The Shepparton Cup series kicks off tonight with six sensational fields competing for a spot in the Group 2 final. This yearâs series sees some serious speedsters contesting the $43,750 event including a mix of proven group performers and emerging young talent.
Shepparton Cup Heat One
Powerhouse sprinter Spud Regis will line up tonight for his second start back from retirement and looks a great chance from box two. The son of Bombastic Shiraz lost no admirers last week when running a strong second behind the electric Ronan Izmir and whilst this is still a very classy race, it is not as difficult as that assignment. The four time group winner is unbeaten from three attempts from box two and has enough early pace to be prominent in the run to the first turn. If he is up near the lead he will be very hard to hold out.
The biggest threat in the event is undoubtedly the sensational Hoover Jack who has drawn ideally in box one. The Peter Hunt trained sprinter has a great record from the cherry and has a perfect one from one over the track and distance where he has recorded a handy 25.41 seconds.
Dark Warrior is racing in fantastic form at present but has been afforded no favours in box six. However, he is generally a great beginner and is capable of finding the front and stealing the win.
Willy Wag Tail is an exciting Tasmanian prospect having his first at Shepparton tonight. The son of Cosmic Rumble faces a sharp rise in class and this race will certainly give an indication of what he is capable of.
Shepparton Cup Heat Two
The Group 1 Maturity winner, Marcus Joe, is the class runner in the second heat, despite being drawn out wide in box seven. The son of Velocette won impressively at Geelong two starts back before running a luckless fourth at his latest assignment. This will be his first race at Shepparton but he has run well first up at different tracks in the past.
Zoenahâs Entity is tardy early but is great at navigating her way into a good position and from box three she looks well suited. The Mogambo bitch is looking to make it three wins in a row after notching up two nice victories at Sandown and The Meadows at her most recent starts.
Cee Ronaldo is another looking to make it three wins in a row and although drawn poorly in box four, he does have a moderate beginner on his inside and a vacant box on his outside which should assist. The son of El Galo has good early toe and looks a genuine threat with a handy 25.65 seconds personal best at Shepparton.
The Wheeler-owned Allen Dion looks the other main chance from the two. Whilst he has not won since mid-June, he has had to contend with some difficult box draws and should appreciate the move in towards the rail.
Shepparton Cup Heat Three
The Robert Britton trained Clone Your Own looks to be the one to beat in the third qualifier. The black chaser, formerly from New Zealand, is in great form at the moment having won three of his last five starts including a slick 25.17 seconds over the track and distance last start. The Group 2 Harrison-Dawson winner is not blessed with much early speed but he should be suited by the big one turn track which will give him plenty of room to move and stretch out.
Blaster has been racing extremely well against some quality chasers recently and will relish the draw closer to the rails tonight. The Premier Fantasy dog is a reliable beginner with two wins from four starts over the trip and a personal best of 25.24 seconds.
State Sensation loves the Shepparton circuit as a winner of seven from 15 however he does appear to be more suited towards the rails. Nonetheless, if he can begin well and find a good position early, he is capable of running a handy race.
Michael Carter is well represented with Jimmy Lane in box four. The son of Dyna Lachlan is a safe beginner with 17 career victories to his name so must be respected.
Shepparton Cup Heat Four
The classy Ronan Izmir was sensational at his track and distance debut last week, leading all the way from box two in a scintillating 24.98 seconds. The son of Elite state moves out to box seven for his heat tonight, the only box he is yet to salute from in his 40 start career. However, with moderate beginners on his inside, he should be able to carve across the field and bring up win number 21 for trainer Jason Thompson.
Ronan Izmir will no doubt be a short priced favourite in the event and rightly so. The best of the rest look to be Blue Giant (Box 1), Fully Advanced (Box 2), and Shadow Lane (Box 3).
Shepparton Cup Heat Five
Desalle Bale has shown tremendous early speed in her recent starts and if she begins like she has been, she will be very hard to beat despite being drawn in the five. The Graeme Bate trained bitch has won 27 races throughout her 66 start career, including a slick 25.25 seconds at Shepparton in December last year.
Slater Hill is a newcomer to Robert Brittonâs Lara kennels after making the transition from NSW recently. At his first start for his new trainer, the red brindle dog ran a handy second at Sandown behind Swans Twelve but will be looking to go one better tonight from box two. Slater Hill is a son of the great One Tree Hill and will just need a bit of luck to feature in the finish after inheriting plenty of his famous mumâs talent.
Walk Hard is drawn on the inside of Desalle Bale which is not ideal but he is unbeaten over the track and distance. The Bit Chili speedster has won three from three at Shepparton with a fast best time of 25.23 seconds whilst he has won 10 overall with a further 10 minor placings from 25 career starts.
Cracker Jack Lil is drawn in box six and is capable of taking out the heat on her night however, she does mix her form and is hard to catch.
Shepparton Cup Heat Six
Paw Licking should prove hard to beat in the final heat drawn out wide in the eight. The son of Elite State is a brilliant beginner and he drops back to a more favourable distance after leading and tiring throughout most of the Nationals series over 525 metres at The Meadows. The white and black dog has won 20 from 32 including the group two Traralgon Cup earlier this year and although this is his first start at the track he has the class to overcome that obstacle.
Jason Thompson has an exciting young prospect on his hands with Whata Good Size facing his acid test tonight against some speedy competitors. As a good beginner he should be able to find a spot on the rails early from box two and with a flawless one from one at the track he looks the testing material for his more experienced counterparts.
Andrea Dailly is not without a chance in the heat, lining up with Garrick Bale from the coveted rails alley. The son of Go Wild Teddy is out of form at present but is more than capable of being a threat in the race if he is on his best behaviour.
The first heat of the Group 2 Shepparton Cup is race three tonight and will jump at 7:50pm (Vic time)
October 2009 was a fantastic month for the breeding industry, with three dynamic staying divas all whelped within a 21 day time frame. The most notable of the trio was the mighty Miata, Australiaâs first greyhound to claim consecutive AGRA Greyhound of the Year titles. The second was her most rivalled competitor, Irma Bale, the first greyhound to claim back to back group one Sandown Cups since the legendary Bold Trease, who claimed the nationâs most prestigious staying event over four years from 1986-1989.
The third staying sensation born in October 2009 is the dual group winner, Proven Impala, who has never received the accolades of her superstar counterparts. However, while her famous foes have retired, the bonny bitch is still racing extremely well and managed to make it one step closer to another taste of group glory last night, when saluting in her heat of the group 3 Chairmans Cup at Wentworth Park.
Trained at Maryborough (Victoria) by Joe Borg, Proven Impala bounced straight to the front at box rise and never looked in danger, stretching out beautifully to score a dominant eight and three quarter length victory in a scintillating 42.03 seconds.
Running a solid second was Maddison Dee for Michael Chilcott, with Mark Swiftâs Smart Valentino completing the trifecta.
It was the first victory at headquarters for the daughter of Velocette and Thanks Blue after an impressive run last week where she missed the start but chased hard to finish three and a half lengths second behind Cawbourne Looney.
Borg suggested that some differences in track functions attributed to her uncharacteristic tardiness last week. Drawn awkwardly in box five, a look at the track conditions certainly helped with her performance last night.
âYou always worry about where they are drawn and what is drawn beside them but youâve still got to be able to get the job done on the nightâ, Borg explained.
âTo her credit, coming here last week was a big bonus. The experience she gained from last week helped, she missed the kick then but she got it right tonight and hopefully she can carry that through to the finalâ.
âShe normally always pings out but the lure run up is possibly a little bit different here, the boxes are a bit lower and the lure sound is different. All these things played into it last weekâ.
Her time was over half a second quicker than heat one (42.55 seconds) however, it was no surprise to Borg to see the group 1 Rookie Rebel and group 2 McKenna Memorial winner go within quarter of a second of Miataâs 41.81 track record. Borg was full of praise for his 29 kilogram speed machine that has been ultra-competitive at the top level for much of her 76 start career.
âShe can probably go a little bit quicker. What amazes me about the dog as a trainer is that she has been racing for two and a half years. She has had a couple of short spells but to be racing at this level for that long shows you what a tremendous greyhound she isâ.
âShe probably doesnât get all the accolades she deserves. She is such a tough greyhound and she races so hard. We are just really thrilled to have a greyhound like herâ.
Proven Impala will move out into box eight for next weekâs decider, on the outside of group 1 National Distance Champion, Smart Valentino. Whilst it is not ideal, it is not an impossible draw to overcome, as Borg describes.
âThere is no pace on her inside. The 6 and 7 (Lucy Wires and Smart Valentino) havenât got too much pace so hopefully sheâll get a clear run to the first turnâ.
âI honestly think the three is the danger, Maddison Dee. Her run behind her (Proven Impala) tonight was a nice little run. She is drawn very well and will benefit from the run here todayâ.
Proven Impala now boasts the dominant record of 30 wins and 19 minor placings from 76 racetrack appearances. Whilst she may turn four next month, the black speedster is still racing in superb style and should be seen on the track for a few more months, before retirement and motherhood beckon.
âI want her swansong to be the Sale Cup which is in December. She is still racing as good as what she was at two years old and she almost broke the track record at Horsham recently so how can you retire her?â
âShe still wants to race. People say that youâre racing the guts out of her and they can say what they want, she wants to race and thatâs the difference. Sheâll tell me when she has had enough, itâs not our decision itâs hers. One day if she doesnât want to get out of bed I will ring the owners and say thatâs itâ.
âIt will come eventually but at the moment the plan is to race until December unless something unforseen happens before thenâ.
While Victoria took out the second heat, it was the locals that triumphed in the first with Julie Fletcherâs Little Grey running her opposition off their feet from box three. Beginning flawlessly, the daughter of Bit Chili made every post a winner as she skipped away to notch up a three length victory in a handy 42.55 seconds. Out of top producer Meredith Grey, Little Grey is putting together a fantastic record, now sitting on 11 wins and nine minor placings from 29 career starts.
Diamond Lucy ran a great race in second for Ron Bell and will progress through to next weekâs final, with Victorian stayer Lucy Wires filling the placings for Rob Britton. The race favourite, Bell Haven, found trouble but was still disappointing when finishing sixth, almost 13 lengths off the winner.
2013 GROUP 3 CHAIRMANS CUP FINAL BOX DRAW
Box One: Little Grey Julie Fletcher
Box Two: My Asuncion Adele Powell
Box Three: Maddison Dee Michael Chilcott
Box Four: Cawbourne Looney Jodie Lord
Box Five: Diamond Lucy Ron Bell
Box Six: Lucy Wires Rob Britton
Box Seven: Smart Valentino Mark Swift
Box Eight: Proven Impala Joe Borg
First Res: Hotwire Graeme Barnett
Second Res: Number Krunch Darren Sultana
The night that enthusiasts nationwide have been waiting for is finally here, with 16 of Australiaâs best sprinters and stayers converging at The Meadows tonight for a crack at the group one AGRA National Sprint and Distance Championships. The $75,000 to the winner races have attracted some serious contenders and are shaping up to be exhilarating affairs.
AGRA NATIONAL DISTANCE CHAMPIONSHIP
Box One: Smart Valentino (NSW)
The NSW raider will be aiming to make it the first triumph for his state since the mighty Blue Lorian saluted at Angle Park in 2010 and looks a live chance after being allocated the prized rails alley. Beginning moderately in his qualifier two weeks ago, the son of Whereâs Pedro and Smart Betsy raced prominently and finished off far too strong for his opposition in a slick 41.96 seconds at Wentworth Park. He should be able to find a nice position from box one and sneak his way into the race however, it must be considered that he is travelling from NSW and the last time he made the long trip to Melbourne, he raced well below his best.
Box Two: Destini Fireball (VIC)
The five time group winner is definitely the class runner of the series but he has not been racing like the champ we know, weakening to finish a distant seventh in last weekâs qualifier. Regardless, if he is anywhere near his best form, he should be able to jump on the bunny from the favourable draw and make it win number 24 at start number 47. The white and black dog loves The Meadows as a winner of seven from ten over the track and distance with a personal best of 42.40 seconds.
Box Three: Wag Tail (QLD)
Wag Tail was a great winner of the Queensland state final, qualifying for the group one feature at just her second start over the â700â. The daughter of Velocette has won seven races from 23 starts and has built up a nice record over the middle distance in her home state. If she can race up near the front of the field, she may have enough strength to hold out the fast finishing backmarkers from the home state.
Box Four: Lashing Jill (TAS)
Lashing Jill is an exciting Tasmanian who defeated Bell Haven in her state final by one and three quarter lengths in 43.01 seconds. Box four is not ideal but with a clean start she may be able to follow the front runners into the race. With just six staying starts to her name, her ability is not yet known and this will certainly be her biggest test to date. In a race that is not overly strong if she does everything right she can run a cheeky race and could land the cash at big odds.
Box Five: Kalden Mayhem (SA)
The grand old campaigner, Kalden Mayhem, will be lining up for start number 118 tonight in a career that has spanned over three years. The son of Big Daddy Cool is as honest as they come, notching up 57 wins throughout his time on the track, with one of those wins being in the SA State Distance final on the 8th of this month. During his career he has scored multiple wins from every box on the track and although it is not ideal, he is capable of handling himself from box five. Trained by Troy Murray, Kalden Mayhem is a greyhound who usually likes to sit just off the speed and can deliver a huge finishing burst when required. With some speedy stayers on his inside, he will need to do everything right when the lids fly open to be placed prominently enough to be able to unleash his power on his opposition.
Box Six: Mimicking (VIC)
The black dog was a shock winner of the Victorian State final and is capable of a repeat result this week however, he will have to contend with a horrible box six draw. Trained by Robert Britton, expect to see the son of Flying Penske at the rear of the field in the early stages. He will need a clear run from the draw but if he gets one he will be storming home and aiming to engulf his competitors in the latter stages.
Box Seven: Set Sail South (VIC)
Ultra consistent stayer who ran a terrific race and was only narrowly beaten by Mimicking in last weekâs state final. The son of Westmead Hawk has won eight races throughout his 25 start career and will be looking to sit midfield during the running. With most of the runners in the event sharing a similar running style he may have enough pace to lead and, from the front, he will take some catching. No matter where he is placed during the event, he will be running home strong and looks one of the likely runners to be figuring in the finish.
Box Eight: Magpie Bob (WA)
The most likely leader in the event is Magpie Bob even though he is boxed out wide in the pink. He has been racing very well in his home state albeit against slightly weaker company and has been bouncing straight to the front and leading all way. The son of Cosmic Rumble is a winner of 19 races and has enough class to be competitive.
First Reserve: Gold Affair Two (VIC)
Put in a solid performance when running third in the Victorian final last week behind Mimicking. Can run a cheeky race up near the lead if she is lucky enough to gain a start.
Second Reserve: Irma Bale (VIC)
Four time group winning bitch who couldnât keep up with the youngsters last week, finishing fourth after leading. Super smart when she is at her best and commands attention should she gain a start.
: Set Sail South, Smart Valentino, Destini Fireball, Lashing Jill
AGRA NATIONAL SPRINT CHAMPIONSHIP
Box One: Xylia Allen (VIC)
Dual group one winner, Xylia Allen, snuck into the group one final courtesy of the wild card spot and has scored another blessing being drawn in the rails alley. After taking out her heat two weeks ago, Xylia Allen returned to The Meadows last week but was outpaced in the final finishing fourth behind Tomac Bale. The 16 race winner is not an overly quick beginner and runs the risk of being cut out of the race in the run to the first turn but, if she can hold her spot in the vital stages, she will be a genuine chance of running them down and recording her third group triumph.
Box Two: Zulu Zeus (NSW)
NSW is well represented with Frank Hurstâs sensational greyhound Zulu Zeus who is drawn well in box two. The son of Whereâs Pedro was an emphatic winner of his state final, blitzing his rivals in a near record 29.32 seconds at Wentworth Park. The striking black dog trialled exceptionally last Saturday at his first look at the track recording a scintillating 29.79 seconds however, his first section was only pedestrian and with a fast beginner on his outside, he will have to improve so that he can hold his spot in the race and maintain a chance in the event.
Box Three: Rumbling Rick (WA)
Rumbling Rick was a surprise winner of his state final but will serve as an excellent representative of Western Australia. Clocking a fast 30.39 seconds around Cannington, the red fawn son of Cosmic Rumble then made the trip to Victoria and trialled in a fast 30.13 seconds last week. His first section of 5.05 seconds will see him as one of the leaders in this event if he can repeat that time again tonight and from there he will just need a bit of luck to sneak away with the event. After the long trip over to Victoria, it would be expected that he would improve after being in the state for over a week now and with a look at the track. If he can find the front, he may be hard to catch.
Box Four: Hopeâs Up (SA)
Hopeâs Up is a talented South Australian who has been afforded no favours from the box draw. The daughter of El Galo trialled last week and only ran 5.21 seconds early and 30.42 seconds overall, so would need to improve from that performance to be considered a huge threat in this talented field. With that being said, she is one of her states best sprinters at present as a winner of 38 from 70 so she must be respected even though she appears to have everything going against her in the final.
Box Five: Sheâs All Class (TAS)
The Tassie bitch, Sheâs All Class, is exactly what her name suggests as a winner of her past 11 starts back home on the Apple Isle. Trained by David Crosswell, the red fawn bitch by Dyna Lachlan out of Itâs A She has a stunning overall record of 19 wins and 2 minors from 25 starts but, she did struggle on the clock in her trial last week where she only managed a moderate 30.53 seconds over the track and distance. Her first section of 5.17 seconds was competitive with some of her opposition however, she is drawn in box five and on the inside of Paw Licking who is an electrifying beginner. Paw Licking is likely to cut her out of the event unless she begins before him which is unlikely.
Box Six: Paw Licking (VIC)
Kel Greenoughâs Paw Licking is likely to be challenging for the lead, as he does in the vast majority of his races. The son of Elite State did so last week but once again struggled to run out the distance, tiring to finish one and one quarter lengths behind Tomac Bale in the state final. Despite being drawn in box six, he has enough speed to cross the rest of the runners, with his main rival in the early stages looking to be Rumbling Rick. As a winner of 20 races he is a genuine dog but struggles when they reach the home run.
Box Seven: Tomac Bale (VIC)
Tomac Bale can never draw a box but, he does have Paw Licking on his inside which will improve his chances as he is likely to get a nice clear run across the field with the early pacesetter. From there, it may be a repeat of the state final as the son of Dyna Lachlan and Princess Bale attempts to run down his fellow Victorian to steal the cash. Trained by Mark Delbridge, the 34 kilogram chaser is capable of scorching times as he showed two runs back posting a blistering 29.67 seconds at The Meadows. A repeat performance of that run will see him going close.
Box Eight: Innisplain Jet (QLD)
Innisplain Jet caused an upset when defeating Glen Gallon in the Queensland qualifier in 30.15 seconds. The son of Whereâs Pedro is a smart greyhound but will have to do everything to perfection to figure in the race from an outside draw. Darren Russell is sure to have him fit and ready to run a good race and as a winner of 12 from 36 he should still be considered despite facing a tough test tonight.
First Reserve: Imry Bale (VIC)
Winner of 24 races who ran down kennelmate Xylia Allen to sneak into the placings last week. If he gains a start, particularly from an inside draw, he is a live chance for Graeme Bate.
Second Reserve: Dyna Oats (VIC)
Took out a heat for the state decider in 30.14 seconds but that just about wraps him up. He has very little pace and would probably struggle against a few of these if he gained a start.
: Tomac Bale, Zulu Zeus, Rumbling Rick, Xylia Allen.
The AGRA National Distance Championship will jump at 8:58pm (Vic time) whilst the AGRA National Sprint Championship will jump at 10:05pm (Vic time).
74 year old Barry Moloney experienced the biggest thrill of his 42 year involvement within the greyhound racing industry on Saturday night when his brindle powerhouse, Marcus Joe, stormed home to record victory in the group one Hudson Pacific Maturity Classic at The Meadows.
The son of Velocette went into the race as one of the outsiders ($15) after qualifying in second position in both his heat and semi-final. Whilst he never exuded confidence before the race Moloney acknowledged that Marcus Joe had been unlucky throughout the series.
âI wasnât overly confidentâ, Moloney said, âBut I knew he had a chance like the others in the raceâ.
âHe was a bit unlucky in his heat, his first split was 5.01 which was the best of the night and he was in a pretty good place on the first turn but he had box seven and got knocked back to third around the corner before he ran his way into second placeâ.
âHe had an inside box in his semi but he missed it by what seemed like 2 Â˝ lengths and had to play catch up to finish 1 Â˝ lengths second to Schroder Bale. He went past some good dogs so I thought it was a darn good run. He also got belted in the pen that night and we had to do some therapy with him to get him right for the final but come Thursday he was a lot better in himselfâ.
Lining up from box three for the $100,000 to the winner decider, nobody expected Marcus Joe to spear the lids quite like he did when recording a scintillating first split of 4.96 seconds in the run to the turn.
Moloney said he knew going into the final what his 32 kilogram youngster had to do to be in with a chance but was not expecting him to fire from the boxes as explosively as he did.
âI didnât expect it. He did run 5.01 in his heat but he was nearly a length quicker on Saturday nightâ.
âI knew that he would have to do that early or he would be swallowed up by the rest of the field but the doubt was whether he could do it- and he did. It was fantastic!â.
Once he was out in front of the field and well clear from his opposition Marcus Joe never looked in danger. On the home turn the fast finishing Dyna Nalin was closing quickly after being shuffled back early in the race however by that point Moloney and Marcus Joe were home, stretching out to score by one and one quarter lengths in an exhilarating 29.66 seconds.
âWhen he hit the lead I thought âthis is where we will find out what he is made ofâ.
âI knew my bloke was strong and although Dyna Nalin is a smart dog I was still confident he would find the line when they went past us at the 525 metre boxesâ.
âThe time was amazing although a few weeks before he had run 29.50 at Sandownâ.
âIt showed that when things go his way he can certainly take advantage of themâ.
The race was especially sentimental for Moloney and his wife Barbara, not only as their first group one win but after breeding the litter themselves.
âWe raced the dam (Mojo Glory) and she was quite a smart bitch. She came down from Newcastle and we raced her for Ray Watson and purchased her after she retired for breeding. She won on both city tracks down here and used to contest 600 metre races but she was also very good over the short courseâ.
Marcus Joe was one of ten from Mojo Gloryâs second litter, with the first litter to Collision whelped in 2009. Moloney advertised the pups as youngsters but received little response, with Marcus Joe never in the running for a new home after being kept by Moloney due to an injury sustained as a pup.
âShe whelped ten and that was too many for me as we had some from the first litter that were already racing so we put them up for saleâ, Moloney explained.
âI advertised them when they were young, just ear-branded, for $2000 and didnât get one phone callâ.
âHe (Marcus Joe) cracked a patella at 10-12 weeks of age and was limping and carried that leg for a long time and I had to separate him. When people came to look at them I would put him away because I didnât want to sell anything only ordinary but he has come along well and you wouldnât know it nowâ.
âMost of them I ended up selling to friends and every dog from the litter has won racesâ.
One in particular, Mr Jachary, is owned and trained by young enthusiast Phil Thomson.
âI gave him to Phil but he didnât have a license at that stage so I trained him until it went through. Phil is as keen as mustard and a real nice bloke with a young family. He trains him now and he came out at Warrnambool last week and won in pretty reasonable timeâ.
With the excitement finally sinking in from the big night, Moloney has now had time to reflect on the win and what it means to him to triumph within the industry he loves so dearly.
âWe have never had a crack at this level before. It is a lot of prizemoney but you put a lot of time, effort and expenses into it so it is good to be rewardedâ.
âIt is a great sport but the big races donât get shared around too often these days- the big trainers normally get most of them so it just goes to prove that the hobby trainers can get their go tooâ.
âWe are thrilledâ.
Whilst it is enjoyable to watch Australiaâs big trainers score with the boom youngsters that we enviably wish were sitting in our kennels, it is equally if not more inspiring to see the small trainers that have poured their heart and soul into their chasers experience their moment in the spotlight. This was precisely the case for Barry Moloney who may have waited over four decades for his first group race win but, with Marcus Joe, may experience the thrill again in months to come.
Joe Borgâs Proven Impala reminded everyone why she is a star of the sport on Thursday night, demonstrating a tenacious chasing performance to take out the group two McKenna Memorial at Sandown Park. Proven Impala was the deserved favourite ($3.30) going into the event after her slashing victory when qualifying for the $40,000 to the winner feature, running the fastest of the six heats- a scintillating 34.13 seconds the week prior. Although she had the time on her opposition, it was no easy task for the 29 kilogram speedster, drawing poorly in box five against one of the strongest McKenna fields all lining up for a crack at the prize.
Going into the event, Borg knew what his powerful bitch was capable of, but also realised she would have to be on her best behaviour at box rise to be in with a chance.
âIt was an awkward box so I knew she would have to nail the start and she got out beautifully; better than in her heat. She is normally a pretty good beginner but prior to last night she had been missing the start slightly at her past few starts so I was glad to see her begin so wellâ, Borg said.
âI think she understands everything I say to her, she is so human-like. I had a pet talk with her and told her she had to nail the start on Thursday and she just looked at me as if she knew what I was sayingâ.
Running into the first turn, Proven Impala was quickly joined by Graeme Bateâs champion Irma Bale. The four time group winner did everything right from box eight, beginning brilliantly and carving across the field to take up the lead on the outside of Proven Impala.
Into the straight for the first time, it became clear it was going to be an exhilarating race between Australiaâs best two staying bitches, with Irma Bale showing tremendous mid race speed to kick clear down the back.
For enthusiasts it was the duel we had been hoping for.
âI saw Irma Bale race up on her outside and I knew she would probably have to use a bit more fuel to get to the lead from out wideâ, Borg said.
âI prefer her (Proven Impala) on the rails which was where she was coming into the first turn and Irma Bale had to accelerate to get in frontâ.
âI started getting confident coming up to the home turn when she pushed through; I thought we would have a chance of picking her upâ.
Perched close behind on the rails Proven Impala had the final say, bursting through to score narrowly in the last stride in 34.36 seconds. Surf Mail also ran a great race when two and three quarter lengths third.
âShe went super, I am overjoyedâ, Borg beamed, âIt was such a thrilling race to have two champion bitches, Irma Bale and Proven Impala battle it out and they really went to war with each otherâ.
âThey have raced each other on numerous occasions. Irma Bale has beaten us a few times and we have beaten her a few times. Fortunately we got the upper hand in the last strideâŚItâs a fantastic feelingâ.
âI am absolutely joyous, wrapped and I feel humbled that the owners have let me train herâ.
The daughter of Velocette and Thanks Blue has been an exceptional racer winning 27 of her 70 starts with a further eighteen placings. The McKenna Memorial was the second group feature claimed by the black bitch who also took out the group one Rookie Rebel at The Meadows earlier this year. Proven Impala has been racing competitively over the sprint and middle distances for quite some time now and has qualified for a fantastic five group features in 2013 alone.
Despite now claiming two group race finals, Proven Impala has lived in the shadow of Irma Bale and the mighty Miata for much of her career. Remarkably, the three staying divas were all whelped in the same month, October 2009.
Being such a strong performer on the race track, it is surprising that Proven Impala has not been more prominent in group race finals, with the box draw for many of them relegating her to an unfavourable wide alley.
âShe enjoys the rails and thatâs where she likes to do her racingâ, Borg said.
âIf she had drawn closer to the rails in some of her other group races she might have gone closer but thatâs the luck of the drawâ.
With a busy calendar ahead for stayers over the next few months, Proven Impala will continue on in search of group race glory until the end of the year, when motherhood will likely be on the cards.
âShe has pulled up really well and she will be going towards the AWM Distance Championship at The Meadows on Saturday week before the Nationalsâ.
âShe wonât be retired yet, she is still racing keenly, she has lost nothing ability wise or time wise and she still enjoys her work. At home she works herself in the runs and she is a real professional on and off the trackâ.
Borg is confident of good performances from Proven Impala in the upcoming seriesâ she attempts, with both finals to be held at her favourite track.
âThe finals are at the Meadows and I think that is where she does her best racingâ.
âI also think that in two weeks she will be a better stayer; I have been deliberately mixing distances to help her stay and backing off her workload knowing what is aheadâ.
With an exciting few weeks coming up on the Australian group racing calendar, all eyes will be on Proven Impala to see how she bounces back from her group two triumph.
In the meantime the champ will be relaxing at home in preparation for her next big test, with Borg adding that she thoroughly enjoyed her cheeseburger to celebrate on the way home from her Sandown success.
The middle distance stars will shine tonight with the running of the group two McKenna Memorial at Sandown Park. The 595 metre event offers $40,000 to the winning greyhound and itâs connections and is shaping up to be an exhilarating race between some versatile sprinters stepping up in distance and some speedy stayers stepping down in distance.
BOX ONE: NEW TIBUR
Robert Brittonâs New Tibur was an upset winner in his heat last week when scoring a narrow victory over Cintiarna in a handy 34.43 seconds. The brindle dog managed to overcome a poor draw in box six to record his sixth career win from 27 starts. The son of Surf Lorian is in great form at present as a winner of his last four starts in succession highlighted by a promising 34.26 seconds over the track and distance two starts ago.
Whilst he does not have outstanding overall form, he must be respected on his recent efforts, with the rails draw a definite advantage.
BOX TWO: MAJOR LEAGUE
Major League will be aiming to secure victory from box two after finishing second behind Boris Fields in last Thursdayâs heats. The Brooke Ennis trained stayer began averagely from box one but managed to secure a rails run and stormed home to qualify two lengths behind the winner. The son of Velocette has been racing consistently over the staying trip of late scoring a double at The Meadows before stepping back in distance for the McKenna series.
Major League has been a very good money spinner putting together eight wins and fourteen minors from 25 starts. Box two should see him get every chance in the race but he will have to do everything right at the start because the distance is much shorter than what he is used to.
BOX THREE: SURF MAIL
Surf Mail was a strong winner last start over Western Australian chaser Dyna Nalin in 34.49 seconds. The light fawn dog by Surf Lorian out of Hybrid Theory did an excellent job to catch the flying speedster out in front and in turn keep his unbeaten record over the track and distance intact.
Trained at Devon Meadows by Darren McDonald, Surf Mail has won nineteen races and been placed on twelve occasions from 41 starts including a flawless three from three at Sandown over the 595 metres. He has also run a quick personal best of 34.21 seconds and with a slow beginner on his inside should get a nice run into the event.
BOX FOUR: ZELEMAR FEVER
Zelemar Fever is currently in fantastic form with the McKenna Memorial her second appearance in a group event in just twelve days. At the end of last month, the 27 kilogram bitch was the fastest qualifier going into the group two W.A Oaks at Cannington where she ran a luckless fifth behind Quiz Bale. Returning to her home state, the daughter of Bombastic Shiraz bounced back in fine fashion claiming her heat in 34.44 seconds.
Zelemar Fever is another with strong credentials over the trip with three wins from three starts however she does have to contend with box four, which is never an easy assignment. Nonetheless she began much better last start than what she normally does and if she can repeat that again this week she should find herself in a prominent position early and can run a cheeky race.
BOX FIVE: PROVEN IMPALA
Proven Impala will start the deserved favourite despite the horror draw in box five. The top class bitch went straight to the front in her heat last week, and if she finds the front again tonight she wonât get caught. The black bitch by Velocette recorded the fastest qualifier in a scintillating 34.13 seconds last week from box five and is capable of lowering that personal best tonight if she can land on the bunny.
A winner of twenty six races, Proven Impala is a star over the middle distance claiming the group one Rookie Rebel earlier this year and with a run under her belt after stepping back down from the â700â, she should be primed to fire and is certainly the one to catch.
BOX SIX: CINTIARNA
The Sandra Collins trained Cintiarna is much better than her two recent seconds over the track and distance suggest. The group one winning sprinter won at her first attempt over the 595 metre trip in a quick 34.20 seconds, but has been beaten at her two most recent efforts, finishing a close second on both occasions in much slower times.
Beginning well from box four in her heat, she managed to lead before finding New Tibur too strong at the finish. She is capable of running slick times over the distance so must be respected, however the question is whether she will be able to find the front drawn amongst the speed.
BOX SEVEN: BORIS FIELDS
Jason Thompson is well represented in the final with Boris Fieldâs beginning from box seven. The Knocka Norris dog was the second fastest qualifier for the final running a nippy 34.18 seconds in last Thursdayâs heat. The group two W.A Derby winner is a tough greyhound, racing in elite company for much of his career over the sprint trip and he proved to be very versatile last week when making the transition to the middle distance.
The biggest worry for the white and blue dog is the box draw as he has only won two races from wider than box three in his 33 start career. With a mixture of speed on his inside he runs the risk of being caught wide and with a fast beginner on his outside, he looks set to find interference unless he can ping the lids.
BOX EIGHT: IRMA BALE
Irma Bale is one of the most underrated champions of all time. The Graeme Bate prepared greyhound has won two consecutive Sandown Cups but has raced for much of her career in the shadow of the recently retired Miata. The daughter of Batrim Bale is only a few months off turning four years of age but is still racing with plenty of heart as shown when a dominant four length winner in last weekâs heats. The black bitchthe scales at just over 25 kilograms but is as determined as they come as a winner of 36 races with a further 30 placings from 86 starts.
Box eight is not ideal but she is usually a fast beginner and will make Proven Impala work hard in the early stages. It will be an exciting contest if the two powerful staying bitches can fight it out at the finish. Whilst Proven Impala has the fastest heat win, Irma Bale brings with her plenty of group race experience and always brings her A game on group final night.
FIRST RESERVE: CZAR
A good second behind Zelemar Fever after fighting his way through the field but he may be a shade outclassed against the big guns
SECOND RESERVE: HURRICANE ISSAC
Reversed his form at precisely the right time last week behind Irma Bale, but hasnât done enough to be considered a genuine threat should he get a run.
MCKENNA MEMORIAL: PROVEN IMPALA, ZELEMAR FEVER, IRMA BALE, SURF MAIL
The group two McKenna Memorial will jump tonight at 9:35pm (Victorian time)
The middle distance stars will be given their chance to shine tonight at Sandown Park, with six heats of the group two McKenna Memorial. With countless feature events staged for sprinters and a healthy handful for stayers, it is great to see an event for those dogs that cannot perform to their full potential over the shorts but find the gruelling staying journey too arduous.
GROUP TWO MCKENNA MEMORIAL HEAT ONE
Jason Thompsonâs W.A Derby winner Boris Fields has come up with box three in the first heat and with a clean beginning he lookâs hard to beat. The son of Knocka Norris is a powerful greyhound over the sprint distance and should thrive with the step up to 595 metres. The white and blue dog has won thirteen races throughout his 32 start career, with many of those starts in elite group company. Whilst he does not have a great deal of early toe, he has a moderate beginner on his inside and should get every chance.
General Destini is a litter brother to multiple group winning stayer Destini Fireball and should relish the extra distance. The son of Whereâs Pedro has won 20 races and was a runner up in the group two Traralgon Cup two starts back. Although he is drawn out in box seven, he has enough early pace to be prominent and if he can find the lead he will be tough to run down.
Major League is a genuine stayer dropping back to the middle distance however that should not be a problem and from box one he has a good shot.
Darren McDonaldâs Take It All has been racing well lately and has a personal best of 34.18 seconds over the track and distance. Box six is a concern but he has plenty of experience handling himself from a poor draw.
GROUP TWO MCKENNA MEMORIAL HEAT TWO
Proven Impala is the class runner of the second heat and is the one to beat despite being drawn in box five. The Joe Borg prepared bitch was the winner of the group one Rookie Rebel at The Meadows in February and has since gone on to race competitively in group races over the 700 metre distance. Proven Impala is versatile in that she can win when leading or coming from behind and she should be able to match motors with the rest of the field.
Michael Carter has a huge opinion of Corridor who has drawn well in box two. The son of Collision is well suited over the middle distance and has a handy record at Sandown with a win and two minors from four starts over the 595, with his win in a strong time of 34.24 seconds.
Bagget Bale is a sensationally bred greyhound by Go Wild Teddy out of Princess Bale, trained in Victoria by Andrea Dailly. The black speedster has won two races over the distance at Sandown with a fast 34.07 seconds to his name. Whilst he is a backmarker and drawn out wide in box seven, if he can avoid early trouble, he will definitely be swooping late.
Newfire Riley is a smart stayer drawn in the cherry. He has a good record over the track and distance and has been unlucky in recent runs so is more than capable of bouncing back in this event.
Immy Rose is a handy front running bitch who makes her own luck and could pinch it if she can set up a good break on the field.
GROUP TWO MCKENNA MEMORIAL HEAT THREE
Paul Stuart has made the long trip to Victoria with the brilliant Dyna Nalin who will be looking for victory at his debut over the track and distance. Box six is not ideal under any circumstances but if there was ever a dog who could overcome the dismal draw it is this bloke. He boasts an impeccable record of 20 wins and five minors from 30 starts and is as strong and honest as they come and will only need a bit of luck at box rise to feature.
Set To Shine is a promising NSW stayer entering the series after three dominant wins at Richmond and Wentworth Park (42.01, 42.34, 42.68 seconds) The daughter of Mandagery Man likes to lead, and will give plenty of cheek out in front if given the chance.
Surf Mail is undefeated over the 595 after two attempts for trainer Darren McDonald. The light fawn three year old has been winning impressively over the sprint trip of late and should flourish with the step back up in distance. Box three is ideal for him to sit behind the leader and run home strong.
Cornelius Fudge is a good young dog, yet to win over the track and distance but is always thereabouts and should not be left out, much the same as Bing Gordyn who has won his last two over the middle distance in an identical time (34.65 seconds).
GROUP TWO MCKENNA MEMORIAL HEAT FOUR
Sandra Collinsâ Cintiarna will be looking to redeem herself after a close second last start behind Bing Gordyn. The group winning bitch has a stack of ability and looks suited by the rise in distance where she has recorded a slick 34.20 seconds win two starts back. With 20 victories under her belt, the daughter of Bombastic Shiraz should be able to handle box four and is the one to beat.
Calm Model will be making her debut in Victoria from the rails box. The 24 kilogram lightweight is by Collision out of Clay Model and has won her last four starts in great fashion. Last month, the red brindle bitch claimed the $20,000 Richmond Oaks followed by two fantastic wins over the middle distance at Unibet Gardens (34.86, 34.49 seconds). Calm Model appears to have improved her box manners which will definitely help in this event where she will face her acid test against some serious competition.
Fancy Liza is another NSW prospect who has had no luck in her recent starts. The Brett Lee bitch does not have much pace early and has been finding all sorts of trouble racing in group company. Despite her lack of early zip, she is a great little stayer who took out the Group One Association Cup at Wentworth Park in April. From box three she will be hoping to avoid interference when the outside runners cross over to the rails and although stepping back in distance she still has the class to be a threat.
The third NSW chaser in the event is Whereâs Keroma in box five for Anthony Azzopardi. The white and blue fawn dog has a stack of ability but can be hard to pick as he mixes his box manners. Nonetheless he has been racing well over the longer distance at Wentworth Park and should be included in the multiples.
New Tibur for Robert Britton has to contend with box six, but has won his last three starts, all at Sandown including a last start 34.26 seconds triumph.
GROUP TWO MCKENNA MEMORIAL HEAT FIVE
Super stayer Destini Fireball will jump in heat five from box seven. The classy greyhound has won 22 races with over $440,000 in prizemoney accumulated in his 41 start career. The 37 kilogram powerhouse stepped back down to the 595 metre trip last start when an unlucky fourth behind Bing Gordyn. Destini Fireball has a strong record from out wide and is the main contender in his heat.
Zelemar Fever looks a threat, returning from a stint in W.A where she placed fifth in the Oaks at Cannington last start. Before that, the daughter of Bombastic Shiraz had qualified in a scintillating 30.23 seconds and based on that form she should run a good race from box four.
Set Sail South has had two runs over the track and distance for two wins and moves out to box eight this week. Trained by Angela Langton, the black dog showed tenacity last start when overcoming trouble and interference to land victory in 34.72 seconds. Whilst the time was not overly impressive, he showed great promise in the way he took out the event, and as such he is one of the main chances.
Lektra Angie is impeccably bred and well boxed in the two, with a good personal best over the distance (34.28 seconds). Although she has been mixing form lately, she is capable of running a handy race and causing an upset.
GROUP TWO MCKENNA MEMORIAL HEAT SIX
Graeme Bateâs Irma Bale looks the standout from box two in the final heat. From the draw she should be able to bounce to the lead, and from there she wonât get caught. The front running stayer claimed her second Sandown Cup in May and has started twice since then for a second and a fifth. The Batrim Bale bitch should be winning this, with the 595 trip the perfect distance for her to shine.
Amadeus Strikes is a strong and ultra-consistent NSW bitch who has won her last two starts at Wentworth Park in sensational times (29.77, 29.79 seconds). From box five she may find it a bit tricky but is definitely one of the biggest threats to Irma Bale as a proven chaser over the middle distance, claiming a heat of the Big Dog Cup in 35.18 seconds.
Aeroplane Eddie is an emerging talent with eight wins and four minors from fourteen starts. The son of Velocette is a middle distance specialist and should be storming home from box seven.
Magnum Blast has been doing a lot of travelling of late and has been racing well against some tough company. From box three he is not without a chance.
The first heat of the group two McKenna Memorial will jump tonight at 7:25pm, with next weekâs final offering $40,000 to one talented greyhound and some happy connections.
This Saturday eight highly talented females will line up for a crack at the $40,000 to the winner Solo W.A Oaks at Cannington. Leading W.A trainer Linda Britton will be hoping to secure her third win in the event after qualifying three sensational bitches for the group two final however it will be no easy task with an abundance of depth spread across the speedy field.
BOX ONE- QUIZ BALE
Victorian bitch Quiz Bale has been afforded the privilege of box one for the decider after qualifying in second position behind Zelemar Fever. The daughter of Dyna Lachlan began well from an identical draw in her heat and managed to lead until the home turn where she was simply outclassed by the local hope who drew clear to claim the event. Nonetheless it was a handy performance by the Graeme Bate prepared greyhound at her track debut. Prior to her last start Quiz Bale competed in the group one Peter Mosman series at Wentworth Park clocking a brilliant 29.87 seconds in her semi-final before finishing down the track behind her kennelmate Xylia Allen in the final. With a look at the track, Quiz Bale should be improved for this week and from the ideal rails draw she should right in contention.
BOX TWO- REVERBERATE
The first of Linda Brittonâs trio is drawn in box two with Reverberate looking a chance after finally coming up with a good draw at Cannington. The black bitch has had four starts at the track and has never drawn inside box seven so will certainly relish the favourable draw this week. Beginning well from box seven in her heat, the daughter of Premier Fantasy and Surpassing was up with the leaders on the first turn however received a few bumps from the runners on her inside. Down the back Reverberate was able to regain her momentum and finish the race of well just two and a half lengths off winner Evieâs Entity. The former Victorian has turned into a completely different greyhound since joining Brittonâs Nambeelup kennels winning three of her five starts in Western Australia with two minors whereas she had only recorded two victories from twenty three starts before making the move. With a clean getaway she is right in the race and will have a great shot at notching up another group win for her dam who is also the mother of three time group winner Jagger Swagger.
BOX THREE- TE AMO
Te Amo is yet another runner for Britton who will line up for the group two feature wearing white. Bred by Michelle Romer, the 27 kilogram pocket rocket was an all the way victor in her heat from the awkward box six in a slick 30.53 seconds. Jumping beautifully, Te Amo dominated the event to score by two and a quarter lengths over Perfect Poison and in turn maintained her perfect 100% strike rate. If Britton can pull off a win with the Cosmic Rumble youngster, it will be one of the greatest performances by W.Aâs leading trainer with Te Amo looking to claim the race at just her fourth racetrack appearance. Te Amo can be electrifying early and if she puts her best paws forward at box rise there is not much that could keep up with her early which may be enough to pinch a break and snare the prize.
BOX FOUR- ZELEMAR FEVER
Fastest heat winner Zelemar Fever will start from box four and rounds up the chances for Linda Britton in the event (with the exception of second reserve Heidi Go Seek). Starting at $3.80 last Saturday, the daughter of champion sire Bombastic Shiraz gave punters something to cheer about, stretching out to score a determined win by five and a half lengths in an airborne 30.23 seconds. Zelemar Fever headed to Western Australia to target the series and since being in Perth has saluted in both of her appearances at Cannington with her first start an emphatic ten and a half length win over the handy Politician. The box draw is a concern especially being a bit hit and miss at box rise however she should be able to position well behind the likely leader on her inside and will get a bit of room to move with a moderate beginner on her outside.
BOX FIVE- GAMBO GIRL
Gambo Girl was tipped to be the surprise packet going into the series and she did not disappoint showing a tenacious chasing performance when finishing second behind Agent Dunham in her heat. Although she was eight lengths off the winner on the line, it was an impressive demonstration after copping two checks coming out of the boxes with the interference basically persisting until the home straight. The black bitch by Mogambo was a clear last going past the post the first time and was relegated back to the tail of the field again down the back when trying to make her move and subsequently finding trouble. Gambo Girl is trained by Ben Divirgilio in Victoria and is owned by Corey OâDonnell in NSW. Corey is making the flight over on Saturday with his wife Lynise to watch their pride and joy compete in what is a definite highlight of their involvement in the greyhound industry. Gambo Girl is as honest as they come with four wins and three minors from twelve starts and whilst she is not the quickest early she will be trying her heart out and storming home.
BOX SIX- PERFECT POISON
Another local hope Perfect Poison will line up from box six and will be hoping to notch up win number six in the bitches only feature. By the great Surf Lorian, the brindle bitch has faced the starter on twelve occasions and has recorded a personal of 30.74 seconds over the track and distance. After an average start from box two in her heat last week, the 26 kilogram lightweight managed to run a strong race at big odds ($18)finishing two and a quarter lengths behind boom pup Te Amo. Perfect Poison will be an outsider in the event particularly after coming up with the green for the final.
BOX SEVEN- AGENT DUNHAM
Paul Stuart has a sole chance in the final and has been afforded no favours with Agent Dunham drawn wide in box seven. The Velocette bitch showed terrific field sense in her heat last week, navigating her way in between runners before finding the front and kicking clear to score by eight lengths in a nippy 30.63 seconds. Agent Dunham is a winner of nine from twenty six with a quick 30.41 seconds recorded at Cannington in April however she is better boxed inside and may find it tough from the draw being a risky beginner. With early speed drawn on the rails she will need to be up with them to be competitive however if she does manage to time the start correctly she is right in the race.
BOX EIGHT- EVIEâS ENTITY
Victorian trainer Lyn Smith has been in W.A for two weeks enjoying the lovely Perth weather with her talented litter sisterâs Evieâs Entity and Gambo Girl, with the former rounding up the field from box eight. Evieâs Entity could not have been more impressive at her track debut last week taking out her qualifier by two and a half lengths in a fast 30.49 seconds. The two and a half year old bitch has won eleven of her twenty two starts and goes into the race with excellent credentials after making the final of the group one Sapphire Crown last month. Box eight is not the best box to have at Cannington, especially in the big finals but she should be able to avoid trouble and potentially find a handy position in the run out of the first turn. If she is prominent going down the back you will want to be on her as she is super strong and has an enormous motor once she warms up.
FIRST RESERVE- LUBA MONELLI
David Hobbyâs Luba Monelli is the first reserve after finishing seven and three quarter lengths third behind Zelemar Fever. She is only a moderate beginner and will need a good box to be a chance should she get a run.
SECOND RESERVE- HEIDI GO SEEK
Linda Brittonâs Heidi Go Seek is a highly talented bitch who could be anything on her day so is worth considering should she get a run. Her biggest downfall is the fact that she can be tardy at box rise but she has plenty of speed once she hits the ground.
The Solo W.A Oaks is race five this Saturday night at Cannington and will jump at 8:27 pm WST.
It was the night that greyhound racing enthusiasts nationwide had been waiting for and despite dreary weather conditions Sandown shined with some dazzling performances that kept track-goers smiling and ensured that unlike their clothes, their spirits were not dampened.
It all started with the heats of the Sandown Cup which saw the return of Australiaâs staying sweetheart Miata.
The red fawn dynamo was returning to the track for the first time since March and bounced back to her best qualifying for the final in 42.39 seconds over the fast finishing Steve Allen. Whilst this was not the fastest heat time, it took a lot of heart and courage for Australiaâs highest stakes earner to return to the winners list first up after an extended break and against some of the countryâs best stayers. Miata will be better for the run and will start next Thursday in the final which is expected to be her racing swansong.
Prior to Miata strutting her stuff on the track, staying marvel Destini Fireball stamped himself as one of the greats with a strong 42.21 seconds success over outsider Reckless Charm. The white and black son of Whereâs Pedro and Greyâs Destiny is a multiple group one winner and is right in contention for yet another trophy to sit upon trainer Emilio Rinaldiâs mantelpiece when he lines up in the feature on Thursday night.
Heat three was won by the ultra-consistent Irma Bale, yet another headliner for Laraâs Graeme Bate. The pint sized performerthe scales at just over 25 kilograms but has the heart of a lion, leading all the way from box eight in a blistering 41.92 seconds in front of 50-1 chance Maddison Dee.
The fourth and final heat was taken out late in the night by Proven Impala for Joe Borg. The Velocette bitch is a winner of 25 races and over $230,000 in stakes money and certainly showed her class dominating the race to win over Tasmanian star Bell Haven in a sizzling 42.06 seconds.
Moving onto the group finals where Robert Britton took out the group-two Harrison Dawson with former New Zealand chaser Clone Your Own. Beginning only moderately from the cherry, the 33 kilogram dog weaved his way throughout the field to sit third on the first turn before pushing up on the outside of Warrnambool Classic winner Premier Event to take up the lead. The son of Droopyâs Marco was too strong on the line for Graeme Bateâs Irmy Bale who ran a gallant race to claim second with the winner taking out the event in a scintillating 29.48 seconds.
Grand old chaser Glen Gallon did not lose any supporters finishing third after another usual gutsy performance. Last nightâs triumph was the first group win for Clone Your Own with his record now standing at 16 starts for nine wins and five placings whilst it appears the sky is now the limit for the two and a half year old sprinter. Another interesting note from this race is that all runners finished in race book order- a very rare feat especially in a group race final!
Bateâs luck was reversed in the second feature event on the night with the phenomenal Xylia Allen flashing home to claim the $100,000 Sapphire Crown. After a poor beginning you would have been forgiven for focusing your attention on race leader El Brooklyn who exploded from the boxes, with NSW speedster Punch One Out quickly finding a spot behind her and looking an ominous threat. In the meantime Xylia Allen was pushed wide on the first turn in a scrimmage which saw kennelmate Desalle Bale take a heavy tumble. In a run similar to her heat win last week the stunning black daughter of Turanza Bale knuckled down to the challenge and just when Mackayâs chaser looked the winner, Xylia Allen loomed up and zoomed past to claim the event by a length on the line in 29.51 seconds. The 30 kilogram pocket rocket is freakish in her ability to take a thrashing and still win and has now done so on twelve occasions whilst she also has nine placings to her name after just 28 starts.
With the sprinting highlights done and dusted the spotlight will shine on Sandown once again next Thursday for the stayers with a highly talented field assembling for The Sandown Cup at what will be a night of greyhound racing history when we say goodbye to the magnificent Miata.
Despite having qualified four runners for next Tuesday’s $4,400 Rapidvite Industries Tasmanian Country Derby Final (452 metres), Zeehan trainer Joe Pringle is not overly confident of success.
âThere are several extremely promising chasers racing in Tasmania at the moment and two of them, Cointreau Cap and Matt’s Entity, have also qualified for the event,â he explained on Wednesday.
âI rate my four as handy, however I believe that they will need luck in running if they are to win, but in saying that I am very pleased that they made it through.â
âTen years ago they would have been winning regularly, but the competition at the moment in Tasmania is very hot,â he added.
The former mining union boss and supermarket owner’s kennel will be represented by Booze Anthony ( Bit Chili â Wooreddy), Pop’s Castle ( Bombastic Shiraz â Slyan On Fire), Irinka Adam (Irinka Dennis â Irinka Tahnee) and Terry’s Memory ( Velocette â Wee Agree), all raced by his wife Helen.
Booze Anthony qualified for the Country Derby by storming home in the lane to win one of the two heats in the time of 25.99.
Terry’s Memory was placed in his particular heat and Irinka Adam and Pop’s Castle qualified by running fourth.
Pringle, quite probably the only trainer domiciled on Tasmania’s rugged West Coast, currently has five greyhounds in work, but is also handling a litter of 15 month-old pups which are displaying potential.
The Eileen Thomas prepared Cointreau Cap (Premier Fantasy â Alotta Mojo) took out the remaining Country Derby heat in a sizzling 25.56.
The winner of 10 of 21 lifetime outings he sped to the early lead from the red box and was never headed, eventually scoring by two lengths and paying a win dividend of $1.80.
The chaser is raced by a Victorianheaded by Darren McDonald and was transferred to the Thomas kennel immediately he was broken in.
âDarren told me that he would be a handy chaser in Tasmania and he has been proven correct,â Eileen Thomas explained.
âHe is a brilliant beginner and can invariably find the lead wherever he draws, so I expect him to lead again from box two on Tuesday.â
Meanwhile Tuesday’s $4,400 Betfair Tasmanian Country Oaks Final will see the clash of several of Tasmania’s most promising bitches.
With the field to be declared later today (Wednesday), Bagdad trainer Rodney Walker is hoping to draw out wide with the outstanding speedster Bell Oh Moss ( Kiowa Sweet Trey â Marananga Moss), the winner of 5 of 9 outings including a 25.55 score at Tuesday’s NWGRC meeting.
Walker is planning an interstate campaign with Bell Oh Moss later in the season, which may even see him campaign the bitch in Western Australia.
âMy son lives in the West and he is a part-owner of Bell Oh Moss, so it would be nice for him to see her race,â he explained.
âBut in the meantime we will concentrate on the job at hand, the Tasmanian Country Oaks Final.â
âWe will have to contend with the likes of She’s All Class and probably Pipstar, Roxy Rhythm, Sing The Song and Stylish Abbey, so it will be a super field for sure.â
This Saturday night, two classy fields will assemble at Wentworth Park for the heats of The Group Three Betfair cup over the 720 metre journey however much of the spotlight will shine earlier within the ten race card with recent Maitland Gold Cup winner Black Magic Opal making his highly anticipated city debut. Trained at Budgewoi by Leslie Hudson, the extremely promising son of Magic Sprite and prolific producer Awesome Opal will be looking for his sixth straight win after already recording a brilliant twelve victories with three seconds from a mere fifteen starts. The 31 kilogram speed machine was an emphatic victor in last weekâs Gold Cup, defeating top class greyhounds such as Bralyn County, Transcend Time, El Brooklyn and Johnny Fire to claim the $40,000 feature by two and three quarter lengths in a scintillating 24.92 seconds- just .04 off the track record held by Exclusive One.
This week Black Magic Opal lines up from the rails box in race one against a speedy fifth grade field which includes the likes of the Graeme Bate trained Luxurious who placed third in the Group Three Nowra Summer Puppy classic at her last start. The daughter of Collision and Paris St Germain will jump from box three and has a good motor, however will have to do everything right with the black bitch developing the mischievous tendency to dart right at box rise- a trait which often brings her undone and will probably hinder Bit Cold who is drawn on her direct outside. This habit may also play into the favour of the emerging superstar drawn in the red, giving him the chance to sneak through along the rails and pinch a break. Mad railer Tourmalet is having his first start at Wenty after a recent hatrick of wins however he will need things to go right from box six. The biggest doubt with Black Magic Opal taking out the event is the fact that he has never had a race start at the track, with the first turn at the Ultimo circuit notoriously tricky for even the most seasoned campaigners, however Hudson has revealed that his pride and joy has previously trialled in a slick 30.04 seconds at the track first look, leaving punters to conclude the biggest bet for the race will be on his times and margins.
Track specialist Sometimes Speedy will return in the FFA event which is race eight on Saturday night. The breathtaking daughter of Collision and Gemstone Supreme will be looking to turn the tables on competitor Charmed Assassin who narrowly defeated her last week in a blistering 29.66 seconds. Drawn ideally in box one the 23 race winner looks hard to beat, however Charmed Assassin is undefeated from his draw (box three) which should provide a mouth-watering battle for greyhound enthusiasts. Looking to defeat both of them will be the Sharron Webster prepared Lagoon Lowanna who began like a rocket clocking an impeccable 5.30 seconds to the first turn and a scorching 29.68 seconds last week from box seven where she will be starting from again on Saturday.
Another feature of the night will be race three- The Betfair blue paws final over 520 metres. Runners qualified for the decider last Friday night with heat winner Master Jeteye looking to have a good chance despite drawing in box five. The son of Collision and the beautifully bred Jet Eye has won two on the trot at headquarters with last weekâs success his most impressive, however this will definitely be his acid test with the speedy Collisioner drawn perfectly in box one and track record holder Punch One Outâs litter brother Slick âEm Son boxed on his inside in the blue. Trained by Valentineâs Steve Vas, Master Jeteye began well from box five and clocked a sensational second section split of 13.74, claiming his heat by one and a half lengths on the line in a fast 30.08 seconds last week.
The 27 kilogram lightweight has won twelve races with twenty minors from fifty one starts, with Vas optimistic of his charges chance on Saturday night, âI think he is well boxed and that he can lead but he has to jump. He wonât lead until the first turn but should get plenty of room to move as the four goes left and the six usually goes straightâ
Vas who only has the one race dog in work at present is delighted with the recent improvement in Master Jeteye which has seen him win three of his past five starts. After correcting a niggling back injury, Vas believes that he has improved greatly and as such has a great chance of running a handy race on Saturday night.
Master Jeteye is also very special to Vas after breeding him from a bitch that he owned named Jet Eye who won three races in town. As a result, Master Jeteye the first dog he has bred and trained himself, with the pocket rocket also his first city winner as a trainer.
âI always had a big plan to breed with Jeteye, itâs been a long process and I have done it the hard way but I have been lucky,â Vas said
âHe (Master Jeteye) has earned $27,000, I wouldnât even dream of a dog to win that sort of prize moneyâ.
Vas also has two bitches that have just been broken in at home from Jet Eyeâs next litter to Velocette with her third litter to Dyna Tron currently being reared. Whilst Vas realises that there is plenty of hard work ahead, he is happy to enjoy the good times while they last and hope that his little chasers dream run can continue for a bit longer.
I have also been told that the guys at Cardiff Greyhounds Social Club Trial track will be cheering him home in the final. Vas uses the track to work his speedster and also volunteers on Saturday and Sunday mornings at the trials and adds that he likes to treat his friends at Redhead with a cake whenever Master Jeteye salutes. With the $2000 blue paws bonus on top of the $4650 winnerâs cheque, I am tipping that the boys can expect one heck of a cake this Sunday morning should team Vas cross the line in first position on Saturday night.
Keep your eyes peeled for a preview of the heats of the Group Three Betfair Cup which will see Association Cup hero Fancy Liza return to Wentworth Park for the first time since her popular victory on Golden Easter Egg night.
To have a greyhound that is good enough to be able to compete in a group race final is a worthy accomplishment for any owner or trainer, but to have three runners engaged in the same group final is nothing short of brilliant. This week legendary owners Chris Nutt and Shaun Evans will have three of their charges starting in the Group Three Nowra Summer Puppy Classic Final under the names of three of Australiaâs most illustrious trainers, with the race carrying sentimental value for the men who bred the highly talented siblings from their prolific producer Paris St Germain.
The first of Nutt & Evans terrific trio to make the final was the Graeme Bate prepared Luxurious, with the daughter of Collision spearing the lids from box five in her semi-final and proving too strong for Jeff Crawfordâs fast finishing Kentucky Grove, taking out the event by a neck on the line in a nippy 30.19 seconds. The black bitch is shaping up to be a promising sprinter winning eleven of her 29 starts with a further eleven minors to her name however she has been awarded no favours in the final drawing awkwardly in box four.
The second runner into the decider for the Nutt & Evans team is the exceedingly consistent Disco Dave who comes from the powerful Andrea Dailly camp. Disco Dave qualified when running second behind the well-bred performer Double Twist for Nowra Hillâs Garry Edwards. Disco Dave began well from box three in his semi-final and showed tremendous field sense, darting underneath rails runner Ronray Miss on the first turn, to take up the lead, however he was not able to hold out Double Twist who landed himself in a prime position down the back and was able to swoop on the leaders in the home straight to claim victory by three quarters of a length in a fast 30.04 seconds.
The dynamic duoâs last runner in this Sundayâs feature, Miss Kiss took out the third and final semi for Tasmanian conditioner Debbie Cannan. The pint sized performer who started her career in Victoria but has been racing in Tassie of late, scored a dominant triumph, leading from box rise in a handy 30.34 seconds over Vindictive who was one and a quarter lengths away in second for Frances Harris. Miss Kiss who has won three races from fourteen starts has also drawn awkwardly, coming up with box five on the outside of her litter sister Luxurious.
Nutt admits that the draw may be problematic for the speedy sisters with Luxurious developing the tendency to dart right at box rise, with Miss Kiss generally seeking the rails when the lids fly open. With this in mind Nutt favours Disco Dave from out wide in box seven out of his three runners with the blue brindle chaser also capable of pinging the lids and running a cheeky race however it will be a hard final for the trio with early favourite Double Twist allocated the prized cherry alley.
Win, lose or draw, the three speedsters are very special to Nutt & Evans, as they are part of the last cohort of pups to hit the track from their dam Paris St Germain who tragically passed away just last month. Paris St Germain was purchased by the two friends as a way of keeping in contact when Evans was moving away, however they never imagined how far the unraced daughter of Bright Ebony and Gold Serenade would take them within the greyhound racing industry.
Paris St Germain came on season just shy of her second birthday and was mated to sensational sire Lochinvar Jet. This was a decision which would change their lives with âParisâ throwing her first group winning pup in Nitro Nori amongst a litter full of exceptional racers. Nitro Nori had 56 starts on the racetrack for twenty wins and eighteen placings including consecutive wins in the Group 3 Bulli Cyril Rowe memorial, whilst he also took out the Perth Cup Consolation and was a finalist in The Group One National Sprint Championship, and the Traralgon and Shepparton Cupâs.
The success didnât end there, in her next litter to Go Wild Teddy, âParisâ threw multiple city winner and group finalist Uncle Bully as well as the sensational performers Jai Alation, Slick Rick and Wild St. Teddy. After this second successful round in the breeding barn, she was put to the great Surf Lorian with this mating producing potentially her best pup yet in St. Pierre.
Nutt laments that St. Pierre will, âAlways hold a special place in our heart as our first group one winnerâ, after the brilliant blue brindle chaser took out the Group One Australian Cup defeating the likes of High Earner whilst he also notched up a Group Three win in the St Ledger at Unibet Gardens and the 2011 Devonport Cup.
From her next two litters to Whereâs Pedro and Velocette respectively, Paris produced some more top quality pups, most notably in Katsidis, Mojito, Double Whammy, Nine Darter, Larocco, Emilia Jade, Parisette and Streetbike Tommy, who was sadly lost on the race track during the Golden Easter Egg series after fracturing a hock. After these two litters, Paris whelped a healthy litter to Collision in 2011 and just a few weeks before passing away a single pup to Barcia Bale who unfortunately did not survive.
With her last litter to Collision now on the ground and racing in fine style, it would be fitting for one of these youngsters to emulate the success of their older siblings and take out a big race as a means of continuing the âfamily traditionâ. Despite the glory of group one racing and the hefty winnerâs cheques that accompany the rugs and trophies, it is fair to say that a win this week would be one of most sentimental victories Nutt and Evans could hope for given the recent loss of not only Paris St Germain but also her promising son Streetbike Tommy.
âParis was a one in a million broodbitch, if it wasnât for her I probably wouldnât still be in the gameâ.
âItâs a big achievement to have three in the race and we are just really wrapped for Parisâ, Nutt said.
âWe are just hoping that the stars can align for us but as long as they come back in one piece we will be happy.â
Paris St Germain will always be a special part of Chris Nuttâs and Shaun Evanâs family – she has helped to put them on the industry scene with the pair now established as two of Australiaâs premier greyhound breeders and owners, whilst her progeny are still going strong and will inevitably throw a few fast pup themselves in the future.
The Nowra Summer Puppy Classic is the highlight of the Shoalhaven Greyhound Racing Clubâs calendar with the $25,000 event to be run this Sunday. In an open race with nearly all runners engaged in the event capable of taking it out it is very hard to find a winner.
One thing that is for sure, if Chris Nutt and Shaun Evans can claim the event with one of their trio, there will be a few tears shed on course for the hardworking owners and the amazing little bitch that made it all possible, and who was described to me as their âPrincessâ
Yesterday’s Results: Gee Ef Cee – Winner $7.50, Shanlyn Poh – Unplaced, Oenjay Dancer – Unplaced.
We managed a $7.50 winner yesterday. Gee Ef Cee, saluted at Ipswich for us and he should now go on with it now. He may string a few together. The son of Collision has a fair amount of ability and he demonstrated some of that yesterday. Keep following.
Albion Park Greyhounds, Race 9 Box 3 Kesh Stream, 6.19pm
Kesh Stream, the daughter of Where’s Pedro owned by a young lady who is a regular catcher and helper around the dogs. She appears as if she has drawn a race in which she can certainly win. There is little ability in the field and the main danger will come from the son of Buckingham Chuck, Pucker Up Chuck. He recently flew around the Ipswich short circuit in 25.02. He was stepped up to the longer trip last start, and failed to fire. He gets into this race against much easier opposition. Our selection Kesh Stream, has early pace but can be risky at box rise. She has already posted a sub 23.00 second run over the 395 and last start over this distance she did work home quite well after a slow beginning. There’s no ability and little speed in this race, and if she does jump I’m quite confident she can win this. She looks as if she is capable of about 30.55 and that time should see her easily win this. She needs to jump and lead, so we will no out fate at box rise – she jumps, she wins.
Angle Park Greyhounds, Race 10 Box 1 Felina Bale 4.19pm
A tough race here but hopefully one were we can find a nice winner in. Felina Bale, finds it tough to win, but she has drawn the right box and has the speed to ping and lead. Speed Chick will likely start the favourite, and the daughter of El Galo who has formerly raced in NSW, may struggle here at here first go. Very few dogs can come here and win first up, if there not superstars.
Felina Bale has enough early speed, and is capable of about 30.40 and if she jumps and does everything right expect her to pose a huge threat. Madeline Hotel, is probably the fastest dog in the race but does struggle early and races got luck. She could bob up, but will need the luck go her way.
Richmond Greyhounds, Race 6 Box 7 Serisier Street. 5.14pm
This girl went super lady start when we tipped her here at Richmond. She flew the lids over the 618, and never once looked in danger. She was far too good for the rest of the field, and the main two dangers failed to get near her. She should once again flog these. She showed plenty of ability last week, began quickly and easily handled the step up in distance. Box 7 will again suit, and I see her leading again here today. Today’s race is no harder but she does meet a full field and will need to jump and race the same way. She should once again be around the $3.00 mark and a great bet.
Ballarat Greyhounds, Race 8 Box 3 Fully Adcanced 9.18pm
Fully Advanced returns from a stint in the Golden Easter Egg and he will be value in this race here against the recent, Bendigo Cup winner Ronan Izmir. The G. Bate runner posted a flying 29.45 at Wenty, and he can begin like a bomb. If he can ping and hold Ronan Izmir out I’ve got the felling he can go on to win the race. The race is jammed pack full of quality and realistically there is many winning chances. But it’s best to back quick beginners, and dogs who make there own luck. Don’t take silly odds about Fully Advanced, $4.00 should be about the right price with most punters rallying towards the in form Bendigo Cup winner. He’s a good bet at the right price.
The Meadows Greyhounds, Race 9 Box 3 Evie Jane 2.24pm
600m event here and the Andrea Daily trained Evie Jane looks as if she has a mortgage on this race. The daughter of Velocette went like a bomb here last start and flew around the circuit, running 29.90. She showed no signs of stopping and will have no trouble running out the trip. She has far more ability then the entire field but she does need to do things right. She can’t miss the kick and afford to get buried on the corner start here. She will be short odds, but she should take care of these; don’t take silly odds though. Maybe anchor her in a multiple.
Best of Luck
$$ Another Day Another Dollar $$
Destini Fireball will be aiming for back-to-back Group 1 victories at The Meadows after drawing box one in the Macro Meats Superstayers over 725 metres next Saturday night.
The son of Whereâs Pedro and Greys Destiny was easily the fastest heat winner, rocketing to a brilliant seven and three quarters win in 42.39, his personal best time over the half-mile journey.
Trained by Norm Rinaldi, Destini Fireball is unbeaten at five attempts over 725 metres (including victory in last weekâs Group 1 Zoom Top), and will again take on the likes of champion Miata, who brought the house down with a huge win in the last heat of the night.
The West Australian star made it 41 wins from 49 starts with an amazing come from behind victory, spotting early tearaway leader Xylia Allen (near record splits of 15.80 and 29.38) more than 10 lengths before storming to victory in 42.81. If Miata takes out next weekâs final, she would push her prizemoney to over $790,000.
The other heat was taken out by the brilliant Proven Impala, scoring at her 725-metre debut at The Meadows with an all the way win in 42.59. The daughter of Velocette and Thanks Blue took out last weekâs Group 1 Rookie Rebel and would push her prizemoney to over $285,000 if victorious.
Next Saturday night will also see the running of the Group 1 Maurice Blackburn Lawyers Australian Cup, worth $250,000 to the winner. Entry is free and former Australian Idol star Jessica Mauboy will be part of a huge night of entertainment next Saturday night.
2013 Superstayers Final Box Draw
$100,000 to the winner. Group 1. (525m)
Box 1 – Destini Fireball – Emilio Rinaldi – 42.39
Box 2 – Double Jeopardy – Jeff Britton – 42.73
Box 3 – Mission Complete – Michelle Mallia-Magri – 42.87
Box 4 – Xylia Allen – Graeme Bate – NBT
Box 5 – Erica Allen – Andrea Dailly – 42.92
Box 6 – Irma Bale – Graeme Bate – 42.82
Box 7 – Proven Impala – Joe Borg – 42.59
Box 8 – Miata – Paul Stuart – 42.37
1st res – Lektra Scarlett – Andrea Dailly – NBT
2nd res – Mimicking – Rob Britton – NBT
The Joe Borg-trained Proven Impala once again highlighted her class with a brilliant 34.22 win in the Group 1 Macro Meats Rookie Rebel over 600 metres at The Meadows.
The black chaser began well from her favourable draw of two, finding a position behind tearaway leader Cailyn Bale with a lap to run. With the leader carving out amazing splits of 8.85 and 21.82, Proven Impala stuck to her task, slowly wearing down Cailyn Bale in the home straight while holding off a late challenge from Metz Magic to win in a very fast 34.22.
The daughter of Velocette and Thanks Blue won the Group 1 event by three quarters of length ahead of Metz Magic, with Cailyn Bale a further two lengths away in third. Second favourite Jethro ($3.70) missed the start and chased the field home, finishing last.
Owned by Larissa Darragh, Proven Impala enhanced her record to 21 wins from 56 starts, improving her prizemoney tally to $178,820.
The Group racing continues at The Meadows next week with heats of the Group 1 Macro Meats Superstayers (725 metres) and heats of the Group 1 Maurice Blackburn Lawyers Australian Cup, this year worth $250,000 to the winner.
Proven Impala Winning 2013 Group 1 Rookie Rebel
Greyhound trainer Gary Johnson is predicting a good future for litter-brothers Buckle Up Myke and Buckle Up Kade, which both greeted the judge at the Tote Racing Centre on Monday night.
By Velocette from the former top stayer Buckle Up Tina, both chasers were impressive in winning their respective events and are scheduled to race again at Tattersalls Park tonight.
Buckle Up Myke has now won seven races for owner Robyn Johnson and on Monday night accounted for the very smart chasers Zavance Man and Olwyn in the Jet Pets Animal Transport Invitation.
âWe received a decent offer for him recently, but have decided not to sell and his immediate future will be in 600 metre events,â Johnson explained.
Continue reading Johnson Predicts Bright Future For Litter Mates
Leith greyhound trainer Gary Johnson’s kennel is enjoying an extraordinary run of success, it having produced the winners of six races in the space of a week.
âWe all have those runs â your luck will be out for months and then it will turn around and the winners start to come, thank goodness for that,â he said this week.
Litter-sisters Li Li and Tiny Tilly, both from the highly successful Head Bound â It’s A She litter, have been the stars of the team and appear likely to continue winning while in their present form.
Continue reading Johnson Kennel Firing On All Cylinders
Star Queenslander, Glen Gallon provided the highlight run of the Perth Cup heats, when flying around the 530m Cannington trip in 29.87.The run enters the books as the fastest time ever recorded during a Perth Cup series, replacing High Earnerâs previous best of 29.93 during his successful 2010 campaign.
What made the performance even more impressive was the way he went about it. It wasnât simply a ping-and-win affair, as the events of the first 100 metres would no doubt have cost him some time overall and could have been made a lot worse.
Jumping from the awkward six alley, Glen Gallon was one of the last away, and soon took a path heading towards the rail. It was at that time that Big Jo King shifted inwards causing Or Else, who had drawn box one, to fall heavily. Big Jo King then came out and clipped Glen Gallon, but instead of hesitating, the powerful fawn chaser kept his mind on the job and burst through to find the front, going 5.71 for the first section.
Continue reading Race Record Falls As Glen Gallon Flies
As speculated here on Australian Racing Greyhound, 2011 Topgun winner Allen Harper, and 2011 Golden Easter Egg winner and 2011 Topgun runner up Radley Bale were morals to be included in the elite four to contest the $40,000 to the winner Sandown Shootout; and the selection panel have confirmed that position by naming them in the Shootout field tonight.
Allen Harper comes into the Group 3 feature on the back of his last start win in the Group 1 Sky Racing Topgun, and has already won more than $200,000 in just 20 career starts. The two time Group 1 winner has yet to race at Sandown Park but does boast a 29.58 seconds best time at Wentworth Park, 29.82 at the Meadows, and 29.47 at Angle Park. Trained by master mentor Graeme Bate, Allen Harper will join kennel mate Radley Bale as Bate attempts to win a second Macro Meats Shootout, following his success with Velocette in 2009.
Radley Bale has been one of the best chasers of 2011, having won the Golden Easter Egg in April, and running second in the Group 1 Adelaide Cup and Group 1 Top Gun in his last two starts. Radley Bale has won 32 races in his 83 start career â 17 of which in the best time of the night â and has 11 wins from 25 starts at Sandown Park. Radley Bale boasts an impressive best time of 29.29 at Sandown Park.
Continue reading Track Record Breakers Secure Final Two Spots In Sandown Shootout
The country cups circuit swings into Horsham Wednesday night with six heats of the Group 2 Exchange Hotel Horsham Cup. The short series, which concludes with Sunday Nightâs final, always attracts a high quality field looking to tame the long straights of the 480m layout.
Finishing second in last yearâs final, Enry Waltâs strong racing style is suited by the Horsham track and he is the highlight of a very good first heat. Starting from four, with a vacant box on his outer, Enry Walt should get the galloping room he needs to put himself in the finish. In a race which all seven entrants could win without surprising, you would have to suggest the box draw suits Leprechaun Chloe and Stanford Bale from two and eight respectively.
After a game third placing in the Australian Cup final, Mid Levels gets a chance to continue its good form. Drawing the red box, she should lead all the way trainer Peter Giles. Lethal Power looks the immediate danger from the outside draw, especially after recent provincial wins over Miss Bel Air and Marbro Man. Look for the ever-consistent Sandhog and Lektra Fly to be up near the top placings.
Smoke Home has proven himself as a serious contender after holding good form this year. Having his first look at the track but he has the class to progress through in heat three. Silent Guardian bounced back after a below-par run in his Australian Cup heat and will appreciate the space given to him in box eight. Salvador Bale never wastes box one while Flash Drive looks the classiest of the rest.
Greta Bale looked the hottest provincial dog in Victoria at one stage and should add another win to the tally here in heat four. With a repeat dose of her Ballarat Cup winning form, Greta Bale can make a strong presence in the series as a whole. Ed Pacino debuted at the track last week with a great win and will be dashing home at the end. Led Zeppelin canât be discounted either after showing form in Group company interstate.
Heat five is arguably the most even heat with the middle boxes looking the most likely to take victory. Mint Power is a wonderfully bred youngster from the Darren McDonald Kennel who is more than capable. Malta is the strongest in the field but cannot afford to put a paw wrong in the early stages from box four. Old-timer Birthday Boy keeps running good races and rarely runs poorly at Horsham. Best of the others look to be Whereâs Hannibal and Lektra Express.
Moving onto the final heat where Blazing Chaos has the red draw. Likely to be giving away a start, Blazing Chaos has shown in recent efforts that he is back to the form that saw him represent Queensland in the 2010 National Sprint Final. Also needing a return to form is Radley Bale for Graeme Bate. He has been costly in his past two runs but gets a chance to atone if it can get luck from an ordinary draw. Hot Grille, Gaelic Bale, and Vee Best Vane look the most likely to make up the minor placings along with the veteran, Amakler Girl.
The winners of the six heats will join the two fastest seconds for a chance to grab the $28,000 Group 2 Horsham Cup title for 2011. Our Toyman was the 2010 champion while Velocette who won in 2009.
At a gala AGRA Awards night held on the infield of the Cannington race Complex in West Australia the Australian Greyhound Racing Association last Friday night announced Cindeen Shelby the winner of the 2009 AGRA Australian Greyhound of the Year.
It was a night of nights on the National scene with Delegates and club members coming together from all over Australia to celebrate the AGRA Awards night with all the stars under stars.
Hosted by GreyhoundsWA the associationâs team is led by CEO David Simonette and Chairman Pat Tassell. They staged a unique and glittering affair out in the open and have certainly set the bench mark for the other states to follow in the years to come.
Continue reading AGRA Greyhound Of The Year Awards
AGRAâs Greyhound of the Month for December 2009 is West Australian owned and Victorian trained sprinter Prankster.
The brilliant Robert Britton trained black dog capped off a great finish to his year winning the Group 1 Hobart 1000 after finishing unplaced in the final of the Melbourne Cup in November.
Prankster carried that solid form into his heat of the 1000 and looked impressive with a commanding win first up on the Hobart track recording 26.34 on December 10th.
Continue reading Prankster Named AGRA December 2009 Greyhound Of The Month
GRSA Stewards have just advised that in relation to the shock positive swab from 2009 Group 3 SA Derby winner Dyna Forte, Graeme Bate has been found guilty and has lost the $21,500 to the winner race.
Bate has also been fined $3,000 but has not received any suspension or disqualification for the positive swab to Procaine.
The leading Victorian trainer, who has had a shocking run of bad luck lately, with Velocette and Amity Bale suffering career ending injuries; was due to face a GRSA Stewards Inquiry today in to the positive swab.
Continue reading Bate Loses SA Derby, Fined $3000 Over Positive Swab
Champion sprinter Velocette â named after an iconic English motorcycle marque â has pulled in for a permanent racing pit stop.
He sustained a dropped back muscle in a heat of the Group 1 Melbourne Cup on November 19 and subsequently has been retired to stud.
A winner of five Group races, including the Group 1 Australian Cup, Velocette took Lara owner breeder Ron McCullagh on the ride of his life.
Continue reading Velocette Officially Retired To Stud
AGRAâs Run of the Month for November 2009 has been awarded to brilliant Victorian sprinter Turanza Bale. In a breathtaking performance the Graeme Bate trained speedster recorded a new track record at the Meadows on November the 2nd when he took out the Group 3 Silver Bullet in 29.61.
The talented black sprinter who had made a number of Group finals without winning overcame a moderate beginning to muster quickly and smash one of Australiaâs most sought after mantles – The Meadows track record. Running home in 11.90, Turanza Bale shaved 0.01 off Big Daddy Coolâs record that has stood since 2004.
Positioned just behind the early leader Dyna Lachlan and kennel mate Velocette through the first turn, Turanza Bale was finely poised to at last break his hoodoo at the highest level and win his first group race after seven desperate attempts.
Continue reading Turanza Bale Named As November Run Of The Month
AGRAâs Greyhound of the Month for November 2009 is New South Wales owned and Victorian trained stayer Amity Bale. The outstanding Graeme Bate trained black bitch has had a sensational five months of racing and capped it off by winning two Group 2 finals and finishing third in another in the month of November.
November started with a super win in the final of the Group 2 Hume Cup not only did she win the final effortlessly by broke the Meadows track record in the process. Next it was back to Wentworth Park for the heats of the Summer Cup she had no trouble making yet another final winning in the fastest time of the night 42.14.
In the final a week later she had to work hard but once in the lead she raced away to win her sixth Group race in a row holding off the fast finishing Forty Twenty.
Continue reading Amity Bale Is November’s Greyhound Of The Month
Devon Meadows husband and wife team Jon and Jenny Roberts took out Australiaâs richest and most prestigious greyhound race, the $250,000 Group 1 Solo Melbourne Cup at Sandown Park tonight.
âItâs unbelievable,â said triumphant trainer Jon.
âIâve been in greyhounds a long time and I never thought this would happen.â
Continue reading Lord Ducal Takes Out Greyhound Racingâs Biggest Prize