Saturday, September 24, 2016
There was added interest in Friday’s Allestree Holiday Units Stake (512 metres) at Tara Raceway after caller Jim Jacques announced prior to the running of race eight that there was still one live ticket in the final leg of the Bartholomew Pick 6.
The Pick 6 is a free competition run at the weekly greyhound meeting for on-course patrons who are required to pick the winners of races three through to eight.
The competition had last been won on March 13, 2015 when Chris Johnson of Horsham picked up more than $900 after he successfully selected Brazen Beauty, Marlow Moment, Mi Diablo, Mega Moment, Paranoia and Brazen Bull.
Mind you, it probably helped that Johnson had owned three of the winning six!
Turns out on Friday that Kevin Jones, a Tara Raceway regular and a track volunteer, was the last man standing after Azumi Swift ($2.30), Goldie’s Run ($3.80), Julie’s Love ($2.45), Saint Fox ($4.40) and Little Showgun ($1.90) won the first five legs.
Jones, the first patron to reach the last leg since Johnson 18 months earlier, was hoping for an $820 pay-day with the Don Turner trained He’s Innocent, a $5.50 chance from box six.
Berry Bling quickly found the front from box one and Jacques entered into the spirit of the occasion as the field took the first turn when calling “right behind her is He’s Innocent for Jonesy”.
The race ultimately developed into a two-dog affair but He’s Innocent was unable to run down Berry Bling which on the line had 1½ lengths to spare in a quick 29.99 seconds.
“I certainly got a run for my money,” Jones said. “And it made for a change because usually I bomb out in the first leg.”
For sure, Jonesy had given it his best shot.
It was a successful return to the track for Berry Bling, a daughter of Lochinvar Marlow and Lady Bling, which had been off the track for three months due to a toe injury.
The win was the first leg of a double for Portland trainer Nicole Stanley who wrapped up another good day at the track after Mr Caudo was later successful in the JB Irrigation Masters Stake (400 m).
Mr Caudo’s win saw the veteran chaser move into third spot in the Greyhound of the Year award and also was Stanley’s 50th Tara Raceway win this year.