Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Signal Peak, a close-up fourth in last Sunday night’s Group 3 Gawler Gold Cup (531 m), will add plenty of interest to Sunday’s Tara Raceway meeting when he contests a heat of the time-honoured Newman McDonnell Memorial (512 m).
The black and white dog qualified for the Gawler Cup final when running a three-quarter length second to Adelaide speedster High Eden Frost before finishing a 3¼ length fourth behind Windmill Haze in the $36,000 final.
Bred, owned and trained by Jamie Quinlivian of Merbein South, Signal Peak is from the highly successful Cape Hawke x Rustic Reeta mating, having raced on 65 occasions for 23 wins, 23 minor placings and more than $43,000 in prizemoney.
Signal Peak, who has drawn box three in the third and final heat of the memorial, has never raced at Tara Raceway but the June 2014 whelping is well seasoned and looks well-placed in grade five company.
Adding further interest to this heat is box one runner Lektra Stomp who, although coming off a couple of disappointing runs at Horsham, is a very quick dog.
Third in this year’s Winter Classic, the son of Walk Hard x Lektra Angie is a 29.88 seconds winner at The Meadows (525 m) and clocked 29.67 seconds at Tara Raceway (512) in August.
And lining up from box seven will be Chilly Kiss – a winner last Friday – trained by Connie Miller who also trained Kenzel Lad to win the inaugural Newman McDonnell Memorial in 1986.
Penshurst owner-trainer John Cameron, successful in the 2012 McDonnell Memorial with Camo’s Lucky, will be looking for further success when Fascinated jumps from box six in the second heat.
Fascinated, a daughter of Hutmaker and former top Tara Raceway speedster Spellbound, ran a quick 30.17 seconds at the local track back in September and was a winner over 450 metres at Warrnambool last Saturday night.
Peter Fulton’s Noosa Parade, who has drawn box one and races well at Tara Raceway, should keep Fascinated honest while box four runner Glenville Phil will appreciate the drop back to grade five company for trainer Richard Clayfield who won last year’s memorial with Glenville Jester.
The Nicole Stanley trained Rowchester Star, a winner at Tara Raceway last Friday over 512 metres, looks one of the hardest to beat from box one in the opening heat although Spring’s Over, Zorro Creek and Cilla Brown are also likely to be prominent in the run.