Monday, September 5, 2016
Allendale East greyhound trainer David Peckham was the first to admit that he really had no idea how Dark Nemesis would handle the 400 metre round of the Berringa Park Iron Dog at Tara Raceway.
Dark Nemesis had gone into the second heat of Sunday’s second round with five points accrued from the previous meeting’s 600 metre opener and realistically needed a top three finish to ensure a spot in this Friday’s 512 metre final.
And the black dog proved to be the nemesis of his rivals, quickly dispelling Peckham’s doubts, when leading all the way from box one in 23.38 seconds to defeat Dee Tee by 1¾ lengths with a further 1½ lengths back to Stampy Longnose.
“He’d previously won at Tara Raceway over 512 metres and 600 metres but today was his first race start over 400 metres,” Peckham said.
By Kinloch Brae x Angel Millie, Dark Nemesis started his racing career off in Tasmania for owner Mark McIntosh before relocating early this year to Mount Gambier where he has now won four races.
For Peckham, it will be his third consecutive Iron Dog final after Thanks Tubby and Bourne Again finished third and fourth respectively behind Manila Express in 2014 while Thanks Tubby backed up again last year when running fourth behind dead-heaters Boolite Bruiser and Upset Boy.
The Ralph Patzel trained Roarsome heads into the final as the leading overall pointscorer after an all the way 23.42 seconds win over Kirsty’s Me Mum which is also through to the final as are third and fourth placegetters Cryer’s Jack and Glenville Jester.
Roarsome, a daughter of Fear Zafonic and Ren Shen, has now won eight races since joining Patzel’s Mount Gambier kennels in May and will go into the final having already won five races over 512 metres.
Through to the final for a second consecutive year are Dee Tee and Cryer’s Jack while Richard Clayfield, after dead-heating with Upset Boy last year, has qualified with Glenville Jester.
The leading Iron Dog qualifiers are: 15 Roarsome, 14 Cryer’s Jack, 13 Dark Nemesis, 12 Kirsty’s Me Mum, 12 Old Jock, 11 Glenville Jester, 11 Dee Tee, 10 Julie’s Love, 10 Stampy Longnose, 8 Jasmine Lilly.
TWO IN A ROW FOR YUCATAN
Warracknabeal chaser Yucatan once again showed his liking for Tara Raceway with an emphatic win in the Produce Store Grade Six final (512 m).
This is the dog trainer Ian Bibby originally brought to Tara Raceway to take advantage of the track’s two bends in a bid to try and curb the black dog’s tendency to run wide on the turns.
“He’d been running wide on the one-turn Horsham track,” Bibby explained. “So I thought perhaps a two-turn track might be worth a try to see if he handled it any differently.”
But despite his record of three wins from four starts over 512 metres at Tara Raceway, Yucatan is still running wide on the turns as once again emphasised in his win on Sunday.
Away well from box five, he hit the first turn in front before running wide and allowing front runner Gentle Moment to take the lead.
But off the back Yucatan loomed large and despite once again running wide turning for home he finished too strongly to defeat Hay Miss by 4¼ lengths with Gentle Moment a further 1¾ lengths back in third spot in a time of 30.26 seconds.
By Kynan’s Express out of Crymelon Miss, Yucatan’s win came on the back of an impressive heat win a week prior, also at the expense of Hay Miss, and after Bibby had opted to run him in-between over 450 metres at Shepparton where he had finished fourth on September 1.
And Bibby, who is the Horsham Greyhound Racing Club president, also was successful at his home track last Tuesday with Yucatan’s half-brother Crymelon Fettle (by El Grand Senor) which won the $1650 Conway’s final (410 m) at the nice odds of $16.40.
TRAINER’S RUNNING DOUBLE WAS TOUGH GOING
Barry Shepheard’s short-course running double with Jett Setter and Galactic Viper would have been tough going for the Glencoe trainer after both wins came in tight finishes.
Four-year-old Jett Setter looked to have the job ahead of him going down the back in the South Eastern Hotel Stake (400 m) when the Norm McCullagh kennelmates Ella Rhode and Sea Mist were matching strides down the back while Shepheard’s runner was a distant third.
But turning for home, Jett Setter stuck to the rails and in a deceptive finish was able to edge out Ella Rhode by a nose with Sea Mist another three-quarters of a length back in third spot in 23.59 seconds.
By Cosmic Rumble x Brooklyn Belle, the veteran chaser – a former Victorian – has now won three races for Shepheard since he took over his training in February.
Also taking a keen interest in Jett Setter was local owner Dale Lewis who pointed out that the black dog traces back to one of his family’s breed in Kori Golden which was whelped in 1987.
And Galactic Viper’s win in the Gambier Vets Grade Five final broke an exasperating run of minor placings over the 400 metre journey.
The son of Velocette and Magic Elite, despite having never won over the journey in 10 starts, was still an odds-on favourite from box one but when last start winner Thanks Captain took over the running off the back it looked like another short course minor placing coming up for the Group winner.
However, he dug deep in the home straight and in a keenly contested finish he was able to hold out Thanks Captain to win by a neck in a best of day 23.29 seconds.
Shepheard will now head to Angle Park on Wednesday with Galactic Viper, which has drawn box five in a grade six over 515 metres, while kennelmate Lektra Destiny will contest a maiden/grade six 600 metre from box one.
CLEAN SWEEP FOR LITTERMATES
Koroit littermates Saint Fox and Saint Flynn made a clean sweep of the 400 metre and 512 metre maiden finals.
By Spring Gun x Real Frosty, Saint Fox led all the way in the Metal Worx Open Maiden (400 m) for owner Peter Byrne and trainer Ray Mahony while Robert Walsh’s Saint Flynn was successful in the ClassicBet Open Maiden (512 m).
Both greyhounds had won their heats at the previous meeting with Saint Fox once again running wide on the home turn before holding off the Peckham littermates Blitz And Bolt and Goldie’s Run in 30.65 seconds.
Saint Flynn chased early leader Raz’s Girl, also trained by Peckham, before finishing too strongly in the run home to defeat her by a length in 23.40 seconds.