Saturday, February 1, 2020
For Adam Mackereth, a local electrician and hobby trainer, it had been more than six months since Azumi Spirit, the only racing greyhound he trains, last won a race at Tara Raceway.
And when Mackereth presented at Tara Raceway for Thursday’s time-graded meeting with the daughter of Dyna Tron and Azumi Touch she had in fact raced on only a further nine occasions.
“Actually, it had been suggested that she probably wouldn’t race again after being diagnosed with a hip injury,” he said. “With that in mind I then had her assessed for the Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP).
“I have to say that went really well. She passed the GAP assessment but I wasn’t counting on such spirited opposition on the home front – my daughters Coco and Summer informing me that Azumi Spirit wasn’t about to go anywhere and that she had a home for life.
“She then spent some time off before trialling only fairly; more time off then more average trials before eventually starting to show glimpses of form at the end of last year.”
Having her fourth start back after many weeks previously in the wilderness, Azumi Spirit, a $20 chance in Thursday’s Fairthorne Forestry Stake (400 metres), was if nothing else well drawn out in box seven.
And the 3½-year-old brindle bitch, despite using plenty of the track, was appreciating the extra galloping room as she approached the home turn in full flight but still with a bit of work to do.
In fact, the Sky Racing remote race caller (based in Sydney) reckoned Azumi Spirit finished so wide in the home straight that she was “underneath his nose” when finishing powerfully to defeat Yeppy Allen by a neck in 23.69 seconds.
Meanwhile, Mininera owner-trainer Robert Proctor kicked off a couple of handy days when Black Zebrano, who last won at Tara Raceway last September, quickly pounced on the lead from box eight in the JB Irrigation Stake (400 m) before holding off Niamh’s Double to win by 1¼ lengths.
Then, on the following day, Proctor was successful at Healesville with litter brother Red Potion, the big 37 kilogram chaser obviously suited to straight track racing when bringing up his third win at the Victorian venue.
The littermates, which joined Proctor’s kennels five months ago, are by Kilty Lad out of one-race winner Almani Dotz, a litter sister to former Tara Raceway 400 metre record holder Ireland’s Oyster.