Wednesday, September 12, 2018
An impressive all the way win by Haddi Bale in the first heat of the second round of the Metal Worx Iron Dog (400 metres) at Tara Raceway last Sunday clinched a spot in this Sunday’s 512 metre final for White Hills brothers Calum and Aaron Blake.
And they’ll be chasing their second Iron Dog title, six years ago the brothers, aged 16 and 20 respectively, winning the inaugural series – then run over 400 metres and 512 metres – with Kiss Me Donkey who defeated Ten Doeschate in the final.
Haddi Bale was purchased for $3500 by Calum Blake in April this year after having won five races at Sandown Park, Shepparton and Geelong – the brindle bitch now racing in Blake’s 20-year-old girlfriend Jaz Warzywoda’s name and his brother last Sunday training the September 2015 whelping for her first win for her new owner.
Tipping the scales at a sizeable 31.5 kilograms, Haddi Bale, who has drawn box one in Sunday’s final, is by Roanokee out of Darya Bale, a winner of 18 races in three states, along with stakemoney of $82,000 – this being one of the sire’s last litters whelped in Australia.
Whelped in 1994, Roanokee was by New Tears out of Free Method and won 37 races from 57 starts, including the 1997 Melbourne Cup before successfully standing at stud in Ireland.
Paraphernalia’s all-the-way win in the second Iron Dog heat sees the son of Big Daddy Cool x Scrappy Coco into the final from box three for Horsham trainer Jeff Guy and chasing back to back Iron Dog titles after an all the way win over Hit The Runway in last year’s series.
A veteran of 124 starts, the 4½-year-old fawn dog – with best times of 22.83, 29.71 and 34.97 at Tara Raceway – overall has now won 31 races and run 29 minor placings, Guy believing Paraphernalia is racing as well as he was at the same time last year.
“He’s won more races at Tara Raceway this year than any other dog and while he continues to race well at the track I’ll keep bringing him over,” he said.
“He pulled up a treat after last Sunday’s win and even though I’m primarily looking at confining his racing to Mount Gambier, the following week’s local division of the SA Country Cup (512 m) is certainly worth seriously considering.”
The Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club will have two representatives in the $7375 SA Country Cup final (515 m) at Angle Park on Friday, October 12 (Adelaide Cup night).
But back to the Iron Dog.
Cryer’s Plugger, who didn’t have much luck in last year’s Iron Dog final when finishing fifth, goes into Sunday’s final as leading point scorer after winning both his heats for Margaret and Tom Cryer of Apsley but having to contend with a tricky box four draw.
And Portland trainer Nicole Stanley, who won the 2016 Iron Dog series with Old Jock, will be looking for her enigmatic greyhound Hit The Runway to go one better this year.
Noosa Parade, whose last win was at Tara Raceway over 600 metres back in early April, turned in a couple of eye-catching placings to make it through to the final for Ecklin South trainer Peter Fulton who will be hoping the son of Collision x Miss Black Fern can find winning form again from box eight.