offered to buy her previously and I said to Linda that we would be interested in buying her if she was available. Linda made contact with Rob and asked if he would sell. He knocked back our first offer and he took our second offer. She’s broken 30 seconds four times at Cannington which is quite special. She has given the whole family a lot of fun.”

Naturally, Zelemar Fever’s future after racing rests in the breeding barn.

“She will be off to the breeding barn once she finishes her racing career.

We are looking forward to that as well. She’ll be potentially our best brood bitch. She has got very strong lines and she is such a hard chaser. We are really looking forward to using her when she goes to stud.”

As for the more immediate plans, Zelemar Fever will contest the heats of the Australian Cup on Saturday and then head back to Perth after the series.

“Linda’s very much in charge, she’s entered for the Australian Cup heats next Saturday and after that she will come back to Perth and Linda will map out a program. There’s feature races every month in Perth. There’s good racing for her. I think Linda would like to travel with her if the right races are available.”

As for Zelemar Fever’s chances in the heats on Saturday, Weston is crossing his fingers for an inside draw.

“We hope she draws inside. She’s a much better dog on the inside than out. She tends to go straight left and that makes it awkward if she’s outside. If she draws one, two or three that would be good.”

Regardless of what happens in the Australian Cup, Zelemar Fever is now a Group One winner and adds her name to the illustrious list of Temlee winners. Under the care of Linda Britton, she will be able to continue providing her owners with the immense joy that she brings them when she races.

Strong Finish Secures Victory For Zelemar Fever In The Temlee

Former Victorian chaser Zelemar Fever (2) finished strongly in the closing stages of the Group One Temlee to secure the $100,000 first prize.

As expected, Paw Licking (1) was the early leader. In fact, he had drawn nearly eight lengths clear down the back straight, with Zelemar Fever doing all the chasing.

However, everyone watching the race was consciously aware that Paw Licking would find the closing stages of the race a problem. His trainer, Kel Greenough, had stated in the lead up to the race that the dog did not have the ideal preparation for a 525 metre event and his summation of the dog’s chances proved correct.

Paw Licking was clearly starting to tire as he rounded the home turn. After a clear run through the race, the noted strong finisher Zelemar Fever was poised to capitalise and she did just that, emerging victorious by half a length in 29.86. Peter Rocket (8) caught the eye in third place. He was midfield in the early stages but worked his way along the rails to third down the back and ran home strongly to miss second place by just a head. Innocent Til (7), who was wanted by many in betting, found trouble and finished last.

Zelemar Fever, the only bitch in the Temlee final, has thrived under the tutelage of Linda Britton and now has 25 career wins to her name and has now earned connections over $220,000.

Zelemar Fever And Dyna Nalin Chasing Temlee Glory For WA

WA chasers Zelemar Fever and Dyna Nalin are two great prospects in tonight’s Group 1 Macro Meats Temlee at the Meadows over the 525 metre distance.

Zelemar Fever comes into the race after an unlucky run in last week’s Perth Cup, where she finished fifth after finding trouble that caused Andrea Dailly’s Allen Deed to fall on the first bend. With last weeks race well and truly behind Linda Britton’s chaser, she’s ready to put her best foot forward in her Temlee debut. Zelemar Fever has settled in well after the flight from Perth at her old home, Pace Park Kennels, rolling on her beloved grass giving the stamp of approval.

The daughter of Bombastic Shiraz – Noaki Pace, has her new owners Gary and Craig Weston in Melbourne to support her from the favourable box two.

“There is a lot of pace in the race; she has to position herself well early to be any chance. She is drawn to be right in it.” Trainer Linda Britton explained.

“It will come down to a bit of luck, if she can find herself in a good position early she will be a chance, but not many dogs come from behind at The Meadows.”

Britton believes all the chasers in the Temlee pose a threat to her bitch, singling out Dyna Nalin and Tomac Bale as her main worries.

Zelemar Fever’s last start at the Meadows resulted in a fall; she split her webbing and then made the trip over to Perth.

“You just hope its not going to effect her.”

Britton has three other chasers going around The Meadows. Star Recall has found herself in a Prelim for the Australian Cup heats, drawing box five. The daughter of -High Earner-No Recall missed out on being named in the top 56 greyhounds in Australia and therefore didn’t get a direct spot in the heats.

“Star Recall appears to be suited to The Meadows because of her great box manners. It’s hard to say if the box is going to be an issue, but if she begins it won’t be a problem. I knew that she was borderline (for the top 56 greyhounds), it would have been a lot easier for us if they all made it through to the heats.”

Sister High Recall and kennel mate Te Amo are both trailing between races in preparation for the heats of the Australian Cup next week.

“Both High Recall and Te Amo appear to be great Meadows dogs with their racing style. I’m expecting them to go quite well. This is a bit of a test for them, obviously they are as good as anything in Perth and it’s a bit unknown here. We are basically just testing the waters to see whether we can start traveling with them or if we keep them back in Perth where we know they will win races.”

With possibly four chasers set to run in the Australian Cup heats next Saturday night, Britton rates Zelemar Fever as her top chance and Te Amo not too far behind her. Star Recall and High Recall are young and relatively inexperienced compared to Britton’s other two chasers.

WA trainer Paul Stuart has also brought two chasers over for the Australian Cup series, Dyna Nalin and Hillbilly Flash. Dyna Nalin received a spot in the $100,000.00 Temlee. Jumping from box six could work against WA’s traveling sensation, but he is too good a chaser to count him out of this race.

Dyna Nalin was welcomed back to the winner’s circle last week at Cannington after going three starts without a win, winning in a best of the night time of 30.10.

“He is feeling good and travelled over well and hopefully has a bit of confidence from last week.” Trainer Paul Stuart explained.

“He does go well at The Meadows and if he can get a nice run early hopefully he can be in it at the end. He is going to need a lot of luck to run down one of the tear away leaders.”

Stuart believes that drawing box six didn’t do him any favours.

“He is going to have to try and get down to the fence early or jump with them and just go around. There is a bit of speed in the race so I dare say he won’t be in the first couple early. I think Zelemar Fever is a massive chance if she goes straight to the fence, she is in good form, but it all depends on what happens out of the boxes. If a dog like Tomac Bale comes out running he could be hard to beat too.”

“If Paw Licking pinches a bit of the lead and they jam up on the first turn he is always a chance too. He is going to be the likely leader, he is going to have a big break if he is going to win but half the hard work is getting to the front. If another dog sits on his tail, he is going to be pretty vulnerable.”

“Id say the win would probably come from the inside three.”

Paul Stuart’s Hillbilly Flash missed out on the top 56 Australian Cup selection and is therefore set to line up in the fifth Prelim from box seven.

“I was hoping he didn’t have to run through the prelim’s but there are some pretty good dogs in the top 56. He has only had 20 odd starts and he hasn’t been performing against the good dogs, which pushes him way down the list. I would have liked to give him a trial run rather then racing him first up.”

“He is going to need a lot of luck from the outside draw even though he has been around The Meadows before. He cant afford to do anything wrong.”

If Dyna Nalin makes it around the Temlee unharmed he will line up in next weeks heats of the Australian Cup and Stuart believes his chaser has more then deserved respect in the series.

“With a couple of good draws Dyna Nalin is always a good chance, he is as good as any dog that is going around. With a bit of luck in draws he is always a chance. His last run shows he still has the talent so I cant see why he couldn’t be more then competitive in the Australian Cup series.”

2014 Group One Temlee Preview

The Group One Macro Meats Temlee is one of three big Group One races to be run at The Meadows on Saturday night. The invitational race features eight classy runners and is a very even field. The Temlee is Race 8 on the card and is scheduled to jump at 8:55pm.

The honour roll for this race features some big names including Paua to Burn, Slater, El Galo and High Earner. Trainers Kel Greenough and Jason Thompson, who both have runners in the 2014 Temlee field, have won this race before. In fact, Thompson has won this event three times and Greenough has won it twice.

A grand prize of $100,000 is up for grabs for the winner, with second place not missing out with $30,000 and third place winning $15,000.

Box 1
Race Odds
$3.20
Heat Replay
 
Paw Licking
Trainer
Kelvyn Greenough
Owner
Allan Lang
Prizemoney
$307,450.00
Last 10 Starts
2712112312
35 Months   White & Black   Dog   by   Elite State - Kingsbrae Di
Start Excellent Running Rail Finish Fair
Prizemoney Rating $6,405.00 Rating 97
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
48 28 9 3
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
58% 83%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
8 2 4 0
       
Box 1 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
6 5 1

Comments: Kel Greenough (Trainer) - “It’ll be a bit hard to step him up to 525 metres on the circle in a week, after running 350 metres in a straight line. It’s a very hard step up in a week, I probably would have liked a bit more time but you’ve got to take the races when they are on, if you get selected, you have a crack. It’s not ideal, I’d probably have liked another two weeks to be honest, but I can’t change the calendar.”

Best The Meadows Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.95 30.36 (09/11/13) 4.96 5.09
Box 2
Race Odds 
$4.80
Heat Replay
 
Zelemar Fever
Trainer
Linda Britton
Owner
G Weston & C Weston
Prizemoney
$128,080.00
Last 10 Starts
1411312115
36 Months   Black   Bitch   by   Bombastic Shiraz - Noaki Pace
Start Risky Running Rail Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $2,417.00 Rating 95
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
53 23 6 5
       
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
43% 24%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
10 3 1 2
       
Box 2 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
7 5 2 0
Comments:  Trainer unavailable for comment. ARG opinion is - Recent Perth Cup finalist who was badly boxed. Better boxed here in the two and can show some early speed. Hasn’t broken 30′ at The Meadows but isn’t without a chance.
Best The Meadows Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.05 N/A (13/07/13) 5.08 5.21
Box 3
Race Odds
$7.00
Heat Replay
 
Tomac Bale
Trainer
Mark Delbridge
Owner
Paul Wheeler
Prizemoney
$180,455.00
Last 10 Starts
2415116826
34 Months   Red Fawn   Dog   by   Dyna Lachlan - Princess Bale
Start Risky Running Rail Strong Strong
Prizemoney Rating 5,639.00 Rating 95
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
32 15 4 1
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
43% 63%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
13 7 3 0
Box 3 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
5 1 1 0
Comments: Mark Delbridge (Trainer) - “He’s boxed alright. He has been missing the kick a little. We found a couple of problems with him. Hopefully those problems have now been sorted out and he begins better then what he has been. I expect Paw Licking to lead and I am hoping we are close enough to try and run him down.”
Best The Meadows Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.67 30.43 (18/01/14) 4.97 5.17
Box 4
 Race Odds
$21.00
Heat Replay
 
Kiss Me Ketut
Trainer
David Burnett
Owner
David Burnett
Prizemoney
$189,275.00
Last 10 Starts
1171156353

30 Months

  Black   Dog   by   Bombastic Shiraz -

Spiral Siyan

Start Risky Running Wide Finish Good
Prizemoney Rating $4,507.00 Rating 93
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
42 17 6 7
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
40% 71%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
8 2 3 1
Box 4 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
6 2 1 0
Comments: David Burnett (Trainer) – “It will be tough from box four. He is going to have to jump and be up close early. I’d like to think he can get to the rails but he will need to lead or he will be in trouble.”
Best The Meadows Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.96 30.38 (21/12/13) 5.06 5.20
Box 5
Race Odds
$7.00
Heat Replay
 
Banjo Boy
Trainer
Ken Virtue
Owner
Andrew Varasdi
Prizemoney
$126,480.00
Last 10 Starts
3223311533
34 Months   White & Black   Dog   by   Vee Man Vane - Off Springer
Start Moderate Running Rail Finish

Strong

Prizemoney Rating $1,100.00 Rating 95
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
31 15 6 5
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
48% 84%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
5 2 2 0
Box 5 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
3 2 0 0
Comments: Ken Virtue (Trainer) - “He is going to need a miracle. I think in his last few runs he has not been beginning as quick. In box five you have to close your eyes and hope for the best. It is an ordinary draw. Kiss Me Ketut begins like him and gets off a bit and some of the dogs on the outside begin a bit quicker then him. In saying that, I am pleased to be in the race. The dog is well.”
Best The Meadows Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.73 29.91 (05/10/13) 5.09 5.14
Box 6
Race Odds
$7.00
Heat Replay
 
Dyna Nalin
Trainer
Paul Stuart
Owner
Brendan Wheeler
Prizemoney
$531,945.00
Last 10 Starts
2322213531
35 Months   Black   Dog   by   Ashom Bale - Tally Bale
Start Risky Running Rail Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $10,639.00 Rating 95
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
50 28 11 4
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
56% 86%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
4 3 1 0
Box 6 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
8 5 1  0
Comments: Paul Stuart (Trainer) - “He is probably not well drawn. He is a bit too far off the track. There’s plenty of speed on the inside. He will need a lot of luck early and needs to be somewhere handy on the first turn. It will be hard to run any dogs down. He has had a good preparation for the race. I was wrapped with how he went on Saturday (at Cannington).”
Best The Meadows Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.89 29.90 (26/10/13) 5.13 5.13
Box 7
Race Odds
$3.90
Heat Replay
 
Innocent Til
Trainer
Jason Thompson
Owner
Family Frenzy syndicate
Prizemoney
$108,945.00
Last 10 Starts
3114117611
30 Months   Black   Dog   by   Premier Fantasy - Proven Polly
Start Good Running Rail Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating

$2,793.00

Rating 96
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
39 23 6 3
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
59% 82%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
5 3 0 1
Box 7 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
3 2 0 1
Comments: Trainer unavailable for comment. ARG opinion is -  A reliable beginner with a good record at the track and a decent record from box seven. More than capable.
Best The Meadows Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.84 29.84 (25/01/14) 5.06 5.06
Box 8
Race Odds
$21.00
Heat Replay
 
Peter Rocket
Trainer
Keith Hellmuth
Owner
Lisa Hellmuth
Prizemoney
$299,895.00
Last 10 Starts
 6327242528
42 Months   Black   Dog   by   Where’s Pedro - Belron Blue
Start Good Running Rail Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $4,837.00 Rating 93
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
62 21 11 15
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
34% 76%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
15 5 3 6
Box 8 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
8 2 1  3
Comments: Keith Hellmuth (Trainer) - “I think it will be hard. Hopefully he gets a clear run and gets around the turn. I prefer him boxed on the outside then in the middle. I scratched him last Thursday once I found out he was in this race. He’s been running flat out so I thought it would be good to freshen him up.”
Best The Meadows Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.95 30.13 (04/11/13) 5.07 5.20
1st Res
Race Odds
$8.00
Heart Replay
 
Punch One Out
Trainer
Jason Mackay
Owner
Grant Fennelly
Prizemoney
$153,749.00
Last 10 Starts

1132116422

36 Months   Black   Bitch   by   Knocka Norris - Little Egyptian
Start Risky Running Wide Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $3,203.00 Rating 95
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
48 22 12 4
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
46% 79%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 0 0 1
Box Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
N/A N/A N/A N/A
Comments:  Handy bitch who performed well in the recent Paws of Thunder series at Wentworth Park. She hasn’t won at The Meadows on two visits to the track so she will need some luck if she gains a start.
Best The Meadows Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.13 30.68 (26/10/13) 5.18 5.21
2nd Res
Race Odds
$11.00
Heat Replay
 
Marcus Joe
Trainer
Barry Moloney
Owner
Barry Moloney
Prizemoney
$111,940.00
Last 10 Starts

3128161846

37 Months   Brindle   Dog   by   Velocette - Mojo Glory
Start Good Running Rail Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $4,770.00 Rating 93
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
35 10 8 4
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
29% 63%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
10 4 3 0
Box Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
N/A N/A N/A N/A
Comments: Group 1 Maturity winner at this track and has a flying personal best of 29.66. His recent form is a bit patchy so he may struggle against some of the others in the main field if he gets a go.
Best The Meadows Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.66 30.58 (01/02/14) 4.96 5.13

It is terribly hard to pick a clear winner in this race. The obvious leader is Paw Licking (1), who has an exceptional record from box one. The biggest thing against Paw Licking is his preparation. As his trainer Kel Greenough has pointed out, Paw Licking is coming off a series at Healesville and he believes this isn’t the best preparation for a race conducted over 525 metres on the circle. The stronger dogs in the field will be looking to pounce if Paw Licking is found wanting in the closing stages.

Tomac Bale’s (3) recent form hasn’t been great, but he likes The Meadows and if he can get himself in a handy position early, he is an each way chance. If Zelemar Fever (2) can transfer her Cannington form across to The Meadows, she is in with a chance, but if she misses the start she may find it hard to put herself into the race. Kiss Me Ketut (4) and Banjo Boy (5) may bring each other undone. Kiss Me Ketut likes to shift wide and Banjo Boy likes the rail. They generally begin on terms so there may be trouble negotiating the turn.

Dyna Nalin (6) performed well at Cannington Saturday but he has to overcome an unfavourable box draw. He is very handy and has great field sense. He has not been unplaced at The Meadows and has been very consistent in the times and sectionals he has run at the track. Innocent Til (7) has the speed to overcome box seven and has good recent form at the track. He is in the market. Lastly, Peter Rocket (8) has been freshened for this race and it was needed based on his recent form. He will appreciate the break and has plenty of experience in group races, so he cannot be completely dismissed.

Saturday, 15 February 2014


Greyhound Box Draw For The Meadows – Saturday, 15 February 2014

Race No. 1Maurice Blackburn Lawyers Prelim. 17:15 PM (VIC time)
Special Event event over 525 metres at The meadows Of $8,940 Prizemoney.
1st: $6,260 2nd: $1,790 3rd: $890.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1GALAHAD [4]5143530.12(2)T Womann (Lara)
2HEIDI GO SEEK [5]3151629.74(1)A Langton (Anakie)
3PIPPA SHIRAZ [4]8232430.20(4)R Britton (Lara)
4MUSQUIN BALE (NSW)[4]8277529.95(7)A Dailly (Anakie)
5DUNDEE TORO [4]1817530.55(7)G Scott-smith (Pakenham South)
6BECKENBAUER (SA)[5]5182230.26(6)D Mcdonald (Devon Meadows)
7TRANSCEND TIME (QLD)[5]15517FSHW Vassallo (Devon Meadows)
8ALLEN GIZMO (NSW)[5]4122730.24(6)A Dailly (Anakie)
9TIC TAC THOMAS (TAS)[4]Res.8334530.13(4)J Britton (Anakie)
10MEPUNGA MOSS [4]Res.3277230.34(5)J Britton (Anakie)
Race No. 2Maurice Blackburn Lawyers Prelim. 27:38 PM (VIC time)
Special Event event over 525 metres at The meadows Of $8,940 Prizemoney.
1st: $6,260 2nd: $1,790 3rd: $890.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1SAPPORO (NZ)[4]2346429.82(4)T Womann (Lara)
2MAXIMUS GLIDER [4]F122330.24(4)D Crawford (Pearcedale)
3ZIPPING DELTA (NSW)[5]41327FSHJ Mackay (Richmond Vale)
4VICTA BALE (NSW)[5]3236330.10(4)S Collins (Lara)
5SPA JANGLES [5]21256NBTJ Mccoll (Daylesford)
6VAPOURASH [4]8851830.02(7)W Vassallo (Devon Meadows)
7WISE ELLA (WA)[3]2267129.93(3)J Britton (Anakie)
8MAXIMUM LIL [5]25287NBTJ Hunt (Avalon)
9FRANCESCO (NZ)[4]Res.3322130.34(2)T Womann (Lara)
10EL ROSCOE [5]Res.2644830.54(2)M Karamatic (Lara)
Race No. 3Maurice Blackburn Lawyers Prelim. 37:55 PM (VIC time)
Special Event event over 525 metres at The meadows Of $8,940 Prizemoney.
1st: $6,260 2nd: $1,790 3rd: $890.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1TICK BALE (NSW)[5]3441330.08(3)J Hunt (Avalon)
2LONESOME PIRATE [5]23831NBTA Mcdonald (Preston)
3LUNAR TOM [5]26222NBTA Dailly (Anakie)
4SKY FIGHTER (NSW)[5]2225530.04(4)I Dann (Whitelaw)
5STRIKING BLAZE [4]2123429.92(2)D Mcdonald (Devon Meadows)
6WESTERN MUZZLE (NSW)[5]21174NBTJ Hardy (Avoca)
7MISS MARKWELL [4]5334630.36(5)T Womann (Lara)
8SKINNY VINNIE [4]7263130.02(2)R Britton (Lara)
9FRANCESCO (NZ)[4]Res.3322130.34(2)T Womann (Lara)
10BIRTHDAY BONUS [5]Res.6364830.43(4)K Karamatic (Lara)
Race No. 4Maurice Blackburn Lawyers Prelim. 48:20 PM (VIC time)
Special Event event over 525 metres at The meadows Of $8,940 Prizemoney.
1st: $6,260 2nd: $1,790 3rd: $890.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1POP’S MAX [5]4713829.78(3)P Hunt (Lara)
2JACK SILVER (NSW)[5]2253330.29(2)M Carter (Violet Town)
3YODA BALE (NSW)[3]3788229.97(5)A Dailly (Anakie)
4GREYWINDS BUTCH (NSW)[5]8428230.19(7)T Womann (Lara)
5ZIPPING JOE (NSW)[5]31543FSHD Mcdonald (Devon Meadows)
6TAM’S WISH [4]1715530.02(5)M Chilcott (Heathcote)
7JUST DEE START [4]1318830.34(2)J Britton (Anakie)
8WE ARE GEELONG [5]3376130.21(3)M Karamatic (Lara)
9HUMPHREY BALE (NSW)[4]Res.7238130.03(5)A Dailly (Anakie)
10DYNA DEEKSEY (NSW)[5]Res.52F7630.19(7)A Dailly (Anakie)
Race No. 5Macro Meats Zoom Top (gobis)8:40 PM (VIC time)
S/E Group 1 event over 725 metres at The meadows Of $118,000 Prizemoney.
1st: $75,000 2nd: $22,000 3rd: $11,000 GOBIS: $10,000.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1DYNA WILLOW (NSW)[4]3411242.16(4)S Collins (Lara)
2MADDISON DEE [3]6114142.68(7)M Chilcott (Heathcote)
3CHEETAH ZORRO (TAS)[4]23434NBTR Britton (Lara)
4BENARKIN [5]12321FSHT Brett (Grandchester)
5LUCY WIRES (GA)[3]1411642.14(2)R Britton (Lara)
6DESTINI FIREBALL (NSW)[1]2832542.40(2)E Rinaldi (Lethbridge)
7BORN ALI [3]1141142.79(8)R Britton (Lara)
8DYNA KAYLA (NSW)[3]6111142.63(5)A Dailly (Anakie)
9SWEET IT IS [5]Res.4511642.67(6)L Jones (Woodend)
10GOLD AFFAIR TWO [3]Res.1462342.70(7)R Britton (Lara)
Race No. 6Macro Meats Rookie Rebel (gobis)9:20 PM (VIC time)
S/E Group 1 event over 600 metres at The meadows Of $118,000 Prizemoney.
1st: $75,000 2nd: $22,000 3rd: $11,000 GOBIS: $10,000.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1SPIRITED FLAME [5]11143FSHC Riordon (Bribie Island)
2GENERAL DESTINI (NSW)[4]4122434.97(2)E Rinaldi (Lethbridge)
3ALPE D’HUEZ [3]7442634.34(1)K Bravo (Lovely Banks)
4DAINTREE EMPEROR [3]4133534.56(7)L Gorman (Tanjil South)
5XYLIA ALLEN (NSW)[5]15311FSTDJ Hunt (Avalon)
6BOOKKEEPER (NSW)[1]7161134.06(8)G Dainton (Cosgrove)
7CAKES AND PIES (QLD)[5]2111PFSTDR Ball (Prenzlau)
8HAWK ALONE [4]4773434.73(5)A Dailly (Anakie)
9LEKTRA GREY [3]Res.3564534.41(6)A Dailly (Anakie)
10SHADOW LANE [5]Res.1522234.52(5)M Carter (Violet Town)
Race No. 7Maurice Blackburn Lawyers Prelim. 59:40 PM (VIC time)
Special Event event over 525 metres at The meadows Of $8,940 Prizemoney.
1st: $6,260 2nd: $1,790 3rd: $890.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1FROSTY JAY JAY (QLD)[4]1741130.05(8)K Greenough (Pearcedale)
2CEE RONALDO [5]2271430.17(3)G Campbell (Peechelba)
3FANCY AMIGO (NSW)[5]1523530.14(1)D Mcdonald (Devon Meadows)
4RIDE THE RAILS (NSW)[3]2672229.92(3)D Brown (Lara)
5CAMPASPE WILL [3]1211129.96(8)N Walls (Melton)
6JORDAN ALLEN (NSW)[4]8517530.23(3)A Dailly (Anakie)
7HILLBILLY FLASH [5]11117NBTP Stuart (Nambeelup)
8YOGI BLUE (QLD)[5]12517FSHP O’reilly (Yamanto Qld)
9COLLIN BALE (NSW)[4]Res.1688729.99(2)A Dailly (Anakie)
10TOP INNINGS (TAS)[3]Res.3754629.98(7)J Britton (Anakie)
Race No. 8Macro Meats Temlee (gobis)10:00 PM (VIC time)
S/E Group 1 event over 525 metres at The meadows Of $155,000 Prizemoney.
1st: $100,000 2nd: $30,000 3rd: $15,000 GOBIS: $10,000.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1PAW LICKING (NSW)[4]1231229.95(6)K Greenough (Pearcedale)
2ZELEMAR FEVER [5]1211530.05(2)L Britton (Nambeelup)
3TOMAC BALE (NSW)[1]1682629.67(2)M Delbridge (Balliang)
4KISS ME KETUT [3]1563529.96(4)D Burnett (Marcus Hill)
5BANJO BOY [3]1153329.73(1)K Virtue (Tooradin)
6DYNA NALIN (NSW)[1]1353129.89(1)P Stuart (Nambeelup)
7INNOCENT TIL [2]1761129.84(7)J Thompson (Pearcedale)
8PETER ROCKET [2]4252829.95(4)K Hellmuth (Pearcedale)
9PUNCH ONE OUT (NSW)[4]Res.16422NBTJ Mackay (Richmond Vale)
10MARCUS JOE [2]Res.6184629.66(3)B Moloney (Marcus Hill)
Race No. 9Maurice Blackburn Lawyers Prelim. 610:22 PM (VIC time)
Special Event event over 525 metres at The meadows Of $8,940 Prizemoney.
1st: $6,260 2nd: $1,790 3rd: $890.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1ROCKY BALE (NSW)[4]3217329.92(7)J Hunt (Avalon)
2SURF MAIL [3]4238429.93(2)D Mcdonald (Devon Meadows)
3COSMIC STATION (NSW)[4]2185430.21(2)D Brown (Lara)
4ALLEN ERYK (NSW)[4]3311330.02(6)A Dailly (Anakie)
5STAR RECALL (WA)[5]11113FSHL Britton (Nambeelup)
6DYNA TONY (NSW)[5]2313130.62(7)S Collins (Lara)
7FORT ALLEN (NSW)[4]1161330.18(8)A Dailly (Anakie)
8TYRONIMO [4]2221230.38(8)W Vassallo (Devon Meadows)
9COLLIN BALE (NSW)[4]Res.1688729.99(2)A Dailly (Anakie)
10SIGN OF SNOW [5]Res.3848730.01(4)A Langton (Anakie)
Race No. 10Maurice Blackburn Lawyers Prelim. 710:45 PM (VIC time)
Special Event event over 525 metres at The meadows Of $8,940 Prizemoney.
1st: $6,260 2nd: $1,790 3rd: $890.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1LUKEY DEEZ [4]4125730.09(4)M Carter (Violet Town)
2QUELL BALE (NSW)[5]1115730.53(3)S Collins (Lara)
3DYNA ISHAAN (NSW)[3]3351729.88(2)J Hunt (Avalon)
4VELOCEMENTE [4]3136629.99(3)A Dailly (Anakie)
5TWO STROKE PAT [5]31114NBTR Cunneen (Moe South)
6SURFIN’ KAWATI (QLD)[5]11577FSHP O’reilly (Yamanto Qld)
7MIDNIGHT SCANDAL (NSW)[5]2212130.53(1)J Britton (Anakie)
8BABYLON CLUB [5]75112NBTK Bravo (Lovely Banks)
9OMAR GEE (NSW)[5]Res.8667829.76(2)M Carter (Violet Town)
10NIKITA’S ELITE [3]Res.7345529.93(3)I Cockerell (Buckley)

The Breeding Behind A Temlee Finalist

Temlee is one of Australian greyhound racing’s true immortals, the brindle dog by Tivoli Chief x Temora Lee (Mister Moss x Venetian Babe) is the namesake of the big Group 1 race, The Temlee, which will be run at The Meadows on Saturday night.

Aside from a stellar racing career, Temlee has also left an indelible mark on the Australian greyhound breeding scene, a legacy which is still very evident today.

Temlee was born on 1 March 1972 and had 37 starts for 25 wins and three placings. He earned his connections the grand sum (considering it was the 70′s) of $26,000. He was nicknamed the “King of Olympic Park” as he won 13 races there including the 1974 National Sprint, 1974 Maturity and also set the track record. He stood at stud for $300 in 1975 and this fee soon increased to $1,000, which was a record at the time. Naturally, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame and had a Group One race named in his honour.

The Temlee is an invitational only race so features, what experts consider, to be the best current sprinters in the land. So what does it take to become a Temlee finalist?

Given the impact Temlee has had on breeding, what better way to answer the question then to have a brief look at what secrets lie in the breeding of each of this year’s finalists.

The first starting point has to be Temlee himself. Remarkably he features in the direct sireline of six of the eight finalists. Dyna Nalin (Ashom Bale x Tally Bale) features no Temlee blood in his direct sireline but a dam in his direct damline is by Temlee. The only greyhound in the final eight to ‘miss out’ on the Temlee blood is Innocent Til (Premier Fantasy x Proven Polly).

Tomac Bale (Dyna Lachlan x Princess Bale) and Banjo Boy (Vee Man Vane x Off Springer) are lucky enough to feature Temlee on both sides of their breeding.

Digressing a little, it is also interesting to note that of the last 11 winners, only one does not feature Temlee in its breeding (Closing Argument).

Back to the current finalists, here’s a look at the bloodlines that have helped them become Group One Temlee finalists.

We all know a sire is important but the story is often better told when looking at the dam. It helps to have a mother that performed well. It also helps if they are bred in the proverbial purple.

Paw Licking’s mum is Kingsbrae Di. The tiny white and black Northfield bred bitch won 40 races and dominated the Country Cups in NSW, winning the Cups at Tamworth, Grafton, Taree and Gunnedah. She also won the 2007 Country Challenge and held the Tamworth track record. She was very zippy early and has no doubt passed this trait on to her track record breaking son. Paw Licking’s granddam, Pretty Jacalyn, was a multiple Wentworth Park winner and National Futurity finalist.

Noaki Pace, the dam of Zelemar Fever, won five races but its her breeding that stands her out as a dam. She is by Spiral Nikita x Leprechaun Pace. Leprechaun Pace (Brett Lee x Leprechaun Yap) won the Group One Paws of Thunder and was a finalist in numerous other Group races. Leprechaun Pace just happens to be sister of superstar Betty’s Angel and a half sister to stud dogs Bo Frazier and Talk’s Cheap as well as Glamorous (the mother of Magic Sprite). Noaki Pace herself is a sister to current stud dog and Group One winner, Oaks Road. Zelemar Fever is out of Bombastic Shiraz and her litter mates have been more than handy, with her brother Noaki Spitfire recently making the finals of a number of Group races in Victoria.

Tomac Bale has a track record holder as his mother. Princess Bale (Hallucinate x Gold Rush Bale) held the 515 metre track record at Bulli for a period of time. She was a very strong bitch who won over the staying trip at Wentworth Park and placed in Group races over both the 500′ and 700′. Princess Bale has also thrown Desalle Bale and the freakishly fast Maturity winner Barcia Bale. Gold Rush Bale has been a “gold mine” for the Wheeler’s, producing the likes of Dyna Tron, Dyna Bert, Greta Bale, Ashby Bale, Bartrim Bale and the list goes on.

The cleverly named Kiss Me Ketut is out of Spiral Siyan (Spiral Nikita x Flight and Life). Interestingly, both Spiral Siyan and Flight and Life were unraced. However, Flight and Life is a daughter of the great Flying Amy. We all know Flying Amy is the mother of one of Australia’s best sires, Just the Best. So, although unraced, the dam and granddam of Kiss Me Ketut lack nothing in the breeding department.

Off Springer (Flying Penske x Skullring) was bred by Leonard Jones and has been very handy in the breeding barn. Not only is she the mother of Banjo Boy, but she is also the mother of classy stayers Grandeur, Echelon and Sweet It Is. Banjo Boy’s granddam Skullring also features in the breeding of Classy Maldini and recent Warragul Cup winner Walk Hard.

Tally Bale whelped Dyna Nalin at a remarkable 10 1/2 years of age. She won 14 races around Sandown, The Meadows, Geelong and Horsham. Aside from Dyna Nalin, who is the apple of her eye, Tally Bale has produced Firefly Bale (Premier Fantasy) who finished second in the 2009 Group One Maturity Classic and Aleta Allen (Where’s Pedro) who won 23 races.

Proven Polly is a ‘proven dam’ with her son Innocent Til. Proven Polly won 14 races and featured in the final of the 2009 Group One Australian Cup. Proven Polly traces back to Proven Misty, who ran second in the 1992 Laurels at Sandown and was a handy broodbitch, throwing the likes of Proven Reward, a finalist in the Silver Chief and National Derby.

Lastly, we have Belron Blue, the matriarch of Peter Rocket. Belron Blue traces back, through the direct damline, to Jess Park. Jess Park is a great foundation dam that is found through generations of numerous Group race performers. These performers include not only Peter Rocket but stayer Ebony Park Lass and Lukeamy. Belron Blue is also the mother of Violet Crumble, a finalist in the Group One Sapphire Crown and the Group Two Traralgon Cup.

Clearly, having a mum with good breeding on her side helps. She doesn’t necessarily have to be well performed, but as you can see, it certainly helps. Throw in a dash of Temlee (for the majority) and you have yourself a Group One runner in the Temlee.

This Week in Racing History

FEBRUARY

12th

Arabian Dixie, aged six years and one month, scored at Newcastle in 1949, her fourth victory at the track. It took her overall record to nine wins and 10 placings from just 32 starts. Arabian Dixie had broken two front toes and one rear toe when racing on what were described as poor tracks in late 1944 and 1945, at the end of the Second World War. Her trainer said her conditioning consisted mainly of swimming rather than galloping due to her poor feet.

Cyclone Daisy struck Brisbane and south-east Queensland and northern NSW in 1972. The resultant flooding and damage delayed the opening of the Gabba greyhound track from a previously planned 9 March until April.

Eiffella ran a race record 29.89 to win the 2005 National (NCA) Derby over 520 metres at Wentworth Park from Stryker’s Shadow and Victorian Ben’s Fury for trainer Mary Wright. Eiffella clipped 21/100ths off the previous race record mark, held jointly by Fond Regards (2000 winner) and Medinah (2002 victor). On the same night, Lukeamy won the National Futurity by a neck from Miss Bekkie Lee.

13th

Major Gossip gave trainer Don McMillan and well-known music guru Donnie Sutherland a $70,000 thrill when he took out the 1993 National Derby, downing the unlucky Deanne’s Dancer. This was the last Derby run over 520 metres on grass at Wentworth Park.

Speedy sprinter Penny Dancer won the $12,000-to-the-winner 2004 Richmond Cannonball, running a fast 22.78. Penny Dancer would return in 2005 and become the first greyhound to win the event back-to-back.

14th

Rising Ace won the closest Hobart Thousand to that time when he defeated the champion Rookie Rebel by a nose in the 1957 event. The field consisted of 10 starters. A year later Rookie Rebel would return to Hobart and win the Thousand by eight lengths from box 10.

Nitro Nori, trained by Chris Nutt, annexed the 2007 Cyril Rowe Memorial (aka South Coast Cup), run over 472 metres at Bulli. Nitro Nori earned $15,000. A year later Nitro Nori, now trained by Darren McDonald, won a second Cyril Rowe Memorial.

Trainer Jason Thompson rugged up half the field in 2009 Temlee, run over 525 metres at the Meadows. Thompson finished snaring the quinella when El Galo downed kennelmate Fedex by a neck to snare the $50,000 prize money. Thompson’s other starters were Nitro Burst and Hanify’s Impact. Queensland star Queen Lauryn was third.

15th

Having won just a maiden at Albury before being sent to Tasmania, the South Australian-bred Erin’s Ace defeated local hope Boongala by two and a half lengths in the 1949 Hobart Thousand. NSW sprinter Silent Dash was third. Erin’s Ace would go on to become the first to win both the Hobart Thousand and Launceston Cup, and later became the highest stakeswinner in Australia at his retirement.

In an incredibly close finish in which five dogs crossed the line within 1.7 lengths of each other, Strolling Benja caused a bit of an upset in downing Summer Jade by half a length with High Intensity a head away third in the 1988 Olympic Park Distance Championship, run over 732 metres at Olympic Park. NSW greyhound Chief Mocka was fourth with champion Bold Trease fifth.

16th

NSW speedster registered his fourth successive win in taking out the 1985 Hobart Thousand by six lengths from Tasmanian star Busy Vintage. Brother Fox ran 28.31 over the 497 metres at Hobart to set a race record, eclipsing the previous mark of 28.40 set by Black Aztec in 1981. This was the fifth and last time the Thousand was conducted over the 497 metres trip.

Miagi trounced the 2008 Wentworth Park Gold Cup field to win the 720 metre event by eight and a half lengths for veteran trainer Warren Harper. The race had been reduced to a best eight, with no heats run the previous week, just a prelude.

17th

Miss Grub won the 2007 Zoom Top, over 725 metres at the Meadows, by seven and a half lengths from Flashing Floods and Dosses Angel to snare the $30,000 first prize money for trainer Kel Greenough. On the same night, Train A Journey won the Rookie Rebel (600 metres) for trainer John Galea and Slater picked up the Temlee for trainer Darren Murray.

18th

Mr Whackles won the 1939 Hobart Thousand by half a length for trainer Les Brett. This was the first time the race had been called the ‘Thousand’, previously it had been known simply as the Hobart Cup.

Future NSW Greyhound of the Year, Kawati Boy, won the 1978 Wentworth Park Gold Cup by five lengths from Graceful Gem and Incredible Lass, running a race record 42.88, clipping a substantial 35/100ths off the mark set in 1977 by The Wee Lassie.

Big Plans For Frosty Jay Jay

Breeding, owning or training a top quality greyhound can prove very elusive. For some it will never happen, despite years of trying.

Even when a good dog does come along there is still a myriad of decisions that can impact the results and potential a greyhound might reach.

Queensland breeder, owner and trainer Renald Attard made the important decision to send his kennel star Frosty Jay Jay to Victorian mentor Kel Greenough for a tilt at group glory and some of the riches that the southern state has to offer.

It was a move that paid dividends when the son of Knocka Norris and Slick Hannah (Lindale Blue – Montana Sky) took out the Group 2 Healesville Cup last Sunday in track-record time. Attard says it is the highlight of his time in greyhounds.

“It’s just a really big thrill. I bred it, reared it, broke it in, did everything,” said Attard.

“I’ve had placings in derby’s up here in Queensland with other dogs but that is my first group winner.”

Attard’s decision to send Frosty Jay Jay to Victoria was made after what was probably his best career run in Queensland and he says he knew the dog had a track-record run in him.

“When he won the Publican’s Cup up here he equalled Flying Amy and Surf Lorian’s track record, he went 29.73 and he won by about ten lengths, that’s when I decided to send him straight down to Kel.”

But Attard admits he didn’t know too much about Greenough before he sent the dog on the long journey south to Victoria.

“I really didn’t know Kel or much about him. I just saw him on Sky Channel and he always seemed to have a good dog. People told me he was one of the best trainers down there.”

Frosty Jay Jay and Attard also share the same birthday and he says that the dog showed a lot of promise from very early on in his career.

“Frosty was born on my birthday, the 21st of June. When he started trialling as we broke him in, I kept saying this can’t be right, his times for a 14-month-old dog can’t be right. He was running records at that age.”

“Then I had all these offers for him, to buy him before he started racing, they went up to fifty grand. I kept saying no, I’m in the game to get a good dog.”

For now, it is a hit-and-run Victorian mission for Frosty Jay Jay and it won’t be too long before he returns to Attard’s kennels.

“The plan is for Kel to keep him for the Horsham Cup, then he will come back home to me, probably in the middle of March. After that, I will take him down to Sydney and get him used to Wentworth Park so I can have a go at the Golden Easter Egg.”

Frosty Jay Jay has now won 17 of his 43 career starts and is only one win away from eclipsing $100,000 in prize-money. Attard has also planned ahead in case his white and fawn chasers success should continue.

“I’ve got some straws from him up at the vet. I haven’t advertised yet, I was waiting for him to win a good race down there. There’s a bitch going to him today, the phone started ringing straight after the race.”

“People were saying when he goes to stud I want to use him, I said I’ve got straws now, so they used them. I hadn’t told anybody, I just kept it to myself. I mainly got them in case he got badly injured down there or something like that, you just never know.”

“He’s a beautiful looking dog, he was up around 38kg there yesterday, he’s a big boy. He’s nearly all white, there’s hardly any fawn on him, just a couple of spots around his ears.”

Trainer Kel Greenough couldn’t have been happier for Attard and said the win topped off a great day.

“It was good for Frosty Jay Jay to win for the connections because they sent him down to Victoria hoping that he would actually achieve something like this. It is pretty hard in Queensland where they don’t have as many group-races on as we do, so fortunately it all came through for them,” Greenough said.

“We are pretty happy we won the race, I had my family there which was even better, my children and my grandchildren were there. It was a good day for all, even though it was a bit hot, it worked out good.”

Greenough snared the quinella in the race with Paw Licking finishing second, just three-quarters of a length behind the winner. It was a just another success to go with the Group Two win and the track record. He says that it was Frosty Jay Jay’s ability to adapt to the straight track that helped him land the $43,750 to-the-winner event.

“I think it could have gone either way. If Paw Licking had of began a bit better it might of been very, very close.

“I knew it was going to be a close finish, Frosty Jay Jay actually began really well compared to usual, he’s normally not a good beginner. Once he put himself in the picture, he was always going to be hard to beat.

“I think it is just that change of lure run-up at Healesville, they go from the seven seconds on the circle to two seconds up the straight. It takes a few runs to adapt to it, I was hoping Paw Licking might of worked it out by race-day, but he didn’t and Frosty Jay Jay did. I guess that extra half-length or so that he got at the start was crucial at the finish.”

Greenough said the time was no surprise to him given that he knows what the dog is capable of and the fact that the conditions were conducive to quick times on the day.

“The Vic Breeders was won in a very quick time earlier in the day, so I thought the Cup winner would go close to running the track record, I just hoped that it was one of my dogs that did it.”

Greenough will aim for more group racing success with both Frosty Jay Jay and Paw Licking.

“He will go into the Australian Cup heats now and it is off to the Temlee for Paw Licking.”

While it is a little hard to speculate the chances of Frosty Jay Jay until the fields for the Australian Cup are finalised, he says Paw Licking faces a stern test in this weekends Temlee, despite drawing the coveted box one.

“It’ll be a bit hard to step him up to 525 metres on the circle in a week, after running 350 metres in a straight line. I probably would have liked a bit more time but you’ve got to take the races when they are on, if you get selected, you have a crack. It’s not ideal, I’d probably have liked another two weeks to be honest, but I can’t change the calendar.

“I knew that going in the Healesville Cup wasn’t the ideal preparation leading into the Temlee but he is probably a better 450 metre dog than he is a 500 metre dog and, while he didn’t win the Cup, he certainly didn’t disgrace himself. I just love the dog, he keeps putting himself in the picture with his hard chasing and he has a real good crack at it.”

There is every chance that the names Frosty Jay Jay and Paw Licking will be very prominent throughout group-racing events in 2014.

ARG’s Verdict Of The Meadow’s Invitational Races

There has been a noticeable absence of debate surrounding this years’ trio of ‘Invitation Only’ events at The Meadows. Usually when races such as the Temlee, Rookie Rebel and Zoom Top are assembled, opinions run wild of who should’ve been included or excluded, who’s been favoured and who has an axe to grind. But strangely this time around, everyone seems to be unusually quiet.

Well, here at Australian Racing Greyhound, we pride ourselves on not backing down to the tough questions. With the box draws now released, what better time to run the comb over the field and deliver our verdict on the ‘expert’ panels selections:

THE TEMLEE – 525 metres – Group 1 $100,000 to the winner

1) Dyna Nalin
2) Paw Licking
3) Innocent Til
4) Tomac Bale
5) Zelemar Fever
6) Kiss Me Ketut
7) Peter Rocket
8) Banjo Boy
Reserves
9) Punch One Out
10) Marcus Joe

Most of this field picked themselves. Dyna Nalin confirmed he is still in good touch to make it four Group One wins after converting an unlucky Perth Cup campaign into a good win last night. Paw Licking can genuinely be called the fastest breaker in the land, and by time this is published, could have claimed the Healesville Cup to prove it.

Innocent Til has been in great form of late and deserves his spot, as to does Banjo Boy and Tomac Bale who are regularly competitive at the highest level of racing.

If there was a lucky one, it’s Zelemar Fever. Granted that since going to Perth he has grown another leg, but his previous form in Victoria was not enough to warrant a walk-up start against these. His past seven starts at The Meadows have been unplaced, with the only wins on the track coming in Maiden and Grade 5 company.

While Zelemar Fever is a talented dog, his inclusion ahead of the NSW nominations is where most of the debate lies.

Punch One Out is listed as a reserve, which will make a lot of blood boil on the northern side of the Murray, although his performances in Victoria haven’t set the world on fire either. Belfast Johnny would have had a lot of supporters, and can count itself as stiff to miss out, as too can Ritza Hattie.

From a local perspective, Farmor Las Vegas hasn’t done much wrong in recent time and would have given the race a real shake from a rails draw.

There are also cases to argue for Ronan Izmir, Shifty Sticka and Spud Regis, with Marcus Joe being placed ahead of all of them in the pecking order as second reserve.

THE ROOKIE REBEL – 600 Metres – Group 1 $75,000 to the winner

1) Spirited Flame
2) Cakes And Pies
3) Xylia Allen
4) Alpe D’Huez
5) Daintree Emperor
6) Bookkeeper
7) General Destini
8) Hawk Alone
RESERVES
9) Lektra Grey
10) Shadow Lane

This is an interesting field. We know that Cakes And Pies is out which brings Lektra Grey into the equation. It’s inclusion in the original ten is arguable, as his recent form is horrendous. He’s been picked as a track specialist, but you’d feel unlucky as an owner to miss out for a dog that has been placed four of its last thirteen starts.

Bookkeeper was an obvious choice, along with Xylia Allen who has been rushed into this field after proving herself once again as a freak over the middle trip. She’s an amazing animal and will start as the obvious favourite.

Unlike Xylia Allen, Hawk Alone has been given a start without proving himself at the trip. He’s had only a handful of starts over the 600 in his life, with his last win over a similar trip coming in August and his only win at The Meadows middle journey coming in a Grade 5 race in May last year. No-one can doubt Hawk Alone’s sprinting ability, but one can certainty ask whether he’s done enough to be selected in this.

The second reserve, Shadow Lane, is clearly the unlucky one, and should have been in the first four selected in this writers’ opinion. Multiple wins at the track/distance, good recent form and a solid overall record wasn’t enough to catch the panel’s eye on this occasion.

From the rest, it is presumed that Phenomenal either declined the invite or is injured as he should have been an instant selection otherwise. Perhaps Dashing Man or Hala Belle have cases to argue, but really the depth in the Rookie Rebel nominations aren’t as good as previous years.

THE ZOOM TOP – 725 metres – $75,000 to the winner

1) Born Ali
2) Lucy Wires
3) Maddison Dee
4) Destini Fireball
5) Dyna Kayla
6) Dyna Willow
7) Cheetah Zorro
8) Benarkin
RESERVES
9) Sweet It Is
10) Gold Affair Two

The list of nominations for this race was reduced significantly as time went on. Smart Valentino tragically succumbed to a spider bite, Bell Haven went to the breeding barn and Alpe D’Huez went the way of the Rookie Rebel. As a result, Dyna Kayla and Gold Affair Two were zipped into the list of options and somehow both managed to get into the final ten.

Dyna Kayla has been launched into the deep end, with two emphatic Grade 5 wins enough to convince those in power, while Gold Affair Two’s selection came as a surprise, even as second reserve, considering he hasn’t won a city class race since September

The rest of the starting line-up looks about right, with the exception of Benarkin. It is understandable that the panel wanted to give the race some interstate flavour, but it was a generous selection. Without taking too much away from the dog, he doesn’t exactly dominate the staying scene back home, and actually has more unplaced runs than wins over the 710 metres at Albion Park. He would’ve actually been more at home in the Rookie Rebel.

The glaring omission to cater for Benarkin’s inclusion is Mimicking. Despite his last month being less than spectacular, no-one can argue that he is a genuine stayer and proven at the top level. The veteran stayer should have been a reserve at an absolute minimum.

While the fields are locked in and will be set free come Saturday night, we encourage all readers to have their own say, so feel free to leave feedback and get the debate underway.

Zoom Top, Rookie Rebel And Temlee Draws Announced

Zoom Top

1. Dyna Willow

2. Maddison Dee

3. Cheetah Zorro

4. Benarkin

5. Lucy Wires

6. Destini Fireball

7. Born Ali

8. Dyna Kayla

9. Sweet It Is (Res)

10. Gold Affair (Res)

Rookie Rebel

1. Spirited Flame

2. General Destini

3. Alpe D’Huez

4. Daintree Emperor

5. Xylia Allen

6. Bookkeeper

7. Cakes And Pies

8. Hawk Alone

9. Lektra Grey (Res)

10. Shadow Lane (Res)

Temlee

1. Paw Licking

2. Zelemar Fever

3. Tomac Bale

4. Kiss Me Ketut

5. Banjo Boy

6. Dyna Nalin

7. Innocent Til

8. Peter Rocket

9. Punch One Out (Res)

10. Marcus Joe (Res)

Group 1 Temlee, Rookie Rebel And Zoom Top Fields Announced

The Group 1 Temlee, Rookie Rebel And Zoom Top fields have been announced for the huge meeting at The Meadows on the 15th of February.

The fields are shown below (box draw not yet announced).

G1 Temlee 525m ($150,000)

Banjo Boy
Dyna Nalin
Innocent Til
Kiss Me Ketut
Paw Licking
Peter Rocket
Tomac Bale
Zelemar Fever
Punch One Out (1st res)
Marcus Joe (2nd res)

G1 Rookie Rebel 600m ($110,000)

Alpe D’Huez
Bookkeeper
Cakes And Pies
Daintree Emperor
General Destini
Hawk Alone
Spirited Flame
Xylia Allen
Lektra Grey (1st res)
Shadow Lane (2nd res)

G1 Zoom Top 725m ($110,000)

Benarkin
Born Ali
Cheetah Zorro
Destini Fireball
Dyna Willow
Lucy Wires
Maddison Dee
Dyna Kayla
Sweet It Is (1st res)
Gold Affair Two (2nd res)

It promises to be a sensational night of racing and a massive part of the three-week Australian Cup Carnival.

Ernie Bung Arrow Sidelined For Three Months With Wrist Injury

South Australia’s star chaser “Ernie Bung Arrow” will be off the racing scene for at least three months after pulling up lame after a trial at Ballarat on Saturday and requiring an operation.

Trainer Ken Gill advised that Ernie Bung Arrow had chipped a piece of bone in his front wrist and would be operated on this Friday at Adelaide Plains Vet Clinic. He advised that he would be off the race track for at least three months while he recovers and was hopeful that his champion can return to the form that has seen him dominate the local features over the last six months.

After only turning two in November last year, “Ernie” is still very young and hopefully has time on his side for a return to the race track.

Ernie Bung Arrow was trialling at Ballarat in preparation for a potential tilt at the Ballarat Derby if he was not invited to the rich Temlee at The Meadows on February 15, with those invitations released today. Ken Gill made the call to The Meadows and withdrew “Ernie” from the nominations before they were finalised today.

Dyna Nalin Named 2013 WA Greyhound Of The Year

They say a dog is a man’s best friend; this statement couldn’t be closer to the truth about Paul Stuart and the freshly named 2013 WA Greyhound Of The Year, Dyna Nalin.

It’s not just the man hugs or the conversations the pair have while in the kennels, it’s the way Dyna Nalin looks at Paul like he is the only person in the room.

Lovingly named Bobby, the big black dog certainly doesn’t lack personality; always wagging his tail like he is something special, which he most definitely is.

In an extremely successful 2013 campaign, Dyna Nalin participated in 36 races, winning on 20 occasions and placing on 11, earning over $485,000. His first big win came at just his 15th career start; when he took out the 2013 Group 1 Perth Cup from box four.

“Coming into the Perth Cup I thought he would have been a chance if he got the right run; he did outperform himself from what I had given him credit for.” Trainer Paul Stuart explained.

“He was very young and inexperienced at the time, and you couldn’t be confident with his racing style, let alone in a Group 1 with the likes of Glen Gallon.”

Dyna Nalin has made a name for himself with his come from behind racing style caused by his average early speed. Although watching his races has connections hearts in their mouths, it makes for extra exciting viewing as he rounds up his competitors with ease thanks to his strength.

Throughout the year Dyna Nalin went on to win the invite only Topgun and the Sale Cup. He also ran second in the Maturity Classic, Mandurah Cup and the Shootout.

Stuart names the Sale Cup as his favourite performance from his 2013 campaign.

“The Sale run was his biggest challenge and his best performance, just because he didn’t have the crack-a-jack form coming into the race unlike the others. He pulled something out that night that I didn’t think he would, that was probably the biggest surprise and the most memorable. He surprised me big time!”

Winning the WA Greyhound Of The Year didn’t come as too much of a surprise for Paul Stuart, although he wasn’t 100% aware of the criteria involved in taking out WA’s greatest greyhound honour. He worried about John and Brenda Crossley’s strong and speedy chaser On Coin who had all his wins on home soil.

“If it was going off just WA form there were dogs that where well performed here. He would be hard pressed coming up against On Coin because he has had all his wins over here. It was a pretty clear cut selection in the end considering he was in the top three in the Australian Greyhound Of The Year. I figured he would have to go close.”

Stuart also had champion Miata nominated for WA Greyhound Of The Year for the second year running.

“I didn’t think Miata was in with a chance at all because she only raced for three or so months.”

Even after claiming three Group races and running second in three more Stuart still can’t compare Dyna Nalin to his champion Miata.

“He is a very good dog but she was exceptional; Miata is just in a different league.”

The start of Dyna Nalin’s 2014 Campaign has been on the side of disappointing at his home track of Cannington. Without a win at headquarters this year and an unsuccessful Perth Cup series, WA’s traveling sensation has had to play catch up with the fine form created in his absence by Zelemar Fever and Sveta Monelli.

“He doesn’t have the form like he did last year. That is a combination of a few things; he is older now and has been running in top grade. He was disappointing over 600; I didn’t rate him at all, he was pretty ordinary.”

“He isn’t showing his dash like he used to when he was younger. He wouldn’t mind having a rest, but that’s not an option at the moment with the Temlee and all that in a couple weeks’ time. After that he will be having a well-deserved break.”

The son of Ashom Bale – Tally Bale received his nomination for the Temlee last week; the final draw for the invite only race is set to be announced on Wednesday. Competing in the Australian Cup series will depend on if and how Dyna Nalin goes in the Temlee.

After what Stuart is hoping to be a successful trip to Victoria, Dyna Nalin will have a well-deserved rest to freshen him up for his next finals series, the Easter Egg.

While Dyna Nalin is on his working vacation in Victoria, he will be taking the first steps to becoming a sire.

“I just got the paper work back for his DNA and when he goes over for the Australian Cup he will be getting straws taken out of him. Wheeler wants to put him over a few bitches straight away. He could have pups on the ground while he is still racing.”

“Wheeler defiantly wants to get some pups on the ground; the prize money is higher for the longer distances, so Wheeler wants to breed dogs with a lot more strength. With the right bitch I would use him as a stud dog. The right bitch would need plenty of speed, because he will throw strength.”

Dyna Nalin’s 2013 WA Greyhound Of The Year trophy will be able to sit among to cabinet full of awards that Paul Stuart has been able to take home; among them Pedrosa’s 2010 and Miata’s 2012 WA greyhound Of The Year trophy.

dyna nalin 3

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dyna nalin 1

Steelflex’s Unique Double

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Retracing The Steps Of The National Derby

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

Inaugural Running

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

Distances

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

When Is The Race Run

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

Biggest Winning Margins

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

Closest Winning Margins

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

Most Successful Trainer/s

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

Only Dual Winner/s

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

Only Reserve/s To Win

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

Dual Finalists

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

Some Beaten Stars

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

Additional Notes

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

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

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

This Week in Racing History

JANUARY

15th

Queensland stayer Worthy Reward annexed the 1994 Association Cup final at Wentworth Park, scoring by four lengths over Beau Rajah and Rob’s Rebel in 42.67. This set a new race record which stood until 2000.

16th

Connections of Chief Havoc announced the official retirement of the superstar in 1948. He had retired in mid-1947 but then returned successfully to the track winning five of seven starts and setting three track records.

Prey For Mercy scored a strong victory in the 2007 Gosford Gold Cup, picking up $25,000 for trainer Gary Grant and running a race record 29.95, shaving 1/100th from the previous mark

Miss Elly Mint won a 515-metre race at the Gardens by seven and a half lengths in 2009 to equal Kate’s A Scandal’s 1981 record of 15 consecutive TAB-class victories.

The brilliant Mantra Lad won the 2010 Association Cup at Wentworth Park by just over six lengths in a brilliant 42.14, smashing the race record set the previous year by 10/100ths.

17th

Milo’s Charm defeated former Victorian star Cabernet with Young Sultan third in a match race run over 500 yards (457m) at Cessnock in 1972.

Queensland champion Top Simbi won a record 12th consecutive race at the Gabba, scoring by three and a half lengths over 558 metres, in 1974. It was his 19th victory at the Brisbane circuit.

The Ned Bryant-trained Shining Chariot won the 1987 Cranbourne Cup. Among the beaten division were future stars Sydney Dingaan and Pharaoh’s Mask (who fell).

18th

NSW St Leger winner Likely Light scored by seven lengths over the former New Zealand sprinter Haste over 530 metres at Wentworth Park in her first start for 1973 and her first in top grade. She won in 30.9, which was 2/10ths outside the new track record, and her fourth win in just five starts at the Glebe track. Sadly, she would win only two more races out of the remaining 17 starts of her career.

19th

Mystic Hope defeated Lucky Draw by half a length to take out the inaugural running of the Gleeson & Tonta Trophy, over 732 metres at Olympic Park, in 1987. Fifth in the final was champion stayer Bold Trease.

NSW sprinter Forest Fin defeated Queensland star Jurassic Vapour with Victorian Golden Currency third in the 1995 Adelaide Cup, running a race record 29.33 at Angle Park.

The John Finn-trained Sheikha took out the first January running of the Paws of Thunder, in 2013. Sheikha defeated Cavendish Flyer by one length with Imry Bale third.

20th

A crowd of around 10,000 attended a race meeting at Wentworth Park in 1940, the largest since the track opened the previous October. The current star Machealor won his fourth successive race, the NCA Stake over 550 yards (503 metres), by a head in 31.1. Three greyhounds were barred by the stewards for fighting.

The Victorian Kilty Lad downed Perfect Fancy and Penthouse to win the 2011 Adelaide Cup at Angle Park. This was the last time the race was held in January.

21st

Track specialist Temlee used box one to perfection to take out the 1974 Maturity Classic over 511 metres at Olympic Park by nine lengths from the smart Sylvan Prince.

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