Monday, August 22, 2016
Toolong greyhound Lektra Munster’s brilliant mid-race burst in Sunday’s Banjo Boy Winter Classic at Tara Raceway set the scene for an impressive win in the $3000 age-restricted final over 512 metres.
A $7.50 chance from box four, he was the least favoured of three littermates contesting the third running of the classic, with Lektra Lucy and Lektra Ash both well fancied at $3 and $3.60 respectively.
Owned and trained by Phil Lenehan, the Munster had shown similar mid-race dash to find the front in a heat at the previous meeting but had been unable to hold out Nicole Stanley’s Hay Miss in the run to the line, eventually going down by a nostril.
In Sunday’s final, though, despite being in traffic and wide on the first turn, once he let loose down the back he was always going to be hard to run down.
Again it was the Portland trained Hay Miss, winner of last month’s John Reid Memorial, doing the chasing after momentarily hitting the front down the back, and while running home well, this time Lektra Munster had 1½ lengths to spare.
Lektra Ash, now based at Tarpeena with David Williams, finished the race off nicely in third spot and will be a more than handy addition to the local ranks while Lektra Lucy, favourite on the strength of an impressive heat win, found trouble going out of the first turn and never really got into the race for Lenehan.
The “Lektra” finalists were also bred at Toolong and are by Fabregas out of Supreme Vision, a winner at The Meadows, Sandown Park and Cannington.
Supreme Vision’s previous litter (by Where’s Pedro) includes former smart Melbourne chaser Lektra Concord, which has since been sold to New Zealand, and Supreme Deal, recent winner of the Eric Lewis Memorial (600 m) for Mount Gambier trainer Ralph Patzel.
The October 2014 Fabregas litter consists of six dogs and three bitches with six having already won.
And it’s been a pretty fair few days for Lenehan and the litter after Lektra Utah was successful at Horsham on Tuesday, Lektra Aly won at Warrnambool on Thursday night before Sunday’s classic success with Lektra Munster and Lektra Peck’s all-the-way win in the ClassicBet Stake (512 m).
The litter and training double continued his good run at Tara Raceway this year and brought up his 24th local win.
While conceding that Lektra Utah is the pick of the litter at this stage, Lenehan said he had been delighted with Lektra Munster’s effort in the Winter Classic.
“I certainly thought he would improve on his heat effort but I was really pleased with his mid-race dash today and it will now be interesting to see how far that takes him.”
With the winner’s time of 30.89 seconds being indicative of the wet conditions, this was certainly a winter classic in the true sense of the word.
STAMPING HIS AUTHORITY IN THE WET
While the past two Tara Raceway meetings have been pretty ordinary from a weather point of view, one greyhound that has really adapted to the conditions is Stampy Longnose.
By Fabregas out of Lemon Cruiser, Stampy Longnose braved atrocious weather conditions from box eight last meeting in a heat of the Produce Store Feature Grade Five (512 m) when defeating litter sister Smirnoff Lass in a surprisingly quick 30.49 seconds.
And box eight and another heavy track were no deterrent on Sunday when the 35 kilogram black dog found the front going into the back straight and once again held out his litter sister, trained by Tracie Price, to win by 1¾ lengths in 30.66 seconds.
The win was his seventh since being taken over by Glencoe-based Dean Fennell in September last year for first-time owner Jack Davies who races Stampy Longnose in partnership with fellow Millicentites Paul Whitford and Fennell’s son Hayden.
The win also continued a good year for Fennell who has now trained 16 winners and been successful with Ticked Off and Stampy Longnose at the past three meetings.
The monthly Feature Grade Five heats and final events over 512 metres, which are funded by a $10,000 Greyhound Racing SA subsidy, have proven to be popular with owners and trainers.
And one of those trainers is certainly Fennell who said after the race that he believed the first prize of $1415 was probably the most he had ever collected from a single race.
Heats of next month’s Gordon Refrigeration Feature Grade Five (512 m) will be run on Friday, September 9 with the $2100 final on Sunday, September 18.
Recently-retired David Brodhurst of Serviceton is another trainer who is having a good year at Tara Raceway.
While working he had been limited to the number of meetings he could take in but with his greyhounds now able to race on a more regular basis he and wife Valerie are reaping the benefits.
Like on Sunday when Miss Murderous and Major Lachy sent the couple home on a happy note after winning the final two races.
Miss Murderous, a $7.50 chance in the Klaassens Contractors Mixed Stake (400 m) led early from box five before being head by Fu Ling Shen but finished too strongly for that greyhound in the run home to score by a length in 23.53 seconds.
Another winner for Fabregas, Miss Murderous is out of former Queensland stayer Tango Tapper and is owned by one-time Tara Raceway caller Chris Buttigieg.
And Major Lachy brought up Brodhurst’s 13th Tara Raceway winner this year when leading all the way in the Berringa Park Mixed Stake (400 m) to defeat Marlow Moment in 23.64 seconds.
Starting at the nice odds of $21, the son of Cape Hawke and Gifted Glory has now won four races since relocating to Serviceton in February this year.