Tuesday, December 17, 2019
Cryer’s Harper’s outstanding seven length all the way win in a heat of the Santa Sprint (400 metres) in a sparkling 22.96 seconds now sees the black bitch poised to win her second consecutive short-course Christmas feature at Tara Raceway on Sunday.
At last year’s corresponding meeting Cryer’s Harper made it four wins in succession when defeating Maunganui Magic by 4½ lengths in 23.03 seconds in the Santa Sprint. She then extended that winning run to five with a win over Lektra Brandy early in 2019.
By the Group 1-winning Spud Regis, whose last win was actually at Tara Raceway back in July 2014 when he defeated Twistex over 400 metres in 22.97 seconds, Cryer’s Harper has won 12 races this year.
Nine of those wins, all over the short course, have come during the past three months at Tara Raceway with the 3½-year-old suffering only two defeats in that time – to Azalea Monelli and last Sunday’s other heat winner Usain Insane.
Raced by Tom and Margaret Cryer, Cryer’s Harper is from the third and final litter of their 2011 Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year and 11-race winner Cryer’s Midget, a 23 kilogram daughter of Texas Gold x Shady Grove Fox.
And their decision at the end of 2012 to mate Cryer’s Midget with Spring Gun, prior to following up with a repeat mating two years later, has resulted in the ride of a lifetime for the Apsley couple.
All told, she has produced 176 winners, the majority of those at Tara Raceway, and Cryer’s Harper having now added 20 to that tally.
Ocean Grove trainer Heath McAdam, successful at Tara Raceway back in March with No Excuse, made the 400 kilometres trip to Mount Gambier last Sunday with that greyhound for a heat of the Williams Crane Hire Christmas Cup (512 m).
No Excuse finished unplaced behind Smart Knocka in the second heat but earlier in the day kennel mate Unique Quality ensured McAdam would be back for the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club’s Christmas meeting when successful in heat one of the Christmas Challenge (600 m).
There was plenty of interest in this heat with strong-finishing youngster Perseverance, an outstanding 512 metre winner the previous week for Michael Robinson and Dean Fennell, stepping out over the middle-distance journey for the first time.
But Unique Quality, after chasing Flash Jackie until the home turn, finished strongly and held out Perseverance to win by 1¼ lengths with the early leader not far away in third spot in a time of 35.46 seconds.
By Talk’s Cheap out of the unraced Cheap Chloe, the 3½-year-old Unique Quality has been in McAdam’s kennels for 12 months, last Sunday’s win his second for the hobby trainer but something of a drought-breaker after last winning at Sandown Park eight months ago.
“A lot of his runs during that period had been at Sandown Park and The Meadows so the going had been pretty tough,” McAdam said.
“Also, he hadn’t been jumping all that well so I sent him off for some box work. He certainly came out better today so hopefully that will be the case again in Sunday’s final.”