Tuesday, July 23, 2019
The outstanding win of Lektra Brandy in last Sunday’s Anniversary Cup final (512 metres) at Tara Raceway was the highlight of a big day for Portland-based trainer Neville “Nifty” Lenehan.
Not only was the win his biggest as a trainer, but also the first time he had trained a treble – Joshua Rocks, rank outsider in the Winmore Greyhound Kennels Stake (512 m), coming from last down the back to storm home for a 4¼ length win over Renmore in a personal best 29.86 seconds.
And Nitro Missile looked anything but a dog that had won only once in 20 starts as he led all the way from box two in the Rock’s Retreat Stake (512 m), running out a 4¾ length winner over Giveaway Fury in 30.00 seconds, also a personal best time.
Lenehan bred Joshua Rocks, a son of Cosmic Rumble and Obama’s Girl and whelped Nitro Missile’s litter (Nitro Burst x Harper Seven) while his brother Phil, of Toolong, bred Lektra Brandy, a daughter of US sire KC And All and Lektra Scarlett, currently the leading brood bitch at Tara Raceway.
The Anniversary Cup win was Lenehan’s second feature race success at Tara Raceway this year, Twisted Missile – a litter sister to Nitro Missile – winning the Val and Col Sims Memorial Maiden back in January.
Lektra Brandy – now with a record of 15 wins and 31 minor placings from 76 starts – has come a long way since defeating Andrew’s Gift in 30.51 seconds in a Tara Raceway maiden over 512 metres on April 1, 2018.
Successful at five of her past six starts, including a 512 metre win at Tara Raceway early in the month in a quick 29.56 seconds, she was always going to be hard to beat in what was the 35th running of the Anniversary Cup.
But only a fair start from box seven had her closer to last than first as Springvale Alysa led the field into the first turn – Kongorong trainer John Little’s well-performed bitch opening up a handy break down the back while Lektra Brandy still had plenty of work to do.
Off the back, though, she had Springvale Alysa in her sights as did the David Peckham trained Dyna Naitch who issued his challenge when railing through on the home turn.
In the end, there was no denying Lektra Brandy. She pulled out turning for home and was just too strong for Dyna Naitch and Springvale Alysa when running a race record of 29.63 seconds.
The Anniversary Cup, the highlight of the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club’s 40th anniversary meeting, looked a top race on paper and that’s how it played out – Lektra Brandy scoring by 1¼ lengths with a further half head back to Springvale Alysa.
On track and partaking in last Sunday’s Anniversary Cup, John Reid Memorial Maiden and the Eric Lewis Memorial presentations were Connie Miller, Noel Miller and Bill Ward who were all on hand in an official capacity when greyhound racing kicked off at Glenburnie on Saturday, July 21, 1979.
Then known as the South East Greyhound Racing Club, Connie Miller – who trained Kenzel Lad to win the 1986 cup and later went on to serve as secretary of the club for 20 years – was a member of the Ladies Committee which played a critical role in fundraising during the early days of the sport.
Noel Miller was on that 1979 committee and was later president of the club from 1986 to 1988 while Ward was also on the committee and president from 1991 to 1997. The value of the trio’s contribution to greyhound racing in the south east is inestimable.
Also at Sunday’s presentation were some previous winning Anniversary Cup winning trainers including Richard Clayfield (1994 Seldom Sure, 2011 Glenville Maggie), Robert Halliday (2007 Bee Good, 2008 Tickets Please), Tom Cryer (2010 Cryer’s Tiger), Captain Abbott (2012 White Arrow) and Nicole Stanley (2017 Fiorelli Rose, 2018 Ben Nevis).
Meanwhile, Nifty Lenehan will make the trip to Angle Park on Thursday night with Lektra Brandy and Joshua Rocks who have drawn boxes two and one respectively in 515 metre graded events at the city track.