Saturday, October 13, 2018
Compton greyhound Smart Knocka, desperately unlucky not to be running in the $107,500 UBET Adelaide Cup final, provided trainer Tracie Price and his fellow owners Peter and Andrew Haines of WA with a change of luck when winning the $10,710 Adelaide Cup Consolation (515 metres) at Angle Park on Friday night.
Smart Knocka, on the back of a great second in last month’s Group 3 SA Derby (515 m), narrowly missed a spot in the Group 1 Adelaide Cup final after finishing third in a heat last week, running the sixth fastest of the 34 cup runners.
Away well from box seven in the consolation, the blue dog chased Oshkosh Erny Vee for much of the journey before finishing strongly to hold out recent State Of Origin winner Nations in 29.77 seconds, only a length slower than the time Real Simple took to win the cup final two races later.
For the 54-year-old Price, who has been training greyhounds for more than 30 years, this was his biggest win. And Smart Knocka, with six wins and two minor placings from only 10 starts, has already stamped himself as one of the best dogs to come out of Mount Gambier in a long time.
Despite being back in Mount Gambier at some ungodly hour on Saturday morning, Price was still at Tara Raceway by 9 o’clock for the trials, putting a trailer-load of young hopefuls through their paces while at the same time contemplating his next move with Smart Knocka.
“At this stage I’m seriously looking at the $36,000 Gawler Gold Cup (531 m), heats of which will be run on Tuesday, October 30 and the final on the following Sunday night,” he said.
“He’s never been to Gawler so realistically he will have to trial there prior to the heats in order to give him every chance.”
By Knocka Norris, Smart Knocka is out of Who’s Doing What who was a finalist in the 2015 Gawler Gold Cup. Last month she was mated with the boom sire Fernando Bale.
Price said he was also looking at the Silver Chief Classic (525 m), for male greyhounds whelped from June 2016 onwards, the Group 1 $100,000 series being run at The Meadows in December-January.
Meanwhile, Friday night’s SA Country Cup didn’t go quite to plan as far as the Mount Gambier representatives, Hutch and Paraphernalia, were concerned.
Both greyhounds performed well last Sunday at Tara Raceway as a lead-up to the $7375 final over 515 metres but never really got into the event on cup night for trainers Robert Halliday and Jeff Guy, Hutch later found to be suffering from hip soreness.
Portland trainer Brian Weis, after a double at Angle Park last week, continued his good run at the city track on Friday night when Lobster Hill led all the way and Theo’s Thunder turned in a big effort to run second.