This race, the richest, or equal richest, in the country at times, is awash with history. This year will mark its 13th running over 525 metres at the Meadows, and it’s 56th overall. It’s also interesting to see what alleys have provided the most winners of the event since the move to the Meadows.
The first Australian Cup set the template for the prestige of the event. Run in 1958 as a handicap event over 675 yards (617 metres) at North Melbourne, the winner was the great Rookie Rebel, owned and trained by Wally Hooper. Rookie Rebel was the backmarker, off eight yards, and short-priced favourite. Despite a severe check at one point in the race, Rookie Rebel stormed home to defeat the smart NSW racer Magic Babe by three lengths in 36. 2/16ths, the fastest time registered in a handicap. He earned £800 ($1,600) for the victory.
The Australian Cup was run over 675 yards (617 metres) at North Melbourne as a handicap from 1958 to 1962. No race was held in 1963 when the move was made to Olympic Park. The new distance was 560 yards (511 metres) and it remained a handicap in 1964 and 1965. From 1966 to 1995 it was run at Olympic Park. When that track closed, the Cup took place over 515 metres at Sandown Park from 1996 to 1998. In 1999 it moved to the Meadows and was contested over 518 metres until 2001. Since 2002 it has been run over 525 metres at the Meadows.
When Is The Race Run
The first Australian Cup was held on 31 March 1958, and has been held either in late February or March through most of its history. The exceptions have been when it was run in May from 1995 to 1997 and again in 2002, and January in 1998 and 2000.
Only the one: China Trip, in 1992 and 1993.
Only Reserves to Win
Biggest Winning Margins
Eaglehawk Star won by seven and a half lengths in 1985; Brett Lee blitzed the 2001 field by seven lengths in the last Cup contested over 518 metres; South Australian speedster Ginger won by six and a quarter lengths in 1989; NSW champion Benjamin John scored by six lengths in 1969 and Listowel Sue won by five and a half lengths in 1977.
Closest Winning Margins
The dead-heat in 2003 between Blackjack Tom and Most Awesome is obviously the closest of all time. Old Tops won in 1964 by half a head, becoming the first winner of the race at Olympic Park and also the first from NSW. Regal Post downed Dundalk Star by a head in 1987. China Trip won both her Australian Cups, in 1992 and 1993, by a head. Black Diro won by half a neck in 1971.
Most Successful Trainers
Queensland mentor Jim Coleman was the first to train dual winners, in successive years with Ungwilla Lad (1975) and Odious (1976). Then Garry Ball trained China Trip to win two in a row. Darren McDonald prepared Brett Lee in 2001 and Pure Octane in 2005; Robert Britton put the polish on Isa Brown (2002) and Tasman Queen (2008); Andrea Dailly has scored with Dyna Lachlan (2010) and Spud Regis (2013), and Graeme Bate has one and a half winners: he prepared Blackjack Tom in 2003 (who dead heated) and Velocette in 2009.
Idle Mate (third 1958, second 1959), Cheltenham Lass (second 1966 & 1967), Fawn Nulla (third 1966, Won 1967), Ungwilla Lad (Won 1975, third 1976), Count D’Argent (fourth 1977, Won 1978), Tangaloa (second 1979, Won 1980), Franklin Deano (eighth 1990, Won 1991), China Trip (Won 1992 & 1993), Bomber Gleeson (third 1992 & 1993), Super Impact (seventh 1994, sixth 1995), El Galo (second 2008 & 2009), and High Earner (fell 2010, second 2011).
Some Beaten Stars
Magic Babe (second 1958), Shan’s View (sixth 1960), Dennis Direct (second 1961), Tamaroo (seventh 1962), The Stripper (second 1964), Takiri (eighth 1965), Cheltenham Lass (second 1966 & 1967), Kinta’s Son (fifth 1966), Miram Miss (sixth 1968), Petite Panther (second 1971), Milo’s Charm (second 1972), Bristol Miss (fifth 1972), Miss Baines (second 1973), Tempix (second 1980), Acclaim Star (sixth 1980), White Panther (eighth 1980), Chariot Supreme (sixth 1984), Acacia Park (eighth 1984), Legendary Kid (third 1986), True To Do (second 1993), Hotshot (fourth 1998), Reggemite (seventh 1999), Go Wild Teddy (second 2001), Dutchy’s Angel (third 2001), Cyrus The Virus (fifth 2003), Monster’s Inc (second 2004), Paua To Burn (seventh 2006), Train A Journey (second 2007), and Glen Gallon (seventh 2013).
Meadow Vale (1960) was the first Tasmanian to win the Cup, defeating Fair’s Orders and thereby giving trainer Peter Reid the quinella.
Dennis Direct, the runner-up to Copeland in 1961, later went to the United States to race.
Take A Bow, who won in 1962 to take his record to eight wins from just 11 starts, including the Sandown track record, was the sire of 1969 winner Benjamin John.
Busy’s Warrior, third to Pete’s Advice in 1981, was later disqualified for a positive swab, and Hotshow Vintage, second to Arvo’s Express in 2000, was another who was later disqualified.
Apart from the 2003 dead-heat for first, there was a dead-heat for third, in 1987, between Fernando Prince and Shining Chariot.
The Australian Cup was the richest race in the country between 1960 (when it was worth £1,400 to the winner) and 1962 and from 1964 to 1979 (that year it shared equal billing with the Melbourne Cup, both races being worth $30,000 to the winner). In 1983 it was worth $50,000 and again became the richest race, until 1989. Since then, it has shared top billing in 1996, and 1998 to 2000.
Since the move to the Meadows and the 525-metre distance, winners have come out of six boxes, but the majority, perhaps not surprisingly, have exited box one (four winners). Box two has provided one success (St Pierre) and box three one and a half. No winner has worn the blue rug or the green. In fact, the last winner to come from box six was Brett Lee and I am fairly sure the last winner to come from box four was Franklin Deano in 1991.
Keybow has taken out the 2014 Group One Sky Racing Perth Cup (530 metres) title for trainer Darren McDonald. It was a night for Victorian’s, with Born Ali winning the Group One Galaxy (715 metres) for Robert Britton.
As the orange bunny started up and the boxes flew open Keybow shot to the lead, cutting Saving Bundles off for the prime position on the rails. Zelemar Fever (favourite at $4.40) jumped quickly, but was disadvantaged from box six and she found herself in anticipated trouble heading into the first bend, with Andrea Dailly’s Allen Deed falling. The damage had already been done as Keybow continued to extend he lead from outsider Saving Bundles, with Star Recall pushing on to finish third. The Darren McDonald chaser stopped the clock at 30.15, with Saving Bundles just five lengths behind. Litter sisters Star Recall and High Recall finished third and fourth.
At just his 18th career start inexperience wasn’t an issue for Keybow, although it worried Darren McDonald coming into the race. The black dog has now extended his winnings to nearly $200,000.00. The son of Take The Kitty – Key Exit has become Group One Perth Cup champion in just his second group affair after running second in the Carnbourne Cup four starts ago.
Kristie Collyer handled her first Group One winner in the Galaxy for Robert Britton. In a nailing biting encounter, Gold Affair Two went straight to the early lead from box seven with kennel mate Born Ali camped on her heals in second place. Dyna Willow looked to fall out of the boxes because of the early speed the other chases had. She worked hard around the outside of the field to sit in third position. Gold Affair Two began to tire as Dyna Willow and Born Ali made a line of three. It was Born Ali who pushed on to win by a head over Dyna Willow and Gold Affair Two a further two lengths back in third. Infinite Wish finished in fourth position.
After two weeks of catering for Robert Britton’s chasers every need, Kristie Collyer finally got what she deserved, a Group One winner. The daughter of Velocette – Born Princess increased her stake money to over $225,000.00. She jumped as the $2.30 favourite and didn’t disappoint punters taking out the race in 42.05.
Linda Britton looked to win everything but the big races, finishing up with five winners. Te Amo took out the Perth Cup Consolation after missing the start from box seven. It was a massive ask for the WA trained greyhound to defeat the talented field. The daughter of Cosmic Rumble – Osti’s Bride crossed to the lead, overtaking Andrew McLaren’s Bluey’s Fate as they passed the catching pen. Looking strong, Te Amo won the Consolation in 30.43, followed by Buley’s Fate, Ollie Bale and General Destini.
Dyna Nalin was welcomed back to Perth’s winning circle in the second race. Last week running third he missed out on both the Perth Cup and Consolation. From box three Dyna Nalin didn’t disgrace himself out of the boxes, at worst he sat in fourth position on the rails. It was only a matter of time before Paul Stuart’s chaser stole the lead from Ritchie Rich, winning in a best of the night time of 30.10.
ARG Editor’s Note
ARG would like to take this opportunity to thank RWWA and GreyhoundsWA for their fantastic hospitality over this sensational weekend of racing. We were made to feel like locals on Friday night at Mandurah and were then treated to a sensational night at the Perth Cup.
A fantastic night of racing was enjoyed by thousands. The atmosphere was something that the local industry should be very proud of. Superb racing, plenty of beers flowing, quality food and a massive fireworks display as the music played well after the last. What more could a visitor want?
To Paul Stuart, Linda Britton, Kristie Collyer and Tammy Collins, thanks for being our inaugural podcast interviews.
The Sandgroper series kicks off on Friday night at Mandurah, with four heats being conducted for the best WA bred provincial grade greyhounds. Hopeland trainer Kody Charles has Tyler Rocks representing his kennels in the third heat, set to jump from the 490 metre boxes.
The son of Collide – Night Melody has had 11 starts for five wins and three minor placings. His luck with inside box draws has given him the leading edge in a number of his starts; the white and black dog will be making his debut from the green box in the Sandgroper heats.
“Last start he did a few things wrong and was given a satisfactory trial. He did his trial on Tuesday and went really good. He won the trial easy and did everything right, so he was cleared to run on Friday night.” Trainer Kody Charles explains.
“I think he should find the front, that’s obviously where he races best.”
The 32 kilo dog is stepping up in distance from recent starts; Charles doesn’t believe it will bother his chaser because he has won on multiple occasions over Northam’s 509 metre distance.
“He isn’t real strong, with a bit of time he could get the 500 at Cannington, but I’m not 100% sure he will make it. His mum was a sprinter; she nearly won the Birthday Cup (405metres) a couple of years ago.”
“The litter has been disappointing, he is the only pup to come out of Night Melody. She was a real good bitch so I expected a pretty handy litter. He is above average, with a good record and goes really well, but I thought there would have been a few more in the litter like him.”
“Night Melody has had another litter to Velocette in Queensland, I did a pup deal and have got one from the litter. I chose a dog; looking back I guess I made the right choice because of Tyler Rocks.”
“On paper, his heat looks to be one of the weaker heats. Linda Britton’s Magia is the dog that is going to be the hardest to beat. Tyler Rocks is improving all the time and he is an above average dog; his early box speed is what will give him his edge in the heats.”
Tyler Rocks’ heat is set to jump at 7.57 Perth time. Although he is yet to win over this distance he has great form coming into the race. Magia is jumping from box four; he has come off a speedy victory over 405 metres on Tuesday night. The black dog has had two starts over this distance for two wins, which should earn him favouritism.
Lexia Isaac has Fun Princess coming out of box two; she is making the trip down to Mandurah after finishing fourth at Cannington. The black bitches last two starts at Mandurah over 490 metres have seen her finish first past the post and she has won from a range of boxes; box seven looks to be her favourite, winning on three occasions. Miller’s Fury is looking for her fourth consecutive win; she has been winning over Northam’s 588 metre trip, making her hard to run down if she is in the lead.
Sissoko looks to be the dog to beat in the first heat of the Sandgroper, jumping at 7.17 Perth time. He is wearing the blue rug and is having his third start back from a stint on the sidelines. The black and white dog won the Peel Plate final over the 405 metre distance for trainer Jamie Marsh on Tuesday night. Although it was a messy race, with Rapid Kid and Lost Outlaw falling, he shot around the outside to win convincingly from box eight.
Peter Hepple’s Charity Earner is jumping from box one; she has won three of her last four races from a mixture of boxes. Although her last run was over 405 metres, she has stepped up to Northam’s 509 metre race and Cannington’s 530; so running out the 490 metre trip should not come as an issue for her.
Linda Britton has On Coins brother, West On Hudson, jumping from box two. The black dog is beautifully bred, but one downfall has been his box manners; which will do more harm than good over the Mandurah 490 metres. Premier Fun is stepping down from both Mandurah and Cannington’s 600 metre races. Strength will be on the Lexia Isaac trained chaser’s side, making it a very difficult task to run her down if she happens to jump to the front.
Linda Britton has two contenders in the second heat of the night (7.37 Perth time); West On Raven, also a brother to On Coin, and Bekim Maxim. West On Raven has finished no worse then second on her previous two encounters over this distance. Box five won’t be doing her any favours with fast dogs on her inside.
Bekim Maxim is in fine form at the moment and he is yet to run unplaced from his first four career starts. Paul Stuart’s Cee Sheen comes into the race without a win in his previous four starts. He ran third last week from box three after missing the start; he should bring strength into the race from his Cannington starts.
David Hobby’s Kova Monelli looks the dog to beat in the heat jumping from box two. Although running fourth last week at Cannington, he was able to run 30.53 two starts back from box two.
The last heat of the night, set to run at 8.12 Perth time, has the very exciting WA bred chaser Star Recall jumping from box four for Linda Britton. The little black bitch out of High Earner – No Recall has only run unplaced on one occasion in her six career starts. Britton’s second contender Rapid Kid is an unlikely starter after falling in the Peel Plate final on Tuesday night.
Where’s The Fun is jumping from box eight for trainer Lexia Isaac and will be searching for her fourth consecutive win; she has run 27.61 previously, which will put her in with a great place chance. Cool Cadel is making the trip to back to Mandurah after multiple successful starts at Northam and Cannington. Running over 509 and 530 metres should give her a helping hand in the strength department.
Kody Charles believes that the dog to beat in the heats is Linda Britton’s Star Recall. His excitement lay not in the heats, but with his pricey chaser Powerhouse, who is in the process of finding form after spending 12 weeks on an injury induced break.
“He is coming back after tearing his groin. He went in a bit underdone in his last couple of starts. We paid good money for him so we have to push on for Perth Cup.”
Bill Skipper had a night to remember after his star sprinter Special Pup took out the Group 3 Mandurah Mail Birthday Cup.
Jumping from box five at the 405 metre boxes, the black dog was part of an even spread as the lids flew open. Te Amo was able to muster up enough speed to land in front of Special Pup but she was unable to cross the rails, giving Special Pup room to take the lead. The son of Velocette – Barry’s Special crossed the line 2.25 lengths ahead of Te Amo, holding off a late serge from Ben Abercrombie’s Burzynski.
Punters had their money on the Linda Britton trainer Te Amo who jumped from box eight paying $2.50 for the win. Special Pup, the fastest heat qualifier, was second favourite as the boxes opened paying $4.90.
Special Pup has now won on 17 occasions from 33 starts, earning over $47,000 for owner/trainer Bill Skipper.
Skipper’s second contender in the $37,000 final, Special Jim stayed at the rear of the field after jumping last. The son’s of Velocette – Barry’s Special will depart from Skipper’s care in just a few months time when he packs up his Barragup property for his new home in Preston Beach.
2014 Mandurah Birthday Cup Final
Before leaving the greyhound industry behind for his property in Preston Beach, Billy Skipper is going to try his luck with a handful of final campaigns with his Barry’s Special pups.
He took four pups from his star brood bitch (Barry’s Special) to compete with some of WA’s best short course sprinters last Friday night, in the Mandurah Mail Birthday Cup Heats (405 metres).
Flying Special started off Skippers night with a gallant fourth. Up against Ritchie Rich, Celtic Katie and De Wade, it was always going to be a tough ask for the daughter of Velocette – Barry’s Special to win the race.
“Her run was fantastic. Past the post she has gone past De Wade, and you look what Richie Rich did to her, he got her twice during the race.” Trainer Bill Skipper explained.
“She was off a kilo last week. I was wondering why she was running off in the straight, I think 30 kilos is just a bit too much for her.”
Litter brother Special Jim was the run of the night for Skippers kennel. After jumping last from box six and taking the outside route, he soldiered on to victory despite tough competition.
“He did that just recently over the 490. He’s not a real 400 metre dog; he is more a 490 and 530 metre dog. Special Jim has been coming out a bit slow recently, he is perfectly boxed out there (box six). He needs to be a bit off the track. One thing about him is that he stays out there, a lot of dogs get out there and come in and knock them all over. He stays straight and runs in a straight line.”
“Once he got his momentum going on that bend you could see he was never going to get beaten. At the 300 metre boxes he was making them look silly on the inside, but I don’t think you can ever be confident when you are racing in that grade.”
Special Jim has had 33 starts for 11 wins and six minor placing’s. The 31 kilogram dog has Skipper amazed at what he has been able to achieve with his preference of wide boxes. Being the right weight is a big deal for Skipper and he believes that once you find the ideal weight to race at everything else will come.
“I knew that I had his weight right this week, I have had problems with the meat recently. Its better then box one for him, the wider the better. He just takes a while to get into stride. He was always going to give them something at the end.”
The black dog won his heat by 5.75 lengths over Weowna Quickstep in 22.87, cementing his spot in the final next week.
Special Pup was another litter brother to win his heat in impressive style on Friday night, from box one. Coming into the race, the black dog had gone three starts without a win, but this didn’t worry Skipper at all.
“You’ve got to look at how many starts he has won over that distance, as well as his form and weight. Special Pup is one of those dogs that has to be right with his weight and everything else too.”
In his previous three starts, Special Pup’s weight had gone from an almost ideal 31.6 kilograms to a staggering 32.3.
“He is a 31.4 kilogram dog. The whole lot of them have been great! I’m still amazed with how Special Jim and Special Pup are running. It’s staggering to have dogs that can do that. The only problem here is that they are all one grade, and they only have one race they put on. I’m looking at them going to Melbourne soon.”
Special Annie is from Barry’s Special’s first litter to Give Me Five. She has won 19 races and has 16 minor placing’s from 77 encounters, with prizemoney in excess of $35,000. Before her start in the Birthday Cup heats the little black bitch was beginning to make the move towards retirement, until she trialled impressively over 300 metres at Mandurah.
“I had retired her; I just brought her back for that run. She went fantastic; you couldn’t ask her to do much more. We will finish her now and see if we can find someone to put her in pup. She has been the best sprinting bitch in that time.”
In just three months time Skipper will pack up his Barragup property and move to Preston Beach, south of his current location. Skipper will miss his race dogs, but he will be taking three or four retired greyhounds with him.
“The property here is wearing me down and I need a break. I’ll take Barry’s Special with me as a pet definitely. Now I have all these bitches that I have to place, it’s a matter of movement now.”
Although a successful brood bitch, Barry’s Special will enjoy retirement from breeding after having three litters. Her third litter to Magic Sprite are just 13 months old; she had three bitches and two dogs.
“Ben Abercrombie has one bitch and one dog, and I have the other three. I have had Magic Sprite’s here before and they where ratbags, fairly over the top! That’s it for Barry’s Special, she is done and dusted. She had trouble with that third litter, so we wont put her through that again. You have to be kind to them; she has done a good job.”
If her previous litters are anything to go by there is a good chance that there could be something special in her Magic Sprite litter. As for Skippers current race dogs, the two chasers that made it through to the Mandurah Mail Birthday Cup on Friday night are in with a fighting chance.
“It’s fantastic to have a couple in that race!”
Special Jim has been given box three and Special Pup has drawn box five.
“I think they might go a bit too quick for Special Jim, there will always be something that will get in his way unless he steps out. Special Pup is our best chance in the race; he might get the run from there. We will just go in there with everything crossed and shut our eyes when the boxes open.”
Eight exciting heats of the Northern Rivers Vet K9 Reproductions Maiden Series were run and won on Tuesday night with some stunning performances on display from precocious pups.
As expected, the time standard was set by the Darren McDonald trained That’s A Earn, who will more than likely start a short priced favourite in next week’s $20,000 to the winner final. The box draw will be all important for the final, with many of the conveyances likely to benefit greatly for the experience of this week’s racing.
Cosmic Melody (Box 3) showed plenty of tenacity to take out the first heat in 24.69. After leaving the boxes only fairly, Cosmic Melody found herself midfield. Favourite Kidatee Josh (Box 2) took the early ascendency, mainly by virtue of the inside draw with Big Hindu (Box 6) looming large. Just as Kidatee Josh looked to have fought off most challengers, Cosmic Melody emerged from the pack. The Lyndall Massey trained daughter of Cosmic Chief and Yessam Melody bounded to the line strongly in the middle of the track to grab Kidatee Josh in the shadows of the post and become the first to book herself a place in next week’s final, winning by half a length.
Jessie Small (Box 4) improved sharply on her three previous career starts to land the second heat in style. Despite being dragged down as she crossed to the lead, the Peter Moss trained daughter of Collision and Oxley Falcon picked herself up and staved off all challengers to progress to next week’s final. Slash Is King (Box 6) tried hard in second place but could only get within two lengths of the winner at the post. Jessie Small recorded a smart 24.45 for the journey and could well go quicker with a clear run.
The Tony Brett trained Velocity Zoe (Box 3) finally showed what she is capable of when she scorched the loam to win the third heat in a blistering 24.09. Spearing from the white alley, the daughter of Mogambo and Velocity Thunder left her rivals in her wake as she stormed away to win by eight and three quarter lengths from Beau Allegro (Box 7) and Elite Alibi (Box 1).
The fourth heat was decimated by scratchings with only six dogs facing the starter. Bon Zephyr lived up to his fast performance trial here last week, saluting in a classy display. Bippity Boppity (Box 6) found the front early but it wasn’t long before Bon Zephyr took over and raced away. The Anthony Hess trained son of Surf Lorian and Abundia Boo registered 24.30 en route to his three and three quarter length victory. Truly Unique (Box 7) ran home well into second with Bippity Boppity (Box 6) hanging on for third.
Heat five emphasised how important good box manners can be. Flash Reality (Box 7) began speedily from out wide, quickly taking the front and putting a space on his rivals and backed it up with the fastest run home of the night. Glorified Gee (Box 2) was also away well but couldn’t match motors with the son of Premier Fantasy and Orara Flash. The hard luck story of the race may have been the first starter Tweed Ace (Box 6). He began tardily, just like he did in his performance trial. After finding a myriad of trouble he still managed to fly home for second. Considering that the winner ran home in a blistering 14.26, Tweed Ace is definitely one to black book for the future. Flash Reality sizzled on the clock, the Marlene Ellis trained dog completed the 420 metre trip in 24.02 and, if he can begin like that in the final, he could be a major player, especially given his superb run home time.
The Jeffrey Cumming trained Agent Romanoff (Box 1) made the most of the rails alley to land heat six in 24.39. When the race favourite Silver Sticka (Box 2) wanted to use a bit of the track at box rise, Agent Romanoff was afforded plenty of space and used it with aplomb. The son of Cosmic Rumble and Rumble Parade appeared a little green at some stages during the run and may have scope for improvement with more racing. Agent Romanoff scored by two lengths, with My Awesome Opal (Box 6) and Jimary Vixen (Box 7) filling the placings.
The most anticipated heat of the night did not disappoint when the Darren McDonald trained There’s A Earn (Box 4) set the Northern Rivers track alight. The regally bred son of Where’s Pedro and Nova Surf quickly took the lead and zipped away to score in 23.99. Beginning rapidly from the visitor’s box, There’s A Earn carved out the fastest first section of the night (9.63), which set the race up as a virtual solo trial. He careered away to win by eight and three quarter lengths from Kyarran Kid (Box 1) with Jimary Cougar (Box 8) in third.
The final heat of the night produced the biggest upset of the eight heats. Tweed Chic (Box 2) began swiftly and showed her rivals a clean set of pads. The daughter of Velocette and Halzani improved greatly on her performance trial effort, winning by six lengths in 24.30 for Banora Point trainer Mark Johnston at the juicy odds of 25/1.
The box draw for next week’s final was conducted traskside after the heats, and is as follows:
2013 K9 Reproductions Lismore Maiden Series Final Box Draw
- Box 1 – Jessie Small – Peter Moss – 24.45
- Box 2 – Velocity Zoe – Tony Brett – 24.09
- Box 3 – Agent Romanoff – Jeffrey Cumming – 24.39
- Box 4 – Tweed Chic – Mark Johnston – 24.30
- Box 5 – Cosmic Melody – Lyndall Massey – 24.69
- Box 6 – Flash Reality – Marlene Ellis – 24.02
- Box 7 – Bon Zephyr – Anthony Hess – 24.30
- Box 8 – There’s A Earn – Darren McDonald – 23.99
- 1st Res – Tweed Ace – Mark Johnston – 24.29
- 2nd Res – My Awesome Opal – Grant Fennelly – 24.53
2013 Lismore Maiden Series Heats Replays
In what is more than likely an unprecedented result, Bridport duo Joanne and Mick Taylor provided the trifecta in Monday night’s Simons Carpet One Gold Collar Final (515 metres).
The Taylor owned and prepared litter mates Bit Hot Finchy, Bit Hot Henry and Bit Hot Sally filled the placings in that order, the trifecta paying the handsome dividend of $723.50.
Unfortunately Joanne or Mick failed to box their four runners in the rich event in a trifecta, but they are naturally overwhelmed at the result, their biggest pay day since becoming involved in the sport two decades ago.
“We didn’t have a wager in the race, however members of our family took a trifecta with our runners and are celebrating the dividend,” Joanne explained this week.
Bit Hot Sally flew the lids from the red box on Monday night, but was headed on the first turn by Bit Hot Finchy, which had begun safely from the green.
That pair raced away from the remainder of the field mid-race, but Bit Hot Henry made good ground in the concluding stages to secure second prize, three lengths astern of the winner, in the time of 30.13.
Bit Hot Rusty, the kennel’s remaining runner, was the recipient of an early check, before eventually finishing the race in fifth position.
“Bit Hot Finchy runs very quick second sections and Bit Hot Henry invariably finishes off nicely, they are both promising chasers,” Joanne explained.
The Taylors will now attempt to win a juvenile with Bit Hot Sally and Bit Hot Rusty in Hobart, with a well earned spell for all four chasers just around the corner.
Another of the litter, Bit Hot Roxy is also expected to make it back to the track in the very near future.
“She was the fastest in the litter when we broke them in, but she unfortunately hurt her groin and has taken time to recover,” Joanne explained.
“We are naturally hoping that she will carry on the good work started by her litter mates.”
The Taylors live in the vicinity of a quiet beach near Bridport, where they exercise their chasers at every opportunity.
“They love the beach environment, with Bit Hot Sally the only member of the litter to really fire up and prove difficult to restrain when we take them there,” Joanne explained.
Meanwhile, with the Devonport Raceway closed for the Devonport Show, Tuesday’s meeting was transferred to Launceston.
Veteran Broadmarsh trainer Keith Nichols provided the surprise of the meeting when Miss Taylors, a bitch by Velocette from the Brett Lee bitch Miss Someone, was successful in the Furniture City Juvenile (515 metres).
Paying a dividend of $26.10, she accounted for Lonesome Knight and Shanlyn Vapour, in the time of 30.27.
Best time of the meeting was recorded by the well related Rumbling Rick, which blitzed his rivals in the Duncans at Hadspen Invitation Stake (515 metres), at his first run back since returning from Western Australia.
Prepared by Dale Hammersley, the Cosmic Rumble – Ricky’s Angel chaser recorded a slick 29.70 in defeating Teddy Tom Boy and Stylish Abbey by 11 lengths, while returning a win dividend of $2.10.
The graduates of the 2012 Dapto Puppy Auction line up in the heats of the Country Motor Company Puppy Classic on Thursday night. This will be the fourteenth running of the series.
A total of 316 dogs were nominated for the 2012 auction, with greyhounds whelped between 1 July 2011 to 31 December 2011 eligible to nominate.
Eight heats of the race have been drawn and will feature 61 greyhounds vying for the grand prize of $75,000 to the ultimate winner.
The value of the highest selling lot in the 2012 instalment of the auction was $8,000 which went to a number of pups including one from the Velocette ex. Paua to Burn litter, one from the Big Daddy Cool ex. Dangle the Carat litter and two from the Flying Penske ex. Angel Doll litter. Only the Paua to Burn pup features in the heats (Cocktail Party; Race 3, Box 6).
HEAT ONE – Race 1 at 7:27pm
The first heat on the card features two greyhounds from the Collision ex. Cool Karen litter, Genetic Jenny in Box 2 and Lickety Lick in Box 7. Cool Karen was a talented race bitch, winning 12 races covering distances from 365 metres to 720 metres. Genetic Jenny has the better record of the two, winning two from eight starts and being placed on three other occasions. The black bitch has a fast 30.06 win to her credit at Nowra back in late September and has had two starts here at Dapto for a third placing. She has the ability to lead and if she can begin on terms is expected to measure up. She has been freshened for this after finding trouble in a race at Nowra on 19 October.
Buckled, in Box 8, stands out as the class runner in the field, placing at Wentworth Park on Saturday night. The bitch by High Earner ex. Buckle Bunny has had eight starts for two wins and four placings. This is her first time from Box 8 so it will be interesting to see if she can handle the outside. The widest draw she has had is Box 5. The Velocette ex. Eve dog from Box 1, Alderley Riot, is capable of running a cheeky race, with two wins from five starts. Both wins have come at The Gardens and the dog is trained by respected trainer Ron Bell, so the dogs chances can’t be dismissed. Of the other runners, Go Wild Spot (Box 4) and Second Receiver (Box 6) will struggle. Go Wild Spot has been unplaced in six starts and Second Receiver has failed to record a win after facing the starter 22 times.
HEAT TWO – Race 2 at 7:52pm
The Bombastic Shiraz ex. Material Journey litter was one of the best bred at the 2012 auction, with pups from the litter selling for an average price of $5,550. Two feature in this heat with Shimmy Shim Sham starting from Box 1 and So Swanky from Box 7. Shimmy Shim Sham has been racing around Dapto, Coonamble, Maitland and Lithgow and has failed to salute in 10 starts. So Swanky has been racing in Queensland, with two wins from 15 starts, with both wins coming at Ipswich. The greyhound has been placed on seven other occasions. The two standouts in this race look to be Wild Wilfred (Box 3) and Jawlaa (Box 4). Wild Wilfred is beautifully bred by Go Wild Teddy ex. Lee Serenade (Brett Lee ex. Gold Serenade) and is owned and trained by Shane Pulbrook. The blue dog has won five races from 19 at Wagga, Bulli, Temora and Lithgow. The dogs last win came in September at Lithgow and his recent form has only been average. However, the greyhound clearly has talent. He doesn’t always step away well at box rise so will need to improve in this area to factor.
The Joseph Scerri trained Jawlaa is by Swift Fancy ex. Kumta Lee and has six wins from 14 starts. The 28kg black bitch has sizzled around the 535 at Richmond in 30.37 and has also won at Wentworth Park in 30.20. She also has a perfect record at Dapto, having won three from three with a personal best of a smart 29.72. She is the dog to beat in this heat and is likely to feature at the business end of the series. Of the others, Sizzling Sally (Box 6) has won one race at Nowra in a better than average 20.94 but has since struggled with the step up to 520 metres, placing in a steady 30.72 at Nowra. Dig Deep Maggie from Box 8 has managed two wins, both coming at Dapto with a personal best of 30.41.
HEAT THREE – Race 3 at 8:14pm
This race features one of the highest selling lots from the auction; Cocktail Party (Box 6). The record of the white and brindle bitch suggests she will struggle to feature in the series, winning just one race from 11 starts in an average 31.11 at Richmond. Steve White, who bought Cocktail Party back at the auction, has Paua to Charge lining up in Box 7. The fawn dog has had a great start to his career, with three wins from five starts over the sprint distances at Bulli and Nowra. White will have him well prepared for this race and he should run well enough to proceed through to the next round.
The runner from Box 4, Lachlan Bomber, will be the dog to beat in this heat. He has won ten races in his short career at Goulburn, Bulli and Maitland. He is a speed dog that has been placed in his only start at Dapto. Black Beach Girl (Box 1) and Zu Zu Lock (Box 3) could make things interesting in this race. Black Beach Girl has recorded a fast 22.65 at Bulli in late October and has plenty of early zip. Zu Zu Lock has won two at Dapto including a respectable 30.18 win from Box 2 just a fortnight ago. The Global Warming ex. Offangorn dog is locally trained by Cliff Bell and should be good value in betting.
HEAT FOUR – Race 5 at 8:53pm
Top Queensland trainer Tony Brett has Exhibitionist (Box 5) engaged in this heat and he looks to have a top chance. The Superman ex. Naughty Nicki bitch was purchased for $1700 at the auction. Naughty Nicki had a decent record for Adele Powell and Exhibitionist has been a tidy purchase to date, winning five from eight and over $4000 in prize money in her short career. Exhibitionist comes to Dapto having won her last three starts at both Albion Park and Ipswich. She is a good beginner and if she employs that trait at Dapto she will be hard to beat.
The two most experienced runners in the field are Vee Ate Turbo (Box 5) and High and Mighty (Box 7). Between them they have had 58 starts. Vee Ate Turbo has won seven races over a distance of 400 metres at Richmond, The Gardens and Maitland. The greyhound failed in her most recent attempt over 500 metres at The Gardens in October and may struggle to run out the 520 metres here at Dapto, although she could lead for a fair way. High and Mighty has done most of his racing in Queensland and is a last start winner at Ipswich over 520 metres in 30.69 which was just a shade off the Best of the Night. However, from 34 starts he has only won four times, so his wins are well spaced and he may struggle from the difficult Box 7 draw. The other runner that may factor is the Victorian Darley Chilly from Box 1. He ran third at his last start over the 500 metres at Bendigo in a steadily run race. He has recorded two wins from his ten starts and can’t be completely disregarded.
HEAT FIVE – Race 7 at 9:38pm
This heat is one of the hardest to pick, with all greyhounds showing similar form from limited starts. The only greyhound in the race that hasn’t had a race start to date is Hayville Charlee (Box 8). Hayville Charlee is nicely bred by Knocka Norris ex. Vizcaya. Vizcaya won the Group 2 Vince Curry Maiden and ran second in the Group 1 Adelaide Cup in 2006, so Hayville Charlee certainly doesn’t lack in the breeding department. Hayville Charlee has had two performance trials at Dapto, winning both with her fastest time 30.21. She has drawn the extreme outside and this may prove tricky for the inexperienced youngster. However, there is little doubt that Billy Bates would have given her a few looks at the track so she should be familiar with the circuit.
Melaneus Shiraz (Box 6) is a noted fast beginner with a speedy 5.38 sectional recorded at Dapto. From four starts at the track, the Hurricane Luke ex. Cin Cin Shiraz bitch has won one and placed in three. Her win at Dapto came in a decent 30.12 from Box 2. She should have no trouble leading. Snooty Reg has made her way up from Victoria. She is yet to win a race but has been placed in four of six starts. Her recent form at Shepparton and Bendigo has been consistent. This is her first inside draw in her career and with half decent box manners, Box 1 might give her a chance to be in the mix.
HEAT SIX – Race 8 at 9:59 pm
El Senor Toro (Box 2) will be looking to improve his win record to five wins from eight starts from a suitable box draw. The black dog by El Grand Senor ex. Royal Pearl hasn’t started at Dapto but he has won in a fast 22.57 at Bulli. He is a last start winner at Bulli in 22.64 and is a consistent beginner. His form is superior to the rest of the field so watch him closely.
Jodie Lord has a litter mate to Buckled in Box 5. Handy Nandy has recorded two wins including a last start 25.45 win at Canberra in a mixed grade race. She can begin well but has had the advantage of inside boxes in recent starts. She is also stepping up to 520 metres for the first time so I would take her on trust. The other runner with relatively good form is My Bella Rose in Box 6. The Allan Manwaring trained youngster has won three and been placed seven times from 15 starts. She has quick wins at Goulburn over the 350 and 457 and has won here at Dapto in a moderate 30.63.
HEAT SEVEN – Race 9 at 10:22pm
Amy Bennett will be hoping her greyhound, Little Elsie, can overcome Box 4 en route to her sixth win. The blue fawn bitch by El Grand Senor ex. Oxley Amy has been a model of consistency. She has only recently stepped up the 520 metre distance, winning at Dapto in 30.39 and finishing second at Wentworth Park on 1 November. Little Elsie has a vacant box on her outside which should giver her plenty of room early. Lani Banarni in Box 2 has the best time at Dapto out of all the runners. The Disintergrate ex. Hey Princess bitch has recorded 30.07 for the trip from Box 8. She has a slow beginner on her inside so will likely get a good rails run into the first turn.
Steve White’s Paua to Excite is also worth some consideration. She won her first start at Dapto in 30.28 but then tailed out last start, with the stewards report noting that the greyhound may have become winded after early interference and was inexperienced field wise. A clean cross from Box 8 should see her improve but there is a bit of speed on her inside.
HEAT EIGHT – Race 10 at 10:40pm
Frank Hurst has to wait until the last heat to produce Wentworth Park winner Encosta Deplente. He is by Bananarama, who was the mother of the three greyhounds that ran the trifecta in the 2012 auction race run over 297 metres at Dapto. That litter was by Collision. Encosta Deplente is sired by Hallucinate and has won three from seven. He is a last start winner at Wentworth Park in 30.34 and has placed at Dapto from two starts at the track. The Wentworth Park win stands him out in class in this field but he has to overcome the squeezebox to score.
Another of the El Grand Senor ex. Paua to Terrify litter appears here in Box 2. Paua to Thrill is making his race debut and has recorded two solid wins in Performance Trials, the most recent a fast 25.20 over the Canberra 440 metres. Neva’s Tree in Box 6 has won his last two at Bulli, leading all the way in 22.92 on both occasions. He may show enough early speed to hamper the running of Encosta Deplente.
The top four from each of these heats will proceed to the semi finals next week.
The name Bold Trease is synonymous with staying races in Victoria. The champion, renown for his withering finishing burst, was the undisputed king of Sandown Park, winning four consecutive Sandown Cups in the late 1980’s. It is only fitting that when the elite greyhounds of that racing genre do battle this week, it is in the heats of a group one race named in his honour, the Solo Bold Trease.
The 2013 installment of the 715 metre event will be the fifteenth time the event has been run and it boasts four top quality heats featuring the cream of the crop when it comes to Australia’s best half milers. The heats will provide the perfect companion to eight Melbourne Cup heats also run on a superb card of racing that would please the most fastidious of greyhound racing connoisseurs.
RACE 3 – SOLO BOLD TREASE HEAT 1 – 7:43pm
The first heat looks an absolute clanger for punters with a good blend of class and form providing plenty of value. The race looks to rest between the four dogs drawn closest to the fence with luck in the running sure to play a part.
The Brooke Ennis trained Major League (Box 3) has the most consistent recent form in this heat. The son of Velocette and Gogo Sutro produced a personal best of 42.11 when winning here two runs back and has to be considered a major player on the credence of that. Major League does have the propensity to get back in his races so may need the virtue of a little bit of space in the run. With two decent beginners drawn inside him, that could well provide him a nice sit on the fence during the race.
The class of the race rests undoubtedly with the Emilio Rinaldi trained veteran, Destini Fireball (Box 4). The son of Where’s Pedro and Grey’s Destiny has an imposing strike rate with 23 wins from just 51 starts but looks well below his best on recent form. He has only had two runs back from a month layoff and could only manage a fifth at this track and distance beaten five lengths by Major League at his most recent effort. He appeared to knock up a little in that run and should be better for the hit out. He has registered a quick 42.04 here in the past, so if he finds anywhere near his best, he’ll be in this up to his ears.
Madison Dee (Box 2) loves the Sandown Park circuit and has produced consistent form of late for her Heathcote based trainer, Michael Chilcott. The daughter of El Galo and Oh Behave has finished in the top four at her last six outings including two wins, one of which was at this track over 595 metres. She has won two and been placed in a further four races from her eight efforts at this track and distance and could well get a nice sit in transit, just off the pace.
The possible leader in the heat could well be Infinite Wish (Box 1). She won in 42.27 at her only attempt here back in early September, which was from this box, on that occasion she led for the bulk of the event. She has since exhibited her versatility by winning over the longer trips at Cranbourne, Wentworth Park and The Meadows, she also managed a second placing in the group three Sydney Cup. She did miss the start at Geelong last week which was out of character for her. If she can atone for that, she could well give them something to catch.
The outside division look a little tested in this event. Newfire Riley is another runner that tends to get back in the running. He did manage to win in a zippy 42.11 at Sandown a month ago and will just keep on coming, but he will be reliant on some luck during the event. Czar (Box 8) has been racing over middle distances and finding trouble midfield. He could land himself a little more handy in this race but will need to get across from the wide draw. Another runner that may play a vital role in how the race pans out is the Robbie Britton trained New Tibur (Box 7). New Tibur can show early toe on his day but is a bit of a query over the journey at this level. Should he find the front early, it could add a few more variables into the race.Sweet It Is (Box 6) has only won one race from thirteen starts and looks outclassed.
RACE 7 – SOLO BOLD TREASE HEAT 2 – 9:12pm
The second heat looks to be a gem with some flying machines engaged. It also features the presence of the two Tasmanian superstar litter mates Bell Haven and Jethro.
The Robbie Britton trained Lucy Wires (Box 2) is a very exciting staying bitch. She landed the Group three Sydney Cup at her last outing which was just her sixteenth start in a race. She has won eight career races and sizzled around Sandown Park in 41.88. Lucy Wires is a product of U.S breeding, being a daughter of Flying Penske and Okgo Box To Wire. She has steady box manners and should be found in the first half of the field early on from this draw. She looks very hard to go past. She may also represent some value in pre-post markets for the final.
The first of the Tasmanian litter mates by Head Bound out of It’s A She is Jethro (Box 4). This veteran has been racing successfully over the middle distances of late and steps up for another crack at a group one event over the longer trip. Trainer Kel Greenough looks to have aimed Jethro at this series and will have him cherry ripe for the race. It was in these heats last year that Jethro broke both the first and second sectional records en route to running 41.93. He went on to run a gallant second to the champion Miata in the final. With such a wealth of experience and class, he cannot be discounted in this field.
Jethro’s sister, Bell Haven (Box 8) looks the other hope in this event. The Ted Medhurst trained conveyance has been racing solidly around Wentworth Park without winning. She has a terrific record from the pink alley, winning four of her five starts from the extreme outside, so that certainly won’t hurt her chances. She was a finalist in this race last year, finishing fourth. The query is whether she is anywhere near that form at the moment.
It would be a surprise if the winner came from outside of those three dogs. The best of the rest looks to be Defib Daryl (Box 3) and Hala Belle (Box 5). Defib Daryl has managed 42.29 around this circuit but has shown his best over middle distances. Hala Belle is yet to win over the staying trip too but has good form over the 600 metre journey.
RACE 9 – SOLO BOLD TREASE HEAT 3 – 9:55pm
Heat three looks another challenging event, with the early speed battle sure to be vital.
Gold Affair Two (Box 5) is a veteran of some 83 starts but has not lost any of her early toe. If she can cross to the rails early she will give them plenty to chase. Martin Hanke puts the polish on this daughter of Texas Gold and Olger’s Affair. Gold Affair Two recently finished a close second at this track and distance to Major League who is one of the main chances in Heat 1. She then came out and led her rivals a merry dance over 680 metres at Geelong. She is one of the most reliable beginners in the game and it will be no surprise to see her lead them past the post the first time, nor the second.
Proven Impala (Box 1) is drawn to do plenty in this race. The daughter of Velocette and Thanks Blue has won an incredible six of her ten starts from the cherry and finished second in a further three of those races. Her tidy box manners could prove to be the key to the race. If she prevents Gold Affair Two from crossing to the fence, it could well decide her winning chances. If there is a question mark over her, it may be the fact that she has only raced twice in the past six weeks. No doubt, Maryborough based mentor Joe Borg will be doing all he can for her to sizzle in this heat.
Amity Flame has been scorching around the Meadows over the longer trip of late and has produced a fast 41.91 run here before. If there is a concern with him it is probably the fact that he has only managed one win from five attempts at this trip and track. He is also a moderate beginner so will need a bit of space early from the squeeze alley.
Mimicking (Box 6) is a grand old campaigner who, at is best, would be more than competitive with this lot. His form suggests he is still going ok and, given the luxury of some clear running, he may be finishing hard at the business end of proceedings.
Of the rest, Dyna Werribee (Box 8) has been racing well but has an average strike rate on this track and is yet to impress on the clock. Where’s Keroma (Box 2) has strung three middle distance wins together in a row and has ran some fast times at Wentworth Park over 720 metres in the past.
RACE 11 – SOLO BOLD TREASE HEAT 4 – 10:36pm
The final heat features a couple of interstate raiders, including the group one national distance winner from New South Wales as well as a smart Western Australian chaser.
Smart Valentino (Box 8) is already a group one winner and has a terrific record over the longer trips. The son of Where’s Pedro and Smart Betsy won the National Distance final at the Meadows back in August and has ran plenty of handy races since. Two runs back he sizzled around Wentworth Park in Sydney in 41.88, around a length outside the great Miata’s track record. He was unsuccessful in his only attempt at Sandown Park but gets his chance to atone here from a box that he has never missed a place from.
Magpie Bob (Box 1) is an ultra consistent Western Australian chaser who is drawn to lead here. The David Hobby trained son of Cosmic Rumble and Amanda has 24 career wins to his credit, albeit mostly in an easier class. This draw looks ideal for him and he may well be giving them something to chase when heads turn for home.
Dyna Willow (Box 2) has made a good impression in the staying ranks in a relatively short career. The daughter of Collision and Horizon Bale enjoys the Sandown track and has posted a fast 41.99 here. She also has a penchant for this draw, winning two of her three races from the alley. Her last two starts over middle distances have been below par and that is the main concern for this Steve Collins trained conveyance coming into this race.
Set To Shine (Box 7) is a handy beginner who defeated Bell Haven last start at Wentworth Park in a slick 42.25. She is yet to win from box seven but has a good record overall from wide boxes. She may have trouble crossing Magpie Bob which may be the key for her.
Of the other runners, Cheetah Zorro (Box 3) is probably the pick, she is racing consistently and loves Sandown. She is yet to flatter on the clock and may find this class a little too much.
There is certainly plenty to like about these four quality heats of this time honoured event. This year the race looks as wide open as it has in sometime with no Miata’s in the race. That should ensure a top betting series and some very competitive racing.
Last Thursday Queensland’s Premier Club hosted four heats of the Group 3 Gold Coast Cup series with the first and second place getters progressing to this weeks $25,000 to the winner final. On a perfect night for racing, the time standard was set by the brilliant Jetta’s Girl for leading trainer Tony Brett who stopped the clock in a very fast 29.79. It was an awesome display of box speed by the recent Ipswich Track Recorder holder (431m) as she exploded from the boxes in a lightning 5.57 first section.
With the track in wonderful condition the four heats showed their class and ability with only lengths separating each of the 4 heat winners. Prior to the heats Racing Queensland would have been disappointed in another feature series failing to attract full fields and big name greyhounds. The greyhounds that competed are chasers with above average ability, but despite these local chasers, the event wasn’t supported by interstate trainers and runners as in years gone by. It is yet another problem facing the administrators in a struggling Queensland Racing environment.
The highlight of the night was the early speed on display with some lightning quick first sectionals. Prior to the bunny rolling past the boxes for this week’s final, it looks on paper that whichever grey can jump cleanest and quickest may be the one to claim victory and Group 3 success.
Group 3 Gold Coast Cup Final – 520m – Albion Park
Box 1 – Battistuzzi (Collision – Dulcinea)
Heat winner is a fast 30.12, he was able to wear down early leader Rose Of Galo and Queensland champ Glen Gallon. The veteran of only 10 starts is an up and coming greyhound with plenty of ability as evidenced by his track best 29.86. The October 2011 whelp looks a greyhound to follow and with his racing ability and style he looks well placed after coming up with the rails draw. Fast early and in the capable hands of Spring Grove trainer Frank Hancock. Winning chance.
Box 2 – Yogi Blue (Cool Effort – Opal Assassin)
Yamanto trainer Peter O’Reilly continues to shine in 2013 with another group finalist in box 2 runner Yogi Blue. The April 2011 whelp has been a bread and butter performer throughout his career, returning 6 wins an 11 placing’s from his 31 career starts. A recent trip to South Australia seems to have worked wonders for the blue dog as he ran his best race at Albion Park last week when a close second behind Punch One Out. From the same box draw this week, he looks an each-way chance to taste victory in his toughest test to date.
Box 3 – Punch One Out (Knocka Norris – Little Egyptian)
A brilliant final section saw Punch One Out catch early leader Yogi Blue in a fast 29.85 when she took out heat three last week. The beautifully conformed 27 kilo black bitch has been a revelation since first gracing the track when second on debut at Lismore. A well-travelled greyhound she is a multiple group finalist, having made feature finals throughout Australia during her 42 start career. Having raced against and beaten some of the best greyhounds during her career she looks the one to beat in the final. With 21 wins and 14 placing’s and a bank balance in excess of $100,000 she faces the bunny from the same box as her heat win. Great bitch in great hands – the one to beat.
Box 4 – Cecil Henry (Collision – Millennium)
Astute mentor Greg Brennan puts the polish on another group finalist with exciting sprinter Cecil Henry. A heat winner in a strong 30.15 after exciting the cherry draw, he was able to lead throughout in a nice performance amongst the local Queensland brigade in a tight finish. The December 2010 whelp has only had limited starts but does have track experience at HQ where he has faced the starter on 22 occasions for 11 wins and 6 placing’s. A poor draw with box 4 in the final, but a young greyhound with ability and in competent and astute hands. Each Way chance.
Box 5 – Maid For Ron (Made To Size – Tina’s Show)
Baby bitch Made For Ron continues to show class beyond her experience as she charged home strongly when second behind fastest heat winner Jetta’s Girl. The veteran of just 6 career starts (4 wins and 1 second) is prepared by Queensland great Ron Ball. With a sub 30 PB at Albion Park – she does have exceptionally ability and is one of the most exciting up and coming greyhounds in Queensland. Despite her poor draw, and lack of experience she is a strong winning chance.
Box 6 – Rose Of Galo (El Galo – Noir Rose)
Mount Tarampa trainer Albert Kennewell puts the polish on exciting bitch Rose Of Galo who qualifies for another feature final. The February 2011 whelp has an outstanding ability to ping the lids and with box speed winning races she looks one the early challengers in the final. Second in her heat behind Battistuzzi, she has a fast 30.02 PB here. With an overall record of 25 starts for 11 wins and 6 placing’s, she is a consistent performer and deserving of Group 3 success.
Box 7 – White Hornet (Cosmic Rumble – Skinny Magic)
Park Ridge mentor Ray Burman continues to shine in 2013 and leading the kennel charge is super consistent White Hornet. The November 2011 whelp is the youngest chaser in the final. Despite the young age he has an outstanding overall record and at HQ his record is outstanding with 13 starts resulting in 8 wins and 3 placing’s. Already a feature finalist he has been a wonderful money spinner in his short career with prizemoney already in excess of $30,000. The Skinny Magic litter are winning races throughout South East Queensland with White Hornet the flag bearer and an each-way chance in the final.
Box 8 – Jetta’s Girl (Surf Lorian – Kaycee Diva)
Brilliant heat winner in BON figures stopping the clock at super quick 29.79 (5.57, 11.50 and 12.72). The recent Ipswich 431m track record holder is racing in career best form and is perfectly drawn out wide in the pink rug. An overall record of 34 starts for 17 wins and 9 placing’s she is wonderfully honest in each of her race track performances. Raced by the Gargoyle’s Racing Syndicate, it is yet another feature final for this beautiful daughter of leading Queensland sire Surf Lorian. Prepared by Queensland’s leading mentor Tony Brett she will be will fancied in the final and is boxed to win.
Box 9 – Spirits Away (Run’s House – Spirit Released)
First reserve Spirits Away ran a terrific heat race when a close third behind series favourite Punch One Out. It was a great performance from the cherry draw by the Paul Haig trained and Philip Muller owned daughter of Runs House. With a strong career winning percentage of 22 starts for 9 wins and 3 placing’s she does have an honest each way chance should she gain a start.
Box 10 – Dulcie Dee (Collision – Dulcinea)
Second reserve for the final is the litter sister of heat winner and box 1 finalist Battistuzzi. Another chaser from the Hancock kennel, she is greyhound with untapped ability. Still a baby with just the 10 career starts she has a brilliant record of 6 wins and 3 placing’s. A young greyhound going places and one to follow no matter what happens here. Fast early, she will be another with an open each way chance should she gain a start in the rich final.
The Group 3 Gold Coast Cup continues to be a highlight on the Queensland Racing Calendar despite having been moved to Albion Park since the Gold Coast Parklands Track closure in 2008. Recent winners include Velocette (2009) and Don’t Knocka Him (2012) amongst a host of well performed chasers of years gone by. This year’s final is an open affair, with early speed the key to who will take home the title and first place prizemoney.
Selections – 8 – 7 – 6 – 3
Bill Skipper’s love and affection has paid off, yet again, with his sprinter Special Pup, making it through to his second finals campaign, this time the Group 3 Solo Mandurah Cup.
An abundance of talent made its way down to Mandurah for the heats on Friday evening. It was a night where favourites went down and long shots stepped up.
In the opening heat of the night, Special Pup jumped from box eight and flew around the outside to take the lead before the field even hit the 405 metre boxes. From then on it was a matter of how far the 31 kilogram dog was going to win by.
Talent was evenly matched with Uno Reltub, Sam’s Sionara and Rerod Rose battling it out for the minor placing’s. The wining margin was just over 5 lengths to the Corey White-trained Rerod Rose in a time of 27.46.
“It was a very good run,” Trainer Bill Skipper said.
“I thought box eight would suit him because he has nothing on his outside and he would just cart along”.
“He gave Uno Reltub whip burn in the race, he just couldn’t keep up. He got along side him on the bend and he just said see you later”.
Youngster Te Amo also made it into the final after going head to head with Kylie McLeannan’s Hosley Bale, who finished third behind a strong finishing Gomes.
Linda Britton produced her second quinella of the night in the third heat with Zelemar Fever taking out first prize.
Bill Skipper had Special Pup’s litter brother, Special Maestro, in the third heat. Unfortunately he found trouble early and was unable to find his way through the field. Zelemar Fever produced her first win at the Mandurah track, while the favourite, On Coin, never found himself in the mix after jumping badly.
Perth Cup winner Dyna Nalin qualified in the fastest winning time (27.34), putting together yet another come from behind victory when running down Linda Britton’s returnee, Rumbling Rick.
Mandurah specialist De Wade took out the fifth heat, over Nick Minutillo’s Lochinvar Sass in the second fastest heat time of 27.39.
Paul Stuart finished off his night with his third entrant, Flip Bale, stealing the race on the line from Saving Bundles.
Linda Britton also put through three chasers of her own, after Oh So Smooth took the last rug in the final heat.
Drawing box six in the final, Bill Skipper believes that the box could have been worse.
“He actually has a good box, it’s all in the jump though”.
“I am never confident going into races, I always get staggered on what they do. It’s because I believe bad luck normally causes most of it”.
Special Pup is lovingly kennel named Pup, after he was found to have a calcium deficiency and needed to be booked into a vet at just four months old.
“They asked what the pups name was and I said just call him pup, so that’s how he got his name”.
Although simple, Pup’s personality is certainly not.
“He is very playful and affectionate. They are all a bit stubborn on the lead because they want you to muck with them. They don’t want to go into their kennels because they want to stay out and play”.
“You can’t blame them can you?”
Bill Skipper chose Velocette to sire his litter of Barry’s Special pups because he was looking for more strength.
“The first litter I went to Give Me Five, and that was just really picked out of the hat. The next one was really much the same thing, but this time I thought I would go up a little bit stronger”.
“I was looking at Bombastic Shiraz but I didn’t think I could get a straw for him, so I went for the offspring, which is Velocette”.
“I’m not a real guru with the breeding, that has all come from Barry’s Special really. I think you could have crossed anything over her”.
Barry’s Special raced around Wentworth Park before dropping a back muscle and making the move west into Dean Starkie’s kennels.
“When she first came over she wouldn’t break 28 (seconds) over the 490, Dean then asked if I wanted to train her”.
“We turned her around to be a bit of a speed machine”.
Turing nine years old on the first of December, Barry’s Special is very special to Bill Skipper.
“Barry’s Special sleeps in the lounge, she is human. When people ring up I tell them that she is listening”.
“All mine make pets, I have the old girls lying here on a rug at the moment. So I have three in the house and they virtually have free run”.
Sadly, Bill lost one of his beloved brood bitches in Lethal Lisa not too long ago.
“I bred a litter from her, she had only dropped the pups three weeks (before) and I had to put her down because she had bone cancer”.
Bill knew there was something wrong when she wouldn’t lie down to feed her puppies.
“She would just walk around in a circle because she couldn’t lay herself down to feed them. I had to lift her up and drop her down”.
“Racing can be a horrible business you know”.
Special Pup’s first feature victory came in the Mandurah Mail Winter Sprint.
“Friday the 26th of July and we still need to get his name engraved on it!”
“Pup seems to be all happy with Mandurah, he has won so many races there. He did win his maiden at Cannington, but apart from that I don’t think he has won another race there”.
Pup has raced around Mandurah 15 times for a staggering 11 wins and one minor placing, producing his best time of 27.32 in August of this year.
“He is racing well and he likes Mandurah, he has gone the good times there”.
Bill Skipper rates Dyna Nalin in the final because of his explosive speed, but like all short distance races the jump from the boxes means everything.
“You just got to sit back and wait for the lids to open and see what happens”.
Amongst the racing, punting, heat and alcohol that is the Coonamble Racing Carnival, emerged a touching story over the weekend.
Cooks Gap trainer Len Haaring has two runners engaged in the final meeting tomorrow afternoon and is hoping that one in particular can go close to the prize. Haaring trains the talented Kayla’s Tiger that earned herself a spot in the Silver Maiden Final when running second to Midnight Rhythm in her heat on Saturday. The brindle bitch by El Grand Senor out of Kayla Enlim was bred by Mudgee mentor Bob Milne who sadly passed away just over a year ago.
“Bob was a friend of mine that I have known for years in the greyhounds and he bred the Kayla Enlim litter. This is the first litter that she has had”, Haaring explained.
“Kayla won about fifteen or sixteen races. She won over 300, 400, 500 and 600. She was a very versatile bitch. She was looking like being greyhound of the year at Bathurst until she broke down in the middle of the year. She was miles ahead in the greyhound of the year at the time and it took them until about October to catch up to her”.
“She took quite a few years to come on season. Bob was waiting very patiently for this particular litter. He had ones with Natalie Enlim and Chloe Milne but he just wanted really badly to get a litter out of Kayla. Eventually it came true”.
Once he had his much anticipated litter on the ground, Milne had to fight to ensure that they survived. Tragically when the pups were just seven weeks old they contracted the dreaded parvovirus.
“He had two litters at the time, one out of Chloe Milne and the one out Kayla. He had 21 pups all up- 12 out of one litter and nine out of the other litter- and unfortunately 15 of them had to be put down. There were only six survivors”
“Bob was pretty distraught about the whole thing. It was initially Chloe’s pups- they all went and he was very upset about that. He had the two litters at once and Chloe’s litter all had it but Kayla’s litter were showing no signs of it. Then all of a sudden after the Chloe ones went, the Kayla ones started showing symptoms and the next thing you know they started to go. It just destroyed him”
“I went down there and we discussed the six remaining pups and he said that the vet reckoned that we could save a few of them but it was going to cost at least $1000, probably $1200 a pup to do it”
“I mentioned that I was looking for another pup for one of my pups at home who was his own. I told him I was prepared to put some money in to try and save a couple and Bob wanted to do that, so we talked his son Darryl into saving two as well”.
Remarkably, all six pups defied the odds by surviving. The littermates were then transferred to Haaring’s property to be reared. Just as things were starting to get back on track came the sudden passing of Milne in September last year.
“He loved his greyhounds and I guess ultimately because of his love for the greyhounds that’s why he died. He checked himself out of hospital too early when he went in there with heart problems, because he had to go look after his greyhounds. Instead of ringing someone up to go feed them for him he decided ‘no I’m going home’ when they hadn’t finished testing him and he passed away that night”, Haaring recalled.
After Milne’s sad passing, Haaring continued on with the youngsters, along with Milne’s son Darryl. Haaring now trains all six chasers with Kayla’s Tiger upstaging her littermates on Saturday when running the fastest second and third fastest overall time to qualify for the final. Fittingly, the 28 kilogram bitch was Milne’s pick of the litter.
“Bob always wanted a brindle pup that looked like Kayla and she is the one that made it into the Silver final”.
“I think he would be out of this world, I don’t think you would be able to hold him down he would be that excited”.
Kayla’s Tiger will have to contend with an awkward draw in box four tomorrow afternoon when she contests her second race start. Although it is not ideal, Haaring believes she can overcome the draw if she begins well.
“I’m apprehensive but confident. I’m confident but she has been beginning a bit ordinary. She has got some awesome speed about her so if she gets a clear run she will win but she has to get one”.
“I don’t think any box would be a worry as long as she gets a clear run, she has just got to find her way through them. She has gone quicker than what she went in the heats”.
Although it would have been a fairy tale ending for Haaring to take out the Gold final, with a little bit of luck and perhaps a touch of guidance from up above, Kayla’s Tiger might be able to star in the Silver final.
Also in the final meeting tomorrow afternoon is Bandit’s Moo who is contesting the www.australianracinggreyhound.com Best 8 Final over 530 metres. The heats saw some speedy competitors vie for their spot in the $2000 final with Bandit’s Moo coming up with box two after finishing fourth behind Apollo Ohno. The daughter of Velocette and Bandit Milne has won over the track and distance but will have to put her best paws forward tomorrow.
“Bandit’s Moo is one of Darryl’s dogs. She has never delivered but she has got ability, she just always seems to be able to find trouble. It doesn’t matter what box she has, she always finds another dog to mix up with. The race will be tough for her although she does have a good box in box two. It is going to be hard for her to win but she is in it. You never know, there might be a bit of trouble happening around her rather than her causing the trouble”, Haaring laughed.
Both finals are during the third of three meetings held tomorrow. Australian Racing Greyhound is also sponsoring a consolation race (race five) before the Best 8 final (race six). The Gold, Silver and Bronze finals will be races eight, nine and 10 respectively.
Group 1 glory travelled to Dapto for the first time on Friday night as a stellar field assembled for the running of the Group 1 Dapto Megastar. The $75,000 to the winner feature attracted plenty of interstate interest, with some of the nation’s best two turn sprinters making the trip for a crack at the prize.
In an interesting concept, five of the runners in the final were selected via an invitation process. Victorian Proven Nitro was extended an invitation and was allocated the coveted rails alley for the decider. Other invitees included the Sunshine State’s Glen Gallon, the Garry Edwards-trained Double Twist, three time group winner Jagger Swagger and NSW’s most exciting prospect, Zulu Zeus. The remaining three spots were up for grabs in the Megastar Prelude with the first three placegetters Peter Rocket, Mexico City and Amadeus Strikes making the cut.
Zulu Zeus headed to the boxes as the $2.20 favourite from box eight. The NSW Sprint Representative recorded a slick 29.46s trial in preparation for the race, with punters confident the son of Where’s Pedro could overcome the wide draw.
However, when the lids flew open Zulu Zeus was stuck out wide after an average beginning and was relegated to the tail of the field, never looking a genuine winning chance from that point in time. As the runners charged into the first turn it was the local hope, Double Twist, cruising out in front. As she led the field through the catching pen, Prelude winner Peter Rocket pushed his way underneath the 25 kilogram speedster and assumed the lead. Once he hit the front Peter Rocket was never in danger. The striking black chaser swung for home and careened away to score a tenacious one and one quarter length win in a brilliant 29.81s.
Chasing him home gallantly was Glen Gallon, with the Jason Thompson-prepared Proven Nitro pinching third. It was an extremely close affair for many runners in the beaten brigade with less than six lengths covering the entire field as they thundered across the line.
It was the second feature win for the son of Where’s Pedro who took out the Group 2 Horsham Cup earlier this year. Peter Rocket now boasts the strong record of 47 starts for 20 wins and 18 minors and over $220,000 in prizemoney.. Trained in Victoria by Keith Hellmuth and owned by Lisa Hellmuth, Peter Rocket’s win in the Megastar ensured he is right in contention for the upcoming Group racing calendar in Victoria.
The other Dapto feature run and won last week was the Group 3 Dapto Maiden on Thursday night. Run over three weeks,, the $25,000 event saw some promising pups contest the series, all looking to break their way onto the racing scene in the finest fashion.
The favourite for the final was Mark Gatt’s thrilling youngster, Ritza Danny who had been ultra-impressive in claiming both his heat (29.98s) and semi-final (29.60s) but after a poor beginning he was no match for the winner, Cawbourne Whip.
Cawbourne Whip was second away and sat behind early leader Melaneus Shiraz in the run to the first turn. The black and white bitch took over down the back and sprinted away, triumphing by six lengths in a solid 30.05s. Trained at Gunning by Jodie Lord, Cawbourne Whip has now faced the starter on five occasions from which the daughter of Dyna Lachlan and American Spot has strung together two wins and two minor placings.
Ritza Danny lost no admirers in second place and looks to have a very bright future. Melaneus Shiraz tired to finish third but also looks a promising type and should go on to win plenty of races for trainer Kristoffer Della Casa.
Peter Rocket was not the only Victorian to steal top honours in a NSW Group final over the weekend.
On Saturday night Proven Impala took her place in the Group 3 Chairman’s Cup at Wentworth Park and was far too classy for her competitors. The front running stayer put in a similar performance to her heat win the week prior, bounding to the lead in the run to the line on the first occasion and clocking a sensational 42.01 seconds. Down the back the daughter of Velocette and Thanks Blue looked in danger as the powerful Smart Valentino broke clear of the pack and started to pursue the Victorian star. However, as the runners approached the home turn it was obvious that the Joe Borg-trained greyhound was not going to be defeated and she hit the line five and one quarter lengths ahead of her 33 kilogram rival.
Proven Impala is still racing in fine style over the half-mile despite turning four years of age in October. The black bitch has the fantastic record of 31 wins and 20 minor placings from 78 starts. Included in those wins were triumphs in the Group 1 Rookie Rebel and the Group 2 Mckenna Memorial over the middle distance. Proven Impala is now set to stay in work, with her last racetrack target likely to be the Group 1 Sale Cup in December before heading to the breeding barn.
The girls are definitely dominating the staying scene at the moment, with only one male lining up for a crack at the Group 3 Chairman’s Cup tonight at Wentworth Park. The National Distance hero, Smart Valentino, will be looking to salute for the lads when he exits box seven in the feature. However, he has come up against some brilliant bitches that will be ensure it is a hard task for the back marker.
Box 1: Little Grey
The consistent Little Grey heads into the final after claiming her heat last week in a handy 42.55s. The daughter of Bit Chili began well and led all the way, defeating Diamond Lucy by three and a half lengths on the line. Little Grey has a fantastic strike rate from the cherry, with two wins and two minors from five starts, making her boxed where she wants to be. As a young stayer she looks to have plenty of talent, yet it remains to be seen whether she is up to the Group standard of some of her rivals. With over half a second difference between the two heat times, she will need to find a bit to be a genuine winning hope.
Box 2: My Asuncion
The Adele Powell-trained bitch is a daughter of a Group 1 distance diva Just Friends, but will need to find a few lengths to emulate the success of her famous mum. The 26 kilogram lightweight has had two runs over the trip without finishing in the top three on either occasion and has only saluted four times from 37 starts overall. It is hard to recommend her when she is against some proven stayers.
Box 3: Maddison Dee
Maddison Dee is the first of the Victorian raiders and looks to be one of the main contenders for the Group 3 title. The bonny bitch was gallant in defeat when finishing second behind Proven Impala in her heat, despite being eight and three quarter lengths off the winner. She should derive great benefit from her look at the track and from a favourable draw expect to see a big improvement from the Michael Chilcott half-miler.
Box 4: Cawbourne Looney
The inform Lord kennels will be looking to make it two group wins in one week when they line up Cawbourne Looney from box four. On Thursday night, Jodie put the polish on the promising Cawbourne Whip who claimed the Group 3 Dapto Maiden. Cawbourne Looney was aiming to make it five wins in succession when she contested last week’s heat. However, she was outpaced and outclassed by Proven Impala, finishing fourth behind the star Victorian. From box four she will have to avoid early interference, but she looks as if she has enough speed to be racing up near the pace and from there she has a good shot.
Box 5: Diamond Lucy
Ron Bell will have the daughter of Bit Chili and Jamad picture perfect for her big assignment but she will still have to do it the hard way from box five. Diamond Lucy ran an honest race in her heat on Saturday night, sitting second behind Little Grey for the entire trip. She faces a much harder task tonight and may struggle against this talented crew.
Box 6: Lucy Wires
The second ‘Lucy’ in the field will exit box six for Robert Britton. The dark brindle bitch has good form over the middle and staying trips in Victoria and should improve after her look at the track last week. The Flying Penske two and a half year old is a newcomer to the racing scene, lining up for the Group 3 assignment at just her 12th track appearance.
Box 7: Smart Valentino
The National Distance Champion returned to Wentworth Park last week, finishing third behind Proven Impala. The son of Where’s Pedro is as strong as they come and will be hard to hold out if he can place himself prominently within the first circuit. Smart Valentino has a scintillating personal best of 41.96s over the track and distance, which will make him hard to beat despite being drawn out wide in box seven.
Box 8: Proven Impala
The two time group winner should start favourite after her fantastic front running performance last week. Beginning well from box five, the Velocette bitch speared straight to the front of the field and streaked away to score an emphatic eight and three quarter length win in a blistering 42.03s. Box eight is not ideal, especially in a Group final. However, there is not much speed in the race so she should be able to find a spot up near the lead. If she can hit the front it will take a sensational run to chase her down.
1st Reserve: Hotwire
The son of Big Daddy Cool makes it into nearly every group final over the 720 at headquarters. Whilst it would be nice to see him rewarded with a group win it looks very unlikely, even if he does gain a start.
2nd Reserve: Number Krunch
Unlikely he will gain a start and even if he does, he will not be considered a genuine threat.
TIPS: Proven Impala, Cawbourne Looney, Smart Valentino, Maddison Dee.
The Group 3 Chairman’s Cup is race eight tonight and will jump at 9:57pm.
The Shepparton Cup series kicks off tonight with six sensational fields competing for a spot in the Group 2 final. This year’s 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.
Zoenah’s 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 Britton’s 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 mum’s 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, Australia’s 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 nation’s 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 Swift’s 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.
“You always worry about where they are drawn and what is drawn beside them but you’ve still got to be able to get the job done on the night”, Borg explained.
“To 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 final”.
“She 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 week”.
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 Miata’s 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.
“She 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 is”.
“She probably doesn’t 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 her”.
Proven Impala will move out into box eight for next week’s 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.
“There is no pace on her inside. The 6 and 7 (Lucy Wires and Smart Valentino) haven’t got too much pace so hopefully she’ll get a clear run to the first turn”.
“I 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 today”.
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.
“I 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?”
“She still wants to race. People say that you’re racing the guts out of her and they can say what they want, she wants to race and that’s the difference. She’ll tell me when she has had enough, it’s not our decision it’s hers. One day if she doesn’t want to get out of bed I will ring the owners and say that’s it”.
“It will come eventually but at the moment the plan is to race until December unless something unforseen happens before then”.
While Victoria took out the second heat, it was the locals that triumphed in the first with Julie Fletcher’s 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 week’s 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 Australia’s 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 Where’s 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 week’s 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 ‘700’. 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 week’s 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 couldn’t 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.
TIPS: 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 Hurst’s sensational greyhound Zulu Zeus who is drawn well in box two. The son of Where’s 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: Hope’s Up (SA)
Hope’s 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: She’s All Class (TAS)
The Tassie bitch, She’s 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 It’s 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 Greenough’s 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 Where’s 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.
TIPS: 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.
“I wasn’t overly confident”, Moloney said, “But I knew he had a chance like the others in the race”.
“He 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 place”.
“He had an inside box in his semi but he missed it by what seemed like 2 ½ lengths and had to play catch up to finish 1 ½ 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 himself”.
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.
“I didn’t expect it. He did run 5.01 in his heat but he was nearly a length quicker on Saturday night”.
“I 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!”.
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.
“When he hit the lead I thought ‘this is where we will find out what he is made of”.
“I 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 boxes”.
“The time was amazing although a few weeks before he had run 29.50 at Sandown”.
“It showed that when things go his way he can certainly take advantage of them”.
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.
“We 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 course”.
Marcus Joe was one of ten from Mojo Glory’s 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.
“She 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 sale”, Moloney explained.
“I advertised them when they were young, just ear-branded, for $2000 and didn’t get one phone call”.
“He (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 didn’t want to sell anything only ordinary but he has come along well and you wouldn’t know it now”.
“Most of them I ended up selling to friends and every dog from the litter has won races”.
One in particular, Mr Jachary, is owned and trained by young enthusiast Phil Thomson.
“I gave him to Phil but he didn’t 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 time”.
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.
“We 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 rewarded”.
“It is a great sport but the big races don’t 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 too”.
“We are thrilled”.
Whilst it is enjoyable to watch Australia’s 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 Borg’s 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.
“It 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 well”, Borg said.
“I 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 saying”.
Running into the first turn, Proven Impala was quickly joined by Graeme Bate’s 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 Australia’s 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.
“I 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 wide”, Borg said.
“I 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 front”.
“I started getting confident coming up to the home turn when she pushed through; I thought we would have a chance of picking her up”.
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.
“She went super, I am overjoyed”, Borg beamed, “It 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 other”.
“They 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 stride…It’s a fantastic feeling”.
“I am absolutely joyous, wrapped and I feel humbled that the owners have let me train her”.
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.
“She enjoys the rails and that’s where she likes to do her racing”, Borg said.
“If she had drawn closer to the rails in some of her other group races she might have gone closer but that’s the luck of the draw”.
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.
“She has pulled up really well and she will be going towards the AWM Distance Championship at The Meadows on Saturday week before the Nationals”.
“She won’t 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 track”.
Borg is confident of good performances from Proven Impala in the upcoming series’ she attempts, with both finals to be held at her favourite track.
“The finals are at the Meadows and I think that is where she does her best racing”.
“I 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 ahead”.
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 it’s 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 Britton’s 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 Thursday’s 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 won’t 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 ‘700’, 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 Field’s beginning from box seven. The Knocka Norris dog was the second fastest qualifier for the final running a nippy 34.18 seconds in last Thursday’s 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 week’s heats. The black bitch tips the 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 hasn’t done enough to be considered a genuine threat should he get a run.
MCKENNA MEMORIAL TIPS: 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 Thompson’s W.A Derby winner Boris Fields has come up with box three in the first heat and with a clean beginning he look’s 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 Where’s 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 McDonald’s 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 Collins’ 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 Where’s 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 Bate’s 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 won’t 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 week’s 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 Britton’s 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 Evie’s Entity. The former Victorian has turned into a completely different greyhound since joining Britton’s 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.A’s 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 O’Donnell 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- EVIE’S ENTITY
Victorian trainer Lyn Smith has been in W.A for two weeks enjoying the lovely Perth weather with her talented litter sister’s Evie’s Entity and Gambo Girl, with the former rounding up the field from box eight. Evie’s 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 Hobby’s 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 Britton’s 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 Australia’s 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 Australia’s highest stakes earner to return to the winners list first up after an extended break and against some of the country’s 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 Where’s Pedro and Grey’s Destiny is a multiple group one winner and is right in contention for yet another trophy to sit upon trainer Emilio Rinaldi’s 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 Lara’s Graeme Bate. The pint sized performer tips the 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 Droopy’s Marco was too strong on the line for Graeme Bate’s 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 night’s 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!
Bate’s 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 Mackay’s 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.
“There 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,” he explained on Wednesday.
“I 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.”
“Ten years ago they would have been winning regularly, but the competition at the moment in Tasmania is very hot,” he added.
The former mining union boss and supermarket owner’s kennel will be represented by Booze Anthony ( Bit Chili – Wooreddy), Pop’s Castle ( Bombastic Shiraz – Slyan On Fire), Irinka Adam (Irinka Dennis – Irinka Tahnee) and Terry’s Memory ( Velocette – 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 – 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 Victorian syndicate headed by Darren McDonald and was transferred to the Thomas kennel immediately he was broken in.
“Darren told me that he would be a handy chaser in Tasmania and he has been proven correct,” Eileen Thomas explained.
“He 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.”
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 – 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.
“My 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,” he explained.
“But in the meantime we will concentrate on the job at hand, the Tasmanian Country Oaks Final.”
“We 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.”
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 week’s 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 week’s 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 Out’s litter brother Slick ‘Em Son boxed on his inside in the blue. Trained by Valentine’s 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, “I think he is well boxed and that he can lead but he has to jump. He won’t lead until the first turn but should get plenty of room to move as the four goes left and the six usually goes straight”
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.
“I always had a big plan to breed with Jeteye, it’s been a long process and I have done it the hard way but I have been lucky,” Vas said
“He (Master Jeteye) has earned $27,000, I wouldn’t even dream of a dog to win that sort of prize money”.
Vas also has two bitches that have just been broken in at home from Jet Eye’s 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 winner’s 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 Australia’s 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 Crawford’s 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 Hill’s 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 duo’s last runner in this Sunday’s 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 ‘Paris’ 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 Cup’s.
The success didn’t end there, in her next litter to Go Wild Teddy, ‘Paris’ 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, “Always hold a special place in our heart as our first group one winner’, 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 Where’s 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 ‘family tradition’. Despite the glory of group one racing and the hefty winner’s 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.
“Paris was a one in a million broodbitch, if it wasn’t for her I probably wouldn’t still be in the game”.
“It’s a big achievement to have three in the race and we are just really wrapped for Paris”, Nutt said.
“We are just hoping that the stars can align for us but as long as they come back in one piece we will be happy.”
Paris St Germain will always be a special part of Chris Nutt’s and Shaun Evan’s family – she has helped to put them on the industry scene with the pair now established as two of Australia’s 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 Club’s 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 “Princess”
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 Where’s 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 week’s 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 week’s 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 week’s 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.
“We received a decent offer for him recently, but have decided not to sell and his immediate future will be in 600 metre events,” Johnson explained.
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