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Bookending the meeting
Sunday, May 31, 2020
Glenroy trainer Richard Clayfield enjoyed his best day at Tara Raceway in more than 12 months when Fab Six and Rouse Rocket bookended last Thursday’s meeting with wins in the Progreyhoundtips.com Maiden Stake (400 m) and the Klaassens Contractors Mixed Stake (600 m).
It was on April 21 last year – the day that David Peckham’s Pirate’s Curse ran a 600 metres track record of 34.79 seconds – that Clayfield last came close to training a double after Slipper’s Kin won over 400 metres and Lone Star dead-heated with Cap Abbott’s Big Casey in the Open (512 m).
First starter Fab Six (pictured) handled himself pretty well for a 17-month-old pup having his first run under race conditions when, after always being on the pace, hung on to defeat another first starter in Cairnlea Jeff by a neck in 23.78 seconds.
Raced by Damien Smith of Reynella, Fab Six is by the Group 1-winning Aston Dee Bee out of Majestic Tale, a winner of 16 races at Hobart, Launceston, Devonport, Angle Park, Gawler and Strathalbyn.
Smith, when previously based at Penola, also bred the December 2018 litter of three dogs and seven bitches which were then reared by Clayfield. He retained a black bitch, now racing as Glenville Rose and looking to be a coming winner after running second to Huxley Bale in the following race.
Rouse Rocket (pictured right), whose only previous win had been over 400 metres, stepped up to the middle-distance journey for the first time and at his 13th start surprised when displaying sufficient early pace from box one to be in front with a lap to go.
From then on it was simply a matter of how the 35 kilogram black dog would run out the 600 metre journey. With little difficulty as it turned out, Rouse Rocket doing his best work in the home straight as he ran away to a 7¾ lengths win over Banjo Fozz in the good time of 35.46 seconds.
His win completed a successful few days for the Tracie Price-bred Peter Rocket x Headline litter after brother Burn Time was a nine length winner over 595 metres the previous Sunday at Sandown Park for Pearcedale owner-trainer Lisa Hellmuth.
Sweet On Me gave a good sight for part-owner David Peckham of Allendale East when running a two length second behind Lavish Pedro in track record time of 18.66 seconds in last Wednesday’s Murray Bridge Straight Track Cup final (350 m).
The leading trainer was then back among the winners on Thursday when Huxley Bale (pictured above), after four consecutive minor placings, finally broke through for his first win while Squishy Pea took the outright lead in the Greyhound of the Year when defeating kennelmate Keen One.
Huxley Bale, a son of US sire Dragon Fire (by legendary Australian greyhound Brett Lee out of US bitch Hoops Slamdunk) led all the way from box five in the Metal Worx Maiden Stake (400 m), eventually running out a 2¼ lengths winner in a personal best 23.41 seconds.
And Squishy Pea (right) led all the way from box one in the Trackside Meats Open Stake (400 m), running out a three length winner in a quick 22.92 seconds – the son of Fernando Bale x Secret Spell now leading Perseverance by four points in the GOTY.