Monday, December 18, 2017
Leading trainer Nicole Stanley, second in last year’s Williams Crane Hire Christmas Cup with Old Jock, triumphed in Sunday’s final at Tara Raceway when Hit The Runway and his kennelmate Fiorelli Rose fought out the finish of the 512 metre event.
It was an action-packed final with box seven runner Fiorelli Rose somehow avoiding the interference caused after the well-fancied Zuma Creek and Glenville Phil tangled on the first turn and finding herself chasing Shannah’s Might into the back straight.
Also avoiding the early interference was box one runner Hit the Runway who settled a distant third as the Tracie Price trained veteran chaser Shannah’s Might bowled along in front, looking some chance of emulating his litter brother Fear The Rascal’s effort of two years ago.
But, turning for home, Fiorelli Rose railed through to take the lead while Hit The Runway, despite using plenty of the track, had made up many lengths and finished strongly to score by three-quarters of a length with a further two lengths back to a gallant Shannah’s Might in 30.42 seconds.
The win gave the Portland-based Stanley her second cup success this year after Fiorelli Rose had defeated Colden Girl and Brazen Blue in the Anniversary Cup final in July.
By Oaks Road out of 10-race winner Full Noise Turbo – who has since whelped litters this year to Magic Sprite and Barcia Bale – Hit The Runway is from a pretty fair litter that also includes Hit The Highway (13 wins, $92,000 prizemoney), Vostok (14, $64,000), Our Turbo Boy (9, $52,000) and Rig Fifty Five (8, $31,000).
And Hit The Runway, raced by the Champagne Partners Syndicate, also boasts a handy record of 14 wins from 45 starts, six of those wins coming at Tara Raceway for Stanley who trained the brindle dog between February and April this year before he re-joined the kennel again in August.
According to his trainer, Hit The Runway is a city-class dog with the only problem being that he doesn’t like the city!
“He certainly seems to race better behind the finish-on-lure in daylight conditions with one suggestion being that he suffers from ‘night blindness’,” Stanley said.
“It’s probably fair to say that he’s not really a people person because I’m the only one who can catch him at the end of a race.”
By the end of the day Stanley had taken her tally of winners at Tara Raceway this year to 109 – a record effort but one that would not have been possible, she said, without the help of long-time greyhound man Neville “Nifty” Lenehan who went close to tasting success in his own right on Sunday when Rising Girl ran Fascinated to a nose in the Fashion D’Or Ladies Bracelet (600 m).
As a result of her placing, Fiorelli Rose maintained her three point lead in the Greyhound of the Year over Baz’s Moment who also ran second later in the day in the Christmas Challenge (400 m).
Tara Raceway’s next meeting will be on Wednesday, December 27 with the final meeting of the year on Sunday, December 31.