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.
Iâm 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.Â 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 wasnât 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.Â 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.Â 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.Â 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. Rockyâs exploits over the long trips saw him labelled an iron dog for his chase and consistency, facing the starter on 105 occasions for 25 wins and 41 placings with stakes over the $200,000 mark. He was adored by many punters and greyhound followers.
At stud, Vapour Whirl was considered a bread and butter sire, who, without setting the world alight, continued to produce some very fast greyhounds.
Some of his better known progeny include Proven Jett, a finalist in the 2010 Golden Easter Egg, Gazmick Storm, Silver Spider and Vapour Ash to name a few.
The sport of greyhound racing is all the poorer for the loss of this wonderful chaser. Vale Vapour Whirl, a true champion.
The 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).
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 weekâs final after a devastating performance in the final heat. Dyna Nalin, who has qualified for yet another Group race final, will be chasing Miataâs prize money record next week.
Greyhounds from New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania will all feature in the final.
Hereâs 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 Ketutâs outside. They were matching strides down the back straight but Kiss Me Ketut didnât 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 finalâs 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 Crawfâs 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 tonightâs 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 Bazzaâs 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 Miataâs 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 weekâs 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 Baleâs track record of 29.45. Thereâs 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 weekâs 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)
9. Punch One Out
10. Crawfâs Bread
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. Stuartâs 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.
âHe pulled up really well; he got bashed around a bit last week but ran home well; he is bouncing around now.â Trainer Paul Stuart explained.
âI 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 didnât get beaten by much; he ended up running about 30.20, so that’s pretty good considering the interference he copped. I couldnât be disappointed with the run.â
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.
âHe 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.â
âYou 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.â
Stuart rates either Te Amo or Purcell Bale as the main dangers in the heat.
âHe cant give any of those dogs five or six length off the back otherwise he could be in a bit of trouble.â
WAâs 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.
âI would probably put that down as my best win. I think the fact that itâs a hand picked field, itâs the best dog racing at the time. Itâs a time-honoured event; many many greats have won it over the years.â Trainer Linda Britton explained.
Despite how impressive Zelemar Feverâs 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.
âI 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.â
Britton rates her brother Roberts chaser Famor Las Vegas as the dog to beat because he is coming out of box one.
âBanjo Boy and Buckle Up Wes are also two top liners in the race.â
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 wasnât far behind her with a time of 29.96.
âI was hoping High Recall and Te Amo would break 30 seconds at The Meadows on Saturday night.â
Te Amo is set to jump from box five in the sixth heat of the Australian Cup, drawing against fellow West Australian Dyna Nalin.
âI like her chances, but in saying that I donât 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.â
âIf she can run the time she did last week she will be a huge chance.â
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.
âThe box draw is a big disappointment, she will want the rails and there are a few good ones in the race. High Recall isnât going to lead with Paw Licking in the race and she isnât as strong as Zelemar Fever, so running him down will be hard. I canât see her winning it, if she runs a place I will be happy.â
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 Australianâs cheer together in hope one of their home town champions can make it through to the Australian Cup.
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.Â 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.
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 Peterâs 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 Earnerâs stakes to a whopping $553,795, surpassing the 12-year-old record set by superstar Rapid Journey in 1998.
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 Kirstyâs 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.
Dave Alexander, proprietor of theÂ Greyhound Recorder,Â 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 âbattlerâ, 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.
The NCA commenced a new policy aimed at âeliminating poor-class performers from races at Wentworth Parkâ in 1949. Only greyhounds with recent winning or placed performances would be drawn and âgreyhounds, 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.â The NCA also decided to revive hurdle racing.
The 1970 Australian Cup was taken out by NSW speedster The Smoother, downing Phantomâs Heir by three and a half lengths with fellow NSW sprinter OâMara three lengths away third. The race was only The Smootherâs 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 Cupâs won by greyhounds from box one.
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 Dreamâs 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 Nullaâs track record for 560 yards (512 metres) at Olympic Park, set two years earlier.
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, Â but âshoulderedâ 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.
Kimâs 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.
Jeanieâs 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.
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 âBuckle Upâ 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 rĂŠsumĂŠ 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 heâs 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 âBuckle Upâ moniker has been around for some time now, and itâs 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.Â 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, letâs hope the Johnson team can do just that.
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.
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.
WA chasers Zelemar Fever and Dyna Nalin are two great prospects in tonightâs 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 weekâs Perth Cup, where she finished fifth after finding trouble that caused Andrea Daillyâs Allen Deed to fall on the first bend. With last weeks race well and truly behind Linda Brittonâs chaser, sheâs 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 â Noaki Pace, has her new owners Gary and Craig Weston in Melbourne to support her from the favourable box two.
âThere 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.â Trainer Linda Britton explained.
âIt 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.â
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 Feverâs last start at the Meadows resulted in a fall; she split her webbing and then made the trip over to Perth.
âYou just hope its not going to effect her.â
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 didnât get a direct spot in the heats.
âStar Recall appears to be suited to The Meadows because of her great box manners. Itâs hard to say if the box is going to be an issue, but if she begins it wonât 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.â
Sister High Recall and kennel mate Te Amo are both trailing between races in preparation for the heats of the Australian Cup next week.
âBoth High Recall and Te Amo appear to be great Meadows dogs with their racing style. Iâm 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 itâs 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.â
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 Brittonâs 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 WAâs traveling sensation, but he is too good a chaser to count him out of this race.
Dyna Nalin was welcomed back to the winnerâs circle last week at Cannington after going three starts without a win, winning in a best of the night time of 30.10.
âHe is feeling good and travelled over well and hopefully has a bit of confidence from last week.â Trainer Paul Stuart explained.
âHe 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.â
Stuart believes that drawing box six didnât do him any favours.
âHe 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 wonât 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.â
âIf 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.â
âId say the win would probably come from the inside three.â
Paul Stuartâs 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.
âI was hoping he didnât have to run through the prelimâs but there are some pretty good dogs in the top 56. He has only had 20 odd starts and he hasnât 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.â
âHe 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.â
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.
âWith 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 couldnât be more then competitive in the Australian Cup series.â
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.
Comments:Â Kel Greenough (Trainer)Â -Â “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.”
|Comments:Â Â Trainer unavailable for comment. ARG opinion isÂ -Â 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.||
|Comments:Â Mark DelbridgeÂ (Trainer)Â - “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.”||
|Kiss Me Ketut||
|Comments:Â David BurnettÂ (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.”||
|Comments:Â Ken VirtueÂ (Trainer)Â - “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.”||
|Comments:Â Paul StuartÂ (Trainer)Â - “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).”||
|Comments:Â Trainer unavailable for comment. ARG opinion isÂ -Â Â A reliable beginner with a good record at the track and a decent record from box seven. More than capable.||
|Comments:Â Keith HellmuthÂ (Trainer)Â -Â “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.”||
|Punch One Out||
|Comments:Â 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.||
|Comments:Â 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.||
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.
Greyhound Box Draw For The Meadows – Saturday, 15 February 2014
1st: $6,260 2nd: $1,790 3rd: $890.
1st: $6,260 2nd: $1,790 3rd: $890.
1st: $6,260 2nd: $1,790 3rd: $890.
1st: $6,260 2nd: $1,790 3rd: $890.
1st: $75,000 2nd: $22,000 3rd: $11,000 GOBIS: $10,000.
1st: $75,000 2nd: $22,000 3rd: $11,000 GOBIS: $10,000.
1st: $6,260 2nd: $1,790 3rd: $890.
1st: $100,000 2nd: $30,000 3rd: $15,000 GOBIS: $10,000.
1st: $6,260 2nd: $1,790 3rd: $890.
1st: $6,260 2nd: $1,790 3rd: $890.
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 yearâs finalists.
The first starting point has to be Temlee himself. Remarkably he features in the direct sireline of six of the eight finalists. Dyna Nalin (Ashom Bale x Tally Bale) features no Temlee blood in his direct sireline but a dam in his direct damline is by Temlee. The only greyhound in the final eight to ‘miss out’ on the Temlee blood is Innocent Til (Premier Fantasy x Proven Polly).
Tomac Bale (Dyna Lachlan x Princess Bale) and Banjo Boy (Vee Man Vane x Off Springer) are lucky enough to feature Temlee on both sides of their breeding.
Digressing a little, it is also interesting to note that of the last 11 winners, only one does not feature Temlee in its breeding (Closing Argument).
Back to the current finalists, here’s a look at the bloodlines that have helped them become Group One Temlee finalists.
We all know a sire is important but the story is often better told when looking at the dam. It helps to have a mother that performed well. It also helps if they are bred in the proverbial purple.
Paw Licking’s mum is Kingsbrae Di. The tiny white and black Northfield bred bitch won 40 races and dominated the Country Cups in NSW, winning the Cups at Tamworth, Grafton, Taree and Gunnedah. She also won the 2007 Country Challenge and held the Tamworth track record. She was very zippy early and has no doubt passed this trait on to her track record breaking son. Paw Licking’s granddam, Pretty Jacalyn, was a multiple Wentworth Park winner and National Futurity finalist.
Noaki Pace, the dam of Zelemar Fever, won five races but its her breeding that stands her out as a dam. She is by Spiral Nikita x Leprechaun Pace. Leprechaun Pace (Brett Lee x Leprechaun Yap) won the Group One Paws of Thunder and was a finalist in numerous other Group races. Leprechaun Pace just happens to be sister of superstar Betty’s Angel and a half sister to stud dogs Bo Frazier and Talk’s Cheap as well as Glamorous (the mother of Magic Sprite). Noaki Pace herself is a sister to current stud dog and Group One winner, Oaks Road. Zelemar Fever is out of Bombastic Shiraz and her litter mates have been more than handy, with her brother Noaki Spitfire recently making the finals of a number of Group races in Victoria.
Tomac Bale has a track record holder as his mother. Princess Bale (Hallucinate x Gold Rush Bale) held the 515 metre track record at Bulli for a period of time. She was a very strong bitch who won over the staying trip at Wentworth Park and placed in Group races over both the 500′ and 700′. Princess Bale has also thrown Desalle Bale and the freakishly fast Maturity winner Barcia Bale. Gold Rush Bale has been a “gold mine” for the Wheeler’s, producing the likes of Dyna Tron, Dyna Bert, Greta Bale, Ashby Bale, Bartrim Bale and the list goes on.
The cleverly named Kiss Me Ketut is out of Spiral Siyan (Spiral Nikita x Flight and Life). Interestingly, both Spiral Siyan and Flight and Life were unraced. However, Flight and Life is a daughter of the great Flying Amy. We all know Flying Amy is the mother of one of Australia’s best sires, Just the Best. So, although unraced, the dam and granddam of Kiss Me Ketut lack nothing in the breeding department.
Off Springer (Flying Penske x Skullring) was bred by Leonard Jones and has been very handy in the breeding barn. Not only is she the mother of Banjo Boy, but she is also the mother of classy stayers Grandeur, Echelon and Sweet It Is. Banjo Boy’s granddam Skullring also features in the breeding of Classy Maldini and recent Warragul Cup winner Walk Hard.
Tally Bale whelped Dyna Nalin at a remarkable 10 1/2 years of age. She won 14 races around Sandown, The Meadows, Geelong and Horsham. Aside from Dyna Nalin, who is the apple of her eye, Tally Bale has produced Firefly Bale (Premier Fantasy) who finished second in the 2009 Group One Maturity Classic and Aleta Allen (Where’s Pedro) who won 23 races.
Proven Polly is a ‘proven dam’ with her son Innocent Til. Proven Polly won 14 races and featured in the final of the 2009 Group One Australian Cup. Proven Polly traces back to Proven Misty, who ran second in the 1992 Laurels at Sandown and was a handy broodbitch, throwing the likes of Proven Reward, a finalist in the Silver Chief and National Derby.
Lastly, we have Belron Blue, the matriarch of Peter Rocket. Belron Blue traces back, through the direct damline, to Jess Park. Jess Park is a great foundation dam that is found through generations of numerous Group race performers. These performers include not only Peter Rocket but stayer Ebony Park Lass and Lukeamy. Belron Blue is also the mother of Violet Crumble, a finalist in the Group One Sapphire Crown and the Group Two Traralgon Cup.
Clearly, having a mum with good breeding on her side helps. She doesn’t necessarily have to be well performed, but as you can see, it certainly helps. Throw in a dash of Temlee (for the majority) and you have yourself a Group One runner in the Temlee.
Arabian Dixie, aged six years and one month, scored at Newcastle in 1949, her fourth victory at the track. It took her overall record to nine wins and 10 placings from just 32 starts. Arabian Dixie had broken two front toes and one rear toe when racing on what were described as poor tracks in late 1944 and 1945, at the end of the Second World War. Her trainer said her conditioning consisted mainly of swimming rather than galloping due to her poor feet.
Cyclone Daisy struck Brisbane and south-east Queensland and northern NSW in 1972. The resultant flooding and damage delayed the opening of the Gabba greyhound track from a previously planned 9 March until April.
Eiffella ran a race record 29.89 to win the 2005 National (NCA) Derby over 520 metres at Wentworth Park from Strykerâs Shadow and Victorian Benâs Fury for trainer Mary Wright. Eiffella clipped 21/100ths off the previous race record mark, held jointly by Fond Regards (2000 winner) and Medinah (2002 victor). On the same night, Lukeamy won the National Futurity by a neck from Miss Bekkie Lee.
Major Gossip gave trainer Don McMillan and well-known music guru Donnie Sutherland a $70,000 thrill when he took out the 1993 National Derby, downing the unlucky Deanneâs Dancer. This was the last Derby run over 520 metres on grass at Wentworth Park.
Speedy sprinter Penny Dancer won the $12,000-to-the-winner 2004 Richmond Cannonball, running a fast 22.78. Penny Dancer would return in 2005 and become the first greyhound to win the event back-to-back.
Rising Ace won the closest Hobart Thousand to that time when he defeated the champion Rookie Rebel by a nose in the 1957 event. The field consisted of 10 starters. A year later Rookie Rebel would return to Hobart and win the Thousand by eight lengths from box 10.
Nitro Nori, trained by Chris Nutt, annexed the 2007 Cyril Rowe Memorial (aka South Coast Cup), run over 472 metres at Bulli. Nitro Nori earned $15,000. A year later Nitro Nori, now trained by Darren McDonald, won a second Cyril Rowe Memorial.
Trainer Jason Thompson rugged up half the field in 2009 Temlee, run over 525 metres at the Meadows. Thompson finished snaring the quinella when El Galo downed kennelmate Fedex by a neck to snare the $50,000 prize money. Thompsonâs other starters were Nitro Burst and Hanifyâs Impact. Queensland star Queen Lauryn was third.
Having won just a maiden at Albury before being sent to Tasmania, the South Australian-bred Erinâs Ace defeated local hope Boongala by two and a half lengths in the 1949 Hobart Thousand. NSW sprinter Silent Dash was third. Erinâs Ace would go on to become the first to win both the Hobart Thousand and Launceston Cup, and later became the highest stakeswinner in Australia at his retirement.
In an incredibly close finish in which five dogs crossed the line within 1.7 lengths of each other, Strolling Benja caused a bit of an upset in downing Summer Jade by half a length with High Intensity a head away third in the 1988 Olympic Park Distance Championship, run over 732 metres at Olympic Park. NSW greyhound Chief Mocka was fourth with champion Bold Trease fifth.
NSW speedster registered his fourth successive win in taking out the 1985 Hobart Thousand by six lengths from Tasmanian star Busy Vintage. Brother Fox ran 28.31 over the 497 metres at Hobart to set a race record, eclipsing the previous mark of 28.40 set by Black Aztec in 1981. This was the fifth and last time the Thousand was conducted over the 497 metres trip.
Miagi trounced the 2008 Wentworth Park Gold Cup field to win the 720 metre event by eight and a half lengths for veteran trainer Warren Harper. The race had been reduced to a best eight, with no heats run the previous week, just a prelude.
Miss Grub won the 2007 Zoom Top, over 725 metres at the Meadows, by seven and a half lengths from Flashing Floods and Dosses Angel to snare the $30,000 first prize money for trainer Kel Greenough. On the same night, Train A Journey won the Rookie Rebel (600 metres) for trainer John Galea and Slater picked up the Temlee for trainer Darren Murray.
Mr Whackles won the 1939 Hobart Thousand by half a length for trainer Les Brett. This was the first time the race had been called the âThousandâ, 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.
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 Publicanâs 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 Jayâs 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.â
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.
âItâll 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.
There has been a noticeable absence of debate surrounding this yearsâ trio of âInvitation Onlyâ events at The Meadows. Usually when races such as the Temlee, Rookie Rebel and Zoom Top are assembled, opinions run wild of who shouldâve been included or excluded, whoâs 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 âexpertâ panels selections:
THE TEMLEE â 525 metres â 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
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, itâs 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 havenât 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 hasnât 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 â 600 Metres â Group 1 $75,000 to the winner
1) Spirited Flame
2) Cakes And Pies
3) Xylia Allen
4) Alpe DâHuez
5) Daintree Emperor
7) General Destini
8) Hawk Alone
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. Itâs inclusion in the original ten is arguable, as his recent form is horrendous. Heâs been picked as a track specialist, but youâd 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. Sheâs 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. Heâs 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 Aloneâs sprinting ability, but one can certainty ask whether heâs 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 writersâ opinion. Multiple wins at the track/distance, good recent form and a solid overall record wasnât enough to catch the panelâs 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 arenât as good as previous years.
THE ZOOM TOP â 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
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 DâHuez 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 Twoâs selection came as a surprise, even as second reserve, considering he hasnât 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 doesnât exactly dominate the staying scene back home, and actually has more unplaced runs than wins over the 710 metres at Albion Park. He wouldâve actually been more at home in the Rookie Rebel.
The glaring omission to cater for Benarkinâs 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.
1. Dyna Willow
2. Maddison Dee
3. Cheetah Zorro
5. Lucy Wires
6. Destini Fireball
7. Born Ali
8. Dyna Kayla
9. Sweet It Is (Res)
10. Gold Affair (Res)
1. Spirited Flame
2. General Destini
3. Alpe D’Huez
4. Daintree Emperor
5. Xylia Allen
7. Cakes And Pies
8. Hawk Alone
9. Lektra Grey (Res)
10. Shadow Lane (Res)
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)
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)
Kiss Me Ketut
Punch One Out (1st res)
Marcus Joe (2nd res)
G1 Rookie Rebel 600m ($110,000)
Cakes And Pies
Lektra Grey (1st res)
Shadow Lane (2nd res)
G1 Zoom Top 725m ($110,000)
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.
South Australiaâs star chaser âErnie Bung Arrowâ 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, âErnieâ 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 âErnieâ from the nominations before they were finalised today.
They say a dog is a manâs best friend; this statement couldnât be closer to the truth about Paul Stuart and the freshly named 2013 WA Greyhound Of The Year, Dyna Nalin.
Itâs not just the man hugs or the conversations the pair have while in the kennels, itâs the way Dyna Nalin looks at Paul like he is the only person in the room.
Lovingly named Bobby, the big black dog certainly doesnât 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.
âComing 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.â Trainer Paul Stuart explained.
âHe was very young and inexperienced at the time, and you couldnât be confident with his racing style, let alone in a Group 1 with the likes of Glen Gallon.â
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.
âThe Sale run was his biggest challenge and his best performance, just because he didnât have the crack-a-jack form coming into the race unlike the others. He pulled something out that night that I didnât think he would, that was probably the biggest surprise and the most memorable. He surprised me big time!â
Winning the WA Greyhound Of The Year didnât come as too much of a surprise for Paul Stuart, although he wasnât 100% aware of the criteria involved in taking out WAâs greatest greyhound honour. He worried about John and Brenda Crossleyâs strong and speedy chaser On Coin who had all his wins on home soil.
âIf 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.â
Stuart also had champion Miata nominated for WA Greyhound Of The Year for the second year running.
âI didnât think Miata was in with a chance at all because she only raced for three or so months.â
Even after claiming three Group races and running second in three more Stuart still canât compare Dyna Nalin to his champion Miata.
âHe is a very good dog but she was exceptional; Miata is just in a different league.â
The start of Dyna Nalinâs 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, WAâs traveling sensation has had to play catch up with the fine form created in his absence by Zelemar Fever and Sveta Monelli.
âHe doesnât 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 didnât rate him at all, he was pretty ordinary.â
âHe isnât showing his dash like he used to when he was younger. He wouldnât mind having a rest, but thatâs not an option at the moment with the Temlee and all that in a couple weeksâ time. After that he will be having a well-deserved break.â
The son of Ashom Bale â 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.
âI 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.â
âWheeler 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.â
Dyna Nalinâs 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 Pedrosaâs 2010 and Miataâs 2012 WA greyhound Of The Year trophy.
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 Wheelerâs 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 Wheelerâs 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 Busyâs Chief at Wentworth Park, in a race won in a fast 30.98, Steelflex turned the tables at Harold Park, defeating Busyâs 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 Vixenâs 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 winnerâs circle, in exactly the same event that he had won a year earlier.
Wheeler immediately announced Steelflexâs 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.
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 âback storiesâ to the winners as there have been runnings of what, for one year, was the richest event in the country.
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 Victorianâs Minsby and The Stripper third and fourth respectively. The smart Saskaview was also unplaced. First prize money was ÂŁ1,500, 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 nationâs richest race.
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, Arthurâs 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.
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), Miloâs 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), Gliderâs Son (seventh 1981), Legendary Kid (third 1986), Credibility (second 1992), Alastic Rebel (fourth 1992), Deanneâs Dancer (second 1994), Forest Fin (third 1995), Roanokee (third 1997), Faithful Hawk (second 1999), Stately Bird (third 2000), Go Wild Teddy (second 2001), Arvoâs 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.
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 bookÂ Greyhounds and Mechanical Lure RacingÂ the champion had his âhind foot caught in the back door of the starting box when the lids opened.â The final fell to Black Topâs 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, Gliderâs Son, Worth Doing, Faithful Hawk, Go Wild Teddy, Slater, Roanokee, Size Can Matter, and Whisky Assassin.
Queensland stayer Worthy Reward annexed the 1994 Association Cup final at Wentworth Park, scoring by four lengths over Beau Rajah and Robâs Rebel in 42.67. This set a new race record which stood until 2000.
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 Kateâs A Scandalâs 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.
Miloâs 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 Pharaohâs Mask (who fell).
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.
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.
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.
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.
The greyhound racing world is again in mourning after the sad passing of a racing legend El Galo. After a brave battle with cancer, the superstar known as âFlashâ passed away the same day as the legendary Bombastic Shiraz, at just 7 years old.
El Galoâs owners Seona and Jason Thompson are attempting to cope with their devastating loss, with an array of beautiful memories on and off the track to live on forever.
âIt feels like yesterday that he was still racing but it was a while ago he retiredâ said Seona.
âI remember picking him up from the airport when Dave and Christine Robartson sent him down for us to train and I fell in love with him straight awayâ.
âWhen we had the opportunity to buy him we knew he had something special and now we have so many great memoriesâ.
Born 15th November 2005 as a son of Whereâs Pedro and Roxy Reason, El Galo won 9 of his first 19 stats around the Queensland Circuits before transferring to the Thompson family at Pearcedale in Victoria during February of 2008. Soon after, âFlashâ became a household name when he was sensational in winning a heat of the Group One Australian Cup, finishing runner up in the final to Tasman Queen.
It was only a matter of time before El Galo would claim his first Group race and this occurred after his Australian Cup campaign at Bendigo. The blue flyer sizzled around the one turn track in both his heat and final of the Group Two Bendigo Cup, recording a personal best of 23.65 over the 430m journey.
It was all a âwhirlwind rideâ as described by Seona, when El Galo racked up the Group Two Warrnambool Cup over 450m in 24.88, Group Three Bulli Gold Cup in 26.25 over 472m and Group Two Gold Coast Cup over the 457m in a time of 25.66, all within a three month duration back in 2008.
âIts really hard to single out a particular moment but the Gold Coast Cup was very special as it was the last one held before the track closed and the Bulli Cup because dad and I took him up for that and it was a great moment to share with himâ said Seona.
El Galo cracked his maiden Group One in December of 2008 when he saluted in the Brisbane Cup over the 520m in a flying time of 29.84. According to Seona this victory was particularly special for a number of reasons.
âIt was his 32nd win that night and it was also my 32nd birthday which made it a very special winâ.
The blue âflashâ would string together another two Group One victories within the space of a month at the beginning of 2009, braving a late surge by hometown hero Scull Murphy in the Group One Adelaide Cup, clocking a sizzling 29.45 and backing up just two weeks later to blow his rivals away in the coveted Temlee invitational, recording an impressive 29.80 at The Meadows.
El Galoâs prize money tally sat at an astounding $519,380 when he retired during July of 2009, after finishing third in the Group Two Bob Payne Winter Stake final at Wentworth Park. His career statistics stand at an impressive 44 wins and 19 minor placings from just 71 race starts.
Loved as much off the track as he was on it, Seona emphasises how the Thompson kennels just arenât the same without their special family member.
âOne thing I remember was at feeding time he would stand there and lick the gate. It used to bug me but after everything he did for us I just got used to it. Now at feed time it just isnât the same without him standing thereâ.
One touching legacy that will live on forever is the offspring that will carry the famous El Galo genes for generations to come. Commencing stud duties after his retirement, as expected he has already produced some outstanding greyhounds in his short breeding career. Thompsonâs own superstar El Brooklyn is his most successful offspring to date, a two-time group winning bitch, earning almost $290,000 in prize money.
As we mourn the loss of another champion of the sport, itâs important to embrace the memories we have of El Galo, the impact he had on the sport on and off the track and what foundations he paved for future superstars. The greyhound we all loved as âflashâ deserves nothing less than to be remembered as one of the best.
With the deciding game of this yearâs State Of Origin series this Wednesday night, Australian Racing Greyhound has compiled our own state teams featuring the best of all time from Queensland and New South Wales. As always, a list of this nature draws with it controversy and we the authors acknowledge that an argument can be made for the countless other (greats) who are not listed below. This list represents the Queensland Team and their contribution to Australian Greyhound Racing; past, present and future.
1.Tony Zammit â (Trainer – Coach)
Champion Queensland Trainer and Hall of Fame inductee. Winner of 17 Metropolitan Queensland Training Premierships including 11 in a row. Trained Qld Greyhound of the Year winners and finalists as well as countless group winners. Zammit has produced top chasers including â Surf Lorian, Credibility and Trojan Tears amongst a host of other superstars. Involvement in the industry spanning over 40 years and a testament to the racing game. Possesses the ability to always have his chasers give 110%.
2. Tony Brett (Trainer)
Tony Brett has put the polish on some of the best greyhounds to have graced the track in recent years including Bogie Leigh, Black Enforcer, Glen Gallon and Queen Lauryn to name only a few. A trainer that tests his ability on a national scale, he isnât afraid to travel interstate targeting feature group races and the rewards that they bring. A trainer with a great belief in his ability he has put the polish on Greyhound of year winners and finalists, track record holders and countless group winners.
3. Top Simbi (Milimsimbi â Susie Voile) Whelped March 1971
In the 1970âs, Thursday night racing at the Gabba would come alive under lights and the greyhound the crowd came to see was the Queensland Greyhound Hall of Famer Top Simbi. He excelled at the Gabba winning 20 and running second 3 times from 24 starts. Overall he won 30 races from 49 starts. He was the Gabba Greyhound of the year in 1973 and 1974. A white and brindle chaser his best wins included Lord Mayerâs Cup, Gabba Sprint Championship and the Exhibition Trophy. Trained by Bert Kennedy he was famous for living on the family lounge and was the Gabba 558m track record holder.
4. Pretty Fearless (Pretty Short â Fearless Payout) Whelped January 1985
The 1987 Queensland Greyhound of the Year and another inducted into the Queensland Hall of Fame, Pretty Fearless travelled the country racing and beating the best at the time. Trained by Reg and Mary Crawford, the brindle chaser won the Coca-Cola Cup at the Gabba and the Mining Cup (Perth) and All State Challenge (Perth). He started 47 times for 20 wins and 20 placingâs and finished his career on top of the prizemoney list at the time with $103,000 in stakes.
5. New Tears (Pretty Short â Starfire Lady) Whelped June 1985
A brilliant race track performer who would become an even greater success at stud. A race career that compiled 32 starts resulting in 24 wins, he was a track record holder at Ipswich, Tweed Heads and Olympic Park. At stud he dominated the Australian scene and his name can be found in the pedigree of some of the all-time greats including â Trojan Tears, Sobbing Sal and Light Of Fire. His daughters have thrown champions including Brett Lee, Big Daddy Cool and No Intent to name but a few. A Queensland star both on and off the track, a Queensland Hall of Famer and one of the most potent pedigrees in Australian racing.
6. Tenthill Flyer (Chariot Supreme â National Queen) Whelped May 1988
The broodbitch responsible for generations of greyhounds, Tenthill Flyer produced the first two inducteeâs into the Australian Greyhound Hall of Fame in brilliant bitches, Tenthill Doll (by Malawiâs Prince) and Flying Amy (by Credibility). The Jim Gallaway trained chaser had ability on the track setting a track record at Moree and winning a Lord Mayerâs Cup at the Gabba. Found in the pedigree of many champions, she changed the industry off the track producing offspring who can be found in the champions of the past and today.
7. Credibility (Worth Doing â No Liability) Whelped December 1989
Super-fast greyhound on the track who would make his mark as a sire, producing champions whose pedigrees dominate Australian racing. The winner of 21 races with a further 9 placingâs from 39 starts, he was a Track record holder at Toowoomba. He tasted success in winning the Lawnton Cup, Gold Coast Derby, and was a finalist in the National Derby, Tweed Galaxy and Richmond Derby. At stud he produced Just The Best, Nobodyâs Fool, Yo Yoâs Boy, Faithful Hawk and Bearability to name a few. A Queensland Hall of Fame inductee.
8. Flying Amy (Amerigo Man â Tenthill Flyer) Whelped May 1992
The Ron Ball trained immortal Flying Amy was a superstar both on and off the track, where her influence continues in racing pedigrees throughout Australia. With 59 career starts resulting in 42 wins, 5 seconds and 5 thirds, the 1994 and 1995 Queensland Greyhound of the Year winner is the best of all time. An inductee into the Hall of Fame, the brindle bitch broke the magical 30 seconds at Albion Park on 9 occasions and was the long standing track record holder at an unheard of 29.73. A multiple group winner and finalist, she is the dam of Just The Best and the most influential greyhound in Queensland history.
9. Tenthill Doll (Malawiâs Prince â Tenthill Flyer) Whelped March 1993
Greyhound Hall of Fame inductee Tenthill Doll was Queensland born and commenced racing on the old Toowoomba track prior to her sale to NSW for $20,000 after 13 starts. A wonderful racetrack performer, she finished her career with 56 starts for 31 wins, 10 seconds and 7 thirds. A multiple group winning bitch and finalist she would be remembered for her success in 3 consecutive Group 1âs, the Egg, Perth Cup and Australian Cup. Finishing her career with $382,000 in prizemoney (Australian Record at Time) she was known for her ability to lead or come from behind in what was a remarkable career. From the same dam as fellow legend Flying Amy, a brilliant greyhound that changed the lives of those around her.
10. Just The Best (Credibility â Flying Amy) Whelped January 1997
Champion sire Just The Best has influenced the pedigrees of greyhounds the world over. The winner of 9 races from 15 starts, with a further 3 placingâs his average winning margin was in excess of 11 lengths. Sub 30 sec runs at Albion Park indicated his ability and he came close to the Albion Park track record with a Best 29.78 â the second quickest ever at the time. Injury stopped a race track career but his success continued off it. At stud JTB produced champions including Hall of Famer Bogie Leigh, Surf Lorian, Elite State and Big Daddy Cool plus many more. JTB female offspring continue to produce with his dams throwing champions including stud dogs and group winners. With royal bloodlines he was destined to be a success and continues to be so.
11. Bogie Leigh (Just The Best â Hypo Havoc) Whelped April 2001
With a career record of 68 starts for 48 wins, 12 seconds and 5 thirds Bogie Leigh set race tracks alight throughout Australia winning over $488,000 in prizemoney. Trained by leading mentor Tony Brett the black chaser was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005. Bogie Leigh started in 13 Group race finals, winning the 2003 Group 1 Brisbane Cup, 2003 Group 1 Sapphire Crown Classic, 2003 Group 2 Queensland Futurity, 2003 Group 3 Lismore Cup, 2004 Group 1 Golden Easter Egg, 2004 Group 1 Australian Cup. She was the 2004 QLD Greyhound of the Year and the best of her time.
12. Surf Lorian (Just The Best â Barrio Fiesta) Whelped April 2002
Multiple track record holder Surf Lorian produced on the track and continues to produce off it as a leading sire of Group winners and track record breakers throughout Australia. From 19 careers starts, Surf Lorian won 15 with 1 second and 1 third. Track record performances at Albion Park 520 (29.73 Equal (Twice)), Ipswich 520m (30.18), Gold Coast 429 (24.06), and Gold Coast 457 (25.61). The winner of the Group 2 Peter Mosman at Wentworth Park, Surf Lorian was also a Group finalists in the Group 1 Winter Cup at Albion Park and the Group 2 Qld Derby. At stud he has produced Slater, Made To Size, Miss Hot Gossip, Blue Lorian plus many more.
13. Black Enforcer (Token Prince â Miss Corleone) Whelped June 2003
Black Enforcer was a track superstar who dominated racing in 2005. From 35 career starts he finished with 26 wins and 2 placingâs tasting group success when winning the Group 1 Topgun and Group 2 Queensland Derby. He represented Queensland in the National Sprint Final finishing 4th in the final behind Pure Octane. He ran BON times at every track he raced; Albion Park, Gold Coast, Wentworth Park and the Meadows. Retiring to stud with $207,000 in prizemoney, the black chaser was a member of a fantastic litter that included Qld sprint start Token Jet. Black Enforcer has continued to make a name for himself at stud with his offspring winning Group events and being track record holders.
14. Made To Size (Surf Lorian â Queen Size) Whelped April 2005
The Reg Kay trained superstar joins the team as the fastest ever at Albion Park, an unheard of 29.57 TR. The red fawn chaser broke the magical 30 seconds at Albion Park on 7 occasions in his decorated career that finished with 48 starts for 21 wins, and 19 placingâs. On the track he won the Group 1 Winter Cup, Group 3 Pert Cup Consolation, and was a finalist in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup and Group 1 Brisbane Cup where he suffered a career ending injury. Sold at stud to overseas interest he now stands in Macau.
15. Dashing Corsair (Malfoy â Rose Flamenco) Whelped April 2007
The champion greyhound was the first ever to win both the National Sprint (2009) and National Distance (2011) finals â an event that first started in 1965. The 2010 Queensland Greyhound of the Year was trained by Dwyer Lennon and has won the most races at Albion Park, 33 in total eclipsing the long standing record of Winged Runner. Overall he was an iron dog, facing the starter on 124 occasionâs for 57 wins, 16 seconds and 14 thirds. He was a brilliant sprinter and stayer as well as multiple group winner and finalist. He won the 2009 Group 1 National Sprint final in Perth, the 2011 Group 1 National Distance in Brisbane, Group 3 Big Dog Cup, the Super stayers invitational. Overall he sits number 14 on the all-time prizemoney list with $455,000.
16. High Earner (Collision â Double Guess) Whelped May 2007
Second overall in the prizemoney list behind the mighty Miata, the ill-fated High Earner set Australian racetracks alight with his tenacious chasing ability and brilliant box speed. The winner of 33 starts, with a further 13 seconds and 8 thirds from 69 overall starts he was a 6 time Group winner and 12 time Group finalist. With Group 1 wins in the Perth Cup (twice) and Temlee he was a favourite all over Australia. From an outstanding damline that has also produced El Galo and Never Enough he lived up to his name on the track before his ill demise off it when his stud career was just beginning.
17. Glen Gallon (Flying Stanley â Incoherent) Whelped August 2009
Third on the all-time prizemoney list with $597,000, Queenslandâs favourite greyhound continues to inspire the industry with his performances around Australia. The 14 time Group finalist and 3 time Group 1 winner has raced the best since his 8th start. With 64 starts resulting in 36 wins and 12 minor placingâs, he has traversed Australia captivating the industry with guts and determination. Trained by leading mentor Tony Brett, Glen Gallon last start won the Group 1 Winter Cup at Albion Park. Although reaching the twilight of his career, he will long be remembered as one of the greats for Queensland and Australia.
With the extent of superstars that lined up in Thursday nightâs Group One Garrards Winter Cup final at Albion Park, master Queensland trainer Tony Brett could have been forgiven for thinking his star charge Glen Gallon was an outsider of the field, especially after drawing out wide in box seven.
The son of imported sire Flying Stanley and Incoherent is proving age is merely just a number as he approaches the four year old mark in August, with Thursday nightâs victory in taking out his second consecutive Winter Cup final, even more special as trainer Brett explained:
âI was happy with the seven but Hello Good Bye and Xylia Allen were drawn to perfection so I knew he would have to work hard. I wouldnât be racing him if he was being disgraced by younger dogs and looked silly so itâs amazing that he is still nearly clocking the same times he was 40 odd starts agoâ.
Leading from start to finish, Glen Gallon clocked a sizzling 29.80, just 0.03 seconds outside his personal best over the 520m distance that was recorded over 12 months ago. With that stunning victory, his career statistics now sit at a very impressive 36 wins and 12 minor placings from just 64 starts. As expected, Brett was overwhelmed with joy post-race and scenes of jubilation quickly erupted for the home town heroâs well-deserved triumph.
âWinning a Group One race is like winning a gold medal at the Olympics, itâs the highest honour in our sport. The support we had from the media and everyone at the track on Thursday night was unreal and I couldnât have scripted it any betterâ.
âWe have travelled everywhere with him and his always popular no matter where we go and Thursday was his most satisfying victory for meâ added Brett.
For Glen Gallons many adoring fans, including yours truly, Thursday was not the final time we will see the 14-time Group race finalist on the racetrack, as Brett now plans to tackle the Group One National Sprint Championships next month. This yearâs final will be conducted at The Meadows on August 24, with Queensland having a potentially almighty representative on their hands in their bid to take out the title.
âHe is still thriving on racing and it would actually be cruel to tell him he couldnât race anymore because his going as good as he ever has. He will hopefully represent Queensland and we will head to Victoria to hopefully win another Group Oneâ said a proud Brett.
âIf only he could have won a few more of the Group races he competed in he would be the greatest of all time but his all heart in every one of startsâ added Brett.
Thursday nightâs fairy tale win pushed Glen Gallons stake earnings to an astonishing $597,427, making him third on the Australian highest prizemoney winners list with the potential to surpass High Earner who is just $13,000 ahead in second place.
Launching his career around the Queensland tracks, it only took 23 starts for Glen Gallon to make his first Group One final, finishing runner up to the exceptionally talented Godsend trained by Jason Thompson in the AJS Silver Chief. From here, the 35kg heavyweight became a regular starter in Group Race finals including; the Group One Perth Cup and just two weeks later placing third in the Group One Macro Meats Temlee.
It was this time last year that his first Group One triumph would occur at Albion Park when he took out the 2012 Group One Garrards Winter Cup, clocking a flying 29.86 and stamping his authority as a serious competitor on the Group racing circuit. Three weeks later Brett made the trip down south to Dapto for the Group Two Megastar Invitational and unfortunately was unplaced before bouncing back on home soil, claiming the Queensland Sprint Championship and finishing a gallant second behind Fabregas in the Hobart National Sprint Championship at the end of August.
After two unplacings in the Group Three Gold Coast Cup and Group One Topgun, Brettâs charge put in an enormous effort behind Jason Thompsonâs Got A Moment in the Group One Melbourne Cup and would carry on this rivalry into the Group One Brisbane Cup final, where once again he placed second behind Got A Moment. After making the Group One Perth Cup, Temlee and Australia Cup, a solid Third in the Group Two Harrison-Dawson final at Sandown reignited his Group racing campaign leading into Thursday nightâs victory.
With Glen Gallons interest at stud duties now in full swing, Brett was happy to report that upon retirement, his stud duties will resume at his Grandchester property with a few litters already on the ground for prospective breeders to keep a close eye on.
Despite the fact that Glen Gallon may not be talked about as one of the greatest of all time, this fine ambassador for Queensland greyhound racing proves that when a dog comes along that is all heart and determination; it captures the essence of the entire greyhound fraternity and that is the best publicity we can possibly ask for.
Last night at Angle Park we witnessed greyhound chasing at its best with two heats of the West End Draught Distance Championship and five heats of the West End Draught Anniversary Cup.
South Australiaâs star chaser Kalden Mayhem for Troy Murray showed why he is still a force to be reckoned with on the National scene after a brilliant finishing burst secured the first heat of the Distance Championship. At the ripe old age of 4Â˝, Kalden Mayhem ran through a gap in the shadows of the post between exciting Victorian Proven Impala who had led most of the way and the NSW trained Robert Andrew who was also powering home, to claim victory by Âž of a length in a solid 43.36 for the 731m journey.
Proven Impala was sent out a short priced favourite and held on well for second and should be further improved for next weeks final with seasoned campaigner Robert Andrew a further Â˝ length away in third place. All three look to have strong claims in next weeks Group 3 feature.
The fastest qualifier for the final was in heat two with the Victorian trained Mimicking for Rob Britton finishing too powerfully for the Petar Jovanovic trained Cousin Callum recording a 1Âź length victory in a handy 43.33. Mimicking raced up on the pace for most of the race just behind leader Cousin Callum before over powering last years winner in the final straight. Fellow Victorian Maddison Dee ran home nicely for third spot a further 4 lengths away however does look to have the job ahead of her in the final.
Joint feature on last nightâs program was the heats of the West End Draught Anniversary Cup over the 515m journey with the Group 1 Temlee winner Cintiarna justifying her series favouritism with a strong display in the third heat of the night. Trained in Victoria by Sandra Collins, some thought that box 5 and her first look at Angle Park could be enough for her to be beaten, however those fears were allayed soon after the start where she began well to race up near the lead before taking over into the back straight and racing away for a strong victory. She won in a slick 29.88 by 2Â˝ lengths with Adelaide Cup finalist Prank Call running a solid second. Once the box draw was completed and Cintiarna drew the red she is now confirmed as the race favourite.
A hot field awaits her however, especially Kalden Kurageous for trainer Troy Murray who demolished the clock in the first heat running a sizzling 29.56 and showing his abundance of potential. He defeated Tercel for Karen Bearpark by 3Â˝ lengths who also went super running a personal time of 29.76 and also qualifying for next weeks final.
The inform kennel of Robyn Mackellar produced the second heat winner Just Shine who made it 4 wins from his last 5 starts when he was able to race up on the pace and then run away from his rivals by 4Â˝ lengths in a flying 29.66 defeating Young Snozz who ran home very strongly from a long way back.
Kalden Komoto for Troy Murray caused the biggest upset of the night when he was able to rail strongly over the concluding stages and run down Ritza Ben by 1 length in a solid 29.99.
Kalden Komoto did a fantastic job to qualify considering he came from the pink box and was able to find his way to the rails just off the pace mid race and now gives leading local trainer Troy Murray two greyhounds in next weeks final. Race favourite Fire Tyson found trouble during the run from the inside box and flashed home into third position.
The final heat was taken out by the Jeff Britton trained Mepunga Geordie who continued on his winning way at Angle Park after he won last Octobers Adelaide Cup Consolation. Last night the Victorian began faultlessly from box 5 and pounced on the early lead before opening up down the back and racing away from his rivals to win by 7 lengths in a flying 29.73. The Britton camp have been great supporters of SA feature racing and with Mepunga Geordie making another feature final even box 8 may not stop their run of success.
The box draws were conducted on course last night at Angle Park for the $36,000 Group 3 West End Draught Distance Championship and Anniversary Cup Finals with GRSA fortunate to have Port Power coach, Ken Hinkley, willing to assist with the box draw formalities as he enjoyed a casual night out at the greyhounds.
The West End Draught Distance Championship Final field in Box Draw order is:
1. Mimicking Rob Britton (Vic)
2. Kalden Mayhem Troy Murray (SA)
3. Cousin Callum Petar Jovanovic (SA)
4. Proven Impala Joe Borg (Vic)
5. Robert Andrew Steven White (NSW)
6. Miss Woods Gino Grgurovic (SA)
7. Maddison Dee Michael Chilcott (Vic)
8. Azz Always Damien Mills (SA)
9. Delightful Bond (1st Res) Michael Delorenzo (SA)
10.McLaren Prince (2nd Res) Tania Foster (SA)
The final looks one of the most exciting contests in recent years with only .11 of a second separating the top five qualifiers. It will be race 8 on the program and is listed to jump at 9.11pm (SA time).
The West End Draught Anniversary Cup Final field in Box Draw order is:
1. Cintiarna Sandra Collins (Vic)
2. Prank Call Paul Barry (SA)
3. Kalden Kurageous Troy Murray (SA)
4. Young Snozz Petar Jovanovic (SA)
5. Just Shine Robyn Mackellar (SA)
6. Tercel Karen Bearpark (SA)
7. Kalden Komoto Troy Murray (SA)
8. Mepunga Geordie Jeff Britton (Vic)
9. Ritza Ben (1st Res) Matthew Payne (SA)
10.Van Persie (2nd Res) Paul Barry (SA)
The box draw has made for a very interesting contest even with Cintiarna drawing the pole and brilliant beginners Prank Call and Kalden Kurageous drawn right alongside, the first 75 metres will be crucial. It will be race 6 on the program and is listed to jump at 8.28pm (SA time).
Itâs inevitably every greyhound trainers dream to have a runner engaged in a Golden Easter Egg final, therefore you could imagine the elation for Cranebrook duo John and Melinda Finn who will lead out two of their charges in this Saturday nights $250,000 to the winner Group One event.
2013 Group One Paws of Thunder hero Sheikha, part owned by journalists Peter Davis and Gerard Guthrie along with Guthrieâs good friend Anthony Lyons; returned to her brilliant best in last weekâs semi final, finishing a gallant second behind in form sprinter Cracker Jack Lil in a flying 29.72.
After somewhat of a lull in form, co-trainer Minnie Finn explained the situation; “She hit her head on the boxes in the Temlee final and it spooked her for a bit thatâs why she has been down on form.”
“She went really well last week but tends to get a bit lost in a field and doesnât know whether to go inside or out but she can win it” said Finn.
Despite coming up with an unfavourable box eight in this weekâs final, Finn remains confident that luck will be a crucial element for both her runners.
“I would have preferred the inside but if Sometimes Speedy goes left and gives her some room she can win it. I donât care which one of my dogs wins as long as one of them does” stated Finn who despite solely owning Winsome Charlee displayed true class in asserting that she will be cheering just as hard for both her chasers.
The beautifully bred daughter of Collision and Iâm Exceptional took the recent Paws of Thunder series by storm. Labeled as an outsider from the start, Sheikha snuck under the radar before blowing her rivals away from box two in the $100,000 final, clocking a fast 29.84 and sending the Finn camp into scenes of jubilation behind the boxes.
“People said I nearly hit the roof when she won that race and her owners (Davis, Guthrie and Lyons) were just as excited, it was great to see. Itâs what youâre in the sport for to celebrate the big occasions. I think if I win this week I will go through the roof!” a chuckling Finn exclaimed.
Coming up with box five this week, Winsome Charlee has certainly been a surprise packet throughout the series after a solid third in her heat, followed by a stunning come from behind victory in last weeks semi final clocking a sizzling 29.77. Exiting slowly from box one the daughter of Whereâs Pedro and Ramblinâ Ruby navigated her way through to the field to score by half a length over Western Australia chaser Hot Irish.
No one was more elated than Finn who could be seen behind the boxes, overwhelmed with excitement. “We just put her in the series to see if she could get some luck and get through. She doesnât have much early pace but only needs a little bit of room to wind up… she does have a decent motor.”
“The box is a worry but if a mix up can happen and she gets through it could be her night”.
Even with the obvious threat of marvel trainer Jason Mackayâs two superstars; Punch One Out (New Wentworth Park track record holder) and Sometimes Speedy, Finn assures that the all important box draw will play its part in Saturday nights unfolding of events;
“I personally believe the one (Cracker Jack Lil) is the big danger. Box draws are so important in these types of races so Iâm expecting her to lead and hopefully we get some luck and can chase her down. I would just like to see a New South Wales trainer win so the trophy stays here”.
John and Melinda Finn are two of the most well known and respected trainers in the history of Australian greyhound racing with consistent winners across numerous tracks on a weekly basis. Having two greyhounds make NSW’s most prestigious group 1 final is a fitting reward that reflects the knowledge, skill and effort that no doubt goes into the preparation of their greyhounds.
All eyes will be on Saturday nightâs Golden Easter Egg final with intent, to see if the highly successful Finn combination can snare their second Group One victory already for 2013.
The action kicks off this Saturday night with the heats of the Group 1 Golden Easter Egg, with ten heats that are sure to throw up some surprises. We have a full review of each dog for you to hopefully help you back a winner and overall pick the victor of the $250,000 to the winner Group 1.
Don’t forget you can take advantage of $1,400 in free bets at Luxbet, Centrebet, Sportsbet, Iasbet and Sportingbet by following any of our links and getting exclusive free bet offers as an Australian Racing Greyhound reader.
2013 Golden Easter Egg Heat 1 7.28 pm
Box 1 – Corridor A young Victorian dog who posses big motor. He has come up with the rails draw here, but will need as much luck as possible. A last start Meadows winner, he worked really hard and came from a long way back to beat the talented Whispering Wind. Young inexperienced type, with a big motor, and it will take a massive performance to win the Egg. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $41
Box 2 – Veyron Bale Another Victorian with the ability to be very competitive throughout the series. He has posted a very fast 29.65 here and has the advantage of having started here 4 times, a huge plus. One of the bigger chances in this series. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $51
Box 3 – Borris Fields Yes yet another Victorian, one of the fastest dogs to contest the series with a blistering 29.59 run at the Meadows. He lacks early speed and this may be his undoing. Very talented pup and a big chance with luck in running. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $18
Box 4 – Amadeus Strikes Our first local hope with plenty of track experience. A fast dog but lacks the class of some of these. Ordinary beginner that will need luck to win this. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $401
Box 5 – Dinkum Local dog who posses the speed to be competitive here, but looses all chance at box rise. Needs to jump to get through this tough heat. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $401
Box 6 – Heidi Go Seek Super smart young Victorian who looks a to have some serious speed. Has recently posted a 29.73 at the Meadows but has been set a huge task here. May find the going tough from out wide here. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $51
Box 7 – Serisier Street Has a super PB but faces a massive class rise and it looks like the step up may be far too much. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $501
Box 8 – Renegade Chief Super Star dog who rarely runs a bad race. He has drawn nicely here in box 8. He should win his heat and looks a huge chance to take home the egg. Will start one of the favourites in this series. Big Watch. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $21
Our Tip Heat 1 looks to be one of the easier heats to find a winner in. Renegade Chief the top selection here.
2013 Golden Easter Egg Heat 2 7.50 pm
Box 1 – Cadence Fast local bitch, with plenty of experience. However it will take a huge performance and plenty of luck to add $250,000 to her prize money tally. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $251
Box 2 – Nitro Cee Very talented Victorian, who has drawn really well here. Has loads of early toe and looks set to be a huge threat. The tight Wentworth Park circuit will suit her perfectly and she looms as a serious contender. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $51
Box 3 – Imry Bale The son of Go Wild Teddy is well traveled and a very experienced campaigner. Has run some fast times and is a 4 time veteran here at the track. Has the ability to surprise and must be kept safe. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $31
Box 4 – Fiery Very fast Victorian, that may struggle here, having to come from behind. Generally begins very steady and takes a little while to hit his straps. Needs plenty of luck to win this one. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $61
Box 5 – Hoover Boy Quick dog that has threatened many times before. Requires luck and needs to get it in each race to win the Egg. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $151
Box 6 – Princess Black Young local who could not of done anything more to impress. Won a FFA last start and only needs to handle the class rise to assert herself in this. 29.79 winner here and may be the value runner for the series. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $41
Box 7 – Pop’s Max Very fast dog who certainly has the motor. But box 7 makes it tough and he may need plenty of luck. A nice chance to win the GEE if he can make it through this and draw and get lucky with inside boxes. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $61
Box 8 – True Blue Ethics A very handy dog who loves to win. But may find it tough against this opposition. He should go well from the 8 but he looks tested against these. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $201
Our Tip Heat 2 looks a little harder than the first. Nitro Cee has plenty of early toe and may give them something to chase in this.
2013 Golden Easter Egg Heat 3 8.08 pm
Box 1 – Oomoo Victorian who has experience here at Wenty. Box 1 is a huge advantage and he could easily win this with the right run. Outside chance here for the series. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $51
Box 2 – Gotta Be Fancy Quality bitch, and goes well here. Has good early toe with a fast 29.85 and she may go close in this heat. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $101
Box 3 – Old Fella Nice dog who has the ability to feature in this. May need a slice of luck but don’t cross him out. Has run some nice races and times, and if you like him back him. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $51
Box 4 – Grigorieva Bale Super dog who always races well. Has had plenty of goes here and he has the speed to win this. He has a fast 29.86 here and looms as one of the better chances in the series. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $51
Box 5 – Sheikha Group 1 Paws of Thunder Winner. You can never write off a Group 1 winner, but she has gone right off the boil since winning the big one. Must be kept safe but I’m prepared to risk her from box 5. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $101
Box 6- Mythical Eagle Old dog who has never gone better than his recent runs. He has never won from box 6 and may again be winless from this box. Going to well to leave completely out. Needs to repeat his best 29.75 run to win this series. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $71
Box – 7 Joshua Quality dog with a big motor and if he can begin like he did last start he will most certainly be a danger in this. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $81
Box 8- My Sweet Love Flying machine early who loves to race around here. But she may need to find a few lengths to challenge the big guns if she can make the final. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $201
Our Tip Heat 3 and Oomoo, has drawn nicely. Boxes win races and he may push hard up inside early and prove to be too good here. Hard Race.
2013 Golden Easter Egg Heat 4 8.28 pm
Box 1 – Magic Billions He certainly deserves his chance in this and is lucky enough too have come up with box 1.But he may need more than good boxes to win the big one. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $201
Box 2 – Peter Rocket Recent Horsham cup winner who throughly deserved the the big one. Im a fan of this dog and he looks a good solid chance to win the GEE. Fast determined dog, with great track sense. Great chance. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $31
Box 3 – Dozen Points Has posted the time it takes to win the big one. But looks tested against this class. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $201
Box 4 – Cintiarna Recent Temlee winner with a huge motor. Is as tough as they come and when they tighten up early, she wont be one who eases. Will push through a brick wall and has the quality and determination to win this. If she gets through the heat watch out!! Golden Easter Egg Betting: $18
Box 5 – Allen Dion Fast FFA dog who goes well against fair opposition. May find these a bit challenging. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $36
Box 6 – Noble Bale Victorian who goes ok. Has his work cut out here and best to watch this bloke. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $301
Box 7 – Spitfire Stu Handy dog in the same category as Noble Bale. Will do it tough against these. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $301
Box 8 – Glen Gallon SuperStar Queenslander who just keeps on giving. Box 8 makes it tough for this bloke but don’t underestimate him. Champions find a way too win and he is no exception. If he makes it through the heat he will give a huge sight. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $14
Our Tip Heat 4 tough race with plenty of chances Glen Gallon, Peter Rocket, Cintiarna, i reckon the winner will come from one of these 3.
2013 Golden Easter Egg Heat 5 8.28 pm
Box 1 – Bubba’s Dream Very, very fast bitch that is defying her age. Has a tendency to be moody, but if she switches on – watch out – the lure may not be able to go fast enough. Knockout chance and may be worth having something on as the overall winner. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $18
Box 2 – Jetta’s Girl The Queenslander little Jetta’s Girl looks to have her work cut out in this. However Tony Brett, compared her to Hall of Famer Bogie Leigh in racing prowess. Gets her chance, but looks a rough show. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $101
Box 3 – Spud Regis Group 1 Australian Cup winner who is flying at present. Superstar chaser who will shake the life out of this, but don’t assume he’s just across the line here. He has to do everything right. But looms as one of the favourites in this. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $9
Box 4 – Magic Fancy Super fast local but needs everything go his way. That wont happen here so back at own risk. Really rough chance to win the final. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $51
Box 5 – Kobi Jay Fast dog who excels here at Wenty, but has to do it tough here tonight. Maybe not. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $301
Box 6 – Paua Of Darkness This looks well above him. $1000-1 for the final. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $301
Box 7 – Rob Pines Grand old dog who just keeps going. Never stops trying and not without a chance in this heat but winning the final looks beyond him. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $201
Box 8 – Gradence Slow early and virtually no hope of winning the final. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $501
Our Tip Heat 5 looks a two dog race. Bubba’s Dream and Spud Regis should fight this one out.
2013 Golden Easter Egg Heat 6 9.10 pm
Box 1 – Magnum Blast Tough fast dog who looks a rough chance to win the final. Handles the inside but will rely on a little luck in this. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $41
Box 2 – Streetbike Tommy Nice dog who is generally competitive in his races but needs to find his very best to challenge here. Really rough hope of winning $250,000. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $151
Box 3 – Minza Red One Looks tested in this, but has the home town advantage. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $401
Box 4 – Mr. Clydesdale The fastest winner around here at Wenty in a blistering 29.56. Can run the time, but his best days look to have passed. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $31
Box 5 – Marvicki Nice dog but not tonight. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $501
Box 6 – Hot Irish Superstar W.A chaser who is low flying at the moment. Gutsy strong effort in the Australian Cup, its going to be hard from box 6, but watch out. She wont give up and may be a nice selection to win the big one. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $21
Box 7 – Sign Of Snow Has drawn well but thats it. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $301
Box 8 – Jagger Swagger Dual Derby winner flying at present. Boxed well and will go super in this. Big chance and likely favourite for this heat. Leading contender in the final. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $8
Our Tip Heat 6 see’s the clash of the heavy weights Jagger Swagger and Hot Irish. The winner should come from one of these two.
2013 Golden Easter Egg Heat 7 9.27 pm
Box 1 – Free Will He gets his chance to advance through here. But only a each way chance of wining this. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $201
Box 2 – Two Tree Hill This bloke is going fantastic. Tardy early but has the ability, he may need a little luck but watch out of he gets it. Should get through his heat and poses as a danger. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $71
Box 3 – Omar Gee Nice dog who has been going really well. Will have to be at his best. But not without a genuine hope. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $41
Box 4 – Bye Bye Bucks Top liner who should be getting back to somewhere near his best. Needs a littel luck like most, but he will loom large in this series. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $61
Box 5 – Fully Advanced Very fast dog with a PB of 29.72, but he has only managed it once in 3 tries. Could be a smokey. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $61
Box 6 – Punch One Out I have had a huge opinion of this bitch from day 1. She has drawn really well here and is going to be one of the big chances in this years egg. She has enormous pace and will shake the life out of this. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $21
Box 7 – Garrick Bale Fast dog with a good record here but just a tad off his best. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $101
Box 8 – Gold Town Both he and his brother face drawn wide and are not suited by the wide boxes. Very fast animals but will need plenty of luck. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $101
Our Tip Heat 7 and I’m going with Punch One Out. Super bitch who should win her heat with a bang. I really like her and she’s worth backing pre post.
2013 Golden Easter Egg Heat 8 9.50 pm
Box 1 – El Grover Drawn well but this looks a bit beyond him. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $501
Box 2 – Cracker Jack Lil Super quick little bitch with blistering early toe. Should fire out and will take a power of beating. The track will suit perfectly, massive chance if she continues to fire out of the boxes. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $36
Box 3 – Pippa Shiraz Another fast bitch who can certainly win this. Needs a little luck like most but is a determined little thing. Has posted a fast 29.53 at Sandown. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $151
Box 4 – Xylia Allen One on my favourites, she has been from day 1. May have the biggest motor in this series but Bate’s decision to try to win the Super Stayers came as a huge shock to me. She may have taken ill from those runs, and I’m unsure about her, so soon after the Super stayers. But Graeme Bate will have her right so watch out. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $16
Box 5 – Winsome Charlee Very strong fast bitch. But will rely heavy on luck and not something you want to be doing in big races. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $61
Box 6 – El Brooklyn Superstar little bitch, who fires out nearly every time. Will match motors early with Cracker Jack Lil early. Finds the line better then Cracker and may be too good here. If she continues to jump, she will give this series’s a huge fright. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $12
Box 7 – Barelen Norris Only making up numbers. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $501
Box 8 – Bonita Banana Speedy early but that’s about it. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $301
Our Tip Interesting clash this one. Many winning hopes with loads of early speed. El Brooklyn off and gone.
2013 Golden Easter Egg Heat 9 10.12 pm
Box 1 – Stetson Donna Badly out of form and her days are numbered in my opinion. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $201
Box 2 – Closing Time Good record and not without a wining chance in this heat, but that’s as far as she may go. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $51
Box 3 – Wooden Ball Grand old fella, but not tonight mate. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $501
Box 4 – Dyna Drago Fast dog but not here at Wentworth Park for mine. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $81
Box 5 – Billy the Sid Flying machine who will improve out of sight on last weeks run. Should pick these up and carry them across the line in this. If he keeps improving he will most certainly loom as a huge threat in the final. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $51
Box 6 – Blitz to Excel Nice dog with a fair amount of ability but too hard here tonight. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $501
Box 7 – Duetronium Nice bitch with a good outside box record but this is though. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $51
Box 8 – Mepunga Geordie Very talented animal but box 8 makes it very hard. Will need plenty of luck. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $101
Our Tip Heat 9 and Billy the Sid is rearing to go in this. He looks mighty hard to beat.
2013 Golden Easter Egg Heat 10 10.35pm
Box 1 – Dyna Filbert Box draw helps but will need all the luck he can get. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $41
Box 2 – Mr. Beau Very fast dog that refuses to jump. If he happens to spring out watch out! Golden Easter Egg Betting: $151
Box 3 –
Carlos Pedro – SCRATCHED Very fine young dog but is being asked too much of here. Maybe if they jam?
Box 4 – Sometimes Speedy Always Speedy Lately and she probably starts as the series favourite. Jason Mackay has her airbourne at the moment and she should easily race away with this. 29.61 last start expect her to go quicker tonight. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $7
Box 5 – Sucker Punch Slow early and need plenty of luck. Will be chasing in vain on this. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $401
Box 6 – Easton Bale Find this a bit hard here. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $151
Box 7 – General Destini Such a good honest dog, who tries his heart out each start and deserves a big one and could pinch the Egg with luck. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $31
Box 8 – Whispering Wind Fast early and will go well here. Should make the next round and could be a rough chance. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $151
1st Reserve – Franklin Hero (Box 3) Gets the run after the scratching of Carlos Pedro, probably starting from box 3. Doesn’t have the pace of those boxed outside, nor the finish of The General. No. Golden Easter Egg Betting: $71
Our Tip Winner should come from Sometimes Speedy, Genera Destini or Whispering Wind. Open race unless Sometimes Speedy steals a break from box 5 then only The General could run her down.
Well there you have it, a round up of all the dogs competing. I hope we have narrowed it down a little bit for you, but no doubt there will be a surprise here of two pop up. They are all very fast dogs and all deserved there spots.
At the end of the 3 week series, we will be left with just one lucky winner. Who will collect the mammoth cheque of $250,000 – not bad for the “Poor Mans Horse”!
Best of luck, pre-post betting should be up in the next couple of days. With all our sponsors Sportingbet, Iasbet, Sportsbet, Centrebet and Luxbet offering a pre post market. We’ve quoted you the Sportsbet markets.