Monday, September 25, 2017
Glenroy greyhound trainer Richard Clayfield, who won the first race ever run at Tara Raceway with Bright Option on January 25, 1997, landed his biggest win at the track on Sunday afternoon when Solitary Lad was successful in the Destini Fireball Winter Classic final (512 metres).
Rated only an outside chance at $20, Solitary Lad worked quickly across from box seven to find the front going out of the first turn and from then on was never headed, eventually defeating Xtreme Carnage and Lektra Stomp in 30.55 seconds.
Owned by Ann Sinnott of Yambuk, Solitary Lad is by Lonesome Cry out of Up And Away and was one of five members of the litter in the $3000 final.
This was the fourth running of the classic, this year being for dogs and bitches whelped on or after July 1, 2015. It was also the first time Clayfield had had a runner in the series.
Speaking after the race, Clayfield was full of praise for the brindle dog which was whelped in November 2015 and also most appreciative of Tom and Ann Sinnott’s support.
“Back in early July Tom had said to me one morning at the trials that he would give me a good dog to train. Solitary Lad, unraced at the time, turned out to be the dog and he promptly won the John Reid Memorial for us.
“I’ve had a lot of dogs over the years but I would have to say that Solitary Lad is one of the most fearless I’ve ever had. Nothing seems to faze him,” Clayfield said.
Xtreme Carnage, who opened his winning account at his fifth race start last week in a heat of the classic, ran a terrific race for Wagga owner Matt Morris and Portland trainer Brian Weis.
A December 2015 whelping by Barcia Bale out of Xtreme Gretel – a US-bred daughter of Stan’s Boy Flyer x Xtreme Hustler who did most of her racing in the US before being brought to Australia – Xtreme Carnage finished strongly to run Solitary Lad to a length and give Weis his second classic runner-up.
But for all that, it wasn’t a bad day for Morris and Weis with Spring Ripper quickly finding the rails from box six in The Border Watch Mixed Stake (600 m) before finishing powerfully for a 2½ length win over the front-running Fascinated in 35.65 seconds.
Then, in the following race, the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (512 m), Spring’s Over gave Galactic Spirit a fair start down the back before grabbing her close to home and subsequently holding out the fast finishing kennelmate Big Rough to win by a half head.
Lektra Stomp, who went to the boxes an odds-on favourite after drawing the two, was only fairly away and, while never really troubling Solitary Lad or Extreme Carnage, worked home well for a 2¾ length third.
The next age-restricted race to be run at Tara Raceway will be the Peter Rocket Summer Classic (512 m), in February next year for dogs and bitches whelped on or after January 1, 2016.