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Clayfield’s clean sweep
Monday, November 14, 2016
Glenroy trainer Richard Clayfield completed a clean sweep of the Newman McDonnell Memorial heats (512 metres) at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon when Slipper’s Shadow and Glenville Jester scored emphatic wins in the time-honoured feature race heats.
In Clayfield’s kennels since early this year, Slipper’s Shadow, a 36 kilogram son of Cosmic Rumble x Slipper’s Tonic had won nine races over the 400 metre journey but had been raced sparingly over 512 metres.
However, a couple of handy minor placings at his past two starts over the longer journey had the black dog’s trainer deciding on a run in the McDonnell Memorial heats.
A rain-soaked track was the only thing worrying Clayfield, although Slipper’s Shadow, after opening up a big break mid-race, was travelling like a winner a long way from home with the $3 favourite ultimately bringing up his first 512 metre win by 4½ lengths over Smirnoff Lass in a time of 30.68 seconds.
Filling third and fourth spots were Penny Eagle and Jen Shen which have also made their way through to Sunday’s final – the 31st running of the event.
For Glenville Jester, out of the winner’s list for four months prior to last week’s Wednesday meeting, it was a case of two wins in the space of four days with the son of Vapour Whirl x Glenville Maggie obviously deriving plenty from a confidence point of view when contesting a Pathway Stake (512 m) at the mid-week fixture.
On that occasion he took advantage of a huge drop in class, in what was the first 512 metre Pathway to be run at Tara Raceway, to find the front going out of the first turn before powering away to a 7¾ length win in 30.21 seconds.
And on Sunday, Glenville Jester found the front going out of the first turn in the second heat of the grade five feature before running out a 6¾ length winner over Smart Maxwell in a best of day 30.18 seconds with Lektra Destiny and Gassy’s Pride making up the final eight.
Smart Maxwell, trained at Horsham by Helen Hartigan and having his first race start at Tara Raceway, was the interesting runner in the race.
By Mogambo out of Off Springer, the five-year-old black dog came into the race with 140 starts to his name for 21 wins, 42 minor placings and almost $80,000 in prizemoney.
Smart Maxwell is one of an outstanding litter which also includes Echelonic Action (141, 16, 46, $91,000), Mechatronic (114, 17, 29, $50,000), Go Mobo (87, 25, 25, $100,000) and Sweet It Is (65, 23, 22, $945,000).
Earlier in the day, the Hartigan trained Rowdy Richard, a litter brother to Glenville Jester, came from a long way back in the Klaassens Contractors Mixed Stake (600 m) to run a two length second to Old Jock in 35.89 second.
LITTER CONTINUES ON WINNING WAY
Meanwhile, the win of Brae’s Girl in the Rock’s Retreat Maiden Stake (400 metres) at Tara Raceway on Wednesday resulted in the six members of the Kinloch Brae x Obama’s Girl litter to race having now all won.
Others to have previously won for Woolsthorpe breeder-trainer Nifty Lenehan are King Obama, Moth Attack, Optic Bray, Rising Girl and Herbilly which also won again on Wednesday.
Having her sixth race start, Brae’s Girl took full advantage of box one when leading all the way to defeat first-starter Snizort by 3½ lengths in 23.61 seconds.
And Herbilly, a beaten favourite at her previous start, made amends when chasing Raz’s Girl into the home straight before finishing too strongly for a 2¼ length win in a best of day 23.20 seconds.
This was the second litter-training double for Lenehan in the space of a couple of weeks after Herbilly and Optic Bray had been successful at Tara Raceway on October 23.
Speaking after the wins on Wednesday, Lenehan said he was now looking at trying the pair over more ground.
“Obama’s Girl won a couple of races at The Meadows over 600 metres and a 550 metre at Ballarat so there’s a bit of strength in the pedigree,” he said.
Jeff Guy also landed a double after Snap Hook and McRay continued the Horsham trainer’s amazing strike rate at the Mount Gambier track.
Snap Hook opened his local winning account when finishing too strongly for kennelmate Brazen Beau – which has since joined the Tarpeena kennels of David Williams – running out a three-quarter length winner in 23.70 seconds.
Four-year-old McRay punched through on the first turn to take the lead in the Gordon Refrigeration Open Stake (512 m) and then held off a determined Homer to win by three-quarters of a length in a best of day 30.12 seconds.
It was the start of a couple of good days for Guy who followed up with an outstanding win with Tara Raceway 600 metre record holder Paraphernalia at Warrnambool the following night in the Kermonds Hamburgers Special Event (650 m).
Chasing a hat-trick after wins over 660 metres at Bendigo and 595 metres at Sandown Park, the son of Big Daddy Cool and Scrappy Coco collected $3295 after leading all the way.
And Snap Hook, after settling in second spot early, was able to “beat the grader” in the Allestree Holiday Units Stake (400 m) at Sunday’s meeting when scoring by 1¼ lengths over Lektra Timon in 23.72 seconds.
By Fabregas x Maureen Return’s, the January 2015 whelping was bred by Guy who now trains the black dog for the Badspot Racing Syndicate.
Managed by Stephen Wik of the Horsham-based Locks Constructions, the syndicate comprises 10 local Horsham businessmen who have become involved in greyhound racing for the first time.
As Guy tells it, getting the group involved in the sport was simply a matter of knocking on Stephen Wik’s door at Locks Constructions.
“I offered them the pup free of charge and it didn’t take long for a syndicate of 10 to be formed,” he said. “All up, it’s cost them about $300 each to get Snap Hook to the track.
“For the Badspot boys it’s been a terrific introduction to greyhound racing with Snap Hook having now won four races and run two minor placings from only eight starts.”
Guy said the syndicate was now keen to undertake a “road trip” to Mount Gambier and enjoy a day at the track when their dog was nominated for Tara Raceway.