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Barking up the right tree
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
It’s now been just over two years since Glencoe greyhound trainer Dean Fennell took over Ramified as a giveaway after the son of Magic Sprite x Hey Sexy Lady had run unplaced at his first three starts over 512 metres at Tara Raceway.
Sometimes referred to as “Deango”, also the name of a dog he won nine races with between 2001-2004, Fennell recalled this week that the unplaced runs weren’t the reason he was offered Ramified but more so because he didn’t mind a bark.
“These days he’s not too bad in the kennels at home,” he said. “But at the track he barks the whole time he’s in the kennel house which can be quite a while if he’s in a later race – which is quite often the case.”
And in last Sunday’s race 11, the Greg Martlew Autos Mixed Stake (400 metres), Ramified quickly worked into second spot behind tearaway leader Cryer’s Harper before finishing over the top of her for a three-quarter length win in a best of day 23.11 seconds.
So much for a restless afternoon in the kennel house!
The victory took his overall tally this year to three wins, three seconds and two thirds and now sees him sitting in equal sixth spot on the 2019 Greyhound of the Year award.
While some of Tara Raceway’s history is a bit sketchy, it is believed that the first 400 metre race run at the track was on November 21, 2010 and won by the Fennell-trained Benara Helen in a time of 23.82 seconds.
Another 400 metre winner on that day was Leeor Sam, who ultimately won 19 short-course races, the majority at Tara Raceway, for Fennell.
The introduction of 400 metre racing at the Lake Terrace East venue saw the demise of the 277 metre scamper although the March 2011 Mount Gambier Cup meeting did feature the Super Sprint in which Leeor Sam defeated Ray Keating’s Remo Mako.
Only one more Mount Gambier Cup feature 277 metre event would be run, Kato winning the Cannonball in 2012, and leaving the Tracie Price trained Magic Assassin as the 277 metre record holder at 16.19 seconds – run on May 15, 2010.
As far as Ramified is concerned, since being taken over by Fennell, he has raced on 74 occasions, 72 of those starts being over the 400 metre journey for a record of 17 wins and 26 minor placings.
And he should by now know where’s he’s going, the black barker having only ever raced at Tara Raceway.
Meanwhile, after an impressive win at Tara Raceway last Sunday, on the back of a couple handy efforts at Angle Park, Lektra Brandy will return to the Adelaide city track on Thursday night to contest a grade five event over 515 metres.
Owned and trained at Portland by Nifty Lenehan, Lektra Brandy chased Ben Nevis until off the back in the Winmore Greyhound Kennels Stake (512 m) before taking up the running, eventually winning by 2¼ lengths in a quick 29.94 seconds.
The win was the January 2016 black bitch’s first over 512 metres at Tara Raceway since her maiden success 12 months ago when she clocked 30.51 seconds.
By US sire KC And All out of the stayer Lektra Scarlett, Lektra Brandy is an older half-sister to Black Spring (by Spring Gun) who won the following race last Sunday.
Meanwhile, Worrolong trainer Steve Bartholomew will head to Warrnambool on Thursday afternoon with his boom sprinter Galactic Athena who will contest the Macey’s Bistro Free For All (450 m) from box five.
This will be a lead-up to next week’s Warrnambool Cup heats and another tough test for the daughter of Paddy Whacker and Galactic Rumball, although so far she’s done everything asked of her – and more.
A winner over 450 metres at Warrnambool last week in 25.10 seconds, Galactic Athena runs into Speed Star who has drawn box one and earlier this month won at the track in 24.90 seconds.
Speed Star is by boom sire Fernando Bale out of White Spyro who won her last race at Tara Raceway in July 2016 when defeating the Bartholomew-trained Penny Blossom.