Monday, October 30, 2017
Impressive wins by the Richard Clayfield trained brothers Lone Star and Solitary Lad at a blustery Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon continued a good few days for the Lonesome Cry x Up And Away litter.
The double, the first for the Glenroy-based greyhound trainer since Glenville Jester and Slipper’s Shadow were successful in early January, followed on from sister Solitary Girl’s win at Ballarat over 450 metres last Thursday.
Solitary Girl, now trained at Dennington by Ray Drew, created a huge impression when winning a 400 metre maiden at the local track in a quick 23.02 seconds back in June for Ann Sinnott who also owns the Clayfield-trained pair.
Lone Star lined up from box one in the Gambier Vets Stake (512 m) after having raced over 485 metres on the Tuesday prior at Horsham. And while the brindle dog had been well beaten at his first look at the track, Clayfield said he believed the trip had worked in the dog’s favour.
“I didn’t think the run was all that bad but often the big plus with a run on another track is that they tend to race better when returning to the track they know, in his case Tara Raceway.”
And that’s how things panned out for Lone Star – who last won a maiden race two months ago –leading all the way to win by three-quarters of a length in 30.22 seconds after a keen tussle with Lektra Lucy, owned and trained at Toolong by Phil Lenehan.
Not that Lenehan would have been too upset after the few days he has just enjoyed with Lektra Forrest, trained for him at Anakie by Andrea Dailly.
By Walk Hard x Lektra Angie, Lektra Forrest won at Ballarat over 545 metres last Wednesday and then backed up with a brilliant 525 metre win at The Meadows on Saturday when running a best of night 29.78 seconds – Up Hill Jill clocking 29.88 seconds a couple of races earlier to win the Topgun and a cool $150,000 to go with it.
Solitary Lad – this year’s John Reid Memorial and Winter Classic winner – after a good start from box seven took the lead going out of the first turn in the Klaassens Contractors Stake (512 m) before holding off race favourite Xtreme Shine to win in a best of day 30.05 seconds.
Clayfield, who trained 31 winners in 2016, has now trained 22 winners this year and sits in tenth spot on the Leading Trainers’ list.
Xtreme Shine, a maiden winner at Horsham over 485 metres earlier this month, ran Solitary Lad to a head – fair sort of effort – but Portland trainer Robert Duncan’s day wasn’t yet over.
He had Xtreme Gift – yet another member of the Barcia Bale x Xtreme Gretel litter to appear at Tara Raceway – engaged from box eight in the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (400 m) and with two wins at Warrnambool and one at Horsham from only seven starts she looked well placed.
Xtreme Gift was fairly away and by mid-race had the front-running Cousin Ann’s measure, eventually running out a five length winner over that greyhound in a smart 23.23 seconds.
The win was Duncan’s first at Tara Raceway since January when Abbey’s Hand was successful. Four runs later she retired from racing when finishing fourth to Ridd’s Flyer at start number 100.
“Things had been pretty quiet since then so when Wagga breeder Matt Morris was looking to place some more of the litter of 10 down this way I thought I may as well have a go,” said Duncan, who won the 2007 Mount Gambier Cup with Army Officer.
Xtreme Gift was the second leg of another winning litter double on the day, Xtreme Rush scoring first up in the Laser Electrical Maiden Stake (400 m) for Morris and fellow Portland trainer Brian Weis.
Xtreme Rush went straight to the front from box four, with the other first-starter Wilbur Deeds doing the chasing, then working home well to be beaten 2½ lengths and looking a coming winner for Koroit owner-trainer Garry Anders.
Morris’s December 2015 litter has so far produced six individual winners.